CA Insurance Commission Corrupt? Took $$ From Insurance Industry

Here is a tidbit that has not been disclosed to many.  Ricardo Lara ran for Insurance Commissioner in 2018.  His Treasurer, the person responsible for taking the money and spending it, while reporting it to the FPPC?  Ricardo Lara.  In other words he can not claim someone made a mistake—he knowingly took insurance company money.  I wonder why that part of the story has not been in the media—it is easy to research, it is public record.

Is it time for an investigation?  Ask for him to resign?  Start a Recall

Among the donations: $15,500 in April from Theresa DeBarbrie, administrative coordinator of Barrow Street Nursery School in Greenwich Village.

  • New York nursery school administrators aren’t regular sources of campaign money for California insurance commissioners. 
  • However, she’s married to Carl DeBarbarie, of Remco Insurance in New York.

Looks like they were hiding the real purpose of the donation.

Insurance commish’s money

Dan Morain, Whats Matters, CalMatters,  7/12/19  

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has promised to return $53,000 in insurance-related donations to his 2020 reelection campaign.

Among the donations: $15,500 in April from Theresa DeBarbrie, administrative coordinator of Barrow Street Nursery School in Greenwich Village.

  • New York nursery school administrators aren’t regular sources of campaign money for California insurance commissioners. 
  • However, she’s married to Carl DeBarbarie, of Remco Insurance in New York.

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jeff McDonald, who ferreted all this out, reached Carl DeBarbrie, who acknowledged that his firm does business in California. When pressed on details about the donation, DeBarbie said:

“I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

After initially brushing off McDonald, Lara issued a statement: “I pledged not to accept insurance money during my campaign, and it is a pledge I intend to keep. I appreciate The San Diego Union-Tribune bringing this to my attention.”

Lara has been here before. During his 2018 insurance commissioner campaign, he took money from Doctors Company, a medical malpractice carrier. After CalMatters pointed it out, Lara returned it.

History lesson: Chuck Quackenbush, once a rising Republican star, took insurance industry campaign donations while serving as insurance commissioner and acted on issues related to those donors. 

?

Republican Hope to Take Congressional Seat—Thanks to AOC and Fresno City Councilwoman

It looks like a supporter of AOC is going to make a run against Congressman Jim Costa (Democrat/Socialist) in 2020.  If she loses, will the Progressives vote for the Republican in the general election?  Or if she wins, will the Democrats who are note totalitarian/socialists vote for the GOP candidate.  Or, if the GOP does not run a good candidate, will the November, 2020 election have two Democrats on the ballot and NO Republican?

“The announcement ends speculation that began with her highly-publicized trip to Washington with colleague Miguel Arias. During that visit, noted for her meeting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Soria met with female candidate recruitment groups EMILY’s List and IGNITE.”

AOC California supporter running for Congress Against Costa

The Sun, 7/12/19 

Fresno Councilwoman launches long-rumored challenge to Jim Costa: The wait, and dodged interview questions, are over. Following a month of speculation, Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria announced her candidacy for Congress in a Facebook video Thursday afternoon.

The three-minute video, partially recorded Wednesday morning at Fresno City College, highlights her biography and some national issues.

What was missing? Any mention of Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno), the man she is aiming to oust.

The announcement ends speculation that began with her highly-publicized trip to Washington with colleague Miguel Arias. During that visit, noted for her meeting with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Soria met with female candidate recruitment groups EMILY’s List and IGNITE.

Wanted: Big Names and Money: One source with knowledge of the EMILY’s List meeting reported that, in order for the fundraising juggernaut to get involved, Soria would need to haul $500,000 in fundraising and acquire the endorsement of at least one big-name statewide elected official.

Thus far, Costa has secured the backing of those with the biggest wattage – Gov. Gavin Newsom and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.

Trump Saves Babies—Planned Parenthood Loses 9th Circuit Case to Steal Tax $$

Good news for the black community and the nation as a whole.  Planned Parenthood, the place that refuses to report rapes, is now about to lose lots of money from the taxpayers to promote their eugenics policy.

“”By a 7-4 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand its June 20 decision lifting injunctions blocking enforcement of the rule, which makes clinics ineligible for Title X family planning funds if they provide abortion referrals.”

The 7 judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents including two Trump appointees. The other 4 were Democrat appointees.”
Things are turning around.  Children and taxpayers are being protected by President Trump. 

9th Circuit sides with Trump over Planned Parenthood

Don Surber, 7/12/19   

The 9th Circuit Court ruled that taxpayers may abort funding for Planned Parenthood.

Our money, our choice.

Reuters reported, “A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected emergency bids to temporarily set aside its recent decision allowing the Trump administration to enforce a ‘gag rule’ that could strip Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers of federal funding for family planning.

“By a 7-4 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand its June 20 decision lifting injunctions blocking enforcement of the rule, which makes clinics ineligible for Title X family planning funds if they provide abortion referrals.”

