HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 3/1/21

BIG STORY

Tomorrow is the Special Election in the 30td Senate District.  As they say at a ball game, you can not tell the players without a program.

There are three people running for State Senate that are registered as Republicans:

  1.  Tiffani Jones—supported by the grass roots and community organizations.
  2. Joe Lisuzzo—endorsed by the LAGOP.
  3. Renita Duncan—a registered Republican who took the advice of State Senator Shannon Grove (who gave her $4900) and filed instead as an NPP

TALKING POINTS

  1. Some have asked if I am going to stay in the fight for Freedom and the Republican Party.  You bet.  While some GOP State Senators are talking Republicans OUT of running for office—or having them run as an NPP—I am working, with others, to find GOP candidates—real Republicans to run in 2022.  My newsletter coms out at 3:00am each day and I am doing even more radio shows each week.  Importantly, I am speaking directly to the grassroots of the Party—the very folks ignored by the State Party.  As an example, here are a few of my speaking engagement over the next three weeks.

February 26  Womens Fed in San Gabriel Valley

March 1—Tea Party in Atascadero  in person

March 2—San Fernando Valley Republican Club

March 5—Silicon Valley Association of Republican Women

March 6.  South Placer County Republican Women’s Fed  in person

March 9   Liberty Forum in Silicon Valley

March 10  Encino Oaks Republican Womens Fed  in person

March 11  South Bay Republican Womens Fed

March 13  Chino Tea Party

March 20—Lake County  GOP Central Committee–in person—

You can always reach me at 805-795-1271 or at [email protected]

  • Life Without Petroleum:  This is the world Newsom, Biden and the Democrats want for us—humorous and devastating to the scam artists of the Left.

LIFE WITHOUT PETROLEUM – GO GREEN!
IS this funny or what?  JUST 56 SECONDS!  This is just part of the story, few people realize how much of their existence is intertwined with hydrocarbon petroleum based products from the paint and finishes in their homes to the synthetics in the clothes they wear to all the different plastic products they touch every day. 

Watch the attached and have a good chuckle; it is an amusing short clip illustrating the fallacy of a future without petroleum.  If anything, this is an understatement, since the house would lose its roof, appliances would fall apart, adhesives and paint and collapse in on itself, Prius & Tesla would be dismantled and your driveway and road would become dirt or mud – just like the Old West

Forward this to you lists—and the Democrats.

  •  WATCH OUT FOR PHONY SCHOOL “OPENINGS”:  The Oak Park school district, in Ventura County is touting that today they are “opening the schools”:.  This is a complete fraud and abuse of the students and taxpayers.  This is how the define “opening” the schools:  Only k-5 are allowed back on campus. For a shortened day—TWO DAYS A WEEK  Call that an opening?  If you are in grades 6-12—NO EDUCATION. Just a continuation of the couple of hours of pretend school via th Internet.  Yet, they are praised for opening the schools!!!  I call it corruption, fraud and a downright lie.  What do you call it?  Another reason to Recall Nuisance the Governor.
  • The Santa Monica-Malibu School Dsitrict proudly announced it was opening the campuses for the student.  That is an outright lie.  Only if you are a member of the chess club or play the flute do you get on campus—you do not go to a classroom, you continue to pretend to be in school by turning on your computer.  In fact, in this story about L.A. County, most of the schools are opening—those allowed on campus, in the five days of the week will get a total of TEN HOURS of school—averaging two hours a day.  That is NOT education, it is fraud.

From the L.A. Times, “Officials (Santa Monica-Malibu) this week announced a tentative agreement with their teachers union that would require vaccines to be available to school staff for 15 days prior to students returning. At that point, all K-12 students would gradually return to campus, if they wish, for enrichment activities, which might include club meetings or outdoor learning projects. Even while the county remains in the purple tier, elementary students are likely to have the option of up to two days of instruction on campus. District leaders say that allowing students to socialize and spend time together is of prime importance.

LEADERS LEAD

 (Periodically the California Political News and Views will publish tidbits of political news, to keep you in the loop of what the pooh bahs know.  The phrase “tom/tom’s” comes from my mentor, Lorelei Kinder who never passed a rumor, just called to tell me what she heard on the “Tom/Tom’s”.  This column is named in her honor.)

La Mesa School Board Member Compares School Reopening to Slavery, ‘White Supremacist Ideology’

In La Mesa a school board member had either a mental breakdown or should be taken off the board.  She is claiming that opening schools is like slavery—and that schools opened are based on white supremacy.  Now this hater of education and children does not speak for herself—she has an attorney to do that.

“When a school board member mentioned that “70 to 80 percent” of families and students said “they would like to come back to school,” Bell-Fontenot asked, “Who are the 70 and 80 percent and where are they? … Which school sites, which language groups?”

When Board President Rebecca McRae suggested Bell-Fontenot could abstain from the reopening vote, Bell-Fontenot replied, “There’s no reason to be nasty with me, Miss McRae.”

Bell-Fontenot claimed that the information on reopening “seems like a mess,” insisting, “You guys do not have all the information that you need.” She argued, “We should not be voting on this tonight.”

What difference does it make the language spoken by the parents?  Does this school board member also hate Hispanic child and others that come from immigrant homes?

Hate is on the La Mesa School Board.  When will then censure and ignore her.  She can vote, but bigots should not have the right to debate (isn’t that what AOC and Pelosi say?).

School Board Member Compares School Reopening to Slavery, ‘White Supremacist Ideology’

By Tyler O’Neil, PJMedia,  2/24/21   

On Tuesday night, the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board held a meeting to adopt a plan to reopen schools after almost a year of COVID-19-related closures. Most of the school board members and the superintendent debated reopening, but the board vice-president attacked the very idea of a reopening plan, comparing it to slavery and claiming that such a plan smacks of a “very white supremacist ideology.”

Chardá Bell-Fontenot, the board vice-president, dismissed the fact that most families who answered a school reopening survey would like to come back to school. She complained that the other school board members allegedly disrespected her, and she repeatedly resorted to accusations of racism.

