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Carol Platt Liebau

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Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

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Boxer/Pelosi DC/CA TALKING POINTS
This war is the result of the Bush Administration's failed diplomacy. | Uh, we support the troops. | A tax cut in wartime is a risky scheme. | We could have probably brought down that statue for a lot less. | Sure it was a quick victory, but the occupation will be brutal. | What's so called "liberation" in the face of the loss of humanity's antiquities? | We’re not extreme, our ideals represent the ideals of ordinary Californians.

Calendar
Claremont Institute’s
President's Club Weekend
May 2-3, 2003
Huntington Beach
Featuring: Tom McClintock, Bill Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez
details at Claremont Institute

OC Register Budget Index
$78.1 million: The amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance budget.
OC Register

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theBlogs

CRO Blog
contributor commentary
5/1/03
[Streetsweeper]
Minimum Wage State: The Bee reports that with no budget the state’s Supreme Court says that some state workers can only be paid $5.15 an hour and others nothing after July 1. Controller Steve Westly can’t figure out how to sort it out. ["There is a cure to the problem, and that's an on-time budget," said Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.] | Sorkin Out: LA Times reports that the creator of “West Wing” is leaving [The declining ratings wore on Sorkin, according to the sources. Nielsen data show that viewing is down 22% this season, to 13.5 million viewers per week, ranking 22nd among prime-time programs. It finished in the top 10 last year.] | Pledge: Reuters reports that even though her dad hates the Pledge of Allegiance – along with certain judges on the 9th Circuit - his daughter says it every day.
go to CRO Blog


“The policies that turned a $9 billion surplus to a $24 billion deficit in just 18 months are continued and expanded in a state budget which, though just three weeks old, is already unraveling before our eyes."
-Tom McClintock 2/23/02

California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

4/7/03
In defense of Proposition 13. If keeping it intact is unfair, how fair is an $8,400 property tax bill?
3/14/03

The plea to save police and fire services is a disinformation scam to let loose the Car Tax.
2/21/03
A history lesson: raise the sales tax and watch retail sales plunge.
go to Shadow Controller

INSIDE CRO
A Holy Mess

Why Do Catholic Politicians Get Away With Ignoring Church Teachings?
by Carol Liebau 5/2/03
| The great American humorist Will Rogers once observed that there were a hundred things that single one out for recognition in party politics besides ability. For Congressmen Loretta (D-CA) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA), perhaps it’s because they are the first sisters to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. | And now, they have been invited – together – to deliver the graduation address at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, a school that defines itself as a “Catholic college primarily for women.” According to Mount St. Mary’s own statistics, the student body is indeed overwhelmingly female, and also predominantly Latina – so from a gender and ethnic standpoint, the Sanchez sisters would seem to be an excellent choice to address the new graduates. | But the “fit” is less perfect when it comes to religion. The Sanchez sisters consider themselves to be “Catholics.” But that view is difficult to support, in light of the Catholic stand on abortion – one of the topics about which the Catholic Church speaks unequivocally. A “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life,” approved by Pope John Paul II on November 21, 2002, states very plainly that laws concerning abortion “must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.” | Yet the Sanchez sisters are openly, vocally and proudly pro-choice. [inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From LA Times/Claremont

GOP Should Give Democrats Enough Rope to Hang Themselves on the Budget
by Thomas L. Krannawitter 5/2/03 | California has a spending problem. Over the last four years, inflation and population combined grew at a rate of 21%; revenue grew slightly faster, at 25%. Yet California government spending grew 40%. The result is what you would expect: an unprecedented budget shortfall that may exceed $35 billion.
| California Republicans cannot agree on a solution, but most are united in their opposition to a proposed initiative that would appear on the March ballot next year lowering the requirement to pass the state budget from two-thirds to 55% of the Legislature. | Republicans — who are in the minority in both houses — cling to the two-thirds rule for an obvious reason: It requires Democrats to seek their votes, allowing the GOP to keep what little leverage it has. | But Republicans are making a mistake. [more at LA Times or Claremont Institute]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From Sacramento Bee

