October 18, 2011 archive

California Conservatives Propose 2012 Initiative to Limit Services to Illegal Immigrants

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The initiative is called the California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2012.

Conservative activists have submitted an initiative proposal targeting illegal immigration by imposing limits on financial aid and Medi-Cal benefits while requiring California law enforcement to work with federal immigration officials.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is responsible for preparing ballot language, received the proposal Monday from former state GOP chairman Tirso Del Junco, San Diego Republican Ted Hilton and Concord Republican Bill Siler. Proponents are calling it the “California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2012.”

Hilton and Siler pursued a similar measure in 2009 but failed to gather enough signatures.

The initiative if it qualifies for the ballot would do among other things:

  • Prohibit undocumented immigrants from receiving public financial aid in California
  • Block California Driver’s Licenses for illegal immigrants
  • Require fingerprinting for Medi-Cal pregnancy services with fingerprint reports relayed to the federal Department of Homeland Security
  • Require that law enforcement officials transfer people they arrest to federal custody if those individuals have an “immigration detainer.”

You can read the initiative here (PDF file).

My guess that if the initiative gathers the requisite signatures that it would pass at the ballot box.

California voters are not too happy with Jerry Brown signing the California Dream Act allowing illegal immigrants in some instances receiving subsidized tuition and financial aid to attend California state Community Colleges, State Colleges and the University of California.

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California “Scope of Practice” Turf War Dogs Veterinarians and Pet-grooming Services Over Canine Dental Hygiene

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Oh My!

Brushing a dog’s teeth probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. But a group of pet-grooming services are snarling over an effort by a statewide group of veterinarians to monopolize the use of dental picks for dogs and cats.

It’s the latest in a class of battles that has long been fought in state politics — the “scope of practice” rules that determine who is allowed to do what under state law.

The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is trying to get “scalers” added to the list of tools that can only be used on animals by a licensed veterinarian. A scaler is really nothing more than a dental pick — a slim piece of metal typically about six inches long — optimized for the shape of dog or cat’s teeth. They’re available online and in pet supply stores for prices starting around $3. Anybody can use one on their own pet legally.

On Monday morning, the California Veterinary Medical Board will take up the question of whether anyone besides a vet can charge for using one on a pet’s teeth.

Vets say the fight is about animal health, and they cite a 2004 case in which a small dog allegedly had its jaw broken in three places by a groomer wielding a scaler. Groomers say the move to limit scalers is simply an attempt to protect the veterinarians’ pocketbooks.

Meanwhile, the woman whose grooming business allegedly was at fault said the entire premise that a groomer caused the injuries in the 2004 case is preposterous, noting that it appeared the animal had been hit by a car. She says the Veterinary Medical Association has been attempting to use a made-up incident for years as part of a money grab.

Restricting the sale of dental scalers will probably not stop the practice by groomers of offering a less costly service for animals. The REAL question is whether the California veterinarians are willing to accept all of the bad PR by pushing this issue.

Most people understand the difference between Vet provided dental care and what they receive at a retail store. The fact is they either do not want to pay the increased fee or do not value the service enough to pay the increased cost.

Now, a dental ultrasonic scaler is a different animal…..

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Flap’s California Morning Collection: October 18, 2011

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San Diego, California

The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

Tweet sparks fight between Kristin Olsen and Leland Yee

The fight started on Twitter.

It continued this week with a Central Valley assemblywoman bankrolling thousands of robocalls asking San Francisco Republican voters not to elect state Sen. Leland Yee as their mayor.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, said she paid about $600 out of her own pocket to send more than 4,000 Sunday night robocalls that do not support any mayoral candidate but ask San Franciscans to reject Yee, a Democrat.

Specifically, the robocall says:

“This is Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen asking you to vote for someone other than Sen. Leland Yee for mayor. In a time when we need reform, Yee says he wants to release his state office budget but the Rules Committee won’t let him.

“I released my office budget because the money belongs to taxpayers. True leaders do the right thing despite bureaucratic red tape. If you’re looking for a real reformer for mayor, vote for someone other than Leland Yee.”

The robocall ends by saying it was paid for by Kristin Olsen for Assembly 2012. But Olsen, in an interview, said that claim was incorrect and that she paid for the robocall personally.

Millionaire’s tax on its way to California ballot?

Occupy Wall Street protesters may be long gone by November 2012, but labor leaders are hoping that voters’ anger toward the wealthy won’t be going anywhere as the election season unfolds.

For that reason, the California Federation of Teachers and a coalition of liberal allies are moving forward with plans to place a millionaires tax measure on the ballot next year. Millionaires, in this case, are defined as individuals whose annual income is $1 million or more.

Josh Pechthalt, the president of the 100,000-member teachers union, said the monthlong protests that have spread around the globe have bolstered his group’s plan to tax millionaires, which has been in the works since the beginning of the year.

He’s hoping to sell other labor groups and Gov. Jerry Brown on the plan to boost tax revenues for schools, colleges, social services and other programs, but he says his group will move ahead without them if they’re not ready to catch the tax-the-rich wave.

“With the Occupy Wall Street actions, the American public is being educated on the disparity that has gotten so profound, the crisis that has gotten so bad,” Pechthalt said. “We’re committed to this and we want to convince others it’s much needed and the right time to do it.”

The teachers union can expect a big, expensive fight if it continues its push to tax the wealthy, said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

“In the polling we see, there is no appetite for additional taxes of any kind,” Coupal said. “Labor groups aren’t going to ask me for permission, and they can do what they want. But they’ve got an uphill fight. The trend is toward fiscal conservatism.”

Coupal called the Occupy Wall Street protesters a “bunch of trust fund babies who need a reason to protest,” adding that labor groups are fueling the rallies.

The 1 percent of the American population being targeted by protests pay 40 percent of U.S. income taxes, and the top 10 percent pay 70 percent of taxes, said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

“At what level is the right level when they are already paying most of the taxes?” Guardino asked. “I’m also worried about divisive talk that pits Americans against Americans rather than pulling us together.”

California voters have approved a millionaire’s tax before: in 2004, they voted for a 1 percent surcharge on the income of millionaires to fund mental health programs.

The political arm of the teachers federation earlier this month gave the OK to move ahead with a millionaires tax, though they haven’t determined yet how big of an increase they would seek.

Whether the tax rate on millionaires’ income would jump from the current 9.3 percent to 11 or 13 percent, the state would get billions in new revenues, going directly into specified services such as schools, colleges, health care, social services and parks, rather than into the general fund budget, Pechthalt said.

Occupy San Diego movement dwindling to dedicated few

The Occupy movement in some locales is growing in numbers and energy, but the Occupy San Diego movement seems to have dwindled.

At noon Monday, only a few dozen protesters remained in the plaza behind City Hall, intermingled with the homeless. Several police officers watched the smallish crowd.

On Friday, police had forcibly removed tents, tarps and other structures from the plaza. Two men were arrested on suspicion of interfering with police.

Police have said the protesters can stay in the plaza but that their property, except for bedrolls, had to be removed because it violated a municipal ordinance about blocking public access.

Several hundred protesters took part in a downtown march Saturday. But by noon Monday only a few remained in the plaza.

Massive medical clinic comes to Sports Arena

Nearly 5,000 people with toothaches, blurry vision and other health problems lined up outside the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Monday to receive a plastic wristband, their ticket to a massive free medical clinic beginning later this week.

The clinic, organized by the nonprofit, L.A.-based CareNow, will run Thursday through Sunday and include volunteer services by cardiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other medical professionals.

Among those waiting in line early Monday was Carol Crawford, 60, who worried that she might have breast cancer. She recently visited a hospital emergency room because of pain, and she received medication but not a mammogram. Crawford, whose mother died of breast cancer, said she had been out of work since March and couldn’t afford to go to a doctor for further tests.

“Who would want to see me if I don’t have any money?” she said. “I’m so grateful that I’m gonna be able to be seen.”

Many of those in line were unemployed and uninsured, while others had jobs that didn’t include health coverage. Others had Medi-Cal, the government health program for the poor, which doesn’t cover most dental work. Still others were illegal immigrants who only qualified for emergency care.

Enjoy your morning!

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