Characteristics of the Ideal CA Conservative Candidate

It’s no secret. CPAC – the largest national gathering of conservatives – is the place to be when it comes to hearing from the GOP’s best and brightest. Congressman, political pundits, activists and the media flock to National Harbor, MD for the 3-day conference that ignited and unites conservatives nationwide.

When looking at the speakers and panelists and the qualities these men and women possess, one question always comes to mind: If California were to have a strong conservative candidate run for office, what characteristics would he or she posses?

He or she would have to have:

  • The “stick-to-your-guns” personality of Ron and Rand Paul
  • The bold, innovative policy experience of Scott Walker and Jan Brewer
  • The unwavering voice of Ted Cruz
  • The compassion of Ben Carson

If California ever hopes to return to “Reagan country,” it’s time for the California Republican Party to provide candidates with the necessary skill sets needed to win an election in California and be effective in Washington. Instead of abandoning the conservative principles our country was founded, it’s time to stand on our foundation for guidance. Our founders were some of the smartest men in history. After all, they created the longest with-standing nation with the greatest amount of personal freedoms.

Just as though the Republican Party on the national level has ignored grassroots conservatives, the California Republican Party has done the same. In order to change the direction of our country, we have to first change the direction of our party. Choosing candidates with time-tested beliefs and bold ideas are the way to repairing our state and our nation.

Cellphone Surveillance Pursued by Silicon Valley Sheriffs

It’s not just the immense amount of information collected by such tech giants as Apple, Google and Facebook that is riling privacy advocates. Now the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department is seeking new cellphone surveillance technology — paid for by federal funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

With time running short on the availability of DHS grant money, and bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for advancing new phone protections, critics accused Santa Clara County officials of haste and overreach.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith found herself at the center of the dispute, which revolves around her request to the county’s Board of Supervisors for a portable surveillance system commonly known as “Stingray” (pictured above).

According to Ars Technica, “The same company that exclusively manufacturers the Stingray — Florida-based Harris Corporation — has for years been selling government agencies an entire range of secretive mobile phone surveillance technologies from a catalogue that it conceals from the public on national security grounds.”

For the Silicon Valley situation, the San Francisco Chronicle explained, “The device is said to mimic a cell tower, allowing authorities to track cellphones and pinpoint their location.” Stingray equipment ran a tab of over $500,000 — costs that could be covered by Homeland Security grants acquired by the county two years ago.

Skepticism on the Board of Supervisors has contributed to cops’ sense of urgency. Supervisor Sen. Joe Simitian, a former state senator, told the Contra Costa Times he knew about the potential Stingray deal since December. “I’m a little disappointed if they’re trying to hurry this up because the grant is going to expire,” he said. “It would have been nice to have been told about this a year ago.”

Stingray technology is already used in Alameda County and the cities of San Jose and San Francisco, with agencies around the San Diego and Los Angeles areas also getting into the act. But Simitian has spoken out about the value of more internal deliberation and resident input, criticizing Santa Clara sheriffs for holding a single, brief public meeting on the matter.

Legal questions

Challenges to Santa Clara’s plans haven’t just focused on the technology itself. Although some federal legislators have recently reintroduced a bill designed to bring some constraints to how cellphones can be monitored, for now police departments have enjoyed wide latitude in choosing how to proceed.

In Congress, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act was recently rolled out by a bipartisan group including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. Designed to protect individuals’ cellphones from excessive intrusion by law enforcement or others, the act would require a warrant from police before using technology like Stingray to track locations.

“GPS data can be a valuable tool for law enforcement,” said Wyden in a statement, “but our laws need to keep up with technology and set out exactly when and how the government can collect Americans’ electronic location data.”

Santa Clara sheriffs, meanwhile, have tried to frame their broader approach in reasonable terms. The sheriff’s office announced its intended use of stingray technology “triangulates on a mobile phone only, and does not monitor, eavesdrop, or intercept conversations or data such as texts,” Ars Technica reported.

According to the Chronicle, Sheriff Smith tried to emphasize the potential benefits to allowing her office to set limits on its own:

“Smith … said the device will be used only ‘to acquire criminal-activity data to aid in apprehension and prosecution,’ and not to ‘observe community members.’ She said the device could help her deputies — and officers from other nearby agencies — find missing people and victims of human trafficking.

