Senate Dems drop oil tax. For now

The cost of a gallon of gas in California is about a buck more than the national average.  We import 56% of our energy from outside the State and nation.  Our energy costs are DOUBLE that of the national average.  California is too expansive, in part because of tax policy.  For years the Democrats have wanted to tax oil drilled in California.  For the time being, they have dropped the proposal.  But for, what I believe is a good reason.

Guv Newsom seems to be successful in closing down the oil industry in Kern County.  His allies are suing to end the oil industry on the Central Coast.  Why add a tax on oil, if there is NO oil industry in the State?  That is what is really beyond this.  The goal of the tax was to kill the industry—they just found another way to do it.

Senate Dems drop oil tax. For now

Dan Morain, WhatMatters,  1/15/20  

The San Ardo Oil Field lies along Highway 101 north of Paso Robles.

California senators scrapped a hearing on a new oil tax Tuesday, while Kern County supervisors held a hearing that drew hundreds of people and homed in on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new restrictions on oil extraction.

  • Californians consume 43 million gallons of gasoline a day, 30% of which comes from California.

Berry Petroleum, which drills in Kern County, lost 40% of its market value following Newsom’s announcement.

Megan Silva of Berry testified:

  • “Our policy makers must understand that Kern County and companies like Berry are all that stand between California and almost complete dependence on foreign oil, oil that is shipped across fragile ocean ecosystems, from countries that repress women, murder and imprison people from LGBTQ communities, and have nowhere near the best practices California has for environmental protection.”

Meanwhile: Sen. Bob Wieckowski, Fremont Democrat, had pushed a 10% tax on the value of oil extracted in California, generating $900 million annually. His bill was to have faced an initial vote today.

Sen. Mike McGuire, Healdsburg Democrat and chair of the Senate committee that oversees taxation, acknowledged the vote was canceled, and said he intends to hold an oversight hearing this spring that “will help us determine next steps.”

An oil severance tax vote would have forced Democrats to choose between environmentalists and oil interests including organized labor, which represents oil workers.

One such Democrat, Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Sanger, narrowly unseated a Republican in 2018. Hurtado was at the Kern County supervisors’ hearing, as were Newsom administration officials.

SD City Council Moves Forward on $900 Million Affordable Housing Bond Measure

I hate when government lies.  Like most government, San Diego is refusing to tell the public that while “affordable housing” might get $900 million—it also means Wall Street will get another $90 million.  The real winners are the rich and greedy, the losers are the families of California.

“The San Diego City Council moved a step closer Tuesday to placing a $900 million bond measure on the November ballot in hopes of dramatically expanding affordable housing in the city to address homelessness.

On a 6-3 vote, the council approved a resolution clearing the way for its staff to craft a ballot measure and bring it back to the council for another vote in June. If approved again by two-thirds of the council, the bond issue would go before voters in November. It would also require approval from two-thirds of voters.

Will San Diego hack politicians tells the voters that in Los Angeles, that city built affordable housing at a cost of upwards of $700,000 per condo unit?  Or that in San Fran the average pay for a bureaucrat working on the homeless issue is $120,000 per year?  What is the plan to spend the money>  In the fine print you will note that only those that pay bribes to unions will be allowed to work—that means 15-20% payoff to the unions—money meant  to fix the problem, instead is used to payoff the political special interests.

City Council Moves Forward on $900 Million Affordable Housing Bond Measure

Times of San Diego,  1/14/20 

The San Diego City Council moved a step closer Tuesday to placing a $900 million bond measure on the November ballot in hopes of dramatically expanding affordable housing in the city to address homelessness.

On a 6-3 vote, the council approved a resolution clearing the way for its staff to craft a ballot measure and bring it back to the council for another vote in June. If approved again by two-thirds of the council, the bond issue would go before voters in November. It would also require approval from two-thirds of voters.

Council members Mark Kersey, Chris Cate and Scott Sherman cast the dissenting votes.

The idea of the housing bond was originally proposed two years ago by the San Diego Housing Federation. The bond is expected to fund roughly 7,500 affordable housing units. The bonds would be paid through an increase in property taxes of 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or roughly $18 a year for the average homeowner.

“I live in a nice house in Bay Ho and this will cost me less than $18 a year, that’s $9 every six months,” Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell said. “I would pay $100 every six months. That’s affordable.”

She added, “We have to make up for past sins, and we’re going to do it.”

Opponents of the proposal said the cost is too high and the government is too incompetent to effectively handle the crisis.

“Government caused this crisis,” Kersey said. “The government made it too expensive to build.”

Kersey, Cate and Sherman contended that raising the cost of living for their constituents was fundamentally unfair.

“We have low-income housing and we have luxury housing,” Sherman said. “And nothing in-between. We should be incentivizing developers. We have the solution, it’s so easy to do.”

In last year’s homeless point-in-time count, San Diego identified 5,082 people as homeless, including 572 chronically homeless. Of those, more than half were unsheltered, a significantly higher proportion than the national average of 24.6%, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Of those numbers, 13% are veterans, 2% are families and 11% are youths.

Kathleen Ferrier, policy director for Council District 3, said San Diego “lags behind our peer cities” in providing affordable housing.

The 2018 Housing Inventory Annual Report found San Diego had 0.38 housing units per person, compared to Denver and Seattle, which came in at 0.45 and 0.48 units per person, respectively.

