Eric Holder hired to “fight Trump” – San Fran Chronicle does not provide whole story

attorney-general-eric-holderWhen President Obama worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, the state of California did not hire a Washington attorney to fight for this legislation. As Obama was issuing the Dream Act, amnesty for illegal aliens, the state Legislature did not hire a Washington attorney to demand, at a $25,000 a month retainer, to use his office to overturn a vote of Congress for the amnesty. Sacramento has given the 38 million people of California some of the toughest, and least enforced, gun laws possible. The hacks of the Capitol were “so successful” that 1.3 million new guns were sold in the state in 2016.

Yet, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in an article on January 15, 2017, that the state of California, via the Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, has hired a Washington, D.C., attorney to “fight” for California:

“California lawmakers are bracing for a fight against soon-to-be President Trump and top officials in his administration who have said they will push for policy and legal changes that would threaten several of the state’s progressive laws.

From immigration to gun control to environmental protections, the state finds itself at odds with Trump, who will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday. One of the biggest tools the federal government has is control of the purse strings. California is expected to receive $105 billion in federal dollars in the upcoming fiscal year, which includes $78 billion for various health and human services. The new administration, and the Republican-controlled Congress, can reward — and punish — states with the way it distributes federal dollars.

To prepare for any battles, the Legislature has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.”

So, to get these “progressive policies” in the past, the California government used its 53 members of Congress, its two U.S. Senators, 80 Assembly members, 40 State Senators, the governor, the attorney general and the 1,600 attorneys in that office, along with the numerous state agencies.

Now that Donald Trump is to be the president, politicians in Sacramento, using tax dollars, have decided to hire a gun-runner, a former attorney general that authorized the sale of assault weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, to represent us in Washington. It is as if none of the thousands already being paid to do the job of representing us no longer exist. This has a smell of a political payoff rather than the hiring of an attorney.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, though a freshman, has figured it out and why this is wrong. “In a letter to the opinion unit of the state attorney general’s office, the Rocklin Republican and former deputy attorney general argued that hiring Holder as outside counsel violates Article VII of the California Constitution. Kiley said California courts have interpreted that section ‘as forbidding private contracting for services that are of a kind that persons selected through civil service could perform ‘adequately and competently’ ” – such as “assisting in defending California against federal actions,” a function of the attorney general.

“In light of these facts, I respectfully ask your legal opinion as to whether the 1,592 attorneys and legal staff at the State Attorney General’s Office can perform ‘adequately and competently’ the legal services for which Covington & Burling has been retained by the Legislature,'” Kiley wrote in a letter to the Attorney General’s Office.

Most headlines in the Times, Chronicle and Bee noted that Holder was hired “to fight” Donald Trump. Is that the role of the Legislature, to fight a president because they do not like him? Is that the proper use of tax dollars, when we have homeless, affordable housing, pension and a water crisis? The state of California has a close to a $2 billion planned deficit, yet the Democrats in the Legislature refuse to use current assets to hire an attorney with no credibility in a town with a Republican president, Congress and Senate? Even if this was a needed hire, the person hired is known as being ethically challenged. He lied to a court and got caught, using his office for political purposes.

From Techdirt, October 30, 2014:

“Holder was asked if there was a decision during his tenure that he regretted, and he brought up the Rosen story:

Holder: I think that — I think about the subpoena to the Fox reporter, Rosen. I think that I could have been a little more careful in looking at the language that was contained in the filing that we made with the court. He was labeled as a — as a co-conspirator. I mean, you had to do that as a result of the statute, but there are ways in which I think that could have been done differently, done better. And that’s one of the reasons why I thought the criticism that we received because of that — and the AP matter as well — was something that we had to act upon and why we put in place this review of our — the way in which we interact with the media.

Except, as Julian Sanchez points out, that’s completely bogus. Holder claiming they had to do that because of the statute is flat out opposites-ville. They had to do that because the statute doesn’t allow them to spy on journalists. The law was designed to stop the DOJ from spying on journalists, and so the only way to break that was to lie to the court. The law in question — 18 USC 793 is designed to only apply to the people actually committing the crime of leaking defense information — and not to reporters.”

Yes, not only did Holder lie to a court — he used his office to illegally spy on journalists.  Plus on other occasions he lied to Congress.

None of this was part of the Chronicle story — other than California is angry with the results of the elections and does not like it that Trump appears to be willing to keep his campaign promises. And, the fact, California taxpayers have been forced to hire one of the least likely people in Washington to get past the receptionist. The San Francisco Chronicle has a responsibility to fully explain the story. By leaving out who Holder really is and his record, it denies the readers of being able to make a judgement that the decision was good or bad.

