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Steel Endorses Harkey as BOE Successor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 6, 2013

This came over the wire yesterday from the Diane Harkey for Board of Equalization campaign…

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Case You Missed It:

Harkey Gains Major Endorsement with Support of BOE Incumbent Michelle Steel

(Sacramento, CA) – Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel announced Monday her support for Diane Harkey to replace her on the Board.  Steel is retiring due to term limits and is running for Orange County Supervisor.  Michelle Steel joins a long list of Harkey supporters, including:

  • Congressman John Campbell
  • State Senator Mimi Walters
  • Former Senator Marian Bergeson
  • Assembly Member Curt Hagman
  • Assembly Member Alan Mansoor
  • Assembly Member Don Wagner
  • Orange Co. District Attorney Tony Rackaukus
  • Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
  • Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen
  • Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen
  • Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
  • Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates
  • Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson
  • Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell (ret)
  • Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait
  • Anaheim City Councilwoman Lucille Kring
  • Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray
  • Irvine Mayor Steven Choi
  • Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway
  • Irvine City Councilwoman Christina Shea
  • Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Matt Harper
  • Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio
  • Mission Viejo Mayor Rhonda Reardon
  • Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Kelley
  • Mission Viejo City Councilman Dave Leckness
  • Mission Viejo City Councilman Frank Ury
  • Laguna Niguel Mayor Robert Ming
  • Laguna Niguel Mayor Pro Tem Linda Lindholm
  • Laguna Niguel City Councilwoman Laurie Davies
  • Former Laguna Niguel Mayor Gary Capata
  • Aliso Viejo Mayor Carmen Cave
  • Aliso Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Phil Tsunoda
  • Aliso Viejo City Council Mike Munzing
  • San Juan Capistrano Mayor John Taylor
  • San Juan Cap. Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato
  • San Juan Capistrano Councilman Larry Kramer
  • Dana Point City Councilman Bill Brough
  • Dana Point City Councilman Carlos Olvera
  • Stanton Mayor David Shawver
  • Tustin Mayor Al Murray
  • Tustin City Councilman John Nielsen
  • Tustin City Councilman Allan Bernstein
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Anthony Beall
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric
  • Fountain Valley Mayor Mark McCurdy
  • Laguna Hills Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Blount
  • Laguna Hills City Councilman Randall Bressette
  • Laguna Hills City Councilwoman Melody Carruth
  • Laguna Hills City Councilman Dore Gilbert
  • San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Tim Brown
  • San Clemente City Councilwoman Lori Donchak
  • San Clemente City Councilman Jim Evert
  • Orange City Councilman Fred Whitaker

(Partial List)

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mansoor: Newly Married & Not Afraid of Steel Warchest

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on August 9, 2013

This came over the wire from Assemblyman Allan Mansoor‘s campaign yesterday, in which Mansoor introduces his new wife and states he is confident he can overcome Michelle Steel’s massive warchest:


On Monday, the Assembly returned from a month-long summer recess. It’s back to work in Sacramento, where we will spend the next six weeks wrapping up the year before we adjourn for the year on September 13.

I spent the recess trying to balance my time between meeting with constituents and preparing for my wedding. I hope no one missed the news, but I got engaged to Janniffer Grubisich last November, and on August 3, we both said “I do”. Janniffer was with me in Sacramento Monday, when we returned to session, and I was able to introduce her on the floor to my colleagues as my wife.

As many of you know, I’ve been contemplating a 2014 run for Orange County Supervisor. The current Second District Supervisor, John Moorlach, is leaving office due to term limits, and this is an “open seat.” There are several other candidates running (or thinking about running). Those following the race might recognize the name of Michelle Steel, a State Board of Equalization Member from LA County. She moved to Orange County to run for this seat and has lots of money. Her money makes her a formidable opponent, and I’m sure she will out-spend me. But I’ve been out-spent everytime I’ve been on the ballot, and have complete confidence that if I run, I will be able to raise enough money to wage a competitive and successful campaign.

For now however, I’m focused on doing my job representing the 74th Assembly District in Sacramento.

What’s to come in the next six weeks? I wish I had good news. But as you know, Sacramento Democrats have a 2/3 majority in both houses of the Legislature, and typically, during the last weeks of the year, we see a flurry of bad bills coming at us. I will keep you up-to-date on some of the bills that we will be seeing as our legislative year comes to a close.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Even though Democrats hold a 2/3 majority, we’ve managed (so far) to stop most of the significant attempts to alter Prop 13 and prevented significant attempts to raise taxes and we passed some significant reforms to limit Prop 65 shakedown lawsuits. As the session winds to a close, I’m looking forward to spending more time in the district and hope that anyone who hasn’t been able to meet Janniffer yet will be able to do so.


Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 74th Assembly District, Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

BOE-4: Harkey’s Campaign Income Higher Than Wyland’s in 2013; Wyland Ahead of Harkey in Cash-on-Hand

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 7, 2013

Senator Mark Wyland & Assemblywoman Diane Harkey

BOE-4 Candidates:
Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) &
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point)

With Michelle Steel termed out from her State Board of Equalization seat and running for Orange County Board of Supervisors, there are two major contenders running for Steel’s BOE seat: State Senator Mark Wyland (R-Escondido) and State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point).  Wyland and Harkey represent overlapping districts, with Harkey representing South Orange County in the Assembly and Wyland representing both South Orange County and North San Diego County in the Senate.

The massive BOE-4 seat comprises 25% of the state’s population, consisting of all of Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, Imperial County, and portions of San Bernardino County.  (In redistricting, the seat was renumbered, as it was previously BOE-3, and consisted of all the territory described above plus more portions of San Bernardino County and small slivers of Los Angeles County.)

Both Wyland and Harkey have loaned their own campaigns $100,000.  Harkey made a single $100,000 loan in 2011 while Wyland loaned his campaign $35,000 in 2011 and then added a $65,000 loan on June 29 this year, just one day before the close of the reporting period.  I’ve written previously about the campaign warchest fiction of $100,000 loans in my post on AD-73 last week (and requoted in my post on AD-55 two days ago):

Generally, $100,000 loans are paper tigers.  They are used to inflate campaign finance figures to impress donors and scare opponents.  However, when the rubber meets the road, 99% of the time, the candidates do not spend their loan money and repay the loans in their entirety after the election.  (The magic of the $100,000 figure for loans is that it is the most state legislative candidates can lend themselves and still get repaid under state law.  If you’re running for the Legislature, and loan yourself $101,000, that extra $1,000 can never be repaid, per the Government Code.)

I also wrote more extensively about $100,000 loans two weeks ago in a post that included information about loans from two AD-73 candidates and one AD-55 candidate.

At the end of 2012, Wyland had $132,049 cash on hand (excluding loans) while Harkey had $10,090.  During the first half of 2013, Wyland raised $88,584 while Harkey raised $81,536 and transferred in $29,650 from her other campaign accounts, giving her a gross increase of $111,186 in non-loan money.

During the January 1-June 30 reporting period, Wyland spent $122,142, with $89,010 (72.9%) going to consultants, professional services, and web costs.  During that same time, Harkey spent $49,419, spending just over half her money ($25,000) on Landslide Communications slate mailers.  Harkey had made previous deposits to Landslide and Continuing the Republican Revolution in 2012.  Neither campaign reported expenditures for any other slate mailers in 2012 or 2013.  Wyland had $2,241 in unpaid bills while Harkey had $1,330.

While Harkey had more campaign income than Wyland and Wyland outspent Harkey in 2013, Wyland’s $121,959 cash advantage from 2012 leaves him with more cash on hand.

Although I have been critical of candidates who loan their campaigns $100,000 because they do not spend it, BOE 4 may be one of the rare exceptions.  When you subtract the $100,000 loans, Wyland still has $96,250, but Harkey has actually spent $29,472 of the loan; I’m sure she hopes to raise it back, but at this point she’s already spent a chunk of the loan.

In a demonstration of just how difficult it is to raise money for BOE and how expensive everything is for the massive district that covers 25% of the state’s population, I’ll note the BOE accounts of Tom Harman and Lou Correa.  While neither Harman nor Correa is running for BOE, they each opened BOE accounts as a place to park their campaign funds for 2014.  Harman had $76,767 at the end of 2012, raised literally nothing in 2013, spent $8,979, and has $67,788 cash on hand – or 70% of Wyland’s current cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills and loans.  Correa had $85,400 at the end of 2012, raised $55,500 in 2013, spent $11,930 ($6,924 in expenditures and $5,006 in unpaid bills), and has $128,970 cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills – or 134% of Wyland’s cash-on-hand minus unpaid bills and loans (Correa has no loans).

