One of my letter submissions for the month.
It seems that legislators in the Democratic Party are looking for another government program to add to our strained state, single payer health care also known as universal health care. A costly new governmental program is one obligation our state cannot afford after our failures in taking care of infrastructure such as bridges and dams while public pensions are eating local and state government alive.
If we cannot take care of our current obligations, then why support the Universal Health Care bill from Senator Atkins and Lara. We need to limit our obligations so we can afford the programs we have now instead of crumbling down to future generations.
Sacramento we do have a problem and it affects people from San Francisco to San Diego. Our income tax rate of 13.3% is not an incentive for athletes to play for our teams. No matter if it’s the Lakers, the 49’ers and the Dodgers we are handicapped by the high taxes our state have. Lebron James would rather play for the Miami Heat than to consider the Lakers, Zack Greinke recently moved to the Diamondbacks.
San Diego tax activist Richard Rider brought forth this issue a year ago and I realized that this was going to happen to fans in California sooner or later where the issue would hit home for Dodger fans.
By providing an incentive for top athletic talent to play for California teams it helps the value of the franchises and the communities that host them. I would consider the Top 25% in performers in their leagues eligible for the tax incentive where the 13.3% tax rate gets cut in half for the duration of their contract. 6.65% would be the tax rate for these eligible athletes.
How would we consider the Top 25% in performance? Leaders in wins, strikeouts, home runs, hits, earned run average would be good metrics if we were considering a baseball player. You would have to be a leader in 2 of the categories in order to be eligible for the tax incentive. The NBA, NHL and NFL would also set their categories in consultation with the Board of Equalization.
As a compromise and to encourage investment in our state, I would require a minimum home purchase of 1/10th the average yearly value of the contract be in California and it must be their primary residence in order to get the tax incentive. If your primary home is near Dallas Texas then no tax cut.
If we give incentives for Hollywood productions to stay in our state, we can do the same for our pro-athletes. Progressives may say let them eat cake or teams should just pay more to compensate for the high taxes in our state, but we need to have the incentives to encourage the best to play for our teams,
If we have modest tax rates we could remove the fiscal considerations for athletes who decide which city to play in when they are in free agency and they could just worry about the weather, the stadium and other non-financial factors in choosing the team of their choice.
There are a few reasons why I am not overtly friendly to unions, I understand that unions are there to protect worker rights and make sure their membership gets fair wages. However there are things that help reduce public opinion of groups such as the California Teachers Association, a political heavyweight in our political process.
Recently the CTA sent the call for the opposition to SB 1530, a bill by State Senator Alex Padilla, (D-Los Angeles) who wanted to make it easier to dismiss educators and classified employees who abuse the public trust by abusing children. The Miramonte scandal has affected Senator Padilla’s district and he wanted to carve a solution that would make it harder for another scandal to happen. We should not have to bribe an accused educator to resign if they allegedly abused students over 23 times as the case with Mark Berndt.
SB 1530 failed in the Assembly Education Committee in a 5-6 vote where Joan Buchanan, Tom Ammiano voted NO. While Betsy Butler, Mike Eng, Das Williams and Wilmer Amina Carter of Rialto abstained because they likely knew voting NO would be fatal for their political careers and did not want to vote YES to lose out on the valuable campaign cash the CTA would provide.
We need to maintain the trust of our public school employees and for public education itself. If there is no confidence in the public education system then how will people support school bonds or tax increases to fund public education? This might not help the CTA and their friends in the quest for more revenue.
I could understand that the CTA wants to protect educators just in case if teachers are railroaded due to false accusations and hysteria as what happened in incidents such as the McMartin Pre-school incident in the 1980s. Some elements of SB 1530 should be kept in a future version of the bill such as unpaid suspensions for serious charges, but I would make sure that educators who are declared innocent could get the money back from the suspension. Maybe the CTA may think this is another case of union bashing, but we should not have to pay for educators to be in rubber rooms when they are under suspension for serious issues.