The 7 judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents including two Trump appointees. The other 4 were Democrat appointees.

President Donald John Trump has appointed 44 circuit judges. A Republican Senate has confirmed 42 of them with 2 awaiting a decision.

The Hyde Amendment bars taxpayer funding of abortion.

Reuters reported, “Announced in February, the rule largely restored a rule that had been created in 1988 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991, only to be suspended by the Clinton administration in 1993.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said, “This is a victory for commonsense, life-affirming policy.

“The Protect Life rule ensures that the people helping women plan for families are not misusing appointments to market abortions at taxpayer expense.”

She also said, “Title X had become a marketing slush fund for Planned Parenthood, and the Trump Administration and the American people won today.”

The Washington Times reported, “The Title X overhaul opened the door for pro-life pregnancy centers to receive funds by removing the requirement for ‘nondirective counseling on abortion.’ In March, the Obria Group of California became the first such center to receive a Title X grant.

“The rule also requires a ‘clear financial and physical separation’ between abortion procedures and other family-planning services, a mandate scheduled to take effect in March 2020.”

McNamee: Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished

With all the negative reports on TV and in the media, the hate, the bigotry, the violence in the community, it is important that we remember basic humanity.  This is a story about a situation, in real life, that a friend reports on.  This is a great lesson for all of us.  Life is about living, where we live and how we handle it.  I would hope I would do the same as he did.

Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished

Dr. Kevin McNamee, California Political News and Views,  7/13/19 


While eating lunch, I noticed a homeless man enter the restaurant and view the buffet options at the counter. He walked away and sat in the corner of the restaurant. A patron walked up to the homeless man and offered to buy him lunch which he accepted.

I felt this was a great way to ensure the money spent on the homeless man went to him and for its intended purpose.

While the patron was paying for the meal, I walked up and introduced myself and said that what he just did was a very kind act to help the homeless man. As we shook hands, I gave him the money placed in my palm. He paused when he realized this. I told him that I wish to help to pay for the homeless man’s lunch as well. The patron thanked me as I walked out the door.

As I walked back to the office, I remembered the good feeling when helping another person. Wish I could do more to help the homeless man become self reliant and feel the pride of a good days work and walk home with a paycheck in his pocket to spend as he wished.

As I passed under a telephone pole, I felt on my head a splash and wet. I looked up to see perched on the telephone pole a pigeon who gave me a gift. I was told once that it is good luck to have this happen. Sure did not feel that way at the time.

Wish I had a few more moments to enjoy the restaurant encounter but life had other plans.

Time to get cleaned up before patients come in for the second half of the day.

First take-a-way is let no good deed go unpunished. The second take-a-way is that pigeon has great aim.

Walters: New bill reignites California’s ‘reading wars’

California government schools have failed our kids.  LAUSD in 2017 had 52% of the students that received a diploma had a “D” average.  The educrats keep changing the system of teaching reading skills—away from the  techniques that work to those that have failed—but sound good and “modern”.

“EdVoice, one of the reform groups, dispatched a letter to the Assembly Education Committee, declaring, “This bill ill-advisedly proposes to eliminate evidence of competency in science-based reading instruction as a pre-requisite to a teaching credential in California, as specified.

“It’s unfathomable that the state, when over half of California’s students are unable to read at grade level and with no alternative in place, would eliminate the only uniform requirement for teachers of children in early grades to demonstrate their knowledge of teaching literacy with science-based reading instruction.”

The bill’s stakes could hardly be higher. Reading comprehension is a vital gateway skill to all learning and California’s students are not doing well.”

You read that right—no longer will teachers be tested to see if they can teach reading!  Sending your child to such a government school is a priori evidence of child abuse.

New bill reignites California’s ‘reading wars’

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,   6/30/19 

For decades – close to a century, in fact – America’s educators and politicians have argued furiously over how best to teach children to read, pitting advocates of “phonics” against those of “whole language,” a conflict dubbed “reading wars.”

Phonics stresses fundamental instruction in the letters and letter combinations that make up sounds, thus allowing children to “sound out” words and later whole sentences and passages. Its advocates contend that scientific research supports their view.

The whole language approach assumes that reading is a naturally learned skill, much like speaking, and that exposing children to appropriate and interesting reading material will allow it to emerge.

California embraced whole language in the 1970s and 1980s, but nationwide academic tests in the late 1980s and early 1990s revealed that the state was very near the bottom among the states in reading proficiency, sparking a backlash.

It was largely led by Bill Honig, a Democrat who had been California’s state schools superintendent until forced to resign by a scandal. Honig pushed tirelessly for a shift to phonics and a series of bills signed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in the mid-1990s made it happen.

One measure required almost all applicants for a California teaching credential to pass a Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) of their ability to teach phonics.

