Kamala Harris Caught LYING—AGAIN—Media Mostly Quiet

The media jumps on every word said by President Trump, and declares it a lie.  Yet the Fake News media has been silent about the lies told by Kamala Harris.  The media hates that Trump has had “charges” made against him in re” women.  Yet Harris is PROUD that she was a mistress to a married man, to promote her political career—Willie Brown.  Here is another lie—besides her lie that she was bussed for “integration purposes” in BERKELEY In the 1970’s.

“Several immigration experts said these memos show Harris resisted the Obama-era policy, at least to some degree. But, they said, that resistance did not take place early on.

“The bulletin on detainers was meaningful,” UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson said in an email. “It allowed local law enforcement agencies” discretion “to not detain low level offenders.” 

“Attorney General Harris was not as aggressive in opposing President Obama’s immigration policies as Attorney General Xavier Becerra has opposed President Trump’s,” Johnson added. “She could be criticized for that but she was a Democrat wanting to work with a Democratic administration.  It is clear that Senator Harris now is quite willing to criticize the immigration enforcement policies of this Republican administration.”

Harris embellishes the truth and the Fake News is silent.  Anything Trump said is claimed to be embellished talk.  If it weren’t for double standards the media would have no standards.

Half-True

FACT CHECK: Did Kamala Harris really disagree with Obama’s deportation policy?


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to questions in the spin room after the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo)

California Sen. Kamala Harris claimed yesterday that during her time as the state’s attorney general, she “disagreed” with President Obama’s use of the Secure Communities program that partnered local and federal authorities to deport people who were in the country illegally. 

Harris was elected California attorney general in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

She made the claim about disagreeing with Obama during her breakout performance at the Democratic presidential debate in Miami, along with other impassioned assertions on civil rights and the economy that we fact-checked here

Harris was responding to a moderator’s question of whether a person living in the United States, “without documents, and that is his only offense, should that person be deported?”

“I will say — no, absolutely not, they should not be deported. And I actually —  this was one of the very few issues with which I disagreed with the administration, with whom I always had a great relationship and a great deal of respect.

“But on the secure communities issue, I was attorney general of California. I led the second-largest Department of Justice in the United States, second only to the United States Department of Justice, in a state of 40 million people.

“I disagreed with my president, because the policy was to allow deportation of people who by ICE’s own definition were non-criminals. So as attorney general, and the chief law officer of the state of California, I issued a directive to the sheriffs of my state that they did not have to comply with detainers, and instead should make decisions based on the best interests of public safety of their community.”

President Obama halted Secure Communities in 2014 following opposition from states and cities who said it eroded trust between local police and undocumented communities. President Trump restarted it shortly after taking office in 2017. 

Given the controversial history of the Obama-era policy, we wanted to know: Did Harris really disagree with it? And, if so, how much? And what did she do about it? 

We set out on a fact check. 

Our research

There’s some evidence Harris disagreed with Secure Communities. In 2014, then-AG Harris advised local police and sheriff’s departments, in the form of a bulletin, that they did not have to comply with ICE detainer requests. 

“Federal immigration detainers are voluntary and this bulletin supports the TRUST Act and law enforcement leaders’ discretion to utilize resources in a manner that best serves their communities,” Harris said in a news release that announced the bulletin. 

Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed The Trust Act  in 2013. It limited local police and sheriff’s cooperation with federal immigration agents, and was a precursor of the state’s sanctuary law, SB 54, signed by Brown in 2017, which further limited that cooperation. 

Harris’ news release said that two years earlier, in 2012, she issued another “information bulletin” to law enforcement agencies clarifying that federal immigration detainers “are not mandatory, but are merely requests enforceable at the discretion of the state and local agency.” 

Several immigration experts said these memos show Harris resisted the Obama-era policy, at least to some degree. But, they said, that resistance did not take place early on.

“The bulletin on detainers was meaningful,” UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson said in an email. “It allowed local law enforcement agencies” discretion “to not detain low level offenders.” 

“Attorney General Harris was not as aggressive in opposing President Obama’s immigration policies as Attorney General Xavier Becerra has opposed President Trump’s,” Johnson added. “She could be criticized for that but she was a Democrat wanting to work with a Democratic administration.  It is clear that Senator Harris now is quite willing to criticize the immigration enforcement policies of this Republican administration.”

Harris silent early on 

The Huffington Post published an in-depth report last week on Harris’ lack of action early in California’s debate over immigrant protections. 

It found Harris remained “largely silent,” from 2011 to 2013 as activists and lawmakers worked to pass the Trust Act, a landmark statewide sanctuary law over the objections of then-Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration. 

“The Trust Act was a new way to limit ICE at the state level,” Angela Chan, policy director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, told the HuffingtonPost. “We were at the forefront. She didn’t get why it was important to support it at the time. … She only signaled support when it was safe to do so.” 

Sameer Ashar, a UCLA law professor and former co-director of the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic, told us the record is mixed on Harris’ position. 

“My general sense is there was a lot of grassroots movement pressure on elected officials in California to direct local law enforcement not to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement,” Ashar said. “And she responded to that pressure. She took some positive steps, but it was under great pressure.” 

He added: “She never led in California on the fight at the time. If anything, she led from behind … She has evolved over time.” 

Harris’ campaign cited a 2009 Los Angeles Times article that paraphrased then-San Francisco District Attorney Harris as saying, “It is not the duty of local law enforcement, she said, to enforce federal immigration laws.” 

The campaign also cited a 2011 San Francisco Chronicle report. It quoted then-AG Harris’ spokeswoman saying her office “was broadly examining the issue of Secure Communities and taking a serious look at the program.” 

By late 2012, Harris was more vocal in her opposition, describing the program in news articles as “flawed,” and “has not held up to what it aspired to be,” as her campaign pointed out.

Our ruling

Kamala Harris claimed she “disagreed” with the Obama administration on a deportation program where local police and sheriffs partnered with federal immigration agents to remove people who were in the country illegally.  

As attorney general in 2012 and again in 2014, Harris issued bulletins telling local law enforcement they did not have to comply with the program’s federal immigration detainer requests. She was also quoted in news articles in late 2012 strongly opposing the program.

But immigration experts say Harris was largely absent in California’s early efforts to pass laws limiting local cooperation with federal agents. She resisted the program, they said, only after pressure built to pass those state laws and then “led from behind,” as one expert described it. 

Harris’ statement about disagreeing is partially accurate, but it leaves out some key history and takes things out of context.

We rate Harris’ claim Half True.


HALF TRUE – The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.

As More California Kids Drop Medi-Cal Coverage, Experts Seek Answers

This is an interesting question:  What happened to the 152,000 children that left Medi-Cal in 2018?  It could be they got out of poverty, left the State for a cheaper State, deported—most are illegal aliens.  It is interesting to note the Assembly Democrats and Guv Newsom have agreed to spend $98 million MORE for illegal aliens to get free health care.  But Senate Democrats have not agreed yet.  Oh, while spending more on illegal aliens, they will NOT help honest California seniors—they will not get increased benefits.  That means the Democrats are financing health care for illegal aliens by DENYING better health care for honest California seniors.

“It’s not yet clear whether these children have lost health insurance coverage altogether, or enrolled in private insurance plans. Health policy advocates and the report’s authors say it’s likely that at least some of decline is a result of wary immigrant families pulling eligible children out of government health insurance programs. Federal attempts to undermine Affordable Care Act reforms, such as by removing the individual mandate for people to enroll in health insurance, may also play a role, they said.

