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OC Register Deficit Index
$64.3 million: The amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance budget.
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CRO Monday Column
from Carol Platt Liebau
[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
A Different Kind of “Blonde Ambition”
The Unique Appeal of “Legally Blonde”’s California Heroine


a weblog
davisrecall.com | current tally
1,102,430 out of 898,157 petitions

60 days to go

[go to the Recall Follies weblog]

  • Goldberg: Too bad voters...
  • Eli Broad: Mr. Bush, make them stop...
  • Stewart: Clueless GOP could blow it...


a weblog of
contributor commentary

7/4/03
[Nicholas X. Winter] 10:15 am
Bear Flag League:
CRO Blog is a member of a blogging community of conservative California bloggers which has offically launched today, the 153rd anniversary of California's admission to the Union. Here is a list of the founding members. The official announcement was posted this morning at CalBlog.
[Nicholas X. Winter] 7:22 am
More Budget Wounds - Unemployment Insurance:
The state's unemployment insurance fund is going under. Businesses are going to get whacked to contribute more - to the tune of 51% more - reports the Bee [The unemployment insurance fund currently stands at $2.9 billion and is "going fast," said Employment Development Department spokeswoman Suzanne Schroeder. Even with the massive rate hike, the fund will be exhausted by early next year, according to a forecast released late Thursday.] Swell. You know, some cruel person might suggest that the "generosity" of Progressive policies always leads to the same place.

7/3/03
[Streetsweeper] 7:08 am

The Sky is Falling:
Progressives swooned with the release of the Republican budget plan which is supposed to going to get debate action on Sunday - so says the Bee. It's that nasty spending cuts thing that has Progressives so upset. [In fact, the cuts proposed by Assembly Republicans would only trim year-to-year spending by 4 percent, said Assemblyman John Campbell, R-Irvine, vice chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. "In the greatest fiscal crisis this or any other state has faced, is a 4 percent cut unreasonable, is that draconian, is that something that will cause disaster?" he asked. "We don't think so."] Hmm. Neither do we, John.

more at CRO Blog


being Tom McClintock

21/25/40

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
go to Shadow Governor

Sign Up for McClintock's
STOP THE CAR TAX
INITIATIVES

Celebrate Independence: explore the Declaration at Founding.com

California Exports: Film & Life
Machines Vs. Man

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
[Ken Masugi] 7/4/03 | If nothing else, "Terminator 3" is worth seeing for the pleasure in imagining how Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would terminate the budget crisis in Sacramento. Unfortunately, he is scarcely a principled conservative and is surrounded by former Governor and Senator Pete Wilson's political operatives. The recall raises enough problems, as my Claremont Institute colleague Glenn Ellmers notes in the current Weekly Standard. But there are other reasons to see this movie. |
Despite the violence and sex, the first "Terminator" played off Christian themes: A man comes from outside of time to save the human race, to lead its fight against machines, who have come to imitate men. But to be truly human is to be something other than a machine, a mere mechanical artifact. To save what is distinctly human, the future men must use technology to reassure the continuity of history and give humanity a chance to win. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Capitol Report
A 4% Solution