Garamendi Finds the Executive Life Fiasco's Hard to Escape
by Dan Walters 5/2/03
| The biggest stain on John Garamendi's first term as state insurance commissioner was his sale of a defunct insurance company, Executive Life, to a group of French investors who turned out to be fronts for a French government-backed company. | Executive Life owned a large portfolio of corporate junk bonds which were later sold at great profit to the company's buyers, leading to allegations that Garamendi, in his zeal to dispose of the company, didn't protect the interests of several hundred thousand pensioners and disabled persons who held Executive Life annuities. | Garamendi returned to the insurance commissioner's office this year after an eight-year absence with the convoluted trans-Atlantic scandal still simmering. And it's now being complicated even more by the rupture between the American and French governments over the latter's strident opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. | The Franco-American dust-up over Iraq erupted just as the months-long negotiations between U.S. and French officials over settling the Executive Life case were reaching a climax. Two California Republican congressmen, Sacramento's Doug Ose and Jerry Lewis of Redlands, are now seeking legislation that would prohibit the Department of Justice from concluding any "secret settlement" with the French government or Credit Lyonnais, the government-controlled bank behind the Executive Life deal. [more at Sacramento Bee]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From Culture and Family Institute
Watching a Great Paper Dive Into Pedophilia Chic
by Robert Knight 5/2/03 | When I was a news editor at the Los Angeles Times during the ’80s, I thought I had seen the outer limits of liberal moral meltdown. On issue after issue, most staff members took the politically correct line, from abortion to welfare, gun control, tax increases, porn “censorship” and “gay” rights. | But the paper has now outdone itself, even by its own liberal standards. By awarding a Los Angeles Times Book Prize to the odious Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex, by Judith Levine, the Times has embraced pedophilia chic as its latest cause. I know some good Times staffers who must be mortified. | It seems those men who hang around the L.A. parks in raincoats stuffed with candy and porn tapes may be having a curious and undue influence in the inner sanctums of Times decision making. [more at Culture and Family Institute]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Reason

Plan Shows How to Balance the State Budget Without Raising Taxes
Outlines $18 billion in potential savings and calls for reform of state government
by Reason Public Policy Institute [posted 5/1/03] 4/30/03
| As the state budget deficit grows daily and lawmakers struggle to find common ground on a solution, a new budget plan demonstrates how California’s $26 billion to $35 billion budget deficit can be turned into a surplus by 2005 without raising taxes or cutting vital services. | Dubbed the “Citizens’ Budget”, the plan calls for the permanent adoption of a two-year state budget process, currently used by 23 states, and includes a line-by-line analysis of the state budget that reveals nearly $16 billion in potential cost savings in state programs. Another $1.1 billion could be saved with a 5 percent reduction in state personnel costs through attrition, renegotiation of employee contracts, limits on overtime, and reduction in staff levels to compensate for excessive growth in recent years. The report, prepared by the Reason Foundation and the Performance Institute, uses cost and savings benchmarks from other states and the federal government to offer a total of more than $18 billion in possible savings. But, by balancing the budget over two years, the plan requires that only $11.7 billion in spending reductions be made. [more at Reason] [info on Citizen’s Budget]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Sacramento Bee

GOP Plan is a Start, But Doesn't Balance the Budget
by Daniel Weintraub 5/1/03 | Republicans in the state Assembly took a huge step this week by finally proposing a plan they say will balance the budget without raising taxes. After years of carping from their frustrating but safe position as the minority party in the Legislature, Republicans have now begun to engage in a constructive debate that probably will lead to a solution. | "You no longer can say, 'Where's your plan?' " a gleeful Assembly Republican Leader Dave Cox of Fair Oaks told reporters. "We have laid it out for you." | Now for the bad news. The Republican plan doesn't balance the budget. It simply shifts the problem to the following year. It leaves, by their own accounting, an $11 billion structural gap between spending and revenues in the 2004-05 fiscal year. | Cox and his companions say, no problem. They'll simply freeze spending the year after next. But that's not balancing the budget. It's saying you intend to balance the budget. And as we have seen the past few years, intentions and actions are two very different things. | To the uninitiated, a freeze on spending might sound not only attractive but also fairly easy to accomplish. You look at what you spent this year and agree to spend no more next year. But it's not that simple. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From OC Register

Borrowing Trouble to Balance Budget
by the Editors 5/1/03 | The California budget crisis is picking up steam as it heads toward the next milestone: Gov. Gray Davis' May 14 revision of his January budget proposal. Then we'll have a better idea of the actual size of the deficit, whether it's the $35 billion over the next 14 months the governor estimated four months ago or the $26 billion estimate of Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill (who discounted additional spending the governor projected). | And then will begin a rush to at least try to get a budget passed by the constitutional June 15 deadline. | On Tuesday, Senate Republicans proposed solving the crisis by borrowing $10 billion and making up the rest of the deficit through cuts and the elimination of programs. The borrowing would last five years and would cost $1.8 billion in interest. | The best thing about the GOP proposal is that it doesn't include any tax or fee increases, unlike Gov. Gray Davis' proposal for $8.3 billion in new taxes. | The governor predictably said the Republican plan "doesn't add up" and relies on "fuzzy math." Those words come from the man most responsible for driving the state toward a precipice of fiscal insolvency, and who has had his head stuck in the sand for months on the budget and electricity crises. [more at OC Register]

INSIDE CRO
Moral Dyslexia?

