California Governor Proposes Digital Dividend (TAXES) Aimed at Big Tech

Democrats can not find enough items to tax.  Now they are looking at taxing tech—and then divide the money.  You know that money will go to buy votes not help anyone.  The good news is that the tax will cause these tech firms to leave California, thus making sure housing prices go down, unemployment goes up and firms leave California.

“He went further by suggesting the companies share some of those profits, joining other politicians calling for higher levies on the wealthy in U.S. society.

“California’s consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data,” Newsom said. “And so I’ve asked my team to develop a proposal for a new data dividend for Californians, because we recognize that data has value and it belongs to you.”

Newsom didn’t describe what form the dividend might take, although he said “we can do something bold in this space.” He also praised a tough California data-privacy law that will kick in next year.”

Share the profits?  That is called taxation and Socialism.  Gavin Newsom is a proud socialist—another reason to flee California—before the government takes everything.

NoInternetTaxBanner

California Governor Proposes Digital Dividend Aimed at Big Tech

By Kartikay Mehrotra, Bloomberg, 2/13/19

 

California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a “digital dividend” that would let consumers share in the billions of dollars made by technology companies in the most populous U.S. state.

In his “State of the State” speech on Tuesday, Newsom said California is proud to be home to tech firms. But he said companies that make billions of dollars “collecting, curating and monetizing our personal data have a duty to protect it. Consumers have a right to know and control how their data is being used.”

He went further by suggesting the companies share some of those profits, joining other politicians calling for higher levies on the wealthy in U.S. society.

“California’s consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data,” Newsom said. “And so I’ve asked my team to develop a proposal for a new data dividend for Californians, because we recognize that data has value and it belongs to you.”

Newsom didn’t describe what form the dividend might take, although he said “we can do something bold in this space.” He also praised a tough California data-privacy law that will kick in next year.

The world’s largest internet advertising companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. are based in California. Google made more than $30 billion last year, while Facebook earned over $22 billion.

Alphabet shares gave up some gains in New York trading, while Facebook turned negative, following Newsom’s comments. Representatives of the companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Privacy advocacy groups lauded the governor’s announcement while calling for full consumer transparency about how their data is being used and how much it’s worth to companies profiting from users’ online browsing patterns.

“While platforms are fast and loose with consumer data, they are not so willing to share what they are doing with the data or how much they are profiting,” said James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, which played a central role in drafting and passing the California Consumer Privacy Act in 2018.

“We fully support the governor’s data dividend proposal and expect to introduce legislation that reflects that in the coming weeks.”

Retaliation Lawsuit Filed Against Assemblywomen Garcia, Quirk-Silva, and CA for Sexual Harassment

Democrats hate sexual abusers—except when it is one of them.  In this case Democrats actually re-elected a sex abuser and another Democrat that retaliated against the victim.

“Former California Assembly staffer Daniel Fierro, who last year accused Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) of groping him at the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento, filed a complaint Friday for damages against Garcia, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk Silva, the State Assembly, the Assembly Rules Committee and the State of California, Los Cerritos News reported late Friday.

I extensively covered the sexual harassment charges in the California Capitol, as well as the attempt by the Assembly to play down the charges against Assemblywoman Garcia, most commonly referred to in the news as “misconduct.”

Fierro’s charges include retaliation, retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, defamation, and violations under the whistleblower act.

Were it not for double standards, Democrats would have no standards.

lawsuit

Retaliation Lawsuit Filed Against Assemblywomen Garcia, Quirk-Silva, and CA for Sexual Harassment

#MeToo charges against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia not going away

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  2/1/19

Former California Assembly staffer Daniel Fierro, who last year accused Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) of groping him at the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento, filed a complaint Friday for damages against Garcia, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk Silva, the State Assembly, the Assembly Rules Committee and the State of California, Los Cerritos News reported late Friday.

I extensively covered the sexual harassment charges in the California Capitol, as well as the attempt by the Assembly to play down the charges against Assemblywoman Garcia, most commonly referred to in the news as “misconduct.”

Fierro’s charges include retaliation, retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, defamation, and violations under the whistleblower act.

Last year, the California State Assembly investigated groping allegations by Daniel Fierro against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). And as quickly as the case was opened looking into the charges, it was prematurely wrapped up, according to the lawsuit.

As I reported last year, there has been a deafening silence from the Legislature’s Women’s Caucus, and legislative leadership. However, they were vocal on the sexual harassment charges against their male colleagues.

As for the allegations agains Garcia, Daniel Fierro “said she (Garcia) cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Fierro, who said Garcia appeared inebriated, said she began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left,” Politico initially reported.

On January 31, 2019, Fierro filed a Complaint against Garcia, Quirk-Silva and the State, and alleged:

“In stark contrast to the leniency that Defendant Garcia received while standing accused of sexual assault, male Senators and Assemblymen have been forced to resign amid sexual harassment allegations in the wake of the #metoo movement. On information and belief, legislative leadership urged these male Senators and Assemblymen to resign before their respective investigations were concluded or reported. Notably, Defendant Garcia publicly and aggressively called for her colleagues who were accused of sexual misconduct to resign.”

“Since Fierro’s complaint has been made public, he has received continued hostility for his complaint.”

“While the second investigation was ongoing, on or around September 24, 2018, it was made public that two female democratic colleagues of Defendant Garcia, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and state Senator Holly Mitchell both donated a substantial amount of money to Defendant Garcia’s re-election campaign. Shockingly, Assemblywoman Friedman is the chair of the Joint Legislative Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response, while state Senator Mitchell is a vice-chair.”

