Tag: Nathan Fletcher

Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: April 13, 2012


Thousand Oaks, California

Good Friday the 13th afternoon!

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

There are no floor session scheduled for today.

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

On to today’s California Headlines:

Jerry Brown tells Legislature to ‘man up,’ make cuts

Gov. Jerry Brown said this morning that the Legislature should “man up” and make spending cuts, acknowledging the state budget deficit is likely larger than he previously thought.

The Democratic governor, in an interview on the Bay Area talk radio station KGO 810, said the deficit is “probably bigger now” than the $9.2 billion he estimated earlier this year.

“We’re trying to be as prudent as we can,” Brown said. “That’s why the Legislature has to man up, make the cuts, and get some taxes and we’ll make it.”

Legislative Democrats have resisted many of Brown’s proposals to reduce spending, and his demand that cuts be enacted by March fell flat.

Brown’s “man up” remark was reminiscent of when Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called legislative Democrats “girlie men” in 2004, also in a budget dispute.

“Uh-oh …” Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger’s former press secretary, said on Twitter, “sounds a lot like ‘Girly Men.'”

In the radio interview, Brown promoted his November ballot initiative to raise the state sales tax and income taxes on California’s highest earners, but he backpedaled from his previous characterization of the initiative as a “Millionaires’ Tax.”

“I’m not calling it that,” he said.

Poll: Nathan Fletcher jumps to second in San Diego mayor race

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher received oodles of media attention when he left the Republican Party and re-registered as an independent amidst his campaign for mayor of San Diego.

And it may be paying off.

A San Diego television station reported Thursday that its poll shows Fletcher jumping from third place in the race to succeed Mayor Jerry Sanders into a solid second, just two percentage points behind City Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican, with Democratic Rep. Bob Filner dropping into third place.

O.C. Tea Party movement shifts its focus

Three years after the Tea Party started, activists in Orange County say the movement has evolved in several different directions. And not always for the better, some say.

“I attended my first Tea Party rally two years ago at the O.C. Civic Center in Santa Ana,” said Corona del Mar business owner Nancy Vanderpool, 63. “The focus was on taxation. With the advent of the health-care bill, focus began to switch gradually to the constitutionality of the bill. From there, it has become more diverse.

“Although I definitely disagree with the premise of the health bill, I believe the two separate issues have caused the fervor to die with regards to over-taxation and government spending. Maybe we need to get back to its original platform.”

She suggested the health-care bill should be framed by the Tea Party as a form of taxation that leads to bigger government.

Costa Mesa’s Tom Pollitt sees a different shift in the Tea Party – a move toward a more pragmatic, local focus – but with as much activity as ever.

“We are doing less rallies and spending more time getting involved in the local issues,” said Pollitt, 68, a Newport Mesa Tea Party member. “We cannot change national issues, but we can change what happens on a local level. We still believe in limited government, less spending, and less regulation.

“In O.C. you can go to a Tea Party event almost every night of the week on any topic from pensions, Agenda 21 to voter fraud. We are being informed, getting involved, and are inspired to get out the voters for change.”

Cal Chamber lists ‘jobs killer’ bills

Nearly two and a half years into California’s recovery from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, more than 2 million state residents are officially unemployed.

Another 1 million are either underemployed–working part-time or temporary jobs when they really want full-time, permanent work–or so discouraged by the state job market that they’ve dropped out of the labor force.

Against that backdrop, the California Chamber of Commerce released this week its annual list of “job killing” legislation currently under consideration by lawmakers inS acramento. The chamber identified 23 bills, five of which particularly stood out to me.

They include:

AB 1963, by Assembly member Alyson Huber, D-Dorado Hills; and AB 2540, by Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles. The bills would impose a new tax-and-use base on a number of services. It would fall hard on the state’s small businesses that will not benefit from proposed reductions in other tax rates (which probably wouldn’t materialize anyway).