The insanity in Sacramento is on the rise.

by Assemblyman Ray Haynes [posted 4/30/03]
4/25/03 | I try to look at my job with a sense of humor, I really do. Everything is just more pleasant if you can laugh at what is happening around you. There are occasionally times when what happens is so outrageous and that humor is simply the wrong response. Quite frankly, right now I’m pretty ticked off. | This week, in the Assembly Higher Education Committee, two bills came up for a vote. Assemblyman Maddox had a bill (AB 307) to help our young men and women serving in the National Guard qualify for Cal Grants, a scholarship granted by the state to those Californians who need financial help to attend college in this state. The other bill was introduced by Assemblyman Calderon (AB 153) that gave that same opportunity to qualify for Cal Grants to those who have entered our country illegally. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

ELECTIONEERING
From LA Times

Bush's One-Two Punch for a California Win
by Bill Whalen 4/30/03 | President Bush hasn't "gone Hollywood." But in movie parlance, his visit this week to the Golden State is a preview of coming attractions — in this case, a $200-million blockbuster called "Four More Years."
| The president's sixth visit to California has him spending Thursday night in San Diego bunking aboard an aircraft carrier before heading north to Silicon Valley, where, presumably, he'll discuss his proposed tax cut. | Get used to this one-two punch between now and November 2004: war and the economy. The common denominator is security — economic security, security from threats abroad. | It's an easy message to repeat often, as the president has done in the last few days in Ohio and Michigan — states considered to be "in play" in 2004. And it might be this Republican president's ticket to making inroads into California. Although many consider the state beyond his reach — Democrats have won every presidential election here since '92 — the White House has clearly decided it's winnable. After all, between 1952 and 1988, Republicans won every presidential election in California with the exception of Lyndon Johnson's landslide in '64. Further, from 2001 to 2003 the Democrats' voter registration edge over Republicans has dropped from 10.8% to 9.2%, with a rise in third parties. | Add this state's 55 electoral votes to the Republican column and George W. Bush can safely talk about a third kind of security: his own job security. [more at LA Times]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Sacramento Bee

As Budget Crisis Worsens, State's Politicians Finally Get Serious
by Dan Walters 4/30/03
| California's monumental budget crisis has been languishing for months, with Capitol politicians seemingly too stunned by its political and financial dimensions to make the tough spending and tax decisions required to resolve it. | But this week, with state revenues continuing to plummet and the crisis growing worse by the minute, there were signs that politicians were getting serious about it. | Democratic and Republican leaders in the Assembly moved toward agreement on a substantial down payment on the yawning deficit -- which has been pegged as high as $34.6 billion -- by borrowing money to pay state pension obligations and reducing 2003-04 spending by several billion dollars. | The emerging deal reflected a more comprehensive scheme floated by Assembly Republicans that they said could solve the state's budget headache by substituting massive borrowing for the massive new taxes that Democrats are seeking. Republicans would issue bonds to cover the state's accumulated shortfall -- so far about $10 billion -- while slashing future spending to repay the loans and bring the budget into balance. "We will not compromise on taxes," Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, declared as the GOP package was unveiled. [more at Sacramento Bee]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From SF Chronicle

A Fountain of Trouble
by the Editors 4/30/03
| Leave it to San Francisco to try to dig out of a social quagmire through architectural engineering. | The latest municipal experiment involves a proposed plan to redesign the U. N. Plaza along Market Street because the site has become a central gathering spot for drug addicts, drunks and homeless people. City planners suggest the plaza's open design is to blame for the unpleasant assemblies and want to make the area more pedestrian-friendly -- with some community members calling for the removal of the plaza's central fountain. | Did it every occur to the great urban designers at City Hall that the reason walkers don't want to enter the plaza is because it's overrun with drug addicts? [more at SF Chronicle]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From OC Register

