California’s Urban Legends The California legislature is pretty nutty and has come up with some nanny-government bills over the years. Perhaps that reality is what drives people to believe some of the wild and crazy rumors that are started about state government. I ran the term “California” through www.snopes.com , a website devoted to verifying or debunking urban legends, rumors and myths. The results were amusing. Does California require hunting licenses before setting a mousetrap? Are California middle school students required to take a three-week course in Islamic studies? Does California require pitbulls to be euthanized? No to all of the above, but enough people believe our legislature would do these things to elevate them to the status of urban myth. If you want to see the other California-related snopes myths, follow this link.
[Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles] 12:05 am [permalink]
Villaraigosa Administration Pays Cronies $2500 Per Toilet If you have any doubts about whether City Hall is squandering your hard-earned tax dollars by giving them to special-interest cronies, you must read an article in Saturday’s L.A. Times by Ted Rohrlich and Jessica Garrison.
The Housing Authority, which is supposed to provide affordable housing for the needy, is instead just Tammany Hall for a new century.
Villaraigosa’s administrators awarded no-bid contracts, at inflated prices, to companies run by family members. And, when the law required competitive bidding, no problem: the administrators submitted phony bids at inflated prices, under the names of both real and imaginary companies, so their cronies would win those contracts, too.
The contracts awarded, moreover, were quite lucrative: the City paid $2500 per toilet, compared to the $250 the County pays for toilets -- compared to the $97.67 they sell for in the real world.
So the next time someone claim you need to pay higher taxes to pay for “affordable housing,” explain to him we don’t need higher taxes, we need an honest, competent mayor who shows up at work each day and manages the City’s agencies -- not a career politician who uses tax dollars to award cronies. [Walter Moore is a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles - his website is Walter Moore For Mayor.com]
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BUDGET CRISIS UPDATE Here’s a recap of the state budget situation. As Alice said, “Things are getting curiouser and curiouser”:
1. On Saturday, Senate President Don Perata adjourned the Senate, demanding that Republicans present amendments to reduce the cost of the state budget by Wednesday.
2. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans did precisely that. Perata refused to hear the amendments and promptly adjourned the Senate until Thursday, promising to vote on the budget reduction amendments then.
3. This morning, Perata refused to convene the Senate and notified the Republican leader that instead of publicly debating and voting on budget reduction amendments, he wanted to resume negotiations.
YOUR CALLS AND E-MAILS ARE WORKING!
I think the Democrats are starting to realize is that the more that specific reductions are debated, the more outraged people become at expenditures like:
• Providing state-only cash payments to able bodied welfare recipients who refuse to look for work (only California and New York pay these cash grants): $324 million
• Paying for 6,000 vacant positions the bureaucracies use as slush funds: $200 million
• Pay in-state tuition subsidies for illegal aliens to attend California’s universities and colleges: $75 million
• Celebrate “Cesar Chavez Day”: $5 million
PLEASE KEEP THE PRESSURE UP ON STATE SENATORS BY CONTINUING YOUR CALLS AND E-MAILS. ALSO PLEASE WEIGH IN WHERE EVER YOU CAN IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE WITH LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, PHONE CALLS TO TALK SHOWS AND BLOG ENTRIES ON PUBLIC POLICY WEB SITES.
"Hyper” Does Not Hurt GOP Bill Bradley is an ex-LA Times writer who has a serious blog about California politics. He recently opined about the California Republican Party’s decision to exclude Non-Republicans from the presidential primary. Bradley is apoplectic that the party is limiting the Republican presidential primary to Republican voters, something it has done since the 19th century.
Bradley omits an important fact. Decline-to-state voters can vote in the June Republican primary for California races. The presidential primary in February is not comparable. For the first time since 1952 the Republican national convention will not have a candidate who is a current or former president or vice president. This makes it more likely that no clear winner will emerge in the early rounds of voting. This increases the likelihood that the convention will produce a nominee through negotiation, thus elevating the role of every delegate. Allowing an independent to participate in the brokering of the Republican nominee for president is like asking a member of the General Motors board to nominate the CEO of Toyota.