For visual learners:

Candidate 12/31/12
Cash Balance
Minus Loans
Contributions Transfers Non-
Expenditures Cash on Hand
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Wyland $132,049 $88,584 $0 $4,100 $100,000 $2,241 $122,142 $202,591 $200,350 $96,250
Harkey $10,090 $81,536 $29,650 $0 $100,000 $1,330 $49,419 $71,858 $70,528 -$29,472
People Not Actually Running for BOE
Harman $76,767 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $8,979 $67,788 $67,788 $67,788
Correa $85,400 $55,500 $0 $0 $0 $5,006 $6,924 $133,976 $128,970 $128,970
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-June 30, 2013 were due last week.

It’s early yet, but Wyland’s definitely ahead of Harkey in the money game, though Harkey’s definitely spent more efficiently than Wyland, by locking up two major slate vendors in this race, which may well be won solely on slates.

(UPDATE – August 18, 7:25 AM): An OC Political reader asked how much was available for Harkey and Wyland to transfer from other committees since both are sitting state legislators.  Once unpaid bills are accounted for, Wyland still has $2,083 in his Senate officeholder account ($7,659 if you ignore his unpaid bills) while Harkey has $71,782 in her Senate account ($75,674 if you ignore her unpaid bills) and $53,231 in her Assembly account (that account has no unpaid bills).

For visual learners:

Candidate Committee Unpaid
Cash on Hand
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
Wyland 2010 Officeholder $5,576 $7,659 $2,083
Harkey for Senate 2014 $3,892 $75,674 $71,782
Harkey for Assembly 2012 $0 $53,231 $53,231

I haven’t gone line-by-line to determine how much is transferable, but assuming for the sake of argument that the entire amount is transferable, Harkey has $125,013 available while Wyland has $2,083.

If both candidates clean out their legislative accounts in favor of their BOE accounts, Wyland has $98,333 cash on hand (once unpaid bills and loans are accounted for), and Harkey has $95,541.  This leaves Wyland with a $2,792 cash-on-hand advantage – in a district that is 1/4 of the State of California, an utterly meaningless cash advantage in virtually any race let alone one covering such a huge swath of the state (for comparison, imagine a statewide race where once candidate had an $11,168 cash-on-hand advantage).

What I concluded in the original post still rings true, though with one word changed: “It’s early yet, but Wyland’s definitely slightly ahead of Harkey in the money game, though Harkey’s definitely spent more efficiently than Wyland, by locking up two major slate vendors in this race, which may well be won solely on slates.”

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

New California Tax Policy – Retroactive Tax for Five Years WITH Interest

Posted by Cicero on March 26, 2013

Despite unanimous opposition from newspapers up and down the state, the Franchise Tax Board continues to stick by its decision to retroactively tax small businesses owners back five years for investing in California businesses. These are the people who are creating jobs and California is literally chasing them away.

One group of individuals is taking stand against the policy though – California Business Defense. The group will meet in San Diego next week and is specifically looking for more individuals who will be directly impacted by the policy. More information on the group and the status briefing in San Diego is available on the group’s website at www.cabusinessdefense.org.

Since 1993, small business owners and investors have been able to take advantage of a tax incentive that California actively promoted. The policy allowed stockholders who sold their share in a California business to reduce their tax liability by up to 50 percent or even 100 percent if the money from the sale was reinvested in a California business. The policy basically made it attractive for entrepreneurs to invest in small businesses and create jobs because it significantly reduced the tax liability for doing so.

Now though a court decided that this policy violated the commerce clause in the Constitution because it discriminates against out of state businesses. The FTB decided to embrace the court’s decision by retroactively taxing all the small business owners and investors who took advantage of the policy for the last five years. And not only that, but charge the tax WITH interest! The horrendous policy is expected to earn the state an easy $120 million.

But stop to think about what California is doing and the significance of what it means it could do in the future. These investors did exactly what they were asked to do by risking their own capital and investing in businesses in California. California promoted the tax break because it meant people were creating jobs and more people working. After receiving that benefit for two decades, California now wants to retroactively tax the very people that made the job growth possible. Some of those investments worked out and some of them did not but the FTB does not care and the tax will apply to all individuals even if they lost everything taking a risk to create jobs for California.

This policy has is so shocking that it has made national headlines on Fox News and Fortune, but the FTB stands by the decision. It has been likened to California changing the speed limit back down to 55 mph on highways, and then sending speeding tickets to everyone who drove over 55 for the last five years. That is exactly what is happening, and this decision by the FTB is the tipping point for many individuals, who can no longer justify the expense and risk of doing business in California. What message does it send to people considering starting a business if California can decide years down the road to penalize them for doing so?