As what the Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy stated how a teacher could beat a kid, smoke marijuana with a kid or even rape a kid and we still can not fire the teacher. It sadly comes to the conclusion that the CTA could care less about the students, because students and their parents are not paying dues to the CTA.
Personally as a future educator taking teacher education classes to earn my credential, I am embarrassed by what the CTA has done. I am likely to get my liability insurance and pre-career guidance elsewhere until I am legally required to join the CTA due to state agency shop law. If the CTA wants to keep their monopoly they need to listen to the pulse of the average voter else they might get bitten to where the sun does not shine.
Like a zombie, this issue is not going to go away. The state budget is 8 billion more than anticipated at 16 billion and certain programs are going to be curtailed or abolished in the Governor’s May budget revision and the Hayden Law is on the chopping block. Please call your state legislators in California and encourage them not to abolish the Hayden Law on shelter animals which gives animals at least 6 business days to make sure lost pets at least can get claimed by their owners or give the animals a fair chance to find a home before the sad reality hits.
This issue was previously covered on my blog here. The Hayden Law has been suspended until we can afford to pay its mandates, but abolishing the Hayden Law is going to be worse because we would have to pass this legislation all over again and animals would lose protections permanently until we do so.
If you want to find out who your legislator is you should visit this link here.
If you want to know if you are lucky enough to have a member of the Assembly or State Senate budget committee representing you visit them.
I have some solutions to help ease the issue to make a compromise on this issue. We could lower the hold time from six business days to five business days. Second, we could add a nominal fee to the dog and cat licenses or kennel fees that cities, counties and contracted agencies charge to help pay for what the Hayden Law does. I was suggesting 25 cents extra each year for senior licenses and 50 cents extra each year for regular licenses and 2-5 bucks extra each year for kennel licenses.
Timm Herdt laments the fact that write in candidate rules are very lax in California due to the advent of Proposition 14. Many candidates and political parties are realizing that it is futile to spend the money and time to get on the ballot. 1700 bucks to get on the ballot for Congressional District 35 in Pomona was too much for all sectors of the Republican Party to entertain any candidate to jump in the game in an election where they would not likely secure a spot in November.
Personally I have written about this issue. I have wrote about being tempted to file for office this year as a write in candidate, and I also listed districts in California where Republicans failed to file or no opponent dared to challenge a Democratic Party candidate in one of my prior posts where I wanted the Ron Paul faction to take over the California Republican Party so we can take those ex-officio positions.
The fear of crazies running for office.
Timm thinks its dangerous that any person can get on the ballot with only a few dozen votes or even one or two when candidates run unopposed in June. There can be a solution to this, after the filing deadline any of the ballot qualified parties can nominate a candidate to participate in the top two primary as long as no candidate from their party filed and they would be officially on the ballot. However, I just feel its just as dangerous to keep the political process closed. I certainly do not want unopposed elections just as how Gloria Negrette Mcleod ran unopposed in 2006 for State Senate. The party nomination process after the ballot filing period would be the best solution to prevent unopposed candidates so we can prevent the fear of a “joke candidate” getting on the ballot in November such as a Steve Rocco, someone who got elected blindly in Orange County who believed in conspiracy theories and got caught stealing ketchup from a college cafeteria.
I do not think we should have a minimum vote requirement to get on the ballot for November. It is just as bad as the 1% requirement to file file for office. It should be up to the media and the public to find out about these individuals so we can make informed choices. If a member of the community does not like the choices on the ballot, people should be free to run as a write in.
It seems California is now in a sixteen billion dollar budget deficit instead of an expected nine billion dollar deficit and Governor Brown wants to make sure cuts are not going to be as austere so he wants voters to pass the tax increase that Republicans will refuse to approve since they have the 2/3rds veto for tax increases.
Proposition 25 was expected to be the solution to get our legislators to pass budgets that do not have kabuki tricks that have such rosy projections where the amount of legislators to pass a budget bill was going to be lowered to 50 percent plus one, but legislators still passed budgets with accounting tricks because they did not want to sacrifice their paychecks when Democrats and political consultants used the threat of not passing a budget on time with legislators not being paid.