Even though phonics was required in California, it’s uncertain whether it fully penetrated the state’s elementary classrooms. We do know, however, that the state’s students continue to score below average in reading – especially those labeled as poor and/or “English-learners” – on both federal and state tests.

This history is a preface to a new bill that would eliminate the RICA test for new teachers – reigniting California’s reading wars.

Senate Bill 614 passed the Senate as a bill dealing with early childhood education, but its author, Sen. Susan Rubio, a West Covina Democrat, stripped out its contents this month and inserted entirely new language to abolish RICA.

It appears to have at least tentative support from some heavyweight education interests, such as the California Teachers Association, and it reflects criticism of RICA that it is a financial burden on applicants, that it doesn’t respond to needs of high-risk children, that it exacerbates California’s teacher shortage and that “passage rates based on gender, ethnicity and other factors demonstrate bias,” as one state Commission on Teacher Credentialing report puts it.

Commission data reveal that that RICA passage rates generally exceeded 90 percent until dropping to 80.3 percent in 2016-17.

Rubio, citing her 17 years as a teacher, says “it’s something personal to me” and that she wants to “bring stakeholders to the table” to make RICA “up to date on current standards.”

However, the revised bill is drawing ire from school reformers who often do battle with the CTA and other elements of the education establishment.

EdVoice, one of the reform groups, dispatched a letter to the Assembly Education Committee, declaring, “This bill ill-advisedly proposes to eliminate evidence of competency in science-based reading instruction as a pre-requisite to a teaching credential in California, as specified.

“It’s unfathomable that the state, when over half of California’s students are unable to read at grade level and with no alternative in place, would eliminate the only uniform requirement for teachers of children in early grades to demonstrate their knowledge of teaching literacy with science-based reading instruction.”

The bill’s stakes could hardly be higher. Reading comprehension is a vital gateway skill to all learning and California’s students are not doing well.

Legislation to study whether it’s being taught effectively would be welcome. Abolishing RICA without such an evaluation would be irresponsible.

ACLU Sues to Stop Threatened ICE Deportation Raids in Southern California

Over one million CRIMINAL illegal aliens have gone through the American legal system.  And, they have been ordered to be deported.  They were told to show up at a location for deportation.  As expected, these criminals are laughing at the American justice system and the Rule of Law.  Why should they obey our laws—they came into our nation illegally.  Now their defenders, the ACLU is going to Court to stop the Federal government from enforcing the law.  I do hope none of the ACLU attorneys or their families are harmed by an illegal alien they protected—that would be called karma.

“The preemptive lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York on behalf of three Los Angeles-based non-profit service groups — Central American Resource Center, Immigrant Defenders Law Center and Public Counsel — as well as the New York’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.

Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are reportedly targeting more than 2,000 immigrants in Los Angeles and other major cities who have missed a court appearance or been ordered removed from the country. San Diego has not been mentioned as a target for the raids.

ICE spokesman Matt Bourke would not confirm the pending raids or offer details, citing “law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.”

The ACLU wants those to be deported to appear before a judge before deportation.  They already had that opportunity and in over 90% of the cases they refused to appear.  The ACLU is saying that unless criminals obey the law, the law should not be imposed.  Did these people graduate from Law School?  Or did they just stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

ACLU Sues to Stop Threatened ICE Deportation Raids in Southern California

Posted by Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego,  7/11/19 

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California filed suit Thursday to protect thousands of immigrant families and children targeted for deportation in mass raids expected Sunday.

President Donald Trump revealed last month that the raids were coming, vowing on Twitter that “millions” would be deported, but the action was delayed amid the resulting publicity.

The preemptive lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York on behalf of three Los Angeles-based non-profit service groups — Central American Resource Center, Immigrant Defenders Law Center and Public Counsel — as well as the New York’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project.

Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement are reportedly targeting more than 2,000 immigrants in Los Angeles and other major cities who have missed a court appearance or been ordered removed from the country. San Diego has not been mentioned as a target for the raids.

ICE spokesman Matt Bourke would not confirm the pending raids or offer details, citing “law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel.”

The lawsuit argues that constitutional due process requires the government to bring arrested families and children before an immigration judge so they can have a day in court before facing deportation.

ACLU said the suit aims to protect refugee families and children who fled widespread violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and other countries at the hands of their governments and murderous gangs. For many of these migrants, obtaining asylum in the U.S. “could be a matter of life and death,” according to the ACLU.

Bourke said ICE “prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

He added that 90% of those arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division last year had either a criminal conviction, pending criminal charges or had illegally re-entered the country after previously being removed.

“However, all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and — if found removable by final order — removal from the United States,” he said.

CalPERS LOSES Retiree $$ ON PURPOSE–CORRUPTION

Only a government agency could run a pension program, investing money based on the GOAL of losing money.  CalPERS is investing $3 billion on known money losing companies—but since they promote junk science via sustainable products or services—which people are forced to buy or ignore if they can, they can say they are saving the Earth by killing the future of retirees forced to belong to a corrupt pension system.

