Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
CalPERS is shocked – just shocked – to find cities reeling under the burden of growing pension debt
The proposed bill is not a big deal per se, but it’s yet another example of how CalPERS is more interested in hiding – rather than dealing with – its pension debt. Basically, this is a public-relations strategy designed to discourage agencies from leaving the fund. It’s a way to tighten the golden handcuffs and that want to exit the fund.
In reality, if 2 percent is the earning rate that CalPERS can safely expect on its long-term investments, then that should be the rate that it assumes for all of its investments. But lowering the assumed earnings to such a realistic number would cause mass panic, as municipalities would need to come up with dramatically increased payments. They already are struggling with their current payments.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Happy Thanksgiving! But before you eat that turkey, thank private property! Without it, Thanksgiving would be "Starvation Day." Here's why...
In case anyone needs confirmation about Agenda 21 and Smart Growth being a worldwide scourge of social engineers, check out this poster for "transit oriented development" in Namibia, a poor Sub-Saharan African nation. People want progress and freedom, not bureaucrats and control.
Monday, November 20, 2017
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks during an interview with the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Now Xavier Becerra is using his entire fist to squash attempts to repeal the state’s new 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase and $25 to $175 boost in annual vehicle registration fees.
Repealing the taxes championed by Gov. Jerry Brown would be terrible for California, whose roads and bridges have deteriorated to a dangerous degree over the past decade. But the attorney general is stooping to new lows of electoral deception to try to stop it, and that’s just plain wrong.
The issue is an initiative by Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, to repeal the increased tax and fees. He hopes to qualify it for the November 2018 election.
Becerra insisted that the title on the signature petitions make no mention of repealing “taxes and fees.” Instead, he directed that it say it would “repeal revenues” for road repair and transportation funding.
Seriously. “Repeal revenues.” Whatever that means.
Becerra’s obfuscation is a pathetic attempt to hide the truth and discourage voters from signing the petitions. That is essentially what Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley concluded when Allen appealed the attorney general’s petition language.
The judge called Becerra’s title and summary “confusing, misleading, and likely to create prejudice against the proposed measure.” It “obscures the chief purpose of the initiative: repeal of the recently enacted taxes and fees.”
Frawley ordered new language, explicitly stating that the initiative would repeal those taxes and fees.
Becerra appealed to the state Court of Appeal, saying the judge overstepped his authority. Last week, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled in Becerra’s favor, deciding that his summation of the initiative was “neutrally presented.” State law gives the attorney general “considerable latitude” in writing the official description, the court ruled.
Common sense tells us Frawley got the substance right. Allen says he will appeal the decision, taking it to the state Supreme Court.
While this fight is over the initiative petition language, the attorney general also controls the wording on the ballot and the short summary in the ballot pamphlet. In each case, the wording is supposed to be true, impartial and convey the measure’s chief purposes and points.
But, like his predecessors, Becerra, who must stand for election next year, is using his power over initiatives to sway voters and score political points with supporters — in this case to protect the governor’s transportation tax plan. It was Brown who earlier this year appointed Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as attorney general.
There’s a remedy for this. The responsibility for presenting clear information to voters should be taken away from politicians and turned over to the non-partisan state legislative analyst.
Political leaders aren’t big on giving up power. So it will probably take a good-government initiative to get it done. We can only imagine what that petition title might say.
The Fire Department wins approval of the "Martha Stewart" Kitchen makeover featuring luxury appliances like a $4500 Viking stove, custom cabinetry. Lea Kleinman-Green argues that to "determine price" we must approve the $77,000 makeover and then deal with the contractor adjustments after the fact. The rest of the Marinwood CSD board eventually agrees unanimously. Only months before the CSD REFUSED a generous $25,000 gift for less fancy kitchen by falsely claiming it was ILLEGAL to take the contribution. The winning contractors have ties to people in the community. The TAXPAYERS ARE BEING SCREWED. In other business, the CSD is considering reorganization of the fire department in secret meetings. The Marinwood CSD agree to this outrageous abuse of taxpayers like blind sheep.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Apparently, the Marinwood CSD is not budging with a mutually acceptance of financial responsibility for the landslide repairs on the Miller property and would rather risk a law suit. Eric Dreikosen, general manager feels that the law is on his side.
Important video. I would love to hear the rebuttal of Ezra Rapport by a constitutional scholar. No where does he mention the people right to self govern. His justification of "states authority" is positively socialist in concept. It changes our democracy into a authoritarian central planning model. I understand that Ezra Rapport was a lawyer.in his prior life.
I posed the question about how to rebuff Ezra Rapport's argument and received this response from a friend:
There are many arguments for local control but not based on the US Constitution. In the system of federalism, The federal and state governments co-exist as soverigns. The Constitution reserves the powers that belong to the federal government, and these pre-empt any contrary state or local laws. Anything not reserved to the feds belongs to the states to do as they please, as long as not in conflict with the Bill of Rights or other constitutional provisions. In contrast, the state and cities are not separate sovereigns. The cities are subordinate to the state, and derive any and all of their powers from what the state grants. The state has authority to delegate its powers to agencies, and has done so here. This is the constitutional explanation. As used here, I would argue it is bad governance, but it is constitutional.
Here are a few other comments:
Constitutionally, he is right.
Just like, after the Reichstag fire in 1933, Hindenburg’s Reichstag Fire Decree suspending basic rights and allowed detention without trail, followed by Hitler getting the Enabling Act passed by the new Reichstag to respond to the emergency, and Hitler taking over as sole dictator of Germany after the death of Hindenburg, Hitler became all-powerful in a perfectly legal manner.
Remember the sequence in Star Wars III where Palpatine convinces the Senate to convert the Republic into the Empire with him as Emperor?
Guess what it was based on?
“A republic, if you can keep it.”
And this one:
Rapport may be correct that the state can subdivide into regional agencies, but this does not permit it to do so without democratic representation. Here is the portion of the Constitution, Article IV, Section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.
Article 4 Section 3 of the Constitution HERE