No on Prop. 19—Stop the Destruction of the Family Farm by Democrats and Corporate Giants

To many Prop. 19 looks like apple pie—helps seniors to save their Prop. 13 homeowner protections.  That is the good part of the measure.  A leading Republican from San Diego told me a couple of days ago he was supporting Prop. 19—but is was a 51-49%.  He was torn.   So what is bad about Prop. 19?

  1.  It was raise $2 billion year in NEW property taxes.  How?
  2. When farm land and other property is passed from one generation to another, the home on the land is protected by Prop. 13.  BUT, the farm land or building get reassessed. That is where government will transfer $2 billion a year from the private sector to government.

If it is this bad, especially for farmers, then why is the California Farm Bureau supporting it, along with the Business Roundtable?

The California Farm Bureau really represents the big agriculture corporations.  When the family farm needs to be sold, to pay the taxes, the big folks get to biy the small farms on the cheap.  The Roundtable also represents the large agriculture corporations—Prop. 19 makes it easier and cheaper for the big guys to won the family farm. 

They are using senior citizens as a Trojan Horse, to kill off family farms and other family owned businesses passed down to other generations.  Along with Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.  Sadly the California Republican Party will NOT oppose it due to the manipulation fo the Committee system.  Remember, the Committee that made the recommendation of “No Recommendation”, was appointed by ONE person, Chair Jessica Patterson—this is her decision.  I guess she expects the Roundtable and Farm Bureau folks to donate to the Party—hope she is not holding her breath.  Now, if they do, it will be apparent as to what really happened.  The Democrats and unions will now be able to honestly say, “Even the Republican Party is not against Prop. 19:.  Leadership Leads.  This is the Leadership we have.

Coupal: Vote No on Prop. 19

Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, 8/5/20   

Dear Fellow Republican,

As president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, I urge you to join us in opposing Proposition 19 – a billion dollar tax increase on the November ballot in California.

We have seen communications from the proponents of Proposition 19 that contain many misrepresentations and would like to correct any misimpressions and clarify why HJTA opposes the significant changes in Prop 19 that do not strengthen Proposition 13 but actually remove voter approved enhancements.

The author on behalf of the proponents was never the “policy director” for HJTA and while the author may be proud of his time with us, he is clearly trying to confuse matters by the repeated inclusion of our name in his argument.  It is disheartening that after working for us the author would now be peddling a tax increase that would mostly impact those that would not be able to afford it.

Propositions 60 and 90, passed by voters, already allow seniors to transfer an existing tax base within the same county or to ten other participating counties.  Proposition 90, which allows a transfer of the tax base of equal or lesser value to a participating county, could be expanded to additional counties should an ordinance be passed by additional counties.  This does not require the Prop 19 constitutional amendment to happen.  Contact your local board of supervisors to pass an ordinance.  We would certainly support such efforts.

In addition, expanding the intra-county tax base transfer, including multiple transfers in a lifetime, was on the statewide ballot in 2018 and did not pass.

Proposition 110, also passed by voters, allows tax base transfers for severely disabled persons within the same county and to other counties, this can also be expanded by a county ordinance.  Again, we support such efforts.

For victims of disasters such as earthquakes or wildfires that are declared by the Governor, tax bases may also be transferred within the same county, and to any county that passes and ordinance accepting the tax base transfer.  This expansion can be done by the county board of supervisors, we encourage this as well.

What the proponents of Prop 19 aren’t telling you is about the significant changes it would make to Propositions 58 and 193, also passed by voters, allowing parent to child and grandparent to grandchild tax base transfers upon death without an increase in property taxes. Proposition 19 eliminates this right and would require property transferred within families to be reassessed to market value as of the date of transfer, resulting in a huge property tax increase for long-held family homes. In effect, Prop 19 creates another ‘death tax.’ The only exception is if the children move into the home within a year and make it their principal residence. This is a billion-dollar tax increase on California families.

Imagine if you inherit a duplex from your parents and it is reassessed at market value, how would you pay for the increase in the property tax bill?  You’d be forced to raise the rents.  This would be harmful for tenants to have to absorb the costs caused by this Proposition.

Proponents will say that these types of transfers are being abused by out-of-state property owners, which may be true, but what about families in California that have used these voter approved tools for estate planning?  Should Prop 19 pass, if you have siblings, only one heir will receive the benefit of the tax base transfer, and ONLY IF they choose to move into their parents’/grandparents’ home. This would clearly be difficult for most families.

Should you have any questions, please email me at [email protected].

Sincerely, Jon

Jon Coupal, President

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Pro-Biden California Republican Party Delegates Want SEVEN GOP Senators Defeated

For months the leadership of the California Republican have known the CRP delegates were using their status as CRP delegates to promote Biden and to oppose GOOP Senators.  They have been silent.  The Chair, close friends with these folks has been silent—so protected them.  Now on a national scale we see Madrid, Avey and Alvarado, using the Lincoln Project as the vehicle, to harm the Republican Party in California and nationally.

“A recent attack, launched by a disreputable leftist attack group run by former Republican operatives, targeted Maine Senator Susan Collins. It labeled her a “Trump stooge,” called her a “fraud” of an independent, and asserted that she’s “controlled” by the president and Mitch McConnell. This organization supposedly began as a “Never Trump” project, but has morphed into a “Never Republican” outfit aiming to help ensure total Democratic control of government. In no way, shape, or form is it functionally “conservative,” as many in the media insist on labeling it. It’s a Democratic group, promoting Democratic candidates, in order to install Democratic majorities who will pursue and implement a Democratic policy agenda.
Will the CRP hold the hearings and kick them out immediately—or wait till after November 3, when the damage will have been done.

