CALTAX COMMENTARY: With Local Government Collecting Record Revenue, Why Are Voters Facing Hundreds of Tax Measures in November?

The budget of the State of California is $202 billion.  The actual, full budget is north of $250 billion—lots of tax increases in the budget.  Brown also took money from health care, Prop. 56, and gave it to his favorite special interests.  Yet, the State and local government want increased taxes, more bonds and bigger spending programs.  You are being used as an ATM.

“When Californians vote in the November election, they will choose a new governor, decide 11 statewide propositions and face hundreds of local tax measures.

On the November ballot alone, there are 254 local tax measures – a 65 percent increase compared to the 2014 gubernatorial election – along with more than 100 bonds that would be repaid with property tax increases. Earlier this year, voters approved 55 of 85 local tax measures.

The influx of local taxes comes during of a time of steady economic growth and fiscal prosperity in California. Since July 2009, the beginning of the economic recovery, California’s general fund budget grew from $89.5 billion to $138.6 billion, an increase of 54.8 percent. During the same period, California built up a $19 billion rainy day reserve. “

Your pay check is being used to payoff the special interests and totalitarians.  You work for the government—the government does not work for you.  Get used to it, stop it or leave the State.

taxes

CALTAX COMMENTARY: With Local Government Collecting Record Revenue, Why Are Voters Facing Hundreds of Tax Measures in November?

 

By Dustin Weatherby, CalTax Research Analyst, 10/12/18

 

When Californians vote in the November election, they will choose a new governor, decide 11 statewide propositions and face hundreds of local tax measures.

On the November ballot alone, there are 254 local tax measures – a 65 percent increase compared to the 2014 gubernatorial election – along with more than 100 bonds that would be repaid with property tax increases. Earlier this year, voters approved 55 of 85 local tax measures.

The influx of local taxes comes during of a time of steady economic growth and fiscal prosperity in California. Since July 2009, the beginning of the economic recovery, California’s general fund budget grew from $89.5 billion to $138.6 billion, an increase of 54.8 percent. During the same period, California built up a $19 billion rainy day reserve.

The benefits of economic expansion have filtered down to local jurisdictions as increased property and home values resulted in more property tax revenue.

According to the California Association of Realtors, the median home price grew from a 2011 low of $286,040 to $502,250 in 2016, a 75 percent increase. During the same period, there were 2.5 million home sales in California.

With Proposition 13 property taxes based upon a property’s acquisition value, the activity in the real estate market resulted in higher property tax revenue that can be used by local government to support police, fire, parks, libraries and other vital local services.

In 2010, voters approved Proposition 26, which strengthened the definition of a tax. Yet local taxes and fees still increased by $47 billion, a 36.9 percent increase, according to data compiled by the California Tax Foundation.

With increased tax revenue and economic growth, why are local governments asking voters to approve more taxes?

A report by the League of California Cities notes that city pension costs will increase more than 50 percent by the fiscal year 2024-25, and will reach “unsustainable levels.” The report states: “Often, revenue growth from the improved economy has been absorbed by pension costs.”

Rising pension costs will require cities to nearly double the percentage of general fund dollars they pay to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Cities are expected to spend approximately 15.8 percent of their general fund budgets on pensions, with a quarter of cities anticipated to spend more than 18 percent by 2024-25.

Looking ahead, local governments will have to prioritize spending and improve efficiency. There are no guarantees that taxpayers will authorize additional taxes.

Of the local taxes on the November ballot, 171 are general taxes, meaning local governments have full discretion on how to spend revenue generated by the tax.

The recent California Supreme Court ruling in Upland v. California Cannabis Coalition left open for interpretation the vote threshold for local taxes. While taxpayers believe the existing thresholds – a two-thirds majority for special taxes or a simple majority for general taxes – are still the law of the land, some local governments are trying to get around the taxpayer protections. For example, the San Francisco city attorney interpreted the ruling to mean that any tax measure placed on the ballot via the local initiative process requires a majority vote regardless of how the revenue would be used.

Two San Francisco supervisors used the initiative process to place Proposition C, a gross receipts tax increase to support homeless housing, on the June ballot. Under normal interpretations of California tax law, this special tax required a two-thirds vote. However, under a questionable interpretation of the Upland decision, the proposition needed only a simple majority vote.

This interpretation of the court ruling creates a dangerous and immediate precedent for California taxpayers. Unless we work together to preserve taxpayer protections, deep-pocketed non-governmental entities will begin proposing higher taxes via the initiative process to skirt the protections we have worked so hard to achieve.

It’s time for taxpayers to work together to reform local taxes, ensure tax dollars are spent wisely, and make sure the next gubernatorial election ballot doesn’t include even more local taxes with even fewer safeguards for the hard-working Californians who pay the tab.

 

RE: HARLEY ROUDA’S GENERAL ELECTION CON GAME Against Dan Rohrabacher

The race against Congressman Rohrabacher is not in a vacuum.  In fact, Democrats against Mimi Walters, Young Kim, Jeff Denham and Diane Harkey are all the same.  In fact nationwide, the Democrats are running candidates that are to the Left of Bernie Sanders but pretend to be to the Right of the Republican Party.  Yet, in race after race, as it is now coming out, the Democrats have put up candidates that are mainstream totalitarians, who do not believe in people, just government.

While these are the positions of Harley Rouda, the candidate against Dana Rohrabacher—they are the same positions of the Democrats against the aforementioned GOP’ers in California and many of the Democrat candidates around the nation.

“Rouda ran as a radical leftist in the June election, embracing the most extreme positions of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party.

 

 

 

  • Creating A New Department of Peacebuilding

    Check. Check. Check and Check. Rouda embraced them all and pledged to immediately join the far left Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives if elected.”

