Judge Highlights a Business Concern in Trial Dealing with Sanctuary State

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

The judge hearing the federal challenge against California immigrant protection laws put his finger on a problem resulting from one of those laws: “The statute really puts the employer between a rock and a hard place,” the judge said. While greater attention at the Sacramento trial focused on California’s sanctuary state law, the dilemma faced by businesses since the implementation of AB 450, dealing with immigration worksite enforcement actions, also was examined at trial.

The bill prohibits an employer from providing access to a federal government immigration enforcement agent to any non-public areas of a business if the agent does not have a warrant.

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People In Black Robes Shouldn’t Write Tax Law

Joe Armendariz
Former Carpinteria City Councilman and executive director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association

When will politicians and lawyers (although I repeat myself) understand that merchants, either online or brick and mortar, do not pay sales taxes except on the business to business transactions they initiate?

Consumers pay sales taxes. And American consumers pay massive amounts of taxes including hundreds of billions in sales taxes on a vast array of goods, and services. To state the obvious, Americans, in general, and Californian’s in particular, are over-taxed, not under-taxed. And governments at every level, federal, state, and local, are spending record amounts of taxes on salaries, benefits, programs, and services. Many of which are notoriously rife with waste, fraud, and abuse. 

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Kevin McCarthy Should Stop Clinging to Trump

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

It’s hard to watch what House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is doing to himself.

By clinging to President Trump, he’s done damage to his reputation that can never be undone. Look at the full spectrum of Trump lies, follies, paranoid fantasies (the supposed 3 million illegal votes in our state, for example), and human rights violations (see children at border), and McCarthy has defended the president.

Lately, he’s slipped into conspiratorial territory, by calling for an end to the special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

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Water Rationing Laws Exemplify the Malthusian Mentality of California’s Legislators

Ed Ring
Ed Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

As reported in the Sacramento Bee and elsewhere, on May 31st Gov. Jerry Brown “signed a pair of bills Thursday to set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water consumption.”

After pressure from the Association of California Water Agencies and others, the final form of these bills, Assembly Bill 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, and Senate Bill 606 from state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, offers water districts more flexibility in enforcing the new restrictions. But the focus of AB 1668, limiting indoor water use to 50 gallons per resident per day, is a step too far. Way too far.

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Election Winners and Losers

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Is it time yet to pick winners and losers in the June elections in California? They’re still counting votes, and we won’t have final results until July.

Let’s take a risk and give it a try. Here are six winners and six losers from the results, we have now.


Winner: High-speed rail. Voters turned down a ballot measure, Prop 70, placed there by the legislature, that would have provided Republicans with leverage over a key funding source for high-speed rail in 2024. The measure was part of a deal for Republican votes on climate change legislation. It would have required the legislature to approve with a two-thirds margin a spending plan for revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program, which helps fund high-speed rail.

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Hetch Hetchy: An Historic Opportunity for the Administration

John Mirisch
Vice-Mayor, City of Beverly Hills

Just a few days ago Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove re-opened after a three-year restoration project to remove the asphalt parking lot and trails that have jeopardized the long-term health of its magnificent giant sequoias.

The reopening of the Grove presents Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Administration with a rare opportunity to correct an historic injustice and to fix one of the biggest environmental mistakes of the 20th Century.  Secretary Zinke describes himself as “an unapologetic admirer of Teddy Roosevelt,” who famously visited Yosemite National Park with John Muir, our nation’s patron saint of conservation and environmental protection.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  And yet a section of the Park which naturalist John Muir declared to be one of Yosemite’s most sublime landscapes, “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples,” is not accessible to anybody.

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Healthier Kids or State Gone Wild?

Scott Lay
Publisher of The Nooner

SB 1192 (Monning) would require restaurants marketing meals to children to make the default beverage either water or milk, essentially prohibiting soda, juice, and chocolate milk. This is only in the marketing or menu listing, and doesn’t prohibit the sale of other beverages to the children.

In Assembly Health, a broad coalition supported the bill, including healthy groups and local YMCA’s. No opposition came forward. For CALmatters, Elizabeth Castillo reporting on the bill wrote, “The California Restaurant Association has not taken a position on the bill, and the American Beverage Association is neutral, writing in a letter to Monning that it “is committed to increasing access to beverages with less sugar and smaller portions in stores and restaurants.”

The bill passed Assembly Health 12-0, with 3 Republicans abstaining. One Republican, Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), joined majority Democrats in voting “aye.” On the Senate Floor, 5 Republicans joined Democrats for a 32-7 vote. 

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Common Sense Crime Fix Killed by State Legislators

Michele Hanisee
President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys

If you had any doubts that many elected state leadership in Sacramento could care less about victims and adamantly oppose even the most common sense solutions to crime, proof was again provided via SB 916 which died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This bill was proposed by San Francisco area Senator Scott Weiner to help address the car burglary problem plaguing that city. The problem is horrendous: in 2017 there were 31,122 car burglaries reported in San Francisco, a crime rate that was at least four times higher than in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, or Sacramento.

A central element of the crime of auto burglary is proof beyond a reasonable doubt the vehicle was locked at the time of entry, meaning testimony of the victim is required. A broken window is circumstantial evidence a vehicle was locked, but problematic since post window smash, burglars often reach in and unlock the door to make entry and leave the car in an unlocked condition to be discovered by the victim or police. As a local columnist wrote, “In San Francisco, car break-ins disproportionately strike tourists, who aren’t exactly lining up to pay to fly back to the city where their belongings were swiped to testify in court about it.”

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Other Initiatives Lose Spotlight in Glare of 3 States Proposal

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Perhaps the most troubling thing about the Cal 3 States initiative qualifying for the November election is that it will take the spotlight away from important policy measures that will appear along side it on the ballot. Potentially, there could be a slew of measures that would have substantial impact on California policy and governance: repealing the gas tax; setting privacy rights standards; allowing more rent control; extending property tax protections; authorizing a large water bond; altering the kidney dialysis clinic business; strengthening vote requirements for taxes and more.

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Newman Recall Shows the Folly of Jerry Brown’s Small-Ball Politics

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Has anyone ever been recalled for so little?

That’s the problem with the recall of Josh Newman, a Democratic state senator from Orange County.

The recall is a political tool, and people can be recalled for any reason, political or otherwise. The reason for Newman’s downfall was his vote to raise taxes on gas and vehicle license fees.

That’s a terrible thing to be recalled for. Because it’s so small.

I say that not to criticize the recall, or suggest it was wrong. I wouldn’t have voted for it, but voters in Neumann’s districts did, overwhelmingly.

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