The Goal: Schools as Union Halls
Teachers press Legislature for law to allow political advocacy on campus
by Lance T. Izumi 4/30/03
| The public schools are supposed to be about reading, writing and arithmetic. Before long, however, schools could become places for politicking, campaigning and lobbying. A bill is speedily making its way through the state Legislature that would do exactly that by changing what is permissible on school campuses.
| Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, is the listed author of AB 503, which is sponsored by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT). It would allow teacher unions and other school employee unions to use public schools for political campaigning directed at faculty members and other school employees. | Currently, Section 7054 of the state Education Code makes it a crime to use school funds, services, supplies or equipment to urge the support or defeat of any candidate or ballot measure. In 2001, the state Public Employment Relations Board ruled that school policy that prohibits the use of its employee mail system and other equipment for political purposes "falls squarely within, and is in fact mandated by, the plain words of Section 7054." | It isn't hard to see why such political proselytizing is disallowed at schools. [more at OC Register]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From Berkeley’s California Patriot

California Republicans 'shock and awe' Berkeley
Stars and stripes fly over People's Park
by Steve Sexton 4/27/03 [posted 4/30/03]
| On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the People’s Park riots, a new generation of activists took over the hotly contested plot of land, yesterday. The slumbering homeless who call the park home were awakened from their midday naps by a crowd of flag waving, U-S-A-chanting Republicans in town for the first Berkeley-hosted California College Republicans Convention. | The more than two-hundred republican college students from across the state marched down Telegraph Avenue, on the sidewalks mind you, hoisting dozens of American flags and pro-America signs in the air. Marching past a few dissenters and many more passersby, standing still in stunned disbelief, they reached the spot in Berkeley considered to be as much a symbol of liberal 1970s activism as Sproul Plaza where they rallied before spontaneously taking to the streets. The parade of Republicans, which included the immediate past chairman of the state party, Shawn Steel, and other dignitaries, shouted the virtues of freedom and democracy on streets that hadn’t seen such a conservative presence since Gov. Ronald Reagan sent in the National Guard to quash the 1969 park riots, which left one killed and a dozen injured. | At People’s Park, the Republicans encountered some resistance from locals, but were undeterred as they sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” There was aggressive shouting between the two sides but no physical violence and no arrests, setting the rally apart from liberal Bay Area protests of late. | “I never thought I would live to see this day,” said Steel, who rallied the crowd on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza before the impromptu march began. I can’t believe we’re doing this in Berkeley. [more at California Patriot]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From LA Daily News

Unfounded Optimism
Bad assumptions and poor priorities dog Hahn's budget
by the Editors 4/29/03
| Who knew that Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn was such an optimist?
| According to Hahn's proposed city budget, everything in L.A. is coming up roses. | The economy? | It will take off, and soon, sending the stock market back to stratospheric heights! | The California Legislature? | After years of incompetence and inaction, Sacramento will quickly fix the state's busted and revenue-draining workers' compensation program. | The state will also deliver ample local funding, despite a $35 billion budget deficit. Likewise for Washington, which, according to Hahn, can be counted on to pour big bucks into L.A. | Take those rosy assumptions, along with some cuts in public services and hikes in the "fees" Angelenos, mainly homeowners, pay to City Hall, and -- presto! -- balanced budgets for years to come! [more at LA Daily News]

ELETIONEERING
From The Remedy

Time for California Republicans to Exercise Partisanship
by Thomas Krannawitter 4/29/03
| Perhaps the most destructive legacy of Progressivism (the political movement and body of political thought that is the foundation of modern liberalism) is the political idea that politics itself is bad. | The early Progressives talked incessantly about "building a national state," one that would usher America into the future — much the way that latter day Progressive, Bill Clinton, talked incessantly about building a bridge to the 21st Century. But Progressives understood that if "the state" was to be a rational state, one that doled out social justice fairly according to the Progressive dictates of the day, it could not be subject to the authority or control of ordinary citizens. Citizens, after all, do not understand the historical and progressive nature of "the state." If one believes in the Progressive doctrine that the purpose of government is to provide a vehicle for moving the American people into the future, then the state should be controlled and directed by scientifically and historically trained experts, or bureacrats, and not partisan, and therefore corrupt, politicians or the partisan and corrupt citizens they represent. | From the Progressive point of view, parties are not very important, because they are, by definition, "partisan" and divisive. Only professional, non-partisan bureaucrats can unite the American people and lead them happily into the unknown (except to the bureaucratic experts) future. Thus at the heart of the modern liberal experiment is the drive to minimize if not abolish altogether political parties. [more at Claremont Institute]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Sacramento Bee

