THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA - This site is dedicated to exposing the continuing Marxist Revolution in California and the all around massive stupidity of Socialists, Luddites, Communists, Fellow Travelers and of Liberalism in all of its ugly forms.

"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Monday, November 30, 2015

California tobacco tax measure’s supporters, foes prepare for battle

Union Backs More Taxes
Taking money from your pocket to line their pockets

(Los Angeles Daily News)  -  Three-and-a-half years after California voters rejected a $1-per-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax, Big Tobacco and health advocates are preparing to duke it out once again over a proposed $2-per-pack hike likely to appear on next November’s ballot.
But having been outspent almost 4-to-1 by tobacco companies to lose by just four-tenths of a percentage point — the narrowest defeat of any statewide measure in California’s history — backers of the tax hike now believe they have the upper hand.


The proposed “California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016” would: Increase the state’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office and state Finance Department estimate the tax hike would bring in $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion per year by 2017-18, but drop slightly in later years.
Spend the revenue mostly to increase funding for existing health care programs and services, but also for tobacco use prevention programs, as well for tobacco-related disease research.
Source: SaveLivesCalifornia.com
Even though a group of moderate Democrats, many of whom had accepted Big Tobacco’s money, helped snuff out a $2-per-pack tax in the Legislature this year, polls show the public favors the proposal by more than 2-1. A powerful union has already pumped $3 million into the campaign, and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has kicked in another million.
And because the measure will appear on a presidential ballot rather than a primary ballot like last time, the bigger electorate will be more left-leaning.
With all of that, proponents believe they’re poised to put another nail in the coffin of Big Tobacco in the Golden State — not only by hiking taxes on regular cigarettes but also by imposing for the first time taxes on electronic cigarettes.
“Is it a last nail? Boy, we hope so,” said Laphonza Butler, California president of the Service Employees International Union. “We see it as an opportunity to do what’s right for California.”
Unlike 2012’s measure, which would have dedicated 75 percent of its revenue to cancer research, the measure proposed for next year would put 82 percent of its revenue toward the state’s often-struggling health care programs, including Medi-Cal. SEIU represents many public health care workers.
“There’s no reason that we should not try to reduce smoking rates and add revenue to long-term health costs — and do that by taxing one of the most expensive health habits that contribute to those costs,” Butler said.
Steyer, a former hedge fund mogul who has brought his fortune to bear on environmental politics, told this newspaper that his mother “was a multi-pack-a-day smoker who died of lung cancer” at age 78 in 2002.
Read More . . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An 18% tax on wireless bills in California

Taxes, taxes and more taxes
And government says there is never enough money 

(Los Angeles Times)  -  The good news: Thanks to increased competition, wireless companies' rates have dropped nearly 7% since 2008.

The bad news: Average federal, state and local taxes and fees for California customers reached a record 18%, meaning that the government's slice of your wireless bill is now at least twice as high as the state sales tax imposed on most other goods and services.

Those eye-opening stats come courtesy of the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, which said in a report last week that wireless customers nationwide are paying about $5.8 billion annually in state and local taxes and fees — on top of an additional $5 billion in federal wireless surcharges.

"It's surprising how high the taxes on smartphones are," said Joseph Henchman, the Tax Foundation's vice president for state projects. "They're easy to miss because it's 40 cents here and 60 cents there, but they really add up."

For consumers, one troubling element is that these so-called utility user taxes aren't intended to support a municipal service, such as sewer cleaning or garbage collection. They're a tax on a service provided by private companies, which charge their own usage fees.

"At some point, we're talking about a revenue grab," Henchman told me.

The city of Los Angeles alone charges a 9% wireless tax, one of the highest in California. That's before the state and the feds cut themselves in for a piece of the action.

Even though smartphones have become necessities and a crucial component of the digital economy, they're still taxed in large part as a luxury item. Blame that on the Spanish-American War.

According to the Tax Foundation, California wireless users pay an average rate of 11.6% in state and local taxes, plus an additional 6.5% for the federal Universal Service Fund, which is intended to extend telecom services to every home.

California's 18% in combined wireless taxes is sharply higher than the state's 7.5% sales tax and twice L.A.'s 9% sales tax. This raises the question about whether wireless users are being taxed fairly on a proportional basis.

Palo Alto, home to Facebook, has a 4.75% wireless tax, or about half what L.A. charges. In Mountain View, home to Google, the wireless tax is 3%. In Cupertino, home to Apple, it's 2.4%.

