Tag: California Economy

Jul 23 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 23, 2012

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San Francisco, California

The California Legislature is not in session for a summer recess.

The California Assembly has adjourned until August 6, 2012 and the California State Senate is also in adjournment.

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

On to today’s California headlines:

Pool report: Mitt Romney tells SF fundraiser “somebody’s got to do something for California”

GOP Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, addressing a crowded campaign fundraiser in the Democratic bastion of San Francisco, told laughing supporters Sunday, “Boy, somebody’s got to do something for California…the right leadership would make a difference here.”

Romney made the comments during a half hour address to donors at the Fairmont Hotel, one of his three fundraisers in the Bay Area Sunday. Both his Fairmont fundraiser and two held in private homes in Woodside and San Francisco were hosted in part by former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, the Hewlett Packard CEO, who was singled out for applause by Romney and a received a standing ovation at the Fairmont stop.

The former Massachusetts Governor, who like President Obama had suspended campaign events in the wake of the Colorado movie theater massacre this week, told backers that “our hearts are with many of the people who lost loved ones” in the Aurora mass killings, and praised Obama’s stop in Aurora to meet with victims entirely appropriate.

Here’s the full and unedited pool report of tonight’s Romney fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel, as provided by the local print pool reporter allowed to cover the event, Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune:

Romney entered the Fairmont Hotel’s Gold room at 5:32 p.m. to a cheering, standing ovation.

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney back to raise money in California

President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney will return to the Bay Area on Sunday and Monday — back to buck-rake once again in donor-rich California.

Obama is scheduled Monday to raise money at a dinner at the Piedmont home of developer and real estate investor Wayne Jordan and his wife, activist Quinn Delaney. Tickets were listed at $35,800 per person.

Obama is also scheduled Monday to attend a larger fundraising reception at the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland.

Mitt Romney focuses on economy in Bay Area speech

Promising to avoid partisan attacks in the wake of Friday’s movie-theater massacre in Colorado, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to campaign contributors Sunday about his own five-step plan to fix America’s economy.

Speaking to about 250 supporters who’d paid from $2,500 to $10,000 each to attend a reception at the Fairmont Hotel, the former Massachusetts governor praised President Barack Obama’s last-minute trip to Aurora, Colo., as appropriate and befitting his office.

The audience observed a moment of silence for the Colorado victims. “We turn to a power greater than our own to understand purpose, and if not to understand at least to be able to soothe the wounds of those who have been so seriously hurt,” Romney said.

Romney noted the audience included about 25 members of Gold Star and Blue Star families — those who’ve lost relatives in military service, and those who have relatives currently serving. He observed “the great sense of unity that comes in this country as we recognize those who serve our country.”

Turning to the economy, Romney said “there is that entrepreneurialism in the American spirit which, if tapped, will allow us to reboot our economy, and soon.”

To tap it, he said, he first would tap into America’s “massive new resources, both in oil and gas.”

Second, Romney said, he would pursue more foreign trade, which he said “puts more Americans to work in higher-paying jobs.”

Republican Party in California Is Caught in Cycle of Decline

This would seem a moment of great opportunity for California Republicans. The state has become a national symbol of fiscal turmoil and dysfunction, the Legislature is nearly as unpopular as Congress and Democrats control every branch of government.

But instead, the state party — once a symbol of Republican hope and geographical reach and which gave the nation Ronald Reagan (and Richard M. Nixon) — is caught in a cycle of relentless decline, and appears in danger of shrinking to the rank of a minor party.

“We are at a lower point than we’ve ever been,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the United States House of Representatives. “It’s rebuilding time.”

Registered Republicans now account for just 30 percent of the California electorate, and are on a path that analysts predict could drop them to No. 3 in six years, behind Democrats, who currently make up 43 percent, and independent voters, with 21 percent.

“It’s no longer a statewide party,” said Allan Hoffenblum, who worked for 30 years as a Republican consultant in California. “They are down to 30 percent, which makes it impossible to win a statewide election. You just can’t get enough crossover voters.”

“They have alienated large swaths of voters,” he said. “They have become too doctrinaire on the social issues. It’s become a cult.”

Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters Daily video: Good news on job growth but ‘long row to hoe’

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Jun 20 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: June 20, 2012

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Redwood National Park, California

Good Wednesday 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:

Vote remains close on Prop. 29 tobacco tax ballot initiative

The vote count for the June 5 tobacco tax ballot initiative remained tight Tuesday as elections officials across California continued tallying hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.

The measure, Proposition 29, was losing by 17,534 votes – or four-tenths of 1% — a gap that narrowed from 63,000 on election night, according to the California secretary of state’s office.