Is this a man you would want pleading your case in Washington starting January 20, 2017? It is not California vs. Trump. It is Sacramento vs. California. And the Democrats have a supermajority. What could you do with $25,000 a month?

Stephen Frank is editor of the California Political News and Views section of California Political Review. 

Democrats Finally See The Bear

Russian BearPresident Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign ran a 30 second TV commercial titled “The Bear.” The video was simply a bear walking slowly through a forest. The narration was equally simple: “There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear.” At the end of the narrative a man appeared on screen and the bear retreated.

The ad was devastatingly effective because the American people easily recognized the message. The Russian bear was roaming the world looking for countries and societies to swallow and force into a global communist “workers paradise.”  President Reagan had been a lifelong opponent of communism, while American liberals were boosters of the Kremlin Commissars and vociferous opponents of Reagan, and any American politician who stood strong against communist imperialism.

Since at least 1968 the mainstream of the Democrat Party has been knee-jerk in its opposition to American anti-communism and equally knee-jerk in its support of Russian expansionism and mischief making around the globe.  Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then America’s ambassador to the U.N., coined the phrase “Blame America First” to describe the Democrats at the 1984 GOP Convention. She was 100 percent correct and by 1984 the American electorate instinctively understood that. This understanding greatly contributed to Reagan’s 49 state sweep in the election.

Which brings us to the current Democrat hysteria about Russian “hacking” of our recent election – a pure fiction – and their artificial horror that President Trump has been civil to Russian President Putin. Here are two predictions you can take to the bank about all this: 1) The Democrat disdain for Russian authoritarianism is 100 percent phony, as 21st century American liberalism is indistinguishable from Russian totalitarianism; and 2) At the first sign that the Commie Cossaks in Moscow are at odds with President Trump on any policy, the Democrats will pivot on a dime and revert to their slogan of “no enemies on the Left” which has guided their foreign policy positions for 50 years. Trump will be the bully and Putin the aggrieved good guy.

For those looking for a bit of déjà vu, feast on some of the epithets (for UCLA grads that means mean words) thrown at President Reagan.

“He has always been drawn to radical activities. He has a propensity toward right wing radical activities … a flawed person with a defective mind … Reagan has a bully syndrome, combined with a very inadequate personality … it’s a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous combination.” – Former CIA Director John Stockwell.

I listed this first so those with short attention spans can add some perspective to the current cow pies being thrown at President Trump by our “intelligence” agencies.

“He is the most dangerous person ever to come this close to the presidency … he is a menace to the human race.” – The Nation” magazine.

This rag is still publishing, and as you might guess said almost exactly the same thing about Donald Trump.

“He is shallow, superficial and frightening” – Time magazine.

Hmm, now where have I heard that recently?

“He’s a criminal who used the Constitution as toilet paper.” – Actor John Cusack, proving that the current generation of Hollywood “stars” is not the first to be brain dead.

Though there’s tons more I think you get the idea. But there’s one more historical tidbit that should not be overlooked in a conversation about Russia, America and elections. That is the fact that the waddling sot from Massachusetts – Senator Ted Kennedy – Democrat hero and role model to testosterone overloaded Democrats everywhere, directly – yes directly – asked the Kremlin Commissars to help defeat Reagan for re-election.

In 1984 communist aggression was still in full flower around the globe, from Afghanistan to Africa to Central America. Because of KGB files released after the collapse of the Soviet Union (thank you Ronald Reagan), we now know that the last “Camelot” torch bearer took time out from his pastimes of mainlining Scotch and drowning his secretarial staff to make secret overtures to the KGB to thwart Reagan’s re-election.

According to the February 2, 1992 “London Times,” “In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to ‘counter the militaristic policies’ of Reagan.” Former Sen. John Tunney, D-Calif., who was Kennedy’s law school roommate at the University of Virginia, traveled to Moscow on May 9 and 10, 1983, just days before Chebrikov’s letter, presumably to make the plea in person.

This is not to imply that “Teddy” was a communist – he was not. He was a drunk and a whore-monger whose meager IQ points were easily overpowered by ambition and Johnny Walker Red. But is most certainly is to state unequivocally that the current Democrat shock at Russia taking an active interest in our elections is 100 percent phony. The Kennedy / KGB story has been in circulation without credible refutation for a decade or more.

I have no qualms about how President Trump will deal with Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin will deal with each other as George Patton and the Russian General did in that memorable scene from “Patton,” when they finally agreed to toast the end of the war “one SOB to another.”

And while it is refreshing to hear that the Democrats finally acknowledge the existence of a dangerous bear in the world, and nice that they actually say something bad about Russia – we’ve been waiting only 50 years for them to do so – that tune will change the nanosecond that President Trump is at odds with Putin.