Blue Shield Puts a Price Tag on Universal Health Care
by Daniel Weintraub 4/29/03 | Nobody likes to put a price tag on their dreams. | So it was impressive last week when Blue Shield of California, the giant health insurer, released a study suggesting how much it might cost to provide coverage for every California resident who lacks it today. | The damage: $8 billion. | That's a huge number in the scale of things at the Capitol. It amounts to about 10 percent of the state's general fund budget. And it looks even larger at a time when lawmakers and the governor are already at each other's throats over a $30 billion budget shortfall. | But the number, derived for Blue Shield by Emory University health policy professor Kenneth Thorpe, provides a useful starting point for a debate about the potential costs and benefits of providing universal coverage in California. [more at Sacramento Bee]

RECALL FOLLIES
From OC Register

Riding to Rescue of Recall? Maybe
Issa must win over those who loathe Davis but don't want to remove him
by DOUG GAMBLE 4/29/03
| To paraphrase an old joke, an empty car pulled up to the state Capitol and Gray Davis got out. | Seldom in California's history has there been such a leadership vacuum at the top in Sacramento, as reflected in a recent poll showing that only 24 percent of registered voters approve of the way the governor is doing his job. It's the most dismal rating for a California chief executive in the 55 years the Field Poll has been measuring performance in office. | Once mentioned as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, Davis' political future would appear to be as non-existent as his warmth. One has to wonder if his re-election last year was more a curse than a blessing for him, since all it does is provide another four years in which to suffer further ridicule as he presides over a monster budget deficit with its resultant higher taxes, reduced services and public anger. | If he's around for four years, that is. Although the campaign to recall Davis and force a special election to replace him has lacked a credible high-profile backer, the cavalry may have arrived in the form of Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, a multimillionaire businessman from Vista. Surprising many who thought he was targeting Barbara Boxer's Senate seat, Issa says he's interested in the governor's job and will commit himself to the recall effort. [more at OC Register]

From LA Times
'Hello ... Your Son Has Been Shot'
It was the dreaded call that has become all too common in the black community.
by Madison Shockley 4/29/03
| It is the call every parent dreads. "Your son has been shot." Well, maybe not every parent. But many black parents of teenage boys think about it every day. My call came last week. | Five boys were in the car at a stop sign at Western Avenue and 39th Place near Chesterfield Square in southwest Los Angeles. The driver noticed a car behind them with two other young men in it. Without so much as an exchange of words, not even a honk of the horn, 16 shots riddled the car. Three of the boys were hit, one through the shoulder, one grazed across the back and my son shot through the arm. | None of the injuries were life-threatening. But the incident certainly was. The driver's hat has a hole in it, but it was a size too big and his head was not hit. My son sat up after the shooting stopped and saw a bullet hole in the windshield where his head would have been if he hadn't had the "ghetto good sense" to duck when the shots rang out. |"To live and die in L.A., it's the place to be," said Tupac Shakur. "You've got to be there to know it, what everybody wanna see." | Isn't it just another day in the 'hood when we hear about another black boy shot? To be shot at, to be shot, to be killed are the only chambers in this urban version of Russian roulette. [more at LA Times]

ELECTIONEERING
From Washington Times

Pelosi Acts as Pivot for GOP Campaign
by Charles Hurt 4/28/03 | Republicans have begun their campaign to link House Democrats representing conservative districts to the liberal wing of their party and in particular Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. | Citing Mrs. Pelosi's support for national gun-control laws, needle-exchange programs, abortion and same-sex "marriage," the National Republican Congressional Committee issued news releases after several Blue Dog Democrats accepted contributions from Mrs. Pelosi's political action committee, PAC to the Future. | One such release went to newspapers around the conservative Louisiana district of Rep. Rodney Alexander, who won the closest House race of any Democrat in 2002. |"Pelosi's investment in Alexander comes even as the Minority Leader is taking dramatic steps to move her party even further to the left," the release says. "And sooner or later she will be asking for a return on her investment." [more at Washington Times]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From OC Register

CARB Learns ... A Little
by The Editors 4/28/03 | The California Air Resources Board has adopted a new rule on low-emission vehicles that moves it a step or two closer to reality. But the very fact that it decided it just had to have a rule that mandates certain outcomes suggests that it hasn't learned the most important lesson from its previous mistakes - that government mandates are not the most efficient way to promote new technology. | Indeed, government mandates and efforts to pick technology winners have an almost unbroken track record of failure. [more at OC Register]

JURISIMPRUDENCE
From OC Register

Businesses Belong in Marketplace of Ideas
by The Editors 4/28/03 | It's no surprise that liberal activists who want to stop corporate practices they don't like are in the forefront of an effort to shut down the First Amendment rights of their political foes. Still, it was surprising to observers across the political spectrum that the California Supreme Court was willing to go along with such free-speech restrictions. | Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court last week began to review an appeal of the California ruling made in May 2002. By a 4-3 vote, the California court had ruled that the Nike shoe company could be sued by a consumer activist for political arguments it made in opinion pieces, press releases and other avenues in defense of its work-place policies in Third World countries. [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From LA Daily News

Sick Pay
Costs of California's workers' comp program cripple business, public services
by the Editors 4/27/03
| California's workers' compensation can be described as the worst of all possible worlds: | We have the highest premiums and some of the lowest benefits. | It's a system rife with fraud and abuse, one that rewards lawyers, bureaucrats and unscrupulous medical personnel, while driving businesses and local governments into poverty. | And it doesn't even do a good job of helping genuinely injured workers. | Put the state Legislature's inability to reform this long-busted system alongside energy deregulation and the budget crisis in the museum of all-time great government failures. | Employers in California pay workers' compensation insurance premiums that are, on average, 221 percent higher than in Arizona and 154 percent higher than in Oregon. Premiums climbed by an astonishing 20 percent to 40 percent for many in the past year. | That helps to explain why so many businesses are looking to leave California, while others never come here. [more at LA Daily News]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Sacramento Bee

As They Face Huge Budget Deficit, Liberals Switch Tactics
by Dan Walters 4/27/03 | Although California Democrats experienced slight losses to Republicans in last year's legislative elections, in the turnover of seats forced by term limits, liberals made major gains and achieved dominance in the Capitol. | There's little doubt that if they had their way, the ascendant liberals would create in California something akin to the Scandinavian-style social welfare state with universal access to income support, health care, higher education and other benefits. Many have said as much. | Actually achieving Scandinavian-level services here would expand government, and the taxes to pay for it, by quantum amounts. Governmental spending in Scandinavia typically runs about 50 percent of gross national product. Norway, for example, with a population that's only 12 percent of California's and an economy that's less than 10 percent as large, has a national budget that rivals California's. Were California to emulate Scandinavia, state spending would have to increase from around $75 billion a year ($200 billion counting special funds and federal aid) to some $750 billion. [more at Sacramento Bee]

ELECTIONEERING
From Sacramento Bee

Is California Ready for a Re-Pete Next Year?
Wilson: He wouldn't be first pol to run against his record
By Tony Quinn 4/27/03
| He's tanned, rested and ready, a well known Republican who's already won top offices in California four times, twice as U.S. senator and twice as governor, and seems interested in running again next year for senator. The perfect candidate to take on Sen. Barbara Boxer? There's only one problem; his name is Pete Wilson. | As Republicans ponder their way out of the shutouts of the past several election cycles, former Gov. Pete Wilson has emerged as a candidate who might bring back their glory days. Is a trip down memory lane the yellow brick road for out-of-office, out-of-power California Republicans? | Strange as it seems, a Pete Wilson candidacy might be just what the doctor ordered for the life-support of the California GOP. Wilson would bring unique strengths to a campaign against Boxer, and his negatives -- legion as they are -- could be turned into positives with a sophisticated approach. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From Sacramento Bee

A Roadmap to a Balanced Budget for This State
by Daniel Weintraub 4/27/03 | Despite signs of movement in the past week, the Capitol remains in serious denial over California's abysmal fiscal condition. Democrats are hoping to avoid deep cuts in government spending, while Republicans profess that the budget can be balanced without new taxes. In a state now on track to spend $20 billion more than it's taking in next year, both sides are dreaming. | So I am here to help. | Free of charge, I hereby offer this roadmap to a solution. Parts of it are ugly. Some of it I don't necessarily support but have included in recognition of the inevitable. Yet it leads to a place that, apparently, no member of either the Democratic or Republican caucuses in the Capitol can go alone: the middle ground. | The good news is that the two parties are not as far apart as they think they are. When you take the most Republican-friendly ideas proposed by Democrats and combine them with Democrat-friendly measures floated by Republicans, the vague outlines of a compromise begin to take shape. [more at Sacramento Bee]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE
From LA Daily News
Cuba Libre
County supes take in Havana on special interests' dime
by The Editors 4/26/03
| Sure, Cuba might be the home to rampant human-rights abuses and a recent crackdown on political dissent, but it's still a great place to visit. | At least if you're a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, it is. | Four of the five supervisors have been to Fidel Castro's island paradise since December, taking in the beautiful weather and the fine cigars -- a welcome respite from the county's endless financial crises. | Don Knabe and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke paid their visits last week. Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina both went in the few months prior. The only supervisor who hasn't yet boarded a plane to Havana is Michael D. Antonovich. No one's invited him. [more at LA Daily News]

