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Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Live from OC GOP Central Committee on Efforts to Stop the Car Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 19, 2017

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpgWe are live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where the committee is considering a resolution of support for Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax via his plan to qualify a statewide ballot measure to repeal SB 1 in the next statewide general election (in November 2018). After the Attorney General issues the title and summary of the proposed measure, Allen will need the signatures of 365,880 California voters to put the measure on the ballot. Upon reaching the ballot, the measure needs a simple majority of voters to pass.

Tonight, however, to get the resolution of support for the proposed ballot measure, Allen needs 2/3 of the Central Committee members to vote in favor of the resolution.

Before that, general Central Committee business must be completed.

OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker gives opening remarks.

RNC Western Regional Political Director Alexis Valdez-Darnell explains her role, the RNC’s efforts in Orange County, and what they can do to help the OC GOP.

Chairman Whitaker recognizes each of the local elected officials present.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for April: longtime activist Joyce Van Schaack, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the office of Assessor Claude Parrish, the Laguna Niguel Republican Women Federated, the Orange County Federation of Republican Women, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker, joined by his father, former LA GOP 41st Assembly District Chairman Fred Whitaker, Sr.

OC GOP Secretary Peggy Huang recognized the OC GOP Volunteer of the Month for May: college student Thea Dunlevie, who also received certificates from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, the office of Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, the office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, the office of Congressman Darrell Issa, the office of Board of Equalization Chair Diane Harkey, the NextGen Republicans, and OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker.

Chairman Whitaker discusses the work of First Vice Chairman John Warner for Saturday’s Flag Day dinner, as Warner is out ill.

Second Vice Chairman TJ Fuentes, Treasurer Erik Weigand, and Assistant Treasurer Laurie Davies 

Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Whitacre and Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh had no report.

Assemblyman Allen speaks in favor of the urgency. He describes the measure’s provisions repealing the gas tax and car tax.

Chairman Whitaker speaks against the urgency. He states that Carl DeMaio, who is leading the recall effort against Senator Josh Newman, is not yet on board with this measure because DeMaio may be drafting another one.

Committee Member Mike Munzing asks if it is possible to endorse Allen’s now and then endorse the other if it materializes.

Chairman Whitaker states it is possible but not advisable.

Committee Treasurer Erik Weigand asks if a special meeting is possible.

Parliamentarian Marsh express concern about the ability to get quorum.

Committee Member Taylor Strand asks if a special meeting would be timely to meet Assemblyman Allen’s measure deadlines.

Parliamentarian Marsh states it is possible to call an electronic meeting.

Chairman Whitaker suggests July 10 or July 12 for a special meeting.

Committee Member Baron Night asks about the timeline for the measure.

Allen explains that title and summary will be released in early July and signatures due in early December.

Allen states the special meeting would be fine for endorsement but he requests the resolution of support tonight.

Because Whitaker is the only speaker in opposition to declaring an urgency regarding the repeal of the gas tax and car tax, Allen is the only speaker in favor allowed to speak despite others wanting to speak in favor.

Committee Member Deborah Pauly asks about getting quorum at a special meeting.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes that quorum is easy to attain because Central Committee members can appoint and remove alternates at will.

Committee Member Anthony Kuo asks if the Central Committee action will affect signature gathering.

Allen explains that the endorsement would be helpful in getting donations and volunteers for the ballot measure signature gathering effort.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks if any other measure has actually been filed. She notes Allen is a member of the OC legislative delegation and therefore, a member of the Central Committee.

Chairman Whitaker is unsure.

Allen says no other proposed measure has been filed.

Committee Member John W. Briscoe asks if it would be possible to pass the resolution now and the endorsement in July.

Chairman Whitaker says it would be possible.

Committee Member Jennifer Beall asks about resolutions of support and opposition in the past two months on various recalls.

Chairman Whitaker states they were general resolutions of support, not endorsements.

The vote is 31 in favor of declaring an urgency and 19 against declaring an urgency. The urgency fails to achieve 2/3. With 50 people voting, 34 votes in favor were needed to declare an urgency. Consequently, the resolution will not be considered tonight.

The committee goes to club reports.

The committee adjourns at 8:48 PM.