The Democrats will revert to their default foreign policy stance – regardless of the adversary or circumstance, the United States is wrong. There is no bear. Happily President Trump will be leading an America with a newly invigorated self respect and armed forces ready to oppose the bear, ISIS and any other threat to America’s freedoms. Amazing grace.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

Senate Democrats Already Playing Politics With an Eye Towards 2020

For many Democrats in Congress, the media and in Hollywood, the collective freak-out over Donald Trump’s election continues apace. Their clear-eyed, sober post-election analysis of why Hillary Clinton lost has included accusing the FBI of colluding with the Kremlin, wondering why white, working-class voters in the Mid-West are racists (after backing President Obama in successive elections), and pointing to the Electoral College as an archaic relic of our antebellum past, standing athwart the “demographics is destiny” mantra they are fond of espousing.

Despite the lamentations, President-elect Trump has decided to forge ahead and do his job. He has nominated the majority of individuals that are to lead executive departments in his administration, an array made up mainly of standard, conventional Republicans. Faced with the responsibility to question these nominees on topics relevant to the positions they intend to fill, several Democrats have instead decided to posture and play politics while jostling for position in anticipation of the 2020 presidential race. As their party is left without its iconic leader and in ruins after the 2016 election, the Senate confirmation hearings serve as an excellent opportunity to make all the appropriate gestures in order to become the new talisman of progressives.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey took the unprecedented step of testifying against Senator Jeff Sessions, nominated to be the next Attorney General of the United States. Normally, a witness testifies before a committee to bring to light facts that have bearing on the nominee’s ability and fitness to fulfill his obligations. Furthermore, it is unheard of for a senator to provide testimony against a fellow senator in a confirmation hearing. Booker decided that the nomination of Sessions to lead the Justice Department posed such a grave threat to our democracy that he was moved to testify against him. The only problem was that Booker’s overwrought performance brought no factual testimony against Sessions, merely the opportunity for Booker to emote on camera. Booker has certainly changed his tune since last year, where he declared that he was “blessed and honored” to work with Sessions on legislation that awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to civil-rights activists. What has changed since that moment of bipartisan and senatorial comity? One could imagine that this change of heart was spurred by glowing profiles of his new Senate colleague from California, and his insistence that he deserved a few as well.

Kamala HarrisKamala Harris, the newly elected Senator from California, already has many, many admirers. A profile in the New Republic ran down the accolades: projected as “the next Barack Obama” in the Washington Post, the “Great Blue Hope” in the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Hill, Mother Jones and The New York Times all have cited her as a 2020 presidential candidate. It makes sense that she should use the confirmation hearings of Trump nominees to signal to the party’s base that she will take on the mantle of a progressive leader of a party whose official leadership positions are occupied by people all over the age of 70.

Senator Harris sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which yesterday heard the testimony of Kansas representative Mike Pompeo, nominated by President-elect Trump to the position of CIA director. The incoming CIA director will have a myriad of pressing national security concerns that will be need to addressed immediately. Harris, though, had other priorities on her mind, mainly virtue-signaling to progressives that she will fight climate change anywhere, even Langley, Virginia.

Harris first quoted a statement from current CIA Director John Brennan, where he argued that climate change has contributed to political instability around the world. She asked Pompeo if he had any reason to doubt this assessment of CIA analysts. After Pompeo demurred, she followed up by asking Pompeo for his own personal beliefs on climate change. Pompeo responded by saying, “As the director of CIA, I would prefer today to not get into the details of climate debate and science.”

Having covered one topic so germane to the national security of the United States, Harris pivoted to another, specifically gay marriage. She brought up Pompeo’s voting record and stated position of belief in traditional marriage and his disagreement with the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized gay marriage in the U.S. “Can you commit to me that your personal views on this issue will remain your personal views and will not impact internal policies that you put in place at the CIA?” Harris asked. Pompeo gave Harris his assurance that his views on marriage would not impact his management of employees at the CIA.

Politicians sometimes make the mistake of only seeking short-term victories. Case in point: one minute you’re informing GOP leaders that “you’ve won,” and you pass far-reaching legislation on party-line votes and enacting new regulations without congressional input or approval. Then, you wake up on January 20, 2017 to see that your party has lost over 60 seats in the House, 13 in the Senate, 12 governorships, and 900+ state legislative seats over the course of your presidency. Oh, and your successor is Donald Trump.