When a school board member mentioned that “70 to 80 percent” of families and students said “they would like to come back to school,” Bell-Fontenot asked, “Who are the 70 and 80 percent and where are they? … Which school sites, which language groups?”

When Board President Rebecca McRae suggested Bell-Fontenot could abstain from the reopening vote, Bell-Fontenot replied, “There’s no reason to be nasty with me, Miss McRae.”

Bell-Fontenot claimed that the information on reopening “seems like a mess,” insisting, “You guys do not have all the information that you need.” She argued, “We should not be voting on this tonight.”

“I take great offense to the statement that no one on here knows what they’re talking about right now,” Superintendent David Feliciano responded.

 “I wasn’t talking about you, David,” Bell-Fontenot shot back. She said she was talking about the new school board members, Minerva Martinez Scott and Sarah Rhiley. When Feliciano explained that he took offense on their behalf, Bell-Fontenot loudly insisted that he could not speak for them.

“And it’s disrespectful. Like this is the second time you’ve disrespected me, David,” she shot back.

When McRae, the board president, insisted that Bell-Fontenot and Feliciano should resolve this tension in private, Bell-Fontenot responded, “It doesn’t need to be private. Racism doesn’t need to be private. Racism doesn’t need to be private, Becky!”

At that point, she launched into the true diatribe, comparing school reopening to slavery and claiming it traced back to a “white supremacist ideology.”

“Without any teachers, we don’t have the ability to teach the students,” Bell-Fontenot argued, claiming that not every teacher would be able to get vaccinated by the reopening date.

“So how are we forcing people? That seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with, and conform, without thinking about all of their intersecting factors and barriers that exist for all families,” Bell-Fontenot argued, referring to the idea that people from more than one historically-oppressed group (like black women, for instance) face “intersectional” difficulties.

“You’re thinking about one type of family when you’re speaking right now. Just letting you know. Privilege. Check it, you guys,” she said, unironically.

At this, some of Bell-Fontenot’s fellow board members could not help themselves but laugh. Bell-Fontenot did not appear to be amused.

“Let’s stop forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. I don’t want to be a part of forcing anybody to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s what slavery is. I’m not going to be a part of it,” she declared.

“I would like to say that I am offended by the smirks on you guys’ faces,” Bell-Fontenot declared at another point during the meeting.

Bell-Fontenot did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment by press time.

“I don’t understand why you’re so upset,” Minerva Martinez Scott, a Hispanic board member, told Bell-Fontenot.

“I am Hispanic… I am Hispanic and I have four adopted children. We look like the U.N.,” she explained. “And my child has been affected by not being in school. My kid is in a facility because he had a hard time not being in school.”

Indeed, school closures have taken a serious toll on the emotional state of America’s children. Studies have found that depression symptoms among children have “increased substantially” during COVID-19 lockdowns. From March 2020 through October 2020, the share of mental health-related hospital emergency department visits frose 24 percent for kids ages 5 to 11 and 31 percent among adolescents agest 12 to 17, when compared to 2019, the CDC reported.

The personal stories are harrowing. “Mom, I’m just losing hope,” a high school freshman in Chesterfield County, Va., told his mother, Kristin Gladstone. Formerly an honors student, the boy struggled to achieve average grades last semester. Gladstone told PJ Media that her son is suffering from decreased appetite, insomnia, and wild mood swings. Some children, like Travis Till in Illinois, have committed suicide amid COVID-19 depression.

In August, La Mesa-Spring Valley Schools released a video showing a teacher and three children lamenting the school closures and encouraging families despite the semester of distance learning ahead. Two of the young boys in the video are minorities.

“The fact that we are not able to go back to school this year is heartbreaking,” Sarah Luibel, a teacher at La Mesa Dale Elementary, says in the video. “I really miss my teacher,” the children say, one after another.

“There’s a virus, that is COVID-19, so we have to stay six feet apart, we have to stay in our houses, we can’t go to any more fun places or anything,” one of the boys says.

“Even though we’ll be able to communicate online, she could still help me with more of my math, science, help me more with division,” a young black boy says. “And then, she could help me with all my life opportunities.”

The video ends with the children saying, “We got this,” but it still leaves the impression that school closures have taken a serious toll on them.

NYC Principal Urges Parents to Become ‘White Traitors,’ ‘White Abolitionists’

Studies have shown that school reopenings do not significantly increase the spread COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that there is “scant” transmission in classrooms. Yet teacher’s unions have turned reopening into a political bargaining chip, demanding ever more money and benefits in exchange for reopening.

As for Bell-Fontenot’s hyperbolic claims about a “very white supremacist ideology” and comparisons to slavery, those seem based on a noxious ideology. While it is true that minorities do suffer more from COVID-19, that does not erase the fact that minority children also suffer from school closures. Bell-Fontenot’s claims seem more rooted in Marxist critical race theory, which claims that racist oppression is embedded in America’s social and cultural institutions. This ideology encourages people to deconstruct American society, searching for an evil “white supremacy” behind it.

The Smithsonian briefly showed how this works when it published a “teaching tool” infographic on “whiteness.” That infographic claimed that the nuclear family, science, capitalism, the Judeo-Christian tradition, individualism, “objective, rational linear thinking,” and even values such as “be polite” are aspects of oppressive whiteness. The Smithsonian rightly removed the graphic after facing criticism, but this noxious ideology has spread throughout American society.

Marxist critical race theory inspired much of the destruction wrought by the Black Lives Matter and antifa riots over the summer. While protesters rightly expressed outrage at the treatment of George Floyd, many of the protests devolved into looting, vandalism, and arson in which lawless thugs — acting in the name of fighting racism — destroyed black livesblack livelihoods, and black monuments.

Similarly, hyperbolic claims that reopening schools is tantamount to slavery or involves a “white supremacist ideology” would arguably do more harm to minority students, prolonging the depression-inducing school closures that children have suffered for so long already.