Democrats pass a budget in 2011, State Controller John Chiang refuses to pay the legislators because the budget violates another proposition passed by the voters in 2004, Proposition 58 “The California Balanced Budget Act”. The budget legislators passed in 2011 did not balance revenues and expenditures and state legislators ended up suing the State Controller to get their money that was withheld and a judge sadly sided with the legislators to state that the legislators not the State Controller are the arbiters if a budget is balanced because Chiang overstepped his powers.
So we have a budget that gave us ten billion dollars in the red and now it is sixteen billion. Problem is we have a government dominated by the public employee unions where heads would literally be scalped if they went against the wishes of the labor unions. Voters got bamboozled thanks to a judge who gave what the Democratic Party wanted, no checks and balances to make sure legislators passed a balanced budget. Then the Democrats added Trojan horses where they could add tax increases and other revenue enhancers without the voters being able to use the referendum to overrule them such as bills that tie into the budgets.
I know the Democrats want to raise taxes to pay for the public services we value, but how much taxes is enough to feed the emaciated sow of the SEIU, CTA and CCPOA? We threaten voters by stating that the shelter animals will be culled if we don’t pay the taxes, we threaten voters by stating that state parks will be padlocked, but it might have to take some tough leadership to make things right.
I have not been comfortable voting for Republicans because I am afraid that they will want to enforce their social issues instead of focusing on the pocketbook issues such as Senator Huff’s attempts to undo LGBT youth civil rights legislation. However it might take one or two elections where we will send the legislators such as Norma Torres who represents my district out of Sacramento and if candidates such as Kenny Coble end up focusing on theocracy instead of economy I will be happy to throw him out of office.
Maybe it might take the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers association to make a proposition that repeals Prop 25 because we absolutely got scammed and since we did not prepare a proper budget, the Democrats helped to cause this misery that we will end up enduring. My idea for a compromise is a 60% vote for budgets and tax increases and a rule that we stop using baseline budgeting and make zero-based budgeting the rule of law in Sacramento. I would also add a clause that pays the legislators minimum wage instead of no pay. Lastly I would remove the Trojan horse provisions that prevents voters from overturning egregious provisions with referendum passed by the legislature as well.
Continue reading Sixteen Billion Ways to Be Ambivalent
It seems politicians do not like term limits, many politicians think the idea of citizen legislator is a strange idea because they get accustomed to the perks of their position and get withdrawn from the concerns of the common people that elected them there.
Although there are flaws in the term limits system, Proposition 28 is not the solution.
Our “not as impartial” Attorney General Kamala Harris failed to tell the voters that this ballot measure does not reduce the terms for existing legislators. Existing legislators will be allowed extra time to serve.
Proposition 28 is a scam like Proposition 25. Proposition 28 is going to expand terms for 80% of current legislators. So Norma Torres will end up having 3 more Assembly terms and Gloria Negrette Mcleod would be allowed to have 1 more term in the State Senate if she wanted to. Proposition 28 may sound good, but it will have unintended consequences.
The goal is to encourage more citizen legislators while allowing institutional experience. The goal should be is to have rules that would force politicians to go back to the private industry or a non political job for a given term and come back to teach new legislators as well.
Serve three terms in the State Assembly or two terms in the state senate, be forced to take a 7 year ban from being in any elected office in the state. After you take your seven year hiatus you can come back to Sacramento.
It seems Proposition 28 is just another effort by major political players such as Bob Huff’s best friend Ed Roski to buy influence of legislators that would easily support his plans in developing a sports stadium in the city of Industry right near Diamond Bar. Grease Roski’s palms with getting his special exemptions and he will allow you to continue the perks of being a state legislator by subsidizing their lifestyle such as getting wined and dined by AT&T and spending time on the golf links with them.
My endorsement is to vote NO on 28.
Recently State Assemblywoman Norma Torres of Pomona introduced a bill AB 2552 that inflamed many people in her district, the state and the nation as a whole. Norma thought it would be a good idea to give people who have ingested marijuana in their system even if they are sober a DUI because she thought that it would make our streets safer. Due to outcry she tabled her bill to refine it.
Then, Assemblyman Richard Pan of Citrus Heights introduced a bill AB 2109 that would require parents to be aware of the benefits of vaccinations before getting a waiver. However parents are worried that doctors will refuse to sign the waiver, thus denying the parental rights and doctors would likely fire their patients if they wanted the waiver. Parents who want these waivers recognize that there are some inherent risks of being vaccinated and some of the vaccines actually are prescribed too early or not tested well such as hepatitis b vaccine for newborns and the complications of Gardasil for teenagers.
Pan’s legislation sounds like a good idea, but opponents do say that it is going to add a costly mandate for parents. I would recommend that nurse practitioners should also be allowed to provide the guidance at a slightly lower cost. I would also suggest that doctors and medical aides should be required to provide these waivers and they should be waived from ALL lawsuits for allowing their children not to be vaccinated. If doctors fire their patient after providing the waiver, then the office fee would be refunded immediately. AB 2109 passed the appropriations committee, but it does need to be amended or pulled.
Personally I even thought of playing SIM Statist where I thought it would be a good idea to seize the homes and vehicles of hoarders of animals to help cover the costs of impounding the animals and giving them the health care they needed. However we should ask, “How much government is enough government?”.
I know we all would like to solve the world’s problems, but we should think about the implications of our ideas.
California voters got bamboozled thanks to a recent appeal of the decision of State Controller John Chang which withheld the pay of our state legislators for failing to submit a balanced budget on time due to the provisions of Proposition 25.
California voters may be frustrated that state budgets are never passed on time and our state budgets are always filled with bloat to be passed on to next year’s legislative session. Yes, state budgets no longer need a 2/3rds vote for passage. However the revenue gimmicks make our budgets not balanced and filled with kabuki tricks. If Democratic Party legislators want to be truly honest they should have asked voters to change the state constitution to make tax increases 50 percent plus one as well so they can legislate without Republican input.
Relying on the state legislature to determine if a budget is balanced is rather dishonest because they will say that their bloated budget filled with accounting tricks is balanced because they do not want to forsake their paychecks or want to compromise with the Republican minority to pass a truly balanced budget.
I highly recommend that voters sign the petitions asking for a part time legislature sponsored by Assemblywoman Grove because our state legislators do not deserve to be full time legislators because many of them only care about the power than the responsibilities of their job.
I bet the San Bernardino County Democratic Party would love to have me instead of Ray Moors in their party right now. However, I will cringe hard in either major political party. I honestly may agree with the Republicans half the time, but when it comes to civil rights issues I have to be chugging the antacid pills when I attend the meetings at the San Bernardino County Republican Party. I bet Ray is feeling like an outcast in the Democratic Party right now.
I do not feel enthusiastic in participating in my local county and state Republican parties because they do not understand how to deal with groups such as Latinos and the gays. Even though the Democratic Party does not know how to balance a budget to save their lives in Sacramento, the Republican Party alienates more voters than they attempt to reach out to in California. The Republican revolution of 2010 failed in California. If Steve Cooley only refused to defend Prop 8 and supported marijuana users we would have had our only victory.
I am writing this column today in response to a letter the San Bernardino County Republican party issued in their support of the CLASS Act to repeal SB 48.
Republicans may be concerned that teachers and students are prohibited from using examples or language that would be not be adverse about the individual being studied. However we have to be tactful about what language we use because it can affect the students because they may be part of a demographic group discussed.
Being LGBT is not like switching religions or catching the flu, either you are or you are not. Watching a KD Lang concert will not make young girls want to drive Subaru and play in softball leagues. The goal of SB 48 is to show that there are LGBT people in history and many of them did great things such as save a president’s life from assassination, help Martin Luther King in his quest for civil rights for African Americans and to help in the formation of computer science. Maybe with a more holistic presentation of history it would help make students worldlier, so we can have respect for all students no matter what group or culture they may belong to.
Continue reading The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR