Eber: Appearance and Reality in California Politics

There is a bill, AB 2923 that takes away the right of zoning and permitting for new developments cities and counties—giving them to the government transportation system—is this case, BART.  Once passed, other cities will lose their right of controlling development—and an unelected agency will become the Masters of development—ripe for corruption.  Then you have Dianne Feinstein, the long, long, long time Senator from San Fran deemed Progressive enough by only 7% of the California Democrat Party Executive Committee—and the radical Kevin De Leon was given the endorsement of the statewide Democrats.

“As an indication De Leon was recently endorsed at the State Democratic Convention despite trailing so far in the polls and the past dependable liberal leadership Diane Feinstein has displayed during her long career.

This tells me there is more uncertainty among California voters than meets the eye. Many folks are concerned that the legislature’s distain for business is resulting in good jobs leaving the State.  Some are worried that high taxes, pension liabilities, over regulation, and lack of affordable housing do not bode well for the Golden State’s future.

As an indication of this worry about the future we have Proposition 6 which repeals the gas and vehicle registration increases passed last year. If the demographic base of California voters is so progressive and liberal, why would this measure that is opposed by Gavin Newsom and virtually every other prominent Democrat, have a reasonable chance of being approved?

At the same time the Socialist Newsom could be elected Governor and the Socialist De Leon, to the Left of Socialist Feinstein could win in any upset, we could also repeal a $779 per year tax on gas and vehicle registrations—are California voters bi-polar?  Looks like it.

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Appearance and Reality in California Politics by Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  8/16/18

As they used to say in the trade “something is wrong with this picture”.  In the community of Concord where I live the City Council released a poll they commissioned that stated two thirds of the voters would pass a one half sales tax increase the City Manager was proposing for the upcoming election

These funds were earmarked for improving roads for which a previous sales tax past four years ago was supposed to address.  Never the less, the opinion poll stated that voters would pass this measure.

Missing from this analysis that the local tax would make up for funds to be lost should State  Proposition 6 passes that would repeal  2017’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases and requires public vote on future measures. The poll was also presented more as a wish list than a neutral pro and con analysis of the cities financial difficulties.

Also missing was the fact that in reality, over the half the funds raised by the new tax would end up being spent on expected increases the City would need to make to fund workers pensions in CalPERS.  As is the case in most communities, it is far easier to get voters to allocate funds to fix pot holes than repair a mismanaged pension program

In a surprise move two Concord City Council members voted to kill the sales tax increase thus keeping the proposal off the ballot.  These individuals reasoned there was not enough time to discuss the measure with citizens and was premature to put on the ballot given the present positive local business climate.

Also coming into play is the concept that to pass this measure, voters in effect would be expected to kill the unpopular State tax and approve the local one.  In this case we shall never know but logic is not always in play with California politics.  Nothing is what it seems.

Current polls show Progressive Democrat Gavin Newsom winning the Governorship by a landslide.  His views on gun control, the environment, Sanctuary Cities, Transgender rights, and universal health care for all, are virtually identical to senatorial candidate Kevin De Leon.

If this is the case why the heck is Newsom leading Republican John Cox by approximately 2 to 1 while De Leon trails his 84 year old opponent Diane Feinstein by a similar margin?  It might be said that these two races are much different because one features a Democrat vs. Republican while the Senate contest is between two liberal candidates.

If this is the case why would voters who overwhelmingly supported Kamala Harris not be in favor of Kevin de Leon who holds virtually the same progressive views on most issues?  It should be asked why the electorate would overwhelmingly support a candidate who likely will not be able to serve out her full term at aged 90?

With the strange case of Kevin de Leon and voters there may be a case of buyer’s remorse for some of the legislation he passed while being the Leader Pro Tem of the State Senate.  While the Sanctuary City Laws and Universal Health Care he helped gain approval for had widespread popularity among the Party faithful, less progressive democrats, decline to state, and all GOP members feel differently.

As an indication De Leon was recently endorsed at the State Democratic Convention despite trailing so far in the polls and the past dependable liberal leadership Diane Feinstein has displayed during her long career.

This tells me there is more uncertainty among California voters than meets the eye. Many folks are concerned that the legislature’s distain for business is resulting in good jobs leaving the State.  Some are worried that high taxes, pension liabilities, over regulation, and lack of affordable housing do not bode well for the Golden State’s future.

As an indication of this worry about the future we have Proposition 6 which repeals the gas and vehicle registration increases passed last year. If the demographic base of California voters is so progressive and liberal, why would this measure that is opposed by Gavin Newsom and virtually every other prominent Democrat, have a reasonable chance of being approved?

It makes no sense!

As a corollary to the schizophrenic nature of California voters, we have the underfunded campaign of Republican John Cox who is facing a well known opponent with tons of money and support from most media outlets.  Despite these overwhelming advantages, I would not be surprised to see Cox win at least 45% of the vote this November.

While many Californians’ don’t want a conservative Republican leading the State, they also are not all that enthusiastic about putting an individual in office whose liberal policies might endanger the livelihood of their families by providing a negative business environment.  Cox will also receive so called protest votes from ta large contingent of disenfranchised citizens.

As has been evidenced in my community and around the State, the citizenry is far from being united behind the Progressive Wave that is currently dominating the political scene in California.  Mixed messages that are not always covered in opinion polls, are still an integral part in predicting results at the ballot box.

Things can change in a hurry especially during poor economic times.  Let us not forget the triumphant election of Gray Davis in 1998 which was followed by his recall a year later. In this case Davis’s giveaway policies to the State’s workers were clearly stated in his campaign only to later explode in his face.

Who would have known what fate Davis would meet when he began his second term as California’s governor?

If Gavin Newsom is elected, he should learn a lesson to what befell the last Democratic Governor not named Jerry Brown. It is advised he be careful in trying to implement a Progressive agenda which is within an economic recession of Newsom ending up being  “FOB Sidewalk”

California voters have a short memory when their economic interests are compromised. Appearance and reality are often forces that are difficult to navigate

Glew: GOP Candidates in California “Shadow Banned” on Social Media

Our candidates for the legislature and Statewide office not only have to fight the Democrats, the media, the special interests and the unions—now they are fighting Facebook, Twitter, and the Leftist social media.  Several of our candidates are being “shadow banned” causing fewer people to see their posting and disallowing them to use the Internet as a major communication factor.

