Congressional Hearing Seeks Feedback on “New American” Entrepreneurship

From the SGV Tribune:

At a congressional hearing in Pasadena Monday that focused on ways to encourage entrepreneurship among “new Americans,” local business owners and community leaders described what the Small Business Administration is doing well – and where it can improve its outreach efforts.

Hosted by Rep. Judy Chu, D-El Monte, and Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., ranking Democrat and chairman of the House’s Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, respectively, the hearing is part of a national series.

Mulvaney is a hard-line security-minded advocate of Arizona-style immigration reform. Chu takes a softer stance on immigration. The two ignored the obvious canyon between them.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, with President Barack Obama at the State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House on Jan. 19, 2011.

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Republicans Lay Groundwork for Healthcare Repeal

From the LA Times:
Republican activists, increasingly optimistic they can win the White House and Senate next year, are beginning to lay the groundwork for a multi-pronged campaign in 2013 to roll back President Obama‘s sweeping healthcare overhaul.

The push includes an effort to pressure Republican candidates to commit to using every available tool to fully repeal the law, a tactic pioneered by conservative activist Grover Norquist, who made an anti-tax pledge de rigeur for GOP politicians.

Other conservative healthcare experts are developing an alternative to the law, an effort that could protect Republicans from past critiques that their healthcare plans left tens of millions of Americans without medical coverage.

“The window for action comes and goes,” said Tom Miller, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, one of several conservative groups involved in the effort. “We need to be ready.”

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2012 GOP Hopefuls Head to Nevada

From the SJ Mercury:

The 2012 Republican presidential campaign heads West on Tuesday, as GOP rivals will debate and aim their campaigns at wary voters worn down by one of the nation’s most enduring economic slumps.

Then, Wednesday, some GOP candidates are scheduled to speak to a convention of Republican activists from all over the West.

Tuesday’s debate will be down one candidate from preceding forums. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, whose chance of success here is seen as remote, will not participate. He’s protesting the state’s decision to hold its first-in-the-West caucus Jan. 14.

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Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Rep. Tom McClintock

From the Daily Caller:

Not all members of Congress who identify with the tea party are freshmen. Rep. Tom McClintock won his election in 2008 after 22 years in the California state legislature and an unsuccessful 2003 run for California governor. In the House of Representatives, McClintock sits on the natural resources and budget committees.

The conservative establishment nationwide loves McClintock. He thoughtfully chooses the best moments to remind colleagues of the relevance of America’s Founding, the U.S. Constitution and the need for legislators to have courage of their convictions when voting. Like the old E.F. Hutton ad, his other members of Congress listen when he speaks.

McClintock voted no, with 65 other Republicans and 95 Democrats, on the August 1 debt ceiling increase, offering his typically thorough and compelling commentary to explain that decision. In May 2010, McClintock delivered a floor speech condemning Felipe Calderón on the day the Mexican President addressed the Congress. That video quickly went viral, and was many Americans’ first introduction to the California Republican, who moved west after his upbringing in White Plains, N.Y.

His voting pattern puts him at odds with progressives, the radical environmental movement and big spenders. He often warns Americans about the destructive policies that have caused a mass migration away from his beloved California. Last week, Rep. McClintock sat down with TheDC’s Ginni Thomas to discuss the “Occupy” protests, Solyndra and green jobs, the “super” deficit reduction committee and more.

(Read Full Article and Watch Interview.)

A Year in the Life of Senate Minority Leader, Bob Dutton

From the Daily Bulletin:

The partisan divide in Sacramento has become ever harder to bridge over the past few years.

Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, has seen peaks and valleys in this discord.

The summer’s epic budget struggle between leaders of the Democrats and Republicans showcased the gridlock that has engulfed the Capitol. But the recent deal Dutton helped broker over the disputed sales tax for online retailers provided a rare bipartisan compromise.

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State Voting Rights Law Reshapes Local Elections

From the Press-Enterprise:

Fresh census data and a state law meant to increase minority representation in local government are fast revamping how people elect members of school boards, city councils and other bodies.

Dozens of cities and school districts around California are of moving from at-large elections, where candidates run across a whole city or school district, to by-district elections, in which candidates run in a particular council ward or trustee area. The goal is to avoid lawsuits related to the California Voting Rights Act.

“It appears we’re seeing the biggest and fastest change in how California government is organized at the local level since the Progressive movement in the early 1900’s,” said Douglas Johnson of the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College, whose firm has advised agencies around the state.

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OC Educator Pensions Average $50,000 in 2010-11

From the OC Register:

Retired Orange County public school educators received an average $50,079 annual pension last year, even as nearly one in eight supplemented their pay by taking temporary jobs in California schools, according to a Register analysis of state retirement data.

The most recent figures from the California State Teachers Retirement System continue to fuel debate among experts and the public over whether the nation’s largest teacher pension fund is sustainable in the long term, and to what extent it should be overhauled.

“It’s a big debate,” said Ed Mendel, founder of Calpensions.com, a blog that tracks pension reform in California.

“If you’re a defender of public pensions, you tend to think we must tighten our belt, but we can handle it through bargaining. You have other people saying we need to make major changes and move toward 401(k) plans like in the private sector.”

Retired public school teachers make up most of the people in the system, although school district and community college administrators also are included. O.C. pensions in 2010-11 ranged from $277,376 for a retired community college chancellor, to workers who earned less than $1,000.

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Romney’s Rise Challenges Tea Party’s Clout in GOP

From the SJ Mercury:

Mitt Romney’s early success in the Republican presidential race is challenging the tea party’s clout. Will it continue to pull the GOP sharply right? Will it slowly fade? Or merge with mainstream Republican elements in a nod to pragmatism, something it’s hardly known for?

On the surface, Romney’s strength seems at odds with the tea party’s fiery success in ousting Republicans seen as compromisers, and in making the House GOP caucus more ideological, even when its leaders plead for flexibility.

Romney defends the government’s 2008 bank bailouts, plus the mandated health insurance he initiated as Massachusetts governor. He says he can work with “good Democrats.” Although he later changed, Romney once supported abortion rights, gun control and gay rights.

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Herman Cain and the Death of the Political Pro

From Pajamas Media:

Karl Rove doesn’t think Herman Cain stands a chance of being POTUS. Bush’s number one consigliere said as much on Fox Thursday night.

But is he right? I sure don’t know, but I certainly have a suspicion why Karl thinks what he does. The Herman Cain candidacy is a direct threat to his occupation. Rove — arguably the reigning monarch of political pros — went on to register his disapproval that Cain was wandering around Godforsaken places like Tennessee flogging his book, when anyserious candidate should be pressing the flesh where it counts — to wit, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Worse yet, the candidate isn’t raising any money (or not enough to have flashing neon signs that say “9…9…9…” like Burma-Shave along every highway in America — not that we have to be reminded).

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It’s Politics: Regional Think Tank Victim of Recession

From the SGV Tribune:

After nearly 30 years, the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies will shutter its doors.

Leaders of the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, which focuses on California and local politics but has expanded its scope in recent years, cited financial reasons in a statement last week.

“The recession has depleted our funding, and we cannot continue to operate CGS in its present form,” the statement said.

Founder and president Bob Stern, an oft-cited expert for this newspaper, will continue his work as a consultant, public speaker and political commentator.

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