Tag: Walters

Nov 10 2011

Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: November 10, 2011

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Avalon, Catalina Island

These are my links for November 10th PM:

  • Do Local Tax Election Results Foreshadow 2012 State Tax Fight?– With the expectation that taxes dealing with California’s budget issues will dominate the state’s general election one year from now, the tea-leaves of yesterday’s local elections around the state might indicate how voters are feeling about taxes.Overall, there were 53 tax, bond and fee measures on local ballots. With the understanding that the results are preliminary for the final counts are not in, 40 of the 53 tax measures passed for a solid passing percentage of 75%. The results included 18 of 22 city majority vote tax measures passing, and 11 of 14 parcel tax measures in special districts and school districts getting the necessary two-thirds vote to pass.
  • Police arrest UC Berkeley students, professor over Occupy camp – San Jose Mercury News– Moving quickly to quell a protest on the site where the Free Speech Movement was born, UC Berkeley police in riot gear on Wednesday tore down tents and arrested at least seven people who had established an Occupy Cal camp.The violent clash was in stark contrast to peaceful speeches about protecting higher education from budget cuts and a short march that started the demonstration in front of Sproul Hall at noon. By 3:30 p.m., protesters linking arms were facing down lines of police officers as the Occupy group tried to protect a handful of tents that had been erected on a lawn in front of the building.
  • Dan Walters: New California Senate maps still not settled– It’s been nearly three months since the state redistricting commission released its maps for 177 congressional, legislative and Board of Equalization districts.They’re not quite final. A Republican-backed referendum to overturn state Senate maps is still pending, with signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot being submitted this week.The state Supreme Court had summarily rejected a GOP legal challenge to the Senate maps. But were the referendum to gain enough signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot, the Supreme Court would be compelled to step back into the issue, deciding which Senate districts would be used for the 2012 elections pending the referendum’s outcome.

    However, the court and the ballot are not the only venues for challenging what the commission wrought. Any election law changes that affect four California counties – Monterey, Merced, Yuba and Kings – are subject to review by the U.S. Justice Department under the federal Voting Rights Act.

  • GOP lawmakers demand special session on public pensions– Four GOP lawmakers this morning praised Gov. Jerry Brown’s 12-point plan to change public pensions, then challenged him to go a step further by calling a special session to address the issue.”The Legislature needs to give our full attention to this, right now,” Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton said at a press conference held in his office. “After the first of the year, we’re going to be all budget, all the time.”The Rancho Cucamonga Republican said that he sent his request that Brown reconvene lawmakers before the regular session starts in January. Dutton said he hadn’t received a response as of this morning.
  • California Politicians may get good fundraising news– The state Fair Political Practices Commission might have an early Christmas gift for some of the state’s politicians who lost money in accounts handled by campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee of Burbank.Durkee is accused of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars, or possibly millions, from the more than 400 accounts that she controlled for some of the state’s top politicians.Among those affected are Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is believed to have lost $5 million in campaign funds.

    Others, like City Controller Wendy Greuel, who had more than $500,000 with Durkee in her run for mayor for 2013, was among the lucky officials who did not lose any money, campaign aides say.

  • Taxpayers Take On L.A. County’s Unconstitutional Grocery Bag Tax– With inflation eating away at Californians’ buying power, going to the grocery store has become an increasingly expensive activity for the average family. But in their quest to create an environmentally-friendly utopia, California liberals don’t seem to care that families are struggling to pay those hefty grocery bills. The most blatant example of this insensitivity is the imposition of a new grocery bag tax.Several cities and counties across the state have passed or are considering plastic bag bans in order to placate the demands of the environmental elites. As part of the bans, local municipalities also impose a 5 or 10-cent tax per bag if customers fail to bring their own grocery bags to the store.  This tax increase was never brought before voters and as such is a violation of last year’s Proposition 26, which specifically precludes a new tax—or euphemistically referred to as a “fee” to skirt tax laws—without a two-thirds vote. Los Angeles County passed such an ordinance in its unincorporated areas and it went into effect July 1.

Enjoy your afternoon!

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Nov 07 2011

Flap’s California Morning Collection: November 7, 2011

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Mission San Francisco de Asis

The California Legislature is not in session.

On to today’s headlines:

  • California Politicians may get good fundraising news – The state Fair Political Practices Commission might have an early Christmas gift for some of the state’s politicians who lost money in accounts handled by campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee of Burbank.Durkee is accused of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars, or possibly millions, from the more than 400 accounts that she controlled for some of the state’s top politicians.

    Among those affected are Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is believed to have lost $5 million in campaign funds.

    Others, like City Controller Wendy Greuel, who had more than $500,000 with Durkee in her run for mayor for 2013, was among the lucky officials who did not lose any money, campaign aides say.

  • Two efforts launched to repeal Calif. DREAM Act – Total Buzz : The Orange County Register – Two proposed ballot measures seeking to block the California DREAM Act, which would provide financial aid to qualifying illegal immigrants, took steps forward this week.
    A petition for a proposed referendum by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, was cleared for circulation Thursday by Attorney General Kamala Harris. Read the referendum and read the approved title and summary.
    Another proposed measure would not only block the state DREAM Act but would require fingerprinting for Medi-Cal pregnancy services, with fingerprint reports relayed to the federal Department of Homeland Security. The proposed measure was submitted Monday to Harris for approval so that signatures can be gathered. It is proposed by former state GOP chairman Tirso Del Junco, San Diego Republican Ted Hilton and Concord Republican Bill Siler.
  • 2012 Proposition voting will require a college degree; long ballot good for Republicans historically. – It will take a college degree to understand the Secretary of State’s voter information pamphlet for the November, 2012 election, given the partisan, pro-union move by the Legislature and the Governor to force measures off the ballot next June, and lump them all together in November.  But history demonstrates the crowded ballot really helps Republicans, whom demographics demonstrate are better educated and more prepared to comprehend the information and actually vote than voters registered in other parties in California.=====

    Most probably

  • Dan Walters: Profligacy persists in California – As recession lingers, the bipartisan history of expedient, irresponsible fiscal decisions continues to haunt the state.Gov. Jerry Brown, elected on a promise to avoid budget gimmicks, nevertheless resorted to a fanciful projection of $4 billion in extra revenue to balance the 2001-12 budget on paper – money that so far isn’t showing up and probably won’t.

    And he signed a bill that delays action on a union-opposed ballot measure that would compel the state to shift future windfalls into emergency reserves.

    Meanwhile, bean counters are projecting another multibillion-dollar deficit for the 2012-13 budget.

    The beat goes on.

  • An accidental social media phenomenon emerges from the Occupy Oakland general strike – Few people would know the name Spencer Mills or be able to identify his face.
    But tens of thousands of online viewers around the world would recognize his online alias, OakFoSho. Nearly 60,000 have tuned into his video stream of the violence that erupted after Wednesday’s Occupy Oakland general strike. Many heard Mills narrating in the early hours of Thursday while tear gas filled the middle of the city’s downtown district.
    That the images appeared jerky and blurry dissuaded no one. They could see the flames, the police, the protesters and the boom of the tear gas canisters exploding, all live. The experience provided a new twist to the old Gil Scott-Heron political song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
    Mills live-streamed with nothing more than a Motorola Droid X smartphone equipped with an 8-megapixel camera and Web access.
  • Fullerton officer charged in beating death gets big L.A. pension – Los Angeles officials are calling for a review of the pension given to one of the two Fullerton police officers charged in the beating death of a homeless man.Jay Cicinelli, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who lost an eye when he was shot on the job in 1996 during a routine traffic stop, receives 70% of his salary as a disability pension. City officials approved the large sum because it was unclear at the time whether he could again work in law enforcement.

    But Cicinelli soon got a job with the Fullerton Police Department, where he eventually earned $88,544 a year on top of his $39,625 in pension benefits from L.A.

    The issue came to the attention of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions Department after Cicinelli’s name surfaced as one of the six officers involved in the incident that led to the death of Kelly Thomas.

  • Presidents are bowing out at some Cal State schools – San Francisco State President Robert Corrigan decided this summer that at 76, he could not outlast a battered state economy that has forced deep cuts in programs and faculty at his and other Cal State campuses.
    In August, he announced that he would step down at the end of the academic year to return to research and writing, leaving worries about the budget to his successor.
    Corrigan is not alone.
    Long-serving presidents of four other Cal State campuses — Northridge, Fullerton, San Bernardino and the California Maritime Academy — also are retiring this year or next. The university’s leaders face the challenge of finding replacements during the state’s fiscal crisis and at a time when Cal State is also under scrutiny for recent hiring and compensation decisions.
    Searches are underway to find candidates for Northridge and Fullerton, with the Board of Trustees due to fill those positions by January.

Enjoy your morning! 

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