“Assemblywoman Friedman and state Senator Mitchell, champions of victims of harassment, are clearly only champions of victims who are female. State Senator Mitchell was even quoted in Politico stating that ‘from my perspective…[Asm. Garcia] was cleared of all sexual harassment allegations” after the initial investigation and Assemblywoman Friedman (also in Politico) stated that she “certainly hopes the investigation clears her.’”

The Complaint is HERE. California Globe will continue to follow this news.

 

San Diego Can’t Hit State Climate Goals Without Major Transportation Changes

Democrats have made it clear—no planes or cars.  No oil, coal or nuclear power.  Instead Democrats want unreliable alternative energy, expensive and job killing.  Newsom has ended the choo choo to nowhere scam, but wants to use the money that does not exist to build a SLOW train from Merced to Bakersfield, with regard to lack of riders, money or environmental clearance.

“The region simply can’t meet state requirements for thwarting climate change the way things are and the way they’re headed, Hasan Ikrhata, director of the San Diego Association of Governments, said at a Friday board meeting. Even if the region built the trolley lines and bus services leaders have been discussing, it would not change enough. Either state law would have to change, or regional leaders need to reimagine plans on the books now with something meaningfully different than the status quo.”

What standards can’t San Diego reach?  The standards of junk science and political scam artists—socialist wanting to control every aspect of our lives—but putting us into poverty.

los-angeles-freeways

San Diego Can’t Hit State Climate Goals Without Major Transportation Changes

San Diego isn’t a trolley line here, a few improved bus routes there and a new highway lane over there away from meeting the requirements. The status quo, or modest alterations of it, won’t work. The region needs a new vision entirely.

 

Andrew Keatts, Voice of San Diego,  2/14/19

 

San Diego is coming to grips with how much it needs to change as a region if it’s going to make good on promises to slash its carbon footprint.

The region simply can’t meet state requirements for thwarting climate change the way things are and the way they’re headed, Hasan Ikrhata, director of the San Diego Association of Governments, said at a Friday board meeting. Even if the region built the trolley lines and bus services leaders have been discussing, it would not change enough. Either state law would have to change, or regional leaders need to reimagine plans on the books now with something meaningfully different than the status quo.

It was a major acknowledgment that the sprawling, car-centric way the county has grown for decades is incompatible with the state’s vision of itself as a global leader on climate change.

To deal with it, Ikhrata proposed killing his agency’s attempt to renew the county’s long-term blueprint for housing, transportation and emissions so it can start from scratch on a new vision that would let the region comply with state law.

But his proposal carries significant risk. It would delay the agency’s attempt to update its long-term plan – which is required by both the state and the federal government – for as long as two years.

San Diego could lose out on state and federal funding opportunities during that period, and transportation projects that are underway could be delayed.

“We don’t really have many choices right now,” Ikhrata said, to a stunned board. Many there could do little but commend his honesty.

“As much as we don’t want to hear this, because it isn’t good news, you’re not just here to give us good news, but to make the changes that we need,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “That’s what I always want to hear.”

Forcing the issue is a state requirement – owing to landmark environmental law, SB 375, but formally adopted by the state’s Air Resources Board last year – that says the region must cut its carbon emissions per person by 19 percent of 2005 levels by 2035. That will require people to drive fewer miles with internal combustion engines. SANDAG, and the rest of the so-called big four planning agencies in the state, representing Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, together lobbied for a lower requirement.

“As it stands today, we are not going to be able to meet the greenhouse gas emissions target,” Ikhrata said. “We are not going to submit a plan that does not meet the requirement.”

SANDAG is due to adopt a new plan at the end of this year. The agency had already in September admitted it wouldn’t be able to meet that deadline, after scandal led to the ouster of its long-time leader, state reform of its voting structure and eventually the hiring of Ikhrata.

Instead, it decided to delay updating a new plan until early 2020. But since agencies that don’t have new, up-to-date plans aren’t eligible for state or federal funding, that meant risking losing out on some money – which is an especially tough beat for SANDAG, which is already short on funds and needs to overperform in attracting out-of-town money if it wants to complete existing promises – but agency leaders thought the six-month delay was short enough that they could manage it effectively.

Now, Ikhrata said their inability to put together a scenario of new housing development with new transit and highway improvements that can show a 19 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses is severe enough that a six-month delay won’t do anything.

That’s why he will ask the board of directors on Feb. 22 to restart the planning process and delay adopting a new outline for two years, until as late as the beginning of 2022.

He said all the transportation network scenarios the agency has tested – essentially, all the transportation projects and ideas the region has been wrestling with in recent years – simply don’t measure up to the state’s requirements.

In other words, San Diego isn’t a trolley line here, a few improved bus routes there, and a new highway lane over there away from meeting the requirements. The status quo, or modest alterations of it, won’t work. The region needs a new vision entirely.

“Let’s face it. If we continue like this we will never meet it,” Ikhrata said.

He assured the board that his new vision, built from scratch, would far surpass the 19 percent reduction.

At the same time, Faulconer’s increased presence at SANDAG is changing the agency’s relationship with the cities that make up the board, especially the city of San Diego, which can now veto any board decision it dislikes and can force through decisions with the support of just a couple other small cities.

Four years ago, for instance, Colin Parent, from the transportation advocacy group Circulate San Diego, and Nicole Capretz from the Climate Action Canpaign, put together a report showing that, given the transportation network SANDAG had envisioned, it was not possible for San Diego to even approach a goal from its Climate Action Plan of having 50 percent of people who live near transit to get to work without driving. Instead, only 15 percent would commute by bike, walking or transit, the report found.

SANDAG and then-director Gary Gallegos effectively said that the city’s commitment was not its problem, and that the city’s goals were unrealistic in the first place.

Last week, Faulconer – who used to almost never attend SANDAG meetings – made clear that he expected the region’s transportation system to facilitate the city’s transit goals.