Smarter politicians take the long view, and Harris and Booker are calculating that they will be better equipped to campaign under Obama’s “legacy” in 2020 than Hillary Clinton was in 2016. They will continue to present themselves as fresh, progressive alternatives, a role that Clinton, with her corporate speech fees and quasi-criminal syndicate masquerading as a charitable foundation, could never fulfill. Whether it is asking questions about social issues and climate change before a committee hearing dedicated to national security matters, or masquerading before the cameras in order to again castigate a Republican as an irredeemable racist, both Harris and Booker intend to send a message to their party’s left flank: “I am paying attention to your concerns, and by the way, can you send a check?”

California Democrats Behaving Like Confederates

For fiscal conservatives and free market advocates, the national elections in 2008 and 2012 brought no small measure of disappointment. In its eight-year run, the Obama administration imposed a host of new taxes – including several as part of the failed “Affordable Care Act” – and, just as egregious, nearly doubling the national debt from $10 trillion to over $20 trillion.

Those who advocate for lower taxes, property rights and less burdensome regulation understood and begrudgingly accepted that “elections have consequences.” (As President Obama was known to brag.) So it is now with amusement – if not outright schadenfreude – we are watching progressives across the nation, and especially here in California, melt down in shock and disbelief.

Particularly frustrating for progressives is their growing realization that many of the policies and actions of the last eight years that they jammed down the throats of conservatives and center right citizens from “fly-over” country are now coming back to haunt them. For example, former Democrat Senator Harry Reid from Nevada changed longstanding Senate rules regarding how many votes it would take to stop the filibuster of a presidential appointee. Progressives imposed that rule to pack the United States Court of Appeal for District of Columbia Circuit, a powerful court because it reviews most legal challenges over federal regulations. The “Reid Rule” will now be used by the Trump administration to fill his cabinet quickly over the objections and efforts to obstruct by Democrats and, more importantly, to seat a replacement on the U.S. Supreme Court for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Another example of their being hoisted on their own petard was discussed recently by California political analyst Tony Quinn who noted that the federal courts struck down most of Arizona’s efforts to enforce border security. The U.S. Supreme Court noted that, in the area of immigration, federal laws pre-empt conflicting and even complimentary state laws. That throws into doubt any efforts by California and other left-leaning states to enforce any so-called “sanctuary” policies.

confederate-flagBut all this hasn’t stopped California’s top Democratic leadership from posturing (mostly for the cameras) about how they will “stand up” to the federal government to protect “California’s values,” whatever that means. Apparently, Gov. Brown and newly elected legislative leaders have mistaken Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento with Fort Sumter in South Carolina which heard the first shots fired in the Civil War. They need to be reminded that things didn’t work out so well for the Confederacy back then and if, by taking on the federal government, they think they will get a better outcome, they’re probably wrong.

The latest evidence that Democratic leadership has lost its moorings with reality is the hiring of Eric Holder, the disgraced and corrupt former U.S. Attorney General in order to “push back” against both the Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Congress. (Holder advocated for international criminal Mark Rich, and was admittedly running guns to Mexico as part of the “Fast and Furious” scandal).

The hiring of Holder is an insult to all California taxpayers. First, California has a multitude of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. (all at taxpayer expense) to represent the actual interests of the state. Second, the action was clearly a provocation intended to generate a response from Washington. But California should be careful what it wishes for. The Congress of the United States has the power of the purse and California would do well to work collaboratively with those upon whom they rely for billions of federal dollars.

Near the close of the Civil War, President Lincoln gave his famous second inaugural address in which he implored Americans to show “malice toward none, with charity for all.” Let us hope that the petulant, foolish posturing of California’s political leadership receive as much grace from the federal government in the coming years.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

This piece was originally published by HJTA.org

In Defense Of Jeff Sessions As Our Next Attorney General

jeff-sessionsHaving lost the presidential election to Donald J. Trump, and now with minorities in both the House and the Senate, Democrats have scrambled to throw roadblocks in the way of the incoming administration in an effort to slow down the inevitable policy changes that will soon affect every area of national policy, including the administration of justice. To that end, Sen. Jeff Sessions has been attacked ever since Trump nominated him to be the next attorney general of the United States. The familiar leitmotif is that Sessions is a racist, stemming from decades-old, questionable allegations of potentially racist statements. A further implication is the tired canard that many men of his age and background — white, Southern Republican lawmakers — are inclined to be racist, guilty until proven otherwise.

But what is Sessions’ true flaw? He is a conservative Republican who believes in traditional conservative policies and does not pay homage to political correctness to score political points.

Here is Sessions’ actual record on civil rights issues:

Sessions sought to amend the Violence Against Women Act so that it would actually help vulnerable women, instead of blindly supporting the act because of its name. With Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sessions led senate efforts to pass the Finding Fugitive Sex Offender Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2011.

Sessions has worked tirelessly to pass bipartisan legislation to protect and support the victims of crime, enact policies for safer prisons, and promote fair sentencing practices, issue areas important to minority communities. He worked across the aisle with Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2003 to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act, providing protection to perhaps the most voiceless members of our society.