More than 4.9 million ballots already have been counted across the state. The secretary of state’s office estimates that, as of Tuesday morning, just over 370,000 ballots across that state remained uncounted. Shortly after the primary, there were more than a million uncounted ballots statewide.

The uncounted ballots consist of many cast by mail, as well as provisional and damaged ones.

Approved state budget still not a done deal

Majority Democrats may be able to crow over producing an on-time state budget, but that’s like claiming a trophy at half-time.

Though the Legislature passed the budget Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown and leading Democrats are still immersed in private talks to close out a number of divisive issues before they can seal the final deal.

Among those: So-called “trigger” cuts that would be automatically imposed if voters in November reject tax hikes, how to potentially erase 15 days from the school calendar, a 5 percent pay cut for thousands of state workers and ways to cushion blows to the poor and disabled.

Democratic leaders say their goal is to act on about 20 bills needed to implement the budget in the coming days, perhaps as soon as Thursday. Brown, also a Democrat, is reportedly sitting on the main budget bill until he sees the other so-called “trailer” bills. Then he can take his blue pencil and make deeper cuts, if necessary.

Brown has until June 27 to make up his mind on the budget and line-item spending vetoes.

Same-day voter registration bill moves forward in Legislature

Election seasons come and go, and with them public attention to the political process waxes and wanes.

“The really heartbreaking fact of the matter is that a lot of the excitement kicks in about two weeks before Election Day. But by then it’s too late, and a lot of people are left sitting on the sidelines,” said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation. “If we can engage people when they’re excited, we have an opportunity to create a lifelong voter.”

The Legislature on Tuesday moved closer toward embracing one way to help Californians seize that moment by allowing voter registration to take place through Election Day — an approach that has sparked sharp partisan divisions in the past.

On a party-line vote, with majority Democrats in support, the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee approved a bill to allow same-day voter registration as soon as a new statewide computerized database is operational. The system will let elections officials check the status of all voters statewide.

The measure — AB 1436, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles — has been approved by the Assembly and next heads to the Senate Public Safety Committee, which must consider the bill because it would increase the maximum penalty for voter fraud.

UCLA forecast: Economy to lag 3 more years — High unemployment, slow growth impede progress

California’s long slow slog out of the Great Recession will continue for at least three more years amid tepid job growth and persistent high unemployment, according to a forecast released today.

And there is a critical component still missing in the state and national economies, said the quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast.

“There has been no recovery,” economist Edward Leamer, the forecast director, lamented in his outlook for the nation.

The problem is that growth in both gross domestic product and jobs has been weak since the recession ended in the second quarter of 2009.

“More of the same is in the cards, although the housing market is turning around, promising there will be growth in the years ahead, even with frugal consumers and frugal governments holding things back,” Leamer said.

He points out that in each of the previous 10 recessions, GDP — the value of goods and services produced in the U.S. — returned to its previous peak within two years. This time it has taken almost four years.

He forecasts GDP growth of 2.4 percent by the end of next year, increasing to 3.4 percent by the end of 2014.

Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said that the state and local economies will likely play out as UCLA predicts.

Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters’ Daily video:’Two blows for open government’

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Feb 09 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 9, 2012

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Golf in La Quinta, California

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

California Governor Jerry Brown on the other hand is hitting the road – literally.

Gov. Jerry Brown will be making an appearance tonight as electric-car maker Tesla Motors unveils a new vehicle in Los Angeles County — its Model X.

California’s clean-car makers are among the state’s economic bright spots. And as The Bee’s Rick Daysog reported last month, the California Air Resources Board has voted unanimously to tighten emissions standards by mandating that one in every seven cars sold in the state in the year 2025 be an ultra-low- or zero-emission vehicle.

Brown is expected to speak around 8 p.m. at the premiere, held at Tesla’s Los Angeles Design Studio in Hawthorne.

The Model X is a luxury SUV crossover, according to an article posted Wednesday by Investor’s Business Daily, which says Tesla has been teaming up with Toyota and Daimler, with Toyota using a Tesla power train in an electric RAV4, and Daimler putting Tesla-designed battery systems in some of its vehicles.

On to today’s California headlines:

Women most vulnerable to poverty in retirement

California is the state with the highest number of seniors living below federal poverty levels, and half of all California workers will spend their final years in poverty if nothing changes with our retirement system.

But women are particularly at risk for economic hardship because they generally live longer and earn less than men over the course of their lives.

These sobering statistics come from a recent study of retirement in the state from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

“Retirement security is really is a gendered issue,” said Nari Rhee, one of the co-authors of the study.

