Schwarzenegger’s Call to Stop Funding GOP Already Happening

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

At the initial summit for New Way California, a group created by Assemblyman Chad Mayes to revive a slumping state Republican Party, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a suggestion to force change in the party—tell donors to stop giving .

There are signs that is already happening if the high profile governor’s contest is an indicator. In dropping out of the governor’s race, former Republican congressman Doug Ose said he stopped his campaign because donors were not stepping up to support his candidacy.  Leading Republican gubernatorial candidates John Cox and Travis Allen, while raising some independent cash, have not been raking in the big dollars usually associated with a run for a high-profile, statewide race in California, although Cox has contributed millions to his own campaign.

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Deliver This Constitutionally Flawed Junk-Mail Bill to the Trash Bin

Nick Zaiac and Steven Greenhut
Nick Zaiac is the commercial freedom fellow for the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C. Steven Greenhut is R Street’s Sacramento-based Western region director.

We all experience the annoyance of grabbing the day’s mail only to find stacks of unwanted grocery store flyers, unsolicited magazines, prize drawings and offers for credit cards or home-equity loans. Junk mail must appeal to some consumers, or companies wouldn’t spend millions of dollars sending it to our mailboxes. But many people are fed up with the endless reams of unwanted paper.

So it’s easy to understand the motivation behind Assembly Bill 2021 by Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga. The bill, which would require the state government to create a “do not contact” list, presumably would reduce this mail-sorting hassle. It may also be good for the environment, as it would reduce the amount of paper products that instantly go into household trash or recycle bins.

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Jerry’s Premature Victory Lap

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)

The Brown governorship still has more than nine months to go.

But the victory laps are already well underway.

He’s giving valedictory interviews to national media – a New Yorker profile is the latest. There was a long interview for California Sunday magazine. And any number of conversations with the New York Times.

Get ready for more.

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One Brave Little California City Doesn’t Want to Live in a “Sanctuary State” Either

John Hollon
Longtime newspaper, magazine, and online editor who held editing positions at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, the Orange County Register, and was Executive Editor at The Honolulu Advertiser. Also an adjunct professor in the College of Communications at CSU Fullerton.

It looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to live in a sanctuary state.

Last October, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that designated California as a so-called “sanctuary state,” I wrote a long blog post here — titled Dear California Legislature: What if I Don’t Want to Live in a “Sanctuary State?” — that said, in part:

“I can’t stand the thought that the State of California, where I have spent most of my life living, working, and raising a family, is now a “sanctuary state.” …

An irresponsible and short-sighted law like this one just makes me sad and embarrassed to be a Californian.

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Brown Curses Those Who Curse the High Speed Rail

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

Gov. Jerry Brown ripped critics of the high-speed rail offering profanity and calling critics small-minded. Yet, it is an American tradition that goes back to the beginning of the Republic to point out when government goes off the rails, a turn of phrase that is certainly apropos in this instance.

In his second incarnation as governor, Brown has built a reputation of fiscal prudence that has won plaudits across the political spectrum. Yet, a major criticism of the high-speed rail is that it continues to break promises to voters on the cost, completion date, and projected speed of the train.

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Why Do They Keep Failing at the Initiative Finish Line?

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)

What do Travis Allen and John Cox have in common, besides the fact they are Republicans who have no chance of getting elected governor?

Both tripped and fell in the initiative game.

Allen had a partial excuse—his initiative to repeal the gas tax had legal problems, and he has joined up with another, similar effort.

The Cox mistake borders on unforgivable. Yes, the overwhelming majority of initiatives filed never make it to the ballot.

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California’s Got a New Plan to Hit its 2030 Emissions Target – But are we Aiming at the Right Target?

Leanna Sweha
An attorney and consultant on strategic technology and climate policy messaging. She has worked for the California Legislature, the California Natural Resources Agency, and UC Davis.

The Air Resources Board adopted its 2030 Scoping Plan late last year.  The 2030 goal – a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 1990 levels – is mandated by state law.  This is the state’s contribution to what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the planet must achieve to avoid catastrophic climate change.

But, is an emissions reduction target the right goal?

UC Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein has weighed in on this question.  His analysis merits our attention.

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Leadership and Autocratic Rule

Richard Rubin
Attorney Richard Rubin has taught public policy at USF, UC Berkeley and other institutions and is Chair of the California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

California has had its share of towering leaders—-Governors Hiram Johnson, Earl Warren, (who also became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), Ronald Reagan, and Governor Edmund G. Brown.

Senators William Knowland and Dianne Feinstein along with the first woman House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (both still serving) and the current head of state, Jerry Brown, could also make that list.

And I would put former Assembly Speaker for 15 years and S.F. Mayor, Willie L. Brown, Jr—who reinvented himself some years ago as a notable columnist in the S.F. Chronicle–on the list as well.

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The Missing Item in Health Care Discussion—the Tax Code

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

Attempts at creating a single payer health care system have stalled so a group of liberal organizations are backing a package of bills to achieve a form of universal coverage. But you can pull out the same label on this attempt that sidetracked single payer—“woefully incomplete.”  They don’t want to say how much this universal health care plan will cost or where the money is coming from.

Sure the state treasury is brimming with unexpected cash and the budget is at an all time high. However, anyone who has ridden the California budget rollercoaster over the last couple of decades knows that flush times won’t last.

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Glazer Bill Would Begin to Move State Away from Pension Disaster

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a Fellow at the California Center for Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

California was once defined by its natural beauty and milestones of human achievement. Today it’s known more for intractable problems, such as the public employee pension crisis. State and local governments have racked up nearly $1 trillion in pension debt. But because government employers have contributed only about 70 percent of what they are required to feed into the retirement accounts, that massive obligation is only partially funded.

The official claim says about $170 billion of the $1 trillion has no funding. It might not be realistic, though. When the risks of the investments that have been made with the pension funds are properly taken into account, the figure soars to at least $300 billion and might be as high as $600 billion.

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