Sessions voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, deeming it a vital protection for voting rights, though he recognized the act’s shortcomings and intrusiveness in some respects.

He understands the value of law enforcement, who are on the front lines of protecting Americans’ rights and safety, and has sought to work with law enforcement officers instead of criticizing and demeaning them, as has become so fashionable these days.

Sessions has supported strong voter ID measures and other procedures to protect the integrity of elections, rightly recognizing that when elections are stolen, it is often the underprivileged who are the greatest victims, because they have little recourse.

Sessions prosecuted civil rights activists under charges of fraudulently changing the votes of African-American voters in 1985, earning him the derision of liberals for being racist despite the fact that he was seeking to vindicate minority voting rights, based on complaints by African-American officials and voters that others in their community had committed fraud.

Sessions first began his efforts to achieve sentencing parity for drug offenders in 2001. Nine years later, he finally managed to realize this goal by working with Sen. Dick Durbin to pass the Crack Cocaine Fair Sentencing Act in 2010. This legislation substantially benefits minority drug offenders who previously were subjected to wide sentencing disparities vis-à-vis powder cocaine users.

Sessions opposed George Wallace in the 1960s in Alabama, prosecuted actual racists, and led Senate efforts to honor the civil rights movement and leaders. Former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and Labor Secretary Tom Perez has repeatedly praised Sessions in speeches.

Sessions’ career as both a prosecutor and Senator has been devoted to upholding the rule of law. He has done so because he is the kind of man and leader who will fight for what is right and what is best despite the criticism he faces, from whatever quarter.

Those who have worked with Sessions and know his character have strongly endorsed Sessions. His diverse supporters include the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, President Bill Clinton’s FBI Director Louis Freeh, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Victims of Crime and Leniency of Alabama, former Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights Gerald Reynolds, several former U.S. attorneys general, 25 state attorneys general, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

Albert Turner Jr., son of the African-American activists prosecuted for voter fraud, rejects the idea that Sessions is a racist: “He is not a racist. … He was a prosecutor at the Federal level with a job to do. He was presented with evidence by a local District Attorney that he relied on, and his office presented the case. That’s what a prosecutor does. … I believe that he is someone with whom I, and others in the civil rights community can work if given the opportunity.” Former African-American Democratic Congressman Artur Davis described the voter ID laws that Sessions supports as “the right thing” to help prevent “the wholesale manufacture of ballots [, which is] the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community.”

African-American Alabama Democratic Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross said of his long relationship with Sessions, “We’ve spoken about everything from civil rights to race relations and we agree that as Christian men our hearts and minds are focused on doing right by all people. We both acknowledge that there are no perfect men, but we continue to work daily to do the right thing for all people.” The African-American founders of Victims and Friends United, a diverse organization devoted to protecting the rights of victims of crime, stated in their endorsement letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, “We have searched his background and could find no evidence that he is biased toward people of color.”

Prior to his years of service in the Senate, Sessions served as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, meaning he was the chief federal prosecutor in the Southern District of Alabama, and later as attorney general of Alabama. Few attorneys general have been so well qualified for the job of the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, as is Sessions.

Liberals lauded the attorneys general during the Obama administration, while conveniently ignoring how the Department of Justice was being turned into a political tool to advance progressive social policies instead of enforcing the law as it is supposed to do. Unequal enforcement of the law threatens all citizens. It is not the place of the attorney general to make new law, but rather to enforce the existing federal laws enacted by the legislature, or enshrined in our Constitution.

Jeff Sessions is precisely the sort of leader that the Department of Justice needs to protect the rights of all citizens — including women and minorities — through the equal application of the law and the even-handed promotion of justice. Liberal opponents do themselves no credit by attempting to assassinate the character of a good public servant in the pursuit of a quixotic goal. President-elect Trump is entitled to appoint cabinet members of his choosing, so long as they are fit for the job, as Sessions indisputably is — and as his Senate colleagues well know. Sessions should be swiftly confirmed so that the new administration can proceed with the task of filling out the rest of the top Department of Justice appointments, and then get on with the business of enforcing federal law throughout the land.

harmeet-close-up-shotHarmeet Kaur Dhillon is a trial lawyer in San Francisco at the Dhillon Law Group, and currently serves as the RNC committeewoman from California. From 2013 to 2016, she was the vice chair of the California Republican Party.

Hold Climate Change Policy-Makers Accountable for Economic Consequences

Global WarmingIn reaction to the election of Donald Trump, California’s governor, state Legislature and Air Resources Board have made clear their intention to double down on our state’s already strictest-in-the-nation climate change policies.