Diana Madoshi, for instance, started working when she was 17 years old. “I put myself through school and I became an RN raising a family,” Madoshi said.

But when her teenage daughter developed diabetes, she stopped working full time at Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

“It was more important for me to be home,” said Madoshi. She continued to work, but only part time as a substitute nurse in the area.

As a result, she lost the years she had vested in her pension plan and didn’t have access to any employer sponsored retirement plan.

Then she was diagnosed with Lupus and went on disability (SSI) in 1994. Now, aged 66, she depends entirely on Social Security and is only able to meet her monthly bills because she lives in a subsidized senior housing complex in Rocklin.

Economy toughest on young adults, study finds

As the nation climbs slowly out of the Great Recession, young adults appear to be having the toughest time of any age group gaining a foothold in the recovering economy. Those difficulties, in turn, are shaping their decisions about careers, schooling, marriage and parenthood, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Pew Research Center, released Thursday, examines the effects of the recession on the lives and attitudes of young Americans ages 18 to 34.

“The economy may be improving, but in spite of the recent decline in unemployment, young people are still really struggling,” said Kim Parker, associate director of Pew’s Social and Demographic Trends Project and a coauthor of the study.

The tough times are forcing changes in young adults’ daily lives and in their longer-term plans.

Nearly half say that in recent years they’ve taken a job they didn’t really want, to pay the bills. More than a third have gone back to school because of the poor economy. About a third have postponed either their plans to get married or have a child, and one in four say they have moved back in with their parents after living independently. And fewer than half of young people who are now employed say they have the education and training necessary to get ahead in their jobs.

With government economic data showing a record gap in employment levels between the young and all working-age adults, the Pew survey found that 41% of Americans believe that young adults have been hit harder by the recession than other age groups, while 29% said middle-aged adults have had the toughest time, and 24% said those 65 and older have had the worst of it.

LA County OKs $1,000 Fine For Throwing Football, Frisbee On Beaches

When you head down to the beach for a little fun this summer, county officials want you to leave the pigskin at home.

The Board of Supervisors this week agreed to raise fines to up to $1,000 for anyone who throws a football or a Frisbee on any beach in Los Angeles County.

In passing the 37-page ordinance on Tuesday, officials sought to outline responsibilities for law enforcement and other public agencies while also providing clarification on beach-goer activities that could potentially disrupt or even injure the public.

The updated rules now prohibit “any person to cast, toss, throw, kick or roll” any object other than a beach ball or volleyball “upon or over any beach” between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Exceptions allow for ball-throwing in predesignated areas, when a person obtains a permit, or playing water polo “in or over the Pacific Ocean”.

However, during the winter off-season, the new rules will be relaxed.

Enjoy your morning!

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Dec 20 2011

California’s 11.3% Unemployment Rate Improving But ……

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Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has the numbers and some explanation of the 11.3% unemployment rate which is one of the worst in the country.

California’s unemployment rate has been edging downwards in recent months in an apparent sign of slow recovery from the state’s worst recession since the Great Depression, dropping to 11.3 percent in November.

But it’s a mixed bag of numbers.

By and large, California’s economy continues to be mired in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

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Sep 20 2011

California # 1 on Worst Business Climate List Again

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Most Californians admit it is hard to do business in the state and Texas Governor Rick Perry often comes to California to recruit businesses for Texas. Some have readily left the state.

Why?

A poor business climate.

California may have beautiful weather and incredibly interesting, diverse climates, but trying to run a business in this state is another matter. “Climate” is a matter of perspective.

A new business survey of the best and worst states for business has been published by Development Counselors International. Surprising no one, the survey reveals that California was most frequently named by business leaders as the worst state in the country to start or operate a business.

Having the least favorable business climate, California was the state named most frequently by respondents as business-unfriendly. This is the fourth consecutive time that California has received “least favorable business climate” top billing in since the company first started doing the survey.

Respondents provided understandable reasons for their negative opinions of California. The state was cited for having very high taxes by 40 percent of respondents, while 36 percent mention too much regulation, 23 percent said that California has high business costs, and 17 percent identified the anti-business climate.

Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida were the top favorable business climate vote getters for the 2011 survey. Reasons cited were a more favorable tax climate, having a pro-business climate, being a right-to-work-state, having a strong and talented workforce, and economic development support. Interestingly, four of the five pro-business states are in the Southeast.

California’s economy is not going to improve unless the California Legislature and Governor change up the business climate in a BIG way. Then, they can start working on the housing market.

Here is a chart of the survey over time:

California having a poor business climate has been a long time in the making and we are all paying the price today.
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