Straight Fire: Collins Blasts ‘False, Sexist, Insulting’ Attacks from Dem Group Run By Ex-Republicans

Guy Benson, Townhall,  8/7/20   

|

A recent attack, launched by a disreputable leftist attack group run by former Republican operatives, targeted Maine Senator Susan Collins. It labeled her a “Trump stooge,” called her a “fraud” of an independent, and asserted that she’s “controlled” by the president and Mitch McConnell. This organization supposedly began as a “Never Trump” project, but has morphed into a “Never Republican” outfit aiming to help ensure total Democratic control of government. In no way, shape, or form is it functionally “conservative,” as many in the media insist on labeling it. It’s a Democratic group, promoting Democratic candidates, in order to install Democratic majorities who will pursue and implement a Democratic policy agenda.

They give away the game by lobbing such ridiculous broadsides at Collins, who is literally the most bipartisan senator — first place out of 100 — in the entire upper chamber. To the occasional chagrin of many conservatives, myself included, Collins is a moderate with an independent voting record. The Left is disingenuously seeking to cast her as a lockstep, unthinking Republican partisan — even as they push an actual lockstep partisan to replace her. Two of the recent flashpoints that have galvanized their opposition were Collins’ thoughtful and righteous vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and her votes to acquit President Trump on articles of impeachment earlier this year. Both decisions underscore her consistency. Not only has she voted to confirm every Supreme Court nominee put to a floor vote during her decades-long career (including unambiguously liberal justices nominated by a Democratic president) her overall record on judicial confirmations has been remarkably steady:

Overall, Collins has voted yes on 96 percent of nominees who have gone to a roll call, and she has rejected 25, or 4 percent… President George W. Bush gain[ed] her approval 99 percent of the time and President Trump, through December, 95 percent of the time…Collins supported 98 percent of Clinton nominees made during her time in office and 94 percent of Obama nominees…To date, she has supported every Supreme Court nominee who has gone to a vote – a total of six during her tenure. In 2016, she was among a minority of GOP senators who agreed to meet with Obama pick Merrick Garland, saying it was “not fair and not right” for colleagues to refuse to give consideration to Garland. During the Gorsuch nomination, Collins also pleaded with Democrats to not filibuster, saying on the Senate floor that to do so would be a “serious mistake.”

I disagreed with a number of her aforementioned votes and stances (I would have supported some of the conservative nominees she opposed, voted against some of the liberal nominees she green-lit, and think she was wrong on the Garland standoff). To call her a “Trump stooge” is profoundly dishonest. What about her impeachment acquittal choice? One can surely debate it on the merits, but she came to the exact same conclusion when a president from the opposite party faced a Senate trial for his alleged crimes. Collins was among a small handful of Republicans to render a double-acquittal verdict, as she did with Trump years later.  

Her critics also mock her for not sufficiently “standing up” to Trump’s bad behavior, ridiculing her various statements of concern as weak and feckless. But the fact is that she did not vote for the president in 2016 and has routinely articulated disappointments and disagreements with the leader of her own party. Those who make a big show of demanding more from her should be more honest: What they truly want is a reliable Democrat in office, not a moderate or independent. I interviewed Collins on my radio program last evening, and when I raised the issue of the “stooge/fraud/controlled” attacks, she was loaded for bear:


She also ripped into Chuck Schumer and warned against the wages of unified Democratic control:

I haven’t changed, despite the attempts of my opponent to say that I have. And the irony is that she is a down the line — adherent to whatever Chuck Schumer tells her to believe in. And this is really all about his quest for power. It’s not that he wants to accomplish policy objectives. It’s that he wants to be the majority leader of the Senate. And that’s why he has poured more money into Maine than any other state, from his Super PAC, because he sees Maine as being pivotal… I’ve tried to stay out of presidential politics so that I can concentrate on my own race. But I’ll tell you this. What I don’t want to see is the House, the Senate, and the presidency all controlled by the Democrats.  Because if that happens, we will see legislation rammed through the Senate because they’ll do away with the filibuster rule, which helps to protect the rights of the minority and ensure that there’s consensus on major bills. And it will change our country in fundamental ways. And that I do not want to see happen.

Protecting the filibuster is another subject on which Collins has been consistent, unlike certain Democrats (and some Republicans) who perform contortions based on the prevailing power dynamics and partisan expediency. Liberals and Democrats are welcome to argue that they want an ideological ally in office. But pretending to crave independence, while working to defeat one of the Senate’s last independents, is a cynical ploy that requires advancing the inaccurate claim that Collins has somehow changed. She hasn’t. And twisting reality to take down even the most moderate of Republicans is not an action of a credible, right-leaning “coalition of the decent;” it’s an action taken by a committed Democratic organization. The audio and transcript of my full interview with the senator are available here.

Oil buffer-zone bill suffers setback during public hearing supporters call unfair

Thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues were saved by Democrats killed a Regressive Democrat plan to kill off the oil industry in Kern County.

“The bill introduced by Assemblyman Albert Y. “Al” Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, would require the state’s primary oil-regulatory agency to set up its own environmental justice program and consider creating a 2,500-foot setback between petroleum facilities and schools, playgrounds and other public places where children gather.

Environmental justice advocates say such a buffer would protect humans from gases released by oil and gas wells. They point to studies suggesting such facilities are associated with exposure to high concentrations of dangerous air pollutants.

Industry groups contend the science is unclear and that 2,500 feet is an arbitrary distance that may not be appropriate in all cases. While not uniformly against some sort of setback standard, they say AB 345 could force the closure of thousands of oil and gas wells in Kern County alone.

The Assemblyman is from Torrance, the location of several major West Coast oil refineries.  Once Kern was killed, he could then go after his hometown.  Sick people wanting to harm the middle class and the poor.