Making such claims is easy when ignoring the current cost burden of the state’s climate policies on consumers and businesses, and how much more the costs will skyrocket under increasingly high greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Unelected bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board have resisted any legitimate attempt at conducting a comprehensive economic analysis of AB 32, the state’s landmark 1996 global warming law– either during the rulemaking process or once the regulations took effect. CARB is attempting more of the same with the newly established 2030 40 percent emissions reduction target.

The significant consequences of this one-sided approach are being ignored as part of the policy and regulation development process. These rules will have real-life cost impacts on every major industry in California and every resident, who will see higher prices for food, electricity, gasoline, housing and just about all the necessities of life.

Higher costs, in addition to increasing consumer prices across the board, make California businesses less competitive with out-of-state companies. These have already resulted in a sharp decline in jobs, notably well-paying blue-collar jobs in the manufacturing, oil and gas and construction sectors, and a concurrent loss of tax revenues that support education, public safety, and social service programs.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  Sacramento lawmakers should demand that state agencies like CARB conduct objective economic analyses in order to craft balanced climate change regulations that will not exponentially increase costs on California’s businesses and families — especially those in lower income communities, which pay a larger share of their income in energy and transportation costs. Any increases created by new regulations will disproportionately impact those families who can least afford it.

Independent studies and subject matter experts have waved a warning flag about the economic impact and its burden on families and businesses. A recent study has shown that our climate change agenda will increase costs by $3,000 per year for every family in California. The Director of Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center has cautioned that achieving the new 2030 goal would likely entail “large economic costs,” and lead to a “less diversified and more fragile state economy.”

CARB has initially estimated that its new regulations could cost 100,000 jobs and result in the loss of up to $14 billion in gross economic output, which the agency brushes off as relatively immaterial in the context of the state’s overall economy.

Among regulatory initiatives being considered in CARB’s recently updated AB 32 Scoping Plan are: forcing higher density of commercial and residential developments; developing “pricing mechanisms” such as road user/vehicle miles traveled-based pricing, congestion prices and parking pricing strategies; creating expensive multiple “incentives” to make electric vehicles artificially more affordable than conventional vehicles and imposing arbitrary and unrealistic quotas for market penetration; and forcing decreases in the use of affordable, widely available fossil natural gas. These and other proposed mandates will significantly increase the cost and availability of housing, electricity, gasoline and diesel fuel and the cost of manufacturing and transporting goods produced in California with a chilling effect on jobs and revenues.

California can do better. Sacramento legislators have an opportunity to provide essential oversight over a regulatory body to ensure their constituents and the businesses they represent are not unduly burdened. It’s important to note that because California generates less than one percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, which know no boundaries, the hardships our state’s climate policies impose on its people and economy have little more than symbolic value.  This is why CARB must conduct a comprehensive economic analysis now, to weigh how aggressively we should get ahead of other states or nations with regard to climate policies.

Executive Director of the Industrial Association of Contra Costa County

This piece was originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily

Senator Moorlach Cautions Majority Party on the Costs of the Holder Hire

attorney-general-eric-holderSACRAMENTO – Senator John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, provided the following statement regarding the legislative Democrats’ decision to hire former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as their next line of defense against the incoming Trump Administration.

“If the majority party continues to poke President-elect Trump with a short stick, then they better be prepared with a Plan B. And, as far as I can tell, there is no alternative plan should these combative moves not be received well by the incoming Trump Administration.

“We cannot and must not jeopardize Federal funding to our state, counties and cities. They cannot afford it, especially with increasing pensions costs at the door.”

The above statement was sent out in a press release from the office of state Sen. John Moorlach.

Jerry Brown: California to Bypass Trump on Climate Change

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr

California Gov. Jerry Brown has suggested that the state of California could bypass the administration of President Donald J. Trump and work directly with foreign governments in advancing the cause of climate change, the New York Times reports.

Last May, Gov. Brown signed a climate change deal between 12 regional and provincial governments in seven countries, committing to reduce the “greenhouse gases” that trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere and are thought to drive global warming. The aim was to show that California was committed to tackling the issue, even if Congress and the courts were not prepared to rubber-stamp President Barack Obama’s aggressive climate change agenda. He also played a prominent role at the Paris climate change talks last December (prompting speculation as to whether he was still clinging to presidential ambitions).

Brown had also been outspoken throughout the presidential campaign against the climate change positions of several Republican candidates. Last September, for instance, he sent Dr. Ben Carson a flash drive containing the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Earlier this month, Brown attacked President-elect Trump’s views on climate change and also attacked Breitbart News for describing methane regulations (accurately, if crudely) as rules on “cow farts.”