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, California, Orange County, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on June 7, 2017

This came over the wire from the Freedom Foundation…

“As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target. When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.”
– Sam Han, California Director of the Freedom Foundation

OLYMPIA – This weekend, the Freedom Foundation’s California director Sam Han penned an op-ed for The Orange County Register detailing the hypocrisy of labor unions on the issue of privacy and the efforts by the Freedom Foundation in Washington, Oregon, and California to inform workers of their rights.

Check out excerpts from the piece below or read the whole thing here.

OC Register: Unions Only Care About Privacy When It Benefits Them
by Sam Han
June 4, 2017

It turns out the much-heralded commitment of the political left and its allies in organized labor to the ideal of privacy rights has its limits.

And that limit once again manages to expire just short of themselves.

For example, they’re all for protecting the identities of taxpayer-subsidized home health care providers already represented by the same public-sector unions that fund liberal candidates and causes.

Meanwhile, under a bill currently working its way through the state Legislature, the names and contact information for tens of thousands of private-sector workers would be divulged for no other reason than exposing them to union organizers.

Naturally, this information would be handed only to the union, but not to anyone who might have a conflicting message to share.

The hypocrisy is stupefying.

As always, the left’s outrage is selective and its principles a moving target.

When it suits them to stand for privacy rights, no one can muster more righteous indignation. When it doesn’t, the silence is deafening.

Continue reading here.

Posted in California | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Patricia Bates Becomes 1st CA Senate Republican Leader from South OC

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 15, 2017

Yesterday afternoon, State Senate Republicans in Sacramento unanimously elected Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) as the new Senate Republican Leader, effective April 12.  Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) is stepping down as leader since she will term out of the Senate in 2018.

In the caucus statement announcing her election, Bates said, “It is no secret that Republicans face a challenging political environment in California. But Republicans embrace taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected. That is a Republican Party that can attract broad support in California, and I will do everything I can as the next leader to spread that message in every part of the state.”

Prior to her election to the Senate in 2014, Bates was an Orange County Supervisor from 2007-2014 (serving as Chair in 2009 and Vice Chair in 2008 and 2013-2014), a State Assemblywoman from 1996-2004, and on the Laguna Niguel City Council from 1989-1998, including serving as the City’s first mayor after leading the city’s incorporation efforts (she would serve four terms as mayor).  A South Orange County resident for 40 years, she worked as a social worker in Los Angeles County before embarking on a political career.  During her tenure in the Legislature, she has served as Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee in both houses.  She has also been Vice Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee.

Bates is the first South Orange County resident to lead a party caucus in the State Legislature.  She is also the first former Orange County Supervisor to serve as a legislative party caucus leader (Bill Campbell was Assembly Republican Leader before he became an Orange County Supervisor.

Serving as the Republican Leader’s chief of staff is not an unfamiliar position for Kevin Bassett, Bates’s chief of staff.  Bassett had been selected for the role in 2010 by new Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton and continued in that position when Bob Huff became Leader in 2012, departing in December 2014 when he became Bates’s chief of staff.  Bassett had been on the late Senator Dave Cox’s staff for Cox’s entire political career in the Senate, the Assembly, and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.  He was Cox’s chief of staff during his entire tenure in the Legislature, including when Cox served as Assembly Republican Leader (2001-2004), and the latter part of his time on the Board of Supervisors.

Fuller is the first woman to head a Senate party caucus while Bates will be the second.  No woman has yet led the Senate Democratic Caucus.  (While Gloria Romero and Ellen Corbett have served as State Senate Majority Leader, from 2005-2008 and 2010-2014, respectively, that position is the second-ranking position in the Democratic Caucus behind the Senate President Pro Tem, who has always been a man.)  Three women have served as Speaker of the State Assembly (Republican-Elected-Speaker-by-Democrats-Until-She-Was-Recalled-by-Orange-County-Voters Doris Allen in 1995, followed by Democrat Karen Bass from 2008-2010 and Democrat Toni Atkins from 2014-2016) and three have served as Assembly Republican Leader (Carol Hallett from 1979-1981, Connie Conway from 2010-2014, and Kristen Olsen from 2014-2016).