As in the case of the Black Lives Matter riots, Marxist critical theory in school reopenings does more harm than good — to the very people it is intended to help.

Newsom/Biden Policies Working: Churches to Be Closed Permanently

One of the goals of the Newsom/Democrat lockdown was to disrupt religious freedom in California and the United States.  In Simi Valley a grocery store has a sign at the entrance that says no more than 460 people at one time in the store.  Across the street there is a church, where no more than ten people are allowed in the church at one time.  Somehow government has decided that grocery stores are safer than churches.  In this article it show the policy of NO parishioners has actually killed off an historic church in San Fran.  How many other churches have been destroyed by the anti-First Amendment Democrat Party?

“The church used to receive about $3,500 each weekend in collections during its services, around half of which was from tourists, according to Ardis. That amount has dropped to about $1,000 for each of the eight weekends during the pandemic it has been able to open for reduced services, he said.

The church “faces the very real possibility of having to close its doors to the community, and to the world,” the GoFundMe description states.

The church has also lost income brought in by its preschool program, which it had to shut down due to a drop in enrollment, and its bookstore. As a result of these lost funds, the church had to let two priests go and terminate 20 staff members.”.

Another goal of the Democrats is being met, along with ending free speech, sending U.S. jobs to China—again.  California is in an economic Depression—the nation is on its way to the same fate

Historic San Francisco church says doors could close if it can’t raise money through donations

Old St. Mary’s has lost revenue, laid off staff due to shut down of services

Madeleine Beck, SF Examiner, 2/22/21 

A 167-year-old San Francisco church is reaching out to the community for financial support following a drop in their usual income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Old St. Mary’s Church, California’s oldest Cathedral, has set up a GoFundMe in hopes that the community will help make up some of the income it has lost, Old St. Mary’s priest Father John Ardis said.

“We’re hoping that the GoFundMe will reach out to people and that they will share it with their friends and family and hopefully people who have a love for the ministry or the historical aspects of Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, which has served the community since 1864,” Ardis said.

The church used to receive about $3,500 each weekend in collections during its services, around half of which was from tourists, according to Ardis. That amount has dropped to about $1,000 for each of the eight weekends during the pandemic it has been able to open for reduced services, he said.

The church “faces the very real possibility of having to close its doors to the community, and to the world,” the GoFundMe description states.

The church has also lost income brought in by its preschool program, which it had to shut down due to a drop in enrollment, and its bookstore. As a result of these lost funds, the church had to let two priests go and terminate 20 staff members.

The church will use money raised by the GoFundMe to pay for insurance costs and the Archdiocesan’s Annual Appeal, Ardis said. According to the GoFundMe, the church owes $250,000 in insurance payments.

Ardis said the church was originally built in 1854, but had to be rebuilt and reopened following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Because of the age of the building and the cost of insurance, the church hasn’t been able to attend to some much needed maintenance issues, Ardis said.

During a majority of the pandemic, the church has been livestreaming mass via YouTube with readings in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, Ardis said. The weekend of Feb. 20 was the second weekend it was able to host in-person, limited capacity masses with required masks and social distancing.

“Ultimately, we’re looking forward to the day when we can welcome back multitudes of people,” Ardis said.

Over Newsom Objections: Supreme Court OPENS Churches in Santa Clara County

Gavin Newsom and the Democrats hate religion.  For example, they want to force Nuns into paying for abortion services.  For years they have used the pulpits of ethnic churches to preach hate and socialism—harming the people in the pews.  Government has gone after churches that use the First Amendment to preach love and freedom, while those churches like those of Jeremiah Wright preach hate and violence.

“The Supreme Court has approved injunctive relief for churches in Santa Clara County to open for indoor services, starting immediately. This move may be a bellwether for similar cases around the nation and demonstrates a likelihood that the church has a majority of friendly Justices willing to rule on their behalf. Leftist Justices Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor all dissented.

The ruling will allow churches to open while appeals are pending. If the appeals reach the Supreme Court, as they most certainly will, then it seems likely Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Alito, Gorsuch, and Chief Justice Roberts will side with the First Amendment. Here’s the ruling:

Yesterday churches in Santa Clara County were allowed to open.  Now Ministers, Priests, Pastors and Rabbi’s, along with Imans, need to totally open their houses of worship.  You need to demand your church be opened, totally, or find a church not controlled by the Democrats and government.  Cuba has churches controlled by government—we should be better than that.

SCOTUS orders temporary relief for churches in Santa Clara County, CA, to open for indoor services

While the appeals process plays out, churches in Northern California will be allowed to hold services.

by CQ Livingston, NOQ Report, 2/26/21 

The Supreme Court has approved injunctive relief for churches in Santa Clara County to open for indoor services, starting immediately. This move may be a bellwether for similar cases around the nation and demonstrates a likelihood that the church has a majority of friendly Justices willing to rule on their behalf. Leftist Justices Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor all dissented.

The ruling will allow churches to open while appeals are pending. If the appeals reach the Supreme Court, as they most certainly will, then it seems likely Justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Alito, Gorsuch, and Chief Justice Roberts will side with the First Amendment. Here’s the ruling:

The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is granted pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is timely sought. The Ninth Circuit’s failure to grant relief was erroneous. This outcome is clearly dictated by this Court’s decision in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 592 U. S. ___ (2021). Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this order shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the order shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.

Justice Kagan, with whom Justice Breyer and Justice Sotomayor join, dissenting: I dissent for the reasons set out in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 592 U. S. ___ (2021) (Kagan, J., dissenting).

Religious liberties are being challenged across the country. The Covid-19 lockdowns have often targeted houses of worship as “non-essential” and therefore rendered not of interest for lockdown exceptions. It’s noteworthy that casinos, liquor stores, and strip clubs have had easier times opening up than churches.

Questions have been floating among conservative circles as to the actual makeup of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts has gone from moderate to full-blown progressive. Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Barrett have been disappointments to various degrees. Only Justices Thomas and Alito have maintained their constitutional originalist status. This ruling could show that on the topic of First Amendment religious protections, even the lukewarm conservatives are unwilling to break them.