In an interview with the Times, Brown said: “California can make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of dealing with climate change, irrespective of what goes on in Washington. … I wouldn’t underestimate California’s resolve if everything moves in this extreme climate denial direction. Yes, we will take action.” The Times speculates that foreign governments might devote more effort to lobbying Sacramento than lobbying Washington under the Trump administration.

The Times adds that California Democrats are committed to their climate change agenda, even if the state loses in economic competition with other states as the Trump administration rolls back existing regulations.

Brown will serve two more years as governor.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

What President Trump Will Mean for California’s Economy

donald-trump-3Since Trump’s election we’ve seen a national rebound in consumer, small business and large corporate confidence. The American business and worker class seem to be saying what Californians don’t want to hear: We want an economy not stifled by environmental and tax regulations. We want a president that understands, “It’s the economy, stupid!” California once had that type of mentality, but now with an economy that mostly produces temporary, low paying, service sector jobs where are the positives for the California economy?

The answer is everywhere. Progressive policies were a great idea over a hundred years ago when they were meant to curb female abuse at the hands of alcoholic husbands, child labor in Chicago meatpacking sweatshops epitomized in Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle, and breaking down corporate monopolies. Former President Theodore Roosevelt led that charge for the working man and woman.

That day has passed, and now gentrified environmental billionaires such as Tom Steyer and his legislative lackeys tow the global warming line for coastal elites. Unfortunately, most of California – and even wealthy Los Angeles – suffer the policies of leaders such as Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s job killer bill like SB32 and the boosting of AB32 into further restrictions on economic growth.

There isn’t a green economy that comes close to what Trump is proposing to do for energy exploration on public and private lands. Factually, there isn’t such a thing as the California green economy. It doesn’t exist. Nor does it produce anything resembling large-scale economic progress the way oil and gas exploration produces millions of jobs, and billions of tax revenues.

This is what President Trump will pursue when it comes fossil fuel extraction as a nationwide policy. And this will include California, especially if Trump does away with the moratoriums on deep water drilling for oil and natural gas off the California coastlines.

California has billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. The tax revenue produced by this could turn California into an economy that could reach the second largest in the world. If California would turn their back on the fallacy of the green economy and embrace sensible exploration our public schools could be the envy of the U.S., our infrastructure needs taken care of without tax increases, and a true, thriving middle class. Not the progressive haves and have-nots currently seen in California.

This is what Trump has in mind for the U.S., and dare it seems California could be on his radar to expand American energy opportunities.

Trump’s cabinet picks have all indicated economic growth will be their number one priority, and re-establishing America’s preeminence in the world through a larger blue water navy. What this means for California is hard to understand, but one thing is certain, the tech sector will see growth supplying the U.S. Navy with state of the art software. But China’s recent belligerence could be a bellwether of things to come for California’s economy; if the Chinese begin to make their markets even tougher to enter, this doesn’t bode well for California exports.

Sanctuary cities in California could also see a hit with cheaper labor on the downturn if Trump keeps his campaign promises and begins deporting illegals that are criminals, and not allowing the DREAM Act to continue through executive action. The rush for asylum could see Trump’s Justice Department and I.C.E. taking on Gov. Brown and the California Legislature.

Does California have the stomach for federal funds being cut off? Trump doesn’t need California, more than California needs the president-elect, and the federal dollars he is soon to control. The politics of this issue could be a harbinger for the legal fights and strength of the federal government California will be dealing with in 2017. What happens when Trump appoints the next Supreme Court justice, and then could go after the special status of illegal aliens/undocumented immigrants. California will lose. It’s hard to imagine Brown and the Legislature along with the Congressional delegation negotiating sensibly with Trump and his administration.

Special status will be reserved for California’s fixation on global warming led by Gov. Brown and coastal elites in San Francisco and the west side of Los Angeles. When Trump and his cabinet increase energy, but not necessarily renewables, California laws – AB32 and SB32 – won’t have the ability to make much of a difference. Though they don’t really work as intended anyway.

And with economic growth taking precedence over Paris Climate Agreements and the Clean Power Plan the rest of the U.S. will need cheaper energy that oil, natural gas and coal provide. Further, California’s dream of electric vehicles, solar panels and windmills powering California will not grow and the bullet train will be dead on arrival for the incoming administration and Congress.

California will also not be able, or allowed, to stop shipments of coal that the Obama administration encouraged and certainly didn’t stop. Not to mention the legality of the issue. California again will run into a juggernaut of federal laws, regulations and a hostile federal government if coal shipments are not allowed through California ports to reach an energy hungry China, India and the rest of Asia. Those are American jobs, and votes for Trump’s re-election that he more than likely won’t allow California environmental policy to dictate how and where coal is shipped from our ports. Global warming won’t be high on Trump’s vision of American growth, and it was misguided policy by the Obama administration that hurt Americans of all economic stripes.