Oil buffer-zone bill suffers setback during public hearing supporters call unfair

BY JOHN COX, Californian  8/7/20   

A bill proposing to establish buffer zones between oil wells and public facilities in California, potentially costing Kern’s economy billions of dollars, was narrowly defeated in Sacramento on Wednesday — but not before sparking frustration among supporters who later said the virtual public hearing preceding the vote was flawed and unfair.

Members of the state Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water voted 5-4 against the legislation, Assembly Bill 345. But they also voted by the same margin to allow reconsideration of the bill as soon as next week.

The bill introduced by Assemblyman Albert Y. “Al” Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, would require the state’s primary oil-regulatory agency to set up its own environmental justice program and consider creating a 2,500-foot setback between petroleum facilities and schools, playgrounds and other public places where children gather.

Environmental justice advocates say such a buffer would protect humans from gases released by oil and gas wells. They point to studies suggesting such facilities are associated with exposure to high concentrations of dangerous air pollutants.

Industry groups contend the science is unclear and that 2,500 feet is an arbitrary distance that may not be appropriate in all cases. While not uniformly against some sort of setback standard, they say AB 345 could force the closure of thousands of oil and gas wells in Kern County alone.

Even if the bill fails it appears likely state government will attempt in the near term to establish California’s first standardized oil setbacks. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has made public health a higher priority for state oil regulators, said late last year he wanted to see buffer rules in place by the end of this year.

Environmental justice advocates said Wednesday’s hearing was marred by technical glitches and that some people were not given an opportunity to comment publicly.

Some accused local oil company employees of interrupting time set aside for official testimony in support of the bill, even as they acknowledged the opposite also happened when supporters spoke up during a period reserved for the bill’s opponents.

“It was just chaotic. It was crazy,” said former farmworker Lupe Martinez, an organizer with the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment, which supports the bill. He said he followed call-in instructions but was never given an opportunity to offer testimony during the hearing.

Delano construction worker Pedro Rivera, who said he supports AB 345, said he, too, was denied a chance to be heard because of trouble with the call-in system.

Amid what he called a confusing and disorganized virtual hearing, he said people from locally operating oil producers Chevron Corp. and Aera Energy LLC spoke up despite being told to wait until the time had come to hear from the bill’s opponents.

“People would just start talking,” he said.

Industry representatives said some employers did encourage their workers to share their feelings at the hearing but they strongly denied there was any concerted effort to shut out the bill’s supporters.

“We are deeply disheartened and offended that some believe that the industry interfered with (bill supporters’) ability to have their voices heard when everyone had an equal opportunity to participate in the hearing,” Aera spokeswoman Cindy Pollard said.

In light of the unorthodox hearing necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokeswoman for the California Independent Petroleum Association, Sabrina Lockhart, said some confusion might have been unexpected and that “we can’t expect 500 citizens to all get it right.”

She added that the committee’s chairman noted that some members of the public had been denied an opportunity to speak and gave the bill’s supporters extra time to testify near the end of the hearing.

Even so, environmental justice advocate Kobi Naseck, coordinator of a state coalition called Vision, which co-sponsored the bill, said the bill deserves to be reconsidered if only because of the hearing’s procedural problems.

“It doesn’t bode well for the state of our democracy in a pandemic when, you know, people are relying on the system set up to give fair public comment and (the process is) so quickly undermined and made to be unfair,” he said.

Becerra charges Los Angeles DA’s husband for pulling gun on Black Lives Matter protesters

A black man protected himself and his wife from a mob.  So, the Democrat Attorney General had the man arrested.  Why? The man is the husband of L.A. DA Jackie Lacey—and she is running against a George Soros puppet— guy named Gascon, who quit as San Fran DA to run for L.A. DA.  Total scam—he does not believe in locking up criminals, gang task force or the police—he wants them defunded.

AG Becerra has shown himself as a political hack with High Office.  I believe this arrest will backfire on the Soros candidates.

“David Lacey was charged Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm regarding the March 2 incident, according to documents filed by Becerra’s office.

The charges come as Jackie Lacey, the county’s first Black district attorney, faces a tough fight with George Gascón, a Latino who previously served as San Francisco DA, to retain her seat in the nation’s second largest city. She has faced scrutiny from criminal justice activists who have cited her refusal to prosecute police officers who kill civilians and other tough-on-crime strategies — an opposition effort that has gained further steam this summer amid racial justice protests.

What does this means”  Becerra prefers a dead DA, so it is cheaper to elect a China-Lite DA candidate.

Becerra charges Los Angeles DA’s husband for pulling gun on Black Lives Matter protesters

By CARLA MARINUCCI, Politico,  8/4/20 

OAKLAND — Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed charges against the husband of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey in connection with the March incident in which he allegedly pulled a gun on Black Lives Matter protesters at the couple’s home, according to a charging document obtained by POLITICO.

David Lacey was charged Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm regarding the March 2 incident, according to documents filed by Becerra’s office.

The charges come as Jackie Lacey, the county’s first Black district attorney, faces a tough fight with George Gascón, a Latino who previously served as San Francisco DA, to retain her seat in the nation’s second largest city. She has faced scrutiny from criminal justice activists who have cited her refusal to prosecute police officers who kill civilians and other tough-on-crime strategies — an opposition effort that has gained further steam this summer amid racial justice protests.

Lacey’s office was not immediately available Tuesday morning to comment on the charges.

The matter came to public attention with a video tweeted by Melina Abdullah, a Pan-African Studies professor at California State University, Los Angeles who helped found the LA chapter of Black Lives Matter.