Churches are essential and indoor services benefit the faithful. As fear of Covid-19 persists despite science saying it’s not the existential threat that it’s billed as, it’s good to see the Supreme Court get something right.

For Better or Worse, Prop. 22 Could Become a Model for U.S.

AB 5 by the open Socialist Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher was mean to end private, independent employment.  Either work for a corporation and pay a bribe to a union, or you need to leave the State—no workers wanted in California.  Prop. 22 overturned most of AB 5 and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs.  But is it a good fix to a totalitarian measure?

““I vote because Uber said everything is going to be okay,” he said. “But nothing changed.”

The initiative promised 1.2 times the state’s minimum wage, and health insurance to workers who drive at least 15 hours a week.

But the proposition’s fine print showed that these benefits are divvied out based on the amount of time that drivers are “engaged,” or actively picking up or dropping off passengers and making deliveries.

That means workers like Damabi, who works 10 hours a day, or 50 hours a week, may only have half that time counted toward qualifying for those benefits.”

Sadly, this workers had a choice between NO jobs or a job that made it difficult t get the benefits.  This is an example of how Democrats—and the Republicans that supported AB 5—abused the workers, just to show who is boss—government.

For Better or Worse, Prop. 22 Could Become a Model for U.S.

San Jose Inside,  2/24/21  Sonya Herrera  

Ali Damabi is a single dad of two teenage girls living in San Jose. He drives for Uber 10 hours a day, five days a week and makes roughly $120 a day, but it’s not enough, he says.

“I don’t have a choice… there are no jobs,” Damabi says. Often he comes up short for his rent and other expenses at the end of the month.

Damabi’s story is common among Bay Area rideshare drivers, who say Proposition 22—a voter initiative sponsored by Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and other gig work startups—in November did not make things better, despite promises of change.

Now the legislation is having ripple effects across California as the companies behind the law eye other states and countries for similar measures and investors see its potential to grow to other industries.

Prop. 22 was born in response to AB 5, a bill authored by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that says workers must be classified as employees if their work falls within a company’s usual course of business.

The legislation cut at the heart of the business models that had catapulted Uber and Lyft from scrappy Silicon Valley startups to household names worth billions of dollars. Both firms have floated self-driving cars as their future, but for now minimally-paid contractors remain the drivers of their business—literally and figuratively.

But Rufus Jeffris, senior vice president of communications at regional economic think-tank Bay Area Council, says rideshare companies had little choice but to craft an initiative to negate the effects of AB 5, which was opposed by people in many industries.

“It was a direct shot at California’s innovation economy,” Jeffris says. “It was clearly directed at companies that have worked to try and provide platforms for independent contractors to make a living and to run their own businesses.”

AB 5 was broad, affecting workers in just about every industry, including art, media and logistics—anyone paid on the basis of each completed job, and not considered an official employee. Prop. 22, however, focused on rideshare drivers.

“[AB 5] cast this blanket net over a wide range of independent contractors and didn’t respect and didn’t recognize that many of them have different motivations, different needs, different reasons for operating as independent contractors,” Jeffris says.

Promises Made

The companies behind Prop. 22 put out a wide-ranging and aggressive campaign, together contributing more than $200 million—the most expensive in California’s history. Consumers were sent messages on the apps urging them to vote yes on Prop. 22. Drivers were told to vote for the initiative and polls show roughly 70 percent were in favor of Prop. 22.

Damabi himself voted yes.

“I vote because Uber said everything is going to be okay,” he said. “But nothing changed.”

The initiative promised 1.2 times the state’s minimum wage, and health insurance to workers who drive at least 15 hours a week.

But the proposition’s fine print showed that these benefits are divvied out based on the amount of time that drivers are “engaged,” or actively picking up or dropping off passengers and making deliveries.

That means workers like Damabi, who works 10 hours a day, or 50 hours a week, may only have half that time counted toward qualifying for those benefits.

Ken Jacobs, UC Berkeley Labor Center chair, says confusion is by design. “Many of them thought they were voting to increase gig workers’ pay,” he says. “The $200 million allowed the companies to confuse the issue.”

Damabi says his pay diminished during the coronavirus pandemic, partly because of the reduction in the number of rides and passengers. Uber also takes a 30 percent slice of every fare, he says.

“I have to pay child support, … car payments, insurance, rent,” he explains. “I’m really scared for the future.”

Gig Workers Rising, a California rideshare advocacy group that spent months organizing against Prop. 22 says the lack of employee status harmed drivers during the deadly coronavirus surge this winter.

“In the midst of a devastating pandemic, (the companies’) majority Black, brown and immigrant workers had to choose between working and risking their lives or being unable to afford rent,” the group said in a statement. “Workers are denied quality PPE, sanitation equipment and payment for the additional labor they take on to make sure that they, their families and customers are safe.”

Damabi echoes those concerns. “We don’t have any vacation, we don’t have any health insurance, 401k, nothing,” he says.

Driver Drop-off

Meanwhile, driver jobs at other companies have disappeared following Prop. 22’s passage. At Kroger’s and Albertson’s grocery stores in Southern California, management laid off delivery drivers and outsourced deliveries to DoorDash and other gig companies.

“We are seeing some of the fallout that was anticipated,” Jacobs says. “We are seeing the companies trying to push this same model in other states.”

After Prop. 22’s passage, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said success in California offered a roadmap for enacting similar legislation elsewhere. Uber and Lyft executives this week were reportedly studying enacting a similar model in Europe.

California Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), who vocally opposed Prop. 22, says Uber and Lyft’s wealth allowed them to carve out special rules for their companies. He’s troubled by the proposition’s stipulation that an amendment to the rules can come only from a seven-eighths vote from the legislature.

“Basically, what they’re saying is we don’t want to be regulated, we don’t want any government oversight,” Kalra says. “They’ve made California one of their colonies… they can extract resources from us without having to follow the same rules as other responsible businesses.”

