Garcetti Blinks at Worker Benefit Reform

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

It appears Los Angeles taxpayers will continue paying for their health care and someone else’s—that of city workers. 

The Los Angeles Times reported right before the Thanksgiving holiday that, Mayor Eric Garcetti has abandoned his long-stated goal of getting the city’s public employee unions to pay a portion of their healthcare costs.

Garcetti’s action—or non-action—could set up Los Angeles as the canary in the coal mine as what will happen to municipalities if they ignore exploding public worker costs.

Politicians are hiding from one of the biggest problems facing government today—how to meet pension and health care obligations without busting budgets.

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“F– the POA!” Just Another Day in California’s Most Liberal City

Raul Riesgo
Public relations expert featured on Spanish language news outlets Telemundo and Mundo Fox News discussing both political and Latino community issues. He has also been a news reporter for two Los Angeles area newspapers.

San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer made herself the poster child for coarse, vulgar bullying recently.

Surrounded by several other current and past supervisors, Fewer took the stage at an election night party to lead in chanting: “F— the POA! F— the POA! F— the POA!” Her reference is to the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which her oh-so-progressive and enlightened self obviously hates.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Fewer, “waived her arms like a conductor while flanked by some of the city’s most notable progressive leaders. Smiling behind her were supervisors Matt Haney and Hillary Ronen, as well as former supervisors Jane Kim and David Campos.”

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2020 Brings Longer Claims Period for Employment Discrimination Cases

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

Beginning January 1, 2020, AB 9 (Reyes), Chapter 709, extends to 3 years the statute of limitations for complaints alleging employment discrimination (up from the current one year). The new law specifies the operative date of the verified complaint is the date that the intake form was filed with the Labor Commissioner.

The new law also makes conforming changes to current provisions that grant a person allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice who first obtains knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful practice after the expiration of the limitations period.

AB 9 provides that complaints alleging a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act shall not be filed after the expiration of one year from the date upon which the alleged unlawful practice or refusal to cooperate occurred. However, a complaint alleging any other violation of the Act shall not be filed after the expiration of three years from the date upon which the unlawful practice or refusal to cooperate occurred.

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How California is Rewriting the Law on Online Privacy

Laurel Rosenhall
Reporter, CALmatters

(Editor’s note: This is the introduction to Laurel Rosenhall’s reporting on California privacy laws written for CalMatters. The series consists of ten pieces diving into and explaining the privacy laws. You can find the series here.)

Our actions online have created a vast trove of information worth billions of dollars. Every time we search, click, shop, watch, send, receive, delete or download, we create a trail of data that companies can use to figure out our tastes and interests. We also hand over information when we use social media or loyalty programs at our favorite stores.

This data has formed the foundation of the internet economy, allowing advertisers to better target the people they want to reach — whether that’s a company that wants to sell you something or a politician who wants your vote.

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Adam Schiff And Impeachment

Tony Quinn
Political Analyst

It was telling that in the midst of his Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings, Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank rushed back to California to address the Democratic State Convention, and to bask in their cheers.  Schiff is now a national figure and there is no doubt his ultimate goal is to run statewide in California, probably for U.S. Senator whenever one of our Senate seats comes open.

But that will depend on how he is perceived as having handled the impeachment of President Trump.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi assigned the main impeachment role to Schiff, but history could well not look that kindly on the job he has done.

The gold standard for impeachments was of President Nixon’s over Watergate, now nearly half a century ago.  It was preceded by months of Senate hearings presided over by a grandfatherly North Carolina Democrat named Sam Ervin, ably assisted by his GOP counterpart, Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, who asked the pertinent question, what did the president know and when did he know it. 

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Why Kamala Crashed

Patrick Reddy
Democratic political consultant in California and the co-author of “California After Arnold.” He is now working on 21st Century America, which will be published after the 2020 election.

“KAMALA HARRIS was expected to be a strong presidential candidate. She has a strong résumé as a prosecutor, district-attorney, state attorney-general and senator. She is telegenic, a good public speaker and even better interrogator, as displayed in her punchy questioning of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. As the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father and the first African-American to become a state attorney-general, her biography could endear her to minority and progressive voters, too….A high-achieving daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, whose state has more Hispanics than any other, Ms. Harris encapsulates the changing Democratic Party. — From The Economist.

As the above quote implies, Senator Kamala Harris was expected to be a strong contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination.  She stood on solid ground: New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm in 1972 was the first black candidate to win a primary in 1972, Jesse Jackson won over a dozen contests in 1988 and Barack Obama went all the way to the White House.  Kamala was supposed to be the “female Obama.” Yet she didn’t even make it to the starting line in Iowa. She was only the second black woman US Senator in history and still failed to win over the black women’s vote. What went wrong?  How could a candidate with such obvious potential fail so badly?

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Avoiding My Block Party

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)

Is it still worth getting to know your neighbors?

I wondered that recently as my neighbors organized a block party in my San Gabriel Valley neighborhood. I wasn’t looking forward to it. 

After all, we’d been happily living here since 2011, and had no problems with neighbors, even though we didn’t know them well. And I understood, from visiting neighborhoods around our state, how quickly relations can sour between neighbors in this era of anger and accusation. 

My reluctance is very Californian. Polls show that most of us love our neighborhoods, but we are less sure about our neighbors.  Californians are less likely than other Americans to work with our neighbors to improve the community. 

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California Pioneers Subsidized Housing for Public Employees

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

When it comes to affordable housing, what California’s state legislators have done epitomizes what happens when you have a government bureaucracy that serves itself instead of the public, one that is under the complete control of special interests.

They have enacted laws that have made it nearly impossible for the private sector to build homes, which has made homes unaffordable. Then to supposedly solve the problem they created, they brought in the public sector to build “affordable housing.” Their “solution” is a preposterous fraud that has already wasted tens of billions, and the worst is yet to come.

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Court Decisions and Partisanship

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

As concern over courts being influenced by the country’s partisan divide fester, the California Supreme Court set an example of stepping around politics when it unanimously decided to quash California’s recent law to prohibit presidential candidates from appearing on statewide ballots without first producing their tax returns.

Yet, it is the concern that court rulings are based on ideology rather than on the law that makes one think about possible political conflict even with the seemingly most apolitical court decision.

After  reading veteran San Francisco Chronicle court reporter Bob Egelko’s article about the California Supreme Court reversing a previous decision involving car searches, warrants and drivers licenses,  the close one-vote majority reminded me of what an old boss once said to me: Five justices of the Supreme Court tell the other four what the law is.

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Lawmakers Approved $4.4 Billion in New Taxes and Fees While Swimming in Revenue

Dustin Weatherby
Policy and Communications Associate for the California Taxpayers Association

State lawmakers and the governor approved more than $4.4 billion a year in higher taxes and fees this year, even as the state was experiencing a revenue windfall from existing taxes, according to the new Tax and Fee Report published by the California Tax Foundation. 

The increases enacted this year include a renewal of California’s Managed Care Organization tax, two cellphone surcharges and a renewal of a surcharge on electricity ratepayers.

Many tax and fee proposals are still pending in the Capitol, and could be pursued when the Legislature returns in January – unless the sponsors decide that enough is enough. 

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