Paul Pelosi Buys Millions in Semiconductor Stocks Before Congressional Subsidy Vote

Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), recently bought up to $5 million in stocks in a semiconductor company.

This comes right before the Senate is set to vote on a competition bill next week that would give a $52 billion subsidy to the semiconductor industry, Reuters reported.

Paul Pelosi exercised 20,000 shares worth between $1 million to $5 million in Nvidia, a semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, California, which was revealed in a disclosure that Nancy Pelosi filed to the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The same disclosure also revealed that Paul Pelosi sold 10,000 shares worth between $1 million to $5 million in Visa and 50 call options worth between $100,000 to $250,000 in Apple.

In June 2021, Paul Pelosi also purchased up to millions of dollars in Nvidia stocks, the Daily Caller reported. It appears this purchase occurred around the same time the Senate would pass a more expanded version of the semiconductor subsidy bill; however, the House never took up the legislation.

“Obviously Speaker Pelosi would be aware of the timing of this legislation over in the Senate,” Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) told the Daily Caller. “On the heels of that vote, for anyone in her orbit to purchase seven-figures worth of stock of an U.S.-based chip manufacturer just reeks of impropriety.”

Click here to read the full article in Breitbart California

California Fire Destroys 12 Structures, Forces Evacuations

Challenging terrain and weather hampered firefighters in Northern California as a blaze grew quickly Thursday afternoon, forcing evacuations as the flames destroyed homes, scorched vegetation and threatened a tortoise sanctuary, authorities said.

The blaze broke out around mid-afternoon in Shasta County, just south of Redding, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.

The fire quickly grew to 304 acres (123 hectares), Cal Fire said. The Redding Record Searchlight newspaper reported that at least three homes burned. The blaze was 25% contained shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Cal Fire reported Thursday night that 12 structures had been destroyed, though it was not immediately clear how many were residences.

Firefighters aggressively attacked the blaze from the ground and the air, Cal Fire said in a news release, and crews will work overnight to strengthen containment lines and mop up around structures.

An evacuation center was set up at a high school in Anderson, home to about 11,000 residents. Officials didn’t immediately say how many people were under evacuation orders.

Flames briefly threatened Tortoise Acres, a sanctuary dedicated to turtles and tortoises in Anderson, co-owner Katie Hoffman told the San Francisco Chronicle. Hoffman said she managed to evacuate with her horses before receiving word that the property was spared, with the only damage some singed fencing.

The cause of the Peter Fire was under investigation.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

The Possible 2024 Presidential Run of Governor Gavin Newsom

With speculation over a possible run building, the Globe takes a quick look at how successful that would be

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing into law of a bill that allows lawsuits to be made against gun makers for negligence on Tuesday, more and more media outlets began speculating that he may be running for President in 2024. And while both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have said that they would be still be running in two years, the fact remains that Newsom may try and swoop in and steal the nomination away. So let’s take a look at how Newsom could possibly accomplish that.

First off, Newsom seems to have been building up to something big in recent months. He has taken strong stances on gun control and abortion recently in reaction to an uptick of mass shootings and the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, bringing him national exposure. He’s also put ads in other states, most notably his July 4th Florida ad, which is either, depending on who you are, a pro-California hurrah or possibly the cringiest political ad in recent political history. Even more, Newsom and one of the current Republican frontrunners, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have been in a sniping war for months over their states. So we may already be seeing the 2024 or 2028 political battle right now.

All this, plus Newsom not saying that he won’t run in 2024, makes it in the cards that he is a go.

Next is background. And let’s push out what he did in office quickly and just look at his elected offices on his resume:

  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2004
  • San Francisco Mayor from 2004 to 2011
  • Lieutenant Governor from 2011 to 2019
  • Governor from 2019 on.

On paper, that is an impressive climb with a lot of experience that anyone with that, regardless of party, does have quite the pedigree for higher office.