Stephen Russell, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, said the city needs the bond measure to address the humanitarian crisis, but also because it was losing money by simply not acting. He said the $900 million in municipal bonds would be paid with property tax revenue and a significant portion could be matched with state funds — a fact which has not escaped other California cities.

“San Francisco and Los Angeles are literally eating our lunch,” he said before imploring the council to vote to pass the resolution. “Give citizens of San Diego a chance. … We need solutions to respond to the scale of the problem.”

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno said passing a bond with local funding would be the first step in securing state funding and housing credits, and without the bond, San Diego is at a significant disadvantage compared to other large Californian cities.

Russell and Ferrier showed initial polling numbers indicating 71% of likely voters would support the ballot measure. The same poll showed that 83% of respondents considered homelessness to be a top issue in their community.

Jim Vargas, president/CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, praised the council for advancing the issue.

“The lack of affordable housing is the largest crisis facing our city and is a key barrier to ending homelessness,” Vargas said.

Mayor Faulconer Vows to Help Homeless by Intervening on Mental Illness, Drugs

The Socialist Mayor San Diego, Kevin Faulconer—he wants government to own utilities and energy companies (same as Bernie Sanders)—does understand the root cause of the homeless problem—that 90% of those on the streets are either mentally ill, or are alcoholics and/or drug addicts. 

“He vowed to work in the coming years for a state ballot initiative to give authorities the power to intervene to help homeless people suffering from mental illness or drug abuse.

“California has lost its way on homelessness and it is up to us to find the moral compass,” he said. “It’s time to get real about these problems.”

But he expressed pride in the steps that San Diego has taken, many in the wake of the hepatitis A outbreak in 2017. He said 100,000 people had been vaccinated, bridge shelters and safe nighttime parking lots had been set up, and funding had increased significantly.

And he announced plans to send county mental illness teams into all homeless bridge shelters this year.

He is on the right track.  Maybe if he stopped using tax dollars to promote and finance a take over of utilities, he would have more money to solve the homeless problem.  He needs to decide if he is a socialist or a humanitarian.

Mayor Faulconer Vows to Help Homeless by Intervening on Mental Illness, Drugs

Posted by Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego,  1/15/20 

In his final “State of the City” address, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said San Diego and other California cities must focus on treating mental illness and substance abuse to end homelessness.

 “If you think someone living in a canyon and on drugs is going to turn around without intervention, you’re kidding yourself,” said Faulconer.

He said he was proud of San Diego’s efforts to provide new affordable housing, but argued that lack of housing isn’t the fundamental problem.

He vowed to work in the coming years for a state ballot initiative to give authorities the power to intervene to help homeless people suffering from mental illness or drug abuse.

“California has lost its way on homelessness and it is up to us to find the moral compass,” he said. “It’s time to get real about these problems.”

But he expressed pride in the steps that San Diego has taken, many in the wake of the hepatitis A outbreak in 2017. He said 100,000 people had been vaccinated, bridge shelters and safe nighttime parking lots had been set up, and funding had increased significantly.

And he announced plans to send county mental illness teams into all homeless bridge shelters this year.

The annual event at the historic Balboa Theatre at Horton Plaza is a “who’s who” of San Diego County government, with state assembly members, county supervisors, mayors from around the county and Mexican elected officials among those in the audience.

Looking to the future, Faulconer urged approval of the ballot measure to raise the hotel tax to expand the convention center, fund homeless services and repair roads.

He said he would use his final year in office to encourage widespread housing development, urging a “yes in my backyard” welcoming of new development

“We are conditioned to believe communities that get more homes lose – and communities that stay the same win,” he said, arguing that is a “false debate” that has led to the housing crisis.

He said San Diego has already approved “some of the most aggressive housing reforms in California,” while also fixing half of the city’s streets since 2014.

Reflecting on his time as mayor, he said the office is full of surprises, citing the hepatitis A outbreak as an example.

“The minute you think you have anything under control, you don’t,” he said.

And he said the hardest time for him was meeting the family of San Diego Police officer J.D. DeGuzman, who was gunned down in 2016 by a gang member.

Faulconer ended the evening with an upbeat appeal to San Diego to persevere in solving its problems.

“We are going to finish strong, and there is no better time to start than right now,” he said.

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS/

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 1/16/20      

“A people that wants to remain ignorant and free … wants what never has been and never will be” ~ Thomas Jefferson.”

BIG STORY:

How valuable is an endorsement from the California Republican Party?  The best way to tell is to describe someone they endorsed last Saturday.  Joe Collins was endorsed.  Who?  Less than a year ago he was a candidate for President against Pres. Trump on the GREEN PARTY ticket.  Then, he changed, and filed to run against President Trump on the Republican Party ticket.  Finally he decided to run for Congress against Maxine Waters in the 45CD.  How is that going?

Look at a recent article about him and his race.  Please know I am NOT supporting his GOP opponent, Omar Navarro.  If you wish to contact Omar, at least until January 29, you can reach him at the San Francisco Jail.  Here is the article. 

Maxine Waters’ blue seat isn’t up for grabs — but the lucrative chance to challenge her is

Oh, voting NO for the endorsement were Gandrud and Steele—abstaining was Brulte (as good as a NO vote). 