“Twitter has shadow banned a number of Republican candidates in CA. This interferes in the election and denies the voters access to vital information. Below are a few examples of Twitter users who have been shadow banned and the degree of shadow banning:

  • Steven Bailey for Attorney General @BaileyforAG:                        QFD
  • Mark Meuser for Secretary of State @MarkMeuser:             QFD
  • Roxanne Beckford Hoge for Assembly District 46 @RoxanneforAD46:     QFD
  • Dr. Alexander Glew for Assembly District 24 @2018Assembly:     Search Ban, Thread Ban, and QFD

To see if YOU have been shadow banned, go here:   https://shadowban.eu.   Use talk radio to let the public know that social media has become a campaign arm of the Democrat Party and the special interests.

Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svg

Shadow Banned on Twitter–A New Badge of Honor

Dr. Alexander Glew, Candidate for Assembly AD 24,  8/16/18

Twitter has shadow banned a number of Republican candidates in CA. This interferes in the election and denies the voters access to vital information. Below are a few examples of Twitter users who have been shadow banned and the degree of shadow banning:

  • Steven Bailey for Attorney General @BaileyforAG:                        QFD
  • Mark Meuser for Secretary of State @MarkMeuser:             QFD
  • Roxanne Beckford Hoge for Assembly District 46 @RoxanneforAD46:     QFD
  • Dr. Alexander Glew for Assembly District 24 @2018Assembly:     Search Ban, Thread Ban, and QFD

A user may not even know if Twitter has shadow banned the handle. Many use a red X, ❌, to show that they are subject to a shadow ban.  If one needs to determine if an account is shadow banned, then one can use the following URL: https://shadowban.eu.  See the Figure 1 which shows the results tt returns giving the three level Twitter banning:

  1. Search Ban
  2. Thread Ban
  3. Quality Filter Discrimination (QFD)

 figure 1

Figure 1 Shadow Banning Status Returned by https://shadowban.eu

 

If the handle is subject to a search ban, then it does not show in a search.  Simply, if one searches on @2018assmebly, then the page does not appear.  What appears depends on the next two level of Twitter banning.  If subject to Thread Ban and QFD, then all that appears are posts where the handle is embedded in somebody else’s comments.

If the handle is subject to a thread ban, then it is stripped from threads, or simply, it does not show in replies.  The user can reply to a post, and to the user it appears that he has done so.  However, nobody else will see his reply.

Lastly, if subject to a quality filter discrimination, his or her posts are designated as low quality.  Many Republicans have been deemed “Low Quality” by Twitter.  Few people see posts from accounts designated as low quality.

The reason that users do not see accounts that Twitter discriminates by designating low quality is simple. If a user has the quality filter enabled, then he or she will not see posts from accounts designated as low quality. Twitter enables it by default. If one turns off the quality filter, then there is a chance of seeing QFD posts, depending on the extent to which they have been “Shadow Banned.” With all three level of shadow banning, this will not work.  In order to turn off the quality filter, follow the instructions below and refer to the attached image “Settings Notifications.”

  • In your Twitter please go to Settings,
  • Select Notifications on the left side of the screen.
  • Next, under Advanced turn of the Quality Filter.

 figure 2

Figure 2 Quality Filter Setting

 

Shadow banning is a problem for which there seems to be no real solution available to the user. Some accounts seem to escape from search ban and thread ban.  However, the designation of low quality posts by Twitter does not seem to often disappear, and hampers the accounts exposure for the long term. Twitter designated the accounts of the Honorable Judge Bailey (Ret), Republican candidate for California Attorney General and for Mark Meuser Esq, Republican candidate for CA Secretary of State to be low quality.  Thus, their posts will never be seen by most users, because their quality filter is enabled as the default setting.

 

Recently Twitter took the action of shadow banning my account. Twitter has taken nearly all measures short of deleting my account. I am the Republican candidate on the ballot for CA State Assembly District 24 in November 2018.  My Twitter handle is @2018Assembly.  I will also provide my website www.glew2018.com and email address: alex.glew@glew2018.com.  Currently, if you search for me or my handle, Twitter hides it in all three aspects: (1) my account, (2) my posts, and (3) my replies, which do not show in search results. My handle may show up in various retweets of others if they include my handle in their posts or replies.  The only way to see my page is to click on my handle in somebody else’s post. I am still not completely sure why I was shadow banned because Twitter has not told me: based on the timing, I assume it was because I direct Tweeted out an announcement for a Republican picnic by http://www.sparcgop.org/ too often that Republican candidates for CA State office Mr. Cox, Hon. Steven  Bailey and Mark Meuser Esq. will be at this weekend, and Twitter doesn’t like the people who follow me, re-post my comments, or about whom I post.

 

Twitters is effectively interfering with many Republican candidates for the November 2018 election on their platform, especially those that are active and have followers.  I hope you do not have to wear this new shadow banned badge of honor .

Coalition to Submit Signatures for Partial Prop 13 Repeal

California voters are going to be told that with a $17 billion reserve fund, a $9 billion surplus, we need to tax ourselves even more.  In 2020 the Left is going to tell us about the poor, the sick, the education needs, the roads and anything else they can think of—including the Giants beating the Dodgers, as a reason to raise tax on those nasty commercial and industrial properties which provide jobs for the rest of us.

“The initiative would create what is known as a “split roll” system by revamping Prop 13, which imposed limits on annual property tax increases regardless of changes in market value. The initiative would require instead that commercial properties be assessed at current market value, but would maintain the caps for residential property.

Proponents say the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would raise up to $11 billion a year, with the proceeds going toward schools and local infrastructure.”

That is $11 billion taken from business that could go to expansion, no jobs, new equipment, better benefits or lower prices, to create more business.  In fact, this measure kills jobs and wage increases for the families of California, while financing the special interests and crony capitalists.  Only TEXAS benefits from this—we lose and Texas gains jobs and businesses.  Why do California unions and Democrat leaders want to help the economy of Texas at the expense of California?

Taxes

Coalition to Submit Signatures for Partial Prop 13 Repeal

Posted by Contributing Editor, MyNewsLA, 8/14/18

 

Backers of a proposed initiative that could dramatically increase taxes on commercial and industrial properties by undoing some protections imposed by 1978’s Proposition 13 plan to submit thousands of petition signatures Tuesday in hopes of getting the issue before voters in 2020.

Members of Schools and Communities First, the statewide coalition backing the initiative, plan to hold news conferences in Los Angeles and other locations around California to submit petition signatures to county registrars. The group needs 585,407 valid signatures to get the proposal on the statewide November 2020 ballot.

The group had initially been trying to get the measure on this November’s ballot, but opted to delay two years.