We propose no new taxes
[John Campbell] 7/04/03 | Budget: This week, Assembly Republicans introduced an updated version of our budget proposal that we first made about 2 months ago. The salient point of our proposal is that it contains absolutely no new taxes including the illegally raised car tax. You will no doubt hear from Democrats how our proposal will result in "people dying" and "the end of life in California as we know it." | But let's analyze that. Our proposal cuts state spending by a whopping 4% from last year. 4%!! So, spending 96% of what we did last year will result in death and destruction, according to the opposition. Is there anyone who really believes that? Is there anyone who thinks that the worst fiscal crisis in the history of this or any state shouldn't result in a spending reduction of at least 4%. Does anyone think that there isn't at least 4% waste in government? Some of you probably think we should be cutting more. And you are right. But we are trying to offer a compromise to which some Democrats who have not completely lost their minds can subscribe. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Recall Follies
Caught In The Trawler
[Streetsweeper] 7/3/03 | Found this in the trawler net today and thought we'd drag it to the surface. From American Spectator's Prowler - - Gray Areas Across the country, Gov. Gray Davis's opposition research team -- the one that worked overtime during the last election to dig up dirt on former Los Angeles mayor Dick Riordan and opponent Bill Simon -- is at it again. Davis is said by one state Democratic insider to have budgeted more than $100,000 to dig up dirt on Rep. Darrel Issa, the multimillionaire who is helping to finance the recall effort against Davis, and who says he will run for the governor's job if the recall drive succeeds. Davis has also sent his minions forth to begin digging up dirt on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. | Davis has been using his favorite news outfit to spread his dirt on Issa. Both negative reports about Issa's distant past -- that he and his brother were suspected of filing a false car theft report more than 20 years ago and that Issa faced gun charges more than 30 years ago -- appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. "They just handed everything over to them," says the state Democratic Party operative. "That's how it works. I doubt the paper even had to do any of its own reporting. Davis's people are pretty thorough." [more at American Spectator]

Recall Follies
Another Hurdle For Recallers
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/2/03 | It's been clear for a while that timing may be everything with regard to the vote on whether to recall California Governor Gray Davis. Should the signatures on the recall petitions be approved by the end of July, the issue would be addressed through a vote this fall. But should the signatures be approved later, the recall election would be held in conjunction with the spring primaries. | Obviously, Davis' proponents are hoping for the latter. Given the existence of a presidential primary this spring, Democratic turnout -- more likely to favor the governor -- would be greater in March. And so, recall proponents are charging, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley is delaying the process of verifying signatures, in an effort to ensure that certification of the recall becomes official only after the deadline for an autumn election has passed. | Recall proponents are trapped -- if they litigate, they end up with a protracted court battle that could delay the vote anyway. And that will play into the Democratic strategy of combining the recall campaign with the divisive effort they will undoubtedly coordinate to defeat Ward Connerly's Racial Privacy Initiative in the spring. | It's looking like a very hot summer.

Fabulous Budget
The Blame Game
[Streetsweeper] 7/1/03 | The budget vote fails again. And again. And again. And Republican's are going to get their plan to a vote in the Assembly on Wednesday - just two days late. But in today's LA Times resides a simple observation from Russell Korobkin, professor of law at UCLA. "With a majority in both houses and a Democratic governor, the Democrats, unlike the Republicans, can pass a budget without a single vote from the other party — as long as it does not raise taxes, which requires a two-thirds supermajority." | What? Huh? From the way the media spin unspools most people believe that there is no budget because Republican's are stalling. I guarantee you that if people of this state fully understood that simple statement by Korobkin they’d fly into a rage at their ruling party. In all of the shouting we've forgotten it's all in the Democrats' hands.

The CRO Monday Column
A Different Kind of “Blonde Ambition”

The Unique Appeal of “Legally Blonde”’s California Heroine
[Carol Platt Liebau] 6/30/03 | Every day, more and more, California feels like a state in crisis. It has a skyrocketing deficit, an inept governor, and a Democrat-dominated legislature, which is -- to put it charitably – manifestly incapable either of understanding or implementing the kind of policies that keep a state economy strong and vibrant. | But, notwithstanding all these problems, California remains the cultural crossroads of the United States (as noted by syndicated radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in his book “In, But Not Of”). Happily, this preeminence is one thing that even our floundering state government can’t take away (at least until they tax the film industry so prohibitively that all production moves to Canada). | This week, with the premiere of Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Hollywood offers a movie featuring a heroine hailing from California – Elle Woods. The film is the sequel to 2001’s Legally Blonde, about a Southern California sorority girl who enrolls in Harvard Law School as a stratagem to win back the college boyfriend who has unceremoniously dumped her before graduation – and her ultimate triumph in unique style over the assorted personal and professional obstacles strewn in her path. | Having had the opportunity to serve as a script consultant on the film has led to something resembling celebrity (well, maybe “C-list” celebrity) status among friends’ “tween” daughters. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Fabulous Budget
Pull My Trigger. . .
An unaccountable, self-triggering tax that only a liberal could love
[Ray Haynes] 6/28/03 |
There has been much discussion, wailing and gnashing of teeth in California in recent months as taxpayers learn about the decision to triple our car tax. Every bit as maddening as the increase itself (a $20,000 vehicle’s tax will roughly go from $150 to $450) is the sneaky, underhanded way that the majority party is doing it. | Back in February, Speaker Herb Wesson was willing to do it the semi-honest way. While they claimed they only needed a simple majority to triple the tax, instead of the 2/3 vote the state constitution requires, they did require most of their members to put their votes on the line and tried to force the Governor to take a position on the issue. Governor Doubletalk was too tricky to fall for that, though. He publicly proclaimed that the bill was unnecessary and that he would not sign it. A victory for taxpayers? Not quite. He simultaneously sent a letter to the Speaker telling him that the alchemists in his legal office had cooked up a scheme to increase the car tax without anyone being held responsible for it. | The “trigger” was born. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Fabulous Budget
A Budget Stalled

