Biden Accused of Sexual Assault: Hollywood Protected Him

Joe Biden should be happy that the nation is concentrating on the Wuhan Virus, not him.  His attempts to “speak to the nation” have been a disaster—could not even read from the teleprompter.  His gaffes are legend, so much so his handlers do not allow him to speak move than seven minutes—can’t do rallies like that.

Now we find the same people from the 1990’s that protected Harvey Weinstein, also protected Joe Biden.  Charges were made against Weinstein and Hollywood defended him.  Charges were made against Biden, a well known PUBLIC groper and fondler, so few knew about his “eccentric” behavior.

“The Times Up Legal Defense Fund, a fund administered by the National Women’s Law Center, declined the chance to defend one of former Vice President Joe Biden’s sexual harassment accusers citing its non-profit status and his presidential run.

On Tuesday, the Intercept’s Ryan Grim reported that Tara Reade, one of several women to come forward with credible allegations of harassment against Biden last spring was turned away from the preeminent #MeToo legal institution when she sought help with her case.

Time’s Up argued that the case was too political considering that Biden was a candidate for president, and it didn’t want to jeopardize its status housed with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service, which allows the organization to be exempt from certain taxes. Since launching in 2017, Times Up has raised more than $24 million through the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe and has provided substantial legal support for big name accusers such as those abused by Harvey Weinstein.

Note there were SEVERAL charges against him—and the folks in Hollywood who claim we need to believe women showed they are a political protection racket for the well placed, like Biden  this campaign is going to expose all the charges—and his protectors.  For instance, how many on the Board of the National Womens Law Center donated to Biden?

Hollywood’s Me Too Group Turned Down Biden Sexual Assault Accuser

By Tristan Justice, The Federalist,  3/26/20   

The Times Up Legal Defense Fund, a fund administered by the National Women’s Law Center, declined the chance to defend one of former Vice President Joe Biden’s sexual harassment accusers citing its non-profit status and his presidential run.

On Tuesday, the Intercept’s Ryan Grim reported that Tara Reade, one of several women to come forward with credible allegations of harassment against Biden last spring was turned away from the preeminent #MeToo legal institution when she sought help with her case.

Time’s Up argued that the case was too political considering that Biden was a candidate for president, and it didn’t want to jeopardize its status housed with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service, which allows the organization to be exempt from certain taxes. Since launching in 2017, Times Up has raised more than $24 million through the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe and has provided substantial legal support for big name accusers such as those abused by Harvey Weinstein.

In Reade’s case however, she was shown the door.

In February, Reade was told after discussions on her case between Time’s Up and NWLC that the organization would refrain from offering Reade their support.

“Please know how much I appreciate your courage in speaking out and appreciate what you shared over the phone, that you are speaking out so that your daughter and other young people can start their careers free of harassment,” wrote the NWLC’s program director to Reade, according to the Intercept.

“As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the National Women’s Law Center is restricted in how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election,” NWLC spokesoman Maria Patrick told the Intercept. “Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements. Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”

When trying to be heard, Reade told Krystal Ball on The Hill’s ‘Rising‘ that she approached Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts who brushed off her claims.

“I’ve actually been out there, trying to get my story heard for months. I decided to tell the full story. It wasn’t being picked up by any news outlets so I went to Kamala Harris, I went to Elizabeth Warren… and I never received a response.”

Never mind that the two senators both openly endorsed the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh over demonstrably weak and unverified allegations from more than 30 years ago.

Reade detailed her sexual assault from Biden in an interview with Katie Halper published Wednesday.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns.

Health insurance premiums could skyrocket from cost of coronavirus care

Socialist medicine is not cheap.  Covered California is looking at increasing their already high premiums by 40% next year.  Many of those covered by this State run health care insurance do not see the increases—the taxpayers do.  Most who used Covered California get it subsidized, so it does not matter to them.  In the midst of massive economic where a large part of the State Reserves need to be used, the cost of health care will skyrocket.  At the same time the Democrats have added one million illegal aliens to our Medicaid bill.

“Covered California released its findings on what the outbreak means for the nation’s insurers on Monday. Covered California is the state’s marketplace for individual health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and provided coverage for about 1.5 million Californians as of February.

The commercial health care market is projected to face anywhere from $34 billion to $251 billion related to testing and treatment for COVID-19, the report states. To make up for those costs, premiums could rise 40% in the individual and employer markets, if the federal government doesn’t intervene.”

With AB 5 killing hundreds of thousands of jobs, technology taking over jobs because the cost of employees may be too much for many jobs, California needs to cut back on social spending, bigoted spending (diversity officers) and cut taxes to stimulate our economy.  Short of that, California many not recover for many years.

Health insurance premiums could skyrocket from cost of coronavirus care

By Felicia Alvarez, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/23/20   

The costs of providing care amid the coronavirus pandemic could cost billions for health insurers, according to a new report by Covered California.

Covered California released its findings on what the outbreak means for the nation’s insurers on Monday. Covered California is the state’s marketplace for individual health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and provided coverage for about 1.5 million Californians as of February.

The commercial health care market is projected to face anywhere from $34 billion to $251 billion related to testing and treatment for COVID-19, the report states. To make up for those costs, premiums could rise 40% in the individual and employer markets, if the federal government doesn’t intervene.

The analysis is based on projections that 4 million to 15 million Americans could test positive for the virus, and that 10% to 15% would be hospitalized. The projected cost covers a one-year period.

