Greenhut illustrates how when mob rules, right is whatever the mob says, stealing is justified, force is deified, liberty is suppressed and denied

From Steven Greenhut: Despite his apologies, Mickelson had it right
January 26, 2013 09:52:00 PM

Rebels, non conformists, free thinkers, independent-minded ones, anyone who believes in individual liberty, the human spirit, the power of entrepreneurship, this is a serious wake-up call.

After hearing the storm of criticism directed toward golfer Phil Mickelson for his modest comments about California’s highest-in-the-nation tax rates causing him to consider relocating, I was left wondering what country we live in. Did you ever have one of those moments?

“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.” He pointed to “drastic changes” that are driving his decision — an obvious reference to the income-tax hikes California voters placed on millionaires like him. Media critics were aghast and mocked this poor rich guy for his complaints.

The spectacle of Mickelson apologizing on Sunday, then doing so a second time later in the week, was the worst part of this spectacle

Click Here to Read more:

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!

The Sacramento Bee unearths a stunning fact about the growth in spending on state workers.

California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11.

The details:

In 2001, the state had the “full-time equivalent” of 372,678 employees and was paying them $1.7 billion a month. By 2011, the FTE’s, as they are dubbed, had increased to 407,321 and payroll costs to $2.4 million billion.

Over the 10-year span, which included two major recessions separated by a brief period of economic expansion during the housing boom, FTE’s in higher education, the largest single component of the state workforce, increased by 23 percent from 128,665 to 158,229, and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount — from 48,896 to 60,007.

Click here to read this poignant piece.

CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam author, Jack Humphreville joins Gadfly Radio next Tuesday, Aug 21 @ 10AM PT

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — He can be reached at:

See his piece CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam

Bankruptcy is supposed to be bottom, and a new beginning–Unless it’s used to favor and further plunder

LA WATCHDOG – In a stunt that would make South American strongman Hugo Chavez proud, the imperious California Public Employees Retirement System (“CalPERS”) and the bankrupt City of Stockton conspired to give an absolute preference to Stockton’s $147 million pension obligation ($245 million over the next ten years) to CalPERS over Stockton’s remaining creditors who are owed an additional $550 million.

But this sweetheart deal where bondholders and other creditors are treated like dirt will have major ramifications in the markets for California bonds and notes as credit rating agencies will lower their ratings and investors will require greater security and significantly higher rates of returns on these higher risk investments.

Click here to read Jack Humphreville’s latest piece at City Watch, posted Aug 16, 2012 Jack Humphreville

Greenhut writes: First pensions, and now bankruptcy tsunami

July 12, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

First Vallejo, then Stockton, then Mammoth Lakes and now San Bernardino. As Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach told Bloomberg News, the bankruptcy dominoes are starting to fall. One California city after another — following a decade-long spree of ramping up public-employee pay and pension benefits, as well as redevelopment debt — are becoming insolvent. Click to go to the article on

Tax Initiative gets approved, but what’s the hold up on Reform Initiative that was submitted earlier?

In California Forward Waits and Waits, Joel Fox writes:

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday. Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

Click to read the story

In Tweet if You Love Pension Reform, June 7 in Fox & Hound, Marcia Fritz pitches a Hail Mary pass, a last ditch effort to get the CA Legislature to do the right thing

Fix Pensions First Launches an Urgent Twitter Campaign, and invites everyone to participate. They’ll give you critical facts in small daily doses, so you don’t get blown away, and so you can be compelled to be a part of a last ditch effort to reform pensions at the state level, before it’s too late.

Follow @FixPensions. Take 10 seconds to consider the information on your screen and another 10 seconds to share it. Twitter will take care of the rest.

The legislature has until June 28 to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to require public employees to pay half the cost of their pensions, link state retirement ages with federal retirement ages and provide retirement plans to future employees that share the risk of investment losses with taxpayers.

Click here to read the full piece, and see the dramatic graphs to drive home the urgency of this reform critical reform measure.

CalWatchDog’s Wayne Lusvardi sounds a warning bell not to get comfy with the pension reform measures just passed, even if they hold–the outlook is much worse

A pension reform ballot proposition was passed by the voters in the city of San Diego by a margin of 66.2 percent in favor to 33.8 percent opposed.. A similar pension reform measure in the city of San Jose is leading with 89.8 percent of the vote in favor with 37.7 percent of the vote counted.

But the gnawing question remains: Will voters end up with the pension reforms they voted for? Or are these reforms just the proverbial calm before a possible bigger pension storm? Tentative Results of Pension Reform Measures…
Pension reform or double-dip storm in San Diego and San Jose? | CalWatchDog

And Now Act 2 of the Dramatic Situation Between the Runnaway Train, i.e. the Public Sector Union’s Crushing Weight on California & the Battle for Reform

Here’s a link and a excerpt: San Jose’s mayor addresses legal challenges – Public Sector Inc. Forum
By Steven Greenhut on June 6

Pull Quote:

San Jose’s unions didn’t really fight the Measure B pension reform that passed with 70 percent of the vote Tuesday, but they did immediately file a legal challenge. Here is Mayor Chuck Reed’s response to claims that the reform he championed isn’t legal:
“Measure B was carefully crafted to follow California law. San Jose is a charter city and the California Constitution gives charter cities: ‘plenary authority’ to provide in their charters for the compensation of their employees. i San Jose’s City Charter reserves the right of the City Council and the voters to make changes to employees’ retirement benefits: ‘.. the Council may at any time, or from time to time, amend or otherwise change any retirement plan or plans or adopt or establish a new or different plan or plans for all or any officers or employees.’ ii San Jose’s…

Uh-oh, more than one in five cities in California face bankruptcy

By Troy Senik on May 24, 2012 1:53 PM

At least three California cities — Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and Montebello — have declared that they are exploring the [bankruptcy] option. And at least 100 of the state’s 482 cities are on track to face a similar predicament by the end of the year, according to Barbara O’Connor, a professor at California State University at Sacramento.

