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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Perpetuating Safety in the Workplace

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

A recent L.A. Times article on May 10th by Kathleen Luppi was a celebration of 100,000 accident free work hours at Christ Cathedral.

Another California company has done even better. The Phillips66 Refinery in Wilmington just had a BBQ celebrating more than 2,400,000 man-hours with no OSHA recordables over a 3 year period.

Coincidentally, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is preparing to issue in 2019 their infrastructure report card for 17 infrastructures that did not exist prior to the 1900’s and they could not exist without the chemicals and by-products manufactured from crude oil.

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The 4th Industrial Revolution & Los Angeles Leadership Role

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong
Founder of NantWorks and the new owner of the Los Angeles Times.

(Editor’s Note: The following was previously published by THE PLANNING REPORT, (publisher and editor-in-chief David Abel), the preeminent trade publication where the Los Angeles region’s leaders engage in substantive debate about urban planning, growth, design, and public infrastructure investment. The 2018 Select LA Investment Summit, organized by the World Trade Center-Los Angeles, brought executives from more than 25 countries together to discuss the potential of the region for innovation and economic development. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of NantWorks and the new owner of the Los Angeles Times, addressed the summit and noted that Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to combine its current public and private leadership of 21st Century mobility, technology, clean energy, bioscience, climate action, and goods movement to create the next global industrial revolution. The following are an excerpt of Dr. Soon-Shiong’s remarks).

I’m truly excited to be able to present today what we’ve been quietly doing since 2008. I’m honored today to tell you what nanotech has been about for the last decade. From now to 2028 Olympics, we will implement this vision.

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An Old Tale: Help is Coming for Public Unions from Legislative Majority

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

Spooked by the imminent prospect of losing mandatory dues from bargaining unit employees, widely anticipated in the soon-to-be announced Janus case, California government employee unions have hauled out some of their most ambitious countermeasures to date and are rushing them through the legislature.

SB 866 would cement union control over access to individual employee decisions on whether to continue paying union dues, should mandatory agency fees be deemed unconstitutional. The bill calls for an appropriation, which qualifies it as a budget trailer bill—another example of the misuse of the process.

Key elements of the bill include:

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Want to Take the Border Seriously? Ask California How It’s Done

Timothy Perry
Timothy Perry is a former federal prosecutor.

Increasingly, the Trump administration’s brand of “zero-tolerance” immigration enforcement has attracted the skepticism it deserves.  To date, Congress has refused to fund the border wall—a costly adventure of questionable utility.  Recently, the Washington Post editorial board denounced a suite of practices that erode asylum-seekers’ ability to find safety in the United States.  And then there is the policy—currently the subject of widespread and vocal criticism—that results in separating minor children from their parents at the border.

But there is also a more fundamental critique, which should unite immigration hawks and doves: in the immigration context, zero-tolerance policing is simply bad law enforcement.  Ironically, California’s response to the Trump administration’s crackdown hints at a smarter, more humane, and credible approach to border security.

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$120,000 for California Preschool

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)

Since the 1990s, California’s leaders have promised to make preschool universal for every child.

Maybe they’ll actually do it by the time I have grandchildren.

It’s already too late for my own kids. The youngest of my three sons graduated from preschool last week. I celebrated by writing my final preschool check, for monthly tuition of $1,165. With that payment, my total spending on preschool tuition for all three boys surpassed $120,000.

All that tuition has wiped away most of my family’s savings. And yet, my kids are extremely lucky—because they got to go to preschool at all.

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Less than 50% of Victims Report Crime, Victimization Survey Says

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

A tremendous amount of coverage of the criminal justice system is focused on the perpetrators of crime and what should happen to them upon arrest and conviction. However, the unexplored and uncovered story is the number of violent and property crimes never reported to police, and the fact that few victims of violent crime receive any support services.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has been conducted annually since 1972. The survey, which samples several hundred thousand households across the country, is a major source of data for the analysis of victimization risk, consequences of victimization, and responses to crime.

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“Top Two” Takes California

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

Despite the grumbling of pundits and partisans, California’s top-two primary is almost certainly here to stay.  The voters like it and the system fits the realities of this state’s politics.

California no longer has a functioning two-party system and that is not going to change anytime soon.  The presidency of Donald Trump has served to accelerate the downsizing of the state’s GOP, which is approaching minor party status; it’s been surpassed by No Party Preference (NPP) voters on California’s electoral rolls.

It looks like the only potentially competitive statewide contests in November will be for Lieutenant Governor (a race between two Democrats), Insurance Commissioner (a Democrat and an NPP candidate) and Superintendent of Public Instruction (a nominally non-partisan race between two Democrats).  Under the old closed primary system, the Democratic nominees for Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Commissioner would both have been shoo-ins.

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The Consequences of Bad Housing Laws

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

If you think being a rental housing owner in California is frustrating and nerve-rattling, read what is being said about property owners in Seattle:

My landlord is a dying breed.  He’s a middle-class guy who owns and rents out the tiny house we live in, built in the 1950s on the other side of the lake from Seattle. That house is his retirement plan.  But, he’s terrified the misguided policies infecting Seattle’s housing market will spread across the lake.  If that happens, my landlord would likely sell, as many Seattle landlords are doing now.

This comment was made recently by a Pacific Legal Foundation lawyer who happens to be renting a home in the most-fabled city of the northwest.  His landlord risks getting hit with a Seattle ordinance which forbids owners from checking criminal backgrounds or considering prior criminal convictions when selecting tenants.

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