But let’s push all of what he did back in. And look, I typed “Gavin Newsom controversies” into Google and got 909,000 pages back. When I was gathering links of what he had done just as Governor from the Globe’s archives, it looked like I was going into the Library of Congress. Even giving a highlight reel would still make for a small book. Suffice it to say that for every good or successful thing Newsom has backed, such as the Care not Cash program in San Francisco in the early 2000’s that replaced giving straight cash to the homeless for medical care and other health programs, there has been one other that had disastrous consequences, like extramarital affairs with wives of his own aides.

Looking at a possible run for Governor Gavin Newsom

If he were to run, Biden and others would have a field day with Newsom’s past. To his credit, Newsom has tried to make amends for some of his more negative actions, like seeking treatment for his alcoholism. But other things would not be so easy, especially on a national stage. Affairs are a notable political killer, or at the very least are guaranteed to bring you down at least 20 points in voter popularity. Democrats in particular can bring up issues that would hurt him within his own party, like his failure to make San Francisco a sanctuary city in 2009 despite his promises.

Again, he does have several “a broken clock is right twice a day” moments and has been shown to give a damn about several issues, but his time as Governor will be brought heavily into the spotlight in a possible run for the Democratic nomination. And whatever the Democrats don’t fire on him, you can be sure the Republican candidate will if he manages to get the nomination.

Like his propensity for ignoring his own laws and guidelines. As the Globe has pointed out, he has had a long history of this, but in the last few years he has, multiple times, ignored his own mask mandates, and has ignored state travel bans, like his recent Montana outing. Ted Cruz got this once badly looked at by the press last year for going to Mexico during a state crisis. For Newsom, this is a regular thing.

And that’s not even getting into the fact that he would be running only a few years after a major recall election against him, which no presidential candidate has really done before. For anyone running against him, that is a huge issue to use that, for most politicians, would be insurmountable.

Telling, Newsom is also behind in polls to Biden despite the President facing a growing disapproval rating. He’s still ahead of Harris in a possible run, but if other candidates join the fray, Newsom may not have as big a shot.

This is by no means a full vet. Many, MANY things haven’t even been mentioned, both positive and negative, that Newsom has done in the past 25 years of holding elected office. Most readers can probably think of a few things that the Governor has done that has affected them personally. Again, all of that is important, but this isn’t a book about the ups and downs of Newsom’s life. This is just a quick look at what if Newsom does give it a go.

And, on the outside, right now, it doesn’t look like he’ll do well. Biden is more popular than Newsom, not to mention a growing favoritism of Republicans nationwide right now. That’s not to say that Newsom could reach that point, but he would need to find a way to greatly counter all the points against him. And in a debate, opponents would just need to start talking about his recall, or how homelessness is still prevalent, or the housing situation, or wildfire containment, or his past affairs, or maskgate, or a plethora of other topics, and he would have to go into defensive mode.

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

High-Profile Crime Wave Fuels Growing Support of Recalling LA’s DA George Gascon

Attacks includes assault against Olympian Kim Glass in LA

A string of high-profile crimes in and around Los Angeles just since July 9th has led to a drastic increase of support for recalling Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon due to many seeing them as being caused by his soft on crime’ criminal policies.

The latest wave of high-profile crimes began early Saturday morning when famed rapper Snoopy Blue was shot in South Los Angeles. While many other high profile crimes were reported on  Saturday, an attack on Olympic volleyball silver medalist Kim Glass by a homeless man made national and international headlines. Glass, who was struck in the face and elsewhere by a homeless man wielding a metal object, survived the attack. However, her scarred face was everywhere on Sunday and Monday as news of the attack spread.

Finally, on Monday, a string of six attacks on 7-11 convenience stores in cities ringing LA County  in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties left three injured and two dead. While some have blamed the robberies and violence on it simply being the day in question being 7-11 (July 11th, or 7/11), many of the local police departments believe that the same person is involved in at least some of the robberies and attacks.

The high profile crimes in and around LA have spurred many in LA County to continue the push against DA Gascon and support the growing recall movement against him. While the signature drive for the recall is over and the current signatures are currently undergoing validation, Gascon is nonetheless losing ground over his progressive reform policies effectively embolding criminals. Many crimes have been reduced in severity to misdemeanors along with the end of cash bail, allowing many criminals to return to the streets quickly out of local jails. Since Gascon was sworn in as DA in December 2020, crime across the city has shot up significantly in everything from robberies to homicides. LA County as a whole has also seen a crime surge in this time.

