In California Running for President Is Only for the Rich

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)

It’s not just a political reality that you must be rich to run for president. It’s state policy, too.

Indeed, Secretary of State Alex Padilla is defending the premise that one must be rich to get on the ballot for president in California. That may sound like a peculiar stance for a rising progressive politician, a champion of the poor and warrior against inequality, but Padilla is even making this case in court.

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The Green Ethical Supply Chain is not yet Transparent

Ronald Stein
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

As auto giants scale up EV production in earnest, they’re in a race to lock down crucial battery supplies. Before you purchase your EV from a major global automaker have you read and confirmed that they are in compliance with The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB657?

It’s not in the best interests of a for profit company to turn down a good deal when it comes to buying raw products in an already crowded market place. That’s why most large, I’m talking billion-dollar companies, don’t really do the research they should on companies whose prices are so good on bulk materials they really don’t want to know the ins and outs.  They turn a blind eye to the realities of the dirty secrets of the lithium and cobalt acquisition and procurement side.

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San Diego’s 2012 Pension Reform at Risk

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

“The ruling is also an implicit endorsement of the state Public Employment Relations Board’s conclusion that the employees hired since the measure took effect must be made whole and get a pension equivalent to what they would have received pre-Proposition B.”

Editorial, San Diego Union Tribune, March 18, 2019

The ruling in question is the California’s Supreme Court’s August 2018 decision which found that “San Diego’s six-year-old pension cutbacks were not legally placed on the ballot because city officials failed to negotiate with labor unions before pursuing the measure.” It’s in the news again this week because the U.S. Supreme Court has just announced they will not hear the City’s appeal of the California ruling.

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Los Angeles Rail: Ridership Decline Estimated at 42 Percent

Wendell Cox
Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris

The Reason Foundation has just published an important review of transit in Los Angeles County, by transportation consultant Thomas A. Rubin and University of Southern California Professor James E. Moore II. A total of four reports have been released, under the title A Critical Review of Los Angeles Metro’s 28 by 2028 Plan. Links are provided at the end of this article. More reports are to follow.

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Does the Governor Have the Authority NOT to Enforce Laws?

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

Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order declaring a moratorium on the death penalty is a test of the boundaries of executive privilege. California Constitution Article 5, Section 1 states, “The supreme executive power of this State is vested in the Governor. The Governor shall see that the law is faithfully enforced.” But does the governor have the authority not to enforce laws?

The governor’s moratorium consists of three provisions. The first is a reprieve for all currently condemned inmates. Although the language of the written order does not include the word “temporary,” the governor represented in his comments that he intends the reprieve to be for the term of his office. The second provision of the governor’s order is to repeal California’s lethal injection protocol. The third provision is the immediate closure of the execution chamber at San Quentin (the order refers to it as the “death chamber”).

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The Return of the Phrase: “San Francisco Democrats”?

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

Will the phrase “San Francisco Democrats” be revived nationally in the 2020 presidential contest? Opponents of Kamala Harris very well could test that idea. As in 1984 when the phrase was first coined, it would be an attempt to exploit the divide in the Democratic Party.

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YIMBY ZOMBYs and California’s Housing Crisis

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

In Lethal Weapon 2, whenever he is confronted with potential arrest for some villainous deed or other, South African diplomat Arjen Rudd, masterfully portrayed by Joss Ackland, whips out his credentials and shouts “Diplomatic Immunity!”

Rudd’s supposedly unanswerable response brings to mind the refrain of corporatist Democrats, their right-wing Koch Bro Bros and the YIMBY ZOMBYs (Zoning Opportunists in My Back Yard)  that follow them, when confronted with criticism of their favored “solution” to housing unaffordability in California.  Rather than “Diplomatic immunity!” their watchcry whenever confronted with the irrationality of their density fetishism is: “Law of supply-and-demand!”

Anyone who disputes their notion that “build, build, build” or  more density will increase housing affordability significantly  is tarred as a “supply-and-demand denialist” ,  and curtly dismissed as being in the same pigeonhole as climate change deniers.  Anyone who suggests that “abundant housing” is hardly the same thing as “affordable housing” is akin to a charter member of the flat earth society.

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Political Battles are Turning into “Lawfare”

Shawn Steel
Shawn Steel is a trial attorney, Republican National Committeeman and former California Republican Party chair

For liberals, legislative defeats are just a temporary setback until the real battle begins in court.

Whether it’s environmentalists shutting off water to Central Valley farms or the ACLU demanding sex changes for prisoners, left-wing groups have long used the courts to advance their political agenda. Now, the Resistance has taken it one step further with 46 taxpayer-funded state lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Conservatives have been quick to criticize activist judges legislating from the bench and slow to match the left’s artful use of lawfare as a political tactic — until now. Conservatives are slowly awakening to the importance of lawfare and how legal challenges can thwart the progressive agenda.

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Your One-Party Government at Work

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

Here’s what one-party government looks like in California: the voters make decisions at the ballot box and the majority party elected officials shrug and move forward to overturn those decisions not fearing a rebuke when up for re-election.

We’ve seen such moves twice in the last week initially on the death penalty then on rent control.

First, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on the death penalty despite voters defeating a measure to abolish the death penalty and, in fact, supporting a measure to speed up of the death penalty process.

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How Much Should We Pay Our Public Sector Workers?

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Public employee compensation issues are never far from the headlines in California, but both 2019 and 2020 appear likely to continue the recent trend of increasingly contentious negotiations and the accompanying highly charged public debate.

At the local level, in recent months we have already seen teacher strike authorization votes in the major urban school districts of Oakland, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, among other localities.

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