Read More . . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2015

California's Newest Dust Bowl - L.A. looks to suck farms dry of water

In this Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 photo, Bart Fisher, farmer and president of the Palo Verde Irrigation District, looks at the Colorado River while pausing for photos in Blythe, Calif. The third-generation farmer who was born in Blythe, left 29 percent of his farmland fallow this year. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the nation’s largest distributor of treated drinking water, became the largest landowner in the region including Blythe for good reason: The alfalfa-growing area sits at the top of the legal pecking order to Colorado River water, a lifeline for seven Western states and northern Mexico.( AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

And the Population Bomb Keeps Ticking

(ABC News)  -  The nation's largest distributor of treated drinking water became the largest landowner in a remote California farming region for good reason: The alfalfa-growing area is first in line to get Colorado River water.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's play in Palo Verde Valley, along the Arizona line, tapped a deep distrust between farm and city that pervades the West over a river that's a lifeline for seven states and northern Mexico.
Farmers recall how Los Angeles' modern founders built an aqueduct a century ago to bring water hundreds of miles from rural Owens Valley, a story that was fictionally portrayed in Roman Polanski's 1974 film, "Chinatown."
"Are we going to dry up our rural, agricultural communities just to keep Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego growing? I think it would be a sad state of affairs," said Bart Fisher, a melon and broccoli farmer who is board president of the Palo Verde Irrigation District.
The DeBell golf course in the San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles. The non-thinking politicians keep draining every drop of water out of California by packing in more and more water sucking golf courses, businesses, homes and people.

Metropolitan tried to calm nerves by sending its chairman in September to a public forum in Blythe, 225 miles east of its Los Angeles headquarters. It pledged to honor a 2004 agreement that caps the amount of land it pays farmers to idle at 28 percent of the valley.
That agreement, which expires in 2040, is hailed as a model for farms and cities to cooperate. Metropolitan pays farmers about as much as they would profit to harvest — $771 an acre this year — to bring foregone Colorado River water on its 242-mile aqueduct to 19 million people in the coastal megalopolis it serves.
Palo Verde enjoys California's highest rights to the river, making their immune to drought.
The dynamic changed when Metropolitan paid $256 million in July to nearly double its Palo Verde holdings to 29,000 acres, or about 30 percent of the valley. The agency denied its purchase from Verbena LLC, a company that bought the land several years earlier from the Mormon church, was part of an orchestrated plan.
California's Newest Dust Bowl
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is looking to create a brand new Dust Bowl on the Colorado River.  They are planning to destroy farming by buying up land and water rights to keep golf courses green on the coast.

"It's made the farmers out there nervous that we are the largest owner but there was a strategic opportunity that came up," Metropolitan's general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said.
Metropolitan stirred similar angst this month in Northern California when its board expressed interest in buying farms on several islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Its staff said the land could provide water storage and wildlife habitat.
Blythe, a riverside town of about 13,000 people in the Mojave Desert with two state prisons, is an oasis of gas stations, motels and fast-food restaurants on Interstate 10 between Los Angeles and Phoenix. Thomas Blythe staked claim to the river in 1877, beating Southern California cities under a Gold Rush-era doctrine called 'first in time, first in right.'
Los Angeles and its suburbs founded Metropolitan in 1928 to build the remarkably durable Colorado River Aqueduct. Parker Dam and the reservoir it created in Lake Havasu empties into a gray Art Deco-style building with nine pumps that quietly pipe water 300 feet up a steep slope. Teal metal cases that cover the pumps vibrate so little that a nickel placed on top stands on its side.
The water goes uphill through four more pump stations and through tunnels, canals and pipelines before reaching Southern California's coastal plain two days later.
The Colorado's huge man-made reservoirs have made the river an unheralded savior in California's four-year drought. Last year, the river supplied two-thirds of the 1.7 billion gallons of drinking water that Metropolitan delivers daily, up from a third three years earlier.
Owens "Lake" Today.
Los Angeles drained the Eastern Sierra Nevada lake dry and created a dust bowl environmental disaster as part the city's endless quest to suck down every drop of water.  Now the political hacks are leering at the beautiful Sacramento River Delta.

