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LA Daily News, OC Register – “blame the state for high gas prices”

1 Nov

I think Gavin Newsome’s angst over gas prices in California is FAKE. He knows California residents are really angry over gas prices, and how they raise the prices of EVERYTHING, and he’s trying to pass the booger onto the gas companies. 

The NO on PROP 6 voters have themselves to blame, they let themselves be duped – but I’ll also blame the Attorney General for the misleading ballot language, and then allowing the state to spend money spreading the lies. All voters had to do was read the language on the ballot, and ask questions,  but they were lazy? Stupid? Not sure. Let’s not make that mistake with the upcoming election.

Blame the state for our high gas prices

Here’s a similar piece from last April, Orange County Register.

‘Mystery surcharge’ and gas taxes boost California gasoline prices by about $1.26 per gallon

Gas tax REPEAL proponent, Reform California leader Carl Demaio may run for San Diego congressional seat

2 Aug
I received the announcement below from Reform California founder Carl Demaio. Demaio led the fight to overturn SB 1, with Prop 6. He campaigned and raised funding for that measure, which was narrowly defeated, I feel, because California Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote a misleading ballot title and description of the measure. People have told me, they didn’t understand the measure. Becerra made it sound like all road funding was going to be pulled if 6 passed. Frankly, I believe that was a true threat – I think the Democrats will punish any district who actually passed the measure by withholding road funding. Yes, Gavin Newsome is that crazy. 

Part of our problem here in California is a Democratic party run amok, and the Republicans are not doing a very convincing job of turning the state back around.  Here Demaio tells us, a “once-reliably conservative” district is in jeopardy. Looks like the Republican who has been in that seat has been accused of misusing campaign funds, and the seat may be lost to the Democratic challenger. This would be another jewel in Newsome’s crown – just imagine, full liberal control in the legislature.

So Demaio is thinking of running for the seat, which encompasses his home town of San Diego. Why would we care? Read paragraphs 1 and 2 again. 

Demaio is asking for money, I don’t have any. But I know there’s some pretty deep conservative pockets in Chico, if you’re out there, you might want to start digging. 

You can contact Demaio at Reform California, reformcalifornia.org

I’ve just been briefed on a poll that shows Republicans may lose yet another seat in Congress in California. Yes, it is the once-reliably conservative CA50 District seat. Worse, the party expects a Special Election will be called this Fall and the Democrats have millions to spend to flip the seat.Here’s the catch.The reason why I was briefed on the poll was because it shows that I can lock it up by running. The district’s voters have a 4:1 favorable view of me and and know me well from my work as a taxpayer advocate and government reformer.

I enjoy the freedom that my radio show gives me and with your help and thousands of other supporters, we’ve become the voice of the opposition across the state through our Reform California campaigns.

That being said, the old guard of California Republican leaders have shown they aren’t willing or able to lead the fight to take back our state from the Democrats – or worse, like the incumbent in this Congressional seat, they are tied up in court facing criminal charges. If we don’t run, we probably lose another seat.

I think a BIG WIN this fall in a hotly contested Congressional seat in California could change people’s perceptions that California is a lost cause. Plus, I simply do not want the Democrats to use their millions to harvest ballots to win another seat to advance their socialist agenda.

The good news is I’ll still be able to pursue our initiatives through Reform California. The bad news is this will be a lot more work! Winning a Congressional seat will also bring us more resources to fund our fight in California.

My questions for you are: Should I run? If I run, will you help me?

I need to make the decision this week. Let me know!

Thanks,

-Carl Demaio, Reform California

Excessive taxation ruins the economy – time to act to reverse this trend

26 Jul

I saw Patrick Newman’s letter calling (jokingly I assume) for a limit on letters about President Trump. I had to laugh –  there have been letter writers, and probably requests made to the editor, to limit Newman’s letters. People have contacted the editors of both the ER and the N&R asking them to stop printing my letters. Some people only want to hear stuff they agree with, that’s nothing new. 

I have to agree with Newman’s assertion that people need to pay more attention to what’s going on locally. Not that federal matters are not important, but I feel a person can have more effect locally. And, as citizens become more powerful in local affairs, those localities become more powerful and have a bigger effect statewide, and eventually nationwide. 

I think excessive taxation is becoming a huge problem in Butte County, and the state of California, I wish more people would wake up and act. In the city of Sacramento, taxpayer groups who supported their sales tax Measure H quickly realized the funds weren’t being used as promised – too late, they’ve already approved the tax, and Mayor Darrell Steinberg has proposed even more taxes as a result. 

I think the root of excessive taxation is incompetent, insubordinate public employees who have fostered a negative and hostile environment for the rest of us. Their salaries and perks not only raise our taxes, but the salary imbalance makes a normal middle class lifestyle unaffordable for the rest of us.  These public salaries raise the price of everything from housing to groceries to healthcare. How can the family living on $43,000/year compete with public employees making in excess of $100,000/year? Especially when we are on the hook for their outrageous healthcare and pension packages.