She said she and other Black Lives Matter activists knocked at the front door of the Laceys’ home to speak to the DA. But David Lacey answered the door and “pulled a gun and pointed it at my chest,” Abdullah tweeted. Appearing to have his finger on the trigger, he is shown in her video saying, “Get off of my porch … I’ll shoot you, I don’t care who you are.”

A Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said officers investigated a “possible assault with a deadly weapon” after they received a call for a disturbance.

Jackie Lacey in a press conference after the incident insisted that protesters were aiming “to embarrass me and intimidate me. But she also said her husband offered an apology because “his response was in fear … He meant no one any harm.”

Some leading politicians, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), have rescinded their endorsements of Lacey in recent weeks, with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum this summer after leading demonstrations against the the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who endorsed Lacey, has said he is reconsidering his support for her. Gascón also has won the endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Maxine Waters.

Backdoor handgun ban up for a vote in California

Guv Newsom wants two things.  One he wants to defund the police.  His current budget cuts 26% of the law enforcement budget.  Second, he wants to make sure honest, decent people do not have weapons to defend themselves.

“AB 2847, would relax the state’s difficult microstamping requirements, but at the same time, it would remove three older handgun models for every new handgun it adds to the official roster of those safe for sale.

“In theory it makes the California microstamping or handgun roster easier for manufacturers to comply with,” said gun rights activist Reno May.

“What it really is a backdoor handgun ban that would slowly remove guns and make it so that guns could not be added in the future. This is a bad bill,” he cautioned on Thursday.”

Democrats prefer victims.  Republican want criminals controlled.  The election is November 3—how will you vote?

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Backdoor handgun ban up for a vote in California

Press California,  08/07/2020    

Sacramento, Calif. — A proposed amendment to California’s Handguns Certified for Sale law seems like a minor change at first, but Second Amendment advocates warn that it would amount to a de facto ban on handgun sales in the state.

AB 2847, would relax the state’s difficult microstamping requirements, but at the same time, it would remove three older handgun models for every new handgun it adds to the official roster of those safe for sale.

“In theory it makes the California microstamping or handgun roster easier for manufacturers to comply with,” said gun rights activist Reno May.

“What it really is is a backdoor handgun ban that would slowly remove guns and make it so that guns could not be added in the future. This is a bad bill,” he cautioned on Thursday.

The measure, sponsored by Assembly Member David Chiu (D-17), passed the Senate Public Safety Committee last week.

“It’s a legislative attempt to legitimize California’s arbitrary and irrational ‘safe’ handgun roster,” warns the Firearms Policy Coalition.

“AB 2847 is an attempt to save a clearly unconstitutional law, and further restrict the rights of Californians.”

Reno and others note that mandatory microstamps, meant to identify handguns, are easily removable, rendering them ineffective.

This bill is scheduled for a vote by the Senate Appropriations committee on August 13th.

California Energy Prices Continue to Rise Higher Than Other States

You have to be rich to live in California.  Highest taxes in the nation, the costliest regulations on jobs and construction.  Now we know that we pay more for energy and water than the rest of the nation.  If you have to ask the cost of water and energy, you can not afford to live in California.

“Just over one year ago in June 2019, California Globe reported that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District began charging Sacramento electricity users and ratepayers a new rate system that charges residential users higher rates between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m… much higher rates, just in time to get home from work, feed the family, do a couple loads of laundry, bathe the kiddies, maybe vacuum a room or two, and watch a little Netflix.

These new summer “peak” rates appear to be about 40% – 200% higher, looking at the bill.

Most Californians already know that for every tank of gas, $10 of the total cost is state-imposed gas taxes, thanks to Senate Bill 1, signed into law by then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, which increased the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, and increased automobile registration fees by more than $175. SB 1 said, “Over the next 10 years, the state faces a $59 billion shortfall to adequately maintain the existing state highway system in order to keep it in a basic state of good repair.”

The more electric vehicles sold, the less gas tax money available for roads—watch as a variety of taxes are raisesd to pay for the government policy MANDATING the sales of electric vehicles, ending the sale of gas using cars.

California Energy Prices Continue to Rise Higher Than Other States

The average 2020 annual residential electricity bill was 25.9% higher than in 2010

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  8/6/20 

The Center for Jobs and the Economy at the California Business Roundtable reports that California gas and energy prices continued to rise higher in July than nearly all other states. “These outcomes mean that even as many households struggle under the current economic conditions, the state’s energy policies continue to take an increasing share of household incomes both directly in gasoline and utility bills and indirectly as these costs are incorporated into the prices of every other component of the costs of living,” the Center for Jobs and the Economy reported.

Just over one year ago in June 2019, California Globe reported that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District began charging Sacramento electricity users and ratepayers a new rate system that charges residential users higher rates between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m… much higher rates, just in time to get home from work, feed the family, do a couple loads of laundry, bathe the kiddies, maybe vacuum a room or two, and watch a little Netflix.

These new summer “peak” rates appear to be about 40% – 200% higher, looking at the bill.

Most Californians already know that for every tank of gas, $10 of the total cost is state-imposed gas taxes, thanks to Senate Bill 1, signed into law by then Gov. Jerry Brown in 2017, which increased the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, and increased automobile registration fees by more than $175. SB 1 said, “Over the next 10 years, the state faces a $59 billion shortfall to adequately maintain the existing state highway system in order to keep it in a basic state of good repair.”

The gas tax increase was estimated to generate $54 billion over a decade. In November of 2018, voters rejected Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal.

This year, my Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) bill claims I’m using 74% more energy than I did last year at this time, yet the weather has been quite mild for summer in Sacramento. There is no possible way my husband and I are using 74% more energy in our home than last year.