The only way these Democrats win is if the lie loud enough and long enough to drown out the truth.

 

dana logo

FROM: DALE NEUGEBAUER, ROHRABACHER FOR CONGRESS

 

TO:     ALL MEDIA COVERING CA-48

 

RE:    HARLEY ROUDA’S GENERAL ELECTION CON GAME

Rohrabacher for Congress,  10/15/18

 

Harley Rouda is either attempting to fool all the voters now, or he got one over on Democrats in CA-48 in the primary. That much is certain.

Rouda ran as a radical leftist in the June election, embracing the most extreme positions of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party.

Check. Check. Check and Check. Rouda embraced them all and pledged to immediately join the far left Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives if elected.

Rouda won the endorsement of the Progressive Democrats of America, and he signed off on every item on the group’s candidate questionnaire. There wasn’t a single issue on which he disagreed with Maxine Waters and Keith Ellison? Not one? Nope.

Now he’s spending millions of dollars on television ads and slick mail claiming to be a moderate looking for common ground. He’s denying to reporters and to your readers what he said emphatically and unequivocally just a few months ago.

Common ground is a hard sell when you are screaming “Impeachment!” and calling for an ongoing investigation of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. (MSNBC 10/8/18, Katy Tur interview with Harley Rouda)

My only ask here is that you not allow yourselves or your news organizations to become an unwitting accomplice to Harley’s hustle, and that you give your readers the full story so they can make an informed decision to the question:

Which Harley should they believe? The radical liberal that ran in the primary, or the guy pitching himself in ads on TV today?

 

New Report Shows That Reducing Lawsuits Can Help Boost California’s Economy

Why is California so expensive to do business?  Because the courts are set up to accept all lawsuits, good, bad or ugly and let them go years in the system—costing jobs, tax revenues and the formation of news business, since insurance is so expensive against potential lawsuits.

“Among the study’s other key findings: the yearly fiscal losses are estimated at $961 million in state revenues and $804.7 million for local governments. The study goes on to note that tort reform efforts as used in other states, such as legislation to set limits on punitive and noneconomic damages, can result in economic benefits and other positive outcomes.

By enhancing the efficiency, fairness and predictability of the California civil justice system, the benefits can include, for example, an improved climate for economic development in the state that businesses may find desirable for expansion or relocation, according to the study”.
Literally our schools and roads are harmed by the current system due to lost tax revenues.  Isn’t it time to protect ourselves from an out of control system?

lawsuit

New Report Shows That Reducing Lawsuits Can Help Boost California’s Economy

MaryAnn Marino, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse,  10/15/18

 

 

     SACRAMENTO  – A new study on the costs of excessive tort lawsuits in California shows overall economic losses totaling $11.6 billion in annual direct costs, according to Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA).
The CALA report, titled the Economic Benefits of Tort Reform, estimates that unwarranted tort litigation inflicts additional losses of $18.5 billion in output (gross product) each year combined with the loss of 197,776 jobs when dynamic effects are considered.  All major industry groups are negatively impacted, with the greatest losses endured by retail, business services, and health service industries.The study was conducted by The Perryman Group, a Waco, Texas-based economic and financial analysis firm. They calculated the actual and potential economic benefits for California by using cost benchmarks based on tort reform changes made in recent years by the state of Ohio.

“This research shows the need to correct our state’s flawed civil justice system, one that continues to generate exorbitant levels of monetary damages in tort cases,” said Ken Barnes, executive director of CALA, which commissioned the nonpartisan work. “We must ensure that injured persons are made whole, while at the same time removing perverse incentives for the filing of frivolous lawsuits. Billions of dollars are being extracted from our economy, and the end results are lower wages, fewer jobs, and closed businesses.”

Among the study’s other key findings: the yearly fiscal losses are estimated at $961 million in state revenues and $804.7 million for local governments. The study goes on to note that tort reform efforts as used in other states, such as legislation to set limits on punitive and noneconomic damages, can result in economic benefits and other positive outcomes.

By enhancing the efficiency, fairness and predictability of the California civil justice system, the benefits can include, for example, an improved climate for economic development in the state that businesses may find desirable for expansion or relocation, according to the study.

A prime example of where reform is needed in California, according to Barnes, is the new Proposition 65 regulatory laws that recently took effect.  The laws call for additional warnings and signage under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

The laws specifically require store and business owners to list the full chemical name of one or more of the 900+ chemicals published by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the state’s regulatory agency. If OEHHA determines any product contains “a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity,” then manufacturers and distributors, along with retailers, all face potential legal exposure.

Failure to comply with Prop 65 regulations can result in fines of up to a $2,500-a-day, and legal settlements that often run $60,000 to $80,000 for beleaguered business owners – simply for not properly displaying, for example, a $40 warning sign.

“Sadly, these types of technical violations of the law, although minor in nature, often result in major economic impacts for businesses owned by immigrants and persons of color, and the communities they serve,” said Barnes. “These Prop 65 laws truly underscore what the study is showing – that our state needs the relief and benefits of tort law reform.”

To view the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse 2018 Economic Benefits of Tort Reform Report click here.
     Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of concerned citizens and businesses who are fighting against lawsuit abuse in California. CALA serves as a watchdog to challenge the abuse of our civil justice system, and engages the public and the media to deliver the message that lawsuit abuse is alive and well in California – and that all Californians are paying the price.  www.cala.com 

 

California Becoming More Feudal, With Ultra-Rich Lording Over Declining Middle Class

This is California, circa 2018:

“This proud legacy is threatened, as we point out in our study to be released Monday. Today California is creating a feudalized society characterized by the ultra-rich, a diminishing middle class and a large, rising segment of the population that is in or near poverty. Overall our state now suffers one of the highest GINI rates — the ratio between the wealthiest and the poorest — among the states, and the inequality is growing faster than in almost any state outside the Northeast, notes liberal economist James Galbraith. The state’s level of inequality now is higher than that of Mexico, and closer to that of Central American banana republics like Guatemala and Honduras than it is to developed states like Canada and Norway.