“The loss is alarming,” said Michael Odeh, health policy director for Children Now, a children’s health advocacy group. “We’ve seen an uptick in the number of uninsured kids from other data, so this declining enrolment and lowering of participation in Medi-Cal is truly concerning.”

What is alarming is that Democrats prefer to use your tax dollar to help here illegally, while holding back care for honest citizens—that is alarming.  It is also alarming that the media refuses to tell the public about Democrat Priorities.

As More California Kids Drop Medi-Cal Coverage, Experts Seek Answers

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett, California Health Report,  6/5/19   

More than 150,000 California children dropped out of federally funded health insurance programs in 2018, a trend some experts blame on the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and efforts to upend the Affordable Care Act.

Enrollment in California’s low-income health program, called Medi-Cal, and the low-cost Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) dropped 3 percent in 2018, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. That’s a total of 152,515 children leaving the two programs.

The enrollment drop follows stagnation in California’s uninsured rate among kids in 2017, reversing years of growth in health coverage rates following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

It’s not yet clear whether these children have lost health insurance coverage altogether, or enrolled in private insurance plans. Health policy advocates and the report’s authors say it’s likely that at least some of decline is a result of wary immigrant families pulling eligible children out of government health insurance programs. Federal attempts to undermine Affordable Care Act reforms, such as by removing the individual mandate for people to enroll in health insurance, may also play a role, they said.

“The loss is alarming,” said Michael Odeh, health policy director for Children Now, a children’s health advocacy group. “We’ve seen an uptick in the number of uninsured kids from other data, so this declining enrolment and lowering of participation in Medi-Cal is truly concerning.”

California’s loss of young Medicaid and CHIP enrollees is part of a national trend. Across the country, more than 820,000 children left the programs last year, the Georgetown report found.

The California Department of Health Care Services attributed the decline to improvements in the economy and the state’s low unemployment rate. In a statement, department spokesman Anthony Cava said it’s likely more families are gaining job-based health insurance and earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal.

“Medi-Cal enrollment is typically counter cyclical.  During economic downturns, enrollment rises as individuals may see declines in income and/or the loss of jobs that provide for health care coverage. This can create a demand for Medi-Cal coverage,” he wrote. “Conversely, during economic expansions, the demand for Medi-Cal coverage declines, as job opportunities and incomes increase.”

But report co-author Edwin Park, aresearch professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, said economic growth is not enough to explain the drop in enrollment. Although enrollment in Medi-Cal and CHIP typically slows during a strong economy, it’s unusual for it to go down, he said. What’s more, the loss of children in the programs is happening across the country, even in states where the unemployment rate is stagnant or has increased, Park added.

“There weren’t any particularly noteworthy changes in economic indicators in (2018) that could explain a sudden reduction in the number of people eligible or a big increase in alternative forms of coverage like employer-sponsored insurance,” he said.

Pending bills in the state legislature to reinstate the individual mandate and to make health insurance more affordable could help keep more children insured, Park said. The state should also double down on outreach to low-income and immigrant families to reassure them it’s safe to enroll their children in Medi-Cal and to educate them on the benefits of having health care, he and Odeh said.

Nevertheless, Park said the data shows California can “only do so much,” in the face of hostile federal policies.

“The national headwinds were hard and likely were contributing to the Medicaid and CHIP enrolment decline in 2018,” he said.

Kids without insurance “may end up in poor health, do worse in school and over the long term have poorer health and other life achievement outcomes than they would if they had health coverage,” he said. “These are all very troubling, worrisome signs.”

New state-run IRA for private sector opens July 1

A new state workplace retirement savings program, CalSavers, will open to an estimated 250,00 to 300,000 employers on July 1 — offering an automatic IRA payroll deduction for the 7.5 million California workers with no retirement plan on the job.

The massive program, expected to handle billions in savings, is voluntary for employees. If they don’t opt out in 30 days, they are automatically enrolled. Once in the plan, they can opt out at any time, and then opt back in if they choose.

For businesses with five or more employees, the program is mandatory. They must offer employees CalSavers, or a qualified retirement plan chosen by the employer, to avoid a penalty for repeated non-compliance of $750 per employee.

CalSavers opens July 1 to all eligible employers and to the self-employed on Sept 1. Compliance deadlines begin for businesses with over 100 employees June 30, 2020; over 50 employees June 30, 2021, and five or more employees June 30, 2022.

The CalSavers goal is to help the nearly half of all California workers, with little beyond Social Security, who are projected to retire into hardship. Their average annual income is $35,000. Two-thirds work for businesses with less than 100 employees.

“Workers with a payroll deduction savings option are 15 times more likely to be on a path to retirement security, and 20 times more likely when it’s automatic enrollment,” says CalSavers, citing AARP.

CalSavers launches after a difficult 11-year journey. Finance groups objected to government competition and overreach. Labor groups wanted protection against investment losses. Conservatives and taxpayer groups feared more state retirement debt.

Former state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, whose initial legislation failed in 2008 and 2009, obtained legislation for a feasibility and marketing study in 2012, and the final authorizing legislation in 2016.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain endorsed an automatic IRA for individual tax-deferred retirement savings, a proposal made in 2006 by J. Mark Iwry of the Brookings Institution and David C. John of the Heritage Foundation.

Former President Obama’s repeated budget proposals for an automatic IRA failed in Congress. A National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems paper in 2011 proposed a model automatic IRA for states to adopt and gave it a name, Secure Choice.

“The NCPERS plan reflected the recognition by public employees that the quality of their own retirement coverage could be at risk if their counterparts in the private sector lack access to a retirement system,” a Center for Retirement Research at Boston College report said in 2016.

CalSavers was formerly known as Secure Choice. Two states have already launched automatic IRA programs, OregonSaves and Illinois Secure Choice, and three other states are developing automatic IRAs, New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut.

California joined other states in successfully urging the Obama administration to provide a “safe harbor” labor regulation exempting automatic IRAs from a federal law for private-sector pensions, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

After President Trump took office in 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress, through the rarely used Congressional Review Act, passed fast-track legislation signed by the new president that repealed the 2016 safe harbor regulation.

The authorizing legislation for CalSavers says the program can’t be covered by ERISA, which has burdensome regulations and could expose employers to liability. CalSavers believes it’s exempt from ERISA without the added security of a safe harbor.

Last March, a federal judge ruled in a Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association suit that CalSavers is not preempted by ERISA. U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. dismissed the Jarvis claim with “one final leave to amend” due to the importance of the issue.

“We are very confident we are on strong legal ground,” Katie Selenski, CalSavers executive director, said last week.

CalSavers pilot participation snapshot as of May 29, 2019

CalSavers emerged from the legislative gauntlet with an unusual limit for a new state program: no cost to taxpayers. It’s roughly similar to two smaller savings programs also run out of the state treasurer’s office: ScholarShare for college and CalABLE for disabilities.

Half of the $1 million donated for a CalSavers feasibility study came from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, vilified by some for pushing pension reform. Two public employee unions contributed $100,000 each, state SEIU and the California Teachers Association.

CalSavers, operating with a state startup loan that will be repaid by saver fees, has spent about $3.3 million so far. The program is expected to save taxpayers money in the long run by reducing the need for public assistance to impoverished elders.

The CalSavers staff remains small under the authorizing legislation requiring the use of private-sector contractors. Ascensus is the administrator, handling record keeping, a customer service call center, and the website used by savers to monitor and change their accounts.

State Street runs four investment funds: money market, target date based on retirement age, bonds, and global equity. Newton runs an ESG fund screened for environmental, social and corporate governance factors.