This is a great report by Center for Jobs and the Economy at the California Business Roundtable:

California vs. US Fuel Price Gap at 48.9% Premium

$1.04

Price Per Gallon
Above US Average
(CA Average)

The July average price per gallon of regular gasoline in California rose 12 cents from June to $3.15. The California premium above the average for the US other than California ($2.12) rose to $1.04, a 48.9% difference.

2nd

Ranked by price

In July, California had the 2nd highest gasoline price among the states and DC, behind only Hawaii. Californians paid $1.31 a gallon more than consumers in Mississippi, the state with the lowest price.

California vs. US Diesel Price

$0.97

Price Per Gallon
Above US Average
(CA Average)

The July average price per gallon of diesel in California rose 3 cents from June to $3.34. The California premium above the average for the US other than California ($2.37) rose to 97.2 cents, a 41.0% difference.

2nd

Ranked by price

In July, California had the 2nd highest diesel price among the states and DC, behind only Hawaii.

Range Between Highest and Lowest Prices by Region

$1.12

Price per Gallon
Above US Average
(Bay Area Region)

The cost premium above the US (other than California) average price for regular gasoline ranged from $0.94 in the Central Valley Region (average July price of $3.06), to $1.12 in Bay Area Region (average July price of $3.24).

California Residential Electricity Price

55.8%

Above Average for
Rest of US

California average Residential Price for the 12 months ended May 2020 was 19.69 cents/kWh, staying at 55.8% higher than the US average of 12.64 cents/kWh for all states other than California. California’s residential prices remained the 7th highest in the nation.

California Residential Electric Bill

25.9%

Growth Since 2010

For the 12 months ended May 2020, the average annual Residential electricity bill in California was $1,251, or 25.9% higher ($257) than the comparable bill in 2010 (the year the AB 32 implementation began with the Early Action items). In this same period, the average US (less CA) electricity bill for all the other states grew only 1.6% ($22).

Residential bills, however, vary widely by region, with the estimated annual household usage in 2018 as much as 59% higher in the interior regions compared to the milder climate coastal areas.

$6.2b

Premium Above
US Average Price

For the 12 months ended May 2020, California’s higher electricity prices translated into Residential ratepayers paying $6.2 billion more than the average ratepayers elsewhere in the US using the same amount of energy. Compared to the lowest rate state (Louisiana), California ratepayers paid an additional $9.0 billion.

California Commercial Electricity Price

70.8%

Above Average for
Rest of US

California average Commercial Price for the 12 months ended May 2020 was 17.18 cents/kWh, 70.8% higher than the US average of 10.06 cents/kWh for all states other than California. California’s commercial prices remained the 3rd highest in the nation.

California Industrial Electricity Price

117.0%

Above Average for
Rest of US

California average Industrial Price for the 12 months ended May 2020 was 13.82 cents/kWh, 117.0% higher than the US average of 6.37 cents/kWh for all states other than California. California’s industrial prices remained the 5th highest in the nation.

$11.2b

Premium Above
US Average Price

For the 12 months ended May 2020, California’s higher electricity prices translated into Commercial & Industrial ratepayers paying $11.2 billion more than ratepayers elsewhere in the US using the same amount of energy. Compared to the lowest rate states, California businesses paid an additional $14.7 billion.

How the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Forces Average Americans to Subsidize Rich Californians

The poor in Chicago, the middle class in Memphis, the farmers of Iowa are being taxed so the very rich in California can have an electric car on the cheap, with the taxpayers of the nations subsidizing them.  Seriously, should Zuckerberg, Streisand or Jay Leno have others pay for their pay toys?

“Yet, a 2019 watchdog report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration showed the electric vehicle tax credit is rife with fraud and abuse, and electric vehicle incentives disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

To add insult to injury, a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board refutes the common perception that electric vehicles are good for the environment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the IRS has done little to stop the fraud and abuse, claiming the agency does “not have effective processes to identify and prevent erroneous claims for the Plug-In Credit.”

TESLA has built its company based on your tax dollars.  While you are trying to pay for needed repairs and upkeep, the rich, using your tax dollars get more play toys.  End the scam.

How the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Forces Average Americans to Subsidize Rich Californians

Donald van der Vaart, Daily Signal,   8/7/20 

Donald van der Vaart is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board, and serves on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.

Dominic Coletti @dcoletti_swim

Dominic Coletti is a research intern at the John Locke Foundation.

Congress in 2008 passed the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit to make electric vehicles more affordable, thereby encouraging their use.

Yet, a 2019 watchdog report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration showed the electric vehicle tax credit is rife with fraud and abuse, and electric vehicle incentives disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

To add insult to injury, a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board refutes the common perception that electric vehicles are good for the environment.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the IRS has done little to stop the fraud and abuse, claiming the agency does “not have effective processes to identify and prevent erroneous claims for the Plug-In Credit.”

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>

No kidding.

That means we taxpayers live with millions of dollars’ worth of erroneous, ineligible claims for hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius Prime, to the tune of up to $7,500 in tax breaks each.

After the release of the Treasury inspector general’s report, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked the IRS to share more about the tax credit.

The IRS’ response is exactly what you would expect from an entrenched government agency.

Officials claimed that something called “correctible error authority”—bureaucrat-speak for expanding the power of the IRS—would be necessary to address the fraudulent claims.

No, thanks. Americans would be much better off eliminating the tax credit than granting more authority to the IRS.

The electric vehicle tax credit is little more than a wealth transfer from working Americans to wealthy Californians. Twenty percent of all claims were made by Californians with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, even though that group comprises only about 1% of total income tax returns filed in 2017. Out of the $486 million in credits claimed, $191 million—39%—went to California.