California, adjusted for costs, has the overall highest poverty rate in the country, according to the United States Census Bureau. A recent United Way study showed that close to one in three of the state’s families are barely able to pay their bills. Overall, 8 million Californians live in poverty, including 2 million children, a number that according to a recent report, has risen since the Great Recession, despite the boom.”

This is why the middle class is fleeing the State and illegal aliens are invading the State.  The good/bad news is that it can not last forever and sooner rather than later it will collapse.  You have two choices—fight it and win—or leave and win.  Losing is not an option.

california feudalism

California Becoming More Feudal, With Ultra-Rich Lording Over Declining Middle Class

by Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky, New Geography,  10/15/2018

In the imaginations of its boosters, and for many outside the state, California is often seen as the role model for the future. But, sadly, California is also moving backward toward a more feudal society.

Feudalism was about the concentration of wealth and power in a relative handful of people. Historically, California created fortunes for a few, but remained a society with enormous opportunity for outsiders, whether from other states or countries. One of Pat Brown’s biographers, Ethan Rarick, described his leadership as having made the 20th century into “The California Century,” with our state providing “the template of American life.” There was an American Dream across the nation, he noted, but here we had the California Dream.

This proud legacy is threatened, as we point out in our study to be released Monday. Today California is creating a feudalized society characterized by the ultra-rich, a diminishing middle class and a large, rising segment of the population that is in or near poverty. Overall our state now suffers one of the highest GINI rates — the ratio between the wealthiest and the poorest — among the states, and the inequality is growing faster than in almost any state outside the Northeast, notes liberal economist James Galbraith. The state’s level of inequality now is higher than that of Mexico, and closer to that of Central American banana republics like Guatemala and Honduras than it is to developed states like Canada and Norway.

California, adjusted for costs, has the overall highest poverty rate in the country, according to the United States Census Bureau. A recent United Way study showed that close to one in three of the state’s families are barely able to pay their bills. Overall, 8 million Californians live in poverty, including 2 million children, a number that according to a recent report, has risen since the Great Recession, despite the boom.

California’s poverty, and the loss of a middle class, is most profoundly felt in the interior counties. California, according to the American community survey, is home to a remarkable 77 of the country’s 297 most “economically challenged ” cities, utilizing a scoring of poverty and employment data by the National Resource Network. Los Angeles, by far the state’s largest metropolitan area, has among the highest poverty rate of largest U.S. metros.

Even in the Bay Area the current boom is creating what the Japanese philosopher Taichi Sakaiya has called “high-tech feudalism.” In the last decade, according to the Brookings Institution, among the nation’s large cities inequality grew most rapidly in San Francisco; Sacramento ranked fourth.

Urban website CityLab has described the Bay Area as “a region of segregated innovation,” where the rich wax, the middle class wanes and the poor live in increasingly unshakeable poverty. Once among the most egalitarian places in the country, Silicon Valley has become extraordinarily divided between rich and poor, and with a diminished middle class. Some 76,000 millionaires and billionaires call Santa Clara and San Mateo counties home but nearly 30 percent of Silicon Valley’s residents rely on public or private assistance; the real wages of the largely Latino and African-American working class actually have dropped in the midst of the “boom.”

In this dispiriting election year, no prominent California politician, left or right, has addressed seriously the collapse of the state’s dream of upwardly mobility. A problem this complex can’t be addressed by the party bromides — lower taxes by conservatives and more subsidies by progressives. The real problems lie with policies that keep housing prices high, an education system that is a disgrace, particularly for the poor, and a business climate so over-regulated that jobs can be created either in very elite sectors or in lower-paying service professions. Even in the Bay Area in coming decades regional agencies predict only one in five new jobs will be middle income; the rest will be at the lower end.

Of course, this increasingly class-bound society could survive, as long as the economy stays on an even keel, so that the rich can pay the bulk of taxes. But this feudal California is neither economically or socially sustainable over the long term. A recent poll found that only 17 percent of Californians believe the state’s current generation is doing better than previous ones. More than 50 percent thought 18-30-year-old Californians were doing worse. Our research finds that a large percentage of Californians have virtually no discretionary money available, after taxes and reasonable living expenses are taken into consideration.

This situation should be unacceptable no matter what one’s politics. There is no reason why Californians need to endure a crumbling infrastructure, pay outlandish housing and energy prices while paying high taxes, all to maintain an education system that is failing all too often. Rather than posture and scream, it would be better if California’s leaders focused instead on what is happening to our state and address aggressively the prospects for improving things for the next generation.

This piece originally appeared in The Orange County Register.

Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com. He is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book is The Human City: Urbanism for the rest of us. He is also author of The New Class ConflictThe City: A Global History, and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. He lives in Orange County, CA.

Marshall Toplansky is Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at Chapman University. He is co-principal investigator, with Joel Kotkin on “The Orange County Model”, a demographic and econometric research project to identify growth strategies for that region. He is formerly Managing Director of KPMG’s national center of excellence in data and analytics, and is co-founder of Wise Window, a pioneer in sentiment analysis and the use of big data for predictive models. He lives in Orange, California.

 

Maxine Waters snubs Chicago’s Democrat royalty as no-show at a fundraising event that was supposed to feature her

Maxine Waters is to busy finding out where Republicans and Trump Administration figures are eating—so she can sic mobs on them to attend events she has committed to.