AKF is the general consultant, Meketa the investment consultant, and K&L Gates the legal and regulatory advisor. The nine-member CalSavers board includes the state treasurer, controller, finance director, four gubernatorial appointees, and two legislative appoinitees.

CalSavers formed a number of working groups with employers and employees during the design of the program. Experience was shared by the Oregon plan, launched two years ago, and the Illinois plan started last year. Both are administered by Ascensus.

Easing problems small businesses have faced in offering retirement plans, CalSavers has no employer fees, cuts the burden of selecting and administering a plan, and the employer is not a sponsor with fiduciary liability.

Employers register with CalSavers, send an employee roster, enable a payroll deduction, and then provides roster updates. Employers do not contribute to employee savings accounts, answer questions about the program, or encourage or discourage participation.

For employees, the preselected or default CalSavers payroll deduction is 5 percent of pay, automatically increasing 1 percent a year to 8 percent of pay. But savers can change their payroll deduction rate at any time.

A Roth IRA is standard, allowing withdrawals without penalties or taxes. A traditional IRA option will be available by the end of the year. If the employee moves to another job, the savings can be transferred or left with CalSavers.

If savers don’t choose their funds, CalSavers puts the first $1,000 into the money market fund, with little risk of investment loss, and contributions after that into a target date fund based on the age of the saver.

The fee CalSavers charges savers, which is how the program is sustained, are expected at launch to total 0.825 to 0.95 percent (82.5 cents to 95 cents for every $100 per year) and then drop as the program grows to among the lowest in the industry.

Most of the total charge is a program administration fee for day-to-day operations and repaying the startup loan with interest. The rest is a fee for managing investments, ranging from 0.025 percent to 0.15 percent depending on the investment option chosen by the saver.

During a pilot that received its first contributions Jan. 3, CalSavers worked with 60 employers to test the program. Most of the results so far (see chart) are from the first wave of 30 employers and generally meet expectations, including the opt-out rate of 22 percent.

One of the challenges that CalSavers faces now is moving from the close attention given employers during the pilot phase to a more automated routine as the program grows, Selenski, the executive director, told the CalSTRS board last month.

Another challenge is the lack of a budget for advertising and marketing as the program launches, Selenski said. Her presentation to the CalSTRS board was part of a cost-cutting grassroots campaign to spread awareness of the program and urge others to do the same.

“Every dollar we spend out of that loan is a dollar that is coming out of the pockets of our savers,” Selenski said.

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at Calpensions.com.

The Legal Maneuvering That Put Strippers at the Center of the Gig Economy Debate

Really?  A big issue in Sacramento—created by the Democrats is whether STRIPPERS should be considered employees or independent contractors.  We have failed government education, worst roads and streets in the nation, 12 million people in poverty—I could go on, but you get the point.  Now a San Diego Democrat Assembly member has decided strippers need protection.  It reminds me of a Federal study, $500,000 spent on it—“Why do San Francisco prostitutes use drugs”.  Really!  The answer is obvious—they are prostitutes.  But, some love to spend the money—really a payoff for political support among academia.

“Strippers, including Stormy Daniels, have strutted to the forefront of the vibrant worker classification debate in California.

They have done so in part through lawsuits asserting exotic dancers should be treated as employees rather independent contractors, and San Diego Superior Court has been one key venue for the litigation seeking to expose strip clubs’ alleged unlawful practices.

A class-action complaint filed here last year targeted alleged worker misclassification by Las Vegas-based Deja Vu Services Inc., which operates dozens of strip clubs nationwide, including Deja Vu Showgirls on Midway Drive.

A judge rejected a settlement of that case in late 2018 after Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney who’s taken on prominent gig-economy companies, objected on behalf of dancers to what she alleged would be a paltry payout to the entertainers.”

Dumb issue—but I rather the Democrats spend time on this rather than tax increases.

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

The Legal Maneuvering That Put Strippers at the Center of the Gig Economy Debate

Two cases involving strippers and how they’re treated by their employers have made San Diego ground zero in the fight over how to classify workers.

 

Lyle Moran, Voice of San Diego,  2/13/19

 

Strippers, including Stormy Daniels, have strutted to the forefront of the vibrant worker classification debate in California.

They have done so in part through lawsuits asserting exotic dancers should be treated as employees rather independent contractors, and San Diego Superior Court has been one key venue for the litigation seeking to expose strip clubs’ alleged unlawful practices.

A class-action complaint filed here last year targeted alleged worker misclassification by Las Vegas-based Deja Vu Services Inc., which operates dozens of strip clubs nationwide, including Deja Vu Showgirls on Midway Drive.

A judge rejected a settlement of that case in late 2018 after Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney who’s taken on prominent gig-economy companies, objected on behalf of dancers to what she alleged would be a paltry payout to the entertainers.

Liss-Riordan also represents dancers in a new class-action suit filed in San Diego claiming that even though Deja Vu clubs have now made their dancers employees, they retaliated against them for their prior legal activities by drastically cutting their pay.

The case, filed in late January, could be a harbinger of similar suits to come as companies grapple with how to comply with the California Supreme Court’s 2018 Dynamex decision that makes it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors.

Meanwhile, legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego to codify the court’s decision has already sparked plenty of public discussion and drawn the ire of business groups. It even prompted Daniels, an adult entertainer best known for her claimed affair with President Donald Trump, to publicly advocate for allowing strippers to remain independent contractors.

Misclassification Class Action

The class-action lawsuit filed against Deja Ju Services last May in San Diego Superior Court was brought on behalf of exotic dancers at Deja Vu-affiliated clubs statewide. One of four initial class representatives, who were all unnamed, was a dancer who had performed at Deja Vu Showgirls in San Diego.

The suit alleged that under both the Dynamex decision and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the dancers had been miscast as independent contractors.

In its unanimous April 2018 Dynamex decision, the state Supreme Court adopted a so-called ABC test featuring three factors an employer must establish to demonstrate a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor. The three factors are:

  • A. The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work.
  • B. The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.
  • C. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

To make their case they should have been classified as employees, the exotic dancers cited multiple examples of how the defendants had control over their activities at work.

“Defendants dictate: the hours of operation; length of shifts dancers must work; the show times during which a dancer may perform; minimum dance tips; determine the sequence in which a dancer may perform on stage during her stage rotation; the format and themes of dancers’ performances (including their costuming and appearances),” the suit stated.

As part of a proposed settlement filed with the San Diego court last fall covering roughly 5,800 dancers with claims against 25 strip clubs, Deja Vu agreed to convert all the class members to employee status.

The $1.5 million settlement would have also provided about $900,000 to the dancers in the class, or roughly $300 per dancer if half of the dancers were located and cashed their checks as estimated.

“This settlement provides substantial benefits and monetary recovery for defendants’ alleged wage and hour violations,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote in a court filing.

Objection and a Rejection

Enter Liss-Riordan, a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C. in Boston, who has gained prominence for filing worker misclassification suits against gig-economy giants like Uber and Lyft.

She filed an objection to the San Diego settlement on behalf dancers at Deja Vu clubs, arguing that it would provide “minimal compensation” to the dancers.

While class counsel had estimated the full verdict value of the plaintiffs’ claims at $32 million, Liss-Riordan wrote that data she reviewed led her to calculate damages of more than $102 million for the 1.5-year period at issue. She said her calculation did not include additional penalties that could be recouped under the Private Attorneys General Act, known as PAGA.

