Parties Pick Up Pieces After Wild Nominating Season

Richard Rubin
He writes about political issues and is President of a Public Affairs Management Firm. He also teaches courses on the Presidential & Congressional Elections at the University of San Francisco and is Vice Chair of the California Commonwealth Club.

Perhaps the worst thing that could happen to a politician is a loss of interest in what they have to say.

Donald Trump won that contest a long time ago by grabbing center stage and never relinquishing it.

He received substantial help from the media, which thought it necessary to repeat and keep repeating his utterances even though excluding some verbal detours and a number of sensational accusations the story line rarely varied.

It was well established shortly after he announced his candidacy from the Trump Tower in June 2015 that he would be the greatest candidate who would mount the greatest campaign to make America great again. And vast percentage of the media thought that was great.

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Hillary Clinton Speaks Out on CA Water Issues

Conan Nolan
Political reporter for Los Angeles NBC4 and anchor of News Conference

Hillary Clinton says she has been following California’s water issues from “afar” and as president would be open to having the federal government involved in long term solutions to benefit cities and agriculture.

But the Democratic Party front-runner declined to specifically address the latest dust-up over water deliveries to the southern part of the state.

“We have got to seriously address the California water situation because I know how difficult it has been,” Clinton said on NBC4’s News Conference program broadcast Sunday. “I have gotten some briefings about the drought which seems to have slightly improved but not for the long term.”

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Defending Community Associations

Chair, Community Associations Institute-California Legislative Action Committee

In response to Assembly Member Donald Wagner’s article last week dealing with homeowner community association bills, community associations seem to be under attack. The attack this time came in the form of AB 1720.

Community associations are communities first and foremost. They are run by volunteer community members who are elected to a position on a board by the other homeowners. The volunteer board members are your neighbors: nurses, secretaries, business owners and teachers. They represent the community as a whole, but are not trained to respond to an attorney’s question in a board meeting any more than you are, unless they have an attorney for the association present. AB 1720 creates a situation where attorneys would be allowed, potentially without notice, to attend board meetings to represent an individual homeowner.

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One Coming, One Going, and One that Got Away

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

The attention-grabbing tiff between California Governor Jerry Brown and Florida Governor Rick Scott over the latter’s business-snatching safari to the Golden State highlighted a week of the state’s constant struggle to stay on top of business recruitment. The scorecard was mixed with news highlights of one business coming, one leaving and, watching with regret, one that got away.

California can improve the score if it keeps business burdens in mind. More on that later.

But first, the positive.

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Memo to Justice Breyer on CA Death Penalty

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)

To: Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

From: Joe Mathews

Re: Switch to decaf, dude

Just read your dissent from a U.S. Supreme Court decision turning down a challenge to the death penalty in California. You alone among the eight justices wanted to hear the case. And after reading it, I’ve gotta give you some advice:


I know you don’t like the death penalty. I know you don’t think it’s unconstitutional. But California is not the place to make your legal stand.

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Called Last December—Trump Would Win Nomination

Tony Quinn
Editor, California Target Book

(Editor’s Note: Even before the first primary vote was cast and well ahead of other pundits, political analyst Tony Quinn wrote the following column for Fox and Hounds predicting that Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination, mapping out his success in Southern States and even the fall of Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida. We re-publish that column here).

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. The last gasp in the long and brutal fight to stop Trump will be June’s California Republican primary, but it will fail. Trump will be the nominee because Trump is today’s Republican Party.

America has changed greatly in the past 40 years. The middle class, the Republican Party’s backbone since the Civil War, has declined from 61 percent of the population in 1971 to less than 50 percent today.   Wealth generation today is concentrated in high technology, entertainment and social media, and the billionaires who dominate these information age industries are notably hostile to Republicans.

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L.A.’s New Sales Tax Hike for Transit Doesn’t Add Up for Taxpayers

Susan Shelley
Susan Shelley is an author, former television associate producer and twice a Republican candidate for the California Assembly.

Math is a funny thing.

Take averaging, for example. Mark Twain observed that if you have one foot in a bucket of ice and one foot in a bucket of boiling water, on average you’re pretty comfortable.

Similarly, consider subtraction. Somehow, government officials have calculated that subtracting money from your wallet for taxes actually puts more money in your pocket.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study of the economic effects of Measure R, the 2008 increase in the L.A. County sales tax of one-half of one percent to fund transportation projects.

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A Strength for California Women Business Owners: Cosmetics & Personal Care Industry

Lezlee Westine
President & CEO of the Personal Care Products Council

A recently released report from American Express OPEN cites rapid growth for women-owned businesses and ranks California as home to the greatest number of them with nearly 1.5 million in the Golden State.

This surge in women-owned business is no surprise for those of us in the personal care product and cosmetics industry, which for decades has provided significant opportunities and low barriers of entry to millions of American female entrepreneurs and business leaders.

We have documented this in our 2016 Economic & Social Contributions report, for which PricewaterhouseCoopers measured the economic impact of this dynamic, innovative industry.

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CA Primary Still Important for Down Ballot Contenders

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe & Doug Jeffe
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy and Doug Jeffe, Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

As they say about opera, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”

Well, in the 2016 Presidential nomination races, it isn’t going to be officially over until California votes. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear to have a virtual lock on their party’s nominations, but neither is able to muster a convention-delegate majority until after the June 7 California Primary.

After being virtual bystanders in the modern presidential nominating process, California voters get to put a period on both the Democratic and Republican races. While the outcome in both presidential races seems pre-ordained at this point, a month is an eternity in politics. Moreover, Presidential politics can have significant impact in California’s down ballot contests.

As always, turnout is pivotal in contested races, particularly because of California’s top two primary system, which applies to all partisan offices except the presidency. This is where enthusiasm and interest comes in.   If either party has a large turnout advantage or disadvantage, that can make a difference in determining which two down-ballot candidates will run off in a highly contested district.

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Local Cigarette Taxes & One Referendum Averted–Many Local Tax Measures Remain

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

A referendum to reverse a bill that would allow local jurisdictions to raise taxes on cigarettes was set to launch if Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill. He didn’t. It was the only cigarette related bill he vetoed of the six that landed on his desk. Brown said he vetoed the bill because there were too many tax measures on the November ballot.

While some tax measures considered for the statewide ballot by different interests–various property tax initiatives, oil severances taxes and others–have not materialized, Brown said he wanted to eliminate the possibility of piling tax measures on local ballots. Whether he took that position because he feared more tax increase measures might sink some of the proposals he is for ignores that he has a valid point. Already scheduled for the ballot are a slew of tax measures sought by local jurisdictions.

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