Bates is the first Orange County legislator since Senator Bob Huff (Fuller’s predecessor from 2012-2015) to serve as the head of a party caucus in either house of the Legislature and the first Orange County resident to do so since Dick Ackerman was Senate Republican Leader from 2004-2008 (while Huff’s district included Orange County, he is a resident of Los Angeles County).  An Orange County legislator has not served as Assembly Republican Leader since Bill Campbell in 2000-2001 or Speaker of the Assembly since Curt Pringle in 1996.

While multiple Orange County residents have served as Senate Republican Leader, Assembly Republican Leader, and Speaker of the State Assembly in recent times, none has ever served as President Pro Tem of the State Senate.  However, Republican R. B. Carpenter of Los Angeles County represented both LA and Orange Counties when he served as Senate President Pro Tem from 1892-1893.  For Bates to become Senate President Pro Tem, she would need to grow her caucus by 61% or somehow get 30% of the Democratic Caucus to vote for her.

Posted in 36th Senate District, California, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Free Voter Guides Available at Robynnordell.com

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on October 21, 2016

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not get paid from politics (i.e. consultants and slate cards)?

Are you looking for voter recommendations from people that do not accept money to give a proposition, a ballot measure or a candidate the thumbs up (or down)?

Are you looking for advice on national, state wide and local races that include all of the state wide and local ballot propositions / measures?

Then you should go over to Robyn Nordell’s web site for Voter Recommendations from Robyn and some of her friends like myself.

Her general web site is: Robyn Nordell.

Her Orange County page is: Robyn Nordell Orange County.

Finally my favorite page at her site is Craig’s Pics my voter recommendations which Robyn kindly allows to be published there.

She also has information on some other counties in California.

Who is Robyn Nordell?  She is an Orange County homeschool mother and advocate, a pastor’s wife, a tireless advocate for open and transparent government, a social and fiscal conservative and one of the most talented, honest, brightest and kind persons I know.  Robyn does not get paid one penny for her work in researching candidates and ballot propositions / measures, putting together her voter recommendations and publishing them on her web site.  Plus she is gracious to publish others voter recommendation lists (like my own) even when we make recommendations different from her own. She is a Patriot!

Posted in 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim City School District, Anaheim Union High School District, Board of Equalization, Brea, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Buena Park, Buena Park Library District, Buena Park School District, California, Capistrano Bay Community Services District, Capistrano Unified School District, Centralia School District, Coast Community College District, Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Cypress, Cypress School District, Dana Point, East Orange County Water District, El Toro Water District, Emerald Bay Service District, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Fullerton School District, Garden Grove, Garden Grove Unified School District, Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach City School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, Irvine Unified School District, La Habra, La Habra City School District, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lowell Joint School District, Magnolia School District, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Midway City Sanitary District, Mission Viejo, Moulton-Niguel Water District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, North Orange County Community College District, Ocean View School District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Cemetery District, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Placentia, Placentia Library District, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Rossmoor, Rossmoor Community Services District, Rossmoor/Los Alamitos Area Sewer District, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District, Santa Margarita Water District, Savanna School District, Seal Beach, Serrano Water District, Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District, South Coast Water District, South Orange County Community College District, Stanton, State Assembly, State Senate, Sunset Beach Sanitary District, Surfside Colony Community Services District, Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection District, Three Arch Bay Community Services District, Trabuco Canyon Water District, Tustin, Tustin Unified School District, Uncategorized, Villa Park, Westminster, Westminster School District, Yorba Linda, Yorba Linda Water District | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Democrats Cast More OC Primary Election Votes Than Republicans for First Time Ever

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 8, 2016

Republican Presidential Nominee
Donald Trump

This is cross-posted to OC Daily.

In numbers that should scare Republicans across Orange County (and probably California, and maybe the United States), for the first time ever, more Orange County Democrats cast primary election ballots than Orange County Republicans did. Even in 2012, when Mitt Romney had sewn up the presidential nomination, more Republicans cast primary election votes than did in 2016. Even in the 2008 battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Democrats could not surpass Republicans in primary election ballots cast.

