Tuesday, June 19, on Gadfly Radio, Marcia Fritz, C.P.A., and an active voice for Fix Pensions First | FixPensionsFirst.com, joins Martha Montelongo, with CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Related links for the show:
Viewpoints: When it comes to pensions, we can’t afford to party like it’s 1999 | Fix Pensions First
By Marcia Fritz
The Legislature has until June 28 to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require all state and local government employees to contribute one-half the cost of their pensions. Future employees would be eligible for a hybrid plan that includes a defined benefit (pension) component, but with limits. The balance of the governor’s plan can be enacted through legislation.
Paying half of pension costs won’t be a shock to teachers and state employees – most pay half or close to half today. But thousands of local government employees retire at 55, collect six-figure pensions and lifetime health care benefits, and contribute nothing to their retirement plans.
Voters douse most tax-increase fires | CalWatchDog
June 15, 2012
By Dave Roberts
“…Despite fire tax proponents spending $177,000 (to zero spending by opponents), the tax hike failed to gain a majority of the vote, let alone the two-thirds required to pass.
It was always going to be a tough sell asking for an additional $2,200 per home over 10 years when most people have lost 39 percent of their net worth in the last three years and many are still staggering from the aftershocks of the Great Recession. But the district board decided to go for it anyway, doing the bidding of the firefighters union as it seeks to increase salaries, benefits and jobs.
Fire tax hikes were not that popular throughout the state. In addition to the failure of the East Contra Costa tax hike, a $100 tax hike in Higgins, a $40 hike in North Auburn-Ophir, a $79 tax in Placer Hills and a $59 tax in Crest all failed.
There were two successful fire tax measures: a $150 tax in Newcastle and a four-year extension of a $65 tax in San Mateo County.
Steven Greenhut: ‘Reforms’ will raise California taxes | The Orange County Register
June 16, 2012
By Steven Greenhut
SACRAMENTO – God help California from its current crop of wealthy “moderates” who believe that the only thing that will save our state is a dose of higher taxes. They continue to embrace electoral rule changes that ultimately will undermine the Republicans’ supposedly hard line against tax hikes.June 5 saw was the first election to use the “top two” primary system, a form of open primary designed specifically to elect more candidates who resemble former state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two politicians most responsible for its implementation. These are two of the least-effective and least-principled Republicans to attain higher office in recent years, so let this serve as a warning about what is to come.
The emerging California Fusion Party | CalWatchDog
By Wayne Lusvardi
June 18, 2012
Political fusion is an arrangement where two parties on a ballot list the same candidate. Fusion has been outlawed in many states.
A version of fusionism emerging in California is this under the new Top Two system, which voters approved under Proposition 14 back in 2010. The majority party floods election ballots with at least two of its candidates. Then it only allows the minority party to influence election results by endorsing one of the major party’s candidates. Another name for political fusion is cross-endorsement…
Now, the Union Pushback: Following big victories for public-pension reform in California, the union empire takes to the courts.
by Steven Greenhut – City Journal
June 12, 2012
The nation’s public-sector unions have become so emboldened by years of political victories, and so insulated from voter concerns, that they apparently never considered the possibility that voters, given a clear choice, would turn against them. Last Tuesday was as close as the nation gets to a clarifying election, the result of union overreach in Wisconsin and union intransigence in California. “Election results in California and Wisconsin this week are being viewed as a turning point for organized labor—to its detriment,” reported the Los Angeles Times, echoing a story line repeated nationwide.