Unlike legislative or constitutional officer election, the election of a delegate from California for the purpose of representing the party at the convention is electing them to a party role in which they also play a role in approving the ideological platform of the party. If decline-to-state voters do not like the Republican Party enough to join it, then why should they be allowed a place at the table to make the party’s rules?
Bradley thinks the voters are going to reject the Republican message because of this exclusion. His other thesis is that keeping Independents out of the presidential primary is a sign the party is being run by incompetents. So he demonizes the party leaders by pejoratively calling them “hyperpartisan.” This is a headscratcher. On the face of it, it is an odd criticism to call leaders of political parties, “partisans.” And then to add “hyper-” to it I suppose means these partisans are unable to demonstrate self-control. But ironically, the particular partisans he targets (Jon Fleishman and Tom Del Beccaro) are men who enjoy engaging people who disagree with them, and do so regularly in a civilized manner. I am left with the impression that Bill Bradley does not like people for who and what they are and is employing a word in a nasty way to express his dislike for them. This is pretty much the definition of hate speech. I guess “right-wing” lacks the punch he was looking for and he is looking for a way to appeal to independents who might otherwise be inclined to agree with the low-tax, limited government, personal responsibility ideas supported by Del Beccaro, Fleishman, et al.
12:07 am [permalink]
Budget Follies: The Next Step... The next step in the budget battle begins tomorrow morning, when Senate Republicans begin offering amendments to attempt to bring the state budget into balance and to bring state spending under control. Democratic leaders have falsely charged that Republicans have offered no alternatives to the state’s out-of-control spending, when in fact every cost containment bill offered by Republicans has been killed on party-line votes in various legislative committees throughout the past year.
In my judgment, $2.9 billion in spending reductions – about 3 percent -- must be made to bring the budget into actual balance and to provide a sufficient reserve to address some very questionable assumptions. Sacramento’s spending lobby will call that Draconian, but consider this: $2.9 billion in spending cuts would produce a budget of right around $100 billion. That is still $8.3 billion more than we spent in 2005-2006 – and $21.7 billion more than we spent the year we recalled Gray Davis.
12:07 am [permalink]
SENATE REPUBLICANS STOOD FIRM AND REFUSED TO BE BULLIED INTO ADOPTING A BAD BUDGET. I want to thank all of you who made calls and sent e-mails to Senate Republican offices throughout Friday night. Your encouragement and vigilance made a big difference.
THE RESULT: The unprecedented “lockdown” of the State Senate ended just a few minutes ago, with the Democrats agreeing to go back to the drawing board to consider additional Republican budget reductions. Although I can’t predict the final outcome, I am very confident that we will see significant additional budget savings due to the fact that Senate Republicans – buoyed by your encouragement and support – held firm through a long and protracted night.
No thanks to the Governor who had campaigned to “live within our means,” and promised to “blow up the boxes.” In a press release late Friday night, he sided with liberal Democrats in refusing to balance the state budget – breaking a signature campaign promise. His intransigence, if it continues, will condemn the state to a cumulative deficit twice as great as it was under Gray Davis by the next budget year.
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ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS COLLAPSING ON BUDGET TONIGHT!
THE VOTE IS SCHEDULED FOR 8:15 PM TONIGHT.
PLEASE CONTACT ASSEMBLY AND SENATE REPUBLICAN OFFICES AND DEMAND THAT THEY HOLD FIRM FOR A BALANCED BUDGET.
The Assembly is convening tonight to adopt another seriously out-of-balance state budget (SB 77). Worse, it sets in motion obligations that will cause a catastrophic shortfall for the following year. And worst of all, it plans on continuing the process of “escheat,” in which the state controller loots safe deposit boxes, retirement and college funds – any assets that are idle for just three years – to deposit in the general fund. Even though a federal court has ordered them temporarily to halt this practice, they are still counting on resuming it – or having taxpayers pick up the difference.