Party 2008 2012 2016
Democrat 317,859 (67.8%) 139,316 (27.5%) 231,638 (49.5%)
Republican 373,587 (52.2%) 234,396 (34.5%) 205,988 (36.9%)

The 2012 general election was a bloodbath for Republicans:

  • Democrats captured 2 Assembly seats from Republicans.
  • Democrats captured 3 Senate seats from Republicans.
  • Romney beat Obama by just 6.3% in Orange County.

Gerrymandered districts likely saved Republicans in 2008.  The 2016 elections will be conducted under the same district lines that were first contested in 2012.

2016 threatens to be worse than 2012.  Nowhere in Orange County is that more evident than in AD-65.  Here is how Assemblyman Chris Norby did against challenger Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva in the 2012 primary:

Vote Count Percentage
CHRIS NORBY (REP) 29,917 58.8%
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 20,936 41.2%

Here is how Assemblywoman Young Kim did against challenger ex-Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva last night:

Vote Count Percentage
SHARON QUIRK-SILVA (DEM) 28,840 53.0%
YOUNG KIM (REP) 25,575 47.0%

Norby led Quirk-Silva by 17.6% in the 2012 primary before losing to her in the general election by a 52%-48% margin.  Kim is behind in the 2016 primary by an even larger margin than Norby lost in the 2012 general.  Republicans will need to marshal massive financial and human resources in order to save the AD-65 seat.

Things look even bleaker in a swing seat that neighbors Orange County, where 66th District Assemblyman David Hadley is at 45.6% and trails ex-Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi:

Vote Count Percentage
AL MURATSUCHI (DEM) 36,832 48.3%
DAVID HADLEY (REP) 34,773 45.6%
MIKE MADRIGAL (DEM) 4,659 6.1%

The tri-county SD-29 is a good news, bad news situation for Republicans:

Vote Count Percentage
LING LING CHANG (REP) 52,131 44.8%
JOSH NEWMAN (DEM) 34,013 29.2%
SUKHEE KANG (DEM) 30,280 26.0%

As of the last reporting period ending May 21, Chang had $369,770 cash on hand, Newman had $21,835 cash on hand, and Kang had $173,086 cash on hand.  The good news is that Chang now faces a weaker, underfunded opponent for a key Senate target seat.  The bad news is Chang only got 44.8% of the vote in the primary.

Other scary numbers for Republican incumbents in Orange County last night:

  • Assemblyman Travis Allen has just 50.9% of the vote.
Vote Count Percentage
TRAVIS ALLEN (REP) 35,062 50.9%
LENORE ALBERT-SHERIDAN (DEM) 20,067 29.1%
NAM PHAM (DEM) 13,723 19.9%
  • Supervisor Andrew Do (R) is headed to a run-off with Michele Martinez (D), who he beat by 0.3% or 200 votes.
Vote Count Percentage
ANDREW DO 20,730 35.8%
MICHELE MARTINEZ 20,530 35.5%
PHAT BUI 11,026 19.1%
STEVE ROCCO 5,582 9.6%
  • Assemblyman Matthew Harper joins Assemblywoman Young Kim (who we discussed above) as the only two incumbents in Orange County who were not in first place.
Vote Count Percentage
KARINA ONOFRE (DEM) 33,570 42.5%
MATTHEW HARPER (REP) 30,614 38.7%
KATHERINE DAIGLE (REP) 14,885 18.8%
  • Orange County Board of Education President Robert Hammond (R) is breathing a sigh of relief that County Board of Education races are winner-take-all in June with no runoff, for he beat Beckie Gomez (D) by 1.9% or 961 votes:
Vote Count Percentage
ROBERT M. HAMMOND 21,100 42.4%
REBECCA “BECKIE” GOMEZ 20,139 40.5%
PAUL ZIVE 8,479 17.1%

There’s also the implications of California’s U.S. Senate race:

Vote Count Percentage
KAMALA D. HARRIS (DEM) 2,044,347 40.4%
LORETTA L. SANCHEZ (DEM) 939,107 18.5%
DUF SUNDHEIM (REP) 405,730 8.0%

With the top Republican vote-getter for U.S. Senate, Duf Sundheim, finishing a distant third, that means for the first time in California history, the November ballot for U.S. Senate will not include a Republican. Instead due to the top-two primary, only two Democrats will be on the U.S. Senate ballot in California.