“Given that insurers will be submitting 2021 rates in May and finalizing them around July 1, congressional action is needed very soon in order to affect 2021 premiums,” said John Bertko, chief actuary for Covered California, in a written statement. Bertko prepared the report after working with external actuaries with expertise in the commercial insurance markets, clinical experts and health insurance plan leaders, according to Covered California.

“While there is a lot of uncertainty with anything related to COVID-19, one thing we can be certain of is that the impact will be significant, and now is the time to take action,” Bertko said.

Without federal action, employers could end up in a situation where they are no longer able to provide affordable coverage, and consumers may drop their health insurance due to cost, according to the report. Small insurers could also risk insolvency.

Covered California is calling on Congress to increase tax credits for those earning under 400% of the federal poverty level and expand subsidies for those earning more than 400% of the federal poverty level.

The agency is also suggesting that the federal government establish a temporary program to limit the costs of COVID-19 for health insurers and self-insured employers.

Covered California took similar actions last week, when it announced a special enrollment period for uninsured individuals who need health coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak. The enrollment period is open until June 30.

“These increased costs could mean that many of the 170 million Americans in the commercial market may lose their coverage and go without needed care as we battle a global health crisis,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, in a prepared statement. “These are not ‘insurer’ costs — these are costs directly borne by individual Americans in the form of cost-sharing and premiums; these are costs to small and large businesses that are struggling; these are costs to individuals who may avoid needed care.”

Representatives of the California Association of Health Plans, the state’s association for commercial plans, declined to comment on potential premium increases.

“We appreciate Covered California’s analysis, but there are many factors that will go into estimating premiums for 2021 and many unknowns regarding how this crisis will unfold and what actions will be taken,” said Mary Ellen Grant, spokeswoman for the association, in an email.

She added that the “most important” thing at this time is social distancing and for individuals to heed warnings from public health officials.

Time for California’s Unions to Get Serious About Pension Reform

So far the Wuhan Virus cost CalPERS approximately $69 BILLION in assets.  That is on top of the over one trillion dollar in unfunded liabilities the pension fund will owe.  Thanks to CalPERS communities have cut back on libraries, law enforcement and other basic services.  Taxes have gone up, not to better the community, but to keep the doors open for CalPRS.

“1 – The stock market has crashed. Interest rates are at zero, meaning it is unlikely investments in bonds will see continued appreciation. Real estate may also be at a peak, and in any case, real estate investment appreciation cannot make up for losses in stocks and bonds.

2 – Government revenues are going down for various reasons. California’s state government relies heavily on receipts from high income individuals, and those individuals rely on stock appreciation. These revenues always fall in a downturn, and this effect will ripple into every California city and county. Also, sales tax revenues, which local governments rely on, will dramatically fall over the coming few months.

3 – Californians for the first time in several election cycles have rejected local measures to fund taxes and bonds. Normally, at least two out of three new local tax or bond are measures are approved by California voters. This time, in March 2020, those proportions were surprisingly reversed, with about two out of three failing to get voter approval. This means new revenues these localities were counting on will not materialize.”

Will the anger of the voters continue to November?  Will they vote out those that created a failed pension system costing all taxpayers billions each year?

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Time for California’s Unions to Get Serious About Pension Reform

The idea that CalPERS and other pension funds were ever helping California’s economy is a blatant falsehood

By Edward Ring, California Globe,   3/23/20   

An independent contractor in California has 12.4 percent withheld by the Social Security Trust Fund, and for that, they may expect a maximum of $45,480 if they retire at age 70, after nearly 50 years of work.

There was a time, long ago, when California’s pension systems were responsibly managed. They made conservative investments, they paid modest but fair benefits to retirees, and they didn’t place an unreasonable financial burden on taxpayers. But a series of decisions and circumstances over the past thirty years put these pension systems on a collision course with financial disaster. And like hybrid war, or creeping fascism, or a progressive, initially asymptomatic disease, it is impossible to say exactly when these pension systems crossed the line from health to sickness.

An excellent history of how California’s public employee pension systems moved inexorably towards the predicament they’re now in can be found in a City Journal article entitled “The Pension Fund That Ate California.” Written in 2013, when California’s pension systems were still coping with the impact of the Great Recession, author Steven Malanga identifies key milestones: The power of public sector unions that began to make itself felt starting in the late 1960s. The pension benefit enhancements that began in the 1970s. The growing power of the union representatives on the pension fund boards. Prop. 21, passed in 1984, which allowed the pension systems to invest in riskier asset classes.

The biggest milestone on the road to sickness, however, began in 1999, as Malanga writes, “when union-backed Gray Davis became governor and union-backed Phil Angelides became state treasurer, and the CalPERS board was wearing a union label.” The state legislation that followed, mimicked by local measures across California, dramatically increased pension benefit formulas. Not only were benefits increased, but they were increased retroactively, meaning that even state and local employees nearing retirement would receive the increased pension as if these higher benefit formulas had been in effect for their entire career. And as the internet bubble blew deliriously bigger, the experts said the cost for all these enhancements would be negligible.

In the aftermath of the internet bubble’s inevitable pop in 2000, pension systems engaged in accounting gimmicks and deceptive proposals to assist the unions to roll out these benefit increases to nearly every city and county in California.

This would be an early example of how government unions and financial special interests saw an alignment of their political agendas, but it wouldn’t be the last. As payments to the pension plans inexorably increased, year after year, unions found common cause with the financial sector to market tax increases and bond measures. Every election, in lockstep, they would fight to convince the taxpayer to pay more and borrow more – and it was always for the children, for the elderly, but in reality, it was usually for the pensions.