The river sustains 40 million people and farms 5½ million acres, but white "bathtub rings" lining walls of the nation's largest reservoir in Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, are evidence of shrinking supplies. California took more than it was entitled to until Sunbelt cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas clamored for their share and forced the nation's most populous state to go on a diet in 2003.
"It's really the only supply of water to this otherwise bone-dry region," said Bill Hasencamp, Metropolitan's manager of Colorado River resources.
Metropolitan has diverted up to 118,000 acre feet of water a year from Palo Verde since 2005, enough for about 250,000 households. It paid $3,170 an acre to farmers who committed for 35 years, plus an annual fee for fallowed land. It idles 7 percent to 28 percent of the valley each year, depending on its needs.
Jack Seiler, a grower who volunteered 900 acres, calls the agreement a "poster child" for farms and cities to cooperate but Metropolitan's July purchase of nearly 13,000 acres unsettled him. It gave Metropolitan the largest voting bloc on Palo Verde's water board.
Metropolitan says it won't have to pay someone else to idle the land it now owns and will lease it to farmers, cutting its net cost to about $50 million. It voted for incumbents in a September election to Palo Verde's seven-member board, which includes Seiler.
"I obviously don't know why they bought all this land," Seiler said. "It puts us a little bit at odds."
Read More . . . .

The Bessie Brady steamship on Owens Lake.
Before Los Angeles sucked it into a dry dust bowl, Owens Lake served the communities of the eastern Sierras.  Now the L.A. water interests say they need the Sacramento Delta water.  They say "Don't worry about a thing."

In Owens Valley on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Range, desert steamers once served the silver mining boom of the 1870’s. This curious maritime history began in 1872 when the first steamboat was christened on the saline waters of Owens Lake. The pioneer steamer, the Bessie Brady, proudly proclaimed to be "The Pioneer inland steamer of the Pacific Coast.” Though this was untrue, as steamers had already been used in Lake Tahoe in 1864, in Meadow Lake in 1866, and Donner Lake a few years later, the sight of a steamboat in the midst of Death Valley must have been a strange site.  


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Where are the guns? Hundreds of Bay Area police weapons missing

Idiots on Parade
Police "lost" ten grenade launchers and 
hundreds of other weapons

(RT News)  -  More than 500 weapons have been “lost or stolen” from six local police departments, the California Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2010, a probe has found.
A gun used by an undocumented immigrant in the July murder of San Francisco resident Kate Steinle was traced to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). It had been stolen earlier this year from a ranger’s vehicle. KNTV, a Bay Area NBC affiliate, looked into how many weapons the BLM has misplaced. The results were only the tip of the iceberg.
Following Steinle’s death, KNTV filed California Public Records Act requests with federal, state and local agencies, seeking records pertaining to lost or stolen firearms from law enforcement agencies. Some agencies, such as the BLM, have not yet responded to the CPRA requests. Records from local police departments revealed that at least 379 weapons have gone missing because of loss or theft.
One has to wonder who is getting their hands
on the missing police weapons.

The missing weapons are known to “include military grade assault rifles such as AR-15s and M16s, sniper rifles, shotguns, a gas grenade launcher and hundreds of handguns.” Furthermore, “the vast majority” of those weapons have never been recovered.
In the San Jose Police Department alone, a 2010 audit discovered that a whopping 324 firearms were missing.
“Back in 2010, we proactively did an audit of the range and we discovered that we have about 300 guns that are unaccounted for,” San Jose deputy chief Phan Ngo told KNTV. “Totally unacceptable.”
While the majority of the missing weapons from San Jose police were the officers’ handguns, the audit showed the department missing ten 40mm grenade launchers, two M-16 rifles, six sniper rifles and 49 shotguns. Only 16 of the lost firearms have been located since the audit, which also found that 2,448 of the SJPD weapons were never even registered with the Department of Justice.
"We need to know that when law enforcement officers are given the privilege to carry around weapons, that they are going to be held to the requirements that are imposed in making sure they’re secured and not easily available for criminals to use in crimes," said Frank Pitre, the attorney representing the Steinle family, to KNTV. Pitre has filed a claim against the BLM, saying that the gun used to kill Steinle should have been secured.
Read More . . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jerry Brown Pressured To Ban Fracking In California

(Huffington Post)  -  Ahead of the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Paris, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is facing pressure from environmental activists to take a stand against hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the Golden State.
Brown, who is one of the nation's leading environmental advocates, has faced criticism for years for not opposing fracking, the controversial practice of pumping pressurized water, sand and chemicals into rock to extract oil and natural gas. 
While the state has adopted the nation's toughest regulations governing fracking, Brown has said a statewide ban on the practice "doesn't make a lot of sense."
"If we reduce our oil drilling on California by a few percent, which a ban on fracking would do, we’ll import more oil by train or by boat, that doesn't make a lot of sense," Brown said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in March. What we need to do is to move to electric cars, more efficient buildings and more renewable energy and in that respect, California is leading the country and some would say even the world and we're going to continue moving down that path."
Anti-fracking activists have continued to press the governor on the issue, voicing concern over the amount of water the practice uses in drought-stricken California. Advocates are also worried about the potential harm fracking could pose to drinking water and wildlife, as well as the risk of fracking-induced earthquakes.
Read More . . . . .