“But the department has no finalized policy for using the technology, and officials do not plan to seek public approval of a policy when it is completed.”

Changing expectations

That put California’s longstanding privacy and civil liberty advocates up in arms. “Because Stingrays are capable of dragnet secretive surveillance, they raise serious privacy issues and necessitate robust oversight by citizens, elected leaders and the judiciary,” wrote Matt Cagle of the American Civil Liberties Union. “The ‘just trust us’ approach to surveillance doesn’t cut it, especially when the surveillance is close to home. Yet the public’s ability to learn about and debate surveillance technology should not depend on the good will of law enforcement agencies – it should be incorporated into our democratic processes.”

Pending legislation, however, expectations for change have been blunted by events at the federal level.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, for years the U.S. Department of Justice has been using Stingray technology in a once-secret airborne surveillance program.

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Soros Spends $200 Million to Get Obama to Buy the Internet

Many of us thought the value of the Internet was in the trillions of dollars. In fact, all it took was $200 million spent on the3 right groups, paying for the meals of the media and putting staff in the white House. In the end, government will now set the broadband speeds, the costs, who gets it for free and more. Will the Obama folks set it up like ObamaCare, with government telling us how to use it, how much to use? In textbooks, this is called fascism.

““The Ford Foundation, which claims to be the second-largest private foundation in the U.S., and Open Society Foundations, founded by far-left billionaire George Soros, have given more than $196 million to pro-net neutrality groups between 2000 and 2013,” said the report, authored by Media Research Center’s Joseph Rossell, and provided to Secrets.

“These left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC,” said the report which included funding details to pro-net neutrality advocates.

The selling of America—and Obama is the auctioneer—and government the only permitted bidder.

internet

Soros, Ford Foundation shovel $196 million to ‘net neutrality’ groups, staff to White House

BY PAUL BEDARD, Washington Examiner, 2/26/15

Liberal philanthropist George Soros and the Ford Foundation have lavished groups supporting the administration’s “net neutrality” agenda, donating $196 million and landing proponents on the White House staff, according to a new report.

And now, as the Federal Communications Commission nears approving a type of government control over the Internet, the groups are poised to declare victory in the years-long fight, according to the report from MRC Business, an arm of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center.

“The Ford Foundation, which claims to be the second-largest private foundation in the U.S., and Open Society Foundations, founded by far-left billionaire George Soros, have given more than $196 million to pro-net neutrality groups between 2000 and 2013,” said the report, authored by Media Research Center’s Joseph Rossell, and provided to Secrets.

“These left-wing groups not only impacted the public debate and funded top liberal think tanks from the Center for American Progress to Free Press. They also have direct ties to the White House and regulatory agencies. At least five individuals from these groups have ascended to key positions at the White House and FCC,” said the report which included funding details to pro-net neutrality advocates.

It quoted critic Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment, saying, “The biggest money in this debate is from the liberal foundations that lavish millions on self-styled grassroots groups pushing for more and more regulation and federal control.”

Groups funded by Soros and Ford include the Center for American Progress, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Media Matters for America. They received a total of $54,226,097 from the Ford and Open Society Foundations.

Both the Ford Foundation, not affiliated with Ford Motor Co., and Open Society support the initiative.

Some of those supported by the two groups’ funding have also worked the White House, notably John Podesta, former Center for American Progress head and now expected to run Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

MRC Business regularly follows the spending and activity of Soros, and even has an initiative to keep an eye on his advocacy called the Soros Project.

 

Mall Of America Invites Terrorism With Gun-Free Zone Signs

If I were a terrorist would I want to do damage to a Mall in Texas, where so many citizens carry guns—or go to the Mall of America—many government schools around the nation? Of course government schools in many places, along with the Mall of America have signs, “This is a No Gun Zone”. Great news for terrorists—little fear citizens can fight back. Personally, when I see such a sign, I try to stay away from the facility—I will not be a sitting duck for political correctness. How about you?

“Indeed it is, and while the Mall of America boasts a security force of 100 officers, they have a lot of ground to cover.

Unfortunately, the mall also boasts an abundance of what are arguably the world’s largest gun-free zone signs.

