Taxasaurus! Jerry Brown is Ripping Everybody Off

Senator Gaines highlights one of the most taxing sessions in California history

Sacramento, CA (MPG)  – Following the conclusion of the 2017 legislative session, Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) is highlighting just a few of the ways the legislature voted to increase taxes and make California less affordable.

Gas Tax (Senate Bill 1)

The legislature passed and the Governor signed a transportation proposal that imposes $52 billion in permanent new gas taxes and user fees on motorists. Starting this fall, every motorist in California will pay an additional $0.12 per gallon of gasoline and $0.20 per gallon of diesel. That might not sound like much, but with this and the increase in annual vehicle registration fees by as much as $175 per vehicle, it adds up to an average of $350 per household over the course of a year. If you’re a commuter, live in the country, or own a business, the cost could be much higher.

Cap-and-Trade Extension (Assembly Bill 398)

The legislature passed and the Governor signed an extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program. Fuels under the program already adds $0.11 to every gallon of gas. The new gas tax adds an additional $0.12 cents to every gallon (that number will go up every year after 2021), and the cap-and-trade extension could add another $0.73 cents to every gallon of gas on top of that. While the rest of the country is paying $2 a gallon for gas, we are going to be paying a dollar and a half a gallon just in taxes and climate fees. A large portion of the money collected through the cap-and-trade program has been allocated to fund high-speed rail.

Housing Package (Senate Bill 2)

Included in a package of housing bills was Senate Bill 2, which the legislature has approved and sent to the Governor for signature. The bill would impose a $75 to $225 “recording fee” on all real estate transactions. The fee would generate as much as $258 million per year. Instead of addressing the housing crisis by reducing the obstacles to housing development, legislators have chosen to put the cost on the backs of California taxpayers.

“Legislative Democrats have touted this year as ‘one of the most productive sessions in California history.’ I suppose this is accurate if you define ‘productive’ as continuing to pile on taxes and make California increasingly unlivable for businesses and hardworking working families,” said Senator Gaines. “I will not give up. I will continue to stand up for California taxpayers that are getting nickeled and dimed at every turn.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

Source: Content from the office of Senator Ted Gaines

State Easing of Public Safety Laws Emboldens Criminal Behavior

Killer of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy had Lengthy Record and Was Wanted by Federal Authorities

From the Office of Senator Jim Nielsen

According to authorities, Thomas Daniel Littlecloud fired multiple shots at officers who knocked on the front door and walls of a motel room in their search for a different parolee’s room. Littlecloud struck and injured two CHP officers before he attempted to exit through the back balcony. Using a high powered assault rifle, he shot Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Robert “Bob” French, who died on the way to the hospital.

“Convicted criminals like Thomas Littlecloud should not have been allowed out on our streets,” said former Chair of the Board of Parole Hearings Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “State laws, court decisions and initiatives have turned the criminal justice system inside out.”

Senator Nielsen added, “The lack of meaningful penalties has emboldened career criminals like Littlecloud. This individual has been apprehended with firearms on multiple occasions.”

Since the passage of Assembly Bill 109 and Propositions 36, 47 and 57, criminals like Littlecloud now face diminished to no consequences for their continued criminality.

Senator Nielsen and others have made many attempts to strengthen laws to protect police officers and the public.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature denied passage of his proposals to support public safety. Earlier this year, Senator Nielsen introduced Senate Bill 652 to change current law to require that felons with firearms would return to state prison if they had been previously convicted of a violent felony. Even this modest change was rejected in committee.

Unfortunately, the weakening of the state’s criminal justice system allowed for the release of convicted felons like cop-killer Littlecloud whose criminal record spans 14 years.

The San Francisco Chronicle laid out the “extensive criminal history” of Littlecloud’s life that included: Assault on officers and first responders; Drug possession; Robbery; Grand theft; Assault with stun gun; Battery on emergency personnel; Two counts of assault on peace officer or firefighter; Six counts of assault with or possession of firearms; Federal indictment on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, using a counterfeit credit card and identity theft.

“Littlecloud’s wide-ranging criminal behavior speaks for itself. Legislative acts, court decisions and initiatives facilitated this behavior,” Senator Nielsen added.

Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba

Berryhill Bill Helping Disabled Veterans Signed into Law

Sacramento, CA (MPG) – Governor Jerry Brown on Monday, September 25, signed into law a bill by Sen. Tom Berryhill of Modesto that will help disabled veterans in California ease their disability-related burdens.

SB 330 – which was approved unanimously in both chambers of the Legislature last month – will ease construction costs for disabled veterans by allowing local governments to waive or reduce building permit fees for home improvements related to veterans’ service-connected disabilities.

“Everything we have is due to the bravery and sacrifices of these amazing men and women, who serve selflessly so that we may be safe,” Berryhill said on Monday. “This is really good policy and I’m very grateful for the support of Governor Brown and my colleagues in the Legislature.”