CONTENT

  1.  Who pushes Scott Weiners legislation?
  2. State of the Union Watch Parties, February 4
  3. Nevada County GOP opens HQ
  4. Correction to story about CRP Board members donating to Pres. Trump
  1.   Sb 50 is back—it is does build affordable housing .  In fact, it increases the value of land, making it more difficult to build low cost housing.  So, the question is, who is pulling the strings to push the new version of SB 50, to gentrify the State—as Scott Weiner and the Ruling Elite have gentrified San Fran, pushing all but the rich out of the city (the homeless can stay, they add attitude to the city).  See a great YouTube abut Winer here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=38&v=2M1QGv4vxKA&feature=emb_title
  2. ALERT:  TO ALL ACTIVISTS

On February 4, President Donald Trump will be giving his State of the Union address.  This is a great opportunity to get Trump supporters and those that are interesting in hearing his vision for the United States to gather.  It is an opportunity to grow the ranks for volunteers and to show the colors.  I would hope that every county and city has a STATE OF THE UNION WATCH PARTY.  Let me know the details, so I can help you publicize—send to me at stephenfrank@sbcglobal.net  This gives us three weeks to organize, prepare—and then cheer.

  •  Congrats to the Nevada County Republican Central Committee.  On Tuesday they opened their 2020 election headquarters.  This is the type of leadership needed in California.  Simi Valley, without the help of any official Party organization opened a “Republican Values Center” in November.  Has your town or county opened a GOP HQ?  If so, let me know.

Also, on January 15 the great activists in San Fran are going to the Citizens Swearing In ceremony, to register voters.  Again, volunteers take the lead. 

  •  Recently I listed 3 CRP Board member that donated to Pres. Trump.  Steel and Dhillon gave $5600 each, While Berholtz gave $1,000  I overlooked Greg Gandrud, he gave $200 to the Trump re-election.  As best as can be told, of the 22 Board members, these four are the only ones donating to Trump.

 (Periodically the California Political News and Views will publish tidbits of political news, to keep you in the loop of what the pooh bahs know.  The phrase “tom/tom’s” comes from my mentor, Lorelei Kinder who never passed a rumor, just called to tell me what she heard on the “Tom/Tom’s”.  This column is named in her honor.)

Reno Water Supply Polluted Due to Homeless Living on River Bed

Is your drinking water affected by the fecal matter of the homeless?  Reno, on the Truckee River, has found out this is happening.  Why hasn’t L.A. or other cities on rivers or water supply surrounded by the homeless checked the quality of the water?  If Reno is affected, you can bet the radicals running our cities have never looked.

“You need to watch the presentation by Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s Andy Gebhardt (Director of Operations and Water Quality). Mr. Gebhardt’s talk and photos on the damage that is being done to our Truckee River water supply by illegal riverfront camps, must be seen to be believed. His decision to go public with this situation is the bravest and most valuable action that QOL-Reno has ever witnessed by a public official.

Mr. Gebhardt has made several public presentations, including Reno’s City Council and the Community Homeless Advisory Board (CHAB). He is still scheduling presentations for local groups. The link below is a video of his presentation.

Another reason to get the homeless into shelters and into a clean environment.  The ill health of the homeless is becoming a disease factor for the rest of society.

Photo courtesy of Aquafornia, flickr

QOL-Reno Selects TMWA Director as Reno’s Citizen of the Decade!

QOL Reno Hot Sheet,  1/13/20 


You need to watch the presentation by Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s Andy Gebhardt (Director of Operations and Water Quality). Mr. Gebhardt’s talk and photos on the damage that is being done to our Truckee River water supply by illegal riverfront camps, must be seen to be believed. His decision to go public with this situation is the bravest and most valuable action that QOL-Reno has ever witnessed by a public official.

Mr. Gebhardt has made several public presentations, including Reno’s City Council and the Community Homeless Advisory Board (CHAB). He is still scheduling presentations for local groups. The link below is a video of his presentation.

TMWA’s Andy Gephardt presentation to City Council at Dec. 4, 2019 council meeting (video) Start at 3:09.00

EVERY Washoe resident who drinks Truckee water owes Mr. Gebhardt a letter, email, or phone call of gratitude for his courageous willingness to speak up on our community’s behalf.

UPDATE: HOMELESS CAMPS REMOVAL
City’s Half-way Approach to Removing Illegal Vagrant Camps:
NOT Working –
Wasting Millions –
Making the Situation Worse

The GOOD News: RPD, City maintenance workers, and a private contractor being paid $250k for a few months work are progressively removing dozens of illegal vagrant squatters from the Truckee River, parks, and other public areas.

The BAD News: Most of those individuals being removed are NOT being ticketed or arrested; they are simply relocating their camps nearby and/or coming right back to the same parks.

Additionally, neither the city nor the private contractor are removing the mountains of garbage and drug needles that remain stuck IN the river itself. Why do neither RPD nor the Contractor consider removing THIS trash as part of their job?

MORE Bad News: The RPD Lieutenant newly in charge of the Homeless Division spoke to local media about the cleanup efforts. He spoke proudly of the fact that because the law-breaking vagrants had left the park peaceably, RPD had made NO arrests (“legal action”) while spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, removing the massive illegal encampments at the riverfront parks. Could there be a BETTER way to motivate the illegal campers to CONTINUE their criminal behavior? Using RPD’s reasoning, if they caught a vagrant in a stolen car or robbing a bank, and the perpetrator politely turned over the keys or money to RPD, they would not arrest them.

