We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.
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Gov. Brown is taking hits for carrying on fundraising late in the campaign, and even after the election, despite the fact that he won easily and can’t run for re-election in 2018.
The LA Times’ George Skelton laid it on the governor pretty thick, writing that the fundraising carried “the kind of smell that turns off the public from politics and exacerbates the ridiculously low voter participation in elections.”
That’s a lot to lay on Brown’s fundraising, particularly when so few Californians know about the fundraising and when the state offers so many other good reasons not to pay attention to politics.
Gov. Brown, in response, has said that the money he’s stockpiled – more than $20 million – will prevent him from being such a lame duck. He’s correct about that. But I’d go a step further. Brown isn’t merely justified politically in raising money. I’d argue that his continued fundraising is imperative; if he weren’t raising this money, he wouldn’t be doing his job.
Just think: You run a business. Your partner embezzles from you and you are reeling – you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. Next, California’s state government shows up and slaps you around. When you object, Sacramento offers no apology, no comfort. You’re on your own.
Farfetched? Read on to see what happened to a California Limited Liability Company (LLC) that tried to play by the rules.
First, an LLC is a form of business that permits the owner to avoid double taxation. In California, such companies must pay an annual minimum franchise tax of $800, which is the highest of any state (in 40 other states the fee is $100 or less) and may be subject to additional fees based on revenue.
A San Diego federal grand jury recently awarded $185 million in punitive damages against AutoZone Stores after finding that the company retaliated against a pregnant manager, eventually demoting her and then firing her.
The jury also awarded Rosario Juarez $872,000 in compensatory damages for lost wages and emotional stress. This is believed to be the largest employment law verdict for an individual in U.S. history.
Discrimination of any kind must not be tolerated in the workplace, but the size of the punitive damages awarded in this case demonstrates one of the reasons why California has been named a “Judicial Hellhole” two years running.
A Pilgrim is defined in most dictionaries as a person who makes a long and difficult journey to reach a sacred place. As we begin the Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded that those pilgrims who shared a feast with Native Americans in 1621 traversed the Atlantic to find a sacred place. It wasn’t a shrine or a religious place, but America was sacred to them because it represented freedom from oppression and the opportunity to build a better life.
Freedom and opportunity have been, and continue to be, the defining sacred spirit of our society. Since that first day of Thanksgiving in New England, there have been countless other pilgrims seeking that ethos. From those initial northern Europeans, to the parade of humanity including Germans, Irish, Italians, eastern Europeans, Asian, and Latin Americans — every generation has seen a new influx of pilgrims with the same desire for a better life.
Governor Jerry Brown has nominated a U.S. Department of Justice official for a spot on the California Supreme Court.
On Monday, Brown nominated Leondra R. Kruger, a Yale Law School graduate, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who left the court in April. If confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Kruger would be Brown’s third appointee to the state’s highest court in as many years.
“Leondra Kruger is a distinguished lawyer and uncommon student of the law,” Brown said in a press release announcing the appointment. “She has won the respect of eminent jurists, scholars and practitioners alike.”
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Kruger has spent the past eight years working in various positions at the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2013, Kruger has served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, where she has earned high praise from the federal government’s top lawyer.
Napolitano, 1, Brown 0.
Last week’s Board Regents meeting, which I got to see in person on Wednesday, was great political theater – a contest between the UC, which was offering a boost-state-support-or-we’ll-raise-tuition plan, and state political leaders.
But this contest was different because the UC has a politician leading it, the former Arizona governor and homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano.
And this made all the difference. Napolitano took the fight to her fellow politicians in a way that UC hasn’t done before. And she won a big round, getting the better of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Her successful strategy was this: she out-Browned Brown.
It’s already happening. Almost every other TV and radio ad these days showcases Black Friday deals that await shoppers the day after we gorge ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie. Once again, we’ll find some of our friends and neighbors camping overnight or rising before dawn to head to the nearest shopping mall or big box store in anticipation of the money they will save. A recent news story featured two women who have already started a line at a large electronics store in anticipation of what they might save on a big screen television. Did I mention they were in line two weeks before Black Friday? I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of time or patience…and I like to sleep.
Do you really want to start off your holiday season like that? What if you had a less chaotic, more civilized approach before you as an option?
Well, you do, and here’s the best Black Friday advice of all: Wait a day, catch a few more zzz’s, and shop Small Business Saturday, November 29, instead! The economy and your own blood pressure will thank you.
(Editor’s Note: The following statement on “Small Business Saturday” was released by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a letter in support of the upcoming Small Business Saturday on November 29th. Small Business Saturday is an initiative that marks a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
“Small businesses embody the entrepreneurial spirit that has driven the economy of our Golden State,” said Governor Brown in his letter. “Over half of our private sector workforce is employed by small business. On Saturday, November 29th, I urge all Californians to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”
California has 3.4 million small businesses which account for 99 percent of the state’s employers and employ 52 percent of the workforce. The complete text of the letter can be found here.
It was quite a feat. Congressional Republicans had a chance to win nine Democratic-held House seats in California and blew every one of them – actually ending up down one seat in an election when nationally the House GOP has its largest class since the Hoover Administration. How they blew these seats is a story in itself.
On Election Night, an unknown and unfunded Republican farmer from Fresno named Johnny Tacherra was leading veteran Democratic Congressman Jim Costa by 700 votes. He eventually lost, but only by 1,300 votes. To his north, unknown and unfunded Republican Tony Amador held Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney to just 52 percent. Every expert called that race safe for McNerney; it was not. And in the counties north and west of Sacramento, another veteran, Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, held off retiring GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue with just 53 percent.
What do these three races have in common? Each was in California parched Central Valley where farm folks believe, with good reason, that urban Democrats and environmentalists are starving them for water during the drought while taking care of the cities and the fish.
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