The settlement proposed to provide just $20,000 to resolve dancers’ PAGA claims, while Liss-Riordan said in a different case dancers were “poised to obtain potentially millions of dollars in PAGA penalties against a single club.”

Overall, the settlement amount was “merely a fraction of the relief that has been obtained in judgments and settlements of cases brought on behalf of exotic dancers around the country,” Liss-Riordan alleged.

San Diego attorney Tammara Bokmuller, who represents Deja Vu in the case, defended the agreement in an interview.

“It was a fair, reasonable and adequate settlement,” said Bokmuller of the Clark Hill law firm.

In November, San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor denied a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, writing that there would need to be an “enhanced showing” for him to approve such a pact.

His denial was without prejudice, meaning the parties could try to seek approval again after modifications or supplying additional information.

In December, Liss-Riordan’s clients were granted intervenor status in the case and filed their own complaint. Just days later, Deja Vu removed the case to federal court. Bokmuller said Deja Vu did so because of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act issues in play.

Liss-Riordan said her clients will try to move the case back to San Diego Superior Court.

“Deja Vu is clearly trying to get away from the state court judge who granted our clients intervenor status and declined to approve their settlement,” she wrote in an email.

‘Collusion’ Among Attorneys

Liss-Riordan said in a recent interview that the San Diego settlement was part of Deja Vu’s pattern of “trying to rid themselves of liability for wage violation to these dancers by entering into extremely lowball settlements with willing plaintiffs’ lawyers.”

One of the other examples she cited was a $6.6 million settlement Deja Vu reached in Michigan to resolve misclassification claims covering more than 28,000 dancers at 60-plus clubs nationwide.

Liss-Riordan said the 2017 settlement provided less than $1 million to the dancers.

“No matter how many dancers or how many clubs are involved, somehow it always comes out to just under $1 million for the dancers,” she said.

The Michigan settlement was approved by a federal judge, but Liss-Riordan’s firm has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

In her successful objection to the San Diego settlement, Liss-Riordan noted that the plaintiffs’ counsel in the Michigan case were also involved in the case here. One of the section headers in her objection filing says, “The Appearance of Collusion between the Parties Raises Serious Red Flags.”

Jason J. Thompson, a Michigan attorney listed as one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, did not respond to requests for comment. Trenton Ross Kashima, a San Diego-based lawyer for the plaintiffs, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Bokmuller denied there was any collusion in crafting the settlement.

“This same attorney has made the same allegation in numerous class actions,” she said. “There is no credibility to it.”

She said Liss-Riordan’s tactic of objecting to the settlements Deja Vu has reached causes delays that hurt the dancers who would receive payments under the deals.

Retaliation Class Action

Even though the 2018 settlement in San Diego was denied, Deja Vu made its California dancers employees late last year.

Notices about the change posted in the dressing rooms at Deja Vu Showgirls mentioned the misclassification lawsuits strip clubs had been fighting in what it said were efforts to protect dancers’ rights.

The notice also said, however, that as a result of the lawsuits and “unrelenting demands by the attorneys, the club is now FORCED to make all entertainers become EMPLOYEES and end your right to be an independent contractor.”

But if Deja Vu hoped the change would put an end to the litigation, it was wrong.

In late January, Liss-Riordan filed a class-action lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court alleging dancers at Deja Vu clubs in California were retaliated against for filing the earlier lawsuit.

The new lawsuit claims that the retaliation consisted of reducing the dancers’ pay “far beyond any amount that would be arguably justified to offset their increased costs in classifying the dancers as employees.”

SFBSC Management LLC, which the complaint says has “management authority and control” over the operations of a number of Deja Vu clubs in California, is a named defendant in the suit along with two Deja Vu clubs in San Francisco.

Ryan Carlson, director of operations for Deja Vu Services, denied the company engaged in any retaliation.

“A business simply can’t pay an employee dancer as much as a contractor dancer could earn, because it incurs substantially increased taxes, benefits, and costs to pay an hourly employee,” Carlson wrote in an email.

“Dancers are earning an hourly wage plus a commission on their sales, and always earning more than minimum wage,” he wrote. “Effectively, they are earning the same percentage of money as before in most cases, but more of it is actually going toward taxes and costs.”

The independent contractor-to-employee transition also generated thousands of dollars in extra administrative costs, Carlson said, causing many of Deja Vu’s clubs to become unprofitable during the change.

“Some of the smaller clubs will have to close because the cost is simply too great,” he said.

Quieter Times at San Diego Club

On a recent Friday afternoon at Deja Vu Showgirls in San Diego, “God’s Plan” by Drake played over the speakers to a near-empty club.

One of the two exotic dancers present waited on stage for more guests to arrive, while the other entertained a visitor in the Hookah lounge.

A dancer who goes by the stage name “Alyssa” said the afternoons have always been slower than the evenings, but they have been even quieter since entertainers like herself transitioned to being employees.

That is because the club can’t afford to pay too many dancers receiving an hourly rate to be on hand if they are not generating a steady flow of money for the club. And Alyssa said guests are less likely to drop by if they are not going to see a variety of dancers.

“There was a customer here the other day who said, ‘Why do I always see you?’” she said.

The mother of three, who has danced at Deja Vu for three years, said she keeps showing up to perform because she has bills to pay and regulars who expect to see her.

But while the dancers used to take home their pay with them as independent contractors each day they performed, they now are paid by check every other week, causing Alyssa to have to monitor her spending much more closely.

“I have to be saving money and waiting for the check,” she said. “I preferred being an independent contractor.”

Dave Sieckman, a manager at Deja Vu Showgirls, said the sentiments expressed by Alyssa were common among the entertainers.

He said a number of dancers have left to perform at other clubs locally and elsewhere that allow them to work as independent contractors. Deja Vu Showgirls used to have upward of 70 dancers it would feature, Sieckman said, but that figure is now in the mid-to-high 30s.

Even before converting the dancers to employees, the dancers were given the option of being employees rather than working as independent contractors, he said.

“The entertainers didn’t take the option,” Sieckman said.

For the dancers who have remained at Deja Vu, Sieckman highlighted that they are benefiting from new flooring, lighting and counters in their dressing rooms.

He also said he has maintained an optimistic outlook about the club’s future amid disappointment about the worker classification changes.

“We are figuring out how to make money in this structure and staying positive,” Sieckman said.

Lively Debate About Gonzalez Legislation

Meanwhile, Liss-Riordan said the dancers’ retaliation suit in San Diego could have resonance beyond what happens at Deja Vu’s clubs and in the broader exotic dancing industry.

The alleged retaliatory conduct at issue could give pause to other employees seeking their rights to proper classification, she said, and undermine the public interest in correct worker classification recognized by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex.

Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, wants to codify the court’s decision through legislation, and she has written AB 5 to achieve that goal. She said it is important to take action supporting the decision because others, including fellow lawmakers, have proposed altering its provisions.

“What we are trying to ensure is that working-class and middle-class workers don’t get squeezed by companies coming in wanting to do away with this decision,” Gonzalez said.

An updated version of AB 5 will provide exemptions for certain groups of professionals that have long operated as independent contractors, Gonzalez said, though she does not anticipate exotic dancers will be among them.

Daniels, who is normally in the news for her legal battles with Trump, argued in a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed that exotic dancers need legislation giving them the option of working as independent contractors.

“Many dancers are raising kids, attending school, or engaged in some other demanding pursuit, and we need to be able to work when we want, where we want, making reliable money paid at the end of each shift,” she wrote. “That’s the way it has always worked — until now in California, that is.”