“In the last several days, Southern California, Los Angeles in particular, has seen a lot of notable attacks and murders occur,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Tuesday. “If you recall, in November and December of 2021, the Bay Area had a bunch of high profile robberies, like the Union Square robberies and the flashmob robbery at a San Jose mall. Incidents both in and outside of San Francisco that was blamed on then-DA Chesa Boudin’s policies. And then helped get him recalled.”

“This string may be Gascon’s version of that. Or, sadly, may be a lead up to that. Because, just like those, even the ones outside the city are being tied to the DA due to their influence.”

Others also noted that the crimes would help likely help spur more voters to vote against Gascon and others who have similar progressive crime attitudes in upcoming election

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Some Observations on Our New SCOTUS Justice, Ketanji Jackson

A few days ago, Justice Ketanji Jackson was sworn in as the first black female on the Supreme Court.  Yes, she should be congratulated, and she was, and still is.  However, I have some timely issues and grievances I think must be discussed as well.  May I offer these “6 theses,” so to speak? 

Unless one is living under a rock, regarding politics the past 3 years, it is nearly impossible to escape the meme of, “We need more people of COLOR, as well as more WOMEN…in Congress, on SCOTUS, everywhere.  Now, with Justice Clarence Thomas (regardless of politics) the High Court absolutely gained a very accomplished and very intelligent so-called “person of color.”  Did the far-left  (aka, the “woke”) celebrate that?  No. —  Why?  Because although Justice Thomas was the right “color,” he was the wrong kind of “person of color.” Simply put, he did not think as highly educated black people are “supposed” to think, which is through an ever progressive-leaning lens.

A couple years ago, we finally received another woman, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, to  SCOTUS.  Again, did progressives generally celebrate that as progress, a celebration of womanhood?  No way!  She was a woman (more on that later), but sadly, not a “woke” woman. She was the wrong kind of woman.  Period.  So, how to object to her?  Tear HER down! — I’ve noticed it’s been quite engrained in some on the far-left that it’s OK to “hate” certain folks NOW, if those folks, in theory…will contribute to “greater hate” in the FUTURE, or something like that.

Let’s discus Justice Ketanji Jackson further. Is she accomplished? Yes. I will not debate that; i can’t. She is indeed accomplished and has proven her knowledge of law.  That said, does it not seem some left-leaning pundits have, at times, fawned over her as being almost the apex of intelligence?  Full stop.  Yet, when it came to recognizing the equal “brilliance” of Justice Barrett, as a highly respected woman, nope, not much to see there.  Don’t believe me?  Well, view CNN reruns.

Respectfully, here’s a huge issue I’ve with Justice Jackson:  She was soft on online “pedo-porn” traders/transferers/sellers.  Some of the content, sadly included pre-pubescent children. This is bad.  But the mainstream media countered, opining this issue was just the right “bullying” Mrs. Jackson.  How dare they??  If that had been a conservative judge in the hot seat, I do not think he/she would have been treated with such tiny kid gloves!

Here’s something about Justice Barrett worth knowing: The Girl Scout Administration (GSA) originally included Justice Barrett as one of the accomplished US women for Women’s Day a couple years back. (Good for her!) Then, because of the outrage of some (not all) of the our progressive friends, with so much contempt for her as being the a “conservative” woman, the GSA actually took her off their list!  These current times are truly a crossroads of intersecting values. 