“All of our individual climate action plans – we have a very ambitious climate plan in San Diego, and we’re very proud of it,” he said. “We have to dovetail with SANDAG to make this work as a region.”

Faulconer said he didn’t want to see a regional plan that would “just squeak in – we want to be leaders.”

The move to delay adopting the plan, however, could make SANDAG less of a leader statewide. Despite the mayor’s admonition, the agency and the elected officials who run it probably won’t be too upset about it.

That’s because SANDAG always happened to be the first organization of its kind in the state to update its required regional plan each cycle. The agency was first out of the gate in interpreting and implementing new state requirements, such as in 2011 when its plan was sued by environmentalists and then-Attorney General Kamala Harris in a high-profile case that went to the state Supreme Court.

“We are not alone in this,” Ikhrata said. He said the other three major regional planning agencies are having as hard a time as SANDAG.

It’s not a done deal that SANDAG will really delay the whole plan by two years. That’s what Ikhrata said was needed, but multiple board members, including Faulconer and San Diego Council President Georgette Gomez, said that was too long to wait.

“Maybe there’s a subset of projects in the interim, because that’s unacceptable,” Gomez said. “We should be acting now, because we need to push the envelope or some of these cities are going to be underwater. That’s just reality.”

For now, Ikhrata is focused on how to minimize the chance of losing state or federal money while the region goes without a plan.

He said he was meeting with state legislators from San Diego in hopes one of them would carry a bill in Sacramento that would let it adopt a plan after its late-2019 deadline. Failure to do so could jeopardize the region’s share of cap-and-trade or gas tax revenue, he said.

Regional leaders would also need to work with the federal government for an administrative fix that would let it go without a plan outlining air quality issues.

“There is risk for the region,” Ikhrata said. “There is risk of project delays. There is risk of funding losses. We’re going to try to minimize that risk … but the risk is still there.”

 

California’s Redevelopment Agencies: The Bad Idea That Won’t Die

The infamous “redevelopment agencies” were scams used by politicians to steal property from the owners, give it or sell it at very low prices to the well connected, and then the donations flowed to the coffers of the sleazy elected officials.  Finally, due to the need for Jerry Brown to steal billions from these agencies—so HE could use the money to buy donations, the redevelopment agencies died.  Now, they are about to become another source of revenue for the Socialist/Democrats.

“In 2011, the state’s 400 agencies (RDA) were shuttered by then-Governor Jerry Brown following negative press and budgetary shortfalls caused by the recession. But as public coffers refilled again due to California’s economic boom, legislators have explored ways to bring RDAs back. Assemblymember David Chiu, who represents the eastern half of San Francisco, has proposed multiple bills that would allow an alternative version of RDAs. And in his latest proposed budget, newly-elected governor Gavin Newsom called to expand Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFD), which are a close cousin. If these alternative RDAs gain traction, it is important that they avoid the mistakes of previous ones, which were riddled with waste and eminent domain abuse.”

Corruption is the plan.  It will return.  By definition government is incompetent, mismanaged or corrupt—this this case all three.  How many will have government steal their property so donors can make a killing—and politicians get large donations?

California Capitol Money

California’s Redevelopment Agencies: The Bad Idea That Won’t Die

 

Scott Beyer, Forbes,  2/14/19

California’s redevelopment agency idea just won’t go away.

In 2011, the state’s 400 agencies (RDA) were shuttered by then-Governor Jerry Brown following negative press and budgetary shortfalls caused by the recession. But as public coffers refilled again due to California’s economic boom, legislators have explored ways to bring RDAs back. Assemblymember David Chiu, who represents the eastern half of San Francisco, has proposed multiple bills that would allow an alternative version of RDAs. And in his latest proposed budget, newly-elected governor Gavin Newsom called to expand Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFD), which are a close cousin. If these alternative RDAs gain traction, it is important that they avoid the mistakes of previous ones, which were riddled with waste and eminent domain abuse.

California’s RDAs were first founded in 1945 as an effort to combat urban blight. They functioned through tax increment financing: after designating a certain area as blighted, the agency issued debt and gave that money to developers to build within the area. As property-tax revenues rose, the RDAs got that increase – aka the “increment” – to pay off the bonds. The idea behind the program was that, because the redevelopment generated more property tax receipts, it deserved this increment. Meanwhile, the rates designated for core services would remain frozen.

After decades of operation, this funding model proved to be a pipedream, as projects under-performed and these agencies wound up consuming 12% of property taxes statewide.

One of the main failings was with affordable housing, which consumed one-fifth of RDAs’ budgets. Like many affordable housing programs, this money wound up getting spent inefficiently. According to a 2010 Los Angeles Times report, at least 120 municipalities combined to spend $700 million in housing funds without producing a single unit, as many instead spent 6-figure sums on “planning and administration.” In other cases, cities spent over $800,000 per affordable unit. The Times found that “many projects face inexplicable delays…Land ostensibly set aside for affordable housing was in some cases turned over to commercial developers, raising questions about whether cities ever intended to build the housing in the first place.”

The RDAs’ commercial development side had similar problems. Money was often spent for projects that were slow to develop, and made little sense anyway: $17 million to refurbish a municipal golf course in Palm Desert; $2 million on land confiscation for a museum on Catalina Island; $5.4 million to renovate part of a restaurant and bar complex in Sacramento.

But the worst thing about RDAs was the eminent domain. Using the blight designation, which could be determined seemingly at whim, RDAs used “extraordinary powers”, in the words of a state senate committee, to confiscate property. The practice got further legal justification in 2005, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. City of New London that private property could, in fact, be seized and transferred for private uses.

Student Voice: Matt Worked Full-Time To Pay For College. Promise Programs Offer A Better Way.