Going nowhere fast
[John Campbell] 6/28/03 | As we approach the June 30th deadline for enacting a state budget, here are some of the activities that have been going on this week. As you will see, this activity is akin to that of a running car engine not connected to any wheels -- it makes lots of noise and throws out power, but it's not going anywhere. | The State Senate twice this week took up the Democrat Senators' budget which raises taxes, increases spending and debt. Both times all Democrats present voted for the bill and no Republicans voted for it. When will they get it that Republicans will not allow a terrible budget like that to pass. | The Assembly Democrats ran around the state this week in what we are calling the Democrats "Tax and Spend Tour 2003" trying to convince people in Orange County and other places to raise a cheer for more and more taxes. They were not well received. Duh.[more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Fabulous Budget
Pull My Trigger. . .
An unaccountable, self-triggering tax that only a liberal could love
[Ray Haynes] 6/28/03 |
There has been much discussion, wailing and gnashing of teeth in California in recent months as taxpayers learn about the decision to triple our car tax. Every bit as maddening as the increase itself (a $20,000 vehicle’s tax will roughly go from $150 to $450) is the sneaky, underhanded way that the majority party is doing it. | Back in February, Speaker Herb Wesson was willing to do it the semi-honest way. While they claimed they only needed a simple majority to triple the tax, instead of the 2/3 vote the state constitution requires, they did require most of their members to put their votes on the line and tried to force the Governor to take a position on the issue. Governor Doubletalk was too tricky to fall for that, though. He publicly proclaimed that the bill was unnecessary and that he would not sign it. A victory for taxpayers? Not quite. He simultaneously sent a letter to the Speaker telling him that the alchemists in his legal office had cooked up a scheme to increase the car tax without anyone being held responsible for it. | The “trigger” was born. [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

Fabulous Budget
A Budget Stalled

Going nowhere fast
[John Campbell] 6/28/03 | As we approach the June 30th deadline for enacting a state budget, here are some of the activities that have been going on this week. As you will see, this activity is akin to that of a running car engine not connected to any wheels -- it makes lots of noise and throws out power, but it's not going anywhere. | The State Senate twice this week took up the Democrat Senators' budget which raises taxes, increases spending and debt. Both times all Democrats present voted for the bill and no Republicans voted for it. When will they get it that Republicans will not allow a terrible budget like that to pass. | The Assembly Democrats ran around the state this week in what we are calling the Democrats "Tax and Spend Tour 2003" trying to convince people in Orange County and other places to raise a cheer for more and more taxes. They were not well received. Duh.[more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