“It’s an international trend. The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investing network, formed in 2005, now has 2,250 investors managing nearly $80 trillion signed up to use ESG in investment analysis and owner policies, up from 1,750 and $70 trillion two years ago.

Professional acceptance is growing. The CalPERS board was told in March that the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute “encourages all investment professionals to consider ESG factors, where relevant, as an important part of the analytical decision-making process.”

No wonder the rest of the world has slow growth—it was planned by the United Nations to make growth more expensive and difficult.  While Trump was doing away with job killing regulations, the EU was piling them on.  Now we find that CalPERS is violating its fiduciary responsibilities to retirees and future retirees on the altar of political correctness.

SACRAMENTO, CA – JULY 21: A sign stands in front of California Public Employees’ Retirement System building July 21, 2009 in Sacramento, California. CalPERS, the state’s public employees retirement fund, reported a loss of 23.4%, its largest annual loss. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

CalPERS using more ESG in investment strategy

Ed Mendel,  CalPensions,  6/17/19 

CalPERS is stepping up its ESG investment program, despite evidence that funds based only on environmental, social and corporate governance strategies have tended to underperform.

The big pension system, an early ESG leader, is half-way through a five-year plan that includes getting companies to report and reduce climate-changing carbon emissions and using ESG factors to help analyze and select its own investments.

Going beyond a narrow profit-loss focus, the wide-ranging ESG movement pushes changes in companies that can benefit the environment and society, while also helping the long-term “sustainability” of investments, needed in this case to pay for pensions.

It’s an international trend. The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investing network, formed in 2005, now has 2,250 investors managing nearly $80 trillion signed up to use ESG in investment analysis and owner policies, up from 1,750 and $70 trillion two years ago.

Professional acceptance is growing. The CalPERS board was told in March that the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute “encourages all investment professionals to consider ESG factors, where relevant, as an important part of the analytical decision-making process.”

But among some CalPERS members there is an ESG backlash. In a board election last fall with typically low voter turnout, Jason Perez, a Corona police sergeant, unseated Priya Mathur, who became the first female CalPERS board president early last year.

“Mathur has failed CalPERS and put our retirement security at risk due in part to environmental, social, and governance investing priorities, regardless of the investment risk,” Perez said in the campaign booklet given CalPERS members in local government.

He criticized Mathur, a leading ESG advocate, for being “out of touch, believing her role is to fly around the world, ringing the bell of the London Stock Exchange and hobnobbing with United Nations officials.”

Last month Perez was part of a three-member panel that discussed ESG investing at a forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Institute for Pension Fund Integrity, whose concerns include fossil fuel divestment.

Perez is making his presence felt on the 13-member CalPERS board. In March he made an unsuccessful motion, getting votes from two other members, to consider reinvestment in the tobacco industry, reversing a divestment in 2001.

Tobacco divestment, reconsidered by the board in 2016, had cost CalPERS $3.6 billion as of last year, Wilshire consultants estimated. The CalPERS board usually opposes divestment legislation, preferring to engage companies to seek change as it does on ESG issues.

Last week Perez said five months on the CalPERS board have made little change in his ESG views. He said environmental and corporate management issues need CalPERS attention if they affect investment returns, but social issues should remain in the political arena.

“Our duty is to make the maximum amount of return for our members,” Perez said. “Social issues shouldn’t even be considered.”

On the panel with Perez last month was Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute, a conservative think tank, who issued an analysis of 18 ESG funds last month that found only two outperformed a broad market index fund over 10 years.

CalPERS, with a portfolio valued at $366 billion last week, recently had roughly $1 billion in ESG global stock funds. After analyzing about 20 ESG strategies and themes, CalPERS selected two last year for an additional $1 billion each, bringing the total to $3 billion.

The two new funds are being internally managed under license from two money managers, Chief Investment Officer magazine reported, and they could serve as models for other parts of the global equity portfolio if they outperform the market.

Last year CalPERS added a managing director, Beth Richtman, and a staff expected to reach 14 members to a Sustainable Investments program that will integrate ESG into investment decisions, research related issues and be an ESG advocate.

Richtman told the CalPERS board in March that using ESG factors (see chart below) to help analyze investments is still a work in progress, requiring different styles depending on the type of investment.

For example, the sustainability staff can consult with a real estate team considering an investment. But applying ESG factors to the more than 10,000 companies with stock held by CalPERS in various funds requires a quantitative process.

CalPERS is working with Wellington Management and the Woods Hole Research Center on quantitative models and other analytical tools to improve the assessment of climate risk and investment outcomes.

In addition to risk, ESG factors are expected to help identify investment opportunities. An example cited by CalPERS is its Energy Optimization program in real estate, which has yielded profits in recent years and reduced energy use.

As a result of staff research on water scarcity last year, Richtman said, “For the first time the investment team has insight into which industries and asset classes in our portfolio are most exposed to water scarcity risk.”