AB 1439, by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, would automatically increase the state minimum wage each year by the rate of inflation, even during an economic downtown. This may appear beneficial to workers, but it really is not.

For when the minimum wage increases, it puts upward pressure on all wages. That raises overall labor costs for businesses, discouraging them from hiring new workers.

AB 1808, by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, would significantly expand the definition of “public employee” to include employees of private employers where a public agency “shares” in the employment decisions of those privately-employed workers.

The legislation is a sop to public employee unions, seeking to grow their ranks to further increase their political influence in the state capital, by recruiting in private workplaces.

Enjoy your weekend!

And, here is Dan Walters talking about California income tax collections:


Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 2, 2012


Mission San Gabriel Arcángel

Good Monday morning!

The California Legislature is adjourned for Spring/Easter break and will resume on April 9, 2012.

On to today’s California headlines:

How much is a campaign treasurer worth?

The issue of Rep. Buck McKeon’s practice of paying his wife, Patricia, rather handsomely from his campaign account is destined to be something Simi Valley voters will hear a great deal about in the weeks leading up to the June 5 primary — in which Patricia McKeon is a GOP candidate in the 38th Assembly District.

A report issued last week by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington highlighted that the McKeons top a list of 248 members of Congress who engage in that practice. The report found that over the 2008 and 2010 election cycles Patricia McKeon was paid $238,438 “to serve as treasurer for her husband’s campaign.”

New California bullet train plan a grand finale to years-long drama

When California’s high-speed rail leaders on Monday unveil their fourth and final business plan on the state’s controversial quest to link the Bay Area and Los Angeles by bullet train, they’ll be slashing $30 billion off the price tag and speeding up the first leg of construction beyond what’s been dubbed a train to nowhere in the Central Valley.

They’ll also be delivering a message to Bay Area travelers looking forward to boarding a bullet train from here to Southern California: You’ll just have to wait.

Under the new plan, the first trains are now pegged to zip between a 300-mile leg between Merced and the San Fernando Valley, near Los Angeles. Though it’s unclear how the extra tracks will be funded, previous plans had limited the first leg to a 130-mile path between two remote Central Valley towns, with high-speed trains not running until the route extended to either San Jose or Southern California.

But the longer route and the lower price estimate, which surfaced in news reports over the weekend, are all part of a desperate effort for high-speed rail leaders to save a project that has skyrocketed in both costs — and critics — since voters first approved a bullet train four years ago. The most expensive public works project in California history is now tabbed at $68 billion — still twice what voters were told when they approved the project, but less than the near $100 billion estimates in the most recent plan.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration wants health care change, with or without federal law

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration vowed Thursday to continue pushing forward elements of the federal health care overhaul in California, even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes it down.

If the court does rule the federal law unconstitutional, state Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley said California should at least consider enacting its own universal health care legislation, including requiring every Californian to buy insurance.

“I think that we should be committed to making this system more rational than it is today, and improving the health of the people of California,” Dooley said in an interview. “If we ask the insurance plans to take everybody and insure everybody with no screens or pre-existing conditions, then we have to have everybody buying some level of health insurance to meet their responsibility to the system.”

She said whether the administration sponsors such legislation would depend on “where we are and what the conditions are at that particular time.”

Dooley’s remarks came a day after the Supreme Court finished three days of oral arguments over President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The GOP didn’t reject Fletcher, it embraced DeMaio

If it weren’t for the Republican Party, we would not even know who Nathan Fletcher is.

That’s right, the political party he abandoned last week after 15 years of professional association; the one that provided the structure and opportunities for a politically ambitious young man to learn the system; the one that gave him the identity and resources to run and win a seat in the State Assembly; the one that put him in position today to be a leading candidate for mayor in the 8th largest city in America; and the one that put him in a position of prominence such that his quitting actually mattered to anyone.