 

findings in today's web trawler


RECALL FOLLIES/
From Town Hall
Voters Must Face Gray Consequences
[Jonah Goldberg] 7/4/03 | California must be punished! | No, this isn't fire and brimstone about how the sinful ways of Californians warrant a plague of locusts, frogs and hairless cats (that's a subject for a future column). Rather, it's my sincere belief that American democracy and republicanism will be severely damaged if Californians are allowed to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. | When former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was asked to run again during his successor's disastrous term in office, Koch replied, "No! The people threw me out, and now the people must be punished." Whether Koch knew it or not, he grasped one of the most fundamental principles of democracy and republicanism: Everyone should pay the price of mistakes made at the ballot box. | Californians stupidly elected Davis in 2002, but now they refuse to suffer the consequences. They want Davis gone for, among other reasons, they think he lied about how bad the deficit was -it's now $38 billion, more than all other state deficits combined. Davis' approval rating hovers around 21 percent. If things get much worse, he'll be able to list his supporters by name.
[more at Town Hall]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/From Sacramento Bee
Fireworks And Barbecues Aside, Holiday Celebrates Liberty
[Dan Walters] 7/4/03 |
While conservatives want to criminalize what they consider to be immoral, be it personal drug use or private sexual activity, liberals want to impose rigid regulatory controls on virtually every human activity -- except the ones they prefer -- and tax anything that moves. Conservatives don't like drugs or pornography, liberals don't like cigarettes or soda pop. Conservatives want to regulate adult sexual conduct, liberals want to tell us when we can talk on the telephone. Latter-day Cotton Mathers fill the legislative coffers with their nostrums. | A pithy example involves Jackie Goldberg, one of the Assembly's most liberal members. Goldberg has two very high-profile bits of legislation this year, one that would expand the rights of homosexual "domestic partners" to near-marriage status and another that would prohibit public school athletic teams from using Indian names. Thus, Goldberg the sexual liberator is also Goldberg the official censor. [more at Sacramento Bee]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From SD Union Tribune
A Faulty Decision
Interior teams with MWD to thwart water deal
[the Editors] 7/4/03 | A decision yesterday by Interior Secretary Gale Norton may touch off a massive legal battle that will roil the state for years and kill the critical water deal between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District. | Earlier this year, the Interior Department, after a series of meetings with the MWD on how to take the Imperial district's water, ordered a cut in Imperial's supply on the grounds that Imperial was wasting water. Imperial then sued Interior, with the MWD joining Interior as co-defendant. A federal judge ordered Imperial's water reinstated, but also called on Interior to determine whether Imperial was indeed wasting water. After a brief study, the Interior Department announced yesterday that Imperial was wasting about the same amount the agency had cut earlier this year. [more at SD Union Tribune]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From OC Register
Taking A Tax To Court
[the Editors] 7/3/03 | Now that the state's new fiscal year has come and gone without a new budget, many media pundits have chastised California Republicans for not going along with Democratic plans to simply raise taxes and get on with business as usual. California's vital public "services" are threatened, residents are repeatedly told. | Some analysts are especially outraged that so many Republican legislators - 48 from both houses - have backed a lawsuit by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to repeal the tripling of the vehicle license fee - the car tax - triggered by the Davis administration. Yet the Republicans have grasped a point that even many Democrats will admit privately. If taxes are raised without a fight, the Democratic majority will continue to spend money on new government programs, and the state will be in a similar fix in a few more years. This is the time to fight for fiscal responsibility. [more at OC Register]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From OC Register
Crime By The Numbers
[the Editors] 7/3/03 | It's not as safe to live in California as it once was. The state's homicide rate jumped 7.9 percent in 2002, according to a report released Tuesday by the office of Attorney General Bill Lockyer. The report "showed increases in five of six major
categories of crime in 2002 over the year before," reported The San Francisco Chronicle. Only the aggravated assault category declined last year, by 4.8 percent. "Crime in California has been on the rise steadily since 1999, following eight straight years of declining crime rates," the newspaper reported. | We should be cautious in interpreting the numbers, Gilbert Geis, professor emeritus of criminology at the University of California, Irvine, told us: "Murder is the only solid index of what's going on." That's because other numbers can vary according to how willing people are to report the crimes, among other factors, but murder produces a corpse that can be reliably counted. [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From NY Post
California Wins
[Nicole Gelinas] 7/3/03 | NewYork state lawmakers who started their summer vacation feeling guilty about the tax-heavy budget they inflicted on voters last month may be comforting themselves with one thought: "Well, at least we're not as bad off as California." | But Californians may wind up with a better budget deal from Sacramento's embarrassingly public fiscal meltdown than the one New Yorkers got from Albany. Unlike the Empire State, the Golden State may emerge from its crisis with a sustainable spending blueprint that doesn't delay the pain until next year. | Taken out of context, the California news is shocking. The state began its fiscal year Tuesday with no budget, and is now operating on borrowed funds in the face of a $38 billion deficit built up over two years. It could run out of cash by late August if Democrats and Republicans can't make a deal. [more at NY Post]

MISEDUCATION/From Sacramento Bee
Teacher Union Fights To Hold Sacramento High Down
[Daniel Weintraub] 7/3/03 | Californians from all over the state ought to be watching the nasty fight playing out this summer in the Sacramento city schools. It shows what reform-minded administrators and a supportive community can do to try to turn around public education in low-income neighborhoods. It also demonstrates, unfortunately, how far the state teachers union will go to block such changes. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From LA Times
Sacramento's Bag of Tricks

[the Editors] 7/3/03 | State lawmakers are beginning to cook up gimmicks that pretend to solve the $38-billion budget shortfall without tax increases or devastating cuts. That's what they did last year, producing a $10.7-billion deficit that now has to be financed with borrowed money. If Gov. Gray Davis and the leaders of both parties do not face the shortfall head-on, California is doomed to years of red ink and a state government that can't adequately deliver basic services such as education and health care, much less the "luxuries" like state park maintenance and coastal protection. | Today is the state's third day with no budget. But debt keeps piling up to the tune of $29 million a day, if you go by last year's red-ink flow. [more at LA Times]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From NY Times
No Budging in California
[the Editors] 7/3/03 | The divided, posturing Democrats obviously deserve their share of the blame for this debacle. But Republicans cannot be absolutists about opposing taxation at this level of financial meltdown. Whatever rancor they have built up against the governor and the Democrats' liberal spending policies, they should not take it out on the public during an emergency. [more at NY Times]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From LA Daily News
Legislative Quitters
The state's leaders bail early on the budget
[the Editors] 7/2/03 | By the time 7 o'clock rolled around Monday evening in Sacramento, California's legislators were ready to call it quits, and so they did. | Quits on the budget. | Quits on the state's credit rating. | Quits on responsible leadership. | Quits on fulfilling the California Constitution's requirement that a budget be adopted by midnight on June 30. | Embarrassingly, the elected officials headed home five hours before the deadline -- a deadline they have shamefully missed 17 times in 25 years. [more at LA Daily News]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
Who's To Blame?
System failure leaves state without budget
[the Editors] 7/2/03 | It's July, and once again California doesn't have a state budget. To judge by our mail and calls, a lot of citizens are hopping mad about it. To all those who are angry, here's some advice: Hold onto that emotion for the election next March, when you'll actually have a chance to do something about it. [more at Sacramento Bee]

CAMPAIGNEERING/From SF Chronicle
GOP Works Hard In State
Bush trip shows efforts paying off
[Carla Marinucci] 7/2/03 | Duf Sundheim couldn't believe his luck when he arrived at the White House last March -- just days after being elected to head the battered, defeated, demoralized California Republican Party. | He was greeted by presidential political guru Karl Rove, who not only welcomed him with open arms -- but also "asked me what he could do to help."' | Sundheim didn't waste a second. "I had a wish list," he said. | So far, the wishes of Sundheim -- and other GOP top dogs in California -- have come true. [more at SF Chronicle]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
Car Tax arbitrary, Irrational; Reinstating It Makes Perfect Sense
[Dan Walters] 7/2/03 | Taxation is, almost by definition, an arbitrary and wholly political act. Politicians decide what's to be taxed and what's not and much of tax policy is, therefore, nonsensical -- such as the disparate sales tax treatment of hot and cold foods. | In that vein, it's irrational to levy property taxes on cars in the form of vehicular license fees -- treating them like land and houses -- while exempting other tools and pieces of personal property, such as computers or lawn mowers, or even other forms of wealth, such as shares of stock or jewelry. | That said, it's perfectly logical, and even morally correct, for California's vehicle license fee (VLF), which was slashed by two-thirds in a series of actions by the Legislature and two governors, to be fully reinstated now that the state is experiencing its worst-ever budget crisis. The history of the VLF tax cut explains why. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From OC Register
It Wasn't Deregulation That Failed
Opening energy markets to competition would work - if we ever tried it