“The entire Democrat establishment of Chicago was publicly humiliated last week after selling expensive ($200) tickets to a fundraiser in the grand ballroom of the Hilton Hotel downtown, only to have the “special guest,” Maxine Waters, missing in action, with no notice and no excuse.  Representative Waters has titillated angry Democrats with her incitements to harass their political opponents, and her demands for impeachment of President Trump that began even before he took office.

These outbursts won her the sobriquet “Auntie Maxine.” But based on her failure to show up with no notice, one has to wonder if she isn’t turning into Ross Perot’s legendary “crazy aunt in the basement.”

Glad she is in Congress—the GOP can use her, Pelosi and Hillary as examples of why the Republicans should keep control of Congress.

Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters snubs Chicago’s Democrat royalty as no-show at a fundraising event that was supposed to feature her

By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker,   10/12/18

The entire Democrat establishment of Chicago was publicly humiliated last week after selling expensive ($200) tickets to a fundraiser in the grand ballroom of the Hilton Hotel downtown, only to have the “special guest,” Maxine Waters, missing in action, with no notice and no excuse.  Representative Waters has titillated angry Democrats with her incitements to harass their political opponents, and her demands for impeachment of President Trump that began even before he took office.

These outbursts won her the sobriquet “Auntie Maxine.” But based on her failure to show up with no notice, one has to wonder if she isn’t turning into Ross Perot’s legendary “crazy aunt in the basement.”

The national media seem to have been completely uninterested in the Missing Persons bulletin potential in such a high profile snub. The only media account that I have found is from the Chicago City Wire on October 11.

Chicago Democrat Machine royalty converged tonight at the Chicago Hilton Grand Ballroom for a cocktail reception that was supposed to feature U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) as the “special guest.” (snip)

The event, honoring Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles Freeman and Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, was hosted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President and current mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle.

The 2 hosts, Rahm Emanuel and Toni Preckwinkle, are the two monarchs of local government. But they were not the only powerhouses snubbed:

Other listed attendees on hand to see Waters included Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago), State Reps. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago), Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood), Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), and State Senators Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago), Steve Landek (D-Bridgeview), Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), Laura Murphy (D-Park Ridge) and Michael Hastings (D-Orland Park).

Mike Madigan is considered the most powerful man in Illinois state politics, and has been for many years.

The honorees who were snubbed are also bigshots. Karen Lewis of the teacher’s union is a major force in politics, and outgoing Cook County Assessor Berrios is the local head of the Democratic Party.

They can all go pound sand as far as Auntie Maxine is concerned, apparently.

 

 

Four women in ‘voter fraud ring’ arrested. They targeted seniors on city’s north side

California Democrat Secretary of State, an MIT graduate, tells us there is no voter fraud.  These women in Texas show us how easy it is commit vote fraud.  Just watch for absentee ballots to arrive in the mailbox, steal the ballot and vote.  Just that simple.

“These people allegedly were paid to target older voters on the north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016,” the statement read.

“Ballots by mail are intended to make it easier for Texas seniors to vote,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “My office is committed to ensuring that paid vote harvesters who fraudulently generate mail ballots, stealing votes from seniors, are held accountable for their despicable actions and for the damage they inflict on the electoral process.”

Vote harvesting typically happens in two stages. There’s seeding and then harvesting.

The AG’s office explains that applications for mail-in ballots are first sent to “targeted precincts.” Then, “harvesters attempt either to intercept the ballots outright or to ‘assist’ elderly voters in voting their ballots while ensuring that the votes are cast for the candidates of the harvesters’ choice.”

Seed and harvest.  Of course Padilla WANTS fraud in voting—otherwise why is he refusing to check the records of illegal aliens with drivers licenses and the voting rolls.  California elections are neither ethical or legal—we have no idea who many illegal votes are cast—the Democrats in Sacramento obviously do not want to know.

vote-ballot-election

Four women in ‘voter fraud ring’ arrested. They targeted seniors on city’s north side

By Anna M. Tinsley And Deanna Boyd, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram,  10/12/18

Members of an organized voter fraud ring have been arrested and indicted on charges they targeted and, in one case stole, the votes of elderly voters on the city’s north side.

Four people were arrested — Leticia Sanchez, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, Maria Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on 30 felony counts of voter fraud, according to a statement from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

These people allegedly were paid to target older voters on the north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016,” the statement read.

“Ballots by mail are intended to make it easier for Texas seniors to vote,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “My office is committed to ensuring that paid vote harvesters who fraudulently generate mail ballots, stealing votes from seniors, are held accountable for their despicable actions and for the damage they inflict on the electoral process.”

Vote harvesting typically happens in two stages. There’s seeding and then harvesting.

The AG’s office explains that applications for mail-in ballots are first sent to “targeted precincts.” Then, “harvesters attempt either to intercept the ballots outright or to ‘assist’ elderly voters in voting their ballots while ensuring that the votes are cast for the candidates of the harvesters’ choice.”

In many cases, AG officials say, “the voters do not even know their votes have been stolen.”

Investigators began looking into a Fort Worth voter fraud ring and found that so-called fraudulent applications were created by forging signatures, changing information on the applications and then resubmitting them without the knowledge of voters.

The AG’s statement also said the harvesters “used deception to obtain signatures from voters.”

Fraud and mail-in ballots

Less than a month before the presidential election in November 2016, allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant County began surfacing and were being investigated by the state.

The complaints focused on mail-in ballots, which allowed people to vote from their homes without any ID or verification of identity.

A key concern has been how often people may assist others — or physically help by witnessing — with filling out the applications for mail-in ballots or the ballots themselves.

Supporters have long said mail-in balloting is crucial for overseas residents, the military and senior citizens. Critics maintained that such voting is ripe for abuse and raises concerns about “vote harvesting,” in which people could fill out and return other people’s ballots.

Officials said workers from Paxton’s office were in Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses.