The Burden of Public Sector Pensions on California’s Taxpayers

The complexity of pension finance makes it relatively easy to obfuscate the problem with creative accounting and emotional arguments. But certain facts can help to put the issue in perspective. Before the current financial crisis began, California’s state and local public sector pensions were estimated to rise from approximately $30 billion per year to $60 billion per year by 2025. Currently, California’s total state and local government general revenues are around $500 billion per year, meaning that pension payments are already set to consume over 10 percent of ALL state and local government revenue.

This ten percent doesn’t include the cost of retirement health insurance benefits, nor the cost for Social Security which many of California’s public employees also enjoy. It also doesn’t include the tens of billions spent every year by taxpayers to pay overtime, based on the fact that paying overtime is actually less expensive than paying for another government employee who will require another pension benefit package.

The pension burden, however, is about to get much bigger.

With most pension reform stopped in its tracks by relentless litigation, perhaps the only way pensions would ever be reformed would be through economic necessity. If so, now would be a good time. A perfect storm has struck. Here are highlights:

1 – The stock market has crashed. Interest rates are at zero, meaning it is unlikely investments in bonds will see continued appreciation. Real estate may also be at a peak, and in any case, real estate investment appreciation cannot make up for losses in stocks and bonds.

2 – Government revenues are going down for various reasons. California’s state government relies heavily on receipts from high income individuals, and those individuals rely on stock appreciation. These revenues always fall in a downturn, and this effect will ripple into every California city and county. Also, sales tax revenues, which local governments rely on, will dramatically fall over the coming few months.

3 – Californians for the first time in several election cycles have rejected local measures to fund taxes and bonds. Normally, at least two out of three new local tax or bond are measures are approved by California voters. This time, in March 2020, those proportions were surprisingly reversed, with about two out of three failing to get voter approval. This means new revenues these localities were counting on will not materialize.

A closer look at CalPERS will reveal just how dramatic the problem has finally become:

In their 6/30/2019 financial statements, CalPERS, the largest pension system in the U.S., reported themselves to be only 70.2 percent funded. To cope, the system was requiring its participating agencies to nearly double their annual payments by 2025. Needless to say, these increases were going to create havoc on civic budgets that already can barely afford to pay for their pensions.

That was then.

As of March 20th, the market value of all investments managed by CalPERS had fallen to $333.8 billion, after topping a record $400 billion just one month earlier. The most recent officially reported estimate of the total liability carried by the CalPERS system is $505 billion as of 6/30/208 (ref. most recent CalPERS CAFR, page 122). If you review the trends over the past decade, this figure has never gone down. This means, best case, as of today, CalPERS is 66.9 percent funded. The real number is almost certainly lower.

As of March 20, for example, the Dow Jones Index closed at 19,161. At close on 3/23, the Dow is down to 18,591, down another 3.1 percent. At this time, there is no end in sight.

In 2015, the average pension for a California public employee after 30 years of work (60 percent as long working) was $68,673, not including any benefits. It is surely higher now.

Pension Solvency Will Require Union Cooperation

If there’s one thing that history has shown, it’s that nothing gets done in California without the blessing of the public sector unions. One may argue on principle that unionized government is an abomination, having little or nothing in common with private sector unions which – properly regulated – have a vital role to play in American life.

But so what? California’s state and local governments have been taken over by these unions, who operate as senior partners to leftist billionaires, trial lawyers, race-baiting rent seekers, and environmentalist fanatics. For the most part, financial and corporate special interests are complete sell-outs to these all powerful unions, or survive via precarious detente.

Fixing pensions in California, with union cooperation, would be relatively easy. With union cooperation, politicians would have a chance to enact reforms that would not get mired in endless litigation. With union cooperation, government workers – and the public – would be able to learn about the extent of the problem instead of getting dosed with emotional propaganda. Possible solutions could be far reaching and inspiring. Here are some ideas:

1 – Reduce all pension benefit accruals to pre-1999 levels for all future work. Leave intact benefits earned to-date.

2 – Lower the long-term rate of return projection for pension assets to 6 percent.

3 – Lower the inflation stop-loss for retirees from the current 70-80 percent to 50-60 percent – provide for COLA reductions if economy encounters deflation.

4 – Raise the age of eligibility to 62 for all employees, with full benefits only available to miscellaneous employees at age 67 (same as Social Security).

5 – Implement additional “triggers” that take effect if funding falls below 80 percent, including suspension of COLA, prospective further lowering of the annual multiplier for active workers, retroactive lowering of the annual multiplier for active workers, reduction of the retiree pension payment, increase the required payment to the pension plan by active workers via withholding.

The pension systems themselves could assist this process greatly if they simply provided analysis of what measures 1 and 2 would accomplish. Lowering the rate of pension benefit accruals for future work will permit lowering the long term rate of return projection without increasing the total liability. If the pension system analysts could provide a table expressing that curve, it would greatly assist policymakers and reformers, including the union leadership.

Unfortunately, pension actuaries and fund managers do not have an illustrious track record in these exercises, so, again, it would be useful if the union leadership itself would insist on a quick turnaround and an honest, depoliticized assessment.

And what if, from now on, public employees earned lower pension benefits? First of all, it would take an awful lot before those benefits descended to the level of what the rest of California’s workforce can expect from Social Security.

An independent contractor in California has 12.4 percent withheld by the Social Security Trust Fund, and for that, they may expect a maximum of $45,480 if they retire at age 70, after nearly 50 years of work. In 2015, the average pension for a California public employee after 30 years of work (60 percent as long working) was $68,673, not including any benefits. It is surely higher now.