We’ve already seen how Trump has dictated new water policies to California that doesn’t involve climate change, or EPA policies curbing manufacturing, but instead showed how water enhancement can assist farmers and development in the Central Valley. Anything that grows the economy will be at the forefront of the Trump administration, and not the reduction of greenhouse gases. These were all economic harbingers shunned by California and the Obama administration’s Commerce, Interior and Energy Departments along with his EPA. That won’t be the case with President Trump.

Economic opportunity will rule the next four years, and because California supported President Obama’s use of executive orders, and his famous, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” form of governance, California can expect the same. The expansion of federal powers under Obama will be stretched to block California progressive laws that don’t coincide with Trump’s presidency.

A Republican House and Senate will thumb their nose at California’s economic and social gains seen under Obama that will be hard to stop if Trump decides he’s had enough of our voter’s malfeasance towards him. The problem with supporting Obama’s way he governed by executive fiat won’t be able to counter Trump is moving beyond the Constitution since that is what Obama has done for eight years with California supporters cheering his every step.

California was certain that Trump would lose and Clinton would expand every social whim most of America finds disdainful. Economic reality will be coming to California and our environmental laws, because Trump can ignore this state for his entire presidency. If you take away California’s bloated vote totals then he won the popular vote by over 1.6 million. We better understand a new dawn is arising, or our economy could be left behind in more ways than we can imagine.

Violating the Constitution that created it

The political left’s responses to Donald Trump’s surprise Electoral College victory has led to many proposed “improvements” in that institution, ironically illustrating one of the main issues determining the outcome — what philosophy would guide judicial appointments.

Trump indicated that he would appoint justices that would honor the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. That would comport with our founders, expressed in Federalist 78, that “It will be the duty of the judicial tribunals … to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals.” That was at odds with Hillary Clinton’s intent to appoint “living Constitution” jurists, who prefer subsequent judicial interpretations they like over the Constitution itself, whenever they conflict, effectively re-writing the Constitution.

So left-leaning legal scholars have illustrated their preferred means of Constitutional redefinition to produce their desired results via Electoral College “reform” proposals.

Kenneth Jost, author of the Supreme Court Yearbook, argues, “The electoral college is enshrined in the Constitution, but that doesn’t make it constitutional.” He arrives at that internally inconsistent conclusion because “The Supreme Court established the principle — ‘one person, one vote’ — in 1964.” But that is not in the Constitution. It is a much later court invention, now being used retroactively to define part of the Constitution unconstitutional. The fact that our founders did not find that so when they wrote and adopted the Constitution is simply ignored.

University of California, Irvine, Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, a leading liberal Constitutional interpreter, takes the same theme further. He argues that “the text of the Constitution is modified by its amendments,” so the Electoral College allocation of votes should be declared unconstitutional as violating the constitutional amendments [citing the 5th Amendment] that guarantee equal protection of the law.” This, despite the fact that adopters of the Bill of Rights in 1791 clearly found no unconstitutionality in the Electoral College from the 5th Amendment. Neither were earlier examples of popular vote winners who lost in the Electoral College asserted to be unconstitutional. Chemerinsky, as Jost, builds his case not on the Constitution, but upon “The Supreme Court long has held,” followed by some ruling that twists the Constitution and can now be interpreted as at odds with the Electoral College, plus the claim that the redefined constitutional meaning should now trump the Constitution.

Neither of these prominent challenges to the Electoral College relies on the Constitution. Arguments are instead grounded in previous “The Supreme Court has held” rulings that deviated from consistency with the clearly understood original meaning of the Constitution. This is, in fact, such a common approach in “living Constitution” jurisprudence that scholars have even compiled “worst of” lists, such as Robert Levy and William Mellor’s The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom.

Should America be faithful to the Constitution, and the sharply limited federal government of enumerated powers it created to protect our freedoms from abuse at its hands, as the earlier, controlling precedent, or should we accept precedents that have already warped it almost beyond recognition? If the Constitution’s meaning is to be so easily changed (but only when the left finds it amenable to their ends) that even “emanations from penumbras” around other rights can effectively rewrite it, why did our founders spell out such a difficult process for changing it? And why should we respect precedents from 1964 or others years long after America’s establishment, on the basis that the Constitution must be upheld, when those precedents distorted it rather than upheld it? Surely that Alice in Wonderland approach to constitutional meaning is too weak a reed to throw out the Electoral College as violating the Constitution that created it.

Gary M. Galles is a Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, an Adjunct Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a member of the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network. His books include Lines of Liberty (2016), Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013).