The initiative would create what is known as a “split roll” system by revamping Prop 13, which imposed limits on annual property tax increases regardless of changes in market value. The initiative would require instead that commercial properties be assessed at current market value, but would maintain the caps for residential property.

Proponents say the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would raise up to $11 billion a year, with the proceeds going toward schools and local infrastructure.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — the namesake of which authored Proposition 13 — has blasted the proposed initiative as a tax grab. Other opponents, such as state Board of Equalization member George Runner, warned that the idea of a “split roll” would do more harm than good. He noted that if property taxes sharply rise on commercial properties, the owners will pass along the costs to tenants, such as small business owners who will pay the price in terms of increased rent, and those costs will eventually be passed on to consumers.

“The fanciful fiction of split roll is that business owners pay more, yet homeowners will somehow remain unaffected,” Runner said recently. “In truth, when prices rise that burden falls squarely on everyday people. If you’re running a laundromat you can’t absorb dramatic increases in rent. You’d be forced to pass those costs on to your customers.”

A recent report by the state Legislative Analyst’s office found that the measure could generate $6 billion to $10 billion a year. But the report also warned there could be side effects such as businesses relocating or opting not to move to the state in the first place, so the initiative’s actual impact is difficult to assess.

Proponents insist, however, that the measure will close a tax loophole and restore funding for schools and services such as parks, libraries, health clinics, trauma centers, affordable housing and homeless services.

“We can no longer afford to keep giving billions of dollars in tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires and big corporations,” according to proponents.

 

Another solar farm is coming to the California desert. The buyers: cities near the coast.

The Democrats know how to create a demand for a product—they outlaw the competition.  So far oil, coal and nuclear power has been outlawed.  Dams, used for hydro-electric power are being demolished.  That means expensive, unreliable wind and solar power—subsidized by the taxpayers—are the main ways to keep California from descending into the Dark Ages.

“Solar has boomed in California in recent years due to falling costs, and the 25-year contract is yet another indication that many local governments and utility companies now consider solar power an affordable, reliable energy source. The contract could also be a preview of the solar industry’s future.

The developer of the two desert projects, San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy, plans to build a large battery facility to store solar power for use when the sun goes down — and while this is one of the first big solar contracts with an energy storage component, it almost certainly won’t be the last.

Why does energy in California cost two to three times as much as in Texas?  We outlaw cheap, clean energy sources, mandating energy sources that need taxpayers to finance the effort.  At the end of the day, energy, rents and water costs more.  Taxes are too high and regulations slow down job creation and make it more expensive to operate in California.  It is almost as if the Texas Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Brown and the Democrat controlled legislature are colluding to kill off the economy of California.  Where is Bob Mueller when you need him?

Solar panels

Another solar farm is coming to the California desert. The buyers: cities near the coast.

Sammy Roth, Palm Springs Desert Sun, 8/13/18

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The year-round sunshine that scorches the open desert east of Palm Springs will help three Southern California cities meet their renewable energy needs starting in 2020 — and some of the electricity will be stored in giant batteries for use after dark.

A developer is preparing to build two solar farms, Desert Harvest and Palen, on several thousand acres of federal land between Joshua Tree National Park and Interstate 10, near an existing solar facility. Some of the electricity will be sold through a unique arrangement that involves Burbank and Vernon in Los Angeles County and Anaheim in Orange County, under the terms of a 25-year contract announced last month.

Solar has boomed in California in recent years due to falling costs, and the 25-year contract is yet another indication that many local governments and utility companies now consider solar power an affordable, reliable energy source. The contract could also be a preview of the solar industry’s future.

The developer of the two desert projects, San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy, plans to build a large battery facility to store solar power for use when the sun goes down — and while this is one of the first big solar contracts with an energy storage component, it almost certainly won’t be the last.

Traditionally, one of solar power’s biggest shortcomings was that it only worked when the sun was shining. In the past, there wasn’t enough solar power on the grid for that to matter. But California now has so much solar power on the grid — solar accounted for more than 10 percent of the state’s electricity last year — that the daytime/nighttime issue is starting to become a problem. Some afternoons, the state’s solar facilities generate more electricity than Californians need, sending energy prices into negative territory. Then in the evening, when people go home and start to use electricity, utilities largely replace the disappearing solar power with polluting natural gas plants.

Energy storage could help solve the problem, especially as the cost of lithium-ion batteries continues to plunge and power companies get better at utilizing the technology.

None of the four big solar farms currently operating in California’s Riverside County have energy storage, but the next few probably will. In addition to EDF’s Desert Harvest and Palen projects, the developer Recurrent Energy has proposed a battery for its Crimson solar farm that would be the world’s largest. The Desert Quartzite solar facility, which is being developed by First Solar on 5,100 acres of public land near the Arizona border, would also have an energy storage component, according to environmental documents published Thursday by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Solar panels soak up the sun at the Blythe and McCoy solar projects in eastern Riverside County on June 22, 2016. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

The energy storage market is still in its infancy, and EDF’s solar-plus-storage contract is uniquely structured, according to Ravi Manghani, director of energy storage at GTM Research, a clean-tech consulting firm. The three cities involved in the transaction — Anaheim, Burbank and Vernon — will pay a stable long-term price for the credits they need to meet the state’s renewable energy mandate. EDF, meanwhile, will actually sell the energy from one of its solar projects on the wholesale market, placing the risk of fluctuating market prices on the developer. EDF will be able to operate the batteries for its own benefit, possibly by charging them during the middle of the day, when energy prices are low or negative, then selling the stored electricity on the wholesale market during the evening, giving utility companies a cheaper, cleaner option than natural gas.

“We don’t actually touch the electricity itself,” said Lincoln Bleveans, assistant general manager for power supply at Burbank Water and Power. “We pay for it, we pay the developer of the project to generate it, and then they sell it for us in the broader power markets in a way that doesn’t create risk for us.”

“We are really just buying the renewable energy credits from the project,” he added.

Manghani referred to the Desert Harvest contract as “version 2.0 of solar plus storage.”

“We’ve already started to see a lot happen (with storage) in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, now California. In a matter of time we’ll see that happen in other states,” Manghani said.

The contract was negotiated by the Southern California Public Power Authority, or SCPPA, a consortium of public power agencies. Anaheim will pay for 36 megawatts of solar power, Burbank will pay for 22 megawatts and Vernon will pay for 12 megawatts. EDF says the batteries will have a capacity of 35 megawatts over a four-hour lifespan.

