Is Confusion Over the Label “Proposition 13” Affecting the Chances of the School Bond?

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

While the Proposition 13 property tax cut measure of four decades ago still enjoys a two-to-one advantage in polls, the Proposition 13 on the March 3 ballot for a $15 billion school bond is barely hanging on according to the new Public Policy Institute of California poll. 

The poll found “slim” support for the big maintenance, construction, and modernization bond for schools, community colleges and universities. Of likely voters, 51% were supportive, 42% opposed. School bonds usually meet success on the statewide ballot in which 50% plus one is the necessary passing margin. 

All the money is on the Yes side of the bond, over $8 million. Endorsing supporters, including educational organizations, business groups and elected officials vastly outnumber opponents made up of traditional tax watchdogs. With all the complaints about schools needing money, why is the bond not doing better? 

Is the school issue not as strong as advocates think it is? 

Read comments Read more

Why My Kids Loathe Mike Bloomberg

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)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has broken through. He’s united all three of my young sons—ages 11, 9, and 6—on one political stance. 

They hate Bloomberg. 

The reason has nothing to do with politics, about which my boys could care less,and everything to do with the annoyances of saturation advertising. Bloomberg’s barrage of ads is so overwhelming that it’s affecting their lives. 

My kids barely watch TV, but they are online—even when they’re not supposed to be. My 6 year old was the first to complain about Bloomberg.  Because when he wanted to watch the awful cartoon PJ Masks on Youtube, he kept having to watch Bloomberg ads on Youtube. 

Read comments Read more

Disinformation in Political Debate

David Crane
Lecturer and Research Scholar at Stanford University and President of Govern for California

Further to our recent note about disinformation in California politics, another illustration was provided earlier this week by an article about a debate among participants in a Bay Area race for State Senate.

One candidate said that one of her top priorities is “moving California from the bottom 10 states in per-pupil spending for K-12 schools to the top 10,” yet she should know that, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, California ranks in the middle of states in per-pupil spending:

Read comments Read more

California’s Progressive War on Suburbia

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

For three years in a row, California’s progressive lawmakers have attempted to legislate higher density housing by taking away the ability of cities and counties to enforce local zoning laws. And for the third year in a row, the proposed law, Senate Bill 50, was narrowly defeated. But eventually, inevitably, something like SB 50 is going to passed into law.

In opposition were homeowners who understandably don’t want their single family home neighborhoods subjected to random demolitions in order to replace single family homes with construction subsidized fourplexes to be filled with rent subsidized tenants. These homeowners, and the local elected officials who represent them, were joined by “housing justice advocates” who claimed the law didn’t adequately address the gentrification effect, whereby higher density developments often displace existing residents to construct luxury condominiums that only the wealthy can afford.

Read comments Read more

State Economy Strong, But the Forecast is Not as Bright

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

In the State Capital, Governor Gavin Newsom gave his State of the State speech yesterday boasting about California as an economic powerhouse. While at the same time down south, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) revealed its annual economic forecast predicting that the rosy picture will likely pale.

In announcing the economic forecast, the LAEDC noted California’s strengths and potential weaknesses: “Unemployment is low, GDP is up, there may be some relief from the trade war. But on the other hand, wage growth is soft, housing costs are now a crisis, and only half the occupations that are hiring pay a living wage.” 

Newsom pointed out that California is the fifth largest economy in the world with 118 consecutive months of net job growth, 3.4 million jobs created since the Great Recession and a five-year average GDP growth of 3.8 percent exceeding the national GDP growth of 2.5 percent. 

Read comments Read more

Steyer Should Quit the Race and Buy the Sacramento Bee

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)

Tom Steyer should stop spending his money on a presidential race he can’t win—and start spending it on California newspapers.

Since he got in the race last year, Steyer has spent more than $100 million on his campaign, even though he has no chance of winning. 

That is far more than it would cost to buy four California newspapers in the McClatchy chain, which just declared bankruptcy. Heck, I bet he could get the Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee, Fresno Bee, and San Luis Obispo Tribune for less than $25 million total. He might be able to control McClatchy for about what he has spent running for president,.

And he would have far more impact. Yes, newspapers are dying, but they still provide much of the original reporting done in those cities. Electronic and digital media rely heavily on those institutions. And the journalists and knowledge in those institutions are invaluable.

Read comments Read more

Despite Pressure Building on AB 5, It Will Stand with Some Changes, as It Should

Scott Lay
Publisher of The Nooner

In April 2018, the Supreme Court of California (SCOCAL) unanimously held in Dynamex that the twelve-factor Borello test and subsequent wage orders by the defunct Industrial Welfare Commission were not consistent with the prevailing California Labor Code. Instead, they applied a stricter A-B-C test for when companies must consider those performing work as employees and not independent contractors.

Critics of the decision point out that the case was a class action certification case out of Los Angeles Superior Court and SCOCAL acted in an overly broad manner. Labor cheered the decision after facing years of private sector decline, threats of public sector decline after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus, and the growth of the “gig economy,” where technology is connecting services with customers through independent contractors that traditionally would have been employees.

Read comments Read more

George Gascón Spins As Attempts To Explain the Failures of Prop 47

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

In a devastating investigative series titled “Meth Mayhem,” Fox 11 examined the drug and homeless crisis on L.A. streets, as well as Prop 47’s contribution to that crisis. George Gascón, one of the authors of Prop 47, was given extensive airtime to respond to the series and one of his statements caught our eye.

Gascón insisted during the interview that, “We can’t have person as D.A. who has no clue how to treat drug addiction.” Agreed. Let’s examine Mr. Gascón’s record as DA in San Francisco.

During his tenure as DA, drug addiction soared to the point that San Francisco now has 50% more drug addicts than high school students.  Likewise in San Francisco, there has been a decade long increase in meth use, overdose deaths and emergency room visits. The drug addiction problem in San Francisco has risen to the point that just last month the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors declared a public health crisis due to drug overdoses. The open drug use on the subway system has driven law-abiding passengers to watch where they sit and step for fear of being pieced by used hypodermic needles.

Read comments Read more

Ignoring the Promises Made for High-Speed Rail

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

A new business plan has been issued for California’s high-speed rail and the only thing that is moving fast is the bullet train moving away from the promises made to voters when the bond supporting the train was on the ballot. The promises made to California taxpayers and voters  in 2008 about costs and completion date have been broken.

Completed by 2020? Not even the shorter rail from Bakersfield to Merced is finished. The new HSR business plan now says the rail will be completed in 2033, thirteen years late and more than twice the time it would take to build as promised in 2008 when the bond was on the ballot as Proposition 1A. Given the the train’s (ahem) track record, even completion by 2033 should be taken lightly.

Money from private sources? From the ballot argument in favor of Proposition 1A: “Matching private and federal funding to be identified BEFORE state bond funds are spent.” (Emphasis in the original document.)

Read comments Read more

The California Way of Coaching

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)

Californians have failed to contain the autocratic excesses of our technology executives. But we have made progress in curbing another group of would-be dictators: Little League coaches.

For two decades, Silicon Valley has been the headquarters for a national nonprofit—the Positive Coaching Alliance—that is changing how youth sports are coached. Based in Mountain View, Positive Coaching Alliance has synthesized research—much of it with Stanford roots—in everything from marriage counseling to organizational psychology into a uniquely Californian philosophy of “relentless positivity.”

As a longtime coach in Little League, one of hundreds of youth sports organizations that partner with the Positive Coaching Alliance, I’ve incorporated much wisdom from the organization’s workshops. And I’ve wondered how its lessons might be applied to human enterprises more important than your kid’s baseball team.

Read comments Read more

Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.