Republicans face a tall order this fall to overcome the Democratic surge.  Republicans will have to unify behind Republican candidates.  The Republican Party must organize volunteers and raise significant funds.  The OC GOP must strengthen its financial and human infrastructure in order to defeat Democrats.  Otherwise, 2016 will be a bleak year indeed.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 65th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Assembly Republicans and Local Leaders Call on Democrats to Fast-Track GOP Plan to Fix California’s Roads

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 4, 2015

This came over the wire from the Assembly Republican Caucus

Assembly Republicans and Local Leaders Call on Democrats to Fast-Track GOP Plan to Fix California’s Roads

Four Months Later, GOP Plan to #FixOurRoads Still Only Practical Plan

FULLERTON, CA – Members of the Assembly Republican Caucus and local community leaders will hold a press conference on Thursday to urge Democratic leaders to fast-track the Assembly Republican transportation plan. Four months after gaveling in a special session on transportation, the Assembly Republican plan to #FixOurRoads is still the only practical, comprehensive plan on the table that does not raise taxes.

Unveiled in June, the 9-point plan would generate $6.6 billion in annual funding for roads and highways without new taxes. In addition, roughly half of the funds generated for transportation by the Assembly Republican plan goes back to local government to help fund local infrastructure improvements.

To learn more about the Assembly GOP plan, click here.

WHO:
Assembly Member Ling Ling Chang (Diamond Bar)
Assembly Member Matthew Harper (Huntington Beach)
Assembly Member Don Wagner (Irvine)
Mayor Greg Sebourn (Fullerton)
Local Elected Officials and Business Leaders

WHAT:
Press conference calling on Democrats to fast-track Assembly GOP plan to fix California’s roads

WHEN:
Thursday, November 5
11:00 AM

WHERE:
Fullerton Transportation Center
120 E. Santa Fe Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832

Posted in 55th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, California, Fullerton | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t call it Assisted Suicide

Posted by Brenda McCune on October 19, 2015

On October 5, 2015, California continued its race to become one of the most anti-life states with the enactment of the “END OF LIFE OPTION ACT”.  We became the sixth state to enact a law that will enable physicians to assist terminally ill patients to terminate their own life.  It is illegal in all of the other 44 states.

The bill that was passed in an “Extraordinary Session”, was named the “End of Life Option Act”.  In the past 20 years and 7 failed attempts to pass similar assisted suicide legislation, they learned that no one liked the word “suicide” in the bill.  Euphemisms continue to sell in the PC new-millennial world, at least in Sacramento.  If politically correcting the bill doesn’t work, just sneak it in during an off-time, under a ruse that it is something other than what it is.  This “Extraordinary Session” was to called after the regular session had ended, with the stated purpose being, to address “Medicare costs”.

In spite of the fact that the bill had not successfully made it’s way through the legislature in the regular session, in spite of the fact that seven prior bills proposing the same thing had failed in the state legislature, and in spite of the fact that In August, three days prior to this bill’s appearance, a San Francisco judge had upheld California’s ban on assisted suicide, it still was somehow deemed enough of an ‘emergency’ to address it in the “Extraordinary” session.
Certainly assisting and hastening the death of the terminally ill will help curb Medicare costs. However, at some point, we have to consider how reprehensible this is, that “end of life options” were lumped into a cost saving session.  We probably also need to issue a formal apology to Sarah Palin for ridiculing her “death panel” comment related to Obamacare. if you haven’t noticed, this is it, we are there.

If you are terminally ill, this new law will enable you to obtain a prescription for an “Aid-in-dying” drug. The new law provides for what appears to be an absolute “pass” for doctors to exercise their conscience. There will be no liability for refusing to write such a prescription. Can you hear the PA and Nurse Practitioner cottage industries popping up? Anyone authorized to dispense medicine under California law may prescribe the Aid-in-dying drug.  There are a plethora of documents that must be completed and witness and advisements adhered and explained and attested to.  This is exactly the kind of cumbersome paperwork that cries out for a non-doctor specialist.  Doctor’s offices, already overburdened with the health care and other regulatory schemes are not likely to take this on and will farm it out to specialists.  The legislation specifically provides that referring out, is anticipated and acceptable.