Thanks to California’s RDAs, there was plenty of money for this. For example, the city of Cypress took property owned by the Cottonwood Christian Center to use for retail development. After a prolonged legal battle, both the church and retail were allowed to coexist on the property. In Lancaster, Costco threatened to leave if the city didn’t condemn the 99 Cents Only store that competed with it in the same shopping center. Following a lawsuit, the city finally gave Costco land in a public park.

And other eminent domain examples abounded. Writing in City Journal, Steven Greenhut noted the irony of how the policy was used for housing, in particular. To build affordable housing, existing homes were often demolished. But because the construction process was so slow, this new housing wasn’t built, creating an even worse shortage than before.

“The RDAs’ diverted funds and failed promises are reason enough to get rid of them,” wrote Greenhut. “But their abuses of property rights are the last straw.”

In 2011, state controller John Chiang concurred after auditing 18 RDAs. He found that the agencies had stripped $40 billion from public education, causing a bailout from the state’s general fund; that every RDA audited was found to have reporting deficiencies; and that some weren’t appropriately tracking their debt.

For these reasons, Governor Brown ended them in 2011 – a decision that proved to be half-hearted. In 2014, he signed legislation to allow EIFDs, the entities that Governor Newsom wishes to increase funding for. The policy allows cities to continue issuing tax increment financing for projects, although it is more focused on core infrastructure than RDAs were.

The policies promoted by Chiu, however, are more like a Redevelopment Agency 2.0 effort. The assemblymember has jumped on California’s affordable housing crisis as a reason to bring them back, designating more of the revenue for affordable units. Early last year, he proposed a bill that died in committee. After Newsom’s election, he’s proposed a new bill – AB 11 – that, according to the fact sheet, “allows cities and counties to create affordable housing, and infrastructure agencies to fund affordable housing and infrastructure projects using tax increment financing.” To avoid the previous problems, the bill would mandate stronger oversight. As Chiu wrote by email:

The past abuses of redevelopment were substantial, but AB 11 is not a replica of the former redevelopment agencies.  Our bill requires that affordable housing funds be spent in a timely manner and has robust reporting requirements.  This new financing tool focuses on building sustainable, affordable communities and has safeguards in place to prevent fraud, abuse, and displacement.

Chiu’s optimism seems unfounded. The governments of California, at city and state level, remain riddled with waste and abuse. If the examples from the RDAs aren’t convincing enough, just consider two recent trends – the state has been unable to solve its pension crisis, despite these costs having driven several cities into bankruptcy; and it was unable to build high-speed rail (which itself spurred the condemnation of 300 homes) because of cost overruns resulting form poor oversight of contractors.

The state’s governing culture has been eroded by special interests, and the RDAs, said Greenhut, were no exception, fielding an army of lawyers, consultants and politically-connected developers. A new crop of RDAs that require additional oversight will – whether Chiu intends this or not – be a sop to the bureaucracy that performs the work.

Perhaps even worse is the notion that RDAs are needed to produce affordable housing in California. As housing analysts – including myself – have mentioned exhaustively by now, high home prices there result from a chronic, government-created housing shortage. Thanks to zoning, environmental review, and other regulations, there’s a limit on how much housing can be built, and significant expenses added to each new unit. The answer is not to redirect scarce property tax revenue into politicized agencies that require vast oversight just to perform their work. It’s to let developers build – including the state’s many affordable housing developers, who already have a variety of state and federal subsidies they can leverage.

No, the new RDAs appear to be a slightly less bad version of the old RDAs. They’re an idea that needs to remain just that.

Scott Beyer owns a media company called The Market Urbanism Report, and is traveling the U.S. to write a book on reviving cities. His Twitter handle is @sbcrosscountry.

 

Walters: Long alliance of Democrats and police union erodes

Democrats have made it clear—they prefer cops that are social workers or taco shell fillers—they definitely do not want cops arresting criminals.  Now, the law enforcement realize they have made common cause with those knifing them in the back—and creating more crime on our streets.

“Crime rates have declined sharply from their very high levels of the 1970s and 1980s and no longer occupy high places in polling of Californians’ fears. Democrats have become utterly dominant at all levels of government and no longer must worry about challenges from a feeble Republican Party. And Democrats are much more likely to embrace criminal justice reforms than lock-‘em-up laws.

Two legislative conflicts underscore how the alliance between cops and Democrats has eroded.

Last year, over the strident objections of law enforcement officials and unions, the Legislature passed and Gov. Brown signed legislation that repeals one of the special protections that cops had enjoyed – sealed records on misconduct cases.

Democrats want the criminals on the streets and the cops in the jails.  The people of California are the victims of this power play.

dan walters

Long alliance of Democrats and police union erodes

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  2/14/19

California’s crime rates soared in the 1970s and became a potent political issue that Republicans used, with great effect, against Democrats by accusing them of being soft on crime.

More or less simultaneously, a Democratic Legislature and governor, Jerry Brown, enacted collective bargaining for California’s public employees.

Those two seemingly discrete events spawned a clever – perhaps cynical – political bargain between the state’s Democratic politicians and newly empowered law enforcement unions.

The politicians would support the unions’ bread-and-butter goals, such as enhanced pensions, binding arbitration on police union contracts, a unique “bill of rights” for police officers accused of misconduct and other laws that shielded them from the accountability imposed on other civil servants.

In return, the unions provided Democratic politicians with campaign endorsements that they employed to stave off the soft-on-crime epithets of Republican rivals.

The mutual backscratching was embedded in the state’s political culture for decades.

No more.

Crime rates have declined sharply from their very high levels of the 1970s and 1980s and no longer occupy high places in polling of Californians’ fears. Democrats have become utterly dominant at all levels of government and no longer must worry about challenges from a feeble Republican Party. And Democrats are much more likely to embrace criminal justice reforms than lock-‘em-up laws.