A program that CalPERS helped launch two years ago, Climate Action 100+, has more than 300 investors managing $32 trillion engaging 161 large companies that produce much of the world’s green-house gas emissions.

CalPERS is on track to comply with state legislation (SB 964) directing CalPERS to report on the climate-related financial risk in its investment portfolio by next Jan. 1, but is having difficulty getting private equity information.

An ambitious goal of the five-year ESG plan launched by CalPERS in 2016 is mandatory corporate reporting of ESG by 2036. CalPERS says it’s working with several standards groups and the Security and Exchange Commission investor advisory committee.

In February, CalPERS responded to a letter from eight U.S. senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, about the CalPERS approach to deforestation, the industrial-scale loss of trees. CalPERS highlighted the issue in letters to 60 companies.

“Currently, forests are one of the best available ‘technologies’ to sequester carbon,” CalPERS told the senators. Trees mitigate climate change and protect the CalPERS global investment portfolio.

“Therefore, in addition to our focus on palm oil, we are also looking into other drivers of deforestation across various industries and commodities in our global portfolio,” CalPERS said in a letter to the senators.

At the request of board members, CalPERS staff researched economic inequality with two symposiums at UC Davis and a review of 1,800 academic papers but found “no actionable solutions for an investor.”

Noting the risk to investments from income inequality and political unrest, CalPERS is working with other large investors and industry groups on “adoption of frameworks and standards for reporting on human capital topics, including workforce compensation.”

During public comment at the board update on sustainable investments in March about 20 speakers, several from Fossil Free California, urged CalPERS divestment of fossil fuel holdings, arguing they are now risky investments and climate change must be halted in 10 to 12 years.

A lobbyist for the League of California Cities, Dane Hutchings, followed them with an urgent plea for CalPERS to be “laser-focused” on investment returns and leave fossil fuel regulation to the appropriate government agencies.

“We talk about the next 10 to 15 years of our planet. I’m talking about the next 10 to 5 years where cities are going to be going bankrupt,” Hutchings said, apparently referring to soaring CalPERS employer rates.

Example of ESG factors that might be analyzed

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at Calpensions.com.

UC Santa Cruz: We Will Wipe Out California History on Our Campus

When I moved here from New York, in Junior High School (now called middle schools) one of the first pieces of history I learned was about the California missions.  Years later, when my girls were in Simi Valley schools they spent weeks learning about the Missions and even built a replica of one—without the help of Mom or Dad. The Missions are an important part of the history of California.

Now UC Santa Cruz has decided to declare it racist and wipe it out symbolically from the students—who will now receive a bias, incomplete history of California.  Obviously government education is not about education, it is about indoctrination and hate.

“A year after students began a petition to remove the traditional California “mission bell” from campus, the University of California Santa Cruz has capitulated to demands, announcing Friday that the bell will be removed.

California mission bells mark the path of the historic El Camino Real, the 700-mile trail that connected the 21 California Spanish missions. The bells are a common way of recognizing state history and have marked the route of the El Camino Real since 1906. Hundreds of them line the trail to this day. “ 

Want to know California history?  Not in Santa Cruz—but they do not have the ptr of any campus in the system.

UCSC folds, will remove ‘deeply painful’ bell from campus

Celine Ryan, Campus Reform,  6/19/19  

  • The University of California Santa Cruz will remove a bell representing the Spanish missions in California.
  • UCSC said in its announcement that the bells are “viewed by many populations as a symbol of racism and dehumanization of their ancestors.”

A year after students began a petition to remove the traditional California “mission bell” from campus, the University of California Santa Cruz has capitulated to demands, announcing Friday that the bell will be removed.

California mission bells mark the path of the historic El Camino Real, the 700-mile trail that connected the 21 California Spanish missions. The bells are a common way of recognizing state history and have marked the route of the El Camino Real since 1906. Hundreds of them line the trail to this day.  

“Deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people”    Tweet This

However, in UCSC’s announcement of its decision, the university emphasized that the bells are “viewed by many populations as a symbol of racism and dehumanization of their ancestors.”

The university administration has communicated with Valentin Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band chairman, who called the bells “deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people.” 

“They are constant reminders of the disrespect our tribe faces to this day,” he added.

UCSC Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Sarah Latham said that Lopez’s comments were “such a compelling statement of impact,” adding that she is “pleased” at the university’s ability to “work in partnership” with the band toward the removal of the bell.  

“They’re wasting the UCSC student body’s and administration’s time over a non-issue that misrepresents an important part of California’s history for the sole purpose of feeling morally superior, ’cause who wants to be the person on the side of ‘genocide and slavery?’” College Republicans President Brandon Lang told Campus Reform when the petition to remove the bell first circulated. “The bells were intended to act as road markers for the historic El Camino Real, the fi[r]st road to span California, not as ‘symbols of genocide.’”