Last, but not least, when calmly asked what a woman was at her hearing, Ketanji Jackson seemed stunned at first, then said, with uncomfortably shy honesty, “I’m not a biologist.” (By the way, this got me thinking, even if she were a biologist, would she have answered? I doubt it.)  Anyway, even if the definition of a woman has gotten so “muddied up,” partly because of the trans movement (definition of “woman” has gotten lost in “trans-lation,” pun intended), I still DEMAND a better answer from a future justice on our Supreme Court.  Should not we all?  Furthermore, if she claims the high authority to decide important SCOTUS cases concerning women’s issues/rights, how can she, in good faith, be trusted to decide such cases, until she can offer a definition of what a woman is??  In other words, if I said I’d be faithfully deciding cases on the rights for “xyz people,” then I was asked, “Just who are ‘xyz’ people for which you will be making decisions…” and I replied, “Um, I can not answer that,” I don’t think the average person’s knee-jerk response would be, “Yep, I want that guy!”  As a final footnote here, the mainstream media afforded us zero favors by minimizing this too, as once again, unfair bullying of a “woman” of color, by the nasty right.  May God help our country.

Proposition 1 Will Constitutionally Protect Abortion Up Until the Moment of Birth

In November, you’ll be asked if you want to dramatically change California’s abortion laws to allow a baby to be aborted right up until the minute before that baby is born.

Right now, a woman can have an abortion in California up to the point where the baby can survive outside the womb or is “viable.”  Viability has been the standard for decades.

Based on polling, it is likely most Californians are comfortable with that viability standard. But legislative Democrats are testing how far voters are willing to go to allow legal abortions up to a baby’s due date.

That’s what will be on the ballot this November in California with Proposition 1.

How did we get here?

Much has been said about the recent 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that reversed previous court rulings and found that there was not a federal constitutional right to have an abortion. The court ultimately concluded: “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion.” With that decision, determining public policy around the issue of abortion has been returned to each of the 50 states.

State responses — like the people who live in them — are wide, varied and diverse. According to a Gallup Organization survey of the opinions of Americans on the issue taken in late May of 2022, 35% said abortion should be legal under all circumstances, 18% said legal under most circumstances, 32% said legal only in a few circumstances and 13% said all abortions should be illegal.

In other words, fully half of Americans chart a middle course on this issue. On the football field of politics, most Americans find themselves between the 35-yard lines.

California’s approach, though, puts us next to the progressive goal line. As a practical matter, the decision in Dobbs and the overturning of Roe v. Wade has no effect on abortion rights in California. Up until viability (generally regarded as 24 weeks into a 40-week pregnancy), women can obtain abortions for any reason. The state subsidizes the procedure and has passed laws encouraging “abortion tourism.”

But the modest restriction precluding abortion after viability (unless done for the health of the mother) would be eliminated if voters pass a constitutional amendment that has been placed before us by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature.

Proposition 1 on the California ballot would place these words into the state constitution: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”

With the passage of this amendment, abortion in California would become legal until the moment of birth. The explicit language in this amendment could not be clearer and provides no exceptions or restrictions on a right to an abortion. This is the most extreme position that could be taken on this issue.

Why is Proposition 1 even on the ballot? It represents a convergence of two interests. Pro-abortion extremists want to not only ensure abortion is legal in California until birth, while guaranteeing that at no time in the future can laws on abortion access be reduced. Progressives would also like to shift the debate away from issues like cost of living, high gas prices or rising crime ahead of the election.

Read the entire article in the OC Register

Restore Local Control of our Neighborhoods in California

Exactly one day after he survived a recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills that ended single-family zoning throughout California.

Senate Bill 9 allows single-family lots anywhere in the state to be split in two, so that there can be two houses and two accessory dwelling units on a lot that formerly was zoned for just one house. Under SB 9, cities are required to approve these lot splits “ministerially,” without any reviews, hearings, conditions, fees or environmental impact reports.

Senate Bill 10 allows cities to pass an ordinance that enables property owners to build up to 10 units, plus four accessory dwelling units, on any single-family lot that is within one-half mile of transit, defined as a bus route with frequent service during rush hours.

These laws have enraged many city officials. A multi-partisan coalition quickly formed around an effort to qualify an initiative for the ballot that would generally prevent state law from pre-empting local control of zoning and land use. Proponents are aiming to have it on the ballot in November 2024.

In the meantime, two lawsuits have been filed to try to get SB 9 and SB 10 overturned.