In 2016, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted: “Largest Voter Fraud Investigation in Texas History Underway in Tarrant County. We will crush illegal voting.”

Texas women accused of stealing votes

Here’s a look at the accusations, according to the indictments:

▪ Leticia Sanchez, 57, of Haltom City, faces 17 counts. She is accused of marking a voter’s ballot without his consent in March 2016, and altering and submitting applications in January and February 2016 to request ballots by mail for the Democratic Party for 2016 elections for 13 people who had made no such requests. She is also accused of providing forged signatures for three people on applications. Sanchez remained in the Tarrant County Jail at noon Friday with bail set at $1,500.

▪ Laura Parra, 24, of Fort Worth, faces one count. Parra is accused of providing a forged signature in January 2016 on an application for an early voting ballot. She was released from jail Thursday on a $1,500 bond.

▪ Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, 39, of Haltom City, faces nine counts. Tepichin is accused of providing forged signatures on two applications for early voting ballots in January and February 2016. She is also accused in seven of the counts of soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, or attempting to aid others in altering and submitting false information on early voting ballot applications. The false information was submitted, according to the indictment, to request ballots by mail for the Democratic Party for 2016 elections by people who had made no such request. She was being held in the Tarrant County Jail Friday at noon with bail set at $1,500.

▪ Maria Rosa Solis, 40, of Haltom City , faces two counts. Solis is accused of providing forged signatures in January 2016 on two applications for early voting ballots. She was released from jail on Friday on a $1,500 bond.

Sanchez was indicted on one court of illegal voting, a second-degree felony that could bring, if convicted, a sentence of two to 20 years in prison.

All four face felony charges for providing false information on an application for a mail ballot. Sanchez faces 16 counts, Tepichin faces 10 counts, Solis faces two counts and Parra faces one count.

Paxton’s office will prosecute the cases.

 

How San Fran Democrats made Jim Jones, and then made his memory vanish

Jim Jones helped hundreds commit suicide in 1978.  Before that he took money from the Carter for President campaign to finance the buying of votes in San Fran and the bay Area.  At the same time he was a leading GOTV person for the Democrat Party.  In fact, they needed him and paid him off.

“But collective amnesia over just who aided and abetted Jim Jones is much easier to explain. The same influence used on Jones’s behalf during his life helped after his death to erase the causes and candidates he supported.

“Such greatness I have found in Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple,” Harvey Milk gushed. Yes, that Harvey Milk.

Willie Brown, later speaker of the California assembly and mayor of San Francisco, compared Jim Jones to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Dianne Feinstein joined the rest of the San Francisco board of supervisors in honoring Jones “in recognition of his guidance and inspiration” in furthering “humanitarian programs.”

Jerry Brown, California governor then as now, actually spoke at Peoples Temple. George Moscone, who owed his position as mayor of San Francisco to Jones, appointed Jones to San Francisco’s Housing Authority Commission, where he quickly became chairman.

You read that right—Jerry Brown needed and used Jim Jones.  Have you noticed in the media the stories about the Brown Legacy leave out the role Jim Jones played in the political career of guv Moonbeam?  We should ask the Times, Bee and Chronicle NOT to white wash his history.

Photo courtesy of EivindAndHans, flickr

Photo courtesy of EivindAndHans, flickr

How San Francisco’s Democrats made Jim Jones, and then made his memory vanish

by Daniel Flynn, Washington Examiner,  10/12/18

Do you remember that time the entire Democratic Party in California behaved like cultists, enraptured by Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones?

If you lived through the bizarre suicides of 918 people in Guyana on Nov. 18, 1978, it’s hard not to remember where you were when you heard the news. It would be like forgetting about the Challenger explosion or Sept. 11.

But collective amnesia over just who aided and abetted Jim Jones is much easier to explain. The same influence used on Jones’s behalf during his life helped after his death to erase the causes and candidates he supported.

“Such greatness I have found in Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple,” Harvey Milk gushed. Yes, that Harvey Milk.

Willie Brown, later speaker of the California assembly and mayor of San Francisco, compared Jim Jones to Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Dianne Feinstein joined the rest of the San Francisco board of supervisors in honoring Jones “in recognition of his guidance and inspiration” in furthering “humanitarian programs.”

Jerry Brown, California governor then as now, actually spoke at Peoples Temple. George Moscone, who owed his position as mayor of San Francisco to Jones, appointed Jones to San Francisco’s Housing Authority Commission, where he quickly became chairman.

Left-wing lawyers Charles Garry and Mark Lane depicted Jonestown as a paradise and aggressively defended Jones in the media. Jane Fonda joined other luminaries in expressing that she was “familiar with the work of Reverend Jones and Peoples Temple and have no hesitancy in commending them for their example in setting a high standard of ethics and morality.”

Herb Caen, a Pulitzer Prize winner who long served as one of San Francisco’s most admired newspaper writers, acted as a hype-generator for Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple.

The local enthusiasm for Jim Jones proved contagious for national Democrats. Rosalynn Carter called Jones at her husband’s behest. She held a private meeting with him, put him in touch with sister-in-law Ruth Carter Stapleton, and had the Peoples Temple leader introduce her at a 1976 campaign event.

Jimmy Carter’s running mate, Walter Mondale, met with Jones on the tarmac in San Francisco.

Before Jim Jones’s victims drank the lethal Flavor Aid in South America, the powerful in San Francisco had already drunk the Kool Aid themselves. In fact, the latter facilitated the former.

I interviewed a number of Temple survivors as part of researching my new book, Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco. They reflected that Jones’s associations with the mighty both legitimized him and struck fear into them. Without powerful politicians, in the U.S. and Guyana, running interference for him, Jones could never have been so bold with the murders he committed. And the politicians cozied up to Jones because Jones provided rent-a-rallies for free. He flooded campaign headquarters with “volunteers.” He spoke forcefully for fashionable causes.