WHY this approach will worsen the situation:
• This endless (and avoidable) version of homeless “Whack-a-Mole” being played by RPD and the City’s contractor, will become too expensive for the City to continue the movement. The City is paying the contractor a premium rate for his workers, PLUS the cost of City maintenance workers and RPD officers being pulled from other duties and/or working overtime. Reno’s current city debt is $1.2 BILLION!
• The illegal squatters will become MORE brazen because there are no real consequences for their criminal behavior. Word of Reno’s soft law enforcement will encourage MORE vagrants-by-choice to set up their law-breaking and polluting activities on the Truckee, and in our parks, businesses, and community.

Union rules, not wildfires, the root of high firefighter overtime costs

Government knows how to lie.  In Los Angeles the March ballot is going to include a property tax hike, because the firefighters need the money to fight “wildfires”.  In fact, it is a scam to payoff the unions, that run the Fire Department—and the City.

“Unfortunately, many news reports have badly misdiagnosed the cause, misleading voters just months ahead of a proposed tax hike. Recent articles in USA TODAY and the Los Angeles Times, for example, suggested the recent spike in wildfires is to blame, but provided no evidence to support that claim.

In fact, soaring overtime pay for Los Angeles firefighters has been an issue for at least the past 25 years, and for reasons entirely unrelated to wildfires.

Ironically, it was the Times itself which in 1996 first explained that most overtime pay is not used for fires or other emergencies, but instead goes towards replacing those out on paid leave. Even back then, Los Angeles had a national reputation for its “paycheck generosity,” with overtime pay already at a level that was “more than twice as much as anywhere else.”

Last year the people of L.A. said No to a school bond meant to payoff those unions.  Now the same voters can say No to another union scam.

Union rules, not wildfires, the root of high firefighter overtime costs

By Robert Fellner, Daily News,  1/14/20   |

Overtime pay for Los Angeles firefighters is making national headlines again, thanks to eye-popping payouts that allowed several employees to pocket over $400,000 apiece last year.

Unfortunately, many news reports have badly misdiagnosed the cause, misleading voters just months ahead of a proposed tax hike. Recent articles in USA TODAY and the Los Angeles Times, for example, suggested the recent spike in wildfires is to blame, but provided no evidence to support that claim.

In fact, soaring overtime pay for Los Angeles firefighters has been an issue for at least the past 25 years, and for reasons entirely unrelated to wildfires.

Ironically, it was the Times itself which in 1996 first explained that most overtime pay is not used for fires or other emergencies, but instead goes towards replacing those out on paid leave. Even back then, Los Angeles had a national reputation for its “paycheck generosity,” with overtime pay already at a level that was “more than twice as much as anywhere else.”

That disparity would only grow with the passage of time.

A 2009 Los Angeles Daily News investigation, for example, found that Los Angeles firefighters averaged up to six times more overtime pay than their counterparts in Houston and Chicago. That report explained how excessive overtime pay is driven almost entirely by scheduling and minimum staffing requirements, which requires sending “a huge ladder truck and engine” to respond to calls that needed only a small ambulance, according to former city fire captain William Ernst.

Captured by the politically powerful fire unions, elected officials have for years avoided any reform that would save tax dollars and thus threaten the department’s ability to continue doling out such generous paychecks. Accordingly, overtime pay for the city and county fire department ballooned to an all-time high of nearly $415 million last year — double the “budget-wrenching” $128 million that so alarmed the Times in 1996, after adjusting for inflation.

The explosive growth in overtime pay is also evident on an individual level. Los Angeles firefighter Donn Thompson, for example, has collected $2.1 million in cash earnings over the past five years thanks to consistently receiving overtime pay worth more than triple his base salary.

Remarkably, Thompson has been able to more than double his base salary with overtime for the past 25 years, making it clear that the system responsible for such extravagance is unrelated to recent wildfires.

Instead, this excess is the result of union-written labor contracts specifically designed to inflate overtime pay. In addition to the minimum staffing and scheduling policies referenced earlier, this also includes things like a contract provision that requires treating paid vacation days as hours worked for the purpose of calculating overtime pay. This means that an employee who takes paid vacation for his regular shift, but then elects to work another shift within that same pay period will be paid entirely at the overtime rate.

This is one reason why it is wrong to defend exorbitant overtime pay on the grounds that it is cheaper than hiring additional staff: It assumes that every dollar of overtime pay reflects additional hours worked, but that is simply not true.

Unwilling to muster the political courage needed to address these inefficiencies, officials have instead chosen to burden taxpayers with keeping the system afloat.

Right on schedule, the Board of Supervisors last month authorized the county fire department to place a tax increase before voters on the March ballot.

Despite a nearly 30 percent increase in property tax revenue over the past five years, as population remained flat, the department now claims that it needs even more money.

By citing a surge in emergency medical calls as justification for the tax hike, however, county fire Chief Daryl Osby inadvertently highlighted another area ripe for reform.

Namely, why are residents paying for high-priced firefighters to respond to medical calls in the first place?

This point is especially pronounced given that medical calls account for more than 80 percent of the department’s total call volume. Fire incidents, by comparison, account for only 3 percent, with false alarms and miscellaneous making up the rest.