The radical left will stop at nothing to intimidate conservative students on college campuses. You can help expose them. Find out more »

“The people who want this and others like them know they can’t get anything of substance done, so they focus on ‘symbolic’ things such as the removal of statues from the public space or changing of names, actions that are quick and easy but don’t cause any real positive change in society for the people they want to help,” the College Republicans president continued.

Legislators Again Protect DMV from Independent Audit

This is your DMV in action.  It spent over one billion on a computer system that does not work properly.  It registered to vote over 150,000 illegal aliens—and refuses to give the list of DMV rolls to check to see how many more are illegally using their drivers license to register to vote.  Then you have this:

“Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) urged legislators to reject an independent audit, which union bosses viewed as “premature.” In 2013, the  SEIU’s Yvonne Walker led a rally of 8,000 government union members at the state capitol, explaining, “we’re letting them know that this is our house.” The SEIU represents DMV employees across the state.

Last year, as ABC News reported, “a key data operator at the Department of Motor Vehicles failed to perform her essential duties over a period of nearly four years because she slept at her desk for extended periods of time during work hours.” The employee misused more than 2,200 of work time and cost the state more than $40,000. The employee was not named and by all indications remains on the job.

Meanwhile, this writer recently mailed a check for his annual automobile registration. The DMV took more than three weeks to cash the check and at this writing the registration has yet to arrive. “

Like other agencies of government, the people do not control them—it is the unions.  Feel safe?

Legislators Again Protect DMV from Independent Audit

Agency has ‘good handle,’ says DMV boss, and government unions claim audit is ‘premature’

By Lloyd Billingsley, California Globe,  6/27/19 

“For the second time in the past 12 months,” Bryan Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports, “California Democrats declined to open an independent investigation into the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.” The audit request was “the most sweeping review” of the “motor voter” program and new federal ID requirement, as California Globe has reported.

Four Senate Democrats voted against the request, which would have deployed state auditor Elaine Howle. As Anderson noted, Howle “does not report to the Governor’s Office and is considered independent of state government’s executive branch.”

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), a supporter of an independent audit, told reporters, “Californians, if they were hoping if somehow their experience at the DMV was going to be improved pretty soon, would be disappointed today, what we saw was politics got in the way of really doing the right thing.”

Last year, long lines and reports of DMV employees sleeping on the job prompted calls for an investigation. DMV director Jean Shiomoto resisted and legislators handed the agency another $16 million. When the problems persisted, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered an audit by his own Department of Finance, not state auditor Elaine Howle, a proven performer.

In 2017, Howle’s office uncovered a secret slush fund of $175 million at the University of California, despite efforts by UC president Janet Napolitano and her aides to deceive the auditors. Two UC bosses resigned and the Board of Regents admonished Napolitano.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed a “strike team” and an outside law firm to investigate the DMV. In the style of Shiomoto, current DMV boss Kathleen Webb claimed an audit would require her to “divert resources” and told reporters “we’ll have a good handle on things we need to do.”

Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) urged legislators to reject an independent audit, which union bosses viewed as “premature.” In 2013, the  SEIU’s Yvonne Walker led a rally of 8,000 government union members at the state capitol, explaining, “we’re letting them know that this is our house.” The SEIU represents DMV employees across the state.

Last year, as ABC News reported, “a key data operator at the Department of Motor Vehicles failed to perform her essential duties over a period of nearly four years because she slept at her desk for extended periods of time during work hours.” The employee misused more than 2,200 of work time and cost the state more than $40,000. The employee was not named and by all indications remains on the job.

Meanwhile, this writer recently mailed a check for his annual automobile registration. The DMV took more than three weeks to cash the check and at this writing the registration has yet to arrive.

From strip clubs to strip malls, how 2 million workers could be swept up in a bill aimed at the gig economy

Shortly, two million Californians will be told that due to Sacramento Democrats their jobs are in jeopardy.  Thanks to the mandate forcing companies to declare all workers—even those that work when they want, quit when they want, must be paid minimum wage and get full benefits.  Both Uber and Lyft are working toward, in less than two years, using self driving cars—that will stop tens of thousands from a second job.  Strippers and other part time workers will lose their jobs—thanks to government.  Technology will push forward quickly, to get rid of as many workers as possible.

These workers will need to learn tech skills and work in other industries—not by choice, but due to government killing their jobs.  The unemployed need to thank the Democrats for poverty and homelessness

“The legislation would rewrite the rules for when a worker is deemed an official employee, upending longstanding employment practices by newspapers, winemakers, private investigators, music schools and other enterprises.

“Does AB 5 have very wide repercussions? Yes, that’s what makes the negotiations very complicated,” said labor rights attorney Bill Sokol, who teaches employment law at San Francisco State University and is not a part of the negotiations.

California has long led the nation on employment practices and AB 5 may be just the beginning as policymakers wrestle with updating labor codes in today’s app-for-hire world. Though the high court decision clearly raised the bar for treating workers as independent contractors rather than full employees, the devil is in the details that will be spelled out in the pending legislation.