What public sector union leadership might contemplate is how can the prospects for all workers in California improve. Now, with the economy grinding nearly to a halt, it is an especially good time for this sort of contemplation. Why not require CalPERS to invest 50 percent of their assets in “California based companies and projects” instead of the current 9.1 percent (ref. CalPERS CAFR, intro page 4)?

The idea that CalPERS and other pension funds were ever helping California’s economy is a blatant falsehood. The numbers are irrefutable. In 2018 CalPERS collected $28.7 billion, but only paid out 26.9 billion (CalPERS CAFR, pages 42 and 43). Since $3.5 billion of those payments were made to retirees living out of state, only $23.4 billion stayed in California. This means that Californians gave CalPERS $5.3 billion more than retirees living in California received in pension benefits. Meanwhile, over 90 percent of CalPERS investments are made outside of California.

What if public sector union leadership decided to fight for all California workers, by supporting reform of the California Environmental Quality Act, which would permit cities and suburbs to expand their borders onto open land again, greatly lowering housing costs?

What if these unions supported pension fund investments in revenue bonds and equity positions to build new freeways, water storage projects, and cheap energy infrastructure?

Imagine how much could be built if literally hundreds of billions of pension fund assets were invested right here in California!

There is a new consensus that could form in California, excluding the libertarian fanatics who think the only criteria for a pension fund investment is the return, even if it requires investing in Chinese slave shops. This new consensus could also exclude the identity-politics demagogues whose only criteria for a proper investment is the “diversity” of the workforce, the directorships, and the communities affected.

Who knows, maybe a new consensus could even knock the environmentalist fanatics – along with their trial lawyer and crony “capitalist” allies – down to size, allowing “green” investment criteria to resume its appropriate place within a kaleidoscope of worthy considerations.

If all these things were done, California’s cost-of-living would go down, meaning public sector retirees could enjoy the same standard of living as before, even if they retired with somewhat lower pensions. Moreover, the economy would be sizzling again, pouring record tax revenues into a solvent public sector.

The win-win envisioned here is no more preposterous than the notion of 7.25 percent pension fund returns for the next thirty years, and far more beneficial for everyone living in California instead of just beneficial for public servants.

This could be a time for a consensus that wipes away extremes, which might make CalPERS and the other pension systems a benefit to California’s economy instead of a terrifying drain. Public sector unions; the ball is in your court.

CA Dem Candidate Deletes Tweet Criticizing Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill

When Democrats tell the truth or ask important questions, they get in trouble with San Fran Nan Pelosi.  She does not allow for any questioning of her leadership or policies (unless you are AOC and her squad—because they tell Pelosi what she can do.

“Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running to fill the seat vacated by former Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, attacked Pelosi’s plan in a now-deleted Tuesday tweet, saying voters in his district were “enraged” by the proposal and its inclusion of “unimportant items.”

“From the House bill: $35 million to the JFK Center. Can someone explain why this is a priority right now?” Campa-Najjar said. “I’m getting emails from voters in #CA50 who are enraged about some of [the] price tags attached to some comparatively unimportant items in the House proposal.”

He asked a very good question.  He could also ask about the $75 million for the Leftists National Public Radio (NPR) where stations refuse to play the Presidents virus press conference, because, “he is a known liar”—on our dime they are a part of the Biden election team.  San Diego does not need to be represented by a San Fran Democrat.  The good news is that Issa is going to win this seat.

Photo courtesy shawncalhoun, flickr

CA Dem Candidate Deletes Tweet Criticizing Pelosi’s Coronavirus Bill

Ammar Campa-Najjar deletes tweet saying voters in his district were ‘enraged’ by Pelosi bill

Collin Anderson, Washington Free Beacon,  3/25/20 

The Democratic nominee in California’s 50th Congressional District deleted a tweet criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D., Calif.) coronavirus stimulus bill.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is running to fill the seat vacated by former Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, attacked Pelosi’s plan in a now-deleted Tuesday tweet, saying voters in his district were “enraged” by the proposal and its inclusion of “unimportant items.”

“From the House bill: $35 million to the JFK Center. Can someone explain why this is a priority right now?” Campa-Najjar said. “I’m getting emails from voters in #CA50 who are enraged about some of [the] price tags attached to some comparatively unimportant items in the House proposal.”

Pelosi has faced bipartisan criticism for including expensive provisions unrelated to the coronavirus crisis in her stimulus bill. In addition to conditioning bailouts on corporate diversity and decreased airline emissions, Pelosi’s bill called for $35 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Pelosi circulated the legislation after House Democrats derailed a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting the economy amid the ongoing pandemic.

Campa-Najjar deleted his tweet on the “enraged” emails he was receiving, replacing it with a much more subdued critique of Pelosi’s legislation.

“Instead of itemizing $35 million to the Kennedy Center when it’s closed until May 10th, the House bill should be helping to provide relief to gig workers (like drivers) who have zero protections,” Campa-Najjar said.

Campa-Najjar is currently making his second run for office in the district after narrowly falling last cycle to Hunter, who was indicted on dozens of criminal charges months before voters went to the polls. The Democrat will now face former Republican congressman Darrell Issa, who is looking to return to the House after retiring from the neighboring 49th district two years ago. The Issa campaign attacked Campa-Najjar for walking back his criticism of Pelosi, saying the Democrat will “fall in line with whatever Pelosi says.”

“Ammar Campa-Najjar initially did the right thing in calling her out on it in a statement,” Issa’s campaign manager Eric Hollander said in a statement. “But then Campa-Najjar deleted that statement, showing he’s nothing more than a Nancy Pelosi lapdog who will fall in line with whatever Pelosi says.”

