LA County Keeps Rent Control Debate Alive

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

Proposition 10 on the statewide ballot that would have allowed local governments the power to establish broader rent control laws was defeated decisively with 60% of the voters saying no. With such an overwhelming defeat, that means the issue is buried, right?

Not necessarily. Supporters for stronger rent control measures say they will be back. And, they may look to Los Angeles County’s so-called “rent freeze” ordinance as a model or precursor to pursue another statewide effort.

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Nancy Pelosi & Donald Trump: Two Tests of Survivability

Richard Rubin
Attorney Richard Rubin has taught public policy at USF, UC Berkeley and other institutions and is Chair of the California Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

After the results of the mid-term elections California’s delegation of 53 will now have 45 Democrats in the new ruling party which will acquire in toto at least a 241-seat majority depending upon the outcome of a few races still to be decided.

If San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi is to regain the House speakership—as projected—and the Democrats become once again the majority party she will need 218 votes.

Over 20% of them will likely have been provided by California Democrats.

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2019 Brings Yet Another Minimum Wage Hike

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

Just like earlier this year, because of the enactment of SB 3 (Leno) in 2016, California’s minimum wage is going up again. On January 1, 2019, the state’s minimum wage will be increased for all sizes of businesses as “small employers” will see their second wage hike in recent years.

Under prior state law, the minimum wage for all industries increased to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. Pursuant to SB 3, the minimum wage for all industries will be increased to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022 for businesses employing 26 or more employees and by January 1, 2023 for businesses employing 25 or fewer employees (referred to as “small employers”).

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The Terrible (Top) Two

Zachary Hayes
Masters of Public Policy Candidate at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Public Policy

As voters and pundits sift through the results of a very intense and divisive midterm election, one thing has become quite clear: the state’s experiment with the Top-Two primary system has failed. This arrangement, in which the two candidates with the most votes in the June primary, regardless of party, advance to the general election in November, has not lived up to its expectations and instead has produced a number of distinct complications that were not present before Top-Two’s enactment. Thus, the new primary system is detrimental to California and should be repealed.

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The CA GOP’s Alamo

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

What’s left of the California Republican Party could be making a last stand in 2020 to uphold a core foundation held by the state’s GOP for half-a-century and more: checking the rise of taxes.

Call it the GOP’s Alamo moment. Yes, in the history of the fight for Texas independence the defeat at the Alamo was a last stand. But it has a second meaning. After the Texas defenders were wiped out in San Antonio their countrymen rallied and succeeded in winning independence using the Alamo as a rallying cry.

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An Answer for the GOP: Jack Kemp’s Philosophy

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

About now, the California Republican Party – surely licking the deep wounds it suffered during the mid-term election of 2018 – must be asking itself “What now?” Here’s an answer: How about an injection of some Jack Kemp?

Kemp, now deceased, was an 18-term Member of Congress and Bush (41) cabinet secretary – and an unabashed conservative. On economics, he was a genuine supply-sider. He was a long-time disciple of USC professor Arthur Laffer as well as philosopher/journalist Jude Wanniski. Socially, he was a little more liberal. While staying true to his near-evangelical anti-abortion advocacy Kemp was fundamentally sympathetic to immigrants seeking a better life in America.

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Those Switching Orange County Maps Aren’t a Triumph. They Are a Tragedy

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)

On Twitter and Facebook, I see people celebrating that screen shot of two maps of Orange County.

The maps divide the county into Congressional districts. The map on the left shows a mostly red county, with two blue districts, as it was previous to this year’s elections. The second map shows the county all blue.






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State Auditor’s Highly Critical Report on High Speed Rail Released. Will it Also be Ignored?

Morris Brown
Founder of DERAIL, a grassroots effort against the California high-speed rail Project

Last Thursday, the California State Auditor released its much anticipated audit of the High Speed rail project. Opponents of the project had pushed for an audit for several years, but had always in the past been rebuffed with no support to authorize any audit from the State’s Democratic controlled transportation committees, in both the Assembly and the Senate. Governor Brown wanted nothing to do with such an audit.

Nevertheless, finally last January the pressure to authorize an audit had grown so high from the public, which had been alerted to huge cost overruns and delays, the Legislature finally agreed to a “limited in scope audit” of the HSR project and the Authority. Kudos must go to Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson, who relentlessly pushed for this audit.

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The Fall of the State GOP

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

The California Republican Party wipeout is complete. From the defeat of Trumpian hard liners like Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to moderates who are offered as examples of Republicans who can work across the aisle like Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, they are all gone. Many obituaries on the California GOP have been written the last week. The brand is tarnished so severely that if Santa Claus ran with an R behind his name he would lose.

What happened to the Republicans depends on whom you ask. Two well-known California Republicans offered their autopsy on the recent election and they couldn’t be further apart.

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Fact-Checking Snopes and PolitiFact on California Wildfires and SB 1463

John Moorlach
State Senator representing the 37th Senate District

The fact-checking sites Snopes and PolitiFact have called into question my Senate Bill 1463 from 2016. I am going to fact-check their fact-checking.

Snopes wrote: “Claim: Jerry Brown vetoed a wildfire management bill in 2016, contributing to the prevalence and risk of wildfires in the ensuing two years.” So, Snopes itself is claiming two “claims” here: the prevalence and risk of wildfires.

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