The only winner will be the tech firms, creating computers and robots, doing the jobs Sacramento Democrats have priced out of the market.

From strip clubs to strip malls, how 2 million workers could be swept up in a bill aimed at the gig economy

By Judy Lin, CalMatters, 6 /30/19 

Do you freelance in California? Have a side hustle? Drive trucks? Work construction? Do nails? Work on political campaigns? Then you should you be paying attention to a major employment fight coming to a head in Sacramento.

In coming weeks, the state Senate will begin hearings on a bill that will make it harder to classify workers as independent contractors, officially codifying a sweeping 2018 California Supreme Court decision. The so-called “Dynamex” bill, supported by organized labor and named for the court case, has made headlines for threatening the on-demand business model made popular by the likes of Uber, Lyft, Door Dash and Postmates.

Less discussed, however, is the extent to which Assembly Bill 5 could sweep up some 2 million workers across industries far from the sharing economy and tech sectors, from truck drivers and general contractors to nail salons and strippers. The proposal has so unsettled mainstream businesses that they’ve banded together with sharing economy disruptors to run an “I’m Independent” campaign.

The legislation would rewrite the rules for when a worker is deemed an official employee, upending longstanding employment practices by newspapers, winemakers, private investigators, music schools and other enterprises.

“Does AB 5 have very wide repercussions? Yes, that’s what makes the negotiations very complicated,” said labor rights attorney Bill Sokol, who teaches employment law at San Francisco State University and is not a part of the negotiations.

California has long led the nation on employment practices and AB 5 may be just the beginning as policymakers wrestle with updating labor codes in today’s app-for-hire world. Though the high court decision clearly raised the bar for treating workers as independent contractors rather than full employees, the devil is in the details that will be spelled out in the pending legislation.

So AB 5 is being lobbied heavily both by business advocates and by organized labor, which seeks to ensure that gig economy workers have workplace protections, including the right to collective bargaining. It has also put Gov. Gavin Newsom, who wants to be viewed as an ally to both labor and tech, in an awkward position.

“Everything is up for grabs,” Sokol said. “There’s no way to predict who’s going to end up with what. But labor recognizes that the American workplace they have traditionally organized—those worker relationships—have changed, and the laws have not kept up with them.”

Worker protections in the new economy

Labor groups led by the 2 million-member California Labor Federation have united behind the proposal to limit the use of independent workers. Their contention: that the gig economy has opened the door to mass exploitation of low-wage workers, a trend that is worsening income inequality.

Too many employers misclassify employees in order to cut costs, the unions argue, and strong curbs on the use of independent contractors, who aren’t eligible for many of the benefits and workplace protections mandated for regular employees, would slow that.  Those curbs would also make it easier to reach groups, such as general contractors, that have long been difficult to organize.

But business advocates warn the change would dramatically ramp up labor costs in California, and have dire consequences for the state’s economy. In some sectors, such as ridesharing, widespread contracting isn’t even the long-term business model—it’s just an intermediate phase on the way to automation. Uber or Lyft, both headquartered in San Francisco, might stop operating in California altogether, they say.

Their hope is to carve out a third way that would allow employers to grant some benefits without having to categorize workers as full employees.

“We have a completely different economy,” said Jennifer Barrera, executive vice president at California Chamber of Commerce. “We have a huge group of individuals who really value their flexibility and control over their own schedule and I don’t think it has to be one or the other.”

What is the Dynamex decision?

The California Supreme Court decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles dealt with a same-day courier service that, to save money, had converted all its employees to independent contractors. A former employee claimed the shift was a Labor Code violation, and the litigation that ensued ended up reinterpreting a longstanding test for classifying workers. The ruling instead established a three-part test for certifying independent contractors, with the highest hurdle being that the work performed must be outside the core of the company’s business.

Even though the Dynamex decision is already law, labor representatives say many companies have been flouting it. AB 5 would ensure that workers would not have to file suit on a case by case basis to seek enforcement.

“There’s a whole bunch of things that they’re currently being cheated out of, frankly,” said Steve Smith with the Labor Federation. “With respect to Uber and Lyft, it’s the exploitation they subject their workers to on a daily basis. Many of these workers are not receiving minimum wage, they are misclassified as contractors when they actually should be considered employees, meaning there’s a whole host of benefits they’re not getting that they should get like everyone else.”

In steering more people to employee status, the bill would force companies to offer basic worker protections such as guaranteed minimum wage, overtime pay, contributions to Social Security and Medicare, unemployment and disability insurance as well as workers’ compensation, sick leave and family leave. Workers could also get reimbursed for mileage and maintenance of their vehicles.

The state estimates it loses about $7 billion a year in payroll tax revenue due to worker misclassification that could be supporting schools, roads and other public services. And by avoiding unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation premiums, businesses shift the burden to the state when workers get laid off, get sick or get injured on the job.