The cities of Redondo Beach, Carson, Torrance and Whittier filed a lawsuit in March against California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the State of California to “prevent the State of California from usurping a charter city’s land use authority, which is a uniquely municipal affair.” The state constitution authorizes charter cities—municipalities that have adopted their own local constitution —to “govern themselves, free of state legislative intrusion, as to those matters deemed municipal affairs,” or so said the California Supreme Court in a 2012 case known as State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO v. City of Vista.

And therein lies the dispute. The state government enacted SB 9 in 2021 with the assertion that ensuring access to affordable housing was “a matter of statewide concern,” magic words that allow the state government to override a city’s control of municipal affairs.

But as the lawsuit points out, nothing in SB 9 requires any of the four units that can now be built on a formerly single-family lot to be affordable. “In very urbanized areas where housing demand and prices are high,” the cities argued, “SB 9 housing developments could be sold or leased at market rate prices, which would do nothing to address housing affordability.” They also predicted that deep-pocketed developers and institutional investors will be more likely than ordinary homeowners to take advantage of SB 9, resulting in higher land and home values, “making it harder for first-time homebuyers to get their foothold on the American Dream and further alienating lower-income households.”

SB 9 does allow cities to deny a project that would have adverse impacts related to public health or safety concerns, but Redondo Beach and the other cities make the point that while the cumulative effect of quadrupled density on multiple properties in a neighborhood could have a public health or safety impact, the cities are not allowed to consider the cumulative effect. They have to approve each project as if none of the others existed.

“The addition of up to four times as many families in existing neighborhoods will undoubtedly impact schools with increased class sizes, exacerbate traffic congestion, and create parking deficiencies,” the cities argued. “There will also be increased need for water and sewer capacity, use of utilities, maintenance and replacement of physical infrastructure, and demand for emergency access and response.” (Too many cars parked on narrow streets can impede emergency vehicles.)

Can the state declare the need for affordable housing to be a matter of statewide concern and then override local control to implement a law that does nothing to address the need for affordable housing?

We’ll find out. Attorney General Rob Bonta filed an answer to the cities’ complaint in which he denied everything. Next step: a trial setting conference on July 12.

The cities of Lakewood and Rancho Palos Verdes filed a separate lawsuit seeking to overturn SB 9. These municipalities are “general law” cities without charters, so the legal arguments are a little different.

There’s another lawsuit in the courts seeking to overturn SB 10, the law that allows cities to pass an ordinance enabling property owners to build 10-unit apartment buildings on any single-family lot, by right, if it’s within one-half mile of a busy bus stop or other transit, or in an urban infill area. This lawsuit was filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and joined by the city of Redondo Beach. The argument in this case centers on the provision in SB 10 that allows a city’s new 10-unit-density ordinance to override voter-approved initiatives that conflict with it, as long as the ordinance is passed by a two-thirds vote.

The state won round one in this fight. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that SB 10 can override a local (not state) initiative passed by the voters. Redondo Beach and AIDS Healthcare Foundation are appealing the decision.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Could Rising COVID-19 Case Rates Prompt Mask Mandate? 

Local coronavirus-related hospitalizations have continued to rise in San Diego County, though not quite quickly enough to push the region into the federal government’s highest tier of COVID-19 activity.

Such a move would have been a significant development because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal indoor masking if the number of recent hospital admissions reaches 10 or more per 100,000 residents. As of Thursday evening, San Diego’s County’s rate stood at 8.9 per 100,000.

While San Francisco and Sacramento counties have already arrived at the highest level — color coded orange — with rates of 10.2 and 15.4 respectively, Southern California’s most populous areas are all still floating just below the threshold. Los Angeles and Orange counties are listed at 9.7 per 100,000, and Riverside County sits slightly below San Diego at 7.2.

Thus far, the California Department of Public Health has not moved to take the CDC’s recommendation and re-institute indoor masking statewide, but local health departments seemed to be keenly interested in seeing what might happen if those currently teetering on the edge were to turn from yellow to the most severe orange level on the federal agency’s color-coded threat map.

According to the county health department’s weekly update, total confirmed and suspected hospitalizations reported in all of San Diego County’s non-military hospitals hit 361 Wednesday, 26 more than were collectively hospitalized one week ago. New cases reported, however, appeared to be falling a bit, decreasing 281 in a week’s time to 1,767 Wednesday.