More than one in five. No wonder the state’s unions are fighting for a bigger role in local bankruptcies. How that fight resolves will be crucial to the fiscal future of local government in the Golden State. Click here to read more

This Week on Gadfly Radio: Troy Senik on the “Worst Union in America”; Plus: Jerry Brown and California’s Greek Ways

Join us live on Tuesday, 10 a.m. PDT, on, CRN1, for another lively edition of Gadfly Radio!

Troy Senik, has a dynamite article in the Spring issue of City Journal: “The Worst Union in America: How the California Teachers Association betrayed the schools and crippled the state.” Really? The worst? Worse than the SEIU? Worse than the NEA? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. But we’ll have Senik make his case, which will be excerpted in the Los Angeles Times in the next few days. And editor-in-chief Brian Calle opines in his latest column at the Orange County Register.

We’ll also discuss Governor Jerry Brown’s May budget revision, which was released officially Monday but previewed over the weekend. Anyone not paying attention would have been shocked to learn that California’s current budget deficit is several billion dollars higher than Brown’s office reported in January—$16 billion, as opposed to around $9 billion at the beginning of the year. Anyone else wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.

“This means we will have to go much farther and make cuts far greater than I asked for at the beginning of the year,” Brown said. “But we can’t fill this hole with cuts alone without doing severe damage to our schools. That’s why I’m bypassing the gridlock and asking you, the people of California, to approve a plan that avoids cuts to schools and public safety.”

Brown delivered the “news” on YouTube, where he doubled down on his pitch to voters to approve a tax increase in November.

“Please increase taxes on the most affluent,” Brown urged. “It’s reasonable and fair.”

”By the time I leave here, California’s budget will be balanced and the state will be back on road to prosperity,” Brown added. ”I am a buoyant optimist.”

It’s phony-baloney. All of it.

Katy Grimes at CalWatchDog: “Jerry Brown twists out ‘pretzel palace’ budget,” which reports legislative Republicans’ reaction to the governor’s news.

“Tax revenue is up two years in a row, but not enough to satisfy the spending demands of Sacramento Democrats,” retorted Assembly Republicans. “It will be interesting to see if the liberal majority in the Legislature accept the Governor’s cuts, or reject them as they did earlier this year when they blocked the Governor’s health and welfare reforms and grew spending by $1 billion,” wrote Assembly Minority leader Connie Conway, R-Visalia, and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Biggs.

Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party: “Amazingly, a year and a half into Brown’s Governorship and we still hear nothing of the unemployed. California will continue to face chronic budget deficits because so many people remain out of work; the conversation about revenues should always begin with how to restore jobs. So many people are wondering when Brown will offer plans to make California competitive, so that business will return to this state and bring jobs with them.”

Calle at CalWatchDog: “If nothing else, the budget situation points to the power teachers’ unions have within the Brown administration and California government in general. This is particularly true of the juggernaut CTA, which was recently dubbed by City Journal as the ‘Worst union in America’ because of the lopsided influence it has on public policy in California. Education spending is perhaps the Holy Grail of politics in the Golden State. So it is no surprise Brown’s administration is using education as a justification for increasing taxes. Improving education is popular with voters. But money is not the major problem facing California’s education. Instead, the state is in need of structural reform.”

Robert Wenzel at Economic Policy Journal: “California is fast becoming the new Greece.” And Brown’s proposal to reduce the work week of many state workers—a move that would need to be bargained with the unions because the Democratic-controlled Legislature isn’t about to impose that change unilaterally—would be equivalent to a 5 percent pay cut.

Bill McGurn at the Wall Street Journal (subscription required): “Jerry Brown vs. Chris Christie.”

Hard economic times bring their own lessons. Though few have been spared the ravages of the last recession and the sluggish recovery, those in states where taxes are light, government lives within its means, and the climate is friendly to investment have learned the value of the arrangement they have. They are not likely to give it up.

Meanwhile, leaders in some struggling states have taken notice. They know the road to fiscal hell is paved with progressive intentions. The question regarding the sensible ones is whether they have the will and wherewithal to impose the reforms they know their states need on the interest groups whose political and economic clout is so closely tied with the public purse.

Mr. Brown’s remarks Monday suggest the answer to this question is no.

McGurn’s column follows on the Journal‘s editorial fusillade Monday:

Among the biggest surprises is a 21.5% or nearly $2 billion decline in personal income tax payments from what Governor Jerry Brown had anticipated. This reinforces the point that when states rely too heavily on the top 1% of taxpayers to pay the bills, fiscal policy is a roller coaster ride.

California is suffering this tax drought even as most other states enjoy a revenue rebound. State tax collections were up nationally by 8.9% last year, according to the Census Bureau, and this year revenues are up by double digits in many states. The state comptroller reports that Texas is enjoying 10.9% growth in its sales taxes (it has no income tax), while California can’t seem to keep up despite one of the highest tax rates in the land.

This would seem to suggest that California should try cutting tax rates to keep more people and business in the state, but Sacramento is intent on raising them again. Governor Brown and the public-employee unions are sponsoring a ballot initiative in November to raise the state sales tax by a quarter point to 7.5% and to raise the top marginal income-tax rate to 13.3% from 10.3%. This will make the state even more reliant on the fickle revenue streams provided by the rich.

The Orange County Register: “More bad news ahead of Brown’s revised budget”:

This is a man for all intents and purposes bought by, and in the pocket of, government employee unions. Likewise, so is the Democratic-controlled Assembly and state Senate, which all but precludes a legislative fix.