“These billion dollar companies can complain but we have to ask ourselves as taxpayers: Should we subsidize their business by subsidizing their workers?” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a former labor organizer from San Diego who is author of AB 5. “That’s what happens when you don’t adequately compensate workers.”

She dismisses the idea that Uber and Lyft will flee the fifth-largest economy in the world. More likely, the lawmaker predicts, Uber and Lyft will make the changes required by law because there’s a massive market for transporting individuals and goods in California. If they can’t manage it, she says, then someone else will.

Businesses seek compromise

Gonzalez’s bill is triggering pushback in part because the impact of the high court ruling is far broader than many Californians expected.  Gonzalez says she’s heard, for instance, from newspaper publishers who want to keep using freelance journalists and beauty salons that rely on nail technicians. She’s even rattled folks in her own world of politics because her bill would reclassify campaign workers as employees, not contractors.

Chris Shimoda, vice president of government affairs with the California Trucking Association, says trucking has been a pathway for people without advanced degrees to make more money. In fact, about 80% of drivers in the industry have a high school education or less, he said.

But if firms are required to employ their own drivers, independent drivers who own their own $150,000 Class 8 heavy duty trucks may not be able to find work.

“We all agree there should be a pathway, especially for the blue-collar working class to rise up the economic ladder,” Shimoda said. “It’s just, what are the rules for the labor and employment law side of things? If there are specific things that have been abused, then what are those and how do we reconcile that through this bill?”

As his association works to ease the potential impact of AB 5 on those drivers, the trucking industry has challenged the Dynamex decision in federal court, arguing that federal laws governing motor carriers preempt the state test.

Peter Tateishi, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of California, which represents construction firms, said the bill would disadvantage small businesses, women-owned and minority-owned firms that subcontract with builders because contractors won’t be able to get outside help.

As for Uber and Lyft, the rideshare companies have sought compromise and held backchannel negotiations with the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union. The Labor Federation, however, remains committed to full employment status for rideshare workers. As a result, the gig economy companies have sought support in the court of public opinion.

In an open letter, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi and Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer proposed maintaining their drivers’ freelance status but granting access to some employee benefits such as paid time off and retirement accounts. The executives, whose combined worth is over $1 billion, offered to form a new driver association to advocate for the drivers’ interests.

“We are public companies that tens of millions of people rely on for mobility and work,” they wrote. “If there ever was a time for new policies, it’s now.”

Vivian Mallory, 60, of Sacramento, shares her Uber app and says she wants to remain an independent contractor as a driver. Photo by Judy Lin for CALmatters.

An independent coalition sponsored by business

This week, the “I’m Independent” coalition led Uber and Lyft drivers around the Capitol to meet with lawmakers and staff to voice their desire to remain freelancers.

“I’m very offended that they would think they’re doing us a favor by calling us employees,” said Vivian Mallory, a 60-year-old Uber driver in Sacramento. “We want better rates and we want more opportunities for benefits. I think we’re not against the bill being passed but I think we want changes in the language.”

Mallory says she’s strategic about picking up longer rides that pay more and was able to average $4,800 a month last year driving. Another Uber driver, James Kyle, 58, of Roseville, said he needs to remain an independent contractor because he works seasonally at charity golf tournaments.

Lyft driver Ann Gltt, 62, of Sacramento, joined Gig Workers Rising after seeing her fares drop. Photo by Judy Lin for CALmatters.

“They’re taking the fun away from it,” Mallory said.

AB 5 supporters counter that drivers will continue to maintain a flexible schedule because rideshare companies, like any employer, can pay wages based on the number of hours worked.

On the other side are drivers like 62-year-old Ann Glatt, who joined the Gig Workers Rising movement after noticing her share of fares declining over time with Lyft. She says she’s lucky to make $700 a week and would like to see changes to the way the rideshare companies categorize their drivers.

“Teachers are in unions. We’re not able to unionize because we’re independent contractors,” Glatt said.

She added that the labels put on drivers can be misleading.

“Uber and Lyft are not transportation companies—they are platforms. So that makes us customers and the passengers are the end user. But really it kinda just means Uber and Lyft are not responsible for basic labor standards for people,” she said.

After speaking to CALmatters, Glatt said she stopped driving Lyft because she wasn’t able to make ends meet.

Doctors and hairstylists exempt

Requests for exemptions have so far succeeded in some sectors. Gonzalez has agreed to leave doctors, insurance agents, real estate agents, hair stylists and barbers who hold a booth rental permit, dentists, architects, engineers and accountants out of the law.

But business interests are pressing for more. Barrera said CalChamber would like to carve out licensed occupations, from court reporters to family therapists. While the author is committed to sorting through more positions, Gonzalez said the exemptions will need to stop at some point.

“I have a driver’s license,” she said. “That doesn’t make me a business owner.”