Life Insurers and Health Insurers, under this new law, may not take any actions that might discourage anyone from exercising these ‘End of Life Options”. Life Insurance can not exclude anyone from receiving benefits if they exercise their rights under this act, even though under most plans, suicide precludes receipt of benefits. If you get the prescription and jump through the procedural hoops, you can end your life and your family still gets the insurance. Health Insurance, it’s easy to assume they are all for this, but they can’t take any steps to dissuade people from it, nor can they exclude it from coverage.

Do you hear the sound of the premium increases coming?

The new law also addresses what the obligations of the prescribing medical professional must do. The law includes a host of warnings and cautions, and a possibility that a referral to a mental health professional can be required if mental instability is suspected. Imagine that. A terminally ill patient, might be suffering from depression. Who’da thunk it?  That is a whole different topic, but how long until certain mental illnesses become a ‘terminal’ illness?

It also specifies and outlines certain precautions, the prescribing professional must ‘verify’ the diagnosis of terminal illness. It doesn’t mention if there is any obligation to consider or advise upon wholistic methods or seek divine intervention. It does state though, that the patient, who must self administer the Aid-in-Dying drug, should be encouraged “Not to ingest the Aid-in-Dying drug in public.” Yes, it really says that. Well, after they do a full mental health exam, they should have great confidence that a possibly depressed and despondent and terminally ill patient will not attempt to traumatize others by dying in public, and will definitely talk to them about it in any event.

One of the greatest parts of the legislation though, is that it mandates the creation of a New Crime. Yes, it is not murder and it is not suicide. Murder is a crime. Assisting in a suicide is a crime. Nothing in this law authorizes you to take authority over someone else’s life or end of life. Of course, there are multiple ‘witness’ declarations and a family notification requirement prerequisite to obtaining your Aid-in-Dying, self administered, but not in public, drug prescription, but none of those people can help. If they do it is a crime, a felony in fact, but not murder and not assisting suicide.

This is not any attempt to make light of the significant suffering that terminally ill patients endure. It is not to discount the agonizing decisions that people and their families are faced with in these dire and tragic situations, BUT, the glaring reality in this unduly complex measure is that simple fact that rarely is anything made better when government steps in and attempts to create a one-size-fits-all process. This is but one more attempt to point out, how ludicrous and intrusive our ever growing and unduly burdensome our state government has become.

There has been a long standing wink and nod between patients and their oncologists when these situations arise. The advent of this law and complex regulation attached to it will not serve the stated purpose of making end-of-life-options more dignified. The opposite is likely to be true. Not to mention the extraordinary slippery slope and opportunity for abuse.

Imagine the government jobs that will be created in regulating this? Oh happy day, there he goes, growing the economy again, thanks Jerry.

This is not about dignity. It is about disposal, the too young, the too old, the unlovely, the unpleasant, in our society, no longer have a place. It is a moral issue, and we as a society, are failing. The fact that our legislature gets away with sliding this under the door during an eleventh hour ‘special’ session, and our conservative representatives can do nothing more that be “on the record” as opposing, speaks volumes about the pervasive apathy and acquiescence in society.

Express your gratitude to the local conservatives who hung in there and at least got their vote counted against this travesty, namely Ling Ling Chang and Matt Harper. There may be a day when we personally, not just publicly, need an advocate in our corner to have faith, to try again, to pray some more, to seek alternative medicine, to actually “fight” cancer. Let’s hope we have a person in our private lives like that, then.  These reps at least showed up and took a stand, even if it was not going to change anything.

This kind of legislation puts all of us, one step closer to not being able to reasonably and intelligently make those decisions about treatment. Additional intrusion into the doctor patient relationship is not a worthwile development. More rules never increased anyone’s freedom or autonomy.

Cue the Palin comment on the death panels again. It is here, folks. Wait for the expansion of the legal definition of ‘terminal’.

Posted in California | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Education Revolution in Orange County: Part I of III

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2015

An education revolution has been brewing in Orange County.  We’re seeing massive change in Orange County thanks to charter schools, the Parent Trigger Law, and litigation against compulsory union dues by the California Teachers Association.  I’m going to do a three-part series on this.

