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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Climate According to CA Sen. Kevin de Leòn

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 11, 2015

And now a break from Chris’ excellent coverage of the 1st District Supervisor race that appears to be going on and on and on.

As I have noted previously, my friend Katy Grimes over at the Flashreport has been publishing some important articles on the growing regulatory impact of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  An impact that is having everyday negative affects on our state’s economy and is another nail in the coffin for anyone wishing to start a business in this state. CARB’s Mary Nichols Is No ‘Rock Star’

Katy has a new post on this over at the Flashreport reporting that (no surprise to me) Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon is introducing a new package of bills to further increase the regulatory burden on Californians even though the air in our state is cleaner now than since the 1970s.  If  you are at all concerned about the over regulation by CARB now, wait until Sen. de Leon and Gov. Brown’s latest folly is signed into law. CARB is already out of control and these new bills would only further the power of this unaccountable government entity’s control of our lives.

I got a real world example of this yesterday when I put gas in my car – the price of gas jumped in a few days about twenty cents ($.20) per gallon.  Coincidence or CARB’s newest gas taxes going into affect?  I think I know which one it is.

To see Katy’s excellent most recent article on this go to this link: The Climate According to CA Sen. Kevin de Leon.

 

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Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees to Vote Tonight to Duck Class Size Issue

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 28, 2015

Class size has been a hot topic at Capistrano Unified School District for many years now. The issue was recently in the news regarding CUSD’s having too many children in classrooms: Channel 4 News.

Dawn Urbanek has posted an excellent article at the San Juan Capistrano Patch about a vote tonight (1-28-15) by the Board of Trustees at CUSD to allow the District and Unions to make class size decisions rather than the Board. Here is the link to Dawn’s article: Class Size.

I predict the Board will vote in favor of this partly because the teacher’s union wants it (and the union got elected all but one of the seven Trustees) and so the Board can duck responsibility for the decisions being made. I highly recommend this article to your attention.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

2 Votes

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 27, 2015

They like their elections close in the 1st District.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Government and the Biggest Failures in Life

Posted by Walter Myers III on January 21, 2015

Occupy HomelessWhen I was a kid, I had an aunt who used to admonish me when I spoke without thinking that it is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It took me a while to take that to heart, so hopefully these days I have learned the truth of that long ago childhood teaching lesson. A few weeks ago one of my liberal Facebook “friends” posted a graphic created by the Occupy Wall Street movement criticizing the federal government for “millionaire representatives” cutting food stamps while homeless people froze to death on the streets of Washington, D.C. I don’t see the relationship between food stamps and dying on the street homeless, but then again my expectations of the cogency of Occupy movement communications are very low. Nonetheless, I want to address this charge because it is instructive to understand how liberal progressives think and to marvel that a group of people who are so devoid of responsibility have no problem criticizing others for what is their own responsibility.

Last I checked, Washington D.C. had shelters (church-sponsored or otherwise), private charities, a City Council, and of course members of the Occupy movement. But in the graphic, they didn’t call on any of these parties to do anything about helping the homeless in their own community. Obviously, the local community would have been the first line of support to provide shelter and food to the homeless, or at least could have contributed to shelters and private charities that provide these services. Where were these people? Next, the Washington D.C. City Council, which is made up of Democrats who supposedly care the most about “the little guy” could themselves have sponsored shelters for the homeless. It doesn’t appear they cared either that people were dying in the streets. And then we have the Occupy members. What were they doing in Washington, D.C. to help the homeless and the hungry? Well, I think we know what they were doing. Sitting in comfy pajamas in their parents’ basements mining liberal blogs for the latest “outrage” committed by Republicans in the U.S. Congress, instead of expending their energies in actually making a difference.

And this is where I come to the title of this blog about the biggest failures in life. The biggest failures in life (at least in my view) are those who feel they are taking the moral high ground by criticizing others for first, what is their own responsibility that they won’t accept, and second, what is not the responsibility of the party they’re criticizing in the first place. In this case, Occupy does not understand that charity is not the function of the federal government to begin with, yet it has for decades taken money away from the states that could be distributed far more effectively and efficiently at the local level. This practice is rife with bureaucracy and waste, and even worse, when they dole money back out to the states they shouldn’t have taken to begin with, they often use the threat of cutting off federal funds to coerce states into doing their bidding on some political matter. Despite that, if people are dying on the streets in Washington, D.C., it is still the local community and government officials that have utterly failed their own people since it is they who have full visibility into the point of need, unlike a far flung federal government. And that community includes the Occupy members who, instead of looking to themselves along with their community and local government, attempt to pass the blame off on a federal government that has no idea who is homeless or where they are on the streets of D.C.