Daniels identified herself in the piece as a spokeswoman for Deja Vu.

Gonzalez responded on Twitter: “Dear @StormyDaniels – if you’d like to really weigh in this bill, come see me. (I’m the author.) Or let’s do a live debate, if you prefer. But this is poppycock. Let’s protect all women. #AB5.”

Other business interests also are planning to fight against Gonzalez’s legislation, arguing that applying the ABC test broadly would hurt both employers and workers desiring flexibility.

The San Diego Regional Chamber hasn’t taken a position on AB 5, but its Small Business Roundtable has raised several concerns about the Dynamex case, said chamber spokeswoman Alison Phillips.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced during his State of the State speech Tuesday he will appoint a Commission on California’s Workforce & Future of Work tasked with developing “new ideas to expand worker opportunity without extinguishing innovation or flexibility.”

“This, respectfully, is much bigger than Dynamex,” he said.

Liss-Riordan said she fears any legislative action in Sacramento could water down worker protections in Dynamex, including through carve-outs for certain industries. She would prefer to see issues arising from the decision sorted out in the courts.

That is likely to be exactly what happens in San Diego in the coming months as the legal claims she has filed on behalf of strippers move forward.

 

Mathews: Can a Troubled Bridge Show California How to Avoid Big Errors?

In the first words of this article, Joe Mathews explains why the choo choo to nowhere, the Brown Folly, the Delta Tunnel and other government projects are and will be failures.

“How do you learn from a really big mistake?

Walk across it.

Which is why I recently found myself putting on a windbreaker and beginning a long, slow walk across the east span of the Bay Bridge, from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island. This piece of the bridge, completed in 2013, is probably the biggest California mistake of the last generation. The east span was completed a decade late, cost seven times more than official projections, and remains dogged by serious safety concerns.”

Want to see government failure—do as Joe did, walk across the Bay Bridge.  Maybe we should force every member of the Legislature and the Governor to do that?  Maybe all journalists need to see the fiasco of government  SEVEN TIMES THE COST—That would put the $78 billion choo choo to nowhere at the $500 billion mark, not the expected $200 billion, of which the money will never be available to complete—total, absolute boondoggle and scam.

Bay Bridge

Can a Troubled Bridge Show California How to Avoid Big Errors?

The Bay Bridge’s New East Span Proves Why Megaprojects Must Be Both Transformational and Functional

The Bay Bridge Trail of the Bay Bridge. Courtesy of Joe Mathews.

By Joe Mathews, Zocalo Public Square,  12/3/18

How do you learn from a really big mistake?

Walk across it.

Which is why I recently found myself putting on a windbreaker and beginning a long, slow walk across the east span of the Bay Bridge, from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island. This piece of the bridge, completed in 2013, is probably the biggest California mistake of the last generation. The east span was completed a decade late, cost seven times more than official projections, and remains dogged by serious safety concerns.

However, the bridge does have one virtue: It holds lessons for the future, as California faces massive challenges that will necessitate big projects. Indeed, after eight years of the cautious, small-bore governorship of Jerry Brown, new state leaders are preparing to take on big initiatives on infrastructure, taxation, and early childhood.

Before they do, they should read a recently published book I brought on my bridge walk: A Tale of Two Bridges, by Stephen D. Mikesell, a Davis-based historian who previously served as deputy historic preservation officer for the state. Mikesell compares the original 1936 Bay Bridge with the troubled 2013 east span, but his book is really about the special challenges of megaprojects—that is, complex and controversial initiatives costing more than $1 billion.

Today’s cynical conventional wisdom is that big projects are nearly impossible to carry off, and that those that do go forward are destined to fail. But Mikesell argues otherwise. He explains that the original 1936 Bay Bridge met conditions for successful megaprojects.

First, local and state leaders built broad consensus about the purpose and need for the project: constructing a bridge from San Francisco to Oakland was clearly a game-changer for the region in that era. Second, political people made the political decisions about the bridge, and technical people made the technical decisions. While a politically appointed commission approved the bridge and its budget, the details of design and construction were left to technical experts brought in from all over the country. Third, costs were estimated accurately and the bridge came in under budget. And finally, the bridge builders used proven methods for construction and materials, emphasizing functionality rather than trying to make an artistic statement.

The 2013 eastern span didn’t pass all these tests, Mikesell writes. The bridge was a divisive political issue for years. Cost estimates were way off. Technical decisions about bridge design and engineering were made through political processes. And the crucial political decision—to build an expensive new span instead of a less costly retrofit of the old span—was made inside Caltrans. Who were these decisionmaker? Shockingly, Mikesell, a seasoned expert on bridges, writes that the process was so messy it’s impossible to identify exactly who was responsible.

Ultimately, warnings from leading bridge engineers were ignored as Bay Area political leaders chose what they saw as the most visually attractive bridge—a self-anchored suspension bridge—even though this less common design created all sorts of problems.

The bridge does have one virtue: It holds lessons for the future, as California faces massive challenges that will necessitate big projects.

To walk the span today is to get a firsthand sense of a bridge gone wrong. The walkway itself offers the first clue: It’s on the wrong side of the bridge, the south side, which means that you get a view of the port of Oakland. If the walkway had been on the north-facing side, better views of the north bay, and even the Golden Gate, might have been possible. The walk is also polluted from the passing cars. I was often startled by loud noises from trucks hitting seams on the bridge; the eastbound traffic is so close it feels like it might run you over.

It took me nearly an hour to walk from a small parking lot at the Bay Bridge Trail entry point on Burma Road to the bridge’s signature tower and curve. There is nothing particularly beautiful or interesting about this tower and the cables attached to it. That’s a shame, since this is the section of the bridge that created most of the cost overruns. The tower is also the site of many structural problems, including saltwater intrusion into the foundation, damage to anchor rods, and substandard welds.

The bridge is also a failure because of what it didn’t do. Big projects should be transformational. But this span isn’t. It didn’t increase the bridge capacity or improve traffic flows. It is no artistic masterpiece. Paying for it actually raised bridge tolls. And prominent engineers argue that the new span may be more prone to fail in an earthquake that the old bridge it replaced.

“The 2013 East Bay is notable for how little it actually changed things in the Bay Area,” Mikesell writes.

The bridge was such a fiasco that prominent officials skipped its opening in 2013. It was left to the lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, to handle the ceremonial chain-cutting. In brief remarks, he expressed hope that the bridge would inspire “a generation to dream big dreams and do big things.”

Now that Newsom is becoming governor—and promising big things—perhaps he can turn the bridge into a perverse inspiration by following its essential lessons. Any big project must be truly transformational, providing a service or a connection that truly changes people’s lives. Paradoxically, the execution of such transformations must be intensely practical and risk-averse, emphasizing function over form.

In other words, when you are pursuing a transformational project, achieving the transformation itself must be the sole focus.

How might such lessons be applied? If Newsom wants to build a single-payer health care system, it shouldn’t be the gold-plated model that progressive groups have been advocating for, but rather something simple, cheap and sturdy, covering everyone. He’ll need to resist efforts to make his promised new systems for taxation, homebuilding, and early childhood highly complex with loads of new formulas; the simplest systems are more likely to be durably transformational.

After reaching Yerba Buena Island, I walked around and enjoyed views of Newsom’s city of San Francisco for a few minutes. Tired and sweaty, I called for a Lyft to take me back to Oakland. But no driver would come. So I trudged all the way back, on sore feet, repeating my earlier mistake.