Monday, November 16, 2015

Who funds California politicians? Initiative would have them wear the answer

What's wrong with truth in advertising?

(Sacramento Bee)  -  A California ballot initiative would have elected officials wear their campaign contributions on their sleeves.
Like many disgruntled citizens, Rancho Santa Fe resident John Cox believes money has corrupted politics to the extent that “the Legislature only serves the special interests,” as his ballot initiative states. Rather than try to plug the flow of campaign cash itself, Cox is focusing on making politicians more honest about the sources of their funding.

His ballot initiative would have candidates declare their top ten donors in campaign advertisements. Once they get to Sacramento, elected officials would need to don “stickers or badges” detailing their biggest benefactors in type printed clearly enough that anyone can read them.
“It’s a very serious proposal,” Cox said in an interview, adding that he plans to campaign with cardboard cutouts that imitate the proposed badges by listing current officials’ backers. “We’re illustrating the fact that our legislators don’t work for us – they work for the people who give them money.”
No stranger to long-shot political reform ballot initiatives, Cox has sought multiple times to qualify a measure that would vastly increase the number of state legislators from the current level of 120 to around 12,000.
Cox will need to collect around 365,000 signatures to put his disclosure measure before voters. But he said the campaign would serve the dual purpose of ginning up awareness for his “neighborhood legislature” idea, which he now hopes to place on the 2018 ballot.
“We’re trying to build grassroots support for it,” he said.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article41624067.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, November 13, 2015

California Ballot Proposal Would Divert High-Speed Rail Money To Water

Not a Bad Idea

  • So-called "high speed" rail as been a joke from day one. Using money for that project to build water storage is common sense. 
  • Let me add we should use the rest of the money to build a real rail system in the major urban areas and get people off the freeways.

(KPBS)  -  Two well-known Republican state lawmakers submitted language Thursday for a ballot initiative that would ask California voters to redirect about $8 billion in bond money from the state's high-speed rail project to build water storage.
Board of Equalization member George Runner and Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas, the former Senate minority leader, said they filed language for the initiative with the attorney general's office.
The ballot proposal would also authorize shifting $2.7 billion in unspent water bond money to water storage construction and amend the state constitution to give drinking water and irrigation priority from California's limited water supply.
"This initiative secures our water future by building long-overdue expansions of existing facilities and new projects to store, deliver and recycle water for our families, farms and businesses," Huff said in a statement.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Voters in 2008 approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds for the project to link Northern and Southern California by high-speed trains, but many have now soured on it and have questioned whether it will cost the $68 billion that has been projected. Project leaders have faced criticism for its planned route, engineering proposals and insufficient federal funding dedicated to it.
March survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found residents were about evenly split on whether they support the rail project.
Whether the initiative actually makes it to the ballot depends on how much money supporters can generate to collect signatures.
Runner said the campaign would have sufficient money to fund a robust signature-gathering campaign. He said the initiative would offer voters a "decision point" on how they want to spend state money.
"To me this is no different than a family trying to decide its own priorities. A lot of times in a family you have conflicting priorities, but you have a limited budget," he said.
A number of other initiatives, from proposals to raise income and sales taxes to legalizing recreational marijuana, are also expected to compete for attention on the November 2016 ballot.
Read More . . . .

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

50% of illegal aliens could get Medi-Cal

Sucking on the Public Teat
The Marxist redistribution of your wealth in 
return for the votes of lawbreakers.

(San Jose Mercury News)  -  Half of California's undocumented immigrants -- about 1.4 million -- have incomes low enough to qualify for full Medi-Cal benefits should California legislative proposals to offer coverage to the undocumented ever be enacted.
That is among the key findings of a Public Policy Institute of California report released Monday night which examines current policy options to provide health coverage to the state's undocumented immigrants.