Defenders of the status quo point to the fact that some amount of overtime pay is necessary and expected within firefighting — as if this banal observation prevents the entire system from scrutiny, no matter how wasteful or excessive.

But there are plenty of reasons to question whether existing tax dollars are being used responsibly, particularly after a recent audit revealed that the department with a $1.3 billion annual budget relied on a timecard system that was unable to perform its core function of detecting impermissible amounts of overtime. And what is with the electronic scheduling system that hides the identity of the supervisor responsible for awarding overtime assignments?

It’s hard to tell which is more troubling: that the agency adopted systems seemingly designed to facilitate misuse in the first place, or that it needed a formal reprimand from the county auditor to acknowledge the problem.

Escalating overtime pay, and the department’s alleged need for higher taxes, has little to do with recent wildfires. Instead, these problems are symptoms of a system that encourages excess, at taxpayer expense.

Solving that will require addressing why Los Angeles, for more than a quarter-century, has remained the nation’s leader in soaring firefighter overtime pay.

Robert Fellner is executive director of Transparent California — the state’s largest public pay and pension database.

Stein: California lawmakers’ war on domestic oil and gas creating national security risk

While this story is about a year old—it understates the problem of California being dependent on foreign oil.  Since this article was written, Guv Newsom has gone on a tirade and is forcing the closing of the oil industry in Kern County.  Once that is gone, the rest of the oil industry in California will be forced to close as well. 

The worst part is that Newsom is harming the national security of our people and nation.

“Somehow Californians are proud (or oblivious) to the fact that the Golden State has become a national security risk.  Both California’s in-state crude oil production, and Alaskan oil imports have both been forced into decline and are now unable to meet the states’ energy needs. Shockingly, according to the California Energy Commission, California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, and costing California more than $60 million dollars a day, and that cost is increasing each year. In addition, those foreign countries have less stringent environmental regulations than California, and transport their crude oil via air polluting ships delivering that the oil to California ports.”

That means Californian jobs not crate or kept.  That means revenues from the oil industry do not happen—one reason taxes have to go up.  Newsom is a double threat—to our economy and to our security.  Looking forward to his explanation of this when he runs for President.

California lawmakers’ war on domestic oil and gas creating national security risk

By Ronald Stein, cfact.org,   4/22/19    

Somehow Californians are proud (or oblivious) to the fact that the Golden State has become a national security risk.  Both California’s in-state crude oil production, and Alaskan oil imports have both been forced into decline and are now unable to meet the states’ energy needs. Shockingly, according to the California Energy Commission, California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, and costing California more than $60 million dollars a day, and that cost is increasing each year. In addition, those foreign countries have less stringent environmental regulations than California, and transport their crude oil via air polluting ships delivering that the oil to California ports.

Now, scheduled for an April 22nd hearing in Sacramento is a bill that would further REDUCE in-state oil production by more than half, resulting in an increase of the daily costs to import that oil from foreign countries from $60 million a day to more than $90 million a day being sent to foreign countries most of which do not like the USA!

We’re talking about Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” that would require, commencing January 1, 2020, that all new oil and gas development, as defined, that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For these purposes, the bill would require the re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development.

The effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production.

Contributory to California being the 5th largest economy in the world are the California’s imports and exports of goods  in July 2018 alone, amounted to more than $36 billion in imported goods and $14 billion in exported goods, for the one month. Popular commodities passing through U.S. west coast ports of entry include: electronics, computers and computer equipment, automotive parts, plastics, industrial supplies and materials, fuel and oil, and clothing.

The state’s daily need to support its 145 airports (inclusive of 33 military, 10 major, and more than 100 general aviation) is 13 million gallons a day of aviation fuels. In addition, for the 35 million registered vehicles of which 90 percent are NOT EV’s are consuming DAILY: 10 million gallons a day of diesel and 42 million gallons a day of gasoline.  Thus, more than 60 million gallons of fuel per day being used by the 5th largest economy in the world.

California has been called an energy island. This is a proper title because it is separated from the rest of the oil production in the U.S. by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Arizona/Nevada Stateline and the Pacific Ocean. With no pipelines to bring the oil into the state from the American shale boom, oil has to travel through the Panama Canal to reach California ports. There are other options of crude oil by trucks, or by railroads, but both have been overwhelmingly ruled out environmentally. Again, the effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production.

California’s choice to not increase in-state production is already a national security issue to not access crude oil from the largest shale reserves and ocean crude oil reserves in the country, in the Monterey Shale and Pacific Ocean. There are approximately 2 billion barrels offshore Santa Barbara that are discovered, estimated and producible, but subject to state and federal moratoria on production. The larger reserves are within 7 miles of the coast. This number is significant in that, with recently proven slant-drilling technology, formations within 7 miles of shore are accessible mostly from land-based slant drilling, with no offshore spill risk.

Many in California are working hard to produce hydrocarbon energy efficiently, reliably, and safely, and many others are working hard to develop alternative energy sources that will efficiently, reliably, and safely produce carbon neutral energy, but despite those appreciative efforts, California energy needs continue to grow with growing populations of people, vehicles, and businesses.