Because it takes a 2/3 vote to adopt the budget, Republicans can hold firm to demand what they promised California – a state government that lives within its means. If this budget is adopted as it now stands, it will be due entirely to Republican complicity. In the Assembly, SIX Republicans will have to vote with the Democrats to adopt this budget. PLEASE CALL ASSEMBLY AND SENATE REPUBLICAN OFFICES IMMEDIATELY TO VOICE YOUR STRONG OPPOSITION. LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE WATCHING AND THAT YOU’LL BE LONG REMEMBERING HOW THEY VOTE.
If the measure is adopted by the Assembly, it will then move to the Senate for a 9:00 am vote Friday. This may be is our last line of defense.
Here are the details:
Although they claim they have reduced the budget deficit to “just” a half-billion dollars this year, they are setting in motion a $5.2 billion deficit for next year – without the cash to cover it. And where do you think they’re going to make up the difference?
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The actual budget deficit will most likely be many times greater than the half-billion dollar gap they’re admitting to. Here are just a few of the games they’re playing – and that taxpayers will have to make up – when they come up short:
The budget bill (SB 77):
• ignores almost certain contract obligations to the tune of $330 million
• refuses to acknowledge the fact that we’ve brought in $600 million less than budgeted during just the last two months
• defies a court order and plans to continue to raise $400 million a year by seizing personal property after three years of “inactivity”
• plans to sell the state’s “Ed Fund” to a private consortium, and valuing it far in excess of what it is likely to bring in.
• assumes hundreds of millions of dollars more in property taxes than the Legislative Analyst has warned is prudent
• assumes much higher revenues from tribal gaming than the Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected.
In all, more than $4 billion of gimmickry is involved in this budget – gimmickry that will bite taxpayers hard as we approach the next fiscal year – on top of the huge deficits they’re already admitting to.
[Bill Leonard] - 12:05 am [permalink] Planned Parenthood: Death for Dollars Last week I read a very disturbing and sad story in the Riverside Press-Enterprise about a 21-year- old woman who died from an abortion performed by Planned Parenthood. The pain of losing a child, no matter that child’s age, is immense and overwhelming for a parent. It alters the natural order of life and leaves parents grieving an unnecessary loss. Knowing that pain, it is deeply disturbing for me to think about the number of lives Planned Parenthood has taken through acts of pure carelessness and medical malpractice. Their factory-like operation allows women of any health status to undergo abortions, and when the procedures go awry, Planned Parenthood employees blatantly cover it up. Such was the case with Edrica Goode, the victim I read about. (It is rare to read about these cases in the news, and I commend The Press-Enterprise for reporting the story.)
Edrica was 21, but too many of those utilizing Planned Parenthood’s services are too young to understand the dangers and risks of unmarried sex and abortions. Planned Parenthood performs abortions on minor girls without parental consent. Many of these underage girls are victims of rape and incest. (By definition, any underage pregnant girl is a victim of statutory rape.) Yet, the perpetrators of these crimes often are not held accountable due to Planned Parenthood’s unwillingness to report all cases that they see. The Federal Hyde Act allows Planned Parenthood to obtain federal and state reimbursement for the cost of serving crime victims, but it requires that the state collect and report statistics, which Planned Parenthood does not want to do. Instead, they just use your state tax dollars, which are given to them without sufficient reporting requirements.
So Planned Parenthood is unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement in reporting crime victims, but it is more than willing to accept your hard earned state tax money to subsidize their program for handing out birth control pills and prophylactics to underage girls and perform abortions on these same girls when those methods fail. Planned Parenthood does a poor job of reporting the services provided for tax dollars received, leaving elected officials and their constituents at a loss when it comes to accountability of public dollars.
By the way, in the case of the death of Edrica Goode the state has not shut down the clinic but simply asked them to file a plan of correction.
in the ebag-from Tony Perkins Family Research Council] 12:01 am [permalink]
Tell the Padres to Play Ball, Not Politics! This past Sunday, at the San Diego Padres baseball game, what was advertised as a "Free Floppy Hat Night" for kids under 14 turned out to be a double play. While the Padres management was enticing families with the giveaway for kids, it was also promoting the evening as a Gay Pride night at the ballpark. Children who received free hats were treated to the Gay Man's Chorus of San Diego singing the national anthem prior to what one homosexual group billed as "Out at the Park with the San Diego Padres."
