Will California’s Car Culture Help the GOP?

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

Republicans see an opportunity to score points with voters this election season because of Californians historical love affair with cars. Two hot current issues that touch all Californians are connected to the state’s car culture—the difficulties, or shall we say disasters at the DMV, and the gas tax repeal initiative.

Republicans already signaled that they believe resistance to the gas tax increase will drive (yes, pun intended) voters to the polls. That is why members of congress contributed to the effort to get the gas tax repeal on the ballot.

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Why the Governor Should Veto AB 3080

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Assembly Bill 3080, authored by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, is pending before Governor Jerry Brown after having passed both houses of the Legislature. AB 3080 would prohibit non-disclosure agreements regarding sexual harassment, as well as ban arbitration agreements for any alleged violation of the Labor Code or the Fair Employment and Housing Act in the Government Code.

Labor and employment laws can be equally enforced in arbitration as they can in court because arbitration only specifies the forum in which the dispute is resolved. It does not result in any diminution in an employee’s substantive rights. This is the fundamental claim of the proponents of banning arbitration, but it is not factually correct. For example, when arbitration agreements attempted to ban punitive damages, or shorten a statute of limitations, those were all struck down by California courts.

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Dissecting the Methodology Behind New Gubernatorial Polls

Scott Lay
Publisher of The Nooner

The John Cox for Governor campaign and its supporters are excited about a new poll from Thomas Partners Strategies/Optimus. The poll, conducted for iHeartMedia, KFI-AM and KNBC finds Gavin Newsom at 45.2% and John Cox (R) at 41.1% among likely voters. It further has Cox with a lead among 35.2%-48.3% among likely No Party Preference voters.

For lieutenant governor, the poll finds Ed Hernandez (D) with 18% and Eleni Kounalakis 13.9%. 66% of the voters in the sample are undecided. In the insurance commissioner race, it finds Steve Poizner with 33.5%, Ricardo Lara (D) with 26.7%, and 39.8% undecided.

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Courts Continue to Put the Brakes on Climate Change Lawsuits as the One-Year Anniversary of the San Francisco and Oakland Cases Passes

Executive Director of the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project.

It has now been one year since public officials in San Francisco and Oakland teamed up with trial lawyers to sue manufacturers over the issue of global climate change. While the cases made headlines, they had much more trouble getting traction in the courts.  So, where do manufacturers stand one year later?

In recent months, judges around the country have started putting the brakes on these lawsuits, agreeing with what manufacturers have been saying all along, that these issues are not for the courts to decide.  This summer, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup rejected the public nuisance suits by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.  He stated that “the problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case” and concluded that the legislative and executive branches are better situated to address this global issue rather than the judiciary. 

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Would Prop. 10 Reduce the California’s High Housing Costs?  Basic Economics Says No.

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a senior fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

Californians will be faced with a dozen voter propositions on Election Day. None is more important than Proposition 10, which would allow local governments to enact rent control laws. The outcome will have a profound effect on California’s housing crisis.

Prop 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995, which bars local governments from imposing rent control on housing units that were first occupied after Feb. 1, 1995. Properties already exempt from local residential rent-control ordinances on or before that date are also protected.

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Gas Tax Repeal Includes Foolish Constitutional Addition

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)

I’m agnostic on the gas tax increase. Keep it or repeal it, I don’t care. It’s a relatively small tax increase that meets only a tiny fraction of the state’s massive infrastructure needs.

But there is a big reason to be skeptical of using a ballot initiative – Proposition 6 – to repeal the gas. For two reasons. First, a California ballot initiative can’t be changed except by another vote of the people.

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Why the Governor Should Veto AB 3115

Chris Micheli
Chris Micheli is a Principal with the Sacramento governmental relations firm of Aprea & Micheli, Inc.

Assembly Bill 3115, authored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson, is pending before Governor Jerry Brown after having passed both houses of the Legislature. AB 3115 would authorize a local emergency medical services agency (LEMSA) to develop community paramedicine and triage to alternate destination programs until 2025.

While community paramedicine is an important program for the EMS industry, this bill is not the right approach and should be vetoed. Among other reasons, this is due to the fact that AB 3115 seeks to restrict the service that the private ambulance industry is allowed to provide, which will ultimately harm the public. The successes of the community paramedic pilot studies have been largely due to the work performed and delivered by the private ambulance companies.

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Ten Years After Lehman Collapsed, We’re Still Screwed

Joel Kotkin is Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University. Wendell Cox is Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris

The collapse of Lehman Brothers 10 years ago today began the financial crisis that crippled and even killed for some the American dream as we had known it. Donald Trump might be starting to change that, at least for Americans who aren’t determined to remain in our bluest and priciest cities.

Overall an estimated nine million jobs and nearly $20 trillion in household wealth were lost. Job levels finally recovered but most of those who suffered from the Great Recession—and particularly current and former middle-income homeowners—did not see their wealth restored when the economy turned around.

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The Shrinking CA GOP—Too Conservative or Too Moderate?

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

With word that conservative Assemblyman Travis Allen is considering a run for California Republican Party chairman against a more moderate former Assemblyman David Hadley, the question that has echoed in party confabs for decades rises again. Is the party shrinking because it supports a hard-core conservative agenda or because it supports moderate candidates?

Delegates at state conventions wearing RINO (Republican In Name Only) buttons to disparage a less than conservative candidate are not uncommon. The button-wearers say Republicans have to take bold stances to attract voters to their side. That point is challenged by those who believe voters in the middle of the political spectrum decide elections and a more moderate candidate stands a better chance of winning.

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Let’s Make the DMV Audit a Reality

Senator Jim Nielsen
California State Senate, 4th District

Motorists across the state have had to wait in hours-long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to register their vehicle or license renewal. Some have spent an entire day waiting in line. Upset drivers have flooded my office with calls and emails.

To make matters worse, DMV personnel mangled 23,000 voter registrations. How did this happen?

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