Two legislative conflicts underscore how the alliance between cops and Democrats has eroded.

Last year, over the strident objections of law enforcement officials and unions, the Legislature passed and Gov. Brown signed legislation that repeals one of the special protections that cops had enjoyed – sealed records on misconduct cases.

Senate Bill 1421, carried by Sen. Nancy Skinner, an Oakland Democrat, requires law enforcement agencies to release disciplinary records of officers involved in unjustified shootings, crimes and other forms of misconduct.

Some unions have sued to block implementation of the new law, some police agencies destroyed their records rather than release them, and some are insisting that the law is not retroactive.

Even Attorney General Xavier Becerra has dragged his feet, refusing requests for misconduct records on the state’s own law enforcement officers.

The second conflict is an even starker example of how the alliance has diminished.

The issue is the almost blanket exemption that police enjoy when they employ deadly force. Current law says that even the most careless shootings of suspects are excusable if the officer had a “reasonable fear” of death or serious physical harm.

Last year, in the wake of two very questionable, and fatal, police shootings in Sacramento, legislation was proposed to change the standard to using deadly force only when “necessary.”

Police bitterly opposed the bill, carried by Shirley Weber, a Democratic assemblywoman from San Diego, and it was sidetracked in the Senate.

Weber is back with a similar measure, Assembly Bill 392, this year and police groups have countered with Senate Bill 230, by Sen. Anna Caballero, a Salinas Democrat, that would require police agencies to provide better training and adopt other policies to minimize the use of deadly force.

Caballero’s measure would also tighten up the “reasonable fear” standard to “reasonably believes the suspect poses an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury…”

The competing factions and legislators conducted extensive negotiations on a compromise, but could not reach agreement, so both bills will continue their journeys through the legislative process.

The breakdown of the Democrat-police political alliance is part of a broader phenomenon. Now that the Democratic Party is completely dominant in California, vis-à-vis Republicans, it is becoming a collection of quasi-parties competing among themselves for internal relevance.

 

Audit Raises Tough Questions for Freshman California Democrat T.J. Cox

Is T.J. Cox, the new Socialist/Democrat member of Congress from the Central Valley like others of his ilk?  A socialist to the public and privately a greedy capitalists?

“CVCSF agreed to invest around $2.7 million in renovations and upgrades, and would also run the day-to-day operations. In return the city would kick in $150,000 annually, slightly more than the city had been paying from its own pocket for annual operations. When CVCSF approached the city and asked for a new installment of $150,000 six months ahead of schedule, government officials asked for an audit, which began in September.

The executive summary portion of the audit released last week noted, “the nonprofit has not established effective procedures for monitoring revenues earned and expenses incurred. CVCSF’s bookkeeper described the nonprofit’s policies and procedures to be informal and communicated verbally.”

Maybe Robert Mueller should be added to the investigation committee—you never know what corruption the Russians are involved in, do we?

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Audit Raises Tough Questions for Freshman California Democrat T.J. Cox

Cox was treasurer of sports nonprofit found to be lacking basic accounting controls

BY: Todd Shepherd, Washington Free Beacon,  2/13/19

A local audit released by the city of Fresno blistered a community sports nonprofit organization whose treasurer is T.J. Cox, a Democrat newly elected in November to represent California’s 21st Congressional District, and someone with an occasionally troubled business past.

The nonprofit in question, the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, agreed in December 2015 to take over the management of Granite Park, a part of the city the Fresno Bee said had an “unfortunate past” but which was oriented around sporting activities like baseball, softball, volleyball, and running.

CVCSF agreed to invest around $2.7 million in renovations and upgrades, and would also run the day-to-day operations. In return the city would kick in $150,000 annually, slightly more than the city had been paying from its own pocket for annual operations. When CVCSF approached the city and asked for a new installment of $150,000 six months ahead of schedule, government officials asked for an audit, which began in September.

The executive summary portion of the audit released last week noted, “the nonprofit has not established effective procedures for monitoring revenues earned and expenses incurred. CVCSF’s bookkeeper described the nonprofit’s policies and procedures to be informal and communicated verbally.”

Later, the audit said CVCSF had no method for contracting with third-party vendors, could not provide supporting documentation for numerous expense and income items, and essentially could not balance its checkbook.

Finally, the report highlighted questionable loans involving the nonprofit’s corporate officers:

In February 2017, two Corporate Officers of CVCSF withdrew $145,140.76 and $75,000 respectively as “loan repayments.” However, these withdrawals were made before there was evidence that the individuals had provided any such loans to the non-profit. When Internal Audit questioned CVCSF about the transactions, the bookkeeper explained that the two Corporate Officers of CVCSF had used their own funds to cover some expenses for Granite Park in 2016, but those expenses were not accounted for in the general ledger.

It is unclear whether or not Cox is the “bookkeeper” in the audit, but he is listed as the treasurer on the nonprofit’s 2015 IRS form 990, the last and only year that the document is available. The 990 filings can sometimes lag by as much as a year and a half so although exigent circumstances may exist, it is reasonable that the CVCSF’s 2016 990 should also now be available.

The 990 also indicates Cox worked an average of two hours a week for the organization, but did not receive income.

The company’s president is Terrance Frazier, who released the following statement to local media:

“CVCSF is proud of our work to revitalize Granite Park into a state-of-the-art sports facility that has long been forgotten. We took over the park and turned it into a first-class public recreational facility that is used by thousands of residents each month—and at a fraction of the cost to taxpayers to operate and maintain.”

Cox did not return a request for comment from the Washington Free Beacon, and does not appear to have provided comment to local media outlets.