Charter schools are a recognition that one-size-fits-all does not work for all students.  There needs to be competition because some students need a different kind of school, just like there are many different types of colleges and universities.

Despite Orange County’s conservatism, the education community has long known Orange County as an anti-charter school county.  It’s not the voters who were anti-charter school.  It was the school board members.

The 2007-2008 Grand Jury even issued a report where they recommended, “The chartering authorities should follow the intent of the legislature by encouraging the establishment of charter schools by granting more charter school petitions provided they meet the State requirements.”

At the time of the Grand Jury report, there were 11 charter schools in Orange County.  Over the next six years, just three new charters were approved.  Keep in mind there are 29 chartering authorities in Orange County: the Orange County Board of Education and the 28 local school districts.

Here’s what the state of charter schools looked like in May 2014.  This shows Orange County’s four neighboring counties, plus tiny Humboldt County.

County Number of Charter
Schools in 2014
Population
Orange 14 3,010,232
Humboldt 15 134,623
Riverside 26 2,189,641
San Bernardino 37 2,035,210
San Diego 120 3,095,313
Los Angeles 341 9,818,605

Then in June 2014, with assistance from the California Charter Schools Association, South County voters tossed the County Board of Education’s most virulent anti-charter school member, 32-year incumbent Liz Parker, who to the surprise of many, was a registered Republican.  By a 57%-43% margin, the voters sent in Linda Lindholm to replace Parker.

Things have changed significantly for charter schools in Orange County since Lindholm replaced Parker.  We have overtaken Humboldt County.  Local school districts got the message and approved two more charter schools in the latter half of 2014.  In the first half of 2015, the Orange County Board of Education approved another two charter schools.  Orange County has grown its charter schools to 19, still a bit behind Riverside and far behind San Bernardino, and way, way behind San Diego and Los Angeles Counties (even when adjusting for population).

 

As I noted in a post a month ago:

Trustee Ken Williams, elected in 1996, has a voting record generally supportive of charter schools.  Trustee Robert Hammond, elected in 2012, has a voting record consistently supportive of charter schools.  Between 2012-2014, Williams and Hammond often found themselves on the losing ends of 3-2 votes on charter school applications.  Lindholm’s victory in unseating Liz Parker shifted the Board to a pro-charter school majority.  To their credits, Trustees Jack Bedell and David Boyd, along with the Orange County Department of Education staff, recognized the sea change delivered by the voters.  Staff reports for both Vista Heritage and CCPA have recommended approval of the charter schools.  Bedell and Boyd joined a unanimous vote in favor of Vista Heritage’s application and are expected to join a unanimous vote for CCPA.

The Orange Unified School District provisionally approved a charter school in May by a 5-2 vote.  Unfortunately, due to absences, the OUSD Board’s vote on final approval was 3-2, one vote short of the necessary four votes.  That charter school, Unity Middle College High School, has appealed to the County Board of Education with a vote expected in August.  Considering OUSD’s rejection wasn’t a real rejection, and was more of a fluke, we should expect Orange County’s 20th charter school before the close of summer.

Next in the series: the Parent Trigger Law and Orange County’s 21st charter school…

Posted in Anaheim City School District, California, National, Orange County, Orange County Board of Education, Orange Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Assembly Labor Chair Cuts Off Vice Chair Matt Harper’s Microphone

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 9, 2015

I go on one vacation, and Fullerton agrees to election districts, the Governor signs SB 277 (Vaccination bill) into law, and the U.S. Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage a constitutional right, rules redistricting commissions constitutional, and accepts an Orange County case challenging the constitutionality of mandatory union dues.

More on those at a later date.  In a fun hearing yesterday on SB 3 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to raise the minimum wage, a clearly irritated Assembly Labor Committee Chair Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) cut off the debate and forced a vote on the bill and even ordered the sergeant-at-arms to “please remove the mic” of Committee Vice Chair Matt Harper (R-Huntington Beach).

Here’s the 94-second video, with the mic removal toward the end:

On Facebook, Harper wrote:

Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, keep your hands off my microphone!  ‪#‎SB3‬ ‪#‎MinimumWage‬ ‪#‎CALEG‬ ‪#‎CAPolitics‬‪ #‎OffWithTheirMics‬

Here’s a more extensive statement from Harper’s office:

During a routine bill presentation today in front of the Assembly Labor and Employment committee, Chairman Roger Hernández (D-West Covina) used bullying tactics to stop any opposing comment from his Vice-Chairman and colleague, Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).

