Why Trump Just Might Win

Tony Quinn
Editor, California Target Book

Two new California polls are showing what is becoming increasingly clear across the nation: there is a very good chance that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.  On Monday, Survey USA, which has a good track record in California, showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 52 to 38 percent.  On Wednesday, polling by the Public Policy Institute of California showed the race at Clinton 49 percent, Trump 39 percent.

But this is deep blue California where President Obama beat Gov. Romney in 2012 by 60 to 37 percent, double the lead Clinton now enjoys in these polls.  California is generally thought to be about 10 percent more Democratic than the nation as a whole, so these California results suggest a near tie nationwide, as many polls are now showing.

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Stay Out of California, Chicago!

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)

Dear Chicago,

Would you kindly remove your thick, stubby hands from my beautiful state?

C’mon—don’t try to look all Midwestern and innocent. You know exactly what I’m talking about. For years Chicago has been grabbing signature California institutions and screwing them up.

I get a reminder of your mismanagement every night when I turn on the television to watch my local baseball team, the L.A. Dodgers. Of course, the Dodgers aren’t on—they aren’t even available on televisions in nearly 70 percent of the Los Angeles market. The reason? Mark Walter of Chicago.

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We Can No Longer Ignore Crumbling Transportation Infrastructure

Will Kempton
Executive Director of Transportation California, and Former Director of CalTrans

Jon Coupal’s recent argument against raising transportation fees or taxes (Profligate Waste Negates Justification for Transportation Tax Hike relies on an apparent premise that since existing transportation revenues are being misspent and/or wasted, repairing our transportation infrastructure isn’t justified.  I suspect the real reason has more to do with a no new taxes philosophy, but I question the logic of continuing to ignore the condition of our transportation system which is so important to the State’s economy and our quality of life.

Our roads and bridges are in a sorry state, not to mention our rail and transit services.  Even Mr. Coupal says that “no one disputes the dire need for improvements in California’s transportation infrastructure.”  So, without quoting multiple statistics to prove the point, let’s just agree that the system needs to be fixed.  And while Californians pay more for fuel and the state is at the high end of the gas tax rate, let’s also agree that it is more expensive to do business in California for many of the reasons that Coupal cites. 

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Upgrading the Last Hollywood Studio

Leron Gubler
President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

Last week, the City held a public hearing on the proposed 25-year Master Plan for Paramount Pictures. This storied studio, which dates back to 1912, is the last remaining major studio located in Hollywood proper. Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox and Disney got their start here, but all moved out many decades ago. As hearings go, this one was cordial. Even those who had issues were on their best behavior. Everyone understands how important Paramount is to our community.

As Chamber President & CEO, I pointed out how critical Paramount is from a jobs standpoint. With 5,000 people employed on the lot on an average day, Paramount is our jobs anchor in South Hollywood. That is important to our economy because there are numerous ancillary jobs nearby that depend on Paramount – whether a restaurant or prop house or catering truck.

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Three Deceptive Measures Head For Ballot

Loren Kaye
President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education

The shape of the fall ballot is a little clearer, with last Friday’s milestone for submitting petition signatures. As many as fifteen citizens’ initiatives, plus one referendum and a couple legislative measures may populate the ballot come November.

But clarity on the size of the ballot means nothing when it comes to the clarity of individual measures. The 2016 menu may serve up a feast of deceptive proposals. Perhaps not coincidentally, each is sponsored exclusively by a single special interest.

The worst offender is the so-called “No Blank Checks” initiative, billed as giving citizens the right to vote on new state debt. 

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Bernie’s Ludicrous Lawsuit

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)

So let me get this straight. Bernie Sanders thinks California should be totally consistent in how it runs elections across all 58 counties.

Go back to Vermont, dude. You’re in a state the size of a country, so deal with it.

Sanders and various allies recently filed a lawsuit against the state demanding changes to our election system in advance of the June 7 presidential primary. The exercise is sort of charming – few Californians care enough about voting to litigate the process so aggressively. And demanding changes to our system is not a bad ask – our election system, like our budget and governance systems, is a complicated mess.

But what Sanders is asking for is laughable.

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Super Bowl Returns to L.A.

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

The National Football League awarded the 2021 Super Bowl to Los Angeles to be played at the new stadium being built for the Rams without taxpayers’ money. The last clause was the key to getting a team in L.A. because Los Angeles residents resisted offering taxpayers money to build a stadium.

San Diego is in the midst of a battle to keep the Chargers and public funds for a new stadium is part of the debate. In Oakland, the lack of resolve to improve the Raiders home field probably pushes the team to Las Vegas.

The NFL tried mightily to convince L.A. officials, and through the city’s political leaders, the voters to pay for a stadium. The league wanted to keep up a strategy of billionaire owners coercing local taxpayers for the privilege of having teams remain in town. It didn’t have to be that way and Los Angeles’ stubbornness paid off. The reason, of course, is that the NFL needed Los Angeles, the country’s second biggest market, more than the city needed a professional football team.

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Water is Not a Luxury, It is a Necessity

Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Majority Leader, United States Congress

(Editor’s Note:  Following is the speech House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy gave on the House floor yesterday supporting provisions in the Energy and Water appropriations bill that would ease the drought in the West.)

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to thank another Representative—Representative David Valadao (CA-21). It is rare to find a person so tirelessly devoted to his constituents. Every time the House passes legislation to address the drought crisis in California, David Valadao is at the center of it.

Like Congressman Valadao, I also represent the people of the Central Valley of California. For too long, our constituents have been suffering. So I’m going to put this as simply as possible. We need water.

California Republicans have tried for years—three Congresses now—to get a water bill signed into law to help the people of California. As the drought worsened and its reach grew, we tried last year to get legislation through the Senate that would help all the states in the West facing drought conditions. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats opposed the legislation and blocked it.

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Unions and Corporations Both Want to Build Stuff

Luke Phillips
Research Associate for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and Senior Correspondent at Glimpse From the Globe

There’s a rift in the American labor movement, and enterprising Republicans might be able to exploit it. Here’s Politico this week, documenting the disagreements between service-sector and labor unions as highlighted in a letter published recently by leading labor unions:

“The labor federation and many of its member unions have embraced environmentalism as a pillar of their progressive agenda, even as Building Trades unions claimed that the environmental movement often threatened the growth of well-paying union jobs.

Though public-sector and trade unions might be aligned on some things like collective bargaining agreements, their interests could not be further apart on the question of economic development. Public employees and service-sector workers- represented by unions like the SEIU and NEA- operate in the intangible economy based on human relations and services. Construction workers and manufacturers, represented by unions like Teamsters and NABTU, work in the tangible economy of productivity and goods, or what I like to call the “Build-Stuff” economy.

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CalChamber Opposes “Virtually Permanent” Prop 30 Tax 

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

With the California Chamber of Commerce announcing yesterday that it will oppose the Proposition 30 income tax extension, the question arises if a campaign will come together to match the financial firepower that the teachers, medical professionals and other public employee unions bring to the table in support of the measure.

Officially, the word from the Chamber is that it is opposed to the extension but nothing has been announced about a potential campaign … yet.

Proponents of the 12-year income tax extension filed signatures recently to get the measure on the ballot.

CalChamber noted in the release announcing opposition to the initiative that it did not oppose Proposition 30 in 2012. The measure was supposed to be temporary to deal with a financial crisis.  

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