A on-air report by KSEE24’s Connie Tran in Fresno reached out to all members of the city council, and all declined to comment except for Councilman Miguel Arias, who provided a curious explanation for the findings.

“There’s no evidence of mismanagement of money,” Arias told KSEE24. “What’s clear is that nonprofit organizations use a different accounting system and accounting mechanism than we do in city government.”

The audit makes no mention of difficulty between accounting systems and practices. It does say, however, that invoices were not kept, loans sometimes appeared to have been negotiated verbally, and contracts were confusing or nonexistent.

Out of 143 expenses tested, the auditor noted that CVCSF almost never had the correct paperwork, and “[i]n almost every instance, the support provided included a screen print from CVCSF’s bank of a payment rather than invoices from vendors.

Even without the request for the annual $150,000 installment from the city ahead of schedule, other problems with the relationship had become evident.

“City officials are mulling whether to break the agreement with Frazier and Cox because of unfilled promises—the restaurant, sports courts, and jogging trails have not been built,” the Bee reported five months ago. “The December 2015 agreement called for the restaurant and other amenities to be built within two years.”

Although a freshman representative, Cox, 55, is not a newcomer to politics. He previously ran for Congress in 2006 but lost to then-incumbent Republican George Radanovich in California’s 19th Congressional District.

Last November, Cox withdrew from the race for the 10th Congressional District, and moved his candidacy to the 21st, where he eventually defeated incumbent Republican representative David Valadao three weeks after election day by a narrow 500 vote margin in what would be the last House race decided from the 2018 vote.

During the campaign, problems from Cox’s own business past resurfaced, giving him “other potential vulnerabilities in addition to his address,” the Mercury News reported. “In 2015, his own lawyers sued him for not paying his legal bills, and a judge ordered him to pay more than $49,000, including interest, according to Fresno County court records. He later paid the bill.”

 

Assemblyman Proposes Bill Exempting Military Retiree Pay from State Income Tax

We will see how much the Democrats really approve of the military and those that serve to protect us overseas.  Thanks to the high taxes and cost of living, military retirees are not staying or coming to California.  Like others, Texas, Florida and Tennessee are the places to live on a limited income—not California.

“An Orange County lawmaker announced Wednesday that he has re-introduced a bill to exempt military retirement pay from state income tax collection, citing a study by the San Diego Military Advisory Council showing that California’s military retiree population is decreasing.

“We want Pendleton Marines, San Diego sailors, Fort Irwin soldiers and Edwards airmen to stay in California when they retire from their service,” said Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-San Juan Capistrano. “Our tax laws steer veterans to other states. California is missing out on highly skilled leaders that can have second careers in our communities.”

My guess is that the Democrats will say NO—just another way to get rid of productive Californians.

tax relief ahead

Assemblyman Proposes Bill Exempting Military Retiree Pay from State Income Tax

Posted by Debbie L. Sklar, Times of San Diego,  2/13/19

An Orange County lawmaker announced Wednesday that he has re-introduced a bill to exempt military retirement pay from state income tax collection, citing a study by the San Diego Military Advisory Council showing that California’s military retiree population is decreasing.

“We want Pendleton Marines, San Diego sailors, Fort Irwin soldiers and Edwards airmen to stay in California when they retire from their service,” said Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-San Juan Capistrano. “Our tax laws steer veterans to other states. California is missing out on highly skilled leaders that can have second careers in our communities.”

Brough, a U.S. Army veteran who once served as the White House Liaison at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., proposed a functionally identical bill a year ago. He expects AB 427, whose co-authors include San Diego area Assembly members Randy Voepel, R-Santee, and Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, as well as Sens. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, and Brian Jones, R-San Diego, to get its first committee hearing next month.

Brough said a 2018 study by the SDMAC found that he state’s military retiree population decreased 16.8 percent from 2000 to 2016 while the country’s military retiree population increased by 16.5 percent over that same time span.

According to the SDMAC, 31 states currently offer full state income tax exemptions for military retiree pay.

“California is one of the few states that fully tax this pay and we are losing veterans because of it,” Brough said. “Every year more and more states are exempting military retirement pay because they realize the benefits of retaining highly skilled professionals in their workforce.”

Governor Newsom Says He Will Pull National Guard Troops From Mexican Border and Redeploy Some ‘North to Go After Illegal Cannabis Farms’

This is strange.  Guv Newsom apparently has no idea what he is doing.  He is going to pull the California National Guard from the border—which stops among others, drug dealers from coming into this State with their poison.  Instead, he will allow them into the State and then have shoot outs in the forests and streets of California between the Guard and the druggies.  Makes all of us potential victims of his policies.

““We’re not backing down,” Newsom said. “Just yesterday, I gave the National Guard a new mission – one that will refocus on the real threats facing our state.” The governor then revealed that he planned to divvy up troops in thirds — one third to help Cal Fire prepare for the coming fire season, another third to help stop drugs and guns from coming through border checkpoints, and the remaining third would focus on black market marijuana.

So he is going to fight for the legal marijuana dealers to protect them from competition from illegal dealers—at the same time allow lots of drugs into this State.  Newsom loves crime, obviously.

military

Governor Newsom Says He Will Pull National Guard Troops From Mexican Border and Redeploy Some ‘North to Go After Illegal Cannabis Farms’

Andrew Goff, Lost Coast Post,  2/12/19

During Tuesday’s State of the State address in Sacramento, new California Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed that he plans to order National Guard troops off the U.S./Mexico border in defiance of the Trump administration.

“The answer to the White House is, no more division and no more xenophobia,” Newsom said during his speech drawing cheers from lawmakers. The move is similar to to those taken in New Mexico even as the president continues to declare the need for increased border security.

Instead of border patrols, Newsom said he plans to redeploy the troops in ways more beneficial to California.