To speak of this more generally, the responsibility to feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless is first the family, then the church or private charities, then local/county government. The state level would be the natural next level, but it is my belief that if charity has to bubble up to the state level, then the local community has failed at the most basic level of society. This view is based on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity that holds nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization that can be done just as well by a smaller and simple organization. So even though I’m particularly critical of the Occupy movement in this post, it also sheds the light on the rest of us who have failed if we expect anyone other than ourselves in the local community to meet the needs of those truly in need. Personally, a good percentage of my charitable contributions go to the Orange County Rescue Mission, which among other free health services provides transitional housing and job training to the homeless, helping them to get back on their feet and become productive, self-sufficient citizens without government welfare programs. So I ask the Occupy movement to stop complaining about what politicians are doing and act at the local level wherever they may live, and get all of their other progressive liberal friends who complain about “income inequality” to accept responsibility and follow suit. As for those of us of a conservative bent, we know better and have no excuse for not volunteering or supporting churches and charities in our own communities monetarily.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Julie Collier: Parents need more school choice

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 18, 2015

Last fall when I ran for CUSD’s Board of Trustees, my friend Julie Collier also ran for the Board (in another Trustee area). In getting to know Julie more I discovered a wonderful fellow citizen who is a true champion of education for children and their parents.

The OC Register has published an insightful column by Julie about school choice – how parents can and should be able to help their child leave behind a failing school – failing to give a child the excellent education he / she deserves. I highly recommend Julie’s excellent column to you. It is not behind the Register’s pay wall.

Here is the link: Parents Need More School Choice

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CARB’s Mary Nichols Is No ‘Rock Star’ Among CA Bureaucrats – Part ll by Flashreport’s Katy Grimes

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on January 2, 2015

Katy Grimes is one of my favorite bloggers / correspondent.  Partly because Katy pursues an important article with passion and doggedly searches out facts.  She follows the facts to wherever they lead and is not afraid to ask those under her microscope tough questions.  Most of the time she writes about government officials or programs that waste our tax dollars or abuse their power.  In California, Katy has a truly target rich environment!

One of the most powerful bureaucrats in California today is Mary Nichols, California’s Air Resources Board Chairwoman.  The CARB is charged with the implementation of California’s Cap and Trade (also known as Cap and Tax) program to allegedly reduce green house gas emissions under AB32.  As Katy lays out in great detail, Ms. Nichols, a lifelong career bureaucrat, has embraced this role with gusto and we, the citizens of California, are and will be paying the price for that gusto in the years to come.

Did you notice that gas prices just jumped .10 to .20 per gallon in the last few days?  Maybe not because gas prices have been dropping like a rock lately.  But the drop is due to market forces like Saudi Arabia keeping oil production high.  That can change at any moment.  But what was the latest jump in California – a new Cap and Trade tax on gasoline ordered by CARB.  And this is only the beginning.

Therefore it is vital that Californians know and understand the bureaucrats who run programs like this one and I highly recommend you spend a few minutes and read Katy Grimes’ articles (the link is to Part II just published Jan. 2nd – there is a link to Part I there). The link to Katy’s article is CARB’s Mary Nichols. 

I also highly recommend you get a free subscription to Jon Fleischman’s Flashreport at http://www.flashreport.org/.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP: Endorsement for 1st Supervisorial District

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 15, 2014

We’re live from a special meeting of the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee to consider an endorsement for 1st District Supervisor.

Three new alternates are sworn in.

Chairman Scott Baugh notes Chris Phan’s Orange Juice Blog interview where Phan expressed opposition to the non-union pledge; Baugh notes that he rarely reads Orange Juice Blog but was told about that post. Baugh notes that Lou Correa coauthored the legislation that allowed 3% at 50 pension plans. Baugh warns that Correa will be a foothold for Nick Berardino and OCEA on the Board of Supervisors. Baugh notes many Vietnamese people are Buddhist and do not celebrate Christmas. Baugh recalls in 2007 that two Republican Vietnamese candidates came in the top two although Correa is stronger than Tom Umberg.