As mentioned in a recent Rand research study, on imported oil being a threat to U.S. National Security, the United States and particularly California, would benefit from policies that diminish the sensitivity of the U.S. economy to an abrupt decline in the supply of foreign crude oil to the 5th largest economy in the world.

The latest data from the California Energy Commission (CEC), shows that California fuel consumption is at the highest level since 2009, thus continuation of the state’s dependency on foreign countries for the states’ energy needs seems to be the states future, which may not be in the best interests of U.S. national security.

Hopefully, our lawmakers will consider the impact on the 40 million residents of the 5th largest economy in the world, and not have California increase its dependency on foreign countries for our existence.

There are enough shale reserves in the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Shale in Santa Barbara to make the State self-sufficient until new forms of energy can be effectively created to wean California off the crude oil bottle. But until that time, the state is at the mercy of its need to import massive amounts of crude oil from anywhere it can and that, my friends, perpetuates California being viewed as a national security risk.

L.A.’s New Unverifiable Touchscreen Voting Systems Fail State Security, Certification Tests

It has been years since California had an honest election.  Illegal aliens voting.  Inability to count votes.  No ID’s at the polling places.  Can not complain about fraudulent voting.  A court ordered 1.5 million ILLEGAL VOTERS stricken from the rolls—still has not been done.  Corruption?  Like a Soviet style election.

Now, even the Progressives are complain about corrupt voting and voting machines.  You know it is bad when they complain about voting being corrupt.

“Brand-new, 100% unverifiable computer touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (BMD) voting systems, which all voters at the polls will be forced to use for the first-time in the 2020 Presidential election in Los Angeles County, beginning with the March 3rd Super Tuesday primary, are currently undergoing the CA state certification process. The $300 million system is failing state security and certification testing miserably, according to documents buried at the CA Sec. of State website, and reported on today’s program for the first time.

In addition to producing a computer-marked ballot that can never be verified as reflecting any voters’ intent after an election, documentation of state certification tests of the new “Voting Solutions for All People” system (or VSAP), reveal a myriad of incredibly serious security failures and violations of state law, according to experts we’ve consulted.

Voting in Los Angeles County—and others—are totally corrupt.  Will the GOP or the Democrat Party complain, sue, and force an honest election?  I am not holding my breath.  By the Way, at some point in time the LAGOP and the LA Dem Party are shown the system, to prove it is honest—and sing off on it.  Question to the Chairs of both political Parties:  Did you sign off on these machines? Will you?

L.A.’s New Unverifiable Touchscreen Voting Systems Fail State Security, Certification Tests: ‘BradCast’ 1/13/2020

By Brad Friedman, Brad Blog, 1/13/2020,

On today’s BradCast, after a necessarily quick news round-up today (on Cory Booker dropping out of the Democratic Presidential nominating contest and the Trump Administration’s continuing attempt to lie about about Donald Trump’s unlawful assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani), we get on to the most important business of the day — at least for voters in the state of California, though all across the country as well.

Brand-new, 100% unverifiable computer touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (BMD) voting systems, which all voters at the polls will be forced to use for the first-time in the 2020 Presidential election in Los Angeles County, beginning with the March 3rd Super Tuesday primary, are currently undergoing the CA state certification process. The $300 million system is failing state security and certification testing miserably, according to documents buried at the CA Sec. of State website, and reported on today’s program for the first time.

In addition to producing a computer-marked ballot that can never be verified as reflecting any voters’ intent after an election, documentation of state certification tests of the new “Voting Solutions for All People” system (or VSAP), reveal a myriad of incredibly serious security failures and violations of state law, according to experts we’ve consulted.

As we detail on today’s program, the testers have discovered, among other very serious concerns, more than 40 violations of California Voting System Standards, including findings that reveal:

  • The VSAP system can be booted from a USB drive that would bypass all security and logging protections and that access to the master account is needed for too many things, meaning that “too many people have access to the root password,” according to state testers. That means “The excessive root access and the ability to boot the system from a USB port give access to the system by unauthorized individuals. Either scenario can result in undetected changes to files and data…Both scenarios can allow functions to be executed in non-intended ways. The unrestricted access to, and the ability to boot from, the USB port allows access to voting data”;
  • Many problems were discovered with security regarding encryption and cryptography in the new system;
  • The testers discovered “It is possible to insert or remove ballots from both the BMD and ballot transfer boxes without detection”;
  • “The printer cover allows access to the ballot box and can be opened without detection”;
  • “Seals, locks, labels and sensors can all be bypassed” without detection.

Those are just some of the many findings that led one national voting system and cybersecurity expert to wryly describe the results to us as “not good” and another to describe the system as “a security fail”.

Nonetheless, CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla could still certify the systems for use in the 2020 primaries and general election anyway, following the passage of a law he championed in 2013 as a State Senator that gives the SoS the ability to approve the use of new voting systems, even if they fail both federal and state testing, for actual elections.

The very quiet Public Comment period regarding certification of the unverifiable, unsecure VSAP touchscreen computer voting system ends next Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at 5pm Pacific Time. We are urging those concerned to contact the state at VotingSystems@sos.ca.gov immediately to ask them to not certify this dangerous, unverifiable system, and to require a HAND-MARKED paper ballot for all voters at the polling place in this year’s crucial primary and general elections.