But not everyone is disappointed by Prop. 22’s passage.

Shawn Carolan, a partner at early Uber investor Menlo Ventures, penned an opinion piece in The Information arguing the initiative benefits both workers and startups.

“We are now telling people they can have flexible jobs without sacrificing benefits,” Carolan wrote, referencing the minimum wage and health insurance promises. “At a time when some of us have lost jobs and need short-term employment… the appeal of a flexible job with the security provided by benefits is easy to understand.”

Carolan says Prop. 22 opens the door to new business models.

“The existence of flexible work arrangements in fields like nursing, executive assistance, tutoring, programming, restaurant work and design suggests that a Prop. 22-inspired approach could make sense there as well,” he wrote in the article.

Despite his disappointment with how little changed with Prop. 22 passed, Damabi said if he had a chance to vote for it again, he would.

“Thank God we’ve got Uber for the drivers and can still pay rent, insurance, car payments,” he says. But he still feels he’d be better off as an employee.

“A lot of drivers aren’t happy,” Damabi says. “For now, it’s so hard for us.”

Pandemic impacts and underlying changes in consumer behavior creates disparate pain for sales tax revenues

When you close amusement parks, severely limit the use of restaurants, close down schools, churches, movie houses, bowling allies you have an economic problem.  Then you have the end of tourism, which means a lowering of revenues from the gas tax—and in California 20% fewer cars sold in 2020 than the year before.  Without economic activity, sales tax revenues go down—in some places more than others.

“Public agencies throughout California are struggling as the pandemic continues to cause havoc for local governments. The state’s local one-cent sales and use tax from sales occurring July through September was 0.9% lower than the same quarter one prior. The losses were geographically concentrated in the Bay Area, coastal regions and communities popular with tourists. Meanwhile, much of inland California including the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento region and Inland Empire exhibited gains of 7.2%.

Proof that government takes care of itself—Sacramento is doing well.  This, while the Bay Area is being depopulated.  In San Fran the price of an apartment has gone down 29% in the past year—of course the price does not matter because the Governor and his Democrat buddies have decided no rent has to be paid, at least till June, 2021—about 15 months of living rent free.  When the rent does become due, watch for the lawsuits, the evictions and the killing of the poor and middle class in California.  Housing values will plummet.  Every aspect of our economy will be in a Depression.

Pandemic impacts and underlying changes in consumer behavior creates disparate pain for sales tax revenues

Public CEO, 2/19/21 

Public agencies throughout California are struggling as the pandemic continues to cause havoc for local governments. The state’s local one-cent sales and use tax from sales occurring July through September was 0.9% lower than the same quarter one prior. The losses were geographically concentrated in the Bay Area, coastal regions and communities popular with tourists. Meanwhile, much of inland California including the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento region and Inland Empire exhibited gains of 7.2%.

The data behind these numbers is from the latest reported information from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. HdL Companies, a leading provider of revenue enhancement technology and consulting services for local governments, provides quarterly insights on California’s sales tax receipts and the impact on local jurisdictions.  

“Not all recoveries are created equal. The pandemic economy has pummeled cities like San Francisco and Anaheim that depend on tourism, which show retail sales down 18% and 17% respectively. While cities like Sacramento and Fresno are seeing strength in retail sales as consumer stay home, improve their domiciles or invest in big assets like new cars, boats and RV’s,” Andy Nickerson, HdL’s President/CEO, commented, “Cities and counties are experiencing widely differing financial impacts due to the pandemic, and we foresee some of these changes being permanent as consumer habits have forever been changed by the pandemic. This will impact strategies for local governments to generate tax revenues they require to service their communities.”

A 23% decline of fuel sales, brick and mortar retail and restaurants were the primary contributors to the Q3 overall statewide decline. The losses were largely offset by a continuing acceleration in online shopping (up 43% over the comparison quarter) that produced huge gains in county use tax pools where tax revenues from purchases shipped from out-of-state are allocated and in revenues apportioned to jurisdictions on a pro rata basis.

Additional gains came from sales of autos, RV’s, food-drugs, sporting goods, discount warehouses, building material suppliers and home improvement purchases. Some categories of agricultural and medical supplies/equipment also performed well. 

Although the slight decline in comparable third quarter receipts reflected a significant recovery from the second quarter’s deep year over year decline of 17%, the fall coronavirus surge and reinstated restrictions, combined with uncertainty around federal stimulus programs, suggest a more significant drops in forthcoming revenues from December through March sales. HdL will release an analysis of that data in April 2021.

Significant recovery in local government sales tax revenues is not anticipated until the 2021-22 fiscal year (beginning July 1, 2021) with full recovery dependent on the specific character and make up of each jurisdiction’s tax base. As the recovery accelerates, its anticipated that consumers will shift more spending back to non-taxable services which will further diminish tax revenues going to local governments. 

“Full economic recovery will likely look different than before the pandemic. Recent surveys suggest that 3 out of 4 consumers have discovered new online shopping alternatives and half of consumers expect to continue these shopping habits. In the world of sales tax revenues, this means a more aggressive shift of revenues allocated through countywide use tax pools and industrial distribution centers rather than stores fronts,” concluded Andy Nickerson.

A complete table of sector and regional data is available for download by clicking here.

About HdL Companies 

HdL Companies is dedicated to supporting local governments across the U.S. with revenue enhancement, technology and consulting services that enable cities, counties and special districts to better serve their constituents. Founded in 1983, HdL Companies’ comprehensive approach to revenue management is trusted by over 500 local governments. The company has successfully recovered over $3 billion in revenue for client agencies. For more information, visit hdlcompanies.com.

Kern DA’s Office resists state’s request for criminal charges in restaurant cases

Gavin Newsom is just an old fashioned Socialist—rich, privileged and wants to control the population.  While refusing to give out the data, he is demanding that restaurants be closed, workers go unemployed—and then refuse to pay unemployment.  So, this Castro wannabee is demanding that the DA of Kern County prosecute restaurants owners that keep their businesses open.