The developer hasn’t decided what type of battery technology to use, but lithium-ion batteries are a possibility, according to EDF executive Ian Black. He said a lot of companies are trying to work out the best contract structure for solar-plus-storage deals.

“I imagine there are more customers who will see what SCPPA’s doing, and will look at them as a leader in the space and will look at something similar to that,” Black said.

Thirty battery banks, containing nearly 100,000 lithium-ion batteries, line the Imperial Irrigation District’s battery storage facility in El Centro, California on Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

EDF is also under contract to sell as much as 150 megawatts of solar power from the company’s two desert solar projects to Marin Clean Energy, a Bay Area power provider with more than 250,000 customers. The Desert Harvest project will cover 1,200 acres of federal land and have a capacity of 150 megawatts. Palen will cover 3,100 acres of federal land and have a capacity of 500 megawatts. In addition to the Marin and SCPPA deals, EDF will sell 125 megawatts of Palen’s output to Southern California Edison.

Black said EDF will determine this year whether to use Desert Harvest or Palen to fulfill the SCPPA contract. Electricity sales under that contract will begin in late 2020.

While Desert Harvest has been relatively noncontroversial, Palen has caused an uproar from some conservationists and Native American groups, who have argued the facility would disrupt the sand-dune habitat of Mojave fringe-toed lizards, desert kit foxes and other species, and destroy ancient tribal artifacts and sacred sites. Federal officials indicated earlier this year that they are likely to approve Palen despite those concerns.

Anaheim expects to pay $1.8 million annually as part of the EDF contract. Vernon expects to pay $600,000 annually. A figure for Burbank wasn’t immediately available.

Sammy Roth writes about energy and the environment for The Desert Sun. He can be reached at sammy.roth@desertsun.com, (760) 778-4622 and @Sammy_Roth.

 

OC One of Least Affordable Places to Live in U.S.: Annual Community Indicators Report

Congrats to Sacramento, unions and even local government in Orange County—your county is one of the least affordable in the nation.  Of course having a wonderful shoreline and harbors, great weather, Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyland makes it a go to place for many.  Then the tourists see how great the area is and want to get away from the crime of Chicago, the corruption of New York and the political bosses of Boston and Baltimore.

“An “epidemic” of homelessness, low wages and the steadily increasing cost of living and housing makes Orange County one of the least affordable places to live in the nation, according to the annual Orange County Community Indicators Report.

The problems exist in spite of job growth and low unemployment rates, the 2018 report, released in July, said.

The 80-page annual report points out housing costs currently are 356 percent higher than the nation’s average, adding “the sentiment that ‘Orange County is an expensive place to be poor’ is more than just a sound bite; it is a reality.”

Want to make orange County, and California more affordable?  End the government control of the California economy.  Believe in people, not government.

Disneyland

OC One of Least Affordable Places to Live in U.S.: Annual Community Indicators Report

 

By Kassidy Dillon, Voice of OC,  8/13/18

An “epidemic” of homelessness, low wages and the steadily increasing cost of living and housing makes Orange County one of the least affordable places to live in the nation, according to the annual Orange County Community Indicators Report.

The problems exist in spite of job growth and low unemployment rates, the 2018 report, released in July, said.

The 80-page annual report points out housing costs currently are 356 percent higher than the nation’s average, adding “the sentiment that ‘Orange County is an expensive place to be poor’ is more than just a sound bite; it is a reality.”

Median incomes of county residents simply cannot compete with the rising costs, it reported.

“On a national scale, Orange County is one of the costliest [housing] markets in the country,” Orange County United Way Chief Operating Officer Carla Vargas said.

The data breakdowns were compiled by the Children & Families Commission of Orange County, CalOptima, Orange County United Way, Hope through Housing, Orange County Community Foundation and Orange County Department of Education. The County of Orange and Orange County Business Council served as “contributing partners,” according to the report.

The median home sale price for an “existing single-family home,” it states, reached $785,500 in December, a 5.4 percent increase from the $745,000 recorded average in 2016.

“The percentage of first-time homebuyers able to afford an entry-level home fell to 40%, down from 43% in 2015 and 2016,” the report states. “A first-time buyer would need a minimum income of approximately $102,000 to qualify for an entry-level home in Orange County.”

Los Angeles is the only other county, within neighboring regions, to match this rate, according to a regional comparison from the California Association of Realtors.

The Orange County study notes “an entry-level home is defined as a home priced at 85% of median, which was approximately $671,000 in Orange County in December 2017.”

The median single family home sale price in Orange County jumped from $453,524 in 2008 to $785,500 in 2017, compared to the statewide average of $283,060 in 2008 and $549,560 in 2017.

United Way’s COO Vargas said “the cost of housing in this community is one of the most challenging [issues].”

While there has been job growth in certain fields, increases in median income and a decline in unemployment rates, it isn’t enough to combat the escalated cost of living, which the report states is 87 percent higher than the national average.

To afford a one-bedroom apartment at median price would require pay of $28.71 per hour, the “equivalent of just under $60,000 per year” according to the indicators report. It labels the county currently as the most expensive rental market in Southern California.

“Still, 64% of jobs in Orange County do not earn enough to afford median rent on a one-bedroom,” it states.

A minimum wage worker can afford to pay $572 monthly in rent, while the “median market rent” for a one-bedroom currently is $ 1,493, a two bedroom is $1,876 and a three bedroom is $2,626, according to an analysis from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of Fair Market Rent data shown in the report.

This leaves a typical “minimum wage earner” in 2018 having to work 104 hours per week to pay for a one bedroom apartment at median price.

“The declining value of the minimum wage in the face of inflation is also a potential factor, as is declining union membership,” the report adds.

The report cites The Costs to Our Community study drafted by United Way, Jamboree and the University of California, Irvine, which found difficulty securing jobs with high enough wages to afford living in Orange County to be the “number one contributor to homelessness.”

Of the homeless individuals surveyed in the study, 40 percent said this was a factor. The second most frequently reported component was trouble “finding or retaining” affordable housing, followed by “a significant life event” such as domestic violence, divorce, disability and drug and alcohol addiction.

“There is a big challenge and not as much support as there could be for not only affordable, but permanent supportive housing [for the homeless],” Vargas said.

The report adds that many have “opted out” of the labor force since the recession and are not included in current unemployment figures because they are not actively seeking jobs.

“The more workers out there, the less ability workers have to demand higher wages.”

Vargas said progress has been made in the sense that issues of low wages, homelessness and the rising costs of living and housing have gained more recent public attention.