Medicaid, called Medi-Cal in this state, is a government funded healthcare program for the poor and disabled. While it is unavailable to most undocumented immigrants, Gov. Jerry Brown in June signed a state budget that for the first time funds the plan for an estimated 170,000 children under age 19 living in California illegally. The cost of the plan, expected to begin next year, is $40 million, rising to $132 million annually over time.

But Medi-Cal for undocumented adults -- who were included in the original legislation proposed by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens -- was dropped after the state estimated the cost at more than $1 billion. Lara has said he plans to push ahead with a plan to provide comprehensive Medi-Cal benefits to those whose incomes are low enough to qualify.

The PPIC report looks at such a proposal, as well as one that would authorize the state to seek a federal waiver allowing those with higher incomes to pay full price for health plans through Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange established under the Obamacare.

Read More . . . .

Saturday, November 7, 2015

California governor ordered state workers to research oil drilling on family land

"Corruptus in Extremis"

(Fox News)  -  Gov. Jerry Brown last year directed state oil and gas regulators to research, map and report back on any mining and oil drilling potential and history at the Brown family's private land in Northern California.
After a phone call from the governor and follow-up requests from his aides, senior staffers in the state's oil and gas regulatory agency over at least two days produced a 51-page historical report and geological assessment, plus a personalized satellite-imaged geological and oil and gas drilling map for the area around Brown's family ranchland near the town of Williams.
Ultimately, the regulators told the governor, prospects were "very low" for any commercial drilling or mining at the 2,700-acre property, which has been in Brown's family for more than a century.
Through the state's open records law, The Associated Press obtained the research that state regulators carried out for Brown, and the emails among senior oil and gas regulators scrambling to fulfill the governor's request.
Brown spokesman Evan Westrup declined to discuss the work for the governor, referring the AP to California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. That agency said the work was a legal and proper use of public resources -- and no more than the general public would get. But oil industry experts said they could not recall a similar example of anyone getting that kind of state work done for private property.
Read More . . . .

Thursday, November 5, 2015

California may force the use of condoms

Ballot proposal to drive adult film making out of California

"Corruptus in Extremis"

  • As if by "magic" a new proposal to force the use of condoms in adult films allows every lawyer in the state to sue in court. Could it possibly be about the money?

(Washington Post)  -  California voters probably will have a chance next year to weigh in on a controversial regulation affecting a multibillion-dollar industry: whether adult film stars must wear condoms while performing.
Democrat Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Wednesday that he plans to certify a ballot measure that would put the question to voters next November after supporters gathered the required signatures to qualify for the ballot.
“The Number One way that young people learn about sex in this day and age is pornography on the Internet,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Associated Press. “In porn, real people are having real sex. They’re transmitting actual diseases, and the audience knows it. It’s not like a fictional Hollywood film.”
The Lawyer Full Employment Act
Follow the money for the answer to all of life's questions. This condom ballot measure allows everyone in the state to sue adult film makers.  Everyone!

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation proposed the ballot measure.
The initiative was modeled after a similar measure that passed in Los Angeles County in 2012. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the county measure “has been tied up in litigation and never enforced.” Still, the number of porn permits issued in the county for adult films dropped by 90 percent the year after the measure was approved, and some in the industry have lamented the harmful economic impact of the regulation, the Los Angeles Times reported last year.
The ballot measure could cost the state tens of millions of dollars in lost state and local tax revenue, according to the official initiative summary. It also probably would cost a few million dollars annually to administer.
The Free Speech Coalition, an industry trade group, strongly opposes the measure.
“Performers, who are currently tested every fourteen days, have long protested mandatory condom legislation, expressing that they are unnecessary given the extensive testing regimen,” the group said in a statement. “There has not been an on-set transmission of HIV in the regulated adult industry since 2004.”
The initiative would grant any state resident the right to sue over a violation of the condom mandate, prompting concerns among performers of being unduly targeted.
“If the proposed initiative were to pass, adult performers would immediately be targeted by stalkers and profiteers, who would use the initiatives’ sue-a-performer provision to harass and extort adult performers,” Diane Duke, chief executive of the Free Speech Coalition, said in the group’s statement. “This is an unconscionable initiative that would take a legal and safe industry and push its performers into the shadows.”
Read More . . . .

Democrat Party Condom Police
Will Democrat run California will send condom inspectors to the sets of porn movie shoots to make sure the condoms are properly installed and snug with no leakage? Moron Democrats want to get a firm grip on both our wallets and deployed condoms.