Random Thoughts on the Political Scene

Jon Fleischman
Publisher of the FlashReport

  • It is ironic that Courage Campaign is out there trying to compare Meg Whitman to Sarah Palin – I really don’t see where the two of them really have anything in common — the intellectual New England woman, with a penchant for over-analysis, versus the free-spirited “frontier girl” from Wasilla Alaska with a tendency to shoot from the hip.

  • People keep asking me which of the myriad of reforms coming our way next year via the ballot box will help put California back on the right track. My answer is always the same, why don’t we try electing a Republican majority in the legislature – that’s the “reform” we need.

  • Capitol Weekly’s recently released legislative scorecard gave an early Christmas present to the six GOPers who supported February’s massive $16 billion tax increase by leaving the vote on it, as well as the vote to place Proposition 1A on the ballot, off of their scorecard.

  • This week someone tried to try to convince me that since Steve Poizner is worth perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars, and not over a billion dollars, he was not a viable candidate for Governor. I wonder what every Governor since we started electing them would think about that?

  • The so-called “open primary” is supposed to reduce the role of special interests in the legislature, right? Yet the measure, if passed, would make it vastly more expensive for anyone to get elected to the legislature (successful candidates will have had to campaign to every voter in their district, twice). Hmmm.

  • Despite many unique opportunities in 2009 to meet a lot of interesting and influential people, the opportunity to spend a brief amount of time with legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully makes them all pale in significance. What an icon of our time.

  • Main stream media reporters continue to write that Democrat John Perez will be the first “openly gay” Speaker of the California State Assembly. I’ve spoken with a few former Speakers already, and I’m still trying to figure out who reporters must know was the first “not-openly gay” Speaker. So far no one can tell me.

  • A huge issue for 2010 will be part-time elected officials in local government who take full-time health care benefits. If I were one of those local politicians, I’d cancel my policy by year’s end and hope for the best. Incumbents will lose elections next year for taking this kind egregious benefit.

  • The best quote I’ve read in a long time in an article came from Assemblyman Juan Arambula, a former County Supervisor, who told the Los Angeles Times, "On the board of supervisors, five people make decisions. In Sacramento, five people make decisions — I’m just not one of them."

  • Isn’t it about time that someone in Sacramento shut-down the oligarchy of the “Big 5” – originally constituted to facilitate working out sticky issues in the legislature, the group consisting of the Governor and top Democrat and Republican legislators has become the de facto policy-making body for state government, which is not good for a whole bevy of reasons.

  • Next year’s budget shortfall promises to be a large one. Perhaps Capitol Democrats will attempt to solve it by proposing another massive tax increase (or passing one illegally by a majority vote). As an elected officer of the California Republican Party, I can think of no better time than this coming fall to have that discussion in the midst of a recession.

  • It would be tragic if the complete implosion of the University of Southern California’s football team in any way takes away from the great job that Dan Schnur has done since taking over the helm of that institution’s Jesse Unruh Institute on Politics. Though someone told me they might ask Schnur to suit up for the Trojans. Um, bad idea.

  • The tragedy of watching the state legislature and Governor go through Capitol contortion to make changes in California law in order to qualify for federal government “Race To The Top” education funds is that education is one of a myriad of issues that, under the U.S. Constitution, should be reserved to the people or the states. The issue of federal preemption is a serious one – with politicians 3,000 miles from California meddling in more and more areas of our lives than they should.

  • A vote this week by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors (with only Supervisor Foy objecting) placed prerequisite qualifications on the office of County Treasurer to prevent Assemblywoman Audra Strickland from being able to run. The law allowing Supervisors to put qualifications on the office passed many years ago but they didn’t act until now. It is one of the more outrageous and political maneuvers I have seen in a while.

  • Should I question my own conservative credentials when one of my “favorite reads” of the week is former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle?

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