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, “Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns.” This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.

Obviously criminals and terrorists are smarter than the cops and politicians. I urge all those that hate guns to put signs on their front doors, “No guns here”. Let them be attacked. They should advertise they are willing victims.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Mall Of America Invites Terrorism With Gun-Free Zone Signs

Investor Business Daily Editorial, 2/26/15

Security: A video by Somalia’s al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab group warns Minnesota’s Mall of America may be a repeat of a 2013 mall attack in Kenya. The Second Amendment may be our best defense against terrorism.

The immense Mall of America in Bloomington would indeed make an inviting target for jihadists intent on martyrdom.

Its 520 stores, the most of any mall in the world, attracts 40 million people annually and is a global tourist destination. It’s as inviting a target and as much of an iconic symbol of Western capitalism and culture as was the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Somali al-Shabab terrorists have done it before, as they noted in a video released Saturday warning that similar mall attacks might be in the offing.

The Mall of America, along with the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and London’s Oxford Street, were specifically mentioned.

The attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya killed 60 as jihadi gunmen entered and roamed freely, shooting randomly at shoppers.

These threats were the subject of a warning last weekend by Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, though some say he was just trying to invoke the fear factor during the impasse on Capitol Hill over funding for his department.

“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today,” Johnson said, “they’ve got to be particularly careful. There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.”

Indeed it is, and while the Mall of America boasts a security force of 100 officers, they have a lot of ground to cover.

Unfortunately, the mall also boasts an abundance of what are arguably the world’s largest gun-free zone signs.

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, “Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns.” This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.

In the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying guns inside.

We have noted that days before the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in the gun-free zone of Newtown, Conn., an armed citizen stopped a shooter threatening a massacre at a mall in Clackamas, Ore.

It echoed what happened in 2007 during a rampage in Trolley Square, Utah. That was put to an end after an officer who was on a date with his wife confronted and pinned down the 18-year-old shooter until more police arrived and killed him.

Malls are tempting targets for terrorists and loons. Thanks to a tip, Canadian police recently thwarted a planned attack by a 19-year-old Canadian man and 23-year-old American woman who met online at a shopping mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Minnesota state Rep. Tony Cornish is publicly asking the Mall of America to allow armed visitors in response to the threat there. “A terrorist is going to come in and cause mass casualties and couldn’t care less if you have a petty misdemeanor violation of a sign,” he told Fox 9 in Minneapolis-St.Paul. “It creates a kill zone of unarmed sheep for terrorists.”

The only way to stop a bad guy is a good guy with a gun. Let the sheep shoot back by ending the stupidity of gun-free zones.
 

Growing concern about water storage and supply in California

The California public understands the severity of the lack of water (the drought is natural, the lack of water is government policy). During the Schwarzenegger years we voted for water bonds, to help build new water storage facilities—none have been built, but the money is being spent. Thanks to lawsuits, courts have used environmental laws to stop the building of dams. Last year we voted for $7.5 billion in water bonds, with money going towards dams. Jerry Brown allocated the first five hundred million of that, with not a dime going to dams—he lied to us. Why be subtle.

“When asked about letting the state government bypass environmental regulations protecting fish and the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta regions if residential or agricultural water users face serious shortages, 50 percent would give the state that power, with 46 percent are opposed, the survey says.

These results are similar to previous Field Poll measures on the topic conducted last year and in 1987.”

It does not matter what the people think, want or need. The Democrats will tease us with dams, then get bond money for special interest projects, mostly buying more wetlands and taking farm land our of circulation. Bait and switch—downright lies. This is why we need to vote NO on all bonds—why give government money when they lie about how they will spend it?

RB Drought

 

Growing concern about water storage and supply in California

Central Valley Business Times, 2/26/15

•  Ready to toss environmental protections for Delta

•  Survey shows support for storage facilities on government parklands and forest reserves.
Virtually all California voters appear to recognize the state’s ongoing water shortage with nearly 19 out of 20 voters (94 percent) describing the drought as serious, with 68 percent saying it is extremely serious, according to as recent survey by the Field Poll, which was released Thursday.

In 1977 when the state was in the midst of another long-term drought, fewer (51 percent) felt the situation was extremely serious.