Here’s an irony – most of us get by with catastrophic care, with huge co-pays, packages that won’t get us into a lot of hospitals. Hospitals and doctors can actually refuse our insurance.  Meanwhile we fund “defined benefit” health packages for public employees that guarantee them the best of care at top hospitals. 

What’s your retirement plan? Die? Well, as long as you live, you’ll be paying pensions of 70 -90% of $100,000+ public salaries. Our city manager, in his 50’s, is already making over $220,000 a year – do the math – if he retired tomorrow we’d be paying him $154,000/year, plus cost-of-living-adjustments, for the rest of his life. Unfortunately I’m afraid he has quite a few more years of self-service left in him, especially since he has what amounts to automatic annual pay raises based on a percentage of his salary. 

Currently more than 100 city employees receive salaries of $100 – 225,000/year. Another 25 make $90 – 99,000/year. These folks pay less than 10% of their pension cost, they want us to pay the rest in the form of a 1 cent sales tax increase. They say the money will be dedicated toward streets and safety, but even if they are sincere here, that just loosens up other money to be transferred into the Pension Stabilization Trust. And who can believe what they say when they promised to fix the streets with the trash tax but have instead transferred it into the General Fund? 

So we have a sales tax increase measure from the city of Chico and a parcel tax coming from the Chico Area Recreation District. Two regressive taxes aimed at the same population, neither agency having any concern for the economy.

Newman is right – get involved locally. There are a lot of meetings, scheduled at different times, at which you can not only learn more about how these agencies operate, but you can get into the conversation. Check out the schedules and agendas at these links:

http://www.chico.ca.us/government/minutes_agendas.asp

https://www.chicorec.com/board-meetings

 

So you thought we dumped the king in ’76?

1 Jul

Already July!  Fourth of July travelers are on the highway – I wonder if they noticed, the gas tax went up today. 

Something nobody seemed to get about SB 1 – the gas tax increase instituted by the state legislature in January 2018 – is that it allows the legislature to raise it at will, no input from the voters. 

Honey, that’s called TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. 

It could get worse – in May, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 was ordered for a third reading, not yet scheduled.  ACA1 lowers the voter threshold for [the following italicized portions have been added to the original text] “Bonded indebtedness incurred by a city, county, or city and county city and county, or special district for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure or infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing for persons at risk of chronic homelessness, including persons with mental illness, or the acquisition or lease of real property for public infrastructure or infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing for persons at risk of chronic homelessness, including persons with mental illness, ”  from 2/3’s to 55 percent voter approval.  

Why? Because it was hard to get 2/3’s approval from the taxpayers. So they are changing the rule. What kind of crap is that? Should the legislature be able to just change the constitution without a vote of the people?

Furthermore, do you really think it’s okay for 55 people to tell the other 45 that they must pay a tax for programs they don’t want to support? I think that’s mob rule, and it’s divisive. A community should agree on stuff, not be subject to the loudest bullies in the group. 

Here’s the text of ACA 1

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200ACA1

The bar at the top of the page includes the history of the bill, current status (waiting for a third reading), and who voted how. So far it’s been through the Assembly Local Government Committee, and the Assembly Appropriations Committee. I don’t know where it goes next, but I’m watching this page. 

So, this week, when you are trying to enjoy various events, try to remember why we celebrate this holiday. Do some homework, learn something about the process by which they steal your money and ruin your community. 

I’ll tell you what my family did to start the week off right – we watched “Vice”, the 2018 movie about Dick Cheney. Sure, it’s silly and fantastic in places, but it tells, factually, how our government works, and why we have to be on top of our politicians. 

And then we watched the Nixon movie, “Dick,”  which is the best telling of the Watergate story I have ever seen.  I was 12 years old when the Watergate story broke in the newspapers, I remember that was the first time my parents didn’t know all the answers. People were stunned, because they knew nothing about how much power the president really had.  They thought we dumped the king back in ’76, but they were wrong.

Happy Independence Day Everybody!

 

 

Dan Walters: illegal use of taxpayer money continues to be a problem “because local prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office ignore complaints about its illegality”

6 Jan

I’m not alone in my complaints about misuse of taxpayer funds to run tax increase campaigns – here’s what Dan Walters has to say about it:

https://calmatters.org/articles/commentary/finally-a-crackdown-on-misuse-of-taxpayer-money/

Here’s something the city of Chico and CARD have both done.

“Local governments hire “consultants” to poll voters on what tax and bond measures they would find acceptable, to draft those proposals accordingly and, finally, to run so-called “information” campaigns to persuade voters to approve them.

It’s so blatant that firms seeking lucrative contracts openly boast of their successful campaigns, eliminating any doubt that they are truly political operatives.”

I’ve sat at meetings listening to these consultants, all they talk about is how to get the public to pass revenue measures. I’ve seen their websites, bragging that they can pass tax measures.  Sit in on a meeting sometime – and then look around the room and add up the staff salaries. That’s spending of taxpayer money to promote a tax measure, it’s right in front of our faces, like that big elephant that just took a giant dump on your carpet. 