Unfortunately, Fletcher’s quitting the GOP has been looked at through the lense of a sympathetic establishment and media who believe Republicans are too extreme.  This same establishment bemoans the party’s inability to focus on unifying economic issues while playing down “divisive” social issues.  What makes this narrative remarkable is that in their enthusiasm to see Nathan as the good guy and the GOP as the bad, they ignored what actually happened.

The Republican Party didn’t reject Nathan Fletcher.  It embraced Carl DeMaio.

Enjoy your morning!


Nathan Fletcher Ditches GOP in Effort to Win San Diego Mayor’s Race


California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher

I don’t think changing your party registration two months before the election will do much to win the credibility of voters – even for the non-partisan San Diego Mayor’s position.

California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says he’s leaving the Republican Party to become an independent barely two months before voters in the nation’s eighth-largest city decide whether to elect him mayor.

The move could breathe life into an already contested race with a crowded Republican field, in a city where Democrats hold a clear advantage in voter registration. Fletcher has lagged in recent polls that show a large number of undecided voters.

The 35-year-old has broken ranks with Republicans several times since joining the Assembly in 2009 and said he struggled with his party affiliation during his two terms in Sacramento.

“In all candor, I probably should have done it sooner,” he told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I’ve been a member of this party for almost 20 years. We have a system that is set up and designed for two parties and it’s a difficult move, but it’s what I believe in my heart is right.”

Fletcher backed Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s failed attempt to end a tax break for companies based out of state and was the only Assembly Republican to back a bill to require that gay history be taught in public schools. The Iraq combat veteran gave a passionate speech on the Assembly floor last year to argue that the military should end its policy of prohibiting gays from openly serving.

Fletcher has been known as a RINO for years and if he wants to run in a left-leaning urban area, and win, then he might as well re-register as what he really is – A moderate Democrat.

And, the polls show him being lost in the pack of San Diego Mayoral candidates anyway.

Guess Fletcher needed to shake things up and by changing registration, hopes that he can eek out a few more votes.

But, he has not supported issues as a Republican for a while and this move only cements what Republican voters have known for some time.


Flap’s California Morning Collection: September 20, 2011


Hollyhock House, East Hollywood, California

The California Legislature is not in session and Governor Jerry Brown is continuing to sign or veto bills passed more than a week ago. The deadline for action on the legislation is October 9.

On to today’s California headlines:

Amid failures, Jerry Brown’s job approval rating rises

While politicians all around him watched their popularity plunge in the weak economy, Gov. Jerry Brown ducked the slide.

Despite California’s high unemployment rate and major legislative failures in his first nine months in office, Brown’s job approval rating ticked up three percentage points since June, to 49 percent, according to a new Field Poll.

“He’s the only guy who seems to have a positive rating in California these days,” poll director Mark DiCamillo said.

Brown’s job approval rating isn’t anywhere near as stratospheric as the 67 percent it was in 1975, in the first year of the governor’s first term. Nor is it as high as Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis or Pete Wilson posted early in their tenures.

But as President Barack Obama and Congress – even four-term Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein – saw their standing among California voters tumble, Brown persevered.

“He’s presiding over a state that most voters think is going in the wrong direction,” DiCamillo said. “Yet he’s still seen as doing a good job.”

The share of California voters who approve of the job Brown is doing is now 17 percentage points higher than those who disapprove, according to the poll. A majority of Democrats, 64 percent, approve of the job Brown is doing, while a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, disapprove.

