Will CA Independent Candidate Influence a Presidential Independent Run?

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

Steve Poizner made history with his Independent run for state Insurance Commissioner by nabbing the top spot in the June primary. If Poizner goes on to capture the commissioner’s job his success as an independent in arguably the most influential state in the union just might have national repercussions. I’m talking about potentially influencing someone interested in the big job in Washington, D.C.

There is no question a Poizner win might influence others to run as Independents in the Golden State where Republican voter registration continues to fall and challenge to one-party rule seems inevitable.

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LA County: Spend Tax Dollars in the Bank First Before Asking for More

Mike Lewis
Senior Vice President of the Construction Industry Alliance on Water Quality

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District recently celebrated their 100th Anniversary. There is much to be proud of; 483 miles of open flood channels, 3,330 miles of storm drains, 14 major dams and reservoirs, 172 debris basins, 47 pump plants, and an end to the flooding that wiped out developments in the early 20th Century. It has become one of the most efficient systems on the planet to move rain water to the ocean.

They even retrofitted the system with 27 spreading grounds for recharging the groundwater aquifer to enhance our local water supply. Today it takes hundreds of employees to operate and maintain the system and they collect nearly $300 million a year from parcel owners to fund it.

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The Idiocy of California’s Water Crisis

Susan Shelley
Columnist and member of the editorial board of the Southern California News Group, and the author of the book, "How Trump Won."

It’s not new that most of the rainfall in California is in the north and most of the people and farms using water are further south. It’s not new that California has wet years and dry years, or that the state is at risk of both flooding and drought, sometimes simultaneously.

What’s new is that earlier generations of California politicians solved water problems, while the current generation intentionally creates them.

We are the beneficiaries of monumental achievements in water infrastructure that made modern California possible. And yet we are living under a government that believes it’s a good idea to withhold water that is readily available to sustain farming and human life.

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Why Not Flip Retail to Residential?

Charles Crumpley
Editor and Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

I wasn’t surprised by last week’s announcement that the Sears store in the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks will soon close. I walked into that store late one weekday afternoon a few months ago and said to my son, “Look at this! There’s only half a dozen customers in the entire place.” As we walked deeper into the store, I realized I was wrong and it was worse. Those half dozen people were not customers but store clerks. The two of us appeared to be the only patrons. It’s not a good look when an entire big box store has fewer customers than a standard pop-up kiosk.

Unfortunately, retail stores continue to suffer and closings have become common. Besides the 100 Sears and related Kmart stores that will shutter soon, other recent high-profile casualties include all 700-some Toys ‘R’ Us outlets. But as you can tell just by driving around the Valley area, all kinds of lower-profile chains and mom-and-pop shops are dead or dying, too. The bloodletting is especially intense in strip shopping centers.

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Judges in Climate Change and Immigration Cases Tell the Executive and Congress: Do Your Job

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

While the national focus on the courts is on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, it is interesting that in the last few weeks two federal judges in California concluded cases on the controversial issues of climate change and immigration by both basically telling lawmakers and the executive branch to do their jobs in setting standards in these contentious policy areas.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California threw out a lawsuit filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco that would make oil companies libel for damage done by climate change. The judge wrote, “The issue is not over science. All parties agree that fossil fuels have led to global warming and ocean rise and will continue to do so, and that eventually the navigable waters of the United States will intrude upon Oakland and San Francisco. The issue is a legal one…”

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Modern Internet Policies Will Help Latinos Succeed In California

Jose A. Marquez-Leon
National President, CEO, and Founder of Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association @TechLatino

Internet inequality produces economic inequality, which is why all residents of California should be extremely worried about the lack of access for communities of color. For California’s Latino communities in particular, the digital divide has made it increasingly difficult to participate in the rapidly evolving modern economy. Yet certain lawmakers in Congress are supporting misguided and draconian regulations that would make the problem even worse by pumping the brakes on broadband expansion.

Instead, Congress must develop 21st century policies that protect an open Internet for all Americans for generations to come and promote investment in high-speed, high-quality broadband infrastructure that reaches underserved communities.

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The Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) is an Outdated Law

Tom Manzo
President, Timely Prefinished Steel Door Frames and President and Chairman of the Board at California Business and Industrial Alliance

October 12, 2003 Gray Davis signed a new law SB 796 referred to as PAGA and I am not sure if anyone really knew what the outcome would really be. In the first seven months of PAGA 65 cases were filed and the first 9 suits totaled 336 million in penalties. AMGEN was sued over technical violations totaling 170 million dollars in the opening months. To put this in perspective last year close to 8,000 PAGA Lawsuits were filed so that number could easily hit the billions. Let’s not forget this has been going on for 15 years.

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Three States Legal Challenge Faces Hurdles

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

I’m not a fan of the Cal 3 States initiative filed by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Draper and I’m not a legal scholar but I wonder if a court would reject a lawsuit filed to take the measure off the ballot before voters decide the question.

On rare occasions, courts in California have removed qualified ballot initiatives before the voters have a say. But the California Supreme Court has also noted that the initiative process is a cherished right of the people.

The Conservation and Planning League filed the lawsuit. Two significant points the court will consider is whether the legislature has to approve a dissection of the state, as the U.S. Constitution requires, and whether the statutory initiative is valid because the lawsuit says splitting the state requires a “revision” of the constitution and initiatives only allow for amendments.

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Cal 3 Promises to Restore the California Dream for Families Like Mine

Sunny Gault
San Diego-based media entrepreneur. She is the founder of the “Parents on Demand Network,” which helps parents find quality, family-friendly podcasts.

California is definitely going in the wrong direction. The “Golden State” was once the land of opportunity. Now, it is tragically turning into the land of the super-rich and poor who depend on government handouts. What’s being lost are families like mine – our middle class. Families are leaving California for states with more responsive leadership and a better quality of life. Sure, California boasts the world’s fifth largest economy but the state also has some of the nation’s highest poverty rates, highest housing costs and is bankrupt when you compare assets to liabilities.

We deserve better. Sacramento is incapable of reforming itself.

I have lived in California since my husband and I got married 13 years ago. We love California. All my children were born here. I have four children – ages 8, 6 and 4-year-old twins. 

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Harvard Study – Affordability Squeeze (Part 2)

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

(This is the second in a two-part series reporting on a recent study by Harvard University’s Joint Center on Housing Studies called The State of the Nation’s Housing.  Part 1 appeared yesterday in Fox and Hounds.)

Every year about this time the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University publishes its evaluation of the nation’s housing condition.  It’s been doing this for 30 years.  There is so much packed into the report that I chopped this review in two.  My initial review appears as Part 1 and dealt with the general outlook for the nation’s housing in 2018.  Part 2, presented below, digs deeper into some of the affordability issues we as a nation are experiencing.

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