Campa-Najjar defended his decision to delete his initial tweet questioning the decision by Pelosi to include a $35 million provision for the Kennedy Center in the House stimulus proposal.

“That tweet was a question, after I got an answer, I replaced it with a criticism and a solution,” Campa-Najjar wrote on Twitter. His campaign further told the Free Beacon that Campa-Najjar “stood by his criticism, and has never had a problem standing up to his party when he felt necessary.”

Issa and Campa-Najjar emerged as the two top candidates from the district’s early March jungle primary and will face off in November.

Amid COVID-19 crisis, Hayward may delay recently passed minimum wage increases

Read this quote carefully:

“The move by the three councilmembers comes in the wake of already massive layoffs in the Bay Area related to the COVID-19 outbreak and shelter in place order given last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“I’m trying to preserve jobs,” Marquez said. “I’m fearful if we don’t do something to help these businesses, people will be out of work.”

Councilmember Sara Lamnin, who voted for the minimum wage ordinance last month, said Tuesday that the wage bump actually foments jobs loss. “Minimum wage increases do eliminate jobs, and in a time like this, we need to preserve them,” she said.

Those supporting the increase in the minimum wage understood—in good times—that government mandating a specific wage would cost jobs.  And, the city council did not care who got hurt.  Now we are in a time of crisis they want jobs.  When this crisis is over will they go back to purposely killing jobs?  Of course.  Yet the people of Hayward will continue to elect folks to the city councils that want them unemployed.  So, they deserve the poverty they will get thanks to the council.

Photo courtesy of 401(K) 2013, Flickr

Amid COVID-19 crisis, Hayward may delay recently passed minimum wage increases

Steven Tavares, Easy Bay Citizen,  3/25/20   

Since the coronavirus outbreak took full force last week, Hayward Councilmember Mark Salinas said he’s received numerous phone calls from small business owners in Hayward who are extremely worried about the dramatic loss in revenue due to the coronavirus, and specter of permanent closure of their local businesses. As a result, he said, many have asked for a delay in the city’s recently approved acceleration of its minimum wage due to begin on July 1.

On Tuesday night, Salinas, along with Councilmembers Elisa Marquez and Al Mendall, offered a referral to direct city staff to study the impacts of delaying the scheduled $1 wage increase to Jan. 1, 2021. The council supported moving the item forward, 6-1. Councilmember Aisha Wahab voted against the referral.

The move by the three councilmembers comes in the wake of already massive layoffs in the Bay Area related to the COVID-19 outbreak and shelter in place order given last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“I’m trying to preserve jobs,” Marquez said. “I’m fearful if we don’t do something to help these businesses, people will be out of work.”

Councilmember Sara Lamnin, who voted for the minimum wage ordinance last month, said Tuesday that the wage bump actually foments jobs loss. “Minimum wage increases do eliminate jobs, and in a time like this, we need to preserve them,” she said.

The councilmember’s proposal would realign Hayward with the state’s mandated schedule to reach $15 an hour all workers employed by businesses with more than 25 employees by 2022. Those with 25 or fewer would reach the same threshold in 2023.

The minimum wage in Hayward is currently $13 an hour for large businesses, and $12 an hour for smaller ones. An ordinance to accelerate the minimum wage in Hayward to $15 an hour for large businesses, and $14 an hour for smaller ones, starting on July 1, was unanimously approved by the city council on Feb. 4.

The quick reversal comes after many of Hayward’s neighboring cities in Alameda County had approved similar accelerations of their minimum wage, in several cases, nearly two years ago. Hayward’s own school district passed a resolution in January 2017 to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for unrepresented district employees.

Earlier in the meeting on Tuesday night, the city council approved a 90-day emergency moratorium on all residential evictions for non-payment resulting from loss of income related to the coronavirus. But the moratorium did not include commercial evictions.

Angela Andrews, a member of the Hayward Planning Commission and declared candidate for the city council in the fall, said eviction relief for commercial tenants would be a better solution for helping struggling local business owners. “That is where they are making their largest payments, she said of their monthly rent payments. “We need to keep those dollars in the workers’ hands. To delay the minimum wage increase is going to do workers and residents a disservice.”

Reducing scheduled minimum wage increases in Hayward contrasts the strategy the federal government approved, also Tuesday night, to pass a $2 trillion relief bill intended, in some part, to encourage people to stimulate the economy with a quick infusion of $1,200 checks. The relief bill also includes $367 billion to help small businesses.

Civil Liberties in the Age of Coronavirus: Californians Ask Questions About More Government Control Over Their Lives

So far we have lost our right to assembly, right to free speech, right to petition our government, right to religion, in several places local government has tried to take away our rights of self-defense, while at the same time releasing crooks from jail and prison. Trails have been suspended for 60 days—or more. Businesses have been closed down, job lost—all because of government decisions.  Yes, we have a virus, at what price, our freedom, to possibly stop its expansion.

“To get answers, CapRadio spoke with professors like Leslie Gielow Jacobs of the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento about ways the government has been careful to not overdo measures. 

Americans so far have seen orders that aren’t strongly enforced by law, she said, while other countries that are not democracies, such as China, have taken stronger, legal steps to limit personal freedoms.

She said as things progress, citizens should be wary of the following infringements on civil liberties: 

  • Violations of freedom of speech due to restrictions on public gatherings, particularly if these restrictions continue into election season
  • Violations on privacy if the government takes measures to try to track peoples’ movements to slow an outbreak
  • Discriminatory practices to try to contain an outbreak within a certain demographic. “

Look how easily we gave up our rights.  We need to be careful.  The virus is dangerous—so is our loss of freedoms.