Data released in the IRS’ response to the watchdog report illustrated the overall poor-to-rich transfer. More than 3 out of 4 claimants in 2017—77%—had adjusted gross incomes of more than $100,000, even though only 19% of all tax filers made that much money.

Moreover, 45% of claimants earned more than $200,000, versus only 5% of taxpayers at large.

Geographically, the credit is a California story. A full 40% of 2017 tax credit claimants resided there, even though Californians made up only 10% of tax returns filed.

By contrast, 12.3 million Texans filed with the IRS (just over 8% of total returns filed), but represented only 4% of total electric vehicle tax credit claims.

The state with the second-highest claims was Washington, which brought in $22.7 million, paltry when compared with California’s nearly $200 million in claims. Nearly 60% of the United States—29 states—had fewer than 1,000 tax credit claims, and eight had fewer than 100.

It’s indisputable: The majority of the country is subsidizing these credits for the wealthy in just a few states. That’s also ironic, since this tax credit was created to make electric cars more attractive to the average American.

What about the environment? Electric vehicles do little to improve the environment.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board recently wrote that “[electric vehicles] do not appear to be more fuel efficient than modern internal combustion engine vehicles that are similarly equipped.”

In fact, the board goes further, concluding that the increased electricity usage associated with electric vehicles may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. For a policy that is designed to do the opposite, the electric vehicle tax credit is ineffective to a staggering degree, possibly even harmful.

The electric vehicle tax credit fails on every level: It fails to affect buying behavior; it almost exclusively benefits wealthy Americans in a handful of states; and the product it subsidizes does not achieve the stated purpose of reducing fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s time to hit the brakes on the electric vehicle tax credit. 

Newsom’s water plan previews a future Calif. that ignores history – at its peril

The goal of Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom has been clear for years—kill off the California agriculture industry.  First with a series of bans on pesticides, then high taxes, forced unionization.  Now Newsom is using the killer policy—end water for farmers.

“The Water Resilience Portfolio has a few themes running throughout its twenty-eight main pages followed by over one-hundred pages of appendices and attachments.

First, everything will be driven by climate change.  

Second, buckle-up for impending disaster – it’s a recurring theme throughout the document.

Third, forget history. Everything will be managed on predictions and forecasts and historical data will no longer be used.

Next, surface water will be used for two things only: groundwater recharge and environmental purposes.

This is the time to buy farm land in other States—California farms will be worthless.  Thank you Gavin for killing farms in California.

Newsom’s water plan previews a future Calif. that ignores history – at its peril

Wayne Western, Jr., The Sun,  8/5/20 

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom released the final version of the state’s Water Resilience Portfolio. State agencies such as the Natural Resource Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and California Department of Food and Agriculture have gone through the daunting task of assembling an extensive, multi-faceted water plan for the future of California.  

It lays out general plans and a path forward on topics such as safer drinking water, groundwater recharge, healthy habitats, fish and environmental restoration, wastewater, storm-water, pollution, sea level rise, changing water quality standards, voluntary agreements, and more.

If implemented, California will look a lot different than it does today.

Newsom’s Water Resilience Portfolio is a controlling mechanism to cover-up past agenda-driven failures and ensure zero accountability on many fronts going forward.

But, it’s worse than that.

The Water Resilience Portfolio has a few themes running throughout its twenty-eight main pages followed by over one-hundred pages of appendices and attachments.

First, everything will be driven by climate change.  

Second, buckle-up for impending disaster – it’s a recurring theme throughout the document.

Third, forget history. Everything will be managed on predictions and forecasts and historical data will no longer be used.

Next, surface water will be used for two things only: groundwater recharge and environmental purposes.

And lastly, the combination of climate change and the threats of high catastrophic probability will be used to accomplish exactly what to do with your water, your land, and you.

Within the Portfolio, you will read that “global climate change, already altering our water resources in alarming ways, likely will escalate over time.”

Our water resources have been altered and it is alarming. But it was not accomplished via global climate change. Instead, it has been a man-made effort creating droughts by design.

Global climate change did not redirect the flow of water from the Delta to the Pacific Ocean.

It was not climate change that produced the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, failed Biological Opinions, or set forth on the most radical interpretation of the Endangered species Act for over a decade. 

Was it too soon for climate change to rupture the spillway at Oroville?

Is it climate change that drives the obsession to halt progress by groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, or the Bay Institute?

Nope, it’s just agenda-driven people.

“Simply put, agricultural production will be shaped by limits on available water supply.” 

Of course, this is true.

State lawmakers – backed by those same agenda-driven people – have long succeeded at hindering agriculture production that coincides with the transfer of surface water. 

The human necessity of food is apparently not a priority and every drop of surface water will be managed by flows needed for the environment.

“Historical patterns can no longer serve water managers as a trustworthy guide around which to plan, so climate science and projections have become increasingly important.”

This is – in no uncertain terms – wiping clean the historical slate, coming to a water forum near you!

By their own logic, the arguments of California leaders and environmental groups of the past decade should, too, be considered irrelevant.  

All lawsuits by the State of California against the federal government should be withdrawn at once since they are based on historical “versions” of their data.

We should expect the constant attempt to adhere to failed science be abandoned immediately if we are to no longer use historical information.

Elsewhere within the Water Portfolio, there calls for an effort and support to recycle or reuse 2.5 million acre-feet of water per year in the next decade.

Apparently, we have come a long way. It took California around 25 years to systematically transfer 2.5 million acre-feet of water last time – from people to the ocean.

We will research where desalination makes sense, meaning  water transferred to become salt water in the Pacific Ocean will now be returned at a multi-billion-dollar price tag to remove the salt.

Again, this transfer was done by people, not global climate change.

Throughout the Portfolio is a constant reference to possible floods and flood protection.

With the prediction of more rain and less snow, possible future floods becomes a likely topic.