FABULOUS BUDGET
From SD Union Tribune

California Drowning
Initiative is gimmick to avoid tough decisions
by The Editors 4/26/03
| California's budget crisis demands a definitive resolution – not a statutory distraction that allows lawmakers to delay a long overdue fiscal reckoning. That is why we object to the timing of a proposed ballot initiative that could let the Legislature off the hook. | The "Budget Accountability Act," crafted by a coalition of public-interest groups and labor unions, would lower the two-thirds legislative threshold for passing a budget to 55 percent. It would reduce the lawmakers' pay if they failed to pass a budget on time. And it would give voters access to votes by lawmakers and create a budget reserve. [more at SD Union Tribune]


Front Page Index
The Week: 4/19/03 – 4/25/03

A Bad Attitude Hostility to Private Enterprise Impedes California’s Economic Recovery - by Carol Liebau | Call It Must-'Fee' TV The All Tax Increase Channel, a.k.a. the Legislature, is now on the air 24/7 - by Jon Coupal | Undermining Prop. 13 Bit by bit, government agencies are undoing taxpayer safeguard - LA Daily News | Structural Reform Needed To End The Cycle - SD Union Tribune | Doubled Bottle Deposits Might Help Balance Budget - by Daniel Weintraub | Unmoored - by The Prowler | High-Poverty But High-Performing Schools offer proof that minority students from poor families can thrive - by William E. Simon Jr. and Lance T. Izumi | Tax Reform - SD Union Tribune | Myopic Oversight Millions of dollars have been wasted in the LAUSD's crash school building program - LA Daily News | Sexcapades the Business of the Day in Sacramento - by Thomas Krannawitter | The Stark Facts - by James R. Harrigan 4/22/03 | Peter’s Sympathy for Hollywood Hypocrites ABC Covers Anti-War Actors By Playing Up Their “Punishment,” Not Their Errors or Radicalism - by Tim Graham 4/22/03 | Tim Robbins Doesn't Get It - by Joseph Perkins 4/22/03 | A Faculty for Misstatement Three who back Iraq liberation decry their UCLA senate's antiwar statement. - by Kenneth N. Klee, Daniel Lowenstein and Grant Nelson 4/22/03 | Muddled State Lawmakers need to step beyond their ideologies and show real leadership in California - Sacramento Bee | Going Outside the Box U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin is getting a close look as a moderate Latina answer to Sen. Barbara Boxer in '04 by David Whitney | Castro's Casting Couch In Hollywood's love affair with Fidel who is using whom? - by Damien Cave | Cut charter schools? Hardly They deliver better results with less funding, so put away that budget ax - by Dr. Alan Bonsteel | Governor Davis: Smarter than He Looks! I'm sorry, I thought he was destroying the state through mere incompetence by Assemblyman Ray Haynes | Just Another Face in the Crowd Barbara Boxer and the Perils of Internationalist Group-Think - by Carol Liebau
[go to Front Page Archive Index]


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And some
Lingering Observations

INSIDE CRO
A Bad Attitude
Hostility to Private Enterprise Impedes California’s Economic Recovery
by Carol Liebau 4/25/03 | Even Hans Blix and his gang of merry inspectors wouldn’t have any trouble finding evidence that California’s economy is in a mess. The signs are everywhere. Last year’s budget deficit – $23 billion – was staggering, especially given that the combined deficit nationwide of all state governments totaled $40 billion. And this year, of course, California’s projected budget deficit is set at $35 billion. | The reasons are many, including the impact of a slow national economy and the bursting of the tech bubble. But occasionally, the simple act of reading the newspaper can shed light on more than just the events of the day. Take two headlines from last week. Up north, in The Sacramento Bee, the headline read, “Capitol staffers get pay raises”; down south, a San Diego Union-Tribune piece was titled “Plan would push exec pay reform.” [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

From The Remedy
Sexcapades the Business of the Day in Sacramento
by Thomas Krannawitter 4/22/03 | With a state debt now in the tens of billions of dollars, with a Democratic governor whose unpopularity has soared to record levels and who may soon be recalled from office, with a host of domestic problems such as embarassing schools, unaffordable housing, and businesses fleeing to other less-regulated, less-taxed states, what is occupying the minds of Democratic California legislators today? Making sure that men who want to dress like women and other perverts cannot be fired from their jobs!
| As reported in today's Los Angeles Times, the California Assembly passed a bill that authorizes the state to fine an employer up to $150,000 for "discriminating against people who have changed their gender or whose gender is not exclusively male or female." So if you own a children's bookstore, and some male employee decides he needs to wear girls' clothes to express himself, you either allow him, or pony up big bucks to the state. | As reported in another story, when California Democrats are not busy endorsing license through legislation, they hold parties to celebrate people who get their private parts medically altered. On March 24 the California State Assembly hosted their annual Woman of the Year ceremony, where they named Theresa Sparks "Woman of the Year." The funny thing is, Ms. Sparks was not always a Ms., being the first transgender woman to receive the award. | Being a midwesterner most of my life, I find this odd, to say the least, as do probably most people. I guess this is why the rest of the nation laughs at California as the land of fruits and nuts. [more at Claremont’s The Remedy]