Civil Liberties in the Age of Coronavirus: Californians Ask Questions About More Government Control Over Their Lives

By Sarah Mizes-Tan, Capitol Public Radio,  3/24/20  

As Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to put restrictions on people’s movement and daily lives to curb the coronavirus outbreak, Californians are feeling a certain amount of new government control.

Many CapRadio listeners had questions about their civil liberties during this era of COVID-19. They’re concerned about how their freedoms will be affected, and what can be compromised during this time of national crisis.

Some are concerned about more draconian measures seen across the glob, such as the total lockdown of residents in India, being imposed upon Americans. For many, this is the first time in their lives the government has taken such aggressive steps to change their personal habits. 

Constitutional law professors have said the government does hold some amount of power to do what’s right for the good of the people. In the past during crisis situations, the government has enacted laws, and challenges have followed, such as the Japanese-American Internment during World War II, or New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy. 

To get answers, CapRadio spoke with professors like Leslie Gielow Jacobs of the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento about ways the government has been careful to not overdo measures. 

Americans so far have seen orders that aren’t strongly enforced by law, she said, while other countries that are not democracies, such as China, have taken stronger, legal steps to limit personal freedoms.

She said as things progress, citizens should be wary of the following infringements on civil liberties: 

  • Violations of freedom of speech due to restrictions on public gatherings, particularly if these restrictions continue into election season
  • Violations on privacy if the government takes measures to try to track peoples’ movements to slow an outbreak
  • Discriminatory practices to try to contain an outbreak within a certain demographic. 

Here are some other legal experts’ responses to CapRadio listener and reader questions:

Why haven’t we gotten stronger orders? Those might be more effective?

John Sims, a professor emeritus at McGeorge School of Law, said the federal government is trying to toe the line between becoming too authoritarian and curtailing the spread of the disease. He called it a balancing act. 

“Obviously, a week ago, we couldn’t imagine things being as bad as they were today,” he said. “But I’d just say that’s really what constitutional law is about: It’s about a balancing act among various interests, and we have a lot of important — and very important — time honored rules that allow us to conduct the balancing.” 

That said, experts don’t believe that measures like tracking peoples’ movements via their cell phones will ever become a method of containment in this country, in part because the United States is already past the point of containment, and such monitoring would be of little help now. 

Advocates generally say there is no reason to be concerned about civil liberties infringement just yet, but most are worried that, if these containment measures extend into election season, how they could be seen as impacting freedom of speech and First Amendment rights.

What about people in jail right now? Are jails doing anything to contain the spread of the virus among their inmate population?

Experts agree that jails are not prepared to handle an outbreak among their inmates. There are shortages on soap and other sanitizing products, and jails suffer from overcrowding. 

Advocates from the California ACLU have been asking all state-run jails to release the “pre-trial” portion of their inmates — inmates awaiting trial who don’t have money to post bail — and inmates whose terms are ending within the next 45 days. 

According to the Board of State and Community Corrections, pre-trial inmates make up about 68% of the jail population. 

So far, Los Angeles County has taken the most aggressive steps and released about 1,200 inmates as of March 19, 2020, about 6 percent of their jail population, to lessen the spread of coronavirus. 

Sacramento County has released a portion of its inmates whose term sentences were almost over, but the sheriff’s office said these releases cover only a small portion of the inmate population. 

The Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the incarcerated, has released guidelines for how jails can manage the coronavirus.

California Has 2nd Worst Taxpayer ROI WalletHub Study Reports

As expected, based on taxation levels vs. service levels, California is the second worst State in the whole nation.  What do we get in return for our tax dollars in the former Golden State?

Crime is allowed, including the sale of drugs, illegal aliens protected from Federal law, gridlock on the freeways and potholes on the street.  We have a collapsing pension system and failed government schools.  The schools are so bad the State is about to dumb down teachers requirements, making them worse. We pay for colleges that are training grounds for bullies, bigots, haters and rioters.  Free speech—not on a California college campus.

“WalletHub used 30 metrics to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five categories — Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution — taking into account the drastically different rates at which citizens are taxed in each state.

They also note that taxpayers in red states get a better return on investment than those in blue states.

Taxpayer ROI in California (1=Best, 25=Avg.):

  • 49th – Overall ROI
  • 45th – Total Taxes per Capita (Population Aged 18+)
  • 11th – Education
  • 18th – Health
  • 34th – Safety
  • 40th – Economy
  • 48th – Infrastructure & Pollution

Yet we continue to elect politicians that look toward totalitarian States for inspiration, rather than the Constitution.  Shame on us.

California Has 2nd Worst Taxpayer ROI WalletHub Study Reports

Coming in at 49th in state and local taxes paid vs. spending received by state

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  3/24/20 

With Tax Day on Americans minds, even with the federal government allowing taxpayers to defer payment without penalty due to the coronavirus pandemic, California just placed 49th – second to last – in Wallet Hub’s Return on Investment study of states.

WalletHub’s latest analysis of the U.S. tax landscape is an in-depth look at the states with the Best & Worst Taxpayer Return on Investment in 2020.

WalletHub used 30 metrics to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five categories — Education, Health, Safety, Economy, and Infrastructure & Pollution — taking into account the drastically different rates at which citizens are taxed in each state.

They also note that taxpayers in red states get a better return on investment than those in blue states.