“I think it’s in a better place than it has been as far as attention goes and more people are willing to do something about it beyond the day-to-day people you’d expect to do something,” she said.

Potential solutions cited in the report include “regional coordination” and Orange County United Way’s 2018 community-wide initiative that aims to use the county’s “collective private and public resources” which includes “partnering with local private and public leaders working to identify locations to develop new permanent supportive housing” and “engaging landlords and property managers in the Orange County private market apartment community who can help bring existing units online for permanent supportive housing.”

The report refers to the Orange County Board of Supervisors adoption of a resolution in March to support Orange County’s Declaration on Housing which aimed to “acknowledge a shared commitment to increase Orange County’s housing stock in order to accommodate the needs of workers and families of all income levels by committing to enable the market to build more housing, including options at or below a $500,000 price level.”

OC Public Works Assistant Director Vicki Quiram sent a letter to Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do June 5 with “Follow-up information” regarding the declaration. The document addresses “strategies to encourage residential development” and to “assist with mitigating the housing crisis.”

The supervisors also approved a Housing Funding Strategy plan in June which focuses on the need for supportive housing for the county’s homeless.

“The urgent crisis of homelessness requires swift action to create pathways out of homelessness for the most vulnerable in our community and this HF Strategy outlines key next steps to maximize housing options for those who need it most,” the funding strategy report states.

Vargas said she agrees it is important for the county to work on “regional collaboration” and to “raise more awareness for coordination between “the private sector and the public sector.”

She said the report is “used in different ways for different constituents” and aims to reach a broad range of readers through its multiple “pivot points,” which she said adds to the goal of “collaboration.” The report, she said, is used by “business people who want to understand what the economy is like here” and for “nonprofits to understand the needs in order to solicit funding for organizations that work around these issues,” as well as others.

“We [United Way] definitely believe there are solutions that should and could be implemented in this community and we will continue to shine a light on them,” Vargas said.

 

Did California Authorities Suppress Research on Sexually Violent Predators?

Why is the Confederate State of California protecting sexual predators, allowing them to roam our streets without warning us about the dangers?  Why?  Because a “suppressed” study shows that sexual predators are model citizens after they leave prison—not that is not a joke—except on the people of California.

“An examination of the study, which was originally commissioned to assess the value of clinically treating SVPs, revealed the lower recidivism rates—a result that surprised researchers at the time, but also paralleled the findings of a 2003 study by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) that showed 2.5 percent of rapists were rearrested for rape within three years of release from prison, and just 3.3 percent of child molesters were arrested for another sex crime against a child during that same period.

In contrast, during that same three-year period, the BJS researchers found that 13.4 percent of robbers were rearrested for robbery, 23.4 percent of burglars were rearrested for burglary, and 41.2 percent of drug offenders were rearrested for a drug crime.”

Does anyone believe that a tour or a State prison will stop a sexual predator?  Suppressed?  Maybe because it was unbelievable and dangerous.  Another reason to return to long prison terms for predators—keep our streets safe.

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Did California Authorities Suppress Research on Sexually Violent Predators?

By TCR Staff, 8/3/18

State laws that allow sexually violent predators to be locked up even after they have served their sentences are based on questionable assumptions that they continue to pose a danger to society, according to a study published in the American Criminal Law Review.

The study focused on California where, according to the authors, research indicating that sexually violent predators (SVPs) are less likely to re-commit crimes than other offenders was suppressed because it challenged the constitutional legitimacy of the state’s SVP laws.

The research in the mid-2000s by Dr. Jesus Padilla, a clinical psychologist at Atascadero State Hospital, a California maximum-security institution that houses mentally ill offenders, found that just 6.5 percent of untreated sexually violent predators were arrested for a new sex crime within 4.8 years of release from a locked mental facility.

But the research was halted and its findings hidden in what, in effect, was an attempt to “bury” information that might challenge the constitutional basis for the $147.4 million program operated by the California Department of Mental Health that supervised the involuntary commitment of SVPs, the study claimed.

The authors, Tamara Rice Lave of the University of Miami School of Law; and Franklin Zimring, of the University of California, Berkeley, wrote they learned about the concealed study from a former public defender who is now a Superior Court judge in San Diego, and then contacted Dr. Padilla.

“Dr. Padilla was very responsive and gave us a detailed account of what had happened,” the authors wrote. “We then submitted a FOIA request to the newly created Department of State Hospitals (DSH). But we were told that they were ‘unable to verify any study on recidivism conducted by Jesus Padilla, PhD.’

“We shared DSH’s response with Dr. Padilla, and he sent us a packet of documents pertaining to the study including internal memoranda, emails, and the signatory page granting approval for the study.”

An examination of the study, which was originally commissioned to assess the value of clinically treating SVPs, revealed the lower recidivism rates—a result that surprised researchers at the time, but also paralleled the findings of a 2003 study by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) that showed 2.5 percent of rapists were rearrested for rape within three years of release from prison, and just 3.3 percent of child molesters were arrested for another sex crime against a child during that same period.

In contrast, during that same three-year period, the BJS researchers found that 13.4 percent of robbers were rearrested for robbery, 23.4 percent of burglars were rearrested for burglary, and 41.2 percent of drug offenders were rearrested for a drug crime.

The recidivism statistics call into question the entire basis for the involuntary civil commitment of sexual offenders, wrote the authors.

Currently, 20 states and the federal government have similar SVP laws, and as of 2016, there were 5,355 persons committed as SVPs across the country, with an additional 1,001 detained pending commitment, the study said.

Because the Constitution prevents a person from being punished multiple times for the same crime in criminal cases, the courts have enforced civil commitments in the cases of many SVPs, which allow for a post-sentence detention in an effort to prevent further offenses.

“We have no way of knowing the real reason why California halted the Padilla study and then tried to bury it,” wrote the authors. “Although our FOIA request asked why the study was terminated, we never received an answer.

“Perhaps higher-ups at DMH (the California Department of Mental Health) had not initially paid attention to the study because they did not expect the results….DMH may have realized the study had to be stopped because it threatened the legitimacy of the entire SVP program.

“The only constitutionally acceptable rationale for SVP commitment is that offenders are so dangerous that they must be locked away, and this study showed otherwise. If the SVP law were to be declared unconstitutional, it would threaten the $147.3 million annual budget DMH (and now Department of State Hospitals) receives for the civil commitment program.

“People have done far worse than bury a study for a hundred million dollars.”