Those numbers, experts caution, are not the whole picture. They include only “PCR” results performed by health care providers and testing centers but generally exclude positives from home testing kits, which are not reported to county health departments.

Wastewater sampling, which can detect tiny fragments of coronavirus genetic code, has recently been seen as a better way of gauging the true prevalence of coronavirus in the community.

The most recent wastewater data posted by SEARCH, a collaborative analysis group led by scientists at UC San Diego and Scripps Research, show that the virus’s presence declined in late June, falling from about 7 million copies of the coronavirus on June 12 to 6 million on June 29. Levels have remained far below the all-time peak of 46.5 million on January 10.

Despite producing significantly more infections than previous waves, Omicron proved to be far less likely to cause hospitalization and death than its predecessors. Currently, BA.4 and BA.5, the original Omicron’s descendants, make up a significant proportion of new cases, mirroring trends seen nationwide.

There is evidence, noted Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of the county health department’s epidemiology and immunization branch, that 4 and 5 have a more significant ability to put infected people in hospitals. That has seemed to be the case, she noted, in Portugal, a country with a similarly vaccinated population that saw these two subvariants arrive earlier than they have in the United States. Given that 4 and 5 really began to hold sway in mid-to-late January, she said, there is no reason to expect hospitalizations to slow soon. It often takes weeks, after all, for infected people to get sick enough to need significant medical attention.

“The forecasting is telling us that there is a very good chance that this is going to continue, and that we haven’t seen a peak in hospitalizations yet,” she said.

While the state has not yet broached the possibility of re-instituting its previous indoor masking requirements, some are unequivocal about face coverings’ abilities to slow the spread of even the highly infectious 4 and 5 subvariants that have spread so quickly.

Click here to read the full article in the San Diego Union Tribune

Gascón recall Proponents Deliver 717,000 Signatures to County

Former DA Steve Cooley, one of the recall organizers, called the campaign ‘a Herculean effort with a lot of moving parts to obtain the signatures’

Campaign organizers seeking to recall embattled Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón submitted 717,000 signatures to election officials Wednesday, July 6, hoping to force an election that could oust him after less than two years on the job.

A group of sign-waving recall supporters, many of them families of murder victims critical of Gascon’s policies, greeted a truck that delivered the petitions to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office in Norwalk. Supporters need 566,857 signatures — representing 10% of the total registered voters in the county at the time of the November 2020 election that Gascon won — to qualify the recall for the ballot.

Supporters hope the extra signatures will provide a sufficient cushion to allow for disqualified signatures.

“It was a Herculean effort with a lot of moving parts to obtain the signatures,” said former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who is co-chairman of campaign to recall Gascon.

Wednesday was the county deadline to submit the recall petitions. Cooley predicted that if the signatures are certified, Gascón will be turned out of office in a landslide.

30 days to verify signatures

The county will have 30 days to verify the signatures before scheduling a recall vote.

“They are still determining whether they will count the entire submission, or only a 5% sample batch,” campaign spokesman Tim Lineberger said. “If the recall ultimately qualifies, it would likely take place in a special election early next year. For it to appear on the November ballot, the process would likely need to be expedited.”

If the recall issue qualifies, the same ballot will ask voters to choose a replacement candidate for district attorney. The candidate with the most votes would capture the election outright without a runoff election.

While the initial campaign to recall Gascón fizzled early last year due to a lack of signatures and the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rebooted effort that began in October has received a groundswell of public support and endorsements from unlikely political corners.

“This effort was different from the first effort in that skilled professionals took over the reins of the effort,” Cooley said. “They were very dedicated to the cause. The first effort was buoyed by a lot of enthusiasm but not the leadership nor organization to obtain the needed signatures in the required time frame. There were lessons learned from the first unsuccessful effort, the most important of which is that certain skill sets are vitally required to succeed in a recall effort.”

Recall proponents

The Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association along with county Supervisor Kathryn Barger have endorsed the recall.