“We’re not backing down,” Newsom said. “Just yesterday, I gave the National Guard a new mission – one that will refocus on the real threats facing our state.” The governor then revealed that he planned to divvy up troops in thirds — one third to help Cal Fire prepare for the coming fire season, another third to help stop drugs and guns from coming through border checkpoints, and the remaining third would focus on black market marijuana.

“Another third will boost the National Guard’s statewide counter-drug task force by redeploying up north to go after illegal cannabis farms, many of which are run by cartels, are devastating our pristine forests, and are increasingly becoming fire hazards themselves,” Newsom said. You can watch the section of the State of the State in question in the clip above.

Is that manpower headed our direction? The Outpost has reached out to the Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal’s office for comment and received the following reply:

The Sheriff’s office has had a long standing relationship with the state and California National Guard. They have been providing manpower and resources to the County for several years to combat illegal trespass grows on public and private lands. This is a carryover of the “CAMP” program. We have worked alongside our state and federal partners on combatting cartels and drug trafficking organizations (DTO) growing marijuana on public lands. Due to this partnership we have seen a significant decrease in these DTO growing operations in our County.

Humboldt County only identified a handful of trespass grows last year. We believe this is due to our enforcement efforts and the significant increase in Marijuana Supply and the rock bottom price marijuana is getting on the black market. At least in Humboldt County we are not seeing DTO grows like we used to. However, we welcome the Governor’s proposal to send more public safety resources to the rural areas of California to combat the few DTO’s that still exist.

I believe resources need to be shifted to combatting the trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine into our State from Mexico. Right now California is being flooded with meth and heroin from Mexico. County law enforcement has seen a steady increase in the amount of hard drugs that are in the streets of Humboldt County. The top priority for our County Drug Task Force is to stop the drug trafficking of these killer drugs into our county. The DTF is working with DEA and state DOJ to try put the maximum amount of resources into stopping the flow of drugs into our county. We would welcome more assistance from the State and the Department of Justice to help combat the growing meth and heroin problem in our rural county.

 

San Jose City Council talks Measure T, closing the ‘digital divide’

Millions are going to be spent in San Jose, the headquarters of Silicon Valley, on Internet connections.  No, this is not a joke.  The town with million dollars being declared cheap.  A city that loves high taxes and government control of life, they want to use tax dollars to provide the middle class with Internet connections, which are everywhere, without the tax dollars.

“The initiative, which is the largest in the country, aims to connect 50,000 households with broadband access and educate them on using technology over the next 10 years. It will help close the so-called digital divide – the separation between those who have access to internet at home and those who don’t.

The council unanimously approved negotiating an agreement with California Emerging Technology Fund. The nonprofit, which aims to close the digital divide in the state, will partner with the city to manage the revenue and create the inclusion fund. The money for the program will come from fees that telecommunications companies pay to place cells that deliver 5G networks in San Jose.

You would think that in Silicon Valley the tech industry would provide the equipment and the training needed.  By the way, why are the government schools providing the training as part of the education process?  Simple answer—this is not about helping the community, it is about paying off scam artists, vendors, union folks and donors—the people are an after thought.

internet

San Jose City Council talks Measure T, closing the ‘digital divide’

 

by Grace Hase, San Jose Spotlight,  2/12/19

 

As San Jose prepares to roll out millions of dollars in Measure T funding this summer, city leaders on Tuesday discussed their plans to divvy up the money across the city.

Measure T – a $650 million bond that was passed in November by nearly 70 percent of voters – is earmarked for public safety, infrastructure and disaster preparedness. The money, which will be spent in phases, is expected to fund the repair of hundreds of miles of roads, fix and seismically retrofit bridges and build two new fire stations, among other projects.

But while the bond funds a vast array of projects in all corners of the city, some residents and activists are calling on city administrators to dedicate $50 million to protect Coyote Valley.

A bulk of Measure T funds plan to go to repairing 388 miles of roads throughout the city. The rest has been divvied up among other infrastructure, public safety and disaster preparedness projects across the city. Graph courtesy of the City of San José.

“We want to allocate the full 50 and we need to do it early,” Kiyomi Honda Yamamoto, a representative from the eco-nonprofit Greenbelt Alliance, told San José Spotlight.

Coyote Valley is a 7,000-acre section of mostly undeveloped land in South San Jose. While the city once envisioned it as a potential industrial hub, the focus has now turned to preservation. Last month, the City Council held a study session where they heard from experts about the value of the land in a variety of aspects. Environmentalists stressed the benefits of the green infrastructure when it comes to flooding.

“Once you develop, the water sheaths off, it’s not absorbed anymore to the natural landscape,” said Andrea Mackenzie, the general manager at the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. “It flows at faster velocity and in more volume downtown.”

Despite the call from the public and countless advocacy letters, City Attorney Rick Doyle said Tuesday was not the day for action on Coyote Valley. Doyle said the discussion was solely an update on the status of Measure T’s fund implementation, not to vote on allocating any money specifically.

With a push from Councilmember Sergio Jimenez, however, the council and city staff agreed to go into a closed session by Feb. 26 to discuss negotiations for acquiring North Coyote Valley for environmental protection.

Councilors also discussed a memo from Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmembers Raul Peralez, Lan Diep, Dev Davis and Johnny Khamis related to developing zero net carbon buildings for new projects. The memo, which was submitted late last week, asked staff to research best practices when it comes to sustainable design and construction.

An update on the final Measure T work plan is set to come back to the council in June for their approval before the bond’s issuance in July.

Closing San Jose’s ‘Digital Divide’

Earlier on Tuesday, Liccardo announced the launch of the city’s Digital Inclusion Fund.

The initiative, which is the largest in the country, aims to connect 50,000 households with broadband access and educate them on using technology over the next 10 years. It will help close the so-called digital divide – the separation between those who have access to internet at home and those who don’t.

The council unanimously approved negotiating an agreement with California Emerging Technology Fund. The nonprofit, which aims to close the digital divide in the state, will partner with the city to manage the revenue and create the inclusion fund. The money for the program will come from fees that telecommunications companies pay to place cells that deliver 5G networks in San Jose.

The initiative drew praise from most of the council Tuesday, with East Side Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco calling it a way to “level (the) playing field.”

The digital divide disproportionally affects the city’s low-income population. More than 60 percent of low-income families don’t have broadband access at home, according to city documents. The issue also greatly affects the city’s Latino population, with more than 35 percent of households lacking access.

Councilwoman Pam Foley, one of a few former school board members on the council, was supportive of the inclusivity of the program which largely focuses on students who lack adequate internet to complete their homework.

But when Foley mentioned the program’s inclusivity, she wasn’t talking about students. She was talking about  another group stuck on the wrong side of the digital divide: Seniors.

“I know we’re going to be able to reach the students in a much easier way,” she said. “I worry about the seniors because they are nervous and intimidated.”

The city plans to start doling out the first $1 million of grants from the program this fall. They also plan to create an advisory board with local stakeholders to oversee the estimated $24 million in grants the program will draw.

California Democrats Introduce ‘Immunity from Arrest’ Law–for CRIMINALS

Democrats have figured a way to make crime pay.  Commit a crime, turn yourself in and then SB 233 will stop the cops from arresting you.  No, this is a REAL bill.

“California Democrats have introduced legislation to shield a person from the consequences of crimes they commit in California, even violent ones, as long as the person reports the crimes to authorities. The language of the proposed statute appears to immunize a person from ANY crime so long as they are reporting a violation of a sex crime law. And it appears the Legislative Counsel went along with this, based on the bill language.

California Senate Bill 233, authored by Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and coauthored by State Assembly members Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), says: “A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime …”

Report your cri9me and save yourself the cost of an attorney, a jail sentence and prison time—Sacramento Democrats want you back on the streets as quickly as possible.”

This is a serious bill by the Democrats—this is what happens when you have a super/super majority of Democrats in the legislature and a Governor too rich to care about the safety of the people of California.  After all, he takes after Aunt Nancy (Pelosi).

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

California Democrats Introduce ‘Immunity from Arrest’ Law

Creating an environment in which human trafficking can thrive

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  2/12/19

California Democrats have introduced legislation to shield a person from the consequences of crimes they commit in California, even violent ones, as long as the person reports the crimes to authorities. The language of the proposed statute appears to immunize a person from ANY crime so long as they are reporting a violation of a sex crime law. And it appears the Legislative Counsel went along with this, based on the bill language.

California Senate Bill 233, authored by Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and coauthored by State Assembly members Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), says: “A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime …”

Sen. Wiener and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that this legislation is all about protecting victimized sex workers. However, the truth in what is being said and reported about this bill is one thing and what the actual text of the legislation states is an entirely different matter. The actual language of SB 233 would enact something completely different:

“California Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will introduce legislation Monday that would prevent law enforcement from arresting and charging sex workers who come forward as victims or witnesses to serious crimes. The proposed law, SB233, would also prevent officers from using condoms as probable cause to arrest a sex worker in any situation.

“‘Right now, we know there are sex workers who are victimized or witness crimes and are scared to come forward because they think they are going to be arrested,’ Wiener said. ‘We want to create every incentive for sex workers to feel safe in reporting crimes.’”

However, here is the actual language, in the full text of Senate Bill 233:

“An act to add Section 647.3 to the Penal Code, relating to crime.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

“SB 233, as introduced, Wiener. Immunity from arrest. (emphasis mine)

“Existing law criminalizes various aspects of sex work, including soliciting anyone to engage in, or engaging in, lewd or dissolute conduct in a public place, loitering in a public place with the intent to commit prostitution, or maintaining a public nuisance. Existing law, the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (CUCSA), also criminalizes various offenses relating to the possession, transportation, and sale of specified controlled substances.

“This bill would prohibit the arrest of a person for a misdemeanor violation of the CUCSA or other specified sex work crimes, if that person is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime. The bill would also state that possession of condoms in any amount, in and of itself, is not probable cause for arrest for specified sex work crimes.

Digest Key – Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 647.3 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

647.3. (a) A person who is reporting a crime of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary, or another violent crime shall not be arrested for a crime, including a misdemeanor violation of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code) or a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 or of Section 372 or 653.22.

“(b) Possession of condoms in any amount shall not, in and of itself, be probable cause for arrest for a crime, including a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647 or of Section 372 or 653.22.”

“As is typical, the legal drafting skills in the legislature are so poor that the end product rarely resembles what they claim they are trying to accomplish, leaving the courts to clean up the mess they made,” said Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee, President of the Association of Assistant District Attorneys. “A mess that could easily have been avoided by consulting with attorneys who actually work in the criminal justice system.”

The question is ‘is this what they really wanted?’ Was this  drafting error, or is this another attempt to undermine the criminal justice system as is the case with Assembly Bill 109, and Propositions 47 and 57 – all claimed wholesome criminal justice reforms and intent, but the results were completely different.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new Executive Order withdrawing California National Guard troops from the border with Mexico, at his press conference Monday, a member of the press asked the Governor if this order ignores documented human sex trafficking at border. Newsom pivoted from the question, referred to an article in the New Yorker, and moved on.

The intent of the bill may be to allow for sex crime whistleblowers however, the bill language is entirely different. And as one commenter on the Chronicle article addressed, “There’s a fine line between protecting victimized sex workers and creating an environment in which human trafficking can thrive.”