He preached the gospel according to Karl Marx. “I call capitalism the devil,” Jones said from the pulpit, “and socialism is God.” The Symbionese Liberation Army, Jones maintained, “moved us a little closer to change.”

Upon a pilgrimage to Cuba, Jones claimed through his newspaper that the island-prison had succeeded in abolishing racism, but he criticized it for not providing enough “freedom of choice” on abortion — a Temple commandment for women who became pregnant. “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,” he told parishioners. “No, my country ’tis of thee, terrible land of inequity, that’s what it is.”

The people of Peoples Temple paid a terrible price for idolizing Jones. But the politicians who elevated him escaped consequences. Willie Brown, who had endorsed Jones as “a close personal friend and a highly trusted brother in the struggle for liberation” in a 1977 letter to Fidel Castro, characterized the Peoples Temple leader as “an obscure but charismatic San Francisco religious cult figure” in his 2008 memoirs. In a don’t-look-at-me passage, he wrote that “the enormity of the tragedy involving his followers makes one wonder how politicians and police failed to notice his sinister hold on people.”

But they failed to notice because Brown, Milk, and other powerful people in San Francisco lionized Jones, treating him as a hero rather than a villain. And after using their power to make Jim Jones, they used it to make his memory disappear.

Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018).

 

Santa Barbara Prefers Economic Suicide to Jobs and Families

A few years ago oil companies agreed to give Santa Barbara one billion dollars (not a typo), just for the right to drill for oil off the coast.  This would have created hundreds of well paying jobs, tens of millions in tax revenues for the schools and roads—the government turned it down.  That is why no tax or bond increases should be passed in the County—they could have had all the money they needed—but said no.

Now another opportunity at good jobs, lower energy costs and tens of millions in tax revenues—but the County is saying NO>  In this case the Federal government is saying NO>  what are the locals doing?  They are passing laws and regulations not to allow the oil to come on the land of Santa Barbara via pipelines, tankers or paper cups!  Why is gas so expensive in California—you can thanks the junk scientists of Santa Barbara County.

“Community leaders gathered at the steps of the Santa Barbara Courthouse at noon on Thursday to rally against a federal drilling and fracking proposal that could include upwards of 122,000 acres of federal land and mineral estate in Santa Barbara County. The project is only now receiving public attention as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to notify the county of the proposed project, according to 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann. “It’s government-to-government courtesy to have some outreach when working in your backyard, and there wasn’t any.” She was notified about the proposal by Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit conservation group.”

Oh, don’t complain about the Federal deficit—you are a part of the cause by refusing the creation of tax paying jobs and Federal tax collections.

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Federal Oil Drilling and Fracking Plan Opposed in Santa Barbara

Proposal Targets Upward of 122,000 Acres Countywide

 

By Blanca Garcia, Independent,  10/12/18

Community leaders gathered at the steps of the Santa Barbara Courthouse at noon on Thursday to rally against a federal drilling and fracking proposal that could include upwards of 122,000 acres of federal land and mineral estate in Santa Barbara County. The project is only now receiving public attention as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to notify the county of the proposed project, according to 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann. “It’s government-to-government courtesy to have some outreach when working in your backyard, and there wasn’t any.” She was notified about the proposal by Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit conservation group.

ForestWatch learned about the proposed project less than two weeks before September 7, the cut off for the 30-day public-comment period regarding the project’s potential environmental impacts. Even with the late notice to community members and stakeholders, the BLM received more than 8,000 comments. Congressmember Salud Carbajal, Supervisor Hartman, and the ForestWatch requested an extension for the comment period; their requests were denied.

Speakers at the event opposed to the project are driven by environmental, economic, health, and safety concerns. One proposed spot is half a mile from the Cate School property and adjacent to a trail students and staff use and maintain. “There are significant health and safety concerns,” said Hallie Greene, the private school’s director of strategic planning.

Carbajal listed climate change-related challenges the country is already wrestling with, including, “sea level rise, drought, rising temperatures, storms, year-round fire season,” he said. Fracking and drilling only further contribute to the problem. “Opening up public lands is not the answer for our future,” said Carbajal. “We need to send a strong message that our natural resources are not for sale.”

Along with the concern expressed for the exploitation of natural resources, Hartmann is wary about the oil industry’s water use. Drilling a single well can require upward of eight million gallons of water, a significant amount considering the region is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history.

In Santa Barbara County the drilling and fracking plan includes the Santa Ynez Mountains, Purisima and Santa Rita hills, Tepusquet Canyon, Cuyama Valley foothills, all of Vandenberg Air Force Base, the San Rafael Wilderness, the Sisquoc River, Lake Cachuma, the land near Cate School, and lands near or adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest and Highway 154. “These public lands are home,” said 1st District Supervisor Das Williams. “They’re emblematic of our community.”

The BLM announced the initiation of the 30-day public scoping process regarding the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement of the hydraulic fracturing project on August 8, 2018, via the Federal Register. The planning spans across eight counties in California, including Santa Barbara County, and cover 400,000 acres of public land and an additional 1.2 million acres of federal mineral estates, or split estates — privately owned lands with mineral estates that are publicly owned and managed by the federal government. Because of what ForestWatch Executive Director Jeffrey Kuyper refers to as “arbitrary deadlines,” recently imposed by the Trump administration, the BLM must produce the final Environmental Impact Report by August 2019. “They’re fast-tracking the proposal,” said Kuyper

The BLM has the discretion to request an extension but it is not clear whether they have, said Kuyper. County officials and ForestWatch are currently awaiting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Draft, which they anticipate will be released early next year. Following the release of the EIS, the public will again be offered an opportunity to submit comments. Until then, Congressmember Carbajal has invited community members to comment through his office. “My staff will ensure they get delivered to the Bureau of Land Management,” he said.