But to enjoy more water, half of Californians would dump protections for the Delta and its fish and wildlife, the survey finds.

When asked about letting the state government bypass environmental regulations protecting fish and the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta regions if residential or agricultural water users face serious shortages, 50 percent would give the state that power, with 46 percent are opposed, the survey says.

These results are similar to previous Field Poll measures on the topic conducted last year and in 1987.

There are big differences in voter opinions about this across the major regions of the state. In the Central Valley, a 61 percent majority favors allowing the state to bypass these environmental regulations if farmers and residents face serious shortages. By contrast, voters in the San Francisco Bay Area oppose this idea nearly two to one (64 percent to 33 percent).

Just one in ten voters (10 percent) believe state water storage and supply facilities are more than adequate to meet the needs of California, while more than four times as many (43 percent) say the state’s existing water storage and supply facilities are inadequate. Another 38 percent think they are just barely adequate.

By comparison, in the 1980’s the proportion of Californians who described the state’s water storage and supply facilities as inadequate averaged 24 percent.

The Field Poll also finds that by a 51 percent to 38 percent margin voters support the idea of relaxing government restrictions on developing new water storage and supply facilities on government parklands and forest reserves.

In addition, by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin, voters continue to favor voluntary cut backs in water use over having the state impose mandatory rationing on users, although the proportion favoring mandatory rationing has increased seven points since last year.

Drilling into the numbers

While there is widespread acknowledgment of the seriousness of the water shortage across all regions of the state, concerns are greatest among voters in the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and other parts of Northern California, the Field Poll says.

During the 1976-77 period California experienced the most severe drought in modern history. In a Field Poll survey conducted during the midst of that drought, half of the public (51 percent) described the state’s water shortage as extremely serious. By comparison, today more Californians view the current water shortage as extremely serious (68 percent) than did so four decades ago.

Only one in ten (10 percent) Californians now describe the state’s existing water storage and supply facilities as more than adequate to meet the needs of the state. More than four times as many (43 percent) think they are inadequate, while another 38 percent describe them as just barely adequate.

The number of voters who considers state water storage and supply facilities inadequate has nearly doubled from the proportions who felt this way the last two times The Field Poll posed this question in the 1980’s.

While there is widespread concern about the adequacy of California’s water storage and supply facilities in every region of the state, voters living in Central Valley, the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of Northern California are more likely to believe they are inadequate.

Methodological Details

The findings are based on a Field Poll completed Jan. 26-Feb. 16 among 1,241 registered voters in California. Interviews were administered by telephone using live interviewers in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese. In order to cover a broad range of issues and minimize voter fatigue, some of the questions are based on random subsamples of either 521 or 602 registered voters.

The survey included supplemental interviews among the state’s rapidly growly Asian American voter populations with funding provided by Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan of the University of California, Riverside as part of the National Asian American Survey project.

Individual voters were sampled at random from listings derived from the statewide voter registration rolls. The supplemental sample of Asian Americans was developed from voter listings targeting Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans and Korean Americans in California based primarily on their ethnic surnames. Once a voter’s name and telephone number had been selected, interviews were attempted with voters on their landline or cell phone depending on the source of the listing from the voter file and the preference of the voter. Up to six attempts were made to reach, screen and interview each randomly selected voter on different days and times of day during the interviewing period. After the completion of interviewing, the sample was weighted to align it to the proper distribution of voters by race/ethnicity and other demographic, geographic and party registration characteristics of the state’s registered voter population.

Sampling error estimates applicable to the results of any probability-based survey depend on sample size and the percentage distributions being examined. The maximum sampling error for results from the overall registered voter sample is +/- 3.2 percentage points, while the maximum sampling error for findings from the random subsample is +/- 4.1 percentage points. These estimates are based on survey findings in the middle of the sampling distribution (i.e., results at or near 50 percent). Percentages at or near either end of the tail of the distributions (i.e., results closer to 10 percent or 90 percent) have somewhat smaller margins of error. There are other potential sources of error in surveys of public opinion besides sampling error. However, the overall design and execution of this survey sought to minimize these other possible errors.

