Goal of Online Tobacco Sales Ban: More State Tax Revenue

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

California may be considered a technology pioneer, but at least one state lawmaker wants to put the brakes on a growing segment of the online retail market. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, has introduced a measure to ban online sales of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes. Dickinson says the bill, Assembly Bill 1500, […]

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Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin Raises Water Rates, Then Sues Taxpayers

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Fresno residents could see their water rates double, and in the process, all Californians could see their petition powers diminished, if a state appellate court doesn’t act quickly on a lawsuit to stop strong-arm tactics by the city of Fresno. The protracted battle began last August, when the city of Fresno approved a controversial plan pushed by Mayor […]

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Bipartisan Effort Would Limit Federal Spying in California

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Federal agencies could find it harder to spy on Californians if a new bill proposed this legislative session becomes law. State Senators Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Joel Anderson, R-San Diego, introduced legislation on Monday that would ban state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government […]

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Critics are Barking Up the Wrong Tree

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

In the dog-eat-dog world of Sacramento politics, no one is off limits. Not even man’s best friend. Last Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle featured a front-page story by newshound Carla Marinucci about an arrangement between the governor and an influential lobbyist. Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society’s top dog in Sacramento, regularly walks Sutter, a loveable […]

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GOP Lawmakers Deliver Key Votes for Tax Extension

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Last month, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a $2.3 billion tax extension. The measure, authored by a Central Valley Democrat, passed both houses of the legislature with overwhelmingly Democratic support. Yet, the multi-billion dollar tax extension, a Democratic creation, couldn’t have passed the legislature without the help of Republican lawmakers. Nine Republican legislators, […]

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Consumer Attorneys, Tort Reformers Criticize Harkey Lawsuit

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Few Capitol battles are as heated as the ongoing feud between the trial lawyers and advocates for tort reform. Yet, the two groups have found themselves on the same side of one litigation controversy. Both sides are critical of Orange County Assemblywoman Diane Harkey’s defamation lawsuit against a fellow Republican lawmaker. In late August, Harkey […]

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Leg Analyses Understate Fiscal Costs of Gun Control Bills

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

From social issues to business regulations, Sacramento is considered a national leader in progressive politics. “Conservative” might be the last adjective used to describe the California Legislature — except when it comes to estimating the fiscal impacts of its legislative proposals. A CalWatchdog.com analysis of several high-profile bills has identified a pattern: the state Legislature’s committee consultants […]

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Two More Legislators ID’d Who Went on Lobbyist-organized Cuba Junket

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Two more state legislators that participated in a spring break trip to Cuba with an influential Sacramento lobbyist have been identified. Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly member Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, have confirmed through their offices that they spent the spring holiday out of the country with registered lobbyist Darius Anderson. […]

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8 Legislators Participated in Secret Cuba Trip

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Last Friday, my CalWatchDog colleague Katy Grimes and I first broke the story that at least two legislators traveled to Cuba with Darius Anderson, one of Sacramento’s most influential lobbyists.  Our first report was only able to identify State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, and Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, as two legislators that joined […]

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Evidence Keeps Building Of Flaws In State’s Carbon Auction

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

California’s cap and trade regulators can’t seem to do anything right. Taxpayers, businesses and even some environmentalists are exposing the serious flaws with the state’s carbon auction. Small businesses have criticized the landmark greenhouse gas emissions law for being “the greatest threat to the growth of our business in California.” On the eve of the […]

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