Sadly, California deserves better than it has gotten for more than a decade in Sacramento. An unwillingness to properly adjust government spending and an insistence on draining even more billions from the private sector is symptomatic of the runaway fiscal catastrophe under way in Europe.

Bottom line, courtesy of Reason‘s Tim Cavanaugh: “Where are the devastating cuts of the austerity of bare-bones of the starving beast in a state that will increase spending by six percent — from $86.5 billion in outlays last year to $91.4 billion this year?” Mighty good question.



How Big Government Is Killing California

When you’ve lost the entrepreneurs, free-spirits, and dreamers, you’ve lost the Golden State.
Steven Greenhut | April 27, 2012

The new USC study pointing to a much-slower population growth rate in California has been greeted by demographers and urban planners as good news, in that it supposedly gives our state’s leaders a little breathing room to plan better for the future. The rate of growth has slowed to about 1 percent a year, the result of fewer immigrants coming here and so many Californians heading to other states.


Click here to read the article

California Counties Are More at Risk of Going Belly Up, than Cities…

This is the fifth in a Special Series of 12 in-depth articles on municipal bankruptcy.
April 11, 2012

By Wayne Lusvardi

“…If the courts rule that existing pension plans are constitutionally protected and unchangeable, then we are likely looking at formal bankruptcy for many local governments.

With the basics of municipal finance explained, let’s look at the fiscal — or budgetary — situation that California cities and counties find themselves in today.
City and County Budgets on the Verge of Upset…”

Many California cities are under fiscal stress due to the protracted contraction of the economy. Many of those cities will be staring down bankruptcy waves as public pension obligations start kicking in during the coming years.

One of the largest prospects for bankruptcy is that of…”

Click here to read the report.

A test for state’s untouchable pensions Stockton, on verge of bankruptcy, running up against the 800-pound gorilla known as CalPERS

Some public pension experts think they know why pensions were not on the city manager’s list. They see the hidden hand of California’s giant state pension system, known as Cal-PERS, which administers hundreds of billions of dollars in retirement obligations for municipalities across the state.

CalPERS does not want cities like Stockton going back on their promises, and it argues that the state Constitution bars any reduction in pensions — and not just for people who have already retired. State law also forbids cuts in the pensions that today’s public workers expect to earn in the future, CalPERS says, even in cases of severe fiscal distress. Workers at companies have no comparable protection.  (Click here to read the article)

California’s Greek Tragedy No one should write off the Golden State. But it will take massive reforms to reverse its economic decline.


Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state’s largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.  (Click here to read more.)

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler and Special Guest, Steve Greenhut on CA’s Prospects for Liberty and Prosperity

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 29, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of  We welcome back Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, for his take on the many current political, social and economic situations playing out in CA and the US.   

Steve writes about policy on various news and think tank websites, on various issues, yet they are all related and stem from a unifying set of core values and unwavering principles through which he analyzes and writes.   His work is instrumental to help raise public awareness and consciousness of the facts v how the public is swayed by conventional media and the public relations campaigns of the ruling classes of our “free” society.   His bias is for championing the individual, the underdog, the entrepreneur who respects others’ rights as well as his own.   A truthsayer and a truth teller with a lot of heart, soul, wit and irony, he is self described curmudgeon.    A lover of liberty, I feel lucky to have him on our side.  

Related Links: 

Can’t Live by Scenery Alone by Steven Greenhut – City Journal

Archive of Greenhut’s latest blog posts and articles at CalWatchDog

Steven Greenhut’s archive of articles in City Journal

Steven Greenhut, Author of “PLUNDER!: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives, and Bankrupting the Nation” Speaks to the Lincoln Club – December 10, 2009 – YouTube Video 9 minutes

Steven Greenhut: Archives at

Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars – 60 Minutes – CBS News
Whitney Tilson refers to this news story which features some amazingly poised, mature, intelligent and articulate homeless children who live in cars, on the street, to admonish Republicans to take back their country from extremist whom he presumes don’t care about these children because they are extremists who want to slash programs and oppose raising taxes on the wealthy.

Getting Serious About Ron Paul by Steven Greenhut

A Right Denied | The Critical Need for Genuine School Reform, a project founded by Whitney Tilson

California at or near the bottom in so many ways – Orange Punch : The Orange County Register

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.


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Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog’s team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

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Voter-Approved First 5 LA Program Spends $200 Million of Taxpayers Money without Oversight

By Stephen Kruiser

As the Los Angeles Times reports, a recent independent audit of the First 5 LA Commission revealed massive problems with the agency, including lack of accountability, spending oversight or competitive bidding.  First 5 LA is part of a statewide program created in 1998 by Prop 10, a measure which was supposed to use funds from a tobacco tax to promote health and education of young children.  According to the audit, it’s not exactly fulfilling its mission.  From the Times:

An audit by Harvey M. Rose of San Francisco found First 5 LA’s commission was unable to monitor money that was being spent “since monthly programmatic expenditures are not presented relative to a budget.” Auditors also concluded the agency was overstaffed while under-spending on programs for children.

So, First 5 LA is spending too much on public employees and not enough on kids.  Not to mention doling out $200 million without a competitive bidding process and operating with such a lack of oversight that there’s no way to determine if the agency has signed agreements “for inappropriate purposes or with unqualified vendors or grantees”.  Sounds like standard operating procedure in California, which has seen similar accountability and oversight problems with other initiative-created agencies as well.