“In a county like Kern where it’s not hard to find a restaurant or bar operating in apparent violation of California’s 11-month-old pandemic health order, the agency responsible for coming down on offenders hasn’t been shy about pursuing criminal charges. But neither has it been successful.

Nine times since last summer the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has asked the county District Attorney’s Office to bring criminal misdemeanor charges over an alleged violation. The most recent request arrived Wednesday.

The Newsom Brown shirts, imitating government employees are working hard to kill off what is left of the California economy.  The Kern DA will not abuse the people in this county.  Recall Newsom and we may be able to reign in the modern day Brown shirts.

Kern DA’s Office resists state’s request for criminal charges in restaurant cases

BY JOHN COX [email protected], 2/25/21 

In a county like Kern where it’s not hard to find a restaurant or bar operating in apparent violation of California’s 11-month-old pandemic health order, the agency responsible for coming down on offenders hasn’t been shy about pursuing criminal charges. But neither has it been successful.

Nine times since last summer the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has asked the county District Attorney’s Office to bring criminal misdemeanor charges over an alleged violation. The most recent request arrived Wednesday.

But so far, at least, the D.A.’s Office has chosen not to pursue criminal charges. It cites a number of reasons for this reluctance, from its hesitation to go after lower-level employees to a desire to prosecute only the most flagrant repeat offenders.

“If we filed misdemeanor charges against every (alcohol-serving) business, we’d make criminals out of every business owner. A lot of them, anyway,” Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Kinzel said. He added the office also insists on higher standards of evidence than the ABC has been able to meet.

The absence of criminal charges does not mean businesses violating the state order are in the clear. A dozen businesses in the county have been accused by the ABC of breaking the state’s operating restrictions. Only one of those cases, among the first, from early July, has been fully adjudicated.

Plus, the state says it continues to build up evidence, and the D.A.’s Office says it may yet decide to file charges against accused individuals.

The situation partly reflects competing ideas about who should be held to account for alleged operating violations — an individual such as a manager or business owner, or the license-holder, which is often a limited liability company or corporation.

Business owners have voiced deep frustration at the situation. The state has changed its set of restrictions several times, they note. Restaurants and their advocates also say the state has failed to produce data to back its assertion COVID-19 is easily spread by indoor dining — or serving outdoors, as the case sometimes has been.

Potential repercussions of being caught breaking the rules can vary widely, depending on the violation and the mode of enforcement. The ABC’s administrative penalties can range from probation to a revoked liquor license, which can cost a restaurant a great deal of money in lost sales. Sometimes a business can opt to pay a fine in lieu of suspension.

But if a matter becomes a misdemeanor criminal case, as the ABC sometimes proposes, a defendant might have to pay a fine of up to $1,000 — and get a lasting criminal record.

ABC spokesman John Carr said by email the department sometimes takes both tracks, pursuing administrative remedies and criminal charges alike, even.

The only Kern County restaurant whose case has been fully adjudicated has basically been placed on probation, which the state says is common.

In July, an Arvin restaurant named Jarritos Y Mariscos Los Juanes Y Mexican Food was accused of offering indoor dining in violation of the state’s health order. The state ordered its license suspended for 15 days, but the penalty was stayed for a year, meaning it won’t have to close as long as it continues to abide by state restrictions.

“The business can stay open, sell alcohol, but has agreed not to violate health orders for the next year or the license could be suspended,” Carr wrote Wednesday.

The Kern County Public Health Department, for its part, said its role in such matters is to provide education as opposed to enforce rules. The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has said it, too, sees its role as educating violators.

One reason the state seeks criminal charges, it says, is that the licensees it regulates aren’t easily found on the premises. The decision to pursue a misdemeanor has nothing to do with the severity of the case, Carr wrote. The state generally tries to go after business owners instead of employees.

Most Kern County restaurants and drinking establishments have come into compliance after being issued a warning, he noted, adding those that don’t face enforcement measures.

Kinzel, at the D.A.’s Office, said the county isn’t generally interested in penalizing a minimum-wage restaurant worker just because two people were seated inside on a cold day. Those cases get turned away, he said.

Plus, the office in some cases prefers the focus to be on licensees, not necessarily individuals, he said, which is best handled through the ABC’s licensing powers.

“The way that we’ve looked at it is, we have a pretty strong preference for this to be handled administratively,” Kinzel said.

However, he said, 40 people crammed inside a restaurant on a Friday night can pose a problem that deserves a closer look, providing the ABC has evidence such as videotape and careful records that can stand up in a criminal prosecution.

Kinzel said the D.A.’s Office may yet be persuaded to file charges against a local restaurant owner.

“We’re looking at all of (the cases ABC presents) and we’re making decisions on them,” he said.

Contact tracing’s value is declining. Why are we spending millions on it?

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars, invading the privacy of citizens, of abusing people based on junk science—and in some cases revenge, we now find out, as expected, that “contact tracing” was really an effort by government o create “make work” jobs with little meaning and no basis in science in the case of the COVID virus.

“However, county health officials cautioned during Tuesday’s public health briefing that the new contact tracing data does not actually paint the whole picture. 

“When we refer to contact tracing, what we’re actually doing is speaking to known cases trying to find out who they were in close contact with, and then reaching out to those close contact individuals to try and get them quarantined, to try and get them aware that they may have been exposed to try and reduce the spread,” said Dr. Stephanie Koch-Kumar, the Senior Epidemiologist with the department. 

In reality—everybody has come into “contact” with someone who has the virus.  In fact, in most cases, people having the virus do not even know they have it.  This appears to be another example of the “Fauci Factor”—pretend you know what you are talking about, make it sound serious and make sure folks are afraid to be within six feet of one another—a new way to create personal prison cells.  Fauci is a sick person—and contact tracing is a symptom of his G-d like complex and the Democrats desire to control us.