The Field Poll was established in 1947 as The California Poll by Mervin Field, who is still an active advisor. The Poll has operated continuously since then as an independent, non-partisan survey of California public opinion. The Field Poll receives financial support from leading California media properties, the University of California and California State University systems, who receive the data files from each Field Poll survey shortly after its completion for teaching and secondary research purposes, as well as from foundations, non-profit organizations, and others as part of the Poll’s policy research sponsor program.

The specific “foundations, non-profit organizations and others” that might have financially supported this poll were not identified.

 

Privately Funded HyperLoop Gets Started—Government Owned High Speed Rail has NO Money

While the High Speed Rail Authority bullies it way to steal private property, going to court when owners refuse to be bullied, a private firm has created a deal, to build a “hyperloop” pod system that is really high speed when fully built—at NO cost to the taxpayer. Construction is to start in 2016, way before the courts rule on all the property thefts of the choo choo train.

“Now, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies of El Segundo says it has reached an agreement for the first working Hyperloop passenger transportation system on a five-mile stretch in California’s Central Valley as part of Quay Valley, a new city of 75,000 planned for Kings County in the Central Valley.

The system would be built along Interstate 5, California’s main north-south highway.

The Hyperloop allows a capsule with 28 people to travel through a tube with a low-pressure environment at speeds up to 760 miles per hour. The company likens it to an airplane in very high altitudes — but on the ground.”

That means when finally finished, from LA to San Fran will be under an hour—compared to the 4-5 hours for the government system. Want to lose $200 billion, support eh choo choo train to nowhere, for nobody.

Hyperloop

New Central Valley city to get the first Hyperloop

Central Valley Business times, 2/26/15

 

•  Would be first full-scale urban Hyperloop in the world

•  “This installation will allow us to demonstrate all systems on a full scale”
It’s a concept so new that its name has not entered everyday conversation. It’s the “Hyperloop,” a system of ultrafast passenger transportation.

Now, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies of El Segundo says it has reached an agreement for the first working Hyperloop passenger transportation system on a five-mile stretch in California’s Central Valley as part of Quay Valley, a new city of 75,000 planned for Kings County in the Central Valley.

The system would be built along Interstate 5, California’s main north-south highway.

The Hyperloop allows a capsule with 28 people to travel through a tube with a low-pressure environment at speeds up to 760 miles per hour. The company likens it to an airplane in very high altitudes — but on the ground.

With construction beginning in 2016, this would be the first working passenger-ready Hyperloop in an urban area, the company says.

“With Quay Valley, we’re creating a community built on economical, environmental and social sustainability, and part of this is seeking to reduce car dependency,” says Quay Hays, CEO of Green Renewable Organic and Water Holdings Inc., the master developer of Quay Valley. “For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley.”

“Our agreement with Quay Valley is a major milestone in the advancement of the Hyperloop project,” says Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Ahlborn. “This installation will allow us to demonstrate all systems on a full scale and immediately begin generating revenues for our shareholders through actual operations.”

The Quay Valley Hyperloop track is to be built using HTT’s tube, capsule, and station models. Running speed will be reduced on the shortened track from Hyperloop’s full potential.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. was founded by JumpStarter Inc., using its crowdfunding and crowd collaboration platform JumpStartFund.

Hyperloop first gained public interest when entrepreneur Elon Musk published a detailed white paper describing a futuristic mode of transport that would transport folks from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes. Mr. Musk handed the concept to the public asking for entrepreneurs to take over its development while he focused on his existing projects, such as the Tesla automobile.

 

Stockton Officially Exits Bankruptcy–Sets Stage for NEXT Bankruptcy

Good news? Not really. Stockton is now out from under the bankruptcy, caused by mismanagement of the city and massive payments to CalPERS. No one knows if the city will become fiscally responsible, but we have an idea that it REUSES to do so. Instead of accepting the court’s ruling that they can reform the pension system, get out from order massive pension costs, the irresponsible city council has decided to put the city back on the bankruptcy track by caving into the CalPERS bulling.

Expect the city to be bankrupt again in 7-10 years thanks to its refusal to fix the cause of the problem.

“”While we are very stable and can afford where we are today, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to immediately bounce back to the staffing levels or the service levels that we had before the great recession.”

No mention of the pension problem at all. Sad.

Photo courtesy taberandrew, flickr.

Photo courtesy taberandrew, flickr.