We offer much more frightening detail on all of this on today’s program regarding the dangers of this type of voting system as they are proliferating not just in Los Angeles County, but also in key battleground states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and many others before the critical 2020 elections begin in just weeks time!

We appear to be the only media outlet, to our knowledge, reporting this important information on the failed VSAP tests out of California, so please share widely! We cannot afford to wait until corporate media bother to notice (such as NBC News, which just noticed on Friday a very serious concern about modems in voting systems in several battleground states that we had covered on The BradCast more than six months ago!)…

Sand: A solution to the free rider problem

There is a cost to teachers and students with the union/government cabal forcing teachers to be part of collective bargaining.

“Researcher and education policy expert Greg Forster writes that collective bargaining is not a good fit for k-12 teachers. “Teachers are like doctors and lawyers. Standardizing the work they do into a one-size-fits-all mold creates major headaches for them.” CBAs demand standardization, “so processes and outputs can be specified in labor-management negotiations.”

It’s worth noting that CBA’s also hurt students. “The Long-run Effects of Teacher Collective Bargaining,” a 2018 study by researchers Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willen, found that, among men, exposure to a duty-to-bargain law in the first 10 years after passage depresses students’ future annual earnings by $2,134 (3.93 percent), decreases weekly hours worked by 0.42, and reduces employment and labor force participation.”

To me the bigger issue is that it tells young people that government and unions are the goal—free choice is bad.  Any wonder students have no respect for others, bully those who disagree with them and hate the Law?

A solution to the free rider problem

By Larry Sand, California Policy Center,  1/14/20 

Union leaders grumble when non-members get union perks; here’s a way out.

As a result of the Janus decision in June 2018, workers are no longer forced to pay any money whatsoever to a public employee union as a condition of employment. While teachers and other government workers were freed from paying union dues or fees, they were not, however, liberated from forced representation by the union, which is still is prevalent in most states.

But now, the Buckeye Institute has announced it is filing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine. Professor Jonathan Reisman, an economics professor at the school, was previously a member of the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, but decided to leave the union over political disagreements with its state and national affiliates – the Maine Education Association and the National Education Association. Now, Dr. Reisman is trying, to free himself from compelled union representation. Should he succeed, many others will then be sure to follow.

The unions traditionally have complained that they are forced to represent all workers during collective bargaining and ridiculed any non-payer as a “free rider.” But in reality, it is the competition-phobic unions that are the problem. No law forces the responsibility of exclusive representation on the unions – in fact, the unions themselves demand it. As Mike Antonucci explains, “The very first thing any new union wants is exclusivity,” whereby “no other unions are allowed to negotiate on behalf of people in the bargaining unit. Unit members cannot hire their own agent, nor can they represent themselves.”

Okay, you ask, “But why would anyone want to go it alone? Doesn’t a union get its workers a better deal through collective bargaining agreements (CBAs)?”

The answer is no, not necessarily, and the reasons are many. “Wage compression” occurs when the salaries of lower paid teachers are raised above the market rate, with the increase offset by reducing the pay of the most productive ones. “Why strive to become better if I am not going to be compensated for it?” is the attitude of many. Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute takes it one step further, claiming CBAs hurt the bottom line of all teachers. According to Petrilli, “Teachers in non-collective bargaining districts actually earn more than their union-protected peers – $64,500 on average versus $57,500.” Petrilli’s study was from 2011, and research from Michael Lovenheim in 2009 and Andrew Coulson in 2010 bore similar results. UC San Diego professor Augustina Pagalayan reported in 2018 that CBAs do not improve teacher pay.

Researcher and education policy expert Greg Forster writes that collective bargaining is not a good fit for k-12 teachers. “Teachers are like doctors and lawyers. Standardizing the work they do into a one-size-fits-all mold creates major headaches for them.” CBAs demand standardization, “so processes and outputs can be specified in labor-management negotiations.”

It’s worth noting that CBA’s also hurt students. “The Long-run Effects of Teacher Collective Bargaining,” a 2018 study by researchers Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willen, found that, among men, exposure to a duty-to-bargain law in the first 10 years after passage depresses students’ future annual earnings by $2,134 (3.93 percent), decreases weekly hours worked by 0.42, and reduces employment and labor force participation.

The Lovenheim-Willen study was not the first to detail CBA’s harm to students. In 2007, Stanford professor Terry Moe reported that collective bargaining “appears to have a strongly negative impact in the larger districts, but it appears to have no effect in smaller districts….”

Caroline Hoxby, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, made a three minute video in 2009 in which she explains in plain language how CBAs stifle any management flexibility in determining the best slot for a teacher at a given school, as well as denying schools the opportunity to get rid of underperformers.

It’s time to end the union monopoly and give workers choices. Maybe I want to negotiate for myself, or hire a lawyer to represent me. Or maybe I even want to join a rival union. Hopefully, SCOTUS and Professor Reisman will prevail, and thoroughly liberate all workers from the clutches of the Big Union monopoly.

If nothing else, Dr. Reisman and subsequent independents will not have the “free rider” label thrown at them. They’d be “forced riders” no more, but rather liberty-minded folks who want to be in control of their professional life. Here’s hoping!

 *   *   *

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.

Stein: California energy policies are fueling the housing crisis and homelessness

California currently imports 56% of its energy from other States.  It costs more, because it can not be generate by coal or nuclear.  This is one of the reason the cost of living in California is so expensive.