Research From Latest US Climate Report Tied to 2 Major Democratic Donors

Bias.  That is the bottom line to the scare tactics used by the Democrats in regard to Global Warming.  As reported  a couple of days ago, the temperature on Earth is now down to 1980 levels—one magazine, based on a NASA report, claimed we are headed into a “mini-ice age”.  Yet, the Fake News continues to misrepresent the facts.  Now we have a hint as to why.

“However, NCA’s dire prediction of a 10 percent hit to the GDP comes from a 2017 study supported by the charitable foundations founded by major Democratic donors. The study was also funded by other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

That 2017 study, published in the journal Science, was funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Next Generation, which were founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, respectively.

University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke, Jr. pointed out problems with the study on Twitter Saturday, including the fact it was funded by groups connected with Bloomberg and Steyer.

Bloomberg and Steyer were the biggest donors to Democratic-aligned political action groups in the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

These are the same people that spent over $100 million EACH to defeat Republican members of Congress—they bought elections, based on lies.  The losers?  Honest elections, integrity of the process and the people of the United States.

220px-Al_Gore

Research From Latest US Climate Report Tied to 2 Major Democratic Donors

Michael Bastasch, Daily Signal, 11/26/18  

 

 

The latest National Climate Assessment is linked to Tom Steyer’s group Next Generation and to Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies. Pictured: Steyer at a Washington news conference on Jan. 8. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom)

It’s been repeated throughout the media that global warming could wipe out one-tenth of the U.S. economy by 2100. Now it’s a top-line finding of a major government climate report, but based on a study funded by groups affiliated with two major Democratic donors.

The oft-repeated claim also stemmed from a global warming projection that’s come under increased scrutiny from experts, including one who called it “outlandish.”

The federal government released the second volume of the National Climate Assessment , or NCA, on Friday. The federal report issued dire warnings, including from “ice sheet disintegration on accelerated sea level rise, leading to widespread effects on coastal development lasting thousands of years.”

The report also claims that “global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century,” including a 10 percent hit to the nation’s gross domestic product in one extreme scenario.

However, NCA’s dire prediction of a 10 percent hit to the GDP comes from a 2017 study supported by the charitable foundations founded by major Democratic donors. The study was also funded by other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

That 2017 study, published in the journal Science, was funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Next Generation, which were founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer, respectively.

University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke, Jr. pointed out problems with the study on Twitter Saturday, including the fact it was funded by groups connected with Bloomberg and Steyer.

Bloomberg and Steyer were the biggest donors to Democratic-aligned political action groups in the 2016 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bloomberg, who founded Bloomberg Philanthropies, handed nearly $60 million to liberal SuperPACs to help put Democratic candidates in office and defeat Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, according to the center.

Steyer, who co-founded Next Generation, gave roughly $58.7 million to liberal SuperPACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Bloomberg and Steyer back the Paris climate accord and Obama-era policies to phase out fossil fuels.

The Bloomberg-Steyer-funded study found future temperature rise could cost “roughly 1.2% of gross domestic product per [additional one degree Celsius increase] on average.” At the most extreme high-end, that could add up to 10 percent of gross domestic product by 2100.

Pielke called the use of such an extreme scenario “embarrassing” because it’s based on a future that’s 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer—in other words, twice what the United Nations’ most extreme scenario projects.

But even the United Nations’ worst-case scenario, called RCP8.5, is being called into question by experts. A study published in 2017 found that scenario was “exceptionally unlikely” because it suffered from “systematic errors in fossil production outlooks.”

“Imagine if research funded by Exxon was sole basis for claims. Given weaknesses of the work [it’s] just [foolish] to lean on it so much,” Pielke tweeted.

Major media outlets’ however, did no such examination of the NCA’s reliance on such an “outlandish” claim, as Pielke called it.

CNN reported “the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars—or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP” by 2100. The news outlets’ headline warned future warming could also “kill thousands.”

“All told, the report says, climate change could slash up to a tenth of gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession a decade ago,” The New York Times reported.

Andrew Light, a distinguished senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and reviewer of the chapter highlighting the Bloomberg-Steyer-funded study did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Instead, Light forwarded The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is responsible for producing the NCA. Program officials have yet to respond.

The NCA was put together with input from 13 federal agencies and outside scientists.

 

Eber: My “Slate Card” with the State propositions

A correction from a previous article, when I noted that Prop. 11  (the measure that gives time off, etc. to EMT’s) was written and promoted by the unions.  Instead, as I found out, it was a private firm, that could not get what it wanted at the negotiating table, due to a court decision.  Then could not get the Legislature to get what it wanted, so went to the ballot.

The zig/zag to get this measure on the ballot shows the system is broken.  This should not be decided by the voters—but due to court orders and legislative gridlock, we are faced with supporting this measure.  If passed, this will end the court order, the people would have spoken.

vote-ballot-election

My “Slate Card” with the State propositions By Richard Eber

richard eber, California Political News and Views,  11/1/18

Here we go again.  In the 2018 election the voters of California are faced with a group of propositions which in some cases look good on paper; but in reality amount too little more than a “pity party” The electorate is supposed to feel sorry for the less fortunate and bestow them benefits not available to others.

At the same time special interests, which sponsor these propositions, benefit from their passage.  I think they call such arrangements classic crony capitalism.

Next week those going to the polls will face the choice of playing an updated version of Queen for a Day or direct Sacramento to reject these wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. We have:

Proposition #1 is the ultimate pity party invite.  It authorizes 4 billion dollars for housing assistance for veterans. In reality only one fourth of the money goes to this group who the Federal Government supports with the GI bill.  Many people believe this investment of 170 million dollars for 35 years out of California General Fund could be better spent elsewhere to accomplish the same goals.  Most of the funds from Prop 1 will go to large Government Project Development Areas (PDA) in urban areas that will be no bargain to construct as high cost union labor will be required.

Proposition #2 The Legislative Analyst’s Office says a YES vote on this measure means the state could use existing county mental health funds to pay for housing for those with mental illness that are homeless. A NO vote on this measure says: the state’s ability to use existing county mental health funds to pay for housing for those with mental illness that are homeless would depend on future court decisions. This is all very confusing.

While the sponsors of this bill in the legislature make voters try to think they are helping the homeless, this is another power grab to take power away from local communities and give it to the State.  Such tactics have been used on everything from law enforcement to road building resulting in cities having to make up shortfalls with sales tax increases.

Proposition#3  is a 8.877 bill dollar bond issue  that perspective voters  are led to believe helps with the draught but; is actually a Progressive redistribution of wealth plan that is only marginally involved with creating additional water storage. As an example 2.355 billion of the bond measure would go to largely recreational purposes and projects favored by the environmental lobby.

Almost 4 billion is earmarked for disadvantaged communities. If one reads the beneficiary list of those organizations benefiting from Prop 3, it has more pork content than a Farmer John’s ham.  Not to be forgotten that there is still money left over from the last water bond measure 6 years ago.

Proposition #4 this is a 1.5 billion dollar bond issue that benefits children’s hospitals in California.  With 11 million dollars being spent by these groups to pass the measure, it will likely pass with little opposition except from conservatives who would prefer the State not go further in debt to pay for projects that charity organizations and private hospitals can easily take care of themselves.

Proposition # 5 Allows seniors 55 and disabled people over 55 to retain their tax base when buying new houses after selling a primary residence.  It recognizes that people receiving these benefits are largely retired and have spent a lifetime paying property and income tax to the state government.  White 5 qualifies as a pity party measure; on many levels it makes sense to all but the California Teachers Association (CTA) who is concerned that the measure would reduce the amount of funds available for public education. The greed of this group has no limits.