And yet, former pro Tem and career politician Don Perata is pushing another measure – the so-called California Cancer Research Act – to create yet another unaccountable bureaucracy with six political appointees that can spend nearly a billion each year, including millions on staff salaries and pensions and overhead.  With huge budget problems and public pension costs spiraling out of control, the last thing California needs is another big-spending bureaucracy with no oversight or accountability.

The measure is slated for the June 2012 ballot in California. 

Random thoughts on CA’s perilous polical climate…

Peter Olson noted on his status on FB: California ….watching fox news right now and they just showed your state redistricted … You republicans that still live in that place are toast … Not that the ones still there will ever move but at least get ready for even worse government.

I started to comment and went on and on so I copied and posted it here, on my blog:

CA is so beautiful… Can’t just get up and go live in the desert or swamp…without a fight. Republicans here talk as if they were the majority or they whine about their powerless state of being. They don’t talk to the voters as if the…y were looking for a way to coalesce and find our common ground. When you’re such a minority and you have no cache, you’ve got to find what the other side’s voters are attached to, and give it to them better…. But Republicans here have played footsies with Law Enforcement, and built a monster that now plagues communities at all socio-economic levels, and they talk about those illegals from the southern border as if the legal voters with familial and historical ties to Mexico have no feelings or regards for the intentions if not the impact of the immigrants who come here out of desperation, because they can relate and feel at home. Wow, if Republicans said we love Mexicans and immigrants. Let’s do away with the welfare programs and makes it affordable for businesses to do business here, and slash our welfare, make work visas available, and please school your kids back at can come and go safely… I’m just brainstorming here… But you’d think the way most notable Republicans in this state talk that they think that Mexicans invaded California. I don’t know how they reconcile such notions with the fact that so many of our most populated cities have Spanish names? If Republicans talked with some modesty, and said, hey we need you. We need your help. We need your vote. Here’s our plan. Can you help us? We want to create a business climate where entrepreneurs can flourish, where property rights are secure, where citizens have civil liberties protected by law and don’t fear law enforcement, that presently is so protected, they can keep all offenses and hearings of officers who are disciplined secret from the public. End the war on drugs. If you don’t like diversity, ignore it, but most people like having choices for food, mates, music, dates etc. It’s late, and there is a lot of bad blood, but I think Mexican Americans, who make up the majority of Latinos in the State, are forgiving, if the contrition is genuine…. We spend more than 50 percent of the state cash on education and get little in return, but nobody stands with the poor over the shit holes their kids are forced to attend or else!! L.A Unified has it’s own police force and kids are harassed for skipping their mind numbing classes with the sorry excuse that passes for unaccountable pathetic teachers. There are no jobs for the kids when they graduate, if they graduate, because labor has made so many rules not enough business people can afford to do business here and hire low skilled entry level kids if kids could legally drop out and start out early in getting a real education in the work force. Republicans don’t want to have to deal with the poor classes so their pie shrinks and shrinks and shrinks… and the behemoth Big Govt grows and takes from producers to feed its growth…. The Republicans love redevelopment and they love their subsidized universities and they fight over the spaces in those universities when the race identity politicians fight for slots for token minorities to go to college. It’s a mess, but both parties have had their hand in us getting here. Thinking out side the box means dropping the party labels and talking principles, and meaning it. Chris Norby, Carl DeMaio, Shawn Nelson, Tom McClintock, are a few good politicians who come to mind. I’m sure there are more, but not enough… yet…

Lieu Bill Would Assault The Poor | CalWatchDog

Lieu epitomizes everything that is wrong with this state. In his bizarro world, nothing is left to individual choice. Government agents get vast powers over our private lives. Citizens — subjects, really — face increasing fees, penalties, fines and rules to prod us into complying with whatever idea pops into the leaders’ head. Microchipping pets is a fine enough idea as long as the owners get to choose it. Most of the pets that wind up in shelters, by the way, are not those from responsible pet owners whose family dog gets lost. He has to know that. But the law will provide new powers and responsibilities for government employees, and Lieu is nothing if not an effective representative for the unions that elect him to office.

Click here to read more.

CA Unfunded Pensions Triple to $884 Bil | Chris Street for CalWatchDog

The cabal of California politicians, bureaucrats and crony consultants that justified the granting of lucrative benefits to employees, while failing to contribute enough to support the true pension costs, solemnly dismissed the Stanford report as unsophisticated reflections by academics.

But now that a swarm of local governments wants to abandon the floundering retirement trusts, the state plans are willing to credit only a 3.8 percent expected return.

If the California state pension plans adopted the same 3.8 percent rate they are only willing to credit when participants want to leave, their published $288 billion in pension shortfall would metastasize into an $884 billion California state insolvency.

If the pension investment returns skyrocket, the unions will bargain for increased benefits. If the pension investment returns crash, the public employees are protected by a rock-solid contract law that prevents any reduction in benefits.

In 2007, I was fortunate to gain the support of enough Orange County Pension Trustees to reduce speculative derivative use by 90 percent. At the time, trustees for the California state public pension plans solemnly dismissed Orange County as unsophisticated. Shortly thereafter, the stock market crashed and the state pension trustees stopped making comments.

Click to read more…

How to Prevent Riots in California | CalWatchDog

“I wonder how brazen those British thugs would be if they knew shop owners might have a loaded Sturm-Ruger Mini-14 under every counter. One report I saw tonight showed a block of shops totally destroyed and looted, save one: the bookstore. Clearly intelligent persuasion will not avail with the plunderers. Bullets might fare better. They are cowards, after all.” Click here to read the post.

Steven Greenhut: Left wins redistricting game |- Opinion – The Orange County Register

California’s new electoral districts crafted by a supposedly nonpartisan commission, which actually did the bidding of left-wing and ethnic interest groups, will almost certainly ensure a two-thirds legislative majority for tax-hiking Democrats.