Check out proposed lands here.

 

New fingerprinting requirements are keeping LAUSD parents from volunteering

When I became the volunteer debate coach 20 years ago at royal High School in Simi Valley I had to have a police background check and get fingered printed—I had to pay for the whole process.  While it was inconvenient, I understood the school district wanted to make sure the students were safe.  Now, LAUSD is doing the same and some feel that safe students should not be a priority of government schools.

“Starting this school year, LA Unified is requiring anyone who has any contact with children to be fingerprinted, and while parents welcome the safety measures, they are reporting that the process is complicated and time-consuming.

The LA Unified policy to strengthen students’ protection was formalized last August, but this is the first full school year that it is being required at every campus. Before this year, only those volunteers who had “significant contact” with students were asked to be fingerprinted, and it was up to the school’s administrator to decide if it was needed.

One school waited eight weeks for the first set of 19 parent volunteers to be cleared — “but we have 250 waiting to be processed,” said Anna Born, principal at West Los Angeles’s Overland Elementary. She said the district has been working with her, adding more slots downtown for the fingerprinting appointments and providing a point person to help.

The bigger question to me is why LAUSD waited all these years to make this mandatory?  Obviously LAUSD does not consider student safety a big deal—otherwise it would not use Restorative Justice in the classroom—keeping druggies, perverts and bullies in the classroom with just a warning—don’t do it again.  Fingerprinting adults is good—getting rid of known thugs in the classroom would be even better.

LAUSD school bus

New fingerprinting requirements are keeping LAUSD parents from volunteering

Esmeralda Fabián Romero, Los Angeles School Report,  10/15/18

 

Parents who want to volunteer in their children’s schools have run up against a new roadblock this year: a new LA Unified policy is delaying their ability to help teachers in the classroom, and some programs that rely on volunteers have been put on hold.

Starting this school year, LA Unified is requiring anyone who has any contact with children to be fingerprinted, and while parents welcome the safety measures, they are reporting that the process is complicated and time-consuming.

The LA Unified policy to strengthen students’ protection was formalized last August, but this is the first full school year that it is being required at every campus. Before this year, only those volunteers who had “significant contact” with students were asked to be fingerprinted, and it was up to the school’s administrator to decide if it was needed.

One school waited eight weeks for the first set of 19 parent volunteers to be cleared — “but we have 250 waiting to be processed,” said Anna Born, principal at West Los Angeles’s Overland Elementary. She said the district has been working with her, adding more slots downtown for the fingerprinting appointments and providing a point person to help.

But Born said their gardening program has been put on hold and teachers are missing the help in the classroom.

“Of course the teachers are missing the parents. I’m missing parents. We all are missing the parents,” she said. “I understand the district’s position is difficult because we want all kids to be safe, and that’s the purpose of the fingerprinting. But it’s hard when we as a community have been volunteering and working in the classrooms for years and it hasn’t been a problem.”

She added, “I understand it is going to be difficult for every school in the district.”

As of Friday, the district had processed 1,688 fingerprints. “We are currently working with our schools if there is a parent-run program experiencing challenges with fingerprinting,” an LA Unified spokesperson said. Last year, 16,267 parent volunteers were processed.

To get a volunteer badge, parents have to be fingerprinted because that notifies the district if a person has been arrested or committed a crime. The process requires appointments that must be made by the school’s office, and parents say finding a time slot at the fingerprinting sites has been difficult. Then the parent has to go to one of the seven sites, which for some requires a cross-town trip. Once the parent is cleared, he or she must pick up the badge in person at the school.

There is also a $56 fee charged by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for the fingerprinting. Last month, LA Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner and board President Mónica García sent a letter to the state attorney general and state superintendent asking for help in getting the fee waived.

Beutner said during his first big policy speech last month that the district needs to “make it easier for parents to volunteer without sacrificing student safety.”

Applicants are also required to present a Social Security number and a California driver’s license or identification card, which could be a barrier to parents who are undocumented. In LA Unified, roughly 1 in 4 students is undocumented or has a parent who is undocumented.

Chicago Public Schools implemented a similar policy this school year, after a Chicago Tribune report exposed hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse at schools. But concerns have already been raised that undocumented immigrant parents have to make a choice between their safety and participating in their children’s school.

At South Central’s 20th Street Elementary, in a low-income neighborhood near downtown, Principal Mario Garcielita said parents need more help getting through the process, so he steps in for any parent who wants to volunteer, doing the paperwork for them and driving them to the appointment, then paying the fee himself from the school’s budget.

Alicia Liotta, an Overland parent, said volunteer-run programs have been halted because parents are still waiting for the appointments or their badges and “are not happy with the process.”

“I just think they are making it very difficult for parents to get into the classroom, and that’s what schools need, especially given the school cuts,” Liotta said.

“I’m not saying that we should not have the fingerprinting, but I just think the process should be made easier,” Liotta said. “I think the district is making it harder and harder for parents to be engaged.”

 

Children’s Hospitals Again Cry For Help From Voters, But Are They Really Hurting?

The unions win if Prop. 4 wins.  The construction industry crony capitalists win if Prop. 4 passes.  This $3 billion, including interest passes, private hospitals will get the benefit of public money.

“Despite the feel-good nature of the requests, some health care experts and election analysts question the hospitals’ multiple appeals for taxpayer money — and are warning voters to review this year’s proposal with a critical eye.

“I think it’s a misuse of the initiative process for private groups to sponsor ballot measures that are intended to benefit them exclusively,” said Elizabeth Ralston, a former president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles who analyzes state finance measures for the group. The league recommends a “no” vote on the measure.