FlashReport’s Annual Top 20 Bills To Veto

  • AB 433 (B. Lowenthal) – Requires the state to issue a new birth certificate to California-born, but now out of state residents that have undergone sex-change surgery.  Also allows them to petition the court to have their new gender recognized as such.
  • AB 499 (Atkins) – Tramples parental consent by allowing children as young as 12 to receive prescription drugs or injections from public school officials to treat diseases caused by sexual activity without guardian notification.
  • SB 651 (Leno) – This bill authorizes 16 and 17-year-olds to enter into same sex domestic partnerships with adults if they obtain a court order granting permission or parental consent.  Also allows couples to have a domestic partnership but not the same residence.
  • AB 131 (Cedillo) – The other half of the “California Dream Act” allows the use of the taxpayer-funded Cal-Grant program to be used by illegal immigrant students.
  • SB 185 (Hernandez) – Defies voter-approved Proposition 209 that removed racial preferences in undergraduate and graduate admissions.  This bill allows the University of California and California State University to consider race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with “other relevant factors.”
  • AB 22 (Mendoza) – Prohibits employers doing background checks on prospective employees from obtaining a credit report as part of an informed hiring decision.
  • AB 1155 (Alejo) – Erodes employers’ protections from covering employee non-work injuries.  This bill results in less new jobs due to increased costs to employers and exposure to more lawsuits.
  • SB 469 (Vargas) – This is a union-driven, anti-superstore bill.  Requires an economic impact report (paid for by the retailer) before local government approves construction of a superstore.  Funny, there isn’t a requirement for an economic impact report for government’s choking new regulations.
  • SB 508 (Wolk) – This bill would impose a 10-year sunset on all tax credits beginning January 1, 2012.  It would also require that any bill authorizing a personal or corporation tax credit to include goals, purposes, and objectives, making it much more difficult to reauthorize the tax credit.  Funny that there isn’t a companion bill that would sunset choking regulations to reevaluate that they’re meeting the goals, purposes, and objectives.

California won’t slip back into recession, UCLA study predicts

The national economy is in “far worse” shape than it was just three months ago, but neither the U.S. nor California is expected to slip back into recession, according to UCLA researchers.

The U.S. economy has “stalled,” the job market is “horrible,” and even a “modest shock” could trigger a full-blown recession, according to a quarterly economic forecast released Tuesday by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

But in a nuance that only an economist could appreciate, a recession is unlikely because the forces that normally spur downturns, such as a falloff in home construction, are already so weak that further deterioration won’t do that much additional damage.

A sudden drop in exports or consumer spending could trigger a recession, though it is considered unlikely at the moment, according to the report.

The U.S. growth rate is expected to pick up between 2.5% and 3% by mid-2012 from 0.9% currently, with about 150,000 net jobs being added each month compared with no job growth last month, forecasters said in the report.

But even that would be far too tepid to make a dent in the stubbornly high unemployment rate, which is projected to drop to only 8.6% by the end of 2013 from the current 9.1%.

“You could make a reasonable argument that we never had a recovery and we’re, in fact, in one long slump,” said David Shulman, a UCLA senior economist.

Tougher laws considered for unvaccinated students

Lawmakers say they will consider tougher requirements for schools that have been defying state law by letting students who cannot prove they have had the whooping cough vaccine remain on campus.

Republican Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher of San Diego was one of the co-authors behind the bill requiring all students between grades seven and 12 to get vaccinated against the disease by the start of the 2011-12 school year.

He said he will consider introducing legislation next year that addresses the potential public health risks of allowing unvaccinated students onto school campuses.

“I certainly envisioned a situation where schools would comply with the law,” he said. “If there is still a risk and a threat to the children, we will take a look at it.”

The Legislature gave school districts 30 days beyond the start of the school year to make sure all students were vaccinated or had a formal exemption filed by their parents or guardians. Under the law, students who had neither were not to be allowed on campus.

Some districts that started classes in mid-August began hitting the 30-day mark over the past week. Some are allowing unvaccinated students to attend classes as usual, while others are separating them from the rest of the population in gyms and other areas.

“We don’t need a gym,” Fletcher said. “We need kids to get their vaccination.”

He said unvaccinated students present a serious health risk to the rest of the community because the disease can be fatal, especially to infants and the elderly.

On Monday, between 70 and 80 students at Inderkum High School in Sacramento were sequestered in a gym while vaccination shots were being given in an adjacent gym. School officials said most of them had received the shot but had been unable to provide the paperwork proving it.

Enjoy your morning!