The measure is supported by the California Building Industry Association, the American G.I. Forum of California, the American Legion-Department of California, the AMVETS-Department of California, the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers, the California State Commanders Veterans Council, the Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters and the Vietnam Veterans of America-California State Council.

Senator Berryhill represents Rancho Cordova and the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and parts of Fresno, Madera, Sacramento and Tulare.

Source: The Office of Senator Berryhill

Tunnels in the West Coast’s Greatest Estuary is Not the Solution to California’s Water Problem

Commentary by Ken Cooley

As California’s population grows and climate dynamics extend periods of drought, supplying water to Californians has become increasingly challenging. Much of California’s water supply passes through the Sacramento−San Joaquin River Delta estuary, and Governor Brown’s proposed solution to divert water from this critical estuary threatens its health and has been controversial − receiving criticism from activists, environmentalists and economists alike.

The “WaterFix” proposal includes the construction of two tunnels (40 feet in diameter and 35 miles long) underneath the Sacramento−San Joaquin River Delta.  The Delta is the largest estuary on the west coast of North and South America and home to multiple species on the brink of extinction, including winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, delta and longfin smelt, and green sturgeon. It is vital to the Pacific Coast Flyway through which innumerable species of birds migrate.

“We must find a climate resilient solution to providing Californians with a reliable supply of water. That solution shouldn’t rely on the fragile Sacramento−San Joaquin River Delta estuary – a habitat critical for the survival of multiple endangered species and a cherished part of California’s heritage,” said Assemblyman Ken Cooley.

At least 58 groups opposing the tunnels have sued the state arguing the WaterFix project violates state environmental laws.  Litigating groups include those whose livelihoods depend on fishing, several Sacramento area water agencies, surrounding cities, and San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo counties.

Environmental issues aside, the project is on shaky ground economically. The estimated $17 billion price tag of WaterFix was calculated without taking into account interest repayment and is based on the assumption that agricultural districts (some of which are specifically exempt from paying for the tunnels) will pay for 45% of the project without any subsidies from urban ratepayers or state taxpayers.

Large cracks in these assumptions are showing themselves and efforts to pass costs on to ratepayers and taxpayers are already ongoing. According to an audit released this month by the US Department of the Interior’s inspector general, $50 million in taxpayer funds were used improperly to subsidize the San Joaquin Irrigation District for their part in helping plan WaterFix – despite insistence from the Brown administration that no tax dollars would finance the controversial tunnels.

On September 19, officials from the Westlands Water District (who supply water to Fresno and Kings county farmers) defeated an alternate funding plan pitched by one of the state’s largest farming groups. The plan would have included raising funds from water districts in more urban areas, including the greater Sacramento area. Not only is this contrary to the promise that urban ratepayers would not subsidize WaterFix, but would have put Sacramento ratepayers in a position where they would be paying to dredge their local estuary and pump the area’s water supply to other parts of the state.

All Californians deserve access to clean and reliable drinking water. Unfortunately, the proposed WaterFix project is not the right solution for all Californians. Instead, the state should consider other viable alternatives including water storage, recycling and conservation – that can work for all communities in California and wouldn’t rely as heavily on the largest estuary in the state.

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit http://asmdc.org/members/a08/

Trump Wants States to Pay More for Infrastructure

Commentary by Harold Pease, Ph. D

President Donald Trump has promised to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure but he wants to leverage this money to provide the extra provided by states and cities to make their project possible, not pay the whole thing.  This way he gets the most bang for the federal buck.  Whether Trump understands the Constitution or not it leaves infrastructure to the states and cities, he seems to be working toward that end, at least having them pay much more for such, but he is likely to get resistance because they are used to handouts.

Three reasons justify this position.   Residents are the primary users of what is built, thus should sustain its cost.  Infrastructure, or anything like it, is not listed in Article I, Section 8 as a function of the federal government, nor has it been added by way of amendment to the Constitution, and thus, is entirely a state, county and city function.  Finally, the federal government is over $20 trillion in debt, a debt that cannot be paid in a lifetime and even then not without quantitative easement of the currency, the process of inflating existing money.

Of course, the argument that the nation has been funding infrastructure for well over a century beginning with the transcontinental railroads after the Civil War, then the numerous construction projects of the Franklin Roosevelt era, then to the interstate freeways under Dwight D. Eisenhower, is a powerful argument.  Still, going off the Constitution just once in 1869 to help the Union and Central Pacific Railroads complete the first transcontinental railroad justified going off it two more times the next twenty years for other transcontinental railroads expecting the same benefits.  Every special interest group makes its case based upon what was given others.  For this reason it is almost impossible to cease giving once started and get back to the Constitution.

When railroad tycoons realized that they could get the federal government to help pay for such, ensuring greater profits for them, other tycoons sought and expected the same benefits.  James J. Hill of the Great Northern Railroad crossed the continent without