Will Election “Deciders” be Young or Old?

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

Who will decide the November mid-term elections? If you believe AARP and the program conducted in Los Angeles by AARP and Politico yesterday, the deciders will be seniors. If you believe Tom Steyer and the millions he is spending to increase voter registration and get out the vote it will be millennials.

Generation Change, dedicated to help millennial Democrats run for office, is staging a rally Saturday in Stockton headed by its millennial mayor, Michael Tubbs, and a handful of statewide Democratic candidates who represent the emerging left wing of the party. Perhaps, the millennials will come out in greater numbers than attended the AARP/Politico event (which was also live streamed), but history indicates that it is more likely that older voters will be the deciders because they vote in greater numbers.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Property Tax Fairness

Steve White
Steve White is President of the California Association of REALTORS®.

Make no mistake, if Prop 13 were on the ballot today it would pass by a wide margin.

With that in mind, it was surprising to read Joel Fox’s article suggesting that the decision to file a second ballot initiative to advance property tax fairness would undermine Proposition 5, the Property Tax Fairness Initiative. The reality is that REALTORS® are California’s leading advocates for homeownership and are committed to addressing California’s housing supply crisis. Proposition 5 is part of the housing crisis solution. 

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The Global Climate Action Summit Makes a Big Fat Political Target

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)

For the record, California – and the United States – need more global gatherings where we compare knowledge and experience on solving difficult problems.

But the highly touted Global Climate Action Summit, convened by Gov. Jerry Brown, may be the wrong event at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

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Don’t Be Poor Down There, Be Poor Up Here!

Joe Armendariz
Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association, the Santa Barbara Technology and Industry Association…and a former two term member of the Carpinteria City Council.

There was an article in the Santa Barbara Newspress that exposed Santa Barbara County, a place where our political leaders do whatever it takes to retain the title of “Capital of Social Justice.” Apparently via a progressive, lead by example, no green regulation, effective or not, duplicative or not, can ever go too far agenda, as being the apartheidic economy that it really is. In other words, the article I shared talked about Santa Barbara County now earning the dubious distinction of being the county in California with the third highest percentage of families living in poverty. Spoiler alert: the overwhelming majority of these families are Latino. Indeed, Latino’s comprise 44% of the county’s population but comprise a majority (54%) of the families living in poverty. Social justice indeed! How about a little economic justice?

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SB 311 Shows What’s Wrong With Transition to Marijuana Legalization

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)

Marijuana legalization isn’t working for a simple reason: the new legal system doesn’t come with enforcement.

That’s the paradox of legalization—it requires a new drug war of sorts.

When you’re transitioning from a black market to a legal market, you need to do two things. You need to develop a clear, coherent, easily regulated and taxed system for the legal market. And you have to crack down on those businesses that remain in the black market.

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High Court Ruling Raises Questions on Passage of Local Special Taxes 

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

How many voters does it take to pass a local special tax?

Since Proposition 13 in 1978, voters have had the final say on local tax increases. A subsequent initiative passed in 1996, Proposition 218, further required most local tax measures to gain approval by two-thirds of voters, whether proposed by a local government agency or by citizen initiative. (The exception to this is “general” city or county taxes that do not earmark where proceeds must be used, which can be approved by a simple majority of local voters.)

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The Time for CALTRANS to Restructure Passed Decades Ago!

Ronald Stein
Founder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine

The engineering and construction (E&C) industries have a common attribute, you’re always working yourself out of a job!  Once you’ve designed the bridge, you need another bridge to design!

Over the last few decades, transportation and communications have been greatly enhanced to the point that every E&C firm is faced with huge and very competitive competition for work.  Over those decades, E&C firms have eliminated one word from their dictionary – overhead!  If you’re working on a project and billable, they love you, but if not, there’s no overhead budget dollars to keep you.

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‘Chinafornia’ And Global Trade In Age Of Trump 

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

One of the last regions settled en masse by Europeans, California’s trajectory long has been linked to its partners across the Pacific. Yet these ties could be deeply impacted by President Trump’s immigration and trade policies, as well as resulting blowback by the authoritarian regime in Beijing.

In recent decades, California has become something of a China junkie. With China on the route to what some predict will be hegemonic power, there’s a set who eagerly wish to promote the idea of “Chinafornia.” The pattern of dependency can be seen in how our industries depend on China for their production. For some companies, like Apple, China provided the capacity to produce products cheaply without suffering heavy GHG impacts in state. China’s coal-based pollution allowed these congenitally “virtue signaling” firms to retain their “green” street cred.

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Secretary of State Padilla Hits the Wrong Target

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

Secretary of State Alex Padilla is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to election cyber security.  Last month he went after House Republicans for refusing to provide extra federal money to “further protect and modernize our nation’s election infrastructure.  Protecting the integrity of our elections and ensuring confidence in our elections should never succumb to partisan politics – but that’s exactly what happened,” he said.

There are several things wrong with this partisan attack.  First, elections are run by the state, if there is a problem with election security, it should be up to the Secretary of State, Mr. Padilla, not the federal government to correct the problem.

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Business Reacts to Filing of Split Roll Initiative

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

With the announcement by supporters that enough signatures were gathered to qualify for the 2020 ballot a ‘split roll’ measure that would raise property taxes on commercial property, the business community issued a condemnation of the effort and reasons why it is unnecessary.

But the response that should be monitored is not the words but the actions of the business community. With a two-year head start on the campaign, will the pledges of millions of dollars to oppose the split roll quickly become a reality? Will California businesses start moving assets or place new satellite offices and plants outside the state?

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