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 11, which created the California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new lines following the 2010 Census. The commission was charged with forming districts for the state Assembly, Senate and the Board of Equalization. Voters then approved Prop. 20, which gave the commission the authority to draw new district lines for Congress.

Click to read more.

We’ll talk about Race on Gadfly Radio tonight, with respect to the Redistricting Commission, their actions and the profile of one of the Commission Members

The issue of Race and Ethnicity has gummed up the gears of redistricting. The CA State Democratic Party is lording over counties and cities for power, to keep power within the Party centralized as opposed to localized by regions and natural communities, or in vintners’ terms, micro climates.

These State wide Political leaders and the Statewide public employee unions that control both parties to some degree, and the Democratic Party, almost entirely. The State Democratic Party leaders are petulant arrogant politicians, with few exceptions, and barely a few whimpers. Senator Gloria Romero, retired is an exception, but she’s termed out. We have no real effective leaders who stand with the entrepreneurial class, at a local level.

Redistricting in California is paramount. But not by race, but by principle of integrity of communities and regions.

I dig speaking Spanish, Español and I dig being Mexican American. Why not? That’s what I am! I have some great stories to share about it. But for the sake of our financial solvency and integrity, I want my leaders to respect enterprising individuals who work, and who create jobs, good jobs and who do good work for the community. I don’t care if they’re Latino. I care about their principles that support enterprise or don’t. And I want more than lip service.

About the political districts, communities should be in tack as much as possible. Politicians need to be connected with and accountable to their cohesive communities.

I more than dig speaking Spanish. I am a real authentic Mexican American. I have roots in New Mexico, Texas, and across the border, in Mexico, in Durango and in Ojinaga. All of my mother’s family and much of my father’s migrated to California from Texas, in the 60’s. There were lots of jobs here. Good factory jobs. I grew up in Southern California. We came here when I was about three years old.

I lived in Barcelona, Spain, my junior year abroad as a UCLA student. I took a fifth year to complete my studies, and I went back to Spain between my fourth and fifth year. Barcelona was particularly interesting to me because they speak Catalan in the region of Catalonia, or Cataluña as the Catalans say it. I remember thinking for the first time how I got the concept of bilingualism, because Catalan was there long before the region became politically a part of Spain. I went there the first time only three years following the death of Franco, Generalissimo Franco, who’d reigned as dictator from 1938 until June 8, 1973 and died on Nov 20, 1975. He’d been dead a little over 3 years. They hated him. Their language had been forbidden under his regime. They had preserved it and the majority of the Catalan people had preserved their fluency in the language subversively.
Yet, it not only is a region in Spain, a beautiful region with coast line on the Mediterranean, and with the Southern tip of the Alps gracing the northern portion of this northern most region. It is a beautiful region, but equally notable, it is one of the most economically vital regions in Spain. And they do it their way. I loved that. I wish that it could have been this way for the Mexicans who were here before here stopped being Mexico and became the U.S. God forbid we were part of Mexico in that we wouldn’t know American enterprising culture. But, imagine if the culture had been strong and preserved and also had adapted the American enterprising culture. What a dynamic and delightful place this would be.

Instead we had a group that wants us to forget Spanish and “just be American” on one hand, and on the other we have these incompetent boobs who insist we need to vote for them because they’re like us( if you’re Hispanic) as if all Hispanics were the same, as if there were no distinctions between being Puerto Rican, or from Central America or South America. Heck, there are distinction between the Mexicans who were from the South West, on both sides of the border which materialized in the mid 1800s.

I feel like when Homer Simpson states the obvious and says “NEWSFLASH!” John Seiler writes today, “Calif. Economy 47th Worst of States”

What’d you expect? Anybody surprised? Anybody care?

John Seiler writes:

California’s stagnating economy suffered more bad news by ranking 47th of the 50 states for economic outlook. The ranking comes from the new, fourth edition of “Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” It combines 15 economic rankings, such as top marginal personal income tax rate and average workers’ compensation costs.

I received an advanced copy of the rankings, and will discuss them here. It will be released tomorrow, June 22, by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan group of state legislators. I’ll put up a link to it then.

My favorite line: “The only states ranking worse on the economic outlook were New York, rock-bottom 50th, followed by Vermont and Maine. Along with California, all are high-tax, high-regulation, jobs-killing states. The three other states have bad weather.” Click here to read more.

Our View: Little sense to medical parole denial–

“If a quadriplegic prisoner is not eligible for release, who really is in dysfunctional state prison system?”

Here’s another quote from the same Merced Op-ed above:

“State officials say that Martinez’s medical bills average about $625,000 a year. That cost is dramatically escalated because when he has to be sent to an outside hospital, that adds $1,000 a day plus $2,100 a day for two correctional officers to guard him round the clock. This cost is outrageous and unnecessary.”

What we have here is a jobs program for prison guards and prison guard union members.
Click to read the opinion.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog’s John Seiler on CA Government

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

 Tired of the propaganda mainstream media machine that agitates, divides, obfuscates, distorts, ignores and or sensationalizes news to keep you polarized and frozen in your corner?  Unplug from the “matrix” and tune in to a program that presents reason, analysis, discussion, possibilities and ideas.

Tonight, meet Adam Kokesh, a former U.S. State Marine, and now the host of a new program on RT America on the Air, Monday through Friday, 7 PM ET, and the shows are archived and available at Adam vs the Man.    He’s unplugged from the “matrix” and is bringing it to the man, and wants to bring people together, to be effective against “the man.”  He takes on the issues you don’t hear discussed in mainstream news media, including the Fed, the War on Drugs,  and the Warfare/Welfare State, and is firmly rooted in the principles of and committed to advancing liberty.