[Andrew N. Kleit] 7/2/03 | In the wake of California's disastrous attempt at so-called "deregulation" of electricity markets, Gov. Gray Davis has proposed to the Legislature to re-regulate the state's electricity system completely. His proposal would send California back to the bad old days of direct state intervention and complex cost overruns. Instead, California should give real deregulation a chance - it has worked well in many other venues, and could work in the Golden State as well as long as it is done right. | To understand California's difficulties, one must understand the original motivation behind what was California's electricity crony-restructuring plan. Contrary to the impression laid out by some of the media, the plan was not about competition. Rather, it was about recouping very poor investments made by the state's investor-owned utilities. [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From OC Register
Register Needle Points
[the Editors] 7/2/03 | Irvine Mayor Larry Agran has made it clear where he stands on the California budget debacle. "There are going to have to be tax increases, and we need to stop the game-playing," he told The Buzz in Local News this week. No surprise for a left-wing Democrat who has pushed for higher taxes in his city. | But we find his following statement rather odd: "This is why Orange County has so little influence in Sacramento." | Actually, the only reason Republican-dominated Orange County has any influence at all in Democratic-controlled Sacramento is that all local GOP Assembly members and senators have held firm against tax increases. [more at OC Register]

RECALL FOLLIES/From National Review
Let Ah-nold be Ah-nold
What a Schwarzenegger might look like.
[Sheri Annis] 7/1/03 | On my first day as Arnold Schwarzenegger's press secretary, I realized this would be a campaign unlike any other. One reporter wanted a picture with Arnold. The cameramen wanted pictures and autographs. Newspaper staffers high-fived each other during editorial-board meetings. We could not get away from the hoopla that usually surrounds the Terminator because some of the journalists were behaving like fans. | During the course of Schwarzenegger's successful after-school program initiative in California last year, I saw journalists acting more like they were covering a rock star than a sponsor of a statewide proposition. [more at National Review]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
The Parties Are Not That Far Apart On The Budget
[Daniel Weintraub] 7/1/03 | Today is the start of the new fiscal year, and the conventional wisdom around the Capitol is that the Democrats and Republicans are so far apart that it will take weeks before the state gets a budget. I'm not so sure. | Former Assemblyman Phil Isenberg, in the midst of past budget stalemates, was fond of noting that the parties agreed on 95 percent or more of the budget. It was just those last few pieces that always held them up. | This observation is as true now as it was then. | In a $71 billion proposed general fund, less than $2 billion separates the Democrats and the Republicans in the state Senate. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
Budget's Underlying Politics Are Perfect Recipe For Long Impasse
[Dan Walters] 7/1/03 | Thus, we have not only the most immense state budget deficit in national history, but also an apparatus that, by its nature, may be incapable of coming to grips with it. Davis, with his 21 percent approval rating, lacks the credibility to bring public pressure to bear on the Legislature, even if he had a credible plan to sell, which he doesn't. And he lacks the personal standing inside the Capitol to knock heads. [more at Sacramento Bee]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From SD Union Tribune
Legislature Has Forgotten How To Pass A Budget
[the Editors] 7/1/03 | For the 13th time in the last 16 years, the state of California has failed to have a budget in place by the beginning of the fiscal year. | That's pathetic enough for a state that takes pride in its cutting-edge image, both culturally and politically. It's downright disgraceful to see California lurch toward bankruptcy because Democratic and Republican lawmakers are too busy waging political warfare to compromise on the spending cuts and tax increases required to resolve a $38 billion deficit. [more at SD Union Tribune]