Taxpayer ROI in California (1=Best, 25=Avg.):

  • 49th – Overall ROI
  • 45th – Total Taxes per Capita (Population Aged 18+)
  • 11th – Education
  • 18th – Health
  • 34th – Safety
  • 40th – Economy
  • 48th – Infrastructure & Pollution

Notably, California’s 13.3% rate is the highest marginal income tax rate in the nation. When you add in up to 37% federal taxes, living in California is expensive right off the top, and especially now that we cannot deduct state taxes against the federal.

California ranked 34th in overall government services, broken down by Education (11th), Health (18th), Safety (34th) and Economy (40th).

WalletHub asked three economists:

Do states with high tax burdens provide better government services?

Kimberly Gaither, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Culver-Stockton College said, “there doesn’t seem to be a good correlation between high state tax burdens and quality of life rankings for their citizens.”

How can state and local governments use tax revenue more efficiently?

Doug Stives, CPA, MBA – Specialist Professor of Accounting, Monmouth University, said, “The states must face the unions representing public workers including teachers. Most teachers in New Jersey will collect more during retirement than they made during their entire career. They are depending on unfunded pensions. States such as Wisconsin have faced reality and eliminated benefits including inflation proof retirement plans and lifetime medical insurance to save their states from financial disaster like New York, New Jersey and California face.”

For the full report, go to the Wallet Hub website.

FLRA FORMALLY PROPOSES RULE CHANGE ALLOWING FEDERAL WORKERS TO STOP PAYING UNION DUES AFTER FIRST YEAR OF MEMBERSHIP

Did you know that to work for the Federal government you had to pay a bribe for one year before you were allowed to attempt to end the extortion—and this is written into Federal law?  Now the Trump Administration is making a minor change to the system.  Instead of having to wait a year, after the first year to pay extortion to a union, once the year is up, you can stop paying at any time.

Section 7115(a) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute states, “[If] an agency has received from an employee in an appropriate unit a written assignment which authorizes the agency to deduct from the pay of the employee amounts for the payment of regular and periodic dues of the exclusive representative of the unit, the agency shall honor the assignment and make an appropriate allotment pursuant to the assignment.” The statute states that “any such assignment may not be revoked for a period of [one] year.”

In the past, the FLRA has interpreted the latter portion of the law to mean that union-dues payroll deduction authorizations can only be revoked in one-year intervals. After the Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Office of Personnel Management petitioned the FLRA for guidance on Janus‘ applicability to § 7115(a).”

The bigger question is why does a third party have the “right” to take money from an employees paycheck, without permission?  The union did not get the person the job, did not make them qualified for the job, help get them the education and life experiences to hold the job?   Unions have a place in a free market—stealing wages is not part of it.

FLRA FORMALLY PROPOSES RULE CHANGE ALLOWING FEDERAL WORKERS TO STOP PAYING UNION DUES AFTER FIRST YEAR OF MEMBERSHIP

Ballotpedia,  3/27/20 

On March 19, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would allow federal workers to stop paying union dues at any time after a statutory one-year period of dues payment. Up to this point, federal workers have only been permitted to rescind their union-dues assignments at one-year intervals.

What is at issue?

Section 7115(a) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute states, “[If] an agency has received from an employee in an appropriate unit a written assignment which authorizes the agency to deduct from the pay of the employee amounts for the payment of regular and periodic dues of the exclusive representative of the unit, the agency shall honor the assignment and make an appropriate allotment pursuant to the assignment.” The statute states that “any such assignment may not be revoked for a period of [one] year.”

In the past, the FLRA has interpreted the latter portion of the law to mean that union-dues payroll deduction authorizations can only be revoked in one-year intervals. After the Supreme Court issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Office of Personnel Management petitioned the FLRA for guidance on Janus‘ applicability to § 7115(a).

On Feb. 14, the FLRA issued a 2-1 decision rejecting its earlier interpretations of § 7115(a). FLRA Chairwoman Colleen Duffy Kiko wrote the following in the decision:
 

Although the Authority has stated that the wording in § 7115(a) ‘must be interpreted’ to mean that dues assignments may be revoked only at one‑year intervals following the first year, in fact, the Authority made a policy judgment to impose annual revocation periods after the first year of an assignment. In other words, notwithstanding previous assertions otherwise, § 7115(a) neither compels, nor even supports, the existing policy on annual revocation windows. Because it remains our privilege and responsibility to interpret the Statute in a manner that is consistent with an efficient and effective government, we cannot allow our decisions or statements of policy to merely rubber-stamp what was said in the past.

What are the reactions?

  • On March 19, Everett Kelley, president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said, “The Authority’s proposed rule is contrary to both settled law and Congressional intent that clearly establish that dues allotments are only revocable at yearly intervals. That they would push forward with this kind of union busting in the midst of a pandemic, while front-line federal employees like VA caregivers, airport screeners, food inspectors, and other personnel are being forced to fight the administration for basic safety protocols and personal protective equipment, is truly disgraceful.”
     
  • On Feb. 26, Michael J. Reitz, executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said, “This ruling matters because unions often erect bureaucratic barriers to trap workers into membership, barriers the Mackinac Center has repeatedly challenged in court and won. … The end result is that federal employees, who were already in a right-to-work status, may leave the union at any time. Thus, one million federal employees could choose that opportunity.”

What comes next?

On Feb. 18, National Treasury Employees Union petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to block the proposed rule change. The court has not yet taken up the case. In the meantime, the rule making process will proceed. A public comment period opened on March 19 and will close on April 9

SEIU CAUGHT Hoarding 39 Million Face Masks!!