 

Stockton Officially Exits Bankruptcy

Rich Ibarra, Capitol Radio, 2/26/15

The City of Stockton officially exits bankruptcy Wednesday. The exit ends more than two years of negotiations, settlements, and development of a future fiscal plan.

Being $2 billion in debt forced the City of Stockton into bankruptcy. Now as it exits bankruptcy, the city can move forward in its “Plan of Adjustment” with 20 classes of creditors.

In some cases, the debt principle has been reduced, in others the payment terms changed.

Medical insurance for city retirees has been eliminated altogether.

Stockton City Manager Kurt Wilson says exiting bankruptcy doesn’t wipe the slate clean, but it does give the city a way to pay its debts.

“While we are very stable and can afford where we are today, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to immediately bounce back to the staffing levels or the service levels that we had before the great recession.”

Wilson says the city’s Plan of Adjustment will affect its financial decisions through the year 2053.

At one time Stockton was the largest city to declare bankruptcy.

It was soon replaced in that position by Detroit.

 

Assembly Democrats ACTING Like Democrats: Want Real Estate Fees, Tax Credits for Affordable Housing

In the Senate the Democrats are promoting SB 8 by Hertzberg, a $10 billion a year tax on services—attorneys, CPA’s, dance classes, yoga, plumbers and more. A killer of jobs and the economy. Now they are working hard to raise the cost of housing, so more are either homeless, forced to leave the State or live in slums. Democrat Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has a bill to create nee “fees” (taxes) on housing, to get money for affordable housing.

“Increasing affordable housing is good for the economy and it’s good for the budget,” Atkins said. “It makes sense across the board as a way to boost the economy, shore up infrastructure as a source of middle-class jobs and as a way to lift Californians out of poverty.”

She’s also proposing using some of the cash expected to be generated by prison savings through Proposition 47 — the law approved by voters last fall to shift some petty crimes from felonies to misdemeanors — to subsidize housing for formerly incarcerated citizens.

Prop. 47 “savings”? who is paying for the added victims of the criminals being let loose on society? So, the more criminals put on the street, the more savings? Not true, just more victims.

taxes

Assembly Democrats Want Real Estate Fees, Tax Credits for Affordable Housing

By Marisa Lagos, KQED, 2/25/15

The leader of the state Assembly is unveiling an ambitious affordable housing proposal, one that could pump more than $600 million a year into  development at the local level.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) was joined Wednesday afternoon by a wide range of prominent Democrats in Los Angeles, including state Treasurer John Chiang and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, to announce her plan. At its center: A proposal to institute a new transfer fee on real estate transactions, one Atkins’ staff characterizes as small; and expanding legislation proposed by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to increase the tax credit that real estate developers can claim when they build affordable housing.

“The bottom line is that every Californian deserves a stable, safe place to live,” Atkins said.

As we reported this morning, local officials have been scrambling to plug the $1 billion annual hole left by Gov. Jerry Brown’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies four years ago.

They aren’t new ideas. In 2013, former Bay Area state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, now a member of Congress, first floated the idea of a $75 transfer tax to fund affordable housing. SB391 died in the Assembly, but early estimates projected it could raise $300 million to $700 million a year at the $75 rate. Many business groups backed the proposal.

Assemblyman Chiu proposed a $40 million tax credit for affordable housing development in December. Atkins’ package, which Chiu supports, would expand the size of that tax credit program to $300 million a year.

She argued that the proposals make economic sense, saying that on average, counties spend $2,900 a month on medical care and criminal justice resources on each homeless Californian. Kids who live in unstable homes also have higher rates of depression, behavioral problems and issues at school, she said.

“Increasing affordable housing is good for the economy and it’s good for the budget,” Atkins said. “It makes sense across the board as a way to boost the economy, shore up infrastructure as a source of middle-class jobs and as a way to lift Californians out of poverty.”

She’s also proposing using some of the cash expected to be generated by prison savings through Proposition 47 — the law approved by voters last fall to shift some petty crimes from felonies to misdemeanors — to subsidize housing for formerly incarcerated citizens.

Chiu, who has seen San Francisco be hit hard by rising housing prices, said the proposals could “help families stay in the communities they have called home for decades”

“Having a roof over your head should not be a luxury,” he said, adding that the funding plan “will build more affordable housing, create jobs all over the state, and …. help us fix California’s future.”

 

California Bill Aims To Increase Transparency of Rx Drug Costs–More Government Control

The Democrats in Sacramento want everything to be transparent—if you sell high priced rugs that save lives, all your costs must be made public. Yet, the same politicians will not tell you about the deals made for their donations—like funds “donated” to charities, which then promote the politician that used their office to raise the money.

If government in the United States allowed drugs that are safe to be used, quickly, the cost of drugs would go down. Many with serious diseases need to go to Mexico or use drugs smuggled into this country that are legal in Europe and most of the world. The problem is not explaining the high prices, by why government causes the high prices.

“Under the bill, drugmakers would be required to report the production costs for any drug or course of treatment that is more than $10,000 to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.” It is not the cost of production, it is the cost of government that is the problem.

Healthcare costs

California Bill Aims To Increase Transparency of Rx Drug Costs

California Healthline, 2/26/15

Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill (AB 463) that aims to increase prescription drug cost transparency, Capital Public Radio’s “KXJZ News” reports (Bartolone, “KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 2/25).

Details of AB 463

Under the bill, drugmakers would be required to report the production costs for any drug or course of treatment that is more than $10,000 to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Specifically, drugmakers would need to report information on costs related to:

  • Acquisitions;
  • Clinical trials and other regulatory processes;
  • Financial assistance offered to patients through various programs;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Marketing and advertising;
  • Profits attributed to the drug; and
  • Research and development costs paid by the manufacturer or by grants.

The bill would require drugmakers to report the information annually by May 1.

OSHPD would produce an annual report on the data to submit to the state Legislature (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 2/25).

The pricing information then would be posted online.

Implications

Chiu said that high prescription drug prices affect “the overall cost of delivering health care, threatening the long-term success of health care for all and putting enormous cost pressures on state and local governments” (“KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 2/25). He added, “It is incumbent upon lawmakers to ensure that we have a full understanding of the costs … and find new avenues to achieve savings” (Sacramento Business Journal, 2/25).

However, Jeff McCombs, a pharmaceutical economics professor at the University of Southern California, said that the bill would stifle innovation. He said, “There’s a lot of legislators out there that don’t understand the market system, they don’t understand when you make a certain change, that the companies react to that and it has downstream consequences” (“KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 2/25).

 

Bill to Prevent Double Charges for California’s New Licensed Professionals Introduced

While Democrats have SB 8, a $10 billion tax increase, planned, they never forget that small change adds up to big money. Even little bureaucratic efforts can be brought to the bottom line so government has more money to spend. Assemblyman Jim Patterson has a bill, common sense, to save professionals money from being doubled TAXED (that is really what a license fee is), the total amount is about $845,000 a year.

“Because the license renewal system is based on a birth date system, a constituent in my district paid $700 for her state exam and initial dental hygienist licensing fee, was required to pay an additional $160 renewal fee only three weeks after receiving her brand-new license because it was her birthday,” Assemblyman Patterson said. “This system is so obviously flawed that we must do something to fix it.”

 

Bill to Prevent Double Charges for California’s New Licensed Professionals Introduced

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, 2/26/15

 

SACRAMENTOA new bi-partisan bill introduced in the Assembly would save newly licensed health care professionals from being over charged when they pay to renew their state license.

AB 483, the Professional License Renewal Bill introduced by Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), would prevent the over-collection by the state of nearly $845,000 a year by charging newly licensed professionals a pro-rated fee for their first license instead of the entire amount.

License holders must renew by their birthday instead of the date the license was issued. This means many people who pay $160 for their initial license are forced to pay $160 again within a few months depending on their birthday.

“Because the license renewal system is based on a birth date system, a constituent in my district paid $700 for her state exam and initial dental hygienist licensing fee, was required to pay an additional $160 renewal fee only three weeks after receiving her brand-new license because it was her birthday,” Assemblyman Patterson said. “This system is so obviously flawed that we must do something to fix it.”

Licensed professions that would be affected by this bill include: acupuncturists, dental hygienists, dentists, occupational/physical therapists, physicians and surgeons, psychologists, veterinarians and vet techs.

AB 483 will be heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.