“The inability of wind and solar to replace continuously operating uninterrupted power from nuclear and natural gas plants is causing the state to import more and more of its electricity. The good news is the state suffered no brownouts (for once). The bad news is the imported electricity comes at a higher price tag being borne by residents and businesses alike. With the huge land requirements necessary for wind and solar renewable electricity, and already high land values, California will have to import more energy every year.

Prices for electricity in California are already fifty percent higher than the national average for residents, and double the national average for commercial, and are projected to go even higher. Who knows how high they’ll go as the state continues its importing appetite for expensive electricity?”

With the high cost of energy, water, housing, traffic gridlock, bikes making driving city streets dangerous, no wonder folks are fleeing to other States. 

California energy policies are fueling the housing crisis and homelessness

By Ronald Stein, PTS Advance,  1/15/20 

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

California’s green crusade direction and actions are increasing the costs of electricity and fuels which guarantees growth of the homeless, poverty, and welfare populations, and further fuels (no pun intended) the housing affordability crisis.

It’s scary that our leaders can’t “see” that the regressive energy policies have serious consequences for working families. Their misguided directives are intertwined with every aspect of daily life and is causing the continuous growth of poverty and homelessness from the Oregon state line on the north all the way to the Mexican border on the south.

California professes to be the leader of everything, but spouting voracious pride of being the only state in America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries, and the State that and imports more electricity than any other state, may not be in the best interest of California’s 5th largest economy in the world. Its fine to import when you get bargain rates, but both oil and electricity, are two commodities that are ultra-expensive to import and drives up the cost of everything.

The inability of wind and solar to replace continuously operating uninterrupted power from nuclear and natural gas plants is causing the state to import more and more of its electricity. The good news is the state suffered no brownouts (for once). The bad news is the imported electricity comes at a higher price tag being borne by residents and businesses alike. With the huge land requirements necessary for wind and solar renewable electricity, and already high land values, California will have to import more energy every year.

Prices for electricity in California are already fifty percent higher than the national average for residents, and double the national average for commercial, and are projected to go even higher. Who knows how high they’ll go as the state continues its importing appetite for expensive electricity?

Adding to the problem of affordable electricity, California is phasing out nuclear reactors that have been generating continuously uninterruptible carbon-free electricity. In 2013, California already shutdown the continuous nuclear facility of SCE’s San Onofre Generating Station which generated 2,200 megawatts of power and will be closing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024.

It gets bleaker in the coming years, as Mayor Garcetti  recently announced the forthcoming closures of three DWP natural gas-powered plants  at Scattergood, Haynes, and Harbor, saying, “this is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles.”

With the shuttering of nuclear and natural gas plants that have been generating continuously uninterruptible electricity, our elected officials seem to be oblivious to the fact that the State has no electricity generating capacity to replace what’s going to be lost. Further, that “green” electricity from wind and solar is only intermittent, as neither generates when the wind is not blowing, and when the sun’s not shining.

With this path forward, in the event other states cannot generate enough electricity to export to California to replace what’s being lost by shutting down the last nuclear plant and three natural gas plants in California, it’s lights out for California’s future.

Regarding the crude oil demands for the state. there are scary similarities between Governor Newsom’s goals for California and Vladimir Putin’s objectives. Both support California being more and more dependent on imported foreign oil, and both support anti-fracking in California as a successful fracking enterprise would lessen the states’ dependency on that foreign oil. Does the Governor know his actions are supportive of California becoming a National Security risk to America?

California’s love of foreign crude oil is obvious as California increased crude oil imports from foreign countries from 5% in 1992 to 57% in 2018, costing California more than $32 Billion dollars a year (Yes, that’s a “B”)., that equates to $60 million dollars a day being paid to oil rich foreign countries, thereby depriving Californians of jobs and business opportunities. Without those tax paying jobs and businesses, the State’s coiffures are growing thin as it is struggling to pay its welfare and social responsibilities debts.

The Golden State’s position on crude oil production fits right in with Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s goal to control energy. Russia is adamantly against U.S. fracking efforts and very supportive of any environmentalist group or wealthy individual efforts to slow or stop crude oil and natural gas exploration and production within the U.S. and European borders. Recently a Russian funded environmental group gave millions to anti-fracking groups to stop, curtail or severely weaken US fracking of crude oil and natural gas in states like Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

Adding insult to injury Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering Assembly Bill AB-345 (Muratsuchi) “Oil and gas: operations: location restrictions” which would require, commencing January 1, 2020, that all new oil and gas development that is not on federal land, to be located at least 2,500 feet from a residence, school, childcare facility, playground, hospital, or health clinic. For these purposes, the bill would require the re-drilling of a previously plugged and abandoned oil or gas well or other rework operations, as defined, to be considered new oil and gas development.

The effect of this “2,500” clear space around production wells would virtually destroy California’s in-state oil production by half. That will result in California sending another $16 Billion, on top of the current $32 Billion, a year (Again, Yes, that’s a “B”) that would then equate to a whopping $90 million dollars a day being sent, to those oil rich foreign countries that have the audacity to not even send California a thank you note.

 

Its mind boggling that our California legislative leaders continuously fail to see the direct correlation between high energy costs for electricity and fuels, and poverty, homelessness, and a housing affordability crisis already impacting the Golden State.