The San Diego Padres organization should be ashamed that they would promote such an event on a night they specifically designed for the family. On this curveball of an evening, the Padres struck out.
Click the link below to contact the San Diego Padres and tell them that baseball is a family game that shouldn't be used as an exhibition of homosexual lifestyles. The national pastime is just that: an opportunity for fans of the sport to enjoy a game and take respite from the daily grind. It's not place for politics - or political correctness.
We've provided a short sample text you can sign or modify as you like to the Padres. Let's tell major league baseball to leave politics aside at the turnstile. Tell the Padres to Play Ball, Not Politics! <http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=AL07G03&f=AL07G03&t=e#FORM>
Thank you and God bless you.
12:07 am [permalink]
Saturday Morning Confusion… All the climate scientists agreed, a solid scientific consensus had emerged, the debate was over: Saturday in Sacramento was going to be a scorcher. Throughout the week, the Sacramento Bee and local televisions stations all predicted that Saturday would top out at around 100 degrees. Even Saturday morning, the Bee predicted a high of 99.
The official high temperature in Sacramento on Saturday turned out to be a relatively mild 87 degrees.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Al Gore told audiences on seven continents that they must pressure developed countries to reduce their “greenhouse gases” by 90 percent within one generation (which would require shutting down virtually the entire power grid, grounding every plane and scrapping every car and truck – and still fall well short). The Chicken Little Crowd tells us that if we don’t, the planet’s temperature will rise by 0.64 percent of one degree Fahrenheit over the next 20 years.
Question: if a solid, scientific consensus can’t predict the temperature within ten degrees in one locale less than 24 hours into the future, why is it that we are betting our freedom and our prosperity on claims that we can accurately predict the temperature within two-thirds of a degree Fahrenheit over the entire planet 20 years from now?
Central Command Not Waiting to Hear from Mayors My commendation to Mayor Alan Autry of Fresno. I share his disgust with groups purporting to represent everyone but really just representing a slim majority of the activists in the room. The United States Conference of Mayors last week voted 51-47 on a resolution that had nothing to do with making cities better but to get America out of Iraq. Autry voted against the resolution and then immediately quit the group.
One could rightly say it is none of their business. Regardless, I am sure that on US Conference of Mayors letterhead some activist is telling Congress that the cities of America want out of Iraq. Good for Mayor Autry in calling them out on this. My mayor does not represent me on issues of foreign policy, nor do I vote for mayor based on international platform.
12:07 am [permalink]
E Pluribus Unum… Two giant steps forward in the American cause came last week. The first was the Senate’s decisive defeat of George Bush’s amnesty bill to undermine America’s process of legal immigration and assimilation. The second came just a few minutes later with the Supreme Court decision against assigning students to schools based on their race.
The Senate’s vote sends a strong message that the political will still exists in America to defend our sovereignty as a nation and to insist that those who come here do so with a sincere desire to become Americans and to obey our laws. And the Supreme Court’s decision declares a powerful and self-evident truth: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
E Pluribus Unum. From all the nations of the world we have created one great nation: the American nation. And from all the world’s races, there is only one race here: The American Race. Both of these eternal truths shone brightly yesterday.
These developments were a gigantic setback for the Left’s agenda of dividing Americans along racial or ethnic lines. For decades one of the principal agendas of the Left has been to hyphenate Americans, develop linguistic divisions, assign rights and preferences based on race and ethnicity, and to elevate devotion to foreign ideologies and traditions while denigrating American culture, values and founding principles. It has embraced racial preferences and illegal immigration as two of its most powerful tools for imposing this agenda and rending our nation asunder.
Maybe last Thursday will be looked back upon as the day when Americans finally had enough of such nonsense, when we re-united as a people and began the next chapter in perfecting the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Not a bad way to begin the Fourth of July week.