The erratic behavior began when Hernandez first cut off a witness testifying mid-sentence. Although Hernández had already recognized Harper as the next speaker, instead, Hernández cut Harper off before he was able to say one word.

Hernandez then began frantically calling for a vote to quickly silence Harper. When Harper insisted to be heard, Hernandez physically reached over another person to personally turn off Harper’s microphone. The spastic behavior continued with Hernandez demanding capitol security to remove Assemblyman Harper’s microphone from the dais.

Assemblyman Hernández blocked discussion on a hot topic, SB 3 (Leno), a minimum wage increase bill that would have major implications to businesses and workers throughout the state of California.

From Assemblyman Matthew Harper:

“Blocking discussion in this manner is unfair, undemocratic and soils the decorum of the Assembly. I was sent here to represent the concerns of the voters of my district and chairman Hernández shut down my ability to speak for who I represent.

“Our state’s underemployment rate is overwhelming and the bill being rammed through our committee would make it harder to hire. We are sent here to debate policy that impacts the lives of Californians, not shut down dissenting points of view.

“The chair’s actions were offensive and disrespectful today, not just to me, but to Californians who want jobs and deserve to know the impacts policy will have on their chances of employment. The good people of the San Gabriel Valley deserve better from their representative and Californians as a whole deserve more from those who serve them.”

Hernandez won 54% of the vote in November against an underfunded Republican in the 48th Assembly District.

Posted in 74th Assembly District, California, State Assembly | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

Taxes Due Today, But California’s Tax Freedom Day Isn’t Until May 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 15, 2015

Tax Freedom Day in Each State – California is 47th Latest on May 3 (Graphic Courtesy of the Tax Foundation)

So if you’re like me, you’ll be finishing filing your income taxes sometime tonight.  I’m glad e-file has existed since I started filing income taxes.  It’d probably be a disaster driving to one of those postmarking-until-midnight Post Offices if I had to mail in my income taxes.

In fact, there’s only one Post Office in all of Orange County that will still be postmarking mail until midnight tonight: 3101 Sunflower Ave. in Santa Ana (the retail portion closes at 7:00 PM, but they’re still postmarking mail received by midnight). For those in northwestern Orange County, you can drive into LA County before 10:00 PM because the Post Office at 2300 Redondo Blvd. in Long Beach will be postmarking mail until then.

While today is the day we literally pay our income taxes, the figurative day in which we finish paying our taxes is still nine days away nationally and eighteen days away for California.

The Tax Foundation annually calculates Tax Freedom Day, which is the day in which people have earned enough money to pay all their taxes (income, payroll, sales, property, etc.) for the year, assuming no change in income level during the course of the year.  Any income earned after Tax Freedom Day will belong to the taxpayer (again assuming no change in income level during the course of the year).

National Tax Freedom Day for 2015 is April 24, though Tax Freedom Day varies by state.

The earliest Tax Freedom Day is in Louisiana on April 2, followed by Mississippi (April 4), South Dakota (April 8), and Tennessee and Alabama (both April 9).

The latest Tax Freedom Day is in Connecticut and New Jersey (both on May 13), New York (May 8), California (May 3), and Massachusetts (May 2).

That’s right: not only is California 47th in the nation, we’re also worse than Taxachusetts.

To look at this another way, the average Louisianan celebrates Tax Freedom Day on April 2, which is 92 days into the year, or 25.2% of the way into the year.  In other words, the average Louisianan pays 25.2% of their annual income in taxes.

The average Californian celebrates Tax Freedom Day on May 3, which is 123 days into the year, or 33.7% of the way into the year.  In other words, the average Californian pays 33.7% of their annual income in taxes, 8.5% more than the average Louisianan.

All of California’s neighbors celebrate Tax Freedom Day before California does: Arizona celebrates it today (17th in the country), Nevada on April 20 (26th in the country), and Oregon on April 22 (33rd in the country).

Posted in California, U.S. Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »