November 2011 archive

Nov 22 2011

Flap’s California Morning Collection: November 22, 2011


The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

New challenge to California’s “top two” primaries

Candidates and voters who belong to the Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom political parties are holding a news conference today to announce a new lawsuit challenging Proposition 14.

They don’t like last year’s initiative that created a new election system in which the top two vote-getters advance to a general election – regardless of party affiliation. The minor parties argue that the new system puts them at a disadvantage.

They’ll announce details of their suit today at 11 a.m. in front of the Secretary of State’s office at 1500 11th St.

Dan Walters: California government reformers occupy two camps

California’s political dysfunction has evolved from a theory first advanced by a few jaundiced observers a generation ago – including yours truly – to a widely embraced axiom that has spawned endless journalistic, academic and civic discourse.

While there’s broad agreement on symptoms of California’s malaise, such as chronic budget deficits, there’s wide disagreement on its causes and what might be done to correct it.

Reformers divide roughly into two camps: Those who believe that tweaking political processes incrementally can make government work again, and those who contend there’s a more fundamental disconnect that can be cured only by creating a new structure attuned to 21st-century reality.

Wal-Mart ramps up ballot threats to speed new stores

In a push to expand across California without interference, Wal-Mart is increasingly taking advantage of the state’s initiative system to threaten elected officials with costly special elections and to avoid environmental lawsuits.

The Arkansas-based retailer has hired paid signature gatherers to circulate petitions to build new superstores or repeal local restrictions on big-box stores. Once 15 percent of eligible voters sign the petitions, state election law puts cash-strapped cities in a bind: City councils must either approve the Wal-Mart-drafted measure without changes or put it to a special election.

As local officials grapple with whether to spend tens of thousands or even millions of taxpayer dollars on such an election, Wal-Mart urges cities to approve the petition outright rather than send it to voters.

Inmates harass victims via Facebook

Lisa Gesik hesitates to log into her Facebook account nowadays because of unwanted “friend” requests, not from long-ago classmates but from the ex-husband now in prison for kidnapping her and her daughter.

Neither Gesik nor prison officials can prove her ex-husband is sending her the messages, which feature photos of him wearing his prison blues and dark sunglasses, arms crossed as he poses in front of a prison gate. It doesn’t matter if he’s sending them or someone else is — the Newport, Ore., woman is afraid and, as the days tick down to his January release, is considering going into hiding with her 12-year-old daughter.

“It’s just being victimized all over again,” she said.

Across the U.S. and beyond, inmates are using social networks and the growing numbers of smartphones smuggled into prisons and jails to harass their victims or accusers and intimidate witnesses. California corrections officials who monitor social networking sites said they have found many instances in which inmates taunted victims or made unwanted sexual advances.

Enjoy your morning!


Nov 22 2011

Ventura County Fire Chief Bob Roper Announces for Ventura County Supervisor


The announcement was yesterday and Roper is being supported by many in the Ventura County Republican establishment, including former Ventura County District Attorney Micheal Bradbury.

Ventura County Fire Chief Bob Roper is testing the political waters.

When Chief Roper learned that Supervisor Steve Bennett would not seek re-election, Roper decided to run for First District Supervisor.

Roper made the announcement at the Ventura County Government Center surrounded by high profile Republicans.

Roper’s initlial website is here and I was told from a high ranking Ventura County Republican official that he is currently assembling a campaign team.

This seat will be a valuable pick up for the County Republican Party since Democrats now control the Board of Supervisors, 3-2. However, the position is non-partisan.


Nov 21 2011

Photo of the Day: Democrat California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s Booking Photo


Why is this California Legislator still in office?

Oh, yeah a misunderstanding.

Hayashi is in her last term as an Assemblywoman and she is done in politics.

Why do the Democrats want to keep this disgraced POL around?


Nov 21 2011

Dilbert November 20, 2011 – To Catch a Thief


Dilbert by Scott Adams

Some invention there…..

Nov 21 2011

Flap’s California Morning Collection: November 21, 2011


Santa Monica looking towards Malibu, California

The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

Voters think teachers unions are too powerful, new poll finds

About half of California voters believe that teachers unions are too powerful, a new poll has found.

The bipartisan survey, conducted by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times, also found that the views of voters aligned fairly closely with teachers unions on key issues, such as funding for schools. But that didn’t prevent many from having reservations about the role of unions in education and politics.

Overall, 52% of voters agreed with the statement that teachers unions are too powerful; 36% disagreed. And more voters took the position that teacher unions “are resistant to reforms that would improve schools.”

Dan Walters: California’s economic recovery is weak and rocky

Technically, California’s economy is recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. But it sure doesn’t feel like it.

The housing market is still in the sewer, retail sales are weak, and more than 2 million California workers are unemployed – not counting tens of thousands who have given up looking for work or are getting by with off-the-books jobs.

With their families, an educated guess would be that recession still seriously affects a quarter or more of Californians.

While employment has stopped its decline, it’s now growing scarcely fast enough to keep pace with population (and labor force) growth, and thus only marginally affects the unemployment rate, which hovers around 12 percent.

It’s difficult to find an economist who is bullish about the state’s near-term future. The consensus seems to be that California, with the nation’s second-highest jobless rate, will be experiencing double-digit unemployment and other effects of malaise for at least several more years.

Catch up on Think Long’s California tax overhaul

The Think Long Committee for California is rolling out a sweeping proposal for fixing the Golden State, and it includes overhauling the tax system.

Read the full Think Long report here. (draft obtained by the Bee)

Shifting prisoners to counties could strain local services

California needs to pay attention to potential strains on county services as it implements Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to shift nonviolent criminals and parolees to counties, a RAND Corp. study says.

The study [PDF], “Understanding the Public Health Implications of Prisoner Reentry in California,” released last week, said the plan to shift low-level offenders to county custody could strain local health care and social services programs that already have been ravaged by budget cuts.

California began sending low-level felony offenders and parole violators to county jails on Oct. 1.

“There’s no turning back,” Brown said at a Sept. 29 press conference. “The only way is forward in a collaborative way.”

Enjoy your morning!