Proposition #6  which repeals the new gas and vehicle registration charges passed by the legislature last year cries out as victimizing the poor.  This group is most adversely effected bills passed last year as it is totally non progressive.  The people who sponsored the tax increases are trying to tell voters that repealing their actions will severely damage road and pot hole repair in California making the sinking of the Poseidon child’s play

What they forget to mention is that 6 billion dollar loan that the Governor gave the state employee CalPERS pension fund to bail them out, would pay for the funds lost for 2018 if Prop 6 passes.  In addition these same people are neglecting to say that increases in property taxes in the current strong economy will more than make up revenue losses from the demise of Prop 6 .  They also don’t want to mention the multi-billion dollars in costs of entitlements for undocumented residents in their Sanctuary City program.

Proposition 8:  This is the Dialysis initiative that pits the SIEU Labor Union against the operators of clinics who serve those who need their services. (Discussed in my article on October 18th )  A lot of money is being spent by special interests in the name of helping those who require Dialysis.  The bottom line is that this is not an issue voters should decide.  The proper thing to do is reject 8 and send the matter back to the legislature and to management/labor negotiations to solve.

Proposition #10 deals with the issue of rent control and whether it is an effective tool to improve the lives of California residents. A yes vote supports allowing local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing, thus repealing the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Voting against it restricts local communities to enact more stringent rent control restrictions on their residents.

In reality if Prop 10 passes, the only communities that would ever enact additional  anti landlord ordinances would those with progressive governments such as San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, etc….  It is expected this measure will crash and burn as there is considerable opposition from real estate interests.

Proposition#11  This initiative is a proposal from emergency services providers to allow their employees to be paid at regular rates when they are on call on breaks, require additional paid training and mental health services.  This might sound good on paper but the bottom line is that there are not perceivable problems in the way emergency services are delivered to the public.

If Proposition 11 passes, the ambulance companies will be able to charge their clients (mostly insurance companies and governmental agencies) additional amounts, tax payers will ultimately have to pick up the bill.  Proof of this argument is that those businesses that provide emergency services are sponsoring Prop 11’s passage..

 

 

Proposition 12: Deals with the conditions of captivity that farm and is sponsored by The Humane Society and other animal rights groups.  This law gives more room for chickens, pigs, and young calves to run around. If this is not done, the meat can’t be sold unless the terms of the proposition are met. This is another problem that should be taken care of by farmers and State agencies rather than be put before voters.

The net result if 12 passes is to make pork and chicken products more expensive and limit the availability of quality veal scaloppini more difficult for me to obtain in California.  This is another example of do gooder BS that attracts whacko progressives who should eat their organic veggie-burgers and leave the rest of us alone.

I failed to discuss Proposition 7 pertaining to getting rid of Daylight Savings time.  While I tend to like the present system, others seem to disagree.  For me there is no reason to endorse or reject this measure. Regardless of the outcome of the people’s vote, I will still get up on the wrong side of the bed when dealing with progressive politicians.

No Pity Party for me.

 

 

Stanford to pay $155.8 million to lessen expansion’s impact on housing crisis

If Stanford wants to increase the number of buildings on campus, by 2.3 million square feet, they must pay $155 million to Santa Clara County for “affordable housing”—that is housing for anyone earning less than $111,000 a year.  That is not a typo—that is how expensive housing is in the Bay Area.  This project, if completed assures the cost of housing continues to go up, forcing more of the middle class to flee to Texas and other responsible States.

“The fee the county settled on is about half of the $325.6 million that a study performed by the county initially suggested, or $143.10 per square foot. That’s lower than a study conducted by the city of Palo Alto, which surrounds Stanford on three sides, that found that the highest lawful developer fee within city limits could be a whopping $264 per square foot.

Currently, Stanford’s development fee is set at $36.22 per square foot, but Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian pointed out at yesterday’s meeting that the university has never paid that amount because it contests the fee.

The real question is why a fee at all?  Is it the responsibility of Stanford to give money to the County for “affordable” housing?  Where is this housing going to be built?  Near the campus?  There is no land available.  Maybe the affordable housing will be built 100 miles away in Fresno?  What if the environmentalists do not allow the building of the housing?  Of course, no housing can be built without exclusive use of union members—causing the cost of housing to increase by 15-20%.  Then who gets to develop?  Will it be a politically connected construction firm?

Corruption, this whole process smells like a five day old dead fish.

stanford university

Stanford to pay $155.8 million to lessen expansion’s impact on housing crisis

 

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY, Daily Post, 9/26/18

Stanford will have to pay Santa Clara County $155.8 million in affordable housing fees in order to expand its academic buildings by 2.3 million square feet, the county Board of Supervisors decided unanimously yesterday (Sept. 25).

But the board also gave Stanford something it wanted: an opening to negotiations for a development agreement that would allow two supervisors to hammer out a deal over how the university houses the nearly 10,000 workers and employees its expansion will bring to campus.

Board President Joe Simitian said that when county planners bring back a framework for the negotiations on Oct. 16, they should ensure the agreement is brought forward for a “robust community outreach effort” as early in the process as possible.

“I don’t know how we assess or negotiate what the appropriate housing mitigation would be if we don’t have a complete picture of what the housing impacts would be,” Simitian said. “If I go back to my district and say we’re going to go negotiate a development agreement before the final (environmental impact report) is even completed, let alone sunshined, all hell’s going to break loose.”

Supervisor Dave Cortese, of San Jose, said he didn’t think a public outreach process on the development agreement should be commingled with comments on the environmental impact report, which have to follow a very “prescriptive, statutory scheme.”

University leaders had argued the fees — which amount to $68.50-per-square-foot of new construction — had been calculated in a study that suffered from “serious mathematical and logical errors.” Instead, Stanford offered to pay between $17 and $20 per square foot, or between $38.7 and $45.5 million.

Fee could have been higher

Affordable housing on campus

The five-member board also unanimously approved a second ordinance that will require Stanford to build affordable housing on or near campus.

Under that ordinance, when Stanford builds market-rate housing units, 16% have to be priced for residents earning less than 120% of the county median income, or $111,720 for a single person.

Of the rental units Stanford builds, 15% will have to be affordable to extremely low-income and very low-income tenants, 45% have to be affordable to low-income and 40% for moderate income.

Stanford has bought about 25 houses in Palo Alto’s College Terrace neighborhood for faculty, Associate Vice President Jean McCown said at yesterday’s meeting.
The two ordinances, however, could still be suspended, repealed or amended.

 

The State of Farming in California—Good and Troubling

Did you know that Canada has a 275% tariff on dairy products from the United States?  Did you know that most countries has a 10% tariff on American cars—China has a 100% tariff on U.S. cars.  Yet, the media is faulting President Trump for admitting we are in a trade war—and fighting back.  The same media supported that job killing NAFTA, Paris Accords, AB 32—this and more is why America has to change policies.  Thanks to President Trump we have the highest employment in our nation and the lowest black and Hispanic unemployment in history.

I will admit I have just bought a four pound container of strawberries grown in Santa Maria—large, sweet, firm, and delicious!  Recommend them to everyone—oh, I got them for one dollar a pound!

Farm workers farming

Farm Report by the numbers

Sierra2thesea,  7/4/18

More strawberries: California is producing more strawberries this year than last. Mexico strawberry imports are small by comparison – around 38 million flats so for this year. California growers, as of July 2, have shipped 126 million flats compared to 113 million flats as of July 2, 2017. Production is up in the Santa Maria area with 40 million flats shipped so far this season compared to 38 million flats in 2017.