FABULOUS BUDGET//From National Review
California’s Other Catastrophe

Workers’ comp in need of reform.
[Lawrence J. McQuillan & Andrew M. Gloger] 7/1/03 | Lost in the chatter about California's budget crisis, electricity crisis, water crisis, and now recall crisis, is the workers' compensation crisis. Yet it threatens to do more damage to the state's business climate than any other factor. And workers' comp will soon get worse. | California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has approved a 7.2 percent premium increase effective July 1. A state bureau believes that a 22-percent increase may eventually be needed to cover rising medical costs. This is terrible news for California employers who have already seen their workers' comp costs triple since 1997, prompting many firms, including 3Com, Countrywide Financial, and Fidelity, to seek greener pastures outside the state. Even more discouraging for employers is that top officials are not focusing on reforms that would provide the greatest relief. [more at National Review]

FABULOUS BUDGET/From OC Register
The Anti-Business Climate Heats Up
[the Editors] 7/1/03 | Even as California's state government lunges toward a fiscal meltdown, the Legislature's most liberal members are still calling for an ever-increasing amount of government spending and punitive anti-business policies that will cause more businesses to leave the state.| That doesn't bother high-ranking legislators such as Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Sylmar, who recently told a Sacramento weekly newspaper: "You can't blow off California. If a few companies want to go and rip off some other state, that's fine with me." [more at OC Register]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From OC Register
Voters' Stand On Race Beats Court's
Luckily, ruling in Michigan case doesn't compel state to change its ways
[K. Lloyd Billingsley] 7/1/03 | Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a University of Michigan admission system that granted more points for race than key academic measures. But in another split decision, the court allowed a narrowly tailored use of race for admission to the University of Michigan law school.
Both supporters and opponents of racial preferences claimed victory, and the rulings guarantee that the high court will face similar cases in future. As it happens, Californians have already faced this issue and made a better decision. [more at OC Register]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From LA Times
Power to Discipline LAPD Officers Is Out of the Chief's Hands
Bratton says he needs more authority, for sake of the city and the department.
[William J. Bratton] 7/1/03 | The controversial decision exonerating Los Angeles Police Department Officer Edward Larrigan of misconduct in the fatal shooting of Margaret Mitchell was greeted with loud cries of outrage and a demand for accountability. My department and I were taken to task for the decision of the three-member board of rights panel, which decided that Larrigan had not violated departmental policy when he shot the woman, who was mentally ill and brandishing a screwdriver. The Los Angeles Times, among others, attacked the decision and opined that I ought to "send the right message to [my] officers." | The truth is I send strong messages to the men and women of the LAPD every single day. [more at LA Times]

MEXIFORNIA/From Town Hall
Porous Southern Border Adds To Danger Shared By Local Police
[Phyllis Schlafly] 7/1/03 | It happened again last week. An illegal alien with a criminal record that included four previous felony convictions who had been deported from the United States sneaked back into California and committed a cold-blooded crime. | Police reports say that when Oceanside (Calif.) Police Officer Tony Zeppetella, 27, stopped Adrian George Camacho for a traffic violation, Camacho pulled out a gun and shot Zeppetella. Camacho then pistol-whipped the injured Zeppetella before shooting him again with the officer's own gun and killing him, according to witnesses. | Camacho, 28, a documented gang member, had repeatedly crossed our open southern border. [more at Town Hall]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From OC Register
State Budget Going Deeper In The Hole
[the Editors] 6/30/03 | Unless something spectacular happens today, the 2003-04 fiscal year will begin tomorrow without a state budget. It's time for Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature to get serious about bringing government spending in line with anticipated revenues - just like any household or business budget. Here are several tips - some overlapping - on how they, and citizens, should look at the challenge ahead: [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From LA Times
Ho-Hum ... What Crisis?

