Daily Archive: August 31, 2011

Aug 31 2011

Amazon.com Offer for a Sales Tax Holiday in Return for 7,000 California Jobs Has Been Rejected by Democrats

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The offer of a California 7,000 employee distribution center in order to avoid a ballot-box referendum on online sales tax legislation has been rejected by California Democrats, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

I had the original offer here.


The Democrat sponsored end-run legislation AB 155
is to be heard in the California State Senate as early as tomorrow morning. The session starts at 10 AM PDT.

The legislation requires three votes from California Republican Senators in order to receive the necessary 2/3’rds approval necessary to make this an urgency measure (and immune from another referendum).

If the vote fails in the Senate, then Amazon.com will proceed with signature gathering for an online sales tax referendum which was passed previously.

Stay tuned……

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Aug 31 2011

Amazon.com Proposes a Sales Tax Holiday in Return for 7,000 California Jobs

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I guess it is let’s make a deal time for Amazon.com.

Amazon.com is offering to bring 7,000 distribution center jobs to California in order to ward off a ballot-box fight over the state’s new Internet sales tax, sources with knowledge of the talks said today.

While discussions are still preliminary, sources said legislative leaders have received an Amazon-inspired plan that would give the online retailer a two-year moratorium on the new tax. In return, Amazon would bring 7,000 jobs to the state, these sources said.

Amazon so far has refused to collect the tax, signed into law in June by Gov. Jerry Brown, and is collecting signatures to challenge the law in a referendum next June. Legislative Democrats, meanwhile, launched an end-around last week by pushing a new version of the law that wouldn’t be subject to referendum. The new version would need two-thirds support of both houses, which means votes from Republicans.

Supposedly the Democrats are balking at this deal and want Amazon.com to agree to some other sweetners like a national online sales tax bill (Durbin’s?).

I wonder if I get my Amazon Sales Associates job back?

But, when I hear more, I will let everyone know.

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Aug 31 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Legislation

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At Venice Beach, California

The medical marijuana folks are pretty aggressive at Venice Beach where I run every week. Now, the City of Los Angeles will be able to set definite rules.
Gov. Jerry Brown stepped in the middle of a dispute over the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries, signing a law Wednesday that gives Los Angeles and other cities clear authority to restrict their location and operation.

Brown signed AB 1300, which was introduced by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) after several pot shops filed lawsuits challenging Los Angeles’ authority to regulate them.

The measure, supported by the Los Angeles city attorney, authorizes local government to adopt ordinances regulating the location and operation of the dispensaries and to file civil or criminal claims against violators.

The entire medical marijuana industry is a joke anyway since I doubt THAT MANY people have glaucoma or cancer. The penalties for personal possession are now an infraction, punishable with a $100 fine and no court appearance.

Marijuana is just about legal in California, as long as, you don’t sell it next to a church or school.

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Aug 31 2011

Flap’s California Morning Collection: August 31, 2011

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California Adventure at Disneyland

The California Legislature is in session today.

Lengthy senate sessions M-F this week. Noon-5pm today then
10am start times thru Friday- which btw is the last day to amend bills
on floor

The California State Senate’s Schedule is here and the Assembly is here.

Plus, there are a whole bunch of Legislator fundraisers today between floor sessions.

Back in Sacramento, anybody plunking down change for a legislator’s fundraiser has plenty of choices in between the Senate and Assembly floor sessions. Capitol Alert counts two dozen scheduled events.

Breakfast eaters can choose Republicans Mike Morrell, Curt Hagman, Tony Strickland and Ted Gaines or Democrats Christine Kehoe and Jim Beall. The lunch bunch gets Democrats Alyson Huber, Nora Campos, Mary Hayashi and Rich Gordon or Republicans Dan Logue, Sharon Runner, Sam Blakeslee and Paul Cook. And … the evening lineup includes Republicans Diane Harkey and Mark Wyland plus Democrats Fiona Ma, Henry T. Perea, Noreen Evans, Mark Leno, Bill Monning, Bonnie Lowenthal, Bob Wieckowski and Isadore Hall.

On to today’s headlines:

Brown says lawmakers view taxes as ‘sexually transmitted disease’

Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday accused some state lawmakers of adhering to “the notion that taxes are like some kind of sexually transmitted disease.”

Brown made the comments at a clean-energy summit in Las Vegas, during a panel discussion that included Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Brown’s original 2011-12 budget included a plan to raise vehicle, sales and income taxes, but could not find any Republican support for the measure in the Legislature. He has said he would like to see revenue proposals on the November 2012 ballot, but has not yet backed any specific tax proposal.

President Obama plans seventh trip to CA in September — fundraising in Silicon Valley, LA

President Barack Obama is hitting two California fundraising gold mines for his seventh trip to the state later this month — including a Sept. 25 stop in Silicon Valley, we’ve learned.

And there will also be a two-fundraiser stopover the next day to the Los Angeles area.

So far, there are not a lot of details on the Northern California event, but area Obama supporters and donors were told about the date and advised this week to put it on the calender.

This much is known: Obama hits Los Angeles on Sept. 26 for a pair of entertainment-related events in which tickets will range from $250 to $35,0000, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news last night.

The first Los Angeles event, aimed at entertainment industry bigwigs, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd, the Reporter said. “A mere $250 will get a single person in the door, while $10,000 is the cost to take a photo with the President,” the paper reported.

An evening event will be held at the Fig & Olive Restaurant on Melrose Place, where $35,000 “allows you to bring a date” or you can go solo for $17,500. That event “will be a chance to participate in a Q&A with the President,” the paper said.

Herdt: Maps are done, but intrigue lingers

It’s been a little more than two weeks since maps of the new political districts in California were certified, but it’s becoming more apparent by the day that approval of the maps was just the beginning of an extended period of political intrigue.

We’re now into an intense phase of poll-taking, name-dropping, deal-making and just plain high anxiety, as candidates faint, dodge and play coy over the questions of who will be running where and for what office next year.

There are some interesting possibilities in play on the Central Coast, none more intriguing than an attempt to persuade a former Assembly speaker to run for the new Senate seat that includes eastern Ventura County.

High-level discussions, initiated by the Democratic leadership in Sacramento, have taken place in an effort to persuade former Speaker Bob Hertzberg to run in the 27th Senate District, which stretches east from the Conejo Grade along the Highway 101 corridor to Encino.

Hertzberg is likely the best-known political figure in the San Fernando Valley, and 63 percent of the district’s voters live in L.A. County.

Although the chances of him running seem slight, Hertzberg isn’t saying no.

In a recent message responding to my inquiry about a potential candidacy, Hertzberg detailed all the reasons he wouldn’t do it: His solar energy business is going great guns, the bipartisan California Forward reform group he co-chairs is about to release a package of proposals, and he’ll soon lead a delegation to China with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., which he also chairs.

But, as noted above, he didn’t say no.

“People have talked to me,” he acknowledged, while also asserting he has done “nothing of consequence” to pursue the idea.

If Democratic leaders could succeed in getting Hertzberg to yes, it would set off a tricky game of musical chairs.

Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills would move to her Oxnard beach condo and run in the west county-Santa Barbara 19th District, which is much more favorable to a Democrat. That would put pressure on the two announced Democratic candidates, former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jason Hodge, to drop out.

Enjoy your morning!

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Aug 31 2011

California Legislation Brings the Nanny State to Babysitters

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Good Grief. Does the State of California have to regulate everything?
How will parents react when they find out they will be expected to provide workers’ compensation benefits, rest and meal breaks and paid vacation time for…babysitters? Dinner and a movie night may soon become much more complicated.

Assembly Bill 889 (authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, will require these protections for all “domestic employees,” including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers.

The bill has already passed the Assembly and is quickly moving through the Senate with blanket support from the Democrat members that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Assuming the bill will easily clear its last couple of legislative hurdles, AB 889 will soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)

Now, young families will have an even greater incentive to move out of California. They will either not be able to afford or obtain a babysitter for some needed “ME” time.

If this bill passes, Governor Moonbeam should veto it.

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