Contact tracing’s value is declining. Why are we spending millions on it?

Daniel Gligich,, The Sun,  2/26/21   

The Fresno County Department of Public Health recently revealed a new COVID-19 dashboard, which notably includes contact tracing data that reveals where the spread of the novel coronavirus is happening. 

At 60.1 percent, the vast majority of virus has spread in the household, while the next top spreaders have been through community transmission (12 percent) and the workplace (10.8 percent). 

However, county health officials cautioned during Tuesday’s public health briefing that the new contact tracing data does not actually paint the whole picture. 

“When we refer to contact tracing, what we’re actually doing is speaking to known cases trying to find out who they were in close contact with, and then reaching out to those close contact individuals to try and get them quarantined, to try and get them aware that they may have been exposed to try and reduce the spread,” said Dr. Stephanie Koch-Kumar, the Senior Epidemiologist with the department. 

The problem is that the county has not had very much success with its contact tracing program for a variety of reasons – such as too many cases to get to with the widespread surge, the slow turnaround time with test results and the fact that not every contacted individual has willingly offered up the necessary information. 

Out of the nearly 95,000 COVID-19 cases in Fresno County, the contact tracing information only includes about 19,000 people. 

That’s a 20 percent success rate, meaning the county does not have a firm grasp on how 4 out of every 5 cases are spreading. 

“So while we do have some information – it’s available on our dashboard – I would humbly submit that it’s not complete and that we need to just take it with a grain of salt,” said Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra. 

Vohra offered up his perspective on how the county has viewed contact tracing throughout the pandemic. 

“In the early months of the pandemic, we were really trying to rely on contact tracing as a layer of protection, but as the months went on and as the numbers went bigger and bigger, then the reliance on contact tracing was really minimized,” Vohra said. “And we were just hoping that the testing as well as the non-pharmaceutical interventions that we’ve been promoting – such as masking, social distancing, staying home if you’re sick – all of those non-pharmaceutical ways that we try to protect people, we’re really relying on those more than contact tracing to really protect the whole population.” 

Vohra added that contact tracing “sounds good on paper,” but in reality it has not translated into a perfect system that illustrates how COVID-19 has spread. 

Despite the imperfect system, there have been some areas that have been very successful, Vohra said. 

“I wish the data was better,” Vohra said. “I wish the contact tracing statistics were a little bit more successful. I will say that there’s some areas, though, that it is very successful, like for example schools. All of the school districts in the county have really invested a lot of time and effort into making sure that they have people on the inside that really understand contact tracint. 

“They’re very serious about identifying and isolating anyone who gets symptomatic or sick and making sure that all the close contacts – whether they’re in a classroom or in an office setting – get the information that they ended inor to quarantine if needed.” 

Fresno County has allocated $10 million of its CARES Act funds to go toward contact tracing. That’s money – which doesn’t even include the $2 million from the City of Fresno to Building Healthy Communities to conduct contact tracing – that is being spent on a program with only a 20 percent success rate. 

Clearly the contact tracing program does not work at a widespread level. As Vohra noted, contact tracing has its highest succes rate when COVID-19 case numbers are concentrated or low.

Given the state of the pandemic, it begs the question of priorities – continued support of contact tracing or increasing support of vaccine distribution? 

As it looks to scale up, the potential for shifting resources offers Fresno County officials the opportunity to meet coronavirus response obligations to the state by emphasizing contact tracing in schools and other workplaces in which it has already found success in and divert the remaining funds to support vaccine distribution. 

There is, of course, one problem. As Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes regularly notes, the region faces a supply problem.

While there is not enough vaccine supply yet to necessitate any additional county-run mass vaccination sites, mobile vaccine clinics – such as the Sierra Orthopedic (SPOC) clinic at Sierra High School on Thursday – could benefit from increased funds. 

The Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area is covered by the three mass vaccination sites: SPOC, Central High School and the Fresno Fairgrounds. That process has been an unquestioned success, so much so that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s aborted announcement about a mass vaccination FEMA site in the county was dubbed unnecessary. 

However, people living in rural communities are lacking an easy way to receive the vaccine. County public health officials have had success delivering the vaccine to farmworkers through a mobile site, which has similarly garnered Newsom’s attention.

SPOC, too, is capable of running mobile clinics. 

The new quandary: how can local public health officials strike the balance of state-issued demands on monitoring the pandemic while allocating sufficient resources to ending it?

How recalling Gavin Newsom became my business

The Govern or California, by Executive Order, has decided when, or if, your business can be opened, the conditions of working with customers and how many customers you may have at any one time.  For hotels and restaurants this meant closure and massive financial losses for the past year—with at least another ten months to go of government OWNERSHIP of your business.  The textbook definition of SOCIALISM is the government control of the means of production.  Newsom has declared California a socialist State, not different than Venezuela or China.

“Amid the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, laid-off employees can’t obtain unemployment insurance benefits in a timely manner from the state’s grossly dysfunctional Employment Development Department — aid from funds they paid into through their payroll taxes and were relying on to put food on the table for their families. Worse, EDD has paid as much as $30 billion in fraudulent claims to prisoners and others — perhaps the largest such fraud in California’s history.

Despite having some of the highest tax rates in the nation, California continues to suffer from the nation’s highest poverty rate and disproportionate homelessness.

And while Newsom has promised to ensure that all new cars in the state are electric by 2035, he has presided over a period of unreliable electricity. The return of rolling blackouts was oddly reminiscent of the governorship of Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003.

Standing by silently no longer works.  As we get deeper into government ownership of our businesses, the lack of education and the closing of churches, California is now a bug time imitation of Cuba.  Cubans fled here for freedom, if we do not fight back with the Recall—and then defeat legislative Democrats that applaud the Governor—where do we flee to?

How recalling Gavin Newsom became my business

Aaron Bergh, The Sun,  2/25/21   

Politics, like sex, is not a suitable subject for discussion in a professional setting. This strong conviction led me to maintain my business’ apolitical and nonpartisan stance from its founding.

My business’ nonpartisanship will continue, but I can’t afford to be apolitical anymore. If California small-business owners want to survive, it is imperative that we get involved — specifically, in supporting the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Too much time is spent talking about relatively petty grievances against Newsom, such as his infamous soiree at the French Laundry. There are many substantive reasons for Californians on both sides of the aisle to reject his governorship. Newsom’s political operatives know there is a valid case against the governor, which is why they are trying to discredit the recall effort as hyper-partisan.

Admittedly, there have been hyper-partisan recall attempts since Newsom took office. I did not support those recalls, but I believe the current one transcends partisanship. A broader cross section of Californians are recognizing that the increasing magnitude of Newsom’s failures can’t wait to be judged for another two years. It necessitates an urgent re-evaluation of his leadership.

For me, the nearly yearlong business closures are the governor’s most damning error. I’ve had to lay off employees and struggle to balance my books due to poorly planned, whimsical executive orders.

According to the California Restaurant Association, restaurants like mine employed 1.4 million Californians before the pandemic, and 30% are expected to close permanently. Data from Yelp is even more grim, suggesting that 60% of pandemic business closures nationwide will be permanent. But Newsom has ignored the desperate pleas of business owners who are struggling to pay their employees and avoid losing the businesses they have built through years of hard work.

Even if you agree with the restrictive business lockdowns, there is a long list of additional examples of Newsom’s ineptitude.

Amid the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, laid-off employees can’t obtain unemployment insurance benefits in a timely manner from the state’s grossly dysfunctional Employment Development Department — aid from funds they paid into through their payroll taxes and were relying on to put food on the table for their families. Worse, EDD has paid as much as $30 billion in fraudulent claims to prisoners and others — perhaps the largest such fraud in California’s history.

Despite having some of the highest tax rates in the nation, California continues to suffer from the nation’s highest poverty rate and disproportionate homelessness.

And while Newsom has promised to ensure that all new cars in the state are electric by 2035, he has presided over a period of unreliable electricity. The return of rolling blackouts was oddly reminiscent of the governorship of Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003.

When the governor shut down my business, he created a void in my life. I decided to fill it by working to ensure that he will no longer have a destructive impact on my life and the lives of other Californians.

Many of my customers complain about the orders prohibiting me from serving them a hot plate of food or a cocktail. When they do, I serve them a clipboard with a recall petition — and almost all of them sign it.

Biden’s HHS pick refused to support free elections in Cuba in 1997 after meeting with Fidel Castro

California Attorney General is a real winner.  He lied to the Senate about suing nuns.  He could not find a single reason NOT to approve the killing of babies in the womb, even until moments before and just after birth.  Now we get to understand why he is a hater of people—he was a defender of the terrorist/murderer Fidel Castro.

“President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, refused in 1997 to call for free elections in Cuba. He made this decision following a meeting with then Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Fox News reported Tuesday. A decade later, Becerra voted to end the U.S. trade embargo against the communist island nation. It is a continuing and disturbing pattern to some foreign policy analysts and lawmakers who’ve condemned the communist nation’s actions since the Cuban revolution.

Worse, we now understand why the electoral process in California LOOKS like that of Cuba—Becerra does not believe in free elections.  Corruption?  Dictatorship?  This is a man that should be shunned, not promoted.  Maybe if he was lived in Cuba, he might appreciate freedom.  As it is, he is just a moderate in the radical Harris/Biden administration.

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Biden’s HHS pick refused to support free elections in Cuba in 1997 after meeting with Fidel Castro

Douglas Braff, Sara Carter,  2/24/21  

President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, refused in 1997 to call for free elections in Cuba. He made this decision following a meeting with then Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Fox News reported Tuesday. A decade later, Becerra voted to end the U.S. trade embargo against the communist island nation. It is a continuing and disturbing pattern to some foreign policy analysts and lawmakers who’ve condemned the communist nation’s actions since the Cuban revolution.

When he was a Democratic congressman in 1997, Becerra stirred up controversy with his House Hispanic Caucus colleagues by taking a trip to Cuba to meet the communist dictator. Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart from South Florida, both members of the caucus Becerra chaired, at the time said that they were “personally insulted” by his four-day trip and resigned from the caucus until Becerra “demonstrates minimal respect for the rights of Cubans to be free and calls for free elections for that oppressed island,” according to Fox News.

Diaz-Balart said at the time, according to The Los Angeles Times, that he would not contribute membership dues to the caucus until Becerra “demonstrates minimal respect for the rights of Cubans to be free and calls for free elections for that oppressed island.”

Later, Becerra said he could not issue a call for free and fair elections.

“This is an issue that the caucus doesn’t take positions on,” he said, so he could not make a statement, according to The Hill, per Fox News.

Aides to Becerra brushed off criticisms at the time, according to Fox News, saying he had attempted to hear from all sides and had spoken to both Cuban dissidents and Castro himself.

He later defended the trip during an appearance on National Public Radio, saying: “As an American citizen who has had the privilege now of being elected to Congress […] I should be as educated as I can be on a number of issues.”

Becerra also criticized his colleagues’ decision to resign from the caucus due to his trip.

“I’m very disappointed that the two members decided to take this action. I consider them friends,” Becerra said. “And I know that they are very passionate about the issue. Certainly, it — the whole issue of Cuba is one that the caucus because there has not been a strong consensus, has decided not to take on. I — as the new chair of the caucus, it was not my intention to change that policy either. They chose, however, to make it an issue.”

A decade later in 2007, Becerra supported an amendment from Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) that would have softened the decades-long trade embargo against Cuba by making it easier to ship farm goods to Caribbean nation, according to Fox News. He backed an additional amendment from Rangel that banned the funding of the embargo against the authoritarian regime.

Significantly, a vital group of Senate centrists—such as Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah), and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.)—have yet to say whether they will vote to confirm Becerra, according to Fox News. Senate Republicans have questioned him on his liberal record and have expressed concerns over his lack of experience in healthcare.