Fortunately, Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo and Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance have stepped up in a bi-partisan effort to right the wrongs of the FTB. SB 209 would prohibit the state from charging interest and penalties in similar situations in the future.

At least one member of the FTB recognizes that this is a bad policy. In a letter to State Controller John Chiang, Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome E. Horton, and Director of Finance Ana J. Matosantos, Board Member George Runner urged them to reverse their decision to implement the policy. Despite the missive, no response has been seen from any of them.

California doesn’t need more laws to correct this policy. It needs needs policy makers with common sense. And this is another unfortunate example of exactly what is wrong with this great state.



Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Moreno Running for Supervisor?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 30, 2013

Jim Moreno

Jim Moreno

Michelle Steel

Michelle Steel

Well, it’s that time again.  Campaign finance reports are due tomorrow.  Those finance reports will allow us to reflect back on 2012 and get a glimpse into 2014.

Most candidates will wait until tomorrow to file their reports, but some have already filed.

The campaign finance reports show minor movement in the 2014 race to succeed termed-out Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) in the Second District.

Back on September 7, while everyone else was distracted by the 2012 elections, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno (D-Huntington Beach) filed paperwork to form his committee: Jim Moreno for Orange County Supervisor 2nd District – 2014.  The domain name for his campaign web site (still under construction), Jim4Supervisor.com, was registered on September 19.

Conveniently for blog readers, Moreno filed his campaign finance report yesterday for the period ending December 31, and it shows the only contributions his supervisorial campaign has ever received are three loans from himself and his wife totaling $2,100.  He’s spent $972 on “business cards, stationary, and envelopes” according to the report.

It’s unclear what the rationale is on the timing of opening his committee.  If he is running for Supervisor, it would have made more sense to wait until January 1 to open the committee, so he’d have the first six months of 2013 to raise money before the next report is due.  If he isn’t running for Supervisor, he doesn’t need a place to temporarily hold money, as the Coast Community College District has neither contribution limits nor term limits, so Moreno could raise unlimited sums into his community college board account for any year and then slide the money into any other campaign he wants.  I’m not certain why he opened a committee that only possesses $2,100 of his and his wife’s money.

Jose Solorio

Jose Solorio

Moreno’s college board account has $1,415 cash on hand.  On December 30, he did receive a $250 contribution from Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), a former Assemblyman and likely 2014 Senate candidate for SD-34.

State Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel (R-Surfside) has already announced her bid for the Second District seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Steel has a clear advantage over Moreno due to a number of factors:

  • Money: As of June 30, Steel had more than $222,000 cash on hand in her BOE account, much of which she could use in a supervisorial campaign.  (She has not yet filed her campaign finance reports covering the July 1-December 31 period, which are not due until tomorrow.)  Moreno has $3,515 cash on hand even combining his supervisorial and college board accounts.
  • Name ID: Voters across the entire Second Supervisorial District have voted for Steel as that entire district is inside her Board of Equalization district.  Voters in four of the ten cities in the Second Supervisorial District are not part of the Coast Community College District and have never seen Moreno on the ballot.
  • Party Affiliation: Although it is a nonpartisan seat, Republicans hold a 14% registration advantage over the Democrats in the Second Supervisorial District.  Republicans have had uninterrupted control of the seat for at least half a century.

Conventional wisdom holds that Steel’s toughest opponent will be another Republican, not a Democrat.  Even among Democrats, Moreno’s not their strongest candidate.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, Board of Equalization, Coast Community College District | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

New Legislation Will Increase Guidance at BOE: Steel Newsletter for August, 2012

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on September 3, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel’s office on Friday…

The Michelle Steel Newsletter Read the rest of this entry »

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Say No to Taxes, Yes to Regulatory Reform: Steel Newsletter for June, 2012

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on July 1, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel’s office on Thursday…

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel: Give Californians a single tax agency

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 12, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel’s office on Thursday…

The Michelle Steel Newsletter

ICYMI: Give Californians a single tax agency


OC Register

Give Californians a single tax agency

By Michelle Steel and Lou Correa Read the rest of this entry »

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Michelle Steel – ICYMI: Appeals Court Overturns 1550% Tax Hike on Flavored Beers

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 5, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel’s office on Thursday…

The Michelle Steel Newsletter

ICYMI: Appeals Court Overturns 1550% Tax Hike on Flavored Beers Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

We Have a Right to Know What We Owe: Steel Newsletter for April, 2012

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 3, 2012

This came over the wire from Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel’s office on Monday:

The Michelle Steel Newsletter

“Fighting for California Taxpayers” Read the rest of this entry »

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