California in the Black Without Prop 30 Tax Hikes

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

When Gov. Jerry Brown kicked off the campaign for Proposition 30, his tax hike solution to California’s spending problems, he predicted a doomsday scenario if the tax measure failed. “What do we do?” Brown wondered in the summer of 2012. “Do we dismantle the schools? Do we end the Highway Patrol? Do we open the […]

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Exporting the Oscars: Liberal Policies Driving Film Industry from California

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

As Hollywood celebrated the 86th Academy Awards, one is reminded of the glamour and power of Tinsel Town’s motion picture industry, as well as the big personalities who perform on its sound stages. Hollywood, of course, is a very left-wing place, judged from the fabled political stances of many of its celebrities, from Oscar-winners Warren […]

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New York Times Writer Celebrates Single-Party Rule in California

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

The New York Times news department has apparently become the official national propaganda machine of California’s liberals in control of state government, more-or-less in the same manner as the Soviet Communist Party’s newspaper Pravda served as the official organ of that one-party state in Russia during the Cold War. At least that’s the impression some better informed observers can come away with after reading the Time’s crack reporter Adam […]

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Thirty-Five Years Ago, Howard Jarvis Changed the Golden State Forever

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

In the mid-1970s, when I was a law student at Pepperdine and California state chairman of a conservative volunteer group, the Young Americans for Freedom, we began to get visits at the YAF offices from a brusque older gentleman named Howard Jarvis. I had heard Jarvis during his appearances on Ray Briem’s late-night talk show […]

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CA Misery Index Tops Jimmy Carter Era

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

Cross-posted at California Political Review.

The “Misery Index” economic indicator that Jimmy Carter used to defeat Gerald Ford for the Presidency was at an all-time high of 13.57% in the summer of 1976. But it’s 14.68% now in California, and rising. While Carter successfully campaigned that “no man responsible for giving a country a misery index that high had a right to even ask to be President,” thereby targeting a weak Republican president instead of the policies of the entrenched 40-year long Democrat controlled Congress of the era, perhaps Democrats here in California will also get away with their terrible performance on the economy by blaming someone else.

That’s because the main stream media doesn’t seem very interested in holding Democrats to task for California’s (or America’s) economic woes, even given the Democrats almost perpetual control of our State Legislature, a Democratic Governor, a Democratic President, and a Congress only one-half, and narrowly at that, controlled by Republicans. And public opinion is still pretty good for Governor Jerry Brown, at 48% positive. Yet the MSM seems full of stories about George W. Bush-era failings as the root of all economic evils in America, and can’t seem to write much anything about the utter failure of Obama-era spending programs, or California’s dysfunctional big spending Legislative Democrats. While Obama hands out the shovelware, and our State Legislature debates variations of shear constitutional lunacy, our financial markets are blowing up at the seams. Piers Morgan devotes hours on CNN to talk about a defeated Delaware 2010 GOP U.S. Senate candidate’s position on gay marriage. It all reminds one of that story about Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned down. Is anybody in a responsible position anywhere paying attention to our economy???

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Time for rethinking, not rebranding

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

The California Republican Party suffers from deep hubris on issues that
matter to Latino voters, the largest emerging voter block in the state, a
"branding" issue so unfortunate that the state GOP has become essentially a
"permanent super minority party" as a result of the last election.
Moderates and conservatives may have to wait a generation to have their
policy interests dominant in the state again. California’s financial crisis
can’t wait that long to be fixed. The time has come to start a discussion
about establishing a new, companion right-of-center party in this state that
can appeal to a majority of voters and which focuses on the core freedom
issues of lower taxes, less government spending, and less government
regulation in our lives. Especially if Proposition 14 is upheld in the
courts, and an open primary is instituted, the time might be ripe for
moderates and conservatives in California state politics to just start over
with something intelligent, new and attractive to a majority of voters.

After the 2008 election defeats for Republicans across the nation, the
watchword among GOP political operatives and major donors became
"rebranding". In political planning meetings I attended from New York to
California during 2009, it was impossible to not hear the word "rebranding"
at some point in the conversation.

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Get a good lawyer!

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

Yesterday’s landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United case has now opened the door for unlimited corporate and union general treasury spending on independent expenditures for express advocacy of the election or defeat of Federal candidates across the country. But here in California, the new rules aren’t going to be so much different from the rules that have governed state candidate and measure elections for some time. And because of gerrymandering as a result of the almost permanent hold the Democrats have had on the California Legislature, there are hardly any "competitive" Federal general elections in California for its 53 congressional seats, for the new rules to have much impact.

Even though California adopted a sweeping "Political Reform Act" in the 1970s, that law and subsequent amendments have always allowed direct corporate and union spending on state and local candidate elections, as long as the spending was independent of the candidate. Some cities, like Los Angeles and Long Beach, and San Diego County, have responded with their own local rules that attempt to restrict these independent expenditures, whether made by an individual, corporation, or union.

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Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature

James Lacy
Co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP

The Democrats solution to this new budget crisis? You got it! The same old thing. More taxes. Taxes on oil. Taxes on the Internet. Taxes on business. But Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature’s Republicans are demonstrating that they "get" the political mandate handed to Sacramento’s politicians by the people of California last May 19, in turning down almost all the Props — Balance the budget by cutting costs, and not raising taxes.

As a result, the Governor in particular, has adopted several cost-cutting ideas that suck the breath out of this Reagan-Republican and which should have conservatives across the state screaming his praises at the top of their lungs. One of those ideas, to just let state government grind to a halt when it runs out of money on July 1, might be just the medicine our state’s "tax-and-spend" politicians need to get cracking on solving the real "systemic" problem in state government – uncontrolled spending.

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