Archive for the ‘B-Daddy’ Category
I played high school football and tonight feels like Thursday night before an important Friday game, not the big game, but an important one we need to win. Team taxpayer is favored to win two important contests tomorrow, the Wisconsin governor’s recall and Proposition B in San Diego.
The U-T is reporting that Proponents of Proposition B have spent $1.8 million on the measure against $227K by those opposed. That doesn’t prove it will win, but it makes me smile nonetheless. A bit of Schadenfreude came from this quote in the Voice of San Diego.
“From a political standpoint, it’s pretty likely that this is going to pass in June,” labor leader Michael Zucchet said in April. “And when I say pretty likely, I mean we’re [expletive].”
My fellow SLOB, W.C. Varones, has posted tea party recommendations for this June’s ballot. Since there is no official tea party position, and everyone can claim a leadership role in the tea party, I am following suit. I am a resident of the city of San Diego, so I am not covering propositions in El Cajon, Oceanside or other areas. On to the props – I am using my own shortened and more accurate versions of the titles. Don’t like my characterizations? Tough, get your own blog; free speech rocks.
Proposition 28 – The Faux Term Limits Initiative – NO
He hit on all the topics you’d expect – the war on drugs, the debt and deficit, central planning, the TSA, big government destroying the economy, the Dirty Fed, global imperialism, etc. And of course the solution to all of this: restore the Constitution,
Here is some video from the event.
As a matter of fact, if there was some real pension reform, there wouldn’t be any need for tax increases. California is drowning under the burden of employee pension costs. Even the modest reforms offered by Jerry Brown are making no progress in the
Democrat union controlled legislature. A couple of key parts of his proposal:
- Equal sharing of pension costs: Require all new and current employees to contribute at least 50 percent of their retirement costs, shifting the burden from public employers, some of whom currently make the entire contribution.
An issue that had completely disappeared from my view was thrust in front of me this morning when I opened the U-T to find that a repeal of the death penalty had qualified as a California ballot initiative for November. I am not in the mainstream of conservative thought in my opposition to the death penalty; but my reasons that should resonate with tea party and conservative thought.
I got a call this evening from a number in Ogden, UT 801-823-XXXX purporting to be a poll about the San Diego mayor’s race. After asking me who I was supporting for Mayor of San Diego, and learning that I was supporting Carl DeMaio, I was asked a series of follow on questions. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this was just some push-polling from the Fletcher campaign. A sample of some questions:
-Would it make you more likely to vote for Nathan Fletcher if you knew that he had sponsored legislation to allow unemployed Californians to keep their health insurance during the recent recession?
As we close in on the June 5 primary that will most likely determine the two candidates to compete in November for mayor of San Diego, media interest is heating up. My complaint? Lack of focus on the key issues for the campaign; how will we reform pensions and in general control spending in the city. Here on Rostra, most of the recent posts have been about the race, but in my view only peripherally. Instead the discussion has been dominated by “insider” discussion about who is working for whom, the role of SD GOP chair Tony Krvaric and the education plans of the would-be mayors. A reminder to San Diego residents: The mayor has no voice over the school system. All the polling I have seen, leads one to conclude that we are headed for a run off in November between Republican Carl DeMaio and Democrat Bob Filner, in the officially non-partisan race. So a little about the race as I see it.
I went to the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally last Friday in downtown San Diego. I was struck by how impassioned both the speakers and participants were. The President’s policies are uniting people of faith against him. The speakers all spoke of the importance of freedom and conscience to the proper functioning of government. They spoke of the continued assault on religious liberty. They spoke of the laughable accounting shell game of the administration: “Religious associations don’t have to pay for birth control, only their insurers will be required to provide that.” My personal estimate was that about 700 people turned up. We got honks of support throughout the rally.
Sgt. Gary Stein created the Facebook page “Armed Forces Tea Party” in 2010. He has been stationed here in San Diego. As you might expect, he eventually made comments critical of the President on Facebook. He is now facing discharge from the Marine Corps (pronounced “core” for the pronunciation challenged) for Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline. He argues that he has merely been exercising his free speech rights. However, those rights are not absolute. A member of the Armed Forces may not participate in partisan political activity nor appear in uniform while endorsing a political candidate for office. These are sensible rules that keep the Armed Forces from unduly influencing or being drawn into partisan politics. The subordination of the Armed Forces to the civilian control of the President and the Congress have served our nation well.
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has sent out layoff warnings to over 1,600 teachers and other employees for the next school year. The math behind the problem is simple. Part of the reason for the layoffs has to do with promises made in the past with the bill coming due now. From City Beat:
Roughly $39 million of San Diego Unified’s $122-million deficit is the result of a deal the district struck in 2010 with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA), the union that represents teachers. The teachers agreed to cut one week off the school calendar for two years (reducing pay by 2.7 percent each year); in exchange, the district agreed to raise pay a little more than 4 percent for the upcoming school year (2012-13) and another 3 percent in 2013-14 and add that week back to the calendar.
I have blogged my outrage a couple of times over local crony capitalism of Jerry Sanders giving away city naming rights to Qualcomm by allowing the temporary name change to Snapdragon. The U-T posted a treasure trove of emails that paint an unflattering picture. I have excerpted two of them here. Here is the city’s CFO wondering why the city isn’t getting a cut of the value of the advertising, hooray for Mary Lewis.
Here is Jay Goldstone, the Mayor’s Chief Operating Officer, deciding that he has a license to practice law and that this whole signage thing is really all about how fast he can please his corporate buddies at Qualcomm.
That seems to be the position taken in a lawsuit filed by the Municipal Employees Association of San Diego. From the U-T:
The Municipal Employees Association, San Diego’s largest public employee union representing white-collar workers, has accused Mayor Jerry Sanders of violating state labor laws by refusing to negotiate the elements in the initiative while at the same time using the power of his public office to generate public support for it.
If successful, the complaint, filed last week with the state Public Employment Relations Board, could prevent the initiative from appearing on the ballot and essentially nullifies the nearly 116,000 signatures collected to trigger a public vote.
Budget “cuts” for the Department of Defense proposed by Obama are fairly responsible as far as I can tell. But Republicans are already criticizing the administration’s proposals. Predictably, John McCain called the cuts unacceptable. So what are the facts? Most of the spending cuts come from winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The base budget of the Pentagon actually increases beyond fiscal year 2013. Base spending is the spending not going to support the wars. Further, the ground troop strength of the Army and Marine Corps is reduced to somewhat above levels of 2001. Finally, and more controversially, Secretary Panetta called for another round of base closures, setting up a new Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) commission in 2013. Parochially, speaking the BRAC process has been very good to San Diego, in spite of the closing of the old NTC, now Liberty Station. The move of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) from DC in the mid-1990s, Mine Warfare Command from TX in the 2000s and additional ships homeported here have added federal spending to the local economy. Locally, Carl DeMaio has called for a task force to prepare for a possible BRAC round in 2013. I think that is wise, but I would advise DeMaio that the best tack to take would be to ask our California delegation to oppose any BRAC round until we have reviewed and closed bases overseas, see my discussion below.
My day job has become very challenging lately, and may continue to cause light blogging. When I have little time, it concentrates my mind on what is both important and within my sphere of influence. For example, I love following Presidential politics, but as a Californian I am going to have little influence on neither the Republican nominating process nor the electoral vote totals. Here are my priorities for this year and how I am feeling.
- 1. Defeating Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax increases; highly confident. Getting his execrable budget killed; not so much.
Governor Jerry Brown’s budget promises to cut public education by $4.8 billion if his tax increases aren’t passed next November. Promises, promises. That we could get some cuts in the bloated state educracy would be welcome indeed. The California school system is not performing that well, despite spending about $8,452 per pupil per year, although I think that number is low, it is the official state budget number from 2009-2010. The shock of some budget cuts would be welcome as it might force us to evaluate why we allow the government a near monopoly in delivering education.
The U-T and San Diego Reader are reporting that the mayor signed off the temporary name change of Jack Murphy Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon, despite a memo from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith that the name change was not authorized unless approved by the City Council. The city loses money every year on the stadium, undermining public support for everything else that Mayor Sanders has proposed, including a new City Hall.
Lest you get depressed over the stupidity in the headline in today’ U-T that a big majority approves of Jerry Brown’s proposed tax hikes, let me return you to reality, and a much better outlook. Here is the main quote.
Nearly two-thirds of Californians favor Brown’s tax hike, but fewer than half of them think he’s doing a good job as governor, according to a survey released Monday by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California.
First, remember that this a poll of “adults,” allegedly, not likely voters, not even registered voters. Such a poll is bound to vastly over estimate the support for new taxes. Likely voters are going to be more conservative than “adults.”
The Occupy movement intends to shutdown ports on the West Coast tomorrow, Monday, December 12. OccupySD plans are listed here. There stated aim is to draw attention to “unfair and unjust business practices of multinational corporations.” That there is a nexus between multinationals and the ports is left to the imagination of the reader. They also claim that their purpose includes:
- our picket lines are picket lines organized by working class people, in solidarity with fellow workers
One problem with that assertion is that the unions aren’t too happy. From the SF Chronicle.
Recent testing of San Diego fourth and eighth graders showed that the poor kids are doing even less well in San Diego’s schools than when similar tests were conducted in 2003. From the U-T.
Among San Diego’s fourth-graders eligible for free lunch, those tested last year earned a math score that was 38 points lower than those who do not receive that income-based subsidy. That’s a deeper chasm than the 27-point difference reported in 2003.
Budget cuts are blamed by some in the article for the drop in scores, but the gap is consistent with other research.
I took a break from politics this evening and took family and friends to the Naval Base in San Diego for the Holiday Lights and a tour of the USS Benfold (DDG-65). It was great that the Navy opened up the base to the public and let them tour some of our ships. I was struck by the professionalism and high spirits of all the officers and sailors involved. There was quite the line to get on base, and the line of cars moved slowly, but it was worth it. Here are a few photos and explanations from the tour.
No this isn’t an article about whether Obamacare should cover medical pot. If you thought so, I recommend reading up on my blog’s agenda and purpose (links are not to sdrostra.com posts). Today’s U-T reports that a group known as Citizens for Patient Rights plans to introduce a ballot measure that would regulate medical marijuana in the city. The plan would include zoning, and a tax structure to pay for regulation. It all sounds very un-libertarian, so why shouldn’t the tea party movement be opposing this effort?
A few days ago, I read Richard Rider’s detailed post about how truly awful the California tax burden is. A quick refresher.
California has the 3rd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.3% tax bracket starts at $46,766 for people filing as individuals. 10.3%
tax starts at $1,000,000 http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/bp59_es.pdf (election likely later this year to again raise these rates)
Highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.25% (as of 1 July). 7% is next highest (does not include local sales taxes) http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/bp60.pdf Table #15.
Well, no wonder they failed. In political terms, 2013 is a lifetime away. Obama will probably not be President by then. There is no immediate impact other than to credit ratings. It gives the new President and a new Congress time to deal with the problem. It even gives the current President and Congress time to deal with the problem. If pork barrel spending in their districts was going to end next month, maybe some compromise would have been reached. For all of the press and attention given to the so called Supercommittee, the actual immediate impact will be nil.
The actions of the San Diego Unified School District board are irrational. Consider the following.
- The board proposed a plan to shutter schools, including high performing magnet schools to save money for a reported savings of $5 million.
- In the same article, it stated that the board is considering selling or developing real estate to save money.
- Two credit rating agencies have recently downgraded the district’s bond rating.
So the district is in deep trouble, right?
- “. . .the district continues to hire back teachers whose layoff notices were rescinded some four months ago.“
Last November’s defeat of the half-cent sales tax measure, Proposition D, was supposed to be the warning shot across the bow that galvanized city leaders into drastic action to cut budget deficits. From the Citizen’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force Analysis of FY2012 Budget Deficit: