Category: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

AD-38: Scott Wilk Endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

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The Scott Wilk for California Assembly announced the endorsement last week.

The Scott Wilk for Assembly Campaign is proud to announce the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC California’s foremost leader in protecting Californians and small business from new and higher taxes.

“Scott Wilk has pledged to fight for the taxpayers of California,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.  “The current crop of Sacramento politicians, who want to tax and spend California into oblivion , desperately need adult supervision — that’s why we need to send Scott to Sacramento to standup for the interests of taxpayers.”
 
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights, including the right to limited taxation, the right to vote on tax increases and the right of economical, equitable and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
 
Working through the Legislature, courts, and ballot initiatives, the tax-fighting work of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has saved Californians billions of dollars. Estimates are that Proposition 13 has saved California taxpayers over 528 billion dollars.

This is an important endorsement for Scott Wilk and should help him with homeowner taxpayers in Simi Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Proposition 13 is the heart of California conservatism and Wilk is going about locking up this important GOP constituency in his very “RED” California Assembly District.

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Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 10, 2012

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La Purisima Mission, Lompoc, California

Good Tuesday morning!

The California Legislature is in session.  Today’s schedule is here.

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

On to today’s California headlines:

California Legislature rushes bills at last minute, cutting public out of process

Among the many bills rushed through when lawmakers passed the state budget last year was one protecting teachers if the state had to resort to automatic spending cuts in the middle of the school year.

The bill prohibited school administrators from furloughing teachers unless their union agreed, and banned them from laying off teachers during the fiscal year, making it virtually impossible for districts to save significant amounts of money. Although it had the potential for severe consequences, the bill was made public just one hour before the vote was taken and passed at 11 p.m.

Dead-of-night votes on rushed legislation such as the teacher-protection bill are common during budget season and toward the end of the legislative session, forcing lawmakers to vote on major issues with little or no time to read the substance of the legislation. Many Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, defend the practice as a necessary evil, but others say the process needs to be changed.

Several attempts to give the public at least 24 hours to examine bills before lawmakers vote have failed, but a Republican lawmaker is trying again this year.

“A bill to let sunshine in has been kept in the dark since 2007,” said Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, who has proposed similar constitutional amendments twice previously. “Whether you agree or not with the policies that are being voted on, it’s simply good government to have the opportunity for everybody who’s interested to read a bill.”

Lawmakers rushed through several hastily written bills last year. Among these were bills that banned future initiatives from being placed on the June primary ballot, accelerated development plans for an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles and protected farmworker unions against election misconduct.

Many Democrats say last-minute legislation is sometimes necessary to address issues that develop after the February deadline for introducing bills and to pass bills they consider important but politically unpopular.

Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, said Republicans are stoking the debate over rushed bills to create a smoke screen about the legislative process when what they really oppose are the Democrats’ policies.

He said Republicans are not thinking of the public in trying to require a 24-hour waiting period. Instead, Calderon said they would only use that time to gin up opposition and punish lawmakers who approve good but politically risky policies.

“A 24-hour reading period often gets used for mischief,” said Calderon, the longest-serving lawmaker in the Capitol. “Democrats are the majority party, and they have the responsibility to vote for things sometimes that are not popular with the public.”

Jeffries’ proposal, ACA1, would require lawmakers to give three-days’ notice before taking up any legislation and make bills public at least 24 hours before voting. A related measure, ACA2, would ban late-night legislative sessions except in cases of natural disaster.

Jarvis group launches ‘Don’t Sign the Petition’ anti-tax campaign

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown started using robotic telephone calls and mailers to gather signatures for his ballot initiative to raise taxes, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association plans to launch its anti-tax campaign today on the conservative “John and Ken” talk radio show.

The taxpayers group this morning posted a red banner on its website inviting viewers to join a “Don’t Sign the Petition” campaign. The banner links to a campaign website opposing Brown’s effort to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California’s highest earners.

Jon Coupal, president of the Jarvis group, criticized as misleading Brown’s characterization of his tax measure as a tax on millionaires. It includes a proposed sales tax increase and higher income taxes on people who earn at least $250,000 a year.

Congressional panel launches probe of California’s high-speed rail project

A congressional committee has launched a wide-ranging examination of the California high-speed rail project, including possible conflicts of interest and how the agency overseeing it plans to spend billions of dollars in federal assistance.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), notified the California High-Speed Authority about the review Monday and ordered the agency to preserve its documents and records of past communications.

Committee members say they want to ensure that tax dollars are being spent appropriately and check for possible conflicts of interest involving rail officials and contractors. They also plan to determine whether a large government commitment to the bullet train would siphon federal tax dollars away from other important transportation projects.

“California high-speed rail was sold to voters as a grand vision for tomorrow but in practice appears to be no different than countless other pork-barrel projects — driven more by political interests and consultant spending than valid cost-benefit analysis,” Issa said. “Before more taxpayer money is sent to the rail authority, questions must be answered about mismanagement, conflicts of interest, route selection, ridership and other risks.”

As much as $4 billion in federal funds have either been provided or set aside so far for the 500-mile project, the estimated cost of which has fluctuated between $33 billion and $98.5 billion. The current estimate is $68 billion.

State borrowing from schools is adding up

For the past decade governors and state lawmakers desperate to close deficits have adopted budgets that use a little-noticed accounting gimmick called a “deferral” to borrow money from K-12 schools and pay it back in the next fiscal year.

The problem is the state then immediately taps districts for yet another loan, perpetuating a borrowing cycle that persists today.

The cumulative outstanding debt: $9.4 billion to K-12 schools statewide and $600 million to San Diego County districts.

It would be easy to conclude that persistent school budget woes, including teacher layoffs and program cuts, could be minimized — if only the state would stop this temporary pilfering.

But districts eventually do see the money months later. And by delaying payments the state avoids making permanent cuts in school funding on top of the ongoing reduction in spending that have hit education in recent years.

Deferrals also give districts the option of going out and borrowing money on their own to avoid deeper reductions locally.

But the state does not reimburse districts for interest or transaction fees, frustrating school officials who then must dip into local budgets to cover those expenses.

This practice is beginning to cost districts dearly. For example, Grossmont Union High School District says it has incurred between $70,000 and $90,000 in interest and fees annually to meet cash obligations.

“School districts are, in fact, bearing the brunt of the state deferrals and are often referred to as the state’s bank,” said Scott Patterson, a deputy superintendent at the district. “That isn’t really accurate though because of one very significant difference: banks get paid interest on their loans, school districts do not.”

Enjoy your morning and this by Dan Walters who discusses raising oil and gas extraction taxes in California:

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AD-38 Video: Patricia McKeon Compares A Plastic Bag Tax to Obama’s Contraception Flap

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Patricia McKeon equated the plastic bag tax, a Los Angeles County taxation issue, to the recent Federal issue of religious freedom regarding contraception.

Really Patricia?

What a leap and it really is comparing apples to oranges or whatever.

But, will Patricia be forgiven by the Howard Jarvis folks for mangling their name? Patricia, it is the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

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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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