Flood protection becomes a complicated topic with the understanding that dams are a thing of the past. Mitigation and preparedness for what Mother Nature will “likely” hand us because of climate change will be more about land use changes than it will additional infrastructure.  

Farmland, once appreciated for the most productive land in America that fed a nation, will see its top priorities shifted to sequester carbon, become a place for birds to land, fish to swim, and a place to recharge aquifers.

We will be convinced over time through “science” and a political agenda that these benefits far outweigh the benefit of growing food.

Your property rights and freedom will be trampled in the name of public safety and a changing climate.

Current leadership in California claiming an appreciation for collaboration and science-based management is laughable. They have chosen to not collaborate or utilize updated science, consistently.

Instead, they have chosen litigation while hypocrisy rules the day.

Newsom’s Water Portfolio calls for a review of state, Federal, and local permitting processes in order to improve those processes.

On June 1, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued the final rule to modernize the current Clean Water Act following an executive order from President Trump.

Leading the charge with yet another lawsuit, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra decried the move as so-called “Trump rollbacks.”

It appears an uncontested improvement of bureaucracy as it pertains to water is apparently only reserved for Newsom.

While Newsom and Becerra claim the Federal government’s efforts to update processes were not transparent, it’s important to note just how vastly different the process looks.

Newsom’s Water Portfolio received 200 public comments. Trump’s? 125,000.

At its core, the Water Resilience Portfolio is a manifesto of the future of water in California. 

It’s a future that diminishes or eliminates the personal right to water and transfers it to the public right for water, prioritizes the environment above humans on the hierarchy of living things, driven by uncertainty and the presence of fear with no accountability.  

We will see a future of people being sequestered into pre-planned, pre-ordained locales with micromanaged uses of natural resources, eating pre-planned rations of food while their formerly-owned land is being used for pre-planned public purposes.

These aren’t “likely” predictions of the future but are likely because of historical fact.

An elected official who is willing to decide your menu items will have no problem deciding the use of your water and land.

Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion over three-month period

It is about time to sell the Post Office—and I have a buyer.  I believe the unions that have destroyed the Post Office should be forced to buy it, run it and try to save it.  The taxpayers should not be spending billions every years to cover up the corrupt union contracts and regulations that have killed a needed service.

“DeJoy urged intervention from Congress and said his department is looking for a $10 billion infusion to cover losses and regulatory changes. But even that kind of investment would not be enough to fundamentally alter USPS’s financial situation. 

“Access to an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority will delay the approaching liquidity crisis and is a positive development,” he said.

The $10 billion is not to save the Post Office, it is to stabilize the organization for liquidation.  Trn it over to the unions. Let them accept all debts.  Let us see if they can save the horse and buggy industry of the 21st Century.

Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion over three-month period

By Tal Axelrod, The Hill,  – 08/07/20

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced Friday that it lost $2.2 billion in the second quarter of the year as the coronavirus pandemic devastated the U.S. economy.

Louis DeJoy, who recently took over as postmaster general, admitted his agency’s finances are “dire,” warning that it could shed about $20 billion overall in 2019 and 2020 alone.

“Let me start by saying that I am an optimist by nature, and as I take on this new role, I am enthusiastic and energized about the prospects for our future and our untapped promise,” DeJoy said in remarks to the USPS Board of Governors Friday. “That said, I am a realist, and am keenly aware of the magnitude of the financial challenges we face.”

“Our financial position is dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues,” he added. “Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.” 

The Postal Service said package deliveries were up by over 50 percent as Americans were homebound during the pandemic, but that improvement was more than offset by declines in first-class and business mail. 

DeJoy urged intervention from Congress and said his department is looking for a $10 billion infusion to cover losses and regulatory changes. But even that kind of investment would not be enough to fundamentally alter USPS’s financial situation. 

“Access to an additional $10 billion in borrowing authority will delay the approaching liquidity crisis and is a positive development,” he said.

“However, we remain on an unsustainable path which cannot be solved simply by borrowing money which needs to be paid back with interest, since our current path does not enable us to pay even our current bills, let alone new ones. We will continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and pursuing other reforms in order to put the Postal Service on a trajectory for long-term financial stability.”

DeJoy said he has directed the department to take an aggressive approach to reduce “ingrained inefficiencies” to try to cut costs, including implementing stringent restrictions on overtime, among other things. 

“By running our operations on time and on schedule, and by not incurring unnecessary overtime or other costs, we will enhance our ability to be sustainable and to be able to continue to provide high-quality, affordable service,” he said. “I call on every executive, employee, union and management association leader to join me in pursuing this simple objective that every service organization needs to achieve in order to be successful.” 

The news comes amid an avalanche of concerns over the agency’s ability to handle what is expected to be a flood of mail-in ballots this year, with Democrats saying changes DeJoy has made, including reducing overtime and adjusting delivery policies, may leave the agency even more unprepared.

“We believe these changes, made during the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, now threaten the timely delivery of mail — including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters —  that is essential to millions of Americans. While it is true that the Postal Service has and continues to face financial challenges, enacting these policies as cost-cutting or efficiency measures as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues is counterproductive and unacceptable,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a letter to DeJoy Thursday

A self-funded, independent future for Caltrain?

CalTrain is not going to get the tax increased to keep this failed government transportation system rolling.  No riders, no money to operate—it is the horse and buggy of the 21st Century.  But it can be “saved”.

Let the unions which caused the problems by signing bad agreement  taking control of the management, OWN CalTrain.  It is cheaper to run over the key to the trains than trying to subsidize the failed system.

“The bill introduced by Assemblyman Albert Y. “Al” Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, would require the state’s primary oil-regulatory agency to set up its own environmental justice program and consider creating a 2,500-foot setback between petroleum facilities and schools, playgrounds and other public places where children gather.

Environmental justice advocates say such a buffer would protect humans from gases released by oil and gas wells. They point to studies suggesting such facilities are associated with exposure to high concentrations of dangerous air pollutants.

Industry groups contend the science is unclear and that 2,500 feet is an arbitrary distance that may not be appropriate in all cases. While not uniformly against some sort of setback standard, they say AB 345 could force the closure of thousands of oil and gas wells in Kern County alone.”

Sell it off, get the debt off the books and stop abusing the taxpayers so the unions can live high on the hog.

A self-funded, independent future for Caltrain?

Joint Powers Board approves governance reforms and a sales tax ballot measure

Carly Graf, SF Examiner,  8/6/20   

The Caltrain of the future could be self-funded, electrified, staffed by its own employees and an independent auditor, counsel and CEO, and readily accessible to a more economically diverse ridership.

This new Caltrain would no longer be operated by the San Mateo County Transit District, although SamTrans, and San Mateo County would be reimbursed for the purchase of the rail from the state in 1992.

Considered a fizzled dream just last week after participating counties failed to reach an agreement over language for a tax measure, this scenario emerged from two parallel actions approved Thursday by the Joint Powers Board, the rail network’s governing body, in a last-minute flurry of actions intended to save Caltrain.

A four-person ad-hoc committee with board members from each of the counties worked for the better part of a week to bring these dual resolutions to the table.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, who sits on the joint powers board, described them as the end result of tireless work by folks “who clearly prioritize Caltrain.”

First, the board unanimously approved a sales tax ballot measure that, if approved by voters in November, would levy a one-eighth sales tax on residents of San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, creating a dedicated source of funding for the financially beleaguered rail agency.

Second, it committed to governance reforms to reduce the influence of SamTrans and facilitate a more equal voice for all three counties in key decisions.

Provisions ultimately agreed upon include requiring six affirmative votes on any spending that would bring total expenditures above $40 million per fiscal year; appointing an independent executive director by the end of 2021; reimbursement to SamTrans for its acquisition of Caltrain from the state; mandating appointment of an independent special counsel by January 31, 2021, and appointing auditors for finances and performance by the next fiscal year; and allowing for items to be put on the agenda at the request of just two board members.

Tensions among the counties remained, however, and the agreement was preceded by lengthy debate between the directors on the particulars of “governance structure and procedures.” Director Charles Stone from the SamTrans Board was particularly vocal about protecting the interests of his agency, insuring it received adequate reimbursement and clarifying whether the broad stroke language was intended to preempt a change to the board’s current structure of three seats per county.

Stone ultimately was the lone dissenting vote on the governance resolution, though he did vote in favor of putting the sales tax measure on the November ballot

Directors spent more than three hours picking over the vocabulary of the resolution, with those were not on the ad-hoc committee voicing frustration with the assumption that its recommendations should be taken as a given by the rest of the board members.

“We can continue in a certain fashion, but if this resolution is not approved by this body there will more than likely not be a tax going on the ballot. I want to be very clear about that as we dissect, play semantics, and as we continue to do things that aren’t productive moving forward,” Walton, who was part of the ad-hoc committee, said of the extensive wordsmithing to various parts of the resolution.

When challenged by colleagues, Walton regularly reminded them of the laborious efforts that went into the resolution.

Tension also arose over the idea two directors can put an item on the agenda, a response to frustration that SamTrans staff currently has the ability to block an initiative from discussion in front of the board.

“The intent here was to make sure you talk at least one other person into your good idea and that, therefore, could be put on the agenda,” Director Cindy Chavez of Santa Clara County said. “This is a low bar, easy action we can take that demonstrates we want everybody to be able to engage and allow people to feel like they have equal footing on the board”

At the Board of Supervisorslevel in San Francisco and Santa Clara, a supervisor can directly introduce an item on the agenda without interference from staff, though there are ways for colleagues to block it.

Chair David Pine clarified the goal, as well, is not to mandate staff resources or a vote, but just to provide the opportunity for directors to present something to fellow board members.

Director Steve Heminger, from the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency, ultimately issued a call for compromise, noting the high risk of sinking the entire process for the sake of semantics.

“I would plead for some deference to the work of the committee,” he said, adding later “now the hard part begins.”

A three-person committee appointed by Pine will develop a number of ideas for how to effectively achieve these reforms for the board to consider. It will incorporate director, community and other stakeholder feedback, and it may also bring in the help of a consultant to draft options.

Members are Ron Collins, mayor of San Carlos, Jeanne Bruins, a Los Altos City council member and Santa Clara County transit agency board member, and Monique Zmuda, San Francisco’s mayoral appointee to the Joint Powers Board and longtime city finance expert.

Walton, a significant presence in the debate, was notably excluded from the roster. Appearing upset, he noted the inherent “inequities” that emerge when a committee has “two elected officials and one person who serves the bureaucracy,” adding he has great respect for Zmuda.

Thursday’s meeting comes after weeks of public feuding between leadership from San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties over whether a sales tax proposal should be tied to changes in the structure of Caltrain.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, supported by Santa Clara County and its transit agency, argued in favor of terms that would condition a certain amount of the sales tax revenues on governance changes, whereas San Mateo County, SamTrans and, ultimately, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, were opposed.

The impasse threatened to run the entire project off the rails, which requires approval from the board of supervisors and transit agencies from each of the three counties as well as from the Joint Powers Board.

Directors voiced platitudes and public commenters commended collaboration, but the weeks-long clash clearly left scars.

“To be blunt, we’re all going to be rebuilding our trust with each other,” Chavez said.