Repeatedly asking taxpayers to pay for the construction of state-of-the-art facilities is not standard practice, according to critics who believe it raises questions about financial accountability — and whether the hospitals truly need some of the projects on their wish lists”

Yes say NO to more taxes and payoffs to special interests.  What do you say?

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Children’s Hospitals Again Cry For Help From Voters, But Are They Really Hurting?

By Ana B. Ibarra, California Healthline,  10/12/18

 

Back in 2004, California’s children’s hospitals asked voters to approve a $750 million bond measure to help fund construction and new medical equipment. In 2008, they asked for $980 million more. Now they’re hoping voters will agree on Nov. 6 to cough up an additional $1.5 billion.

The state’s 13 children’s hospitals treat California’s sickest kids — including those with leukemia, sickle cell disease, rare cancers and cystic fibrosis — so approving their fund-raising requests is an easy “yes” for many voters.

Despite the feel-good nature of the requests, some health care experts and election analysts question the hospitals’ multiple appeals for taxpayer money — and are warning voters to review this year’s proposal with a critical eye.

“I think it’s a misuse of the initiative process for private groups to sponsor ballot measures that are intended to benefit them exclusively,” said Elizabeth Ralston, a former president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles who analyzes state finance measures for the group. The league recommends a “no” vote on the measure.

Repeatedly asking taxpayers to pay for the construction of state-of-the-art facilities is not standard practice, according to critics who believe it raises questions about financial accountability — and whether the hospitals truly need some of the projects on their wish lists.

This pattern “could leave children’s hospitals with little incentive to control their costs,” said Ge Bai, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, who added that each hospital should take care of itself.

The initiative, Proposition 4, needs a majority vote to pass. The 2004 and 2008 children’s hospital bond measures passed with 58.3 percent and 55.3 percent of the vote, respectively.

The California Children’s Hospital Association said its members can’t afford to pay for their building and technology needs without help from the state’s taxpayers, who would be on the hook to pay off $1.5 billion plus interest. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that would come to $2.9 billion — or about $80 million a year over the next 35 years.

Private donations often aren’t the answer because donors frequently specify how their money should be used, said Ann-Louise Kuhns, the association’s CEO. The posh playrooms and gardens at some of these hospitals, for example, are completely funded by private donations, she said.

“We do fundraise, we ask donors to make contributions and we issue our own debt,” Kuhns said. “But it’s hard to completely close that gap for what’s needed … without a little bit of assistance.”

The association, which sponsored the initiative, said the bond measure would help pay for construction, remodeling, equipment and seismic retrofitting at the state’s eight private, nonprofit children’s hospitals and the five that are part of the University of California medical system.

The California Health Facilities Financing Authority, would have to approve the hospitals’ use of the bond money. The agency weighs whether projects would expand access and improve patient care but does not determine whether a project is necessary or prudent.

That’s up to the hospitals.

California Children’s Hospitals

The state’s 13 children’s hospitals — eight private nonprofits and five that are part of the University of California medical system — are asking voters to approve a $1.5 billion bond measure on the Nov. 6 ballot to help them pay for construction and equipment. If the measure passes, the private hospitals will receive about three-quarters of the proceeds, or about $135 million each, regardless of their profits or losses.
Source: Hospital data come from the last financial report audited by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development — either 2016 or 2017. Income information for UC hospitals was not available.

The campaign in support of the bond measure — funded by the nonprofit hospitals themselves — has raised nearly $11 million this year, according to the California secretary of state’s office.

In their last financial reports audited by the state, six of the eight private, nonprofit hospitals reported annual profits ranging from $18 million to nearly $176 million. The bond issuance would provide each with $135 million, regardless of its profits or losses.

Almost three-quarters of the bond proceeds would go to the nonprofits because they have the most beds, but nonprofit hospitals already receive certain perks, Bai explained. For instance, they’re exempt from paying property taxes, as well as state and federal income taxes.

Eighteen percent would be allotted to the UC system hospitals. And the proposal would offer 10 percent in competitive grants for approximately 150 hospitals that aren’t classified as pediatric hospitals, but treat children nonetheless.

The hospitals argue they need to expand because they are facing greater demand for services, as general and community hospitals increasingly transfer their patients to them for specialized pediatric care.

Children’s hospitals also rely heavily on Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for low-income people, Kuhns said. Medi-Cal pays hospitals less than private insurance.

Nancy Kane, a professor in the department of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, pointed out that nationwide “many children’s hospitals have the same payer mix, but manage to do this anyway without the government paying for their capital.”

Kuhns said that California hospitals also face deadlines to meet seismic safety mandates. By 2020, they must be ready to withstand a major earthquake, and by 2030, they must be deemed safe enough to continue operating after a quake.

About 28 percent of the beds in the eight nonprofit children’s hospitals do not meet the 2030 seismic standards, so significant investments must be made, she said.

Tim Curley of Valley Children’s Healthcare in Madera said the previous bond measures helped pay for a 60,000-square-foot expansion of operating rooms. If this year’s bond measure is approved, the hospital would consider renovating its laboratories and pharmacy, he said.

At the end of last year, it had just under $28 million in funds remaining from the 2008 bond, a report by the financing authority said.

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is still using its share of the 2008 bond to help with the construction of a nine-story tower that will house most departments and labs.

The new tower, expected to be completed by 2021, will help the children’s hospital operate independently of the rest of the medical center — which serves adults —  and meet the growing demand for space, said Scott Perryman, a senior administrator.

But Ralston, with the League of Women Voters, said Californians should consider whether the money could be better used elsewhere.

“You’re committing state money,” she said, “and that means that’s money not spent on something else” like affordable housing or aging roads.

Should voters nonetheless approve this third bond measure, Bai wonders if and when the requests for taxpayer money will stop. “There are always new things to buy,” she said.