John Seiler of CalWatchDog joins us to talk about some of his latest posts at
Arnold’s Back — Crass as Ever
Gov. Jerry’s Pension ‘Reform’ Joke
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Government’s Favorite Day 
Monday, April 18th, 2011

CA Business Exodus Accelerates
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

CA Court Rejects Pension Reform
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Will July CA Tax Cuts Spur Recovery?
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Premiered this past weekend, and we’ll talk about it with John.   Steven Greenhut wrote a thoughtful review of the film, posted at
Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.
To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut and John Seiler on CA Government and Lydia Grant on the harm and danger of unchecked police power against children in LAUSD

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

Gadfly Radio, with me and CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on the latest and hottest stories up at and in L.A. Children are being injured and their futures destroyed, by none other than the L.A.U.S.D.’s own police force with the help of the LAPD and the L.A. DA’s Office and LAUSD’s Complicit School Administrators.

A Black High Schooler in Los Angeles, CA uses a Cell Phone Camera to record a Police Officer beating a Student, is Charged with Attempted Lynching and faces Fourteen Years in Prison
Lydia Grant, education reform activist, parent, an LAUSD student safety activist and community liaison joins us to talk about the “seemingly weird case of Jeremy Marks, who is charged with “Attempted Lynching” and how the numerous examples of a gross abuse of power in this case are not so uncommon.  The difference in this case, the victim’s mother is getting some help to fight back, to expose a web of what appears to include a framing of an innocent bystander, dangerous harassment and intimidation by police officers against parents and children involved in the case, a cover up, and a gross abuse of power by police agencies with assistance from the Los Angeles DA’s Office.

A kid was severely beaten by a police officer for smoking a cigarette, and Jeremy Marks faces fourteen years for video taping the assault and not plea bargaining with the police. “If he pled guilty to charges of obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, criminal threats and “attempted lynching,” he’d serve only 32 months in prison.” Documents have been lost, kids’ homes raided at gunpoint by swat teams in gear, and other kids with similar stories have come forward. What is flying for “law and order” is criminal, immoral, unethical and dangerous for all of our children in public schools in Los Angeles.  

From the files at, your eyes on California Government:
NEW: Govt. Fights Citizens’ Right to Know
How do we know there are over sixteen thousand retired public employees, from CalSTRS, CalPERS and Cal’s UC alone, receiving over $100,000 a year in retirement income? Well it took legal battles to get documents disclosed. This is information the public is entitled to know. We are entitled to know how our Government works, what they do,  how they serve us, and how their actions impact our tax liabilities, burden are obligations. The average citizen’s ability to find out what the Government will not willingly disclose is what is now under direct assault.

From CalWatchDog’s Breaking News Page:

NEW: High-Speed Rail Rides Again
APRIL 12, 2011 By KATY GRIMES Another attempt to stop the unchecked spending on high-speed rail was killed in committee on Monday on a party-line vote. That happened despite research proving that taxpayers cannot sustain the inevitable subsidy the project will require, and claims that voters…

NEW: Guards Imprison Gov. Brown
APRIL 12, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Call me a bleeding heart, but I think prisoners should be treated humanely. In most American prisons, they’re treated like animals — actually, the ASPCA would get anyone who treated animals like that arrested for cruelty. But given that prisons are run by gove…

NEW: Public Pensions Crowding Out Services

(or, “Cutting Redevelopment to Solve Pension Crisis”

APRIL 12, 2011 By WAYNE LUSVARDI A Chinese folk tale tells of a sculptor that placed fake money on a tree to trick villagers into cutting it down for him. But so many people believed the tree to be sacred that the sculptor was warned that if he cut down the tree he would be cursed. At the …

NEW: Forced March to the May Revise
APRIL 11, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Things are looking bleaker by the day for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $12 billion tax hike. So far, Republicans have remained rock solid against it, denying him the two GOP sellout votes he needs in each house of the Legislature to put a tax-increase before voters…

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Graph and Chart Comparing CA with Texas on Jobs and Economic Growth

A bipartisan delegation of CA legislators and business leaders, are going on a junket to Texas to try to understand why Texas is growing jobs while CA continues to lose them.  Really? They need to go there to understand the difference?   Here are two great visual aids included in the press release from the CA Republican Caucus Office today:

Reckless Spending By Thomas Sowell (Looking beyond our fantasies about High Speed Rail)

Nothing more clearly illustrates the utter irresponsibility of Barack Obama than his advocacy of “high-speed rail.” The man is not stupid. He knows how to use words that will sound wonderful to people who do not bother to stop and think.

High-speed rail may be feasible in parts of Europe or Japan, where the population density is much higher than in the United States. But, without enough people packed into a given space, there will never be enough riders to repay the high cost of building and maintaining a high-speed rail system.

Building a high-speed rail system between Los Angeles and San Francisco may sound great to people who don’t give it any serious thought. But we are a more spread-out country than England, France or Japan. The distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco is greater than the distance from London to Paris– by more than 100 miles.

Click here to read more.

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California ranks 3rd last in financial-strength test

January 5, 2011 | 8:00 am
Bad as it is, the economic and fiscal mess facing California Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t the worst among the 50 states: At least by one measure, Arizona and Illinois have the Golden State beat for financial misery as the new year begins.

Not by much, though.

Analysts at investment bank BMO Capital Markets in Chicago have devised an index to gauge the relative financial strength of the states. The index combines measures of economic and employment health, bond quality ratings, home price movements, tax collections, and actual and projected budget deficits from 2009 through 2012.

All but four states now register negative financial strength indexes — an indication of how extensive state budget troubles have become, even though the U.S. economy overall has grown for six straight quarters as measured by gross domestic product.