Furthermore, Walters says, “The practice has ballooned because local prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office ignore complaints about its illegality. Indeed, local district attorneys often benefit from the higher taxes.”

Didn’t I just say that in my last post – theButte County DA and all his hangers on benefit from every tax measure that comes around the pike – it just perpetuates the salaries and pensions. He’s not going to answer a complaint from a citizen – we are forced to take our gripes to state agencies. 

I told you about the complaint that Yuba County citizens took to the FPPC with the help of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. They charge that a recent tax measure passed in Yuba County, Measure K, was passed illegally with only 54 percent, when it was written as a special tax requiring 2/3’s voter approval.  Another Yuba County citizen, Territorial Dispatch contributor Lou Binninger, has taken up the issue of the use of taxpayer funds to promote the measure. 

Unfortunately the FPPC (all on public salaries and benefits) has sent back Binninger’s complaint, saying he needs “evidence.” 

We all need to use our eyes and ears people, because nobody is going to come riding in to save us.

 

Get your pension debt off my back Governor Brown! Yes on Prop 6!

2 Oct

Having seen commercials made by opponents of Prop 6 – the gas tax increase repeal – I was getting sick of the big money scare campaign. They are point blank threatening that if we repeal SB 1 we will die on the roads!  They won’t fix our roads, but will go on pilfering the taxes we pay for their salaries and benefits, and of course their gaping pension deficit. I can’t remember the figure I saw for the State’s pension deficit, but here we have a city of about 90,000 people with a deficit of over $180 million. Chico Recreation District, with less than 35 full-time employees, has racked up over $2 million.  So you can just imagine what the state is carrying, like a big tumor.

I haven’t seen any Yes on 6 commercials on our local tv stations, but the Repeal California folks sent me the following:

Watch the video

Yeah, I know, it’s actors. But it sums up my feelings about this tax increase – it hits hardest in homes that can’t afford it. 

People think I’m rich because I own rentals – one of the oldest myths around. I just got the property tax bill for my family’s home in Chico, where we also have a rental. Because my family fixed up two crappers on that property, meaning, brought them back from condemnation, replacing roofing, siding, floors and other stuff that is not exactly a luxury, our tax bill was jacked up by about $3,000 a year. The county assessor waited two years for a new subdivision down the street to build out, and then he used those $500,000 plus houses as comps for my house instead of using the much more comparable houses right next door.

So we’re screwed. Every year my family scrambles to come up with $6,000 in taxes, for one property. A 70 year old farmhouse and a granny unit over the garage. $6,000/year. Every school bond feels like a knife in the back. And then there’s really stupid stuff like a mosquito district assessment – when was the last time you saw any notice of BCMVCD spraying in Chico? 

So the actors in that commercial are speaking for me. Every time I have to buy a can of gas to mow lawns I pay that fucking extra tax. My kids both work minimum wage jobs that require a car, so they are screwed to. Look at the young people around you, just trying to make it out there, and imagine that yoke on their back. 

Which, by the way, was hung on us by the legislature after Jerry The Moonbeam Brown told us he would not pass any more taxes without voter approval.

 

YES ON PROP 6: Californians pay the second highest gas tax in the US, while driving on the fifth worst roads

16 Aug

Here’s the first YES on Prop 6 tv ad. Prop 6 repeals SB 1, the recent legislative increase in our gas tax and car registration fees.

 

Some points I’d like to make:

The ad says the typical family will pay $779.28 more taxes per year under SB 1. That figure does not take into account the effect this increase has on everything that arrives on a truck – from groceries to tooth paste and shampoo to clothes, shoes and school supplies for your kids. Neither does it include the effect this increase will have on services like public utilities, medical, day care, you name it. 

Before SB 1 went into effect last January, California had the ninth highest gas tax in 50 states. Now, according to 24/7 Wall Street (  https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/01/26/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-gas-taxes-6/   ), we have the second highest gas tax in the nation, at 53 cents a gallon.   24/7 Wall Street quotes  the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Report Card For America’s Infrastructure  –  “the percentage of roadway in sub-optimal condition is 28.5% – the fifth highest in the nation.” In other words, we pay the second highest gas  tax but have the fifth worst roads in the entire United States.   

Think people, read that again – the threats Jerry Brown and his fellow pensioners are making about roads going unrepaired mean nothing.   We’ve already suffered some of the worst roads in the nation while paying some of the highest taxes, how much worse can it get? 

Here’s where the money has gone, and will continue to go, like kipple into a black hole – California now has over $1 TRILLION in unfunded pension liabilities. They know we won’t pay them outright, so they try everything under the sun to trick us into raising taxes for funds that can be pilfered later through allocation. Promises haven’t worked, so now Brown is threatening. Look at the visuals – I’m hearing, “Pay or Die”. 

The ads Brown is running are paid for with public money, including conscripted union dues from agencies like California Highway Patrol. They’re breaking the law, using taxpayer money to run ads for a tax increase campaign, that’s desperate. 

Write letters, tell your friends, it’s YES ON PROP 6.