The authors noted that the use of SVP laws was given the stamp of approval by a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court Case Kansas v. Hendricks, which accepted claims that SVPs are “extremely dangerous” and that their “likelihood of engaging in repeat acts of predatory sexual violence is high.”

In that case, defendant Leroy Hendricks “admitted that he was an uncured pedophile who could not control his desire to molest children.” But, as the authors argue, Hendricks does not represent the greater SVP population.

“If the Court had asked what the basis was for this conclusion, they would have been sorely disappointed,” the study says. “We searched the legislative minutes for the 1994 Kansas law and found no citations to data on prospective danger.”

The unwillingness to substantiate the claims may be be rooted in fears of inflaming public opinion, argued the authors. A 2010 national opinion poll found that 72 percent of respondents believed that at least half, if not most, of convicted sexual offenders would commit additional sex crimes later on, according to the study.

A separate study from the Washington State Institute (WSI) reported that recidivism rates were as high as 25 percent in Washington. But the authors note a variance in age demographics between WSI and Padilla’s studies, with WSI’s largely consisting of a younger demographic.

Data from the Department of Justice released in 2016 shows that recidivism rates among sex offenders for other non-sexual crimes was around 60 percent. Only 5.6 percent were re-arrested for rape or sexual assault.

“If SVPs are no different than the dangerous but typical recidivist convicted in an ordinary criminal case, then the state has no constitutionally permissible reason to continue locking them away,” the study says.

California’s use of indeterminate civil commitment means that it is unlikely that the state’s SVPs, most of whom are over 50, will ever be released, the study said—based on the presumption that the risk posed by an offender at 40 remains the same when he is 50, 60 “or even 90.”

The rediscovery of the Padilla study should spur California and other states to make it a requirement that SVPs are regularly examined to prove they are likely to recidivate—a system that California used before the onset of SVP laws, the authors wrote.

“The politics of crime and fear of sex offenders mean that someone like Mr. Hendricks, who is now 83 and confined to a wheelchair, will never prevail,” they added.

“The ironic result of allowing state governments to make up their own theories of prospective sexual danger and never to test their hunches goes beyond the wasteful and unjust incarceration of elderly men with histories of sex offenses.

“Detailed and careful empirical study could provide much better evidence of the age and other characteristics of persons who have significant offending risks.”

The authors called on the Bureau of Justice Statistics to resurrect and continue the Padilla study.

“Until such research is conducted, we will never know whether the true legacy of Kansas v. Hendricks includes not just unjust confinement but also an allocation of limited resources with no focus on populations of maximum danger.

“Justice and community safety demand the truth.”

A complete copy of the study can be downloaded here.

 

Sand: Teacher pay fray

Did you know that adding classes and special certificates to the resume of a teacher does not make a better teacher—just one with higher pay?  Did you know that by rewarding merit with higher pay makes a better teacher?  Does this explain why unions demand higher pay for added classes/certificates, but no addition to pay for being a great teacher?

“While the union leader does have minor point that test scores should not be the only method of teacher evaluation, there is no reason that test results can’t be used in conjunction with other assessment methods like classroom observations and parent satisfaction. Seriously, just about anything would be an improvement over how we pay educators now, which is the barbaric step-and-column method whereby teachers, no matter how talented they may be, are paid primarily by their number of years on the job. They can also increase their salaries by taking “professional development” classes, despite conclusive research by Stanford-based economist Eric Hanushek and others showing that these classes have zero effect on student learning, thereby being nothing more than a way to game the system and hose the taxpayer.

A merit pay-based system attracts better quality educators, which we desperately need. Only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates, and the inability to escape the step-and-column straitjacket is part of the problem. A starting teacher in Los Angeles makes about $50,000 a year, while a rookie lawyer can make three times that.”

Unions are about the common denominator of teachers—while the kids are getting mediocre but union approved education.  Put children first—not the unions.

Ashs-teacher-and-students

Teacher pay fray

By Larry Sand, California Policy Center,  8/14/18

In light of strikes past and future, a brief review of teacher compensation is in order.

A recent headline in the Austin American-Statesman caught my eye. It read, “Texas education chief suggests paying higher-performing teachers more.” Those of you whose first reaction is “Well, duh,” are hardly outliers. But in the land of the free, you see, traditional public schools are part of a bureaucratic and union mentality that forbids such commonsense ideas. We were reminded of this on a daily basis when educators took to the streets en masse to collectively grouse about their low pay.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath’s comment was inspired by a Dallas program where educators can make more money based on student achievement, or if they work at high-need schools. The local teachers union was having none of this, however. Louis Malfaro, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, claimed that the Dallas program “and its success is being used as a kind of way to back-door promoting of value-added-evaluation for teachers based on student test scores.”

While the union leader does have minor point that test scores should not be the only method of teacher evaluation, there is no reason that test results can’t be used in conjunction with other assessment methods like classroom observations and parent satisfaction. Seriously, just about anything would be an improvement over how we pay educators now, which is the barbaric step-and-column method whereby teachers, no matter how talented they may be, are paid primarily by their number of years on the job. They can also increase their salaries by taking “professional development” classes, despite conclusive research by Stanford-based economist Eric Hanushek and others showing that these classes have zero effect on student learning, thereby being nothing more than a way to game the system and hose the taxpayer.

A merit pay-based system attracts better quality educators, which we desperately need. Only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates, and the inability to escape the step-and-column straitjacket is part of the problem. A starting teacher in Los Angeles makes about $50,000 a year, while a rookie lawyer can make three times that.

Pay for performance also helps students. The results of a study released last year showed schools that gave performance bonuses raised student test scores from 2011 and 2015.

Paying good teachers more is becoming popular with the general public. A recent Democrats for Education Reform poll revealed that 76 percent of voters, including 90 percent of black and 80 percent of Latino voters, “strongly agree that we need to do more to identify and reward great teachers who make a difference.”

Among educators themselves, the results are mixed. According to a 2017 Education Next survey, 78 percent are opposed to merit pay. But a recent Educators for Excellence (E4E) poll revealed that 74 percent of teachers think that those who receive “multiple outstanding evaluations” should be rewarded for their work. The E4E poll also found that 56 percent want teachers whose students show significant gains in test scores from one year to the next to be paid more.

One great way for teachers to increase their salaries would be to revamp the pension system, which is very unfair to non-lifers and mobile educators, as well as the aforementioned taxpayers. Very simply, pensions, which are typically administered by the state and soak up huge amounts of edu-bucks, are “backloaded,” meaning they invariably become much more generous as teachers accumulate many years of service. Those who leave the profession before reaching the optimum retirement age or move to another state can sacrifice significant pension wealth. Educators seem to be slowly catching on. The E4E poll results show a virtual split between those who want the traditional system to remain in place, and those who want a 401k “defined contribution” system that won’t require them to teach forever or keep them captive in the state they now reside.