California clocks in with an index reading of -9.9%, third-worst of the 50 states. Tied for last place: Arizona and Illinois, both of which show index levels of -10.7%.Click here to read more.

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Newsflash: “Dems Prepping State For Tax Hikes” Say whaaa? No… Say it ain’t so!

DEC. 22, 2010

“The governor needs to add a third (or perhaps fourth) voter option to his false ‘either-or’ choice,” explains Richard Rider, chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters association. “It’s not just less services or more taxes—the issue he’s dodging is how best to deliver desired public services.”

They should listen to Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, who wrote, “We should, for instance, find out why, with 12 percent of the nation’s population, we have 32 percent of its welfare cases, and why we’re spending three times as much on prisons as Texas, which has almost as many inmates.”

And Californians should ask why there are more than 15,000 members (and growing) of the $100,000 pension club (in all California retirement systems), and why lists of state salaries are filled with police and fire officials and city managers earning $250,000 or more.

We are asked to choose between fewer services or higher taxes. Yet no one wants to look at the inefficiencies in the current system, at the way the state misspends its resources. Where’s the talk of privatization? Or pension reform? Or reduction of public sector salaries?
As the year ends, let’s review where Californians stand with its busted budget. This piece was published in PublicSectorInc.

California’s Democratic leaders would have you believe that our state’s budget has been cut to the bone. They contend that the state’s never-ending budget deficit—currently estimated at more than $28 billion over 18 months—is the inevitable result of an unusually bad economy, and that more revenue is needed to avoid devastating service cuts. This is a false choice—there remains fat to cut in California’s budget, if politicians are willing to overcome union objections to doing so.

Governor-elect Jerry Brown (D) held a budget briefing earlier this month and fiscal conservatives took heart that the new governor was dealing forthrightly with dismal budget realities.Click here to read more

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Melodramatic? No. But Californians must be very much in denial. What do you call this sydrome? Holy Crap! What now?

California Suggests Suicide; Texas Asks: Can I Lend You a Knife?
by Joel Kotkin 11/15/2010

In the future, historians may likely mark the 2010 midterm elections as the end of the California era and the beginning of the Texas one. In one stunning stroke, amid a national conservative tide, California voters essentially ratified a political and regulatory regime that has left much of the state unemployed and many others looking for the exits.

California has drifted far away from the place that John Gunther described in 1946 as “the most spectacular and most diversified American state … so ripe, golden.” Click here to read the article

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California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby Silicon Valley, once synonymous with productivity-enhancing innovation, is now looking to make money on feel-good government handouts.

WSJ Nov 16, 2010

California officials acknowledged last Thursday that the state faces $20 billion deficits every year from now to 2016. At the same time, California’s state Treasurer entered bond markets to sell some $14 billion in “revenue anticipation notes” over the next two weeks. Worst of all, economic sanity lost out in what may have been the most important election on Nov. 2—and, no, I’m not talking about the gubernatorial or senate races.

This was the California referendum to repeal Assembly Bill 32, the so-called Global Warming Solutions Act, which ratchets the state’s economy back to 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020. That’s a 30% drop followed by a mandated 80% overall drop by 2050. Together with a $500 billion public-pension overhang, the new energy cap dooms the state to bankruptcy. Click here to read more

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Latino kids now majority in state’s public schools

“…experts say the shift underscores the huge impact Latinos already have on California’s politics, economy and school system.”

Gamble that they won’t vote or learn a lesson from what just happened in California this past November when record number of Hispanic voters pulled the lever and gave majority rule to the Democrats in California? Give up? Or consider there is possibility to win hearts and minds over to the side of Liberty, free enterprise and a climate where entrepreneurs have a shot? Here’s the reality as it looks now:
Will Kane, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
November 13, 2010 04:00 AM

Latinos now make up a majority of California’s public school students, cracking the 50 percent barrier for the first time in the state’s history, according to data released Friday by the state Department of Education.

Almost 50.4 percent of the state’s students in the 2009-10 school year identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up 1.36 percent from the previous year.

In comparison, 27 percent of California’s 6.2 million students identified themselves as white, 9 percent as Asian and 7 percent as black. Students calling themselves Filipino, Pacific Islander, Native American or other total almost 7 percent.

While the result was no surprise to educators, experts say the shift underscores the huge impact Latinos already have on California’s politics, economy and school system.
Click here to read more.

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Dick Morris puts it bluntly to the Republican-elect Majority in the Congress: Smash the Union Thug-o-cracy

The victory of Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid can be attributed to the underestimated power of the Public Employee Unions to get out the vote.
“One of the first orders of business to come up in the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be the demand for bailouts of states where expenditures have been especially profligate – California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut. Throughout 2009 and 2010, these states governments have stayed above water by repeated infusions of federal cash. These one-shot stimulus payments must be repeated each year. They are all non-recurring expenditures requiring separate annual appropriations.”…”The fiscal crises facing state and local governments and school boards makes these unions and their political clout vulnerable, potentially at the mercy of a Republican controlled House of Representatives. We may, at long last, have a way to liberate our nation from the domination of those who should be our public servants but instead are frequently our union masters.” Click here to read the article published at

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“Over 20% of California’s debt issuance during 2009 and over 30% of its debt issuance in 2010 to date has been subsidized by the federal government in a program known as Build America Bonds.” The Day of Reckoning looms big and sooner than we think.

State Bailouts? They’ve Already Begun
Bond subsidies and transfers have allowed states to avoid making tough decisions. It won’t last.


The threat posed by the state fiscal crisis in the U.S. is vastly underestimated and under-appreciated—because even today too few people understand how states have been managing their finances.