The $2 Trillion rescue package included a little noticed section that says businesses that take any of the money can not oppose or say a word if workers want to unionize.  The union can lie, but the people who risk their own money must be silent.  The SEIU is one of those unions that extort workers—work for a government where the SEIU is the “bargaining agent” and they will steal from your paychecks.

Now we find out the SEIU has hoarded much needed face masks—39 million of them!!!!

“Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West announced Thursday that it located 39 million N95 masks and will make them available to state and local governments and health care systems that are fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The union found a distributor with the masks, which are cleared for surgical use, after pleas from health care workers as new coronavirus cases surge across the state and the country as a whole.

 Get serious, the SEIU “found” suppliers, when hospitals state government and the Federal government could not.  The suppliers kept quiet while a national call went out for th4e masks and only the goodwill of the SEIU got them to produce and sell them?  Why do we allow the SEIU to steal from paychecks?

SEIU CAUGHT Hoarding 39 Million Face Masks!!

Hmm… SEIU Union in California Suddenly Finds Mysterious Stash of 39 Million Face Masks — 3 Days After AG Bill Barr Announces They’re Going After Hoarders

by Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit,   3/26/20   

Trump signed a second executive order to providing authority to address hoarding and price gouging that threatens the supply of medical supplies.

Attorney General Bill Barr put hoarders on notice and said they will get a knock on the door if they are sitting on a large amount of supplies.

“We have started to see some evidence of potential hoarding and price gouging,” said Barr. “So, earlier today the president signed a second executive order providing the authority to address…hoarding that threatens the supply of those necessary health and medical resources.”

“If you have a big supply of toilet paper in your house, this is not something you have to worry about. But if you are sitting on a warehouse with masks, surgical masks, you will be hearing a knock on your door,” Barr said.

Then today this happened…

Then on Thursday the SEIU Healthcare Workers West announced they had located a mysterious stash of 39 million N95 face masks.
What wonderful news!

NBC Bay Area reported:

Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West announced Thursday that it located 39 million N95 masks and will make them available to state and local governments and health care systems that are fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The union found a distributor with the masks, which are cleared for surgical use, after pleas from health care workers as new coronavirus cases surge across the state and the country as a whole.

Union officials said they also found a supplier that can produce some 20 million protective masks per week and another that can supply millions of protective face shields.

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

HEARD ON THE TOM/TOMS

Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 3/27/20      

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

LEADERS LEAD

The Big Story

There is a saying among those involved in running campaigns:

Campaigns are LOST, not won.

For instance the big “win” for the GOP can be found in the 38th Assembly District, where two Republicans will be in the runoff in November.  This happened, not because either candidate were well known, well financed or had an issue that won the day.  Instead the Democrats ran too many good candidates and divided the vote—hence a GOP runoff.

In the 38th AD, the Democrats allowed special interests to promote a sexual harasser, Steve Fox, to get him into the runoffs—a guaranteed loser, against, against Tom Lackey.

In the Central Valley David Valedao looks like a winner to take back the seat he lost in 2018—not on the issues or good campaigning, but that the incumbent has tax liens, lied about them and lots of lawsuits.

In Orange County the California Republican Party endorsed incumbent Assemblyman Tyler Diep—and he came in third.

There was one measure on the statewide ballot, Prop. 13 a $26 billion education bond (principal plus interest)—the measure failed by about 600,000.  Yet that California Republican party never even took a vote, either at convention or at the Board of Directors, to oppose it.  Without a vote, the GOP was “neutral”—while the people of California opposed it.

On March 23 the California Republican Party sent out a fund raising letter that started with these words:

“The March 3rd Primary was a huge success for our party. But the battle for the primary is far from over..” 

Saying something and asking for money doesn’t make it so.

At the same time the Party was declaring a big “success”, they failed to note that based on the results of the March 3 Primary, nine of twenty Senate seats up for election will not have a Republican on the November ballot, 19 of 80 Assembly seats (half of the needed majority) will not have a GOP’er on the ballot and 8 congressional seats on the ballot will not have  a Republican on the ballot.

This is a huge success?  Hate to see what they consider a failure.

CONTENT

  1.  California Republican Party decision about May 1-3 convention may have been made by Democrat Eric Garcetti
  2. Price of gas, Texas vs. California.
  3. Democrats use Michelle Obama for voter registration drive—California Republican Party silent since March, 2013
  1.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti repeated his warning that residents will likely need to stay home until at least May, and L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer pleaded with Angelenos: “We need everyone to do their part, all of the time.”  This looks like the Mayor of Los angeles has cancelled the  Repulbican Party convention.  More than a week ago the CRP sent out a survey, asking delegates if they thought the convention should be held, postponed or cancelled.  Instead of the Board of Directors making that important decision or listening to the results of the survey—they sent it out a second time.  As of this writing the delegates are still waiting for the leaders of the CRP to make the inevitable announcement.
  2. Spoke with former CRP Chair Mike Schroeder on Wednesday.  He informed me that the cost of gas in Dallas, Texas that morning was $1.61 for unleaded.  In Simi Valley it was $3.19.  Literally th cost of gas in California is DOUBLE that of Texas.  That is a $1.60 a gallon tax on the people of California—no wonder folks are fleeing the State—if they can afford the gas.
  3. Democrats NEVER stop registering voters.  The California Republican Party has not registered voters since March, 2013—except for the month of September, 2019—and then, in the whole State got approximately 400 new registrations.  Want to register to vote, here is the Democrat/Obama effort:  https://www.whenweallvote.org/

LEADERS LEAD

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