“I typically support election outcomes as a way of respecting the public’s right to choose, but our D.A.’s policies have led to disastrous consequences,” Barger said in a statement issued in May. “Public safety in L.A. County has visibly deteriorated. I believe Gascón must be replaced with someone that is committed to championing victims’ rights, safety and justice.”

In a stunning reversal, former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck withdrew his support for Gascón, saying the public would be better served by a district attorney who “emphasizes the rights of victims and the safety of our police officers.”

Gascón did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, directing inquiries to his campaign spokesperson.

“We are waiting to hear the official count of validated signatures,” Elise Moore, his spokesperson, said in an email. “This will likely take several weeks. In the meantime, we remain focused on the work of keeping communities safe and creating a more equitable justice system, as we have been since day one.”

Reform has ‘broad support’

Cristine Soto DeBerry, executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, said the recall effort is being bankrolled by “fringe conservatives, political operatives, and mega-donors” that support former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Criminal justice reform has broad support from people across the political spectrum as voters know the status quo has failed them on every level,” DeBerry said in a statement. “This is a system defined by soaring rates of recidivism, shocking levels of racial disparities and wasteful spending of taxpayer money. It is a system that created a revolving door from the streets to our jails and prisons while ignoring the underlying problems that drive crime in the first place.”

DeBerry added that Gascón, who served 30 years with the LAPD and previously as San Francisco district attorney, was elected to prioritize “safety, accountability, healing and justice.”

Click here to read the full article in the Los Angeles Daily News

California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs New Budget Creating Nation’s First Tax Credit For Union Dues

In the most populous state in the U.S., California, leading politicians often talk about equity, equality, and their efforts to achieve both. Yet a tax break included in the new California state budget signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) on June 27 will exacerbate existing inequality in state taxation, critics contend.

California is one of only a handful of states where union dues are tax deductible for state income tax purposes. As part of the new state budget recently signed by Newsom, California lawmakers have made that targeted tax break even more valuable.

The new budget passed by lawmakers in mid-June and signed by Governor Newsom two weeks later will take California’s existing tax deduction for union dues payments and turn it into a tax credit capped at 33% of dues paid. Changing the deduction to a credit makes the union tax break more generous and benefits those who don’t itemize or have a tax liability.

“While union dues are currently tax deductible, union workers are more likely to not itemize their deductions and therefore do not get the same tax benefit for their dues that higher paid professions are more likely to get for their professional association dues,” notes the budget floor report. The creation of this new tax credit was praised by union leaders. In a statement released shortly after Governor Newsom signed the new budget, Amber Baur, executive director for The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, thanked Newsom and state legislators for “allowing workers to level the playing field that tries to keep them at the bottom.”

This enhanced tax break for union members in the new California budget was dubbed the “Workers Tax Fairness Credit.” But critics claim fairness is an ironic word to use since the credit is not available to the vast majority of workers.

“In California, it’s ‘government of the unions, by the unions, for the unions,’” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The union dues tax credit in the new budget boosts a tax break most workers can’t utilize because only 15.9% of the state’s workforce is unionized, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The enactment of the nation’s first state tax credit for union dues payments comes a few months after Democrats in Congress attempted to enact an above-the-line federal tax deduction for union dues payments that would be available even to taxpayers who do not itemize. Critics of that proposal, which was included in the Build Back Better spending package passed by the House of Representatives in 2021, point out it was targeted to benefit a small minority of workers who disproportionately donate to Democratic campaigns, as is the case for California’s new union dues tax credit.

“In effect, they’ve forced the 90% of workers in America who aren’t in a union to subsidize the dues of those who are,” said Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas), House Ways and Means Committee ranking member, of the union dues deduction that congressional Democrats proposed but have thus far been unable to enact.

“By making union dues tax deductible, Democrats are essentially making it more financially viable for people to contribute to organizations that help elect Democrats,” wrote Dominic Pino, a National Review Institute fellow, about the federal union dues deduction. The same argument could apply to the union dues tax credit in the new California budget. Pino and others who make this assertion can point to political spending data from Open Secrets, which shows 90% of union donations to federal campaigns during the 2020 election cycle were directed to Democrats.

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