Even though the evidence shows that teachers and students improve in the absence of the step-and-column regimen, the unions are hanging tough. They see teachers as interchangeable widgets, all of whom are of equal value and competence. To differentiate between effective and ineffective educators by what their students actually learn would necessitate doing away with their fossilized, industrial-style work rules like tenure and seniority – perennial union mainstays.

In our post-Janus world, maybe if enough teachers demand to be paid their actual worth, the unions will bend on this issue. Maybe.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

 

Broad-Based Coalition Ready to Fight Billion-Dollar Split-Roll Tax Increase Initiative in 2020

The fight is on.  On one side are the unions and Leftists special interest, wanting higher taxes and fewer jobs.  On the other side are those promoting jobs via lower taxes.  If the “split roll property tax” passes, there is only one winner—the State of Texas.

“Property tax revenue continues to skyrocket. In 2017, businesses and residents paid $65 billion in property taxes. Since Prop. 13 passed in 1978, property tax revenue has increased more than 1,000 percent from $6 billion to $65 billion. In just the past 10 years, it has increased nearly 40 percent. Even with Prop. 13, the state has seen property taxes grow at a faster rate than personal income since 1979.

“This is yet another attack on the longstanding taxpayer protections in Prop. 13. Special interests continue to push for new and higher taxes to pay for their out-of-control pensions, which have already directed existing tax revenue away from classrooms and other state priorities,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “While the election may be more than two years away, we have already begun to build the campaign necessary to defeat this measure and preserve the taxpayer protections in Prop. 13.”

To the Left taxes or unemployment can never be high enough.  While the rest of the country is growing jobs, California has lost 50,000 jobs since February.  Raise the property taxes on commercial and industrial property and we have fewer jobs, lower wages and the values of homes go down as workers are unable to afford their rent or mortgage.  Watch this battle for the future of California—Third World or World Class.

jarvis

Broad-Based Coalition Ready to Fight Billion-Dollar Split-Roll Tax Increase Initiative in 2020

Despite a $17 billion reserve, special interests seek an $11 billion property tax increase

 

California Business Roundtable,  8/14/18

(SACRAMENTO)— A broad-based coalition of business and taxpayer advocates today announced they are already organizing to fight against the multi-billion-dollar split-roll property tax increase, which may appear on the November 2020 ballot.

“California currently has a more than $17 billion budget reserve. State and local governments are taking in record revenue. And yet somehow both the state and local governments are facing significant deficits in the near future. Hardworking Californians have seen their tax burden increase, including from the state’s gas tax increase last year. In the past eight years, local governments have enacted more than 800 general and special taxes,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable and part of the coalition formed to fight the measure.

Property tax revenue continues to skyrocket. In 2017, businesses and residents paid $65 billion in property taxes. Since Prop. 13 passed in 1978, property tax revenue has increased more than 1,000 percent from $6 billion to $65 billion. In just the past 10 years, it has increased nearly 40 percent. Even with Prop. 13, the state has seen property taxes grow at a faster rate than personal income since 1979.

“This is yet another attack on the longstanding taxpayer protections in Prop. 13. Special interests continue to push for new and higher taxes to pay for their out-of-control pensions, which have already directed existing tax revenue away from classrooms and other state priorities,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “While the election may be more than two years away, we have already begun to build the campaign necessary to defeat this measure and preserve the taxpayer protections in Prop. 13.”

Even the nonpartisan legislative analyst cautioned that this measure will increase the costs on businesses, which could force some to change hiring practices or move out-of-state.

“California already has the worst climate for business and job creation in the country. A split-roll property tax will just increase pressure on many businesses that are already finding it hard to make ends meet,” concluded Rex Hime, president of the California Business Properties Association.

The broad-based coalition includes the California Chamber of Commerce, California Taxpayers Association, California Business Roundtable, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Business Properties Association and a growing list of regional and local business and taxpayer advocates.

Split-roll proponents today began turning it signatures to qualify the measure for November 2020.

 

BART Housing Bill Goes Down to Wire

BART, like other government transportation systems are broke, begging for money to to build an empire—that losing tax dollars by the hundreds of millions each year.  They came up with a great scam—AB 2923, a bill to give them exclusive right to control development within a half mile of a bus or train stop—if they need more money that will get this expanded to a mile or two.  In others words, a little known body will control all developments—without the need to concern themselves with voters or the community.

“AB 2923 is an opportunity to expand on existing, successful transit-oriented development already surrounding BART stations. You can see mixed-income housing at stations throughout the region, such as Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland and Marea Alta in San Leandro. These communities are affordable and walkable and improve nearby neighborhoods by filling a void, improving safety and making the BART station more of a community asset.

By setting basic guidelines for BART-owned land developed through a public process, this bill delivers crucial opportunities around the Bay Area. BART is the largest public owner of opportunity sites in our region’s core. These properties are not greenfields nor part of existing community fabric; quite the opposite, these are vast surface parking lots, disruptive to the community and to the natural environment. By consolidating parking into structures at the appropriate locations, we can better connect surrounding communities with their BART stations while improving public safety, walkability and transit access.”

This is about money and control, not the needs or values of a community.

Housing apartment

BART Housing Bill Goes Down to Wire

by Michael Lane, Beyond Chron, 8/14/18

 

AB 2923 would enable the creation of thousands of new affordable homes at and around BART stations

As our state lawmakers return from summer recess and get back to unfinished business, there remain a number of critical bills needed to address our housing crisis.

Among them, still to be taken up by the full Senate, is Assembly Bill 2923, a high-profile bill that would deliver a crucial opportunity for working families looking for a home they can afford within a BART trip to their work or school.

AB 2923, authored by Assemblymen David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Tim Grayson, D-Concord, would enable the creation of thousands of new affordable homes at and around BART stations, resulting in fewer cars and less congestion on our region’s roads. East Bay legislators should support this innovative housing and transit solution.

It’s no secret among affordable-housing advocates and experts that transit-oriented development is one of our most critical tools in addressing our region’s housing and transportation needs. When the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California last year authored and released a report titled “On Track Together,” we emphasized the well-established connection between transit-oriented affordable housing and getting cars off the roads: A nearly 40 percent reduction in driving.