From Claremont Institute
The Stark Facts
by James R. Harrigan 4/22/03
| For years abortion advocates have presented themselves as "pro-choice," trying to distance themselves from the stigma of supporting the killing of unborn children. NARAL Pro-Choice America—formerly called National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League—parrots this position in its literature, stating, "Pro-choice means respecting and supporting the right of every woman to make personal choices regarding pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion. It is not which choice she makes, but rather that she is free to make the choice that is right for her." But the endless refrain of "pro-choice, not pro-abortion" cannot hide the real agenda of abortion activists. | When the bodies of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Connor washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay late last week, the defenders of women's rights did not see two murders that cried out for justice. They saw one murder and one problem. The initial comments of the pro-abortion lobby prove that they are indeed pro-abortion, and not pro-choice as they universally claim. [more at Claremont Institute]

INSIDE CRO
Governor Davis: Smarter than He Looks!

I'm sorry, I thought he was destroying the state through mere incompetence.

by Assemblyman Ray Haynes 4/19/03
| It appears I owe Governor Gray Davis an apology. Over the last four years I’ve been accusing him of recklessly destroying our budget, our business climate and our power system with no strategy or concern for long term costs. A recent report from the California Independent System Operators (Cal-ISO, our state’s incredibly effective energy managers) has now led to me to believe that I haven’t been giving our governor enough credit—he’s smarter than he looks! | In our state budget, we’ve gone from a $12 billion surplus to a $36 billion deficit in four short years. The system of tax and fee increases and some of the budget cuts the Governor has proposed seem designed to deliver the coup de grace to our ailing economy, almost like he’s putting it out of it’s misery. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

INSIDE CRO
Just Another Face in the Crowd

Barbara Boxer and the Perils of Internationalist Group-Think
by Carol Liebau 4/18/03 |
One of the first lessons my father ever taught me was based on the classic “The Oxbow Incident,” a tale illustrating the tragedy that can result from mindless mob rule. The moral of the story, according to my father, was “Always think for yourself – never go with the crowd.” | It’s a lesson that stuck – which is why Senator Barbara Boxer’s decision repeatedly to criticize the President for being willing to “virtually go it alone” in Iraq seems inherently mindless. Of course, Boxer is a knee-jerk liberal, and her jibe fits neatly into the left’s current obsession about the opinions of France, Germany, Russia and “the world” more generally (conveniently defined to exclude our extensive “coalition of the willing”). But the reasoning of so-called “internationalists” like Boxer has been bewildering for a while – apparently, for them, it’s perfectly legitimate for our troops to die to prevent Saddam Hussein from obtaining weapons of mass destruction he might use against the United States . . . but only if France (or Cameroon, or Guinea, or Syria) says so. | Never one to “go it alone” herself on behalf of any unpopular principle, Barbara Boxer has been a prominent member of the chorus of liberal naysayers. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

 


AND ELSEWHERE...

Kuehl-Care is wrong Rx for Californians
Sally C. Pipes
Pacific Research Institute

Boycott Jim Hahn's L.A.
by Arnold Steinberg
The Washington Times

Feds Shouldn't Bail Out State
Aid from D.C. would only prompt lawmakers to overspend even more
by Richard Vedder
OC Register

 

Why Hollywood Hates Conservatives III
by Steve Feinberg
more at FrontPage Magazine

Saving Democracy in California
by Ken Masugi
Claremont.org

A Boy Catches a Terroist Gang
SLA brought to justice
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Eight Ways To Solve The Budget Crisis
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Why Simon Lost
From the beginning, and in the end.
By Arnold Steinberg National Review

The Authoritative Guide to Why Bill Simon Lost
What Really Happened in California
By Arnold Steinberg Human Events

Simon Should Have Won
The state GOP has lost track of its responsibility to voters, letting extraneous concerns crowd out attending to political basics.
by John Kurzweil
California Political Review



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