[the Editors] 6/30/03 | The state Legislature took the weekend off, acting like tonight's midnight deadline for finalizing a state budget is nothing. The Senate and Assembly remain where they were five months ago — deadlocked on how to finance the current $11-billion deficit and unable to pass a workable budget for the next fiscal year. A Democratic ploy Friday to debate a Republican budget plan descended into accusations that it was a trap to discredit GOP ideas. With the shortfall topping $38 billion overall, lawmakers who ought to be terrified are locked in unproductive political combat. Here are ways to shake off the paralysis. [more at LA Times]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From LA Daily News
Sweet Defeat
All of L.A. stands to gain from judge's ruling on downtown redevelopment
[the Editors] 6/30/03 | In a key legal decision delivered last week, the city of Los Angeles lost, and the people of Los Angeles triumphed.| In his ruling, Judge Marvin M. Lager declared that City Hall's plan for all of downtown seceding from the L.A. tax base plainly violates the law. [more at LA Daily News]

JURISIMPRUDENCE/From OC Register
Mining For Gold - In Court
Abusive class-action lawsuits enrich lawyers; most plaintiffs get peanuts
[Tom Harman] 6/30/03 | Hardly a week goes by that I don't see another notice in the newspaper regarding some ludicrous class-action lawsuit that reaps millions of dollars for contingency fee lawyers, but provides absolutely nothing of value to the consumers they purport to represent. You name it. From insignificant violations of some labeling law to the failure to properly honor the redemption of a five-cent coupon, the list seems to be never ending. [more at OC Register]

ON THE WESTERN FRONT/From Front Page
Descent Into Derangement
[Greg Yardley] 6/30/03 | The communist opposition to President George W. Bush has begun. On Friday, June 27th, President George W. Bush arrived in Burlingame, California for a fundraising lunch, and the communist Workers World Party was there to protest, with the help of their allies in the labor unions and on the far-left of the Democratic Party. [more at Front Page]

a week in the bin

 

Your Car Tax Estimate
posted at OC Register
Say you bought a new Toyota Camry in October 2000 for $20,360.
Here’s how the new vehicle license fee will affect you.

$ 105.87
You paid this in 2002

$285.04
You’ll owe this in October

§

Last Week's Front Page: 6/21-6/27
[go to Front Page Archive Index]

And some
Lingering Observations

An Immaculate Tax Increase
The Car Tax and its phantom trigger
[John Campbell] 6/20/03 [CaliforniaRepublic.org]

The Pillage People
Band in Sacramento is bent on big addition to state's already-high taxes
[K. Lloyd Billingsley] 6/20/03 [more at OC Register]

California's Coming 100-Year Political Storm
[Tom McClintock] 6/18/03 [more at Claremont Institute]
Wannabe the Next Governor?
[Streetsweeper] 6/13/03 [go to CRO Recall Follies]
It's The Spending, Stupid
[Jill Stewart] 6/13/03 [more at SF Chronicle]
Such a Lovely Place
Talking with Victor Davis Hanson about the future of California — and the United States.
[Kathryn Jean Lopez] 6/11/03
[more at National Review]
The Governor's Enron-style Accounting
Davis' definition of frugal: $2 billion in new spending, $17 billion in loans
[Tom McClintock] 6/10/03 [more at OC Register]
Slap the Greedy Hand [Reprint 6/16/03]
Authorizing Local Taxes Is Just Plain Wrong
[Carol Platt Liebau] 6/9/03 [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]
People Must Demand Recall
After the Damage Davis Has Caused In One Term, Can State Afford to Go Through Another?
[Shawn Steel] 6/2/03 [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]
Memo to My Wife
A household budget - Gray Davis style
[Tom McClintock] 5/29/03 [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]
Wild and Wooly in California
The prospect of a recall vote on Governor Gray Davis has the state's political establishment in an uproar.
[Hugh Hewitt] 5/21/03 [more at Weekly Standard]
Recalling Our Principles
Why the Davis Recall is Worth Reconsidering
[Carol Platt Liebau] 5/9/03 [more inside CaliforniaRepublic.org]

 


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