California Avocado shipments up Shipments of California avocados are up this year to 219 million pounds through July 1 compared to 160 million pounds this time in 2017. This year’s annual crop is expected to be 340 million pounds compared to just 216 million pounds the year before. Mexico has been increasing their acreage to about 220,000 acres compared to 168,000 acres in 2014. By comparison California has about 50,000 acres.

Trade Dispute hurts soybean prices The Wall Street Journal reports that soybean prices fell to the lowest point in almost a decade on Monday, as looming Chinese tariffs threatened to kill off demand from the U.S.’s largest customer. Futures for July fell 1.2% to $8.48 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest close since March 2009.

Trump say trade barriers hurt farmers. What about commodity prices? NBC reports that in a Fox Business interview, President Donald Trump singled out trade barriers as a reason for five “very bad years” for U.S. farmers. But agricultural economists blame low farm commodity prices — not trade barriers.

In fact, U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year 2017 — the third-highest amount on record. And, as it has done for decades, the U.S. agricultural sector posted an annual trade surplus of $21.3 billion in 2017, up almost 30 percent from fiscal 2016.
“Farm incomes have dropped significantly since, but most of the blame for that should go [to] consistent, near record high production for most agricultural goods,” which has “lowered prices and incomes,” ag professor Chad Hart told us in an email. “Trade is more likely to be a bright spot for ag, rather than a barrier (as the aggregate data shows).”

Agricultural crime units in Tulare and Kern counties reported thefts of thousands of dollars of agricultural equipment this month, including tractors, all-terrain vehicles, utility trailers, farm implements and more. In Tulare County this year, farmers and ranchers have reported approximately $440,000 in heavy equipment theft; of that, $275,000 worth of stolen equipment has been recovered.

National Pork Producers Council says “America’s pork producers are hurting due to current trade disputes. Think about them this Fourth of July as you plan your food choices…and put some pork on your plate! #TeamPork”

 

Democrats Consider NEW TAX: Tax Profits on Home Sales!!!


Democrat5s are always looking for new things to tax—now they have found a mountain of new taxes.  Now they are thinking of taxing the profits from the sale of your home.  That would be a massive load of money—in spite of government homes increase in value—and government steals the profits.

“This widespread critique of SB 827 got me thinking about why nobody talks about those really profiting from land use decisions that inflate their property values: homeowners. Specifically, those homeowners whose neighborhood zoning prohibits new apartments. And who fight to keep it that way.

Cities believe developers must contribute a public benefit in exchange for the right to build housing—which many see as a public good. In contrast, homeowners who prevent housing in their neighborhoods make huge profits by artificially restricting supply—and cities require them to provide no public benefits at all.

There’s clearly a double standard at play here as to how we assess the beneficiaries of urban land use policies.”

As long as the Republican Party refuses to fight back, these items must be taken seriously.

tax sign

Should Cities Tax Huge Homeowner Profits From Stopping Housing?

by Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron,  4/10/18

 

Homeowners Reap Profits While Fueling Housing Crisis

“SB 827 provides potentially huge additional value to property owners throughout the state without concurrent value capture.” —-SF Planning Department, February 15, 2018

“This is not the right way to build housing,” Kim said. “This is a giveaway to landlords and developers without asking anything in return for a city and community.”SF Examiner, April 3, 2018

Scott Wiener’s SB 827 has provoked a huge debate over housing policy. The bill, which in many cases raises height limits along transit corridors, has been attacked for undermining local control over land use. It has also been accused of fostering gentrification, though the San Francisco Planning Department’s February 15 memo cited above found that SB 827 would increase affordable housing in the city overall.

Many critics of SB 827 also see it as a developer “giveaway.” They say it provides a windfall to property owners without the public receiving any “value recaptured” from owners whose property values will increase from being able to construct a taller building.

This widespread critique of SB 827 got me thinking about why nobody talks about those really profiting from land use decisions that inflate their property values: homeowners. Specifically, those homeowners whose neighborhood zoning prohibits new apartments. And who fight to keep it that way.

Cities believe developers must contribute a public benefit in exchange for the right to build housing—which many see as a public good. In contrast, homeowners who prevent housing in their neighborhoods make huge profits by  artificially restricting supply—and cities require them to provide no public benefits at all.

There’s clearly a double standard at play here as to how we assess the beneficiaries of urban land use policies.

Consider San Francisco’s Central Subway project. This roughly $2 billion project vastly increases property values along Chinatown and the other stations where public transit is currently undeserved. Yet I recall no public demands that these property owners provide any public benefits for this massive public expenditure which will greatly increase their property values.

San Francisco’s extension of the Third Street light rail played a key role in the rapid gentrification of Dogpatch. I don’t recall anyone calling for property owners in the Dogpatch neighborhood to share their increased property values.

San Francisco also routinely passes park bonds. This makes homes and apartments near the improved parks more valuable, yet the cost of these improvements are borne by owners citywide. Tenderloin property owners have gotten no increase in their property values from park bonds.

Big Homeowner Profits From Stopping Housing

But the real question about value recapture is why it is not applied to the downzoning of residential neighborhoods. I am referring to the single-family zoned neighborhoods in San Francisco and those whose zoning prohibits housing above three or four stories.

A developer who builds market rate housing adds to the city’s housing supply. And if the city has an inclusionary requirement, they are giving working and middle-class people the ability to live in a neighborhood and likely a city they otherwise could not afford.

In contrast, what public benefit do homeowners fighting to stop new housing confer? Nobody benefits from stopping housing but the current group of owners and their families.

And they’ve been making out like bandits.

Single family home prices in San Francisco went up 24% in the past year alone. The median single family home price is now $ 1.6 million. The average sales price of a Noe Valley single family home sold this February was $3.5 million. Noe Valley residents are particularly militant in stopping new housing—and they have reaped the profits to show it.

A new report released this week found San Francisco homes earned $60 per hour in equity. That’s four times more than the city’s minimum wage. And the home doesn’t even have to show up to work.

San Francisco and other cities could go a long way to building lots of affordable housing by attaching a surcharge to homeowner profits akin to those it applies to developers. The surcharge would only apply to neighborhoods where new apartments are banned. This would likely create an incentive for those now faced with paying public benefits to support allowing multi-unit buildings in their neighborhood.

This tax on homeowner profits would likely add more BMR units than the city has produced through other means. Just consider that over the past six years the average single family homeowner in San Francisco has seen their equity increase by 1 million. That’s $13,125 a month, every month for 6 straight years. Multiply that by the city’s 124,000 single family homes and that is a potentially staggering infusion of public subsidies for affordable units

When you consider that Prop 13 allows longtime homeowners to pay property taxes at a fraction of their home’s current value, the policy rationale for taxing profits on sale makes even more sense.

I realize that no politician who has to face voters will even suggest taxing homeowner profits reaped from stopping housing. After all, high voter turnout by homeowners underlies exclusionary zoning restrictions.

But if proposals to shift some of the huge public subsidies homeowners get from the mortgage interest deduction have become politically tenable, so should taxes on homeowner profits reaped from restricting housing supply in their neighborhoods.

We need to stop making believe that only developers are profiting from the urban housing shortage. Land use policies that restrict new apartments generate huge profits for existing homeowners. It’s bad policy to ask one group of property owners to return “value” to the public from land use changes while exempting others.

That’s a land use double standard. And it makes the urban housing crisis worse.