This is precisely the type of solution Bay Area voters are looking for: The Bay Area News Group and Silicon Valley Leadership Group recently released polling that showed Bay Area residents overwhelmingly want more housing and improved traffic circulation.

Proposals such as AB 2923 are the answer to our region’s dual challenges. We need solutions that recognize that housing and traffic are not problems with an either/or solution but a both/and approach. By building more affordable homes near BART transit nodes, we can both create more housing and reduce congestion on our roads.

AB 2923 is an opportunity to expand on existing, successful transit-oriented development already surrounding BART stations. You can see mixed-income housing at stations throughout the region, such as Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland and Marea Alta in San Leandro. These communities are affordable and walkable and improve nearby neighborhoods by filling a void, improving safety and making the BART station more of a community asset.

By setting basic guidelines for BART-owned land developed through a public process, this bill delivers crucial opportunities around the Bay Area. BART is the largest public owner of opportunity sites in our region’s core. These properties are not greenfields nor part of existing community fabric; quite the opposite, these are vast surface parking lots, disruptive to the community and to the natural environment. By consolidating parking into structures at the appropriate locations, we can better connect surrounding communities with their BART stations while improving public safety, walkability and transit access.

AB 2923 strikes a sensible balance between local land use and zoning control and delivering the affordable housing that our region needs, right next to our region’s best transit.

The bill would require the elected BART Board of Directors to establish guidelines for transit-oriented development for BART-owned land at or around a BART station. Cities would then update their local zoning to be consistent with these standards while retaining control over community design standards and final permitting authority.

Bay Area voters have demonstrated their strong support for investing in and implementing solutions to our housing-affordability challenge. We must also plan for success — which means ensuring there are places to receive housing that support our equity, sustainability and economic development goals. BART stations are the place that can deliver. We urge the state Legislature to approve AB 2923.

This piece first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News.

Michael Lane is Policy Director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, which represents more than 750 developers, community leaders, businesses, and advocates promoting affordable Bay Area housing. 

Eric Clanton takes 3-year probation deal in Berkeley rally bike lock assault case

In Berkeley the punishment for beating up someone with a bicycle chain, causing great bodily harm, is three year probation—the courts do not want to protect the [public.  If you visit this totalitarian city where bullies and rioters are protected by the courts, you are agreeing to violence against you.

“A former East Bay college philosophy professor who was charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury, has taken a deal resulting in three years of probation for an attack at a Berkeley protest last year, court records reveal.

Eric Clanton had been linked by police to violent assaults with a metal bike lock during a “free speech” rally in Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Before his arrest, Clanton had been “outed” online, on the website 4chan, as someone who used a bike lock to strike a man in the head. The assault was captured in a video clip (below) that drew widespread attention and anger after it was posted on YouTube.”

Violence is the pastime on California campuses—even professors use it as a means of controlling ideas and speech.  Sadly, our courts are in a cabal with the thugs, terrorists and political rioters to assure the First Amendment is not a part of California life.  Feel safe?  You must be in Texas.

Sather Gate, UC Berkeley

Sather Gate, UC Berkeley

Eric Clanton takes 3-year probation deal in Berkeley rally bike lock assault case

By Emilie Raguso, Berkeleyside,  8/8/18

 

A former East Bay college philosophy professor who was charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury, has taken a deal resulting in three years of probation for an attack at a Berkeley protest last year, court records reveal.

Eric Clanton had been linked by police to violent assaults with a metal bike lock during a “free speech” rally in Berkeley on April 15, 2017. Before his arrest, Clanton had been “outed” online, on the website 4chan, as someone who used a bike lock to strike a man in the head. The assault was captured in a video clip (below) that drew widespread attention and anger after it was posted on YouTube.

Wednesday, Clanton was supposed to have had his preliminary hearing, where a judge decides whether there’s enough evidence in a case for it to move ahead to trial. Instead, there was no hearing, and information about Clanton’s plea deal became available online.

According to Alameda County Superior Court records, Clanton entered a “no contest” plea Wednesday to one misdemeanor battery charge. The felony charges against him were dismissed, and an allegation that he had caused serious bodily injury was stricken. A misdemeanor charge that Clanton wore a mask during the commission of the crime also was dropped.

Clanton’s three years of probation begin Wednesday and last through Aug. 8, 2021.

Police said, previously, that Clanton attacked at least three people with a metal U-lock during the April 15 rally in and around Civic Center Park. Court papers later revealed that Clanton struck at least seven people in the head, according to authorities. One person received a head laceration that required five staples to fix. Another was uninjured but had a piece of a helmet broken off. A third was struck across the neck and back, police wrote.

Police wrote that they had found evidence last year during a search of Clanton’s home in San Leandro linking him to “Anti-Fascists and Anarchy political groups,” according to court papers. He was not home when police arrived, so officers moved to a second address in West Oakland where they said they found flags, patches and pamphlets “associating Clanton” with antifa and anarchist groups. Investigators arrested Clanton there.

Detectives said they “recovered U-locks, sunglasses, a glove, jeans, and facial coverings” consistent with items worn during the April 15 assaults, according to court documents. And a camera found at the San Leandro home contained “selfies” taken by Clanton, police said, “with him wearing black clothing and facial coverings” consistent with April 15.

Police said in court documents that Clanton’s phone records placed him near Civic Center Park during the time of the protest assaults, too.

Police wrote that other photos they found showed Clanton “posing next to Anarchy symbols.” An “Iron Front” tattoo on his bicep, photographed while he was being logged into jail, “is associated with Anti-Fascists,” too, according to court papers.

Sometime before his arrest, police said Clanton tried to discuss the April 15 assaults with staff at Diablo Valley College — where he taught in 2015 and 2016 — and “never stated he wanted to proclaim his innocence.” He retained attorney Dan Siegel prior to his arrest and designated Siegel as his representative, police wrote.

When he was taken into custody last year, Clanton “immediately invoked his rights to an attorney” and declined to be interviewed by police, according to court papers.

It wasn’t the first time Clanton had been arrested in connection with East Bay demonstrations, police said last year. On Jan. 9, 2014, the California Highway Patrol in Oakland arrested him at Highway 24 and Interstate 980 during a Black Lives Matter protest on suspicion of committing a “public nuisance,” and “willfully and maliciously” blocking a street, sidewalk or other public place. Both are misdemeanors. Police reported no charges in that case, however, or any prior convictions.

Berkeleyside has attempted to reach Clanton’s attorney and the Alameda County district attorney’s office for comment. This story will be updated if that information becomes available.