A clear example of this took place in Manhattan last week at the Economist magazine’s Buttonwood Conference, where a panel role-played the federal government’s response to a near default of the hypothetical state of New Jefferson. After various deliberations and simulated threats from the Chinese government, the panel reluctantly voted to grant New Jefferson an emergency bailout of $1.5 billion to cover the state’s debt payment.

What this panel and so many other investors fail to appreciate is that state bailouts have already begun. Click here to continue.

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Prop. 23 Foe Profits From ‘Dirty Coal’

OCT. 28, 2010


NO on 23 backer and Democrat Tom Steyer’s Farallon Capital Management Company holds stock in “dirty coal,” nuclear, and oil and gas companies, and in a Chinese solar panel supply company that potentially would rob jobs from Californians, even as the NO on 23 campaign blasts Prop. 23 backers for similar investments.Click her to read more.

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I Was Two When My Parents, Aunts, Uncles, & Grandparents Moved Their Families From Texas to CA for Jobs. Now Texas is the New California.

Say it Ain’t So: “Texas is the New California”

By Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee
Fri, October 29th, 2010
After looking at the state unemployment numbers that came out last week, the Wall Street Journal declared in an editorial that Texas cities have become the destination for investment and entrepreneurship. The paper flatly states: “Texas is the New California.”

Has the Golden State dropped so low that we have lost our reputation as the home of innovation and bright beginnings? Have entrepreneurs found a more comfortable, happier place to call home? It sure looks that way.

The Journal noted California’s huge job loss and Texas’s job gain. But more than that, the paper implied that Texas is the new destination for the entrepreneur. Texas has become the target for “high tech, venture capital, aeronautics, health care and even industrial manufacturing.” Click here to read more.

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You don’t say…Is it wishful thinking to say the jig is up? Pull Quote: “Overcompensation of public employees, considering all factors of remuneration, may approach to 80 to 120 percent more than private employees in comparable positions as a norm for hundreds of thousands, if not more than one million, public employees in the state.”

Study Says Public Pay Out Of Line

OCT. 5, 2010

A new California think tank is releasing a new study Wednesday on reforming public employee pay and pensions. We reprint the entire study here today with permission from the California Center for Public Policy.


Reforming Public Employee Compensation and Pensions

Executive Summary

It is time to reform public employee compensation in California. Public employee compensation is out of line with the private sector in every area. There are thousands of individual government agencies in the state, employing almost 2 million individuals. Whether the standard is salary, working conditions, benefits, or especially pensions, public employees in California receive compensation far in excess of what workers in the private sector do. It is illiberal and unjust, and no true liberal or progressive should support current public employee compensation.

Tens of thousands of public employees in the area of public safety are among the highest paid individuals in any occupation. The $2 to $5 million in annuity value that these employees may receive through pension programs in their early to middle fifties makes these employees’ comprehensive career compensation among the highest in America.

The $1 million to $2 million in annuity value that more than a million non-public safety employees in California will receive through their pension programs in their middle fifties to early sixties similarly makes most California public employees de facto millionaires by their middle to late fifties. Frequently, California public employees, particularly in public safety, pay less than half or even nothing toward the employee’s portion of retirement programs for the benefits they will receive.
Click here to read more.

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Wishful Title and a Great Analysis and Report: “California Awakening” by Gino De Carlo, VP of Communication for CA Manufacturing & Tech Association

Mon, November 23rd, 2009

State policymakers are beginning to understand — or at least face the realities of — a fundamental reason for California’s job loss and now a 3-year $81 billion budget deficit. Basically we pass laws and move on to new ones and call it success. Texas on the other hand — a state that congregates its legislature in only odd years and requires a 2/3rds majority on every bill — created 70% of the new jobs in the United States in 2008 and has a $2 billion budget surplus this year. Click here to go to Fox & Hounds Daily to read more.

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Don’t Blame Voters for California’s Budget Woes: Big spending pols falsely claim citizen ballot initiatives have tied their hands.


With the Golden State still struggling to balance its books, politicians from both sides of the aisle have come up with a nifty way to avoid responsibility for the mess: Blame the voters.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, summed it up for his fellow pols recently by telling a reporter: “All of those propositions tell us how we must spend our money. . . . This is no way, of course, to run a state.” State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, has made similar comments in denouncing “ballot-box budgeting.”

Their indictment is false. Voters aren’t tying lawmakers’ hands too much, but too little. Here’s the background:

For decades, state officials have habitually proposed deep cuts to the most popular programs unless voters agree to higher taxes. Tired of being manipulated, voters have used the ballot initiative to put some programs off-limits.

Click here to read more.

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Glenn Beck – Current Events & Politics – Glenn Beck: Vote ‘Expunged’

Glenn Beck – Current Events & Politics – Glenn Beck: Vote ‘Expunged’
Shared via AddThis

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California Screaming: The Golden State’s political class comes unglued in the face of a citizens’ revolt.

This piece has made the rounds, but just in case you missed it, I loved it and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it. It demarcates the boundaries and the limits for the bluest of blue tax payers. Wow, what a thrill to see there is a limit.

But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.

Click here to read the article

This Should Never Happen Again: GOP’s HUGE missed opportunity with Victor Elizalde

Back in 2004, a smart, good-looking moderate Republican Hispanic ran for Congress. At the time Victor Elizalde was just under 40 years old and working as an executive at a big-time Hollywood studio. As an ethnic minority, a family man and a rare open conservative in an industry dominated by liberals, Mr. Elizalde represented hope and change for the Republican Party.

Yet because he was running for Henry A. Waxman´s safe seat, Mr. Elizalde got no support from the Republican Party . In fact, no one in the party´s leadership took notice of him. As a result Mr. Waxman trounced Mr. Elizalde with 71 percent of the vote. (more…)