A Central Committee member asks Andrew Do about the economy and public safety.

Do says there are too many regulations and points to the examples of various permits and local ordinances. He says AB 109 and Prop 47 has a greater impact on the 1st District than other districts.

DO ENDORSED UNANIMOUSLY

Record time: 16 minutes to adjournment

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, Republican Central Committee, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Assembly Member Wagner Announces Early Endorsements for State Senate Bid

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 9, 2014

This came over the wire from the Don Wagner for Senate campaign yesterday…

ASSEMBLY MEMBER WAGNER ANNOUNCES EARLY ENDORSEMENTS FOR STATE SENATE BID

Irvine – Assembly Member Donald P. Wagner announced an initial round of endorsements in his State Senate bid from many local and state leaders who have worked with him and with his opponent over the years.

Former Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen, his new colleagues in the state legislature, have endorsed Assemblyman Wagner, as has Senate leader Bob Huff and the senator Wagner seeks to replace, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters. Joining them in endorsing Wagner are Senator Joel Anderson from San Diego, Senator Mike Morrell from the Inland Empire, and Senator Jean Fuller from Bakersfield.

Local leaders have also enthusiastically endorsed Assemblyman Wagner’s run for State Senate, including Supervisor-elect Michelle Steel, OC Fire Authority Chairman and Tustin Mayor Al Murray, Orange County Transportation Authority incoming Board Chairman and Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, and Board of Equalization Member-elect and former Orange County Assemblywoman Diane Harkey.

In the Assembly, Wagner has the overwhelming support of his colleagues, including Republican Leader Kristin Olsen and former Republican leaders Martin Garrick and Connie Conway. Finally, he is also endorsed by, among others, Assembly Members Brian Jones, Shannon Grove, Beth Gaines, Frank Bigelow, Jim Patterson, and Brian Dahle.

More state and local endorsements will be announced shortly.

If you would like to join the Wagner for Senate campaign or receive regular progress updates, please visit the website at wagner4senate.com or contact the Wagner for Senate campaign office at 714.514.1888.

# # #

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On Immigration Reform and Don Wagner’s Run for State Senate 37th District

Posted by Walter Myers III on November 25, 2014

120213 Don WagnerAs expected, Don Wagner announced his run for the 37th District State Senate vacated by Mimi Walters, who will be headed to Congress representing the 45th Congressional District. For the record, I do support Wagner. Wagner is a principled, stand up conservative, and he has always made himself readily available to myself and others who have wanted to learn about what he’s up to in the California State Assembly and discuss issues that concern us here in Irvine and surrounding areas. Certainly, I don’t expect this to be a coronation, and do expect that there will be a quality candidate to run against Wagner, but out of the gate there are already rumblings about a letter he signed along with other California state Republican legislators urging U.S. Congressmen from California to support “comprehensive” federal immigration reform. Personally, I was a bit stung by the letter, as it appears to me to play right into the hands of Democrats.

In the letter, Wagner et al. called for “thoughtful and strong border security, employer sanctions, and opportunity for undocumented residents to earn their full way to citizenship, but only behind those who have applied to become citizens through the current citizenship process.” I do believe this is somewhat reasonable, in theory, with the key exception that undocumented residents earn their full way to citizenship. There should be a price to pay for coming to this country illegally even if grace is applied, and if a bill were to pass with that clause implemented, it would be tantamount to declaring to all future illegal immigrants that if you get here and hang out long enough, you too can expect eventual citizenship. It may take a long time, but if you can avoid deportation, which has become easier and easier, it will have been worth it to go the illegal route instead of going the legal route and waiting your turn. Effectively, it would make legal immigration less attractive for those who felt they simply couldn’t afford to wait, and would be the proverbial slap in the face to those waiting to enter the country legally.

I can’t say I know Wagner’s intentions directly, but from some correspondence with him on immigration in general, I know that Wagner understands how hobbled the Republican Party has been, particularly here in California, by not actively pursuing and passing immigration reform legislation. There is little the Republicans can do here in California as they don’t have the governorship and are a distinct minority in both state houses, but there did appear to be a chance at bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate and House and perhaps Wagner et al. saw this as an opportunity to take illegal immigration off the table that focuses first on border security, then on employer sanctions, and finally on handling the illegal immigrants currently here (and hopefully in that order!). I think a key mistake Wagner makes is actually believing that comprehensive immigration reform is workable. There were supposed to be border protections in the 1986 amnesty bill signed by Reagan, but we all know that didn’t happen and now we have north of 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. So passing a comprehensive bill and expecting that it will be ordered in the manner as stated above, I think, is being highly unrealistic (okay, naive, with Obama, Pelosi, and Reid running things on the Democratic side).

For one, I am tired of huge, thousand page bills, and think we need to get away from “comprehensive” anything. What we need are smaller, simpler bills that can be read and understood by the average American. For an issue as huge as immigration reform, what we need is a broad framework that consists of border security, a functioning guest worker program that makes it foolish to immigrate here illegally in the first place, a way to legalize current illegal immigrants without providing for citizenship, and finally employer enforcement. Of course, this is the Orange County Lincoln Club position that I have been advocating for years. I believe this can be accomplished in a series of small bills that must be executed in a particular sequence that ensures we’re not back in the same situation we’re in now ten years later. My hope is that Wagner will further consider this and address it sooner than later, but I don’t think the letter should necessarily disqualify him in anyone’s mind who is considering reserving their vote for a single (though important) discretion. I wish Wagner well in his run, but I think he could be vulnerable on this issue if another candidate as excellent as him comes forward with a view more in line with the conservative base that sees Wagner as an amnesty supporter.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

End Of Forced Unionization For Government Employees?

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on November 25, 2014

In today’s Orange County Register former State Senator Gloria Romero discusses a pending case where several public school teachers have sued the state and the California Teachers Association (CTA) challenging the Plaintiffs being forced to be in a public employee union in order to have their jobs as teachers.  The case (entitled Friedrichs, et al v. California Teachers Association, et al) was pending at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  However, the Court granted Plaintiff’s attorneys’ motion to affirm the trial court’s findings against the Plaintiffs without the need for an oral argument.  Part of the reasoning, according to Senator Romero’s op ed piece, is the 9th Circuit recognized that only the United States Supreme Court can overturn its own prior decision of Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Ed. 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  This has significantly sped up the appeals process hopefully getting the case before the Supreme Court (and a decision from it) by over a year – as early as 2015 or 2016.

A few months ago the Supreme Court issued an important decision in Harris v. Quinn which I posted a blog about on July 1st (Harris v. Quinn, an Important Limitation on Forced Unionization). I noted that while the Harris case did not overturn the Abood case or declare that all government employee unionization is not lawful, the Harris court majority noted serious misgivings about the Abood cases’ underlying rational and the public policy of allowing government employee unions to require people to join them (and pay dues) against their will in order to keep their government jobs.  Senator Romero also noted this about the Harris case in her op ed piece.  Here is a link to her opinion piece (which is not behind the Register’s pay wall): Union-dues case moves closer to Supreme Court.  I highly recommend you read her article.

The Supreme Court is not required to take and hear Rebecca Friedrichs and her friends’ case.  But I certainly hope it does and I hope the Supreme Court overturns Abood allowing government employees to make a voluntary choice to join a government employee union or not as they desire.   I hope the Court recognizes that when someone is forced to join a union by operation of law and forced to give the union money to spend in ways that employee may not agree with, this is a violation of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.  Liberals always complain about wanting people to be able to make their own choices.  A decision by the Supreme Court to end forced unionization of government employees, would be a victory for individual liberty and freedom.

Finally, I have met Rebecca Friedrichs and her husband.  They are wonderful long serving teachers who love their profession.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak on this subject, you will find a person of passion on this issue and a fighter who is not afraid to stand up to the unions and their bullying tactics.  I wish her, her co-plaintiff teacher friends and their legal team well.

 

Craig P. Alexander, Esq. is an attorney who practices law in the area of insurance coverage, construction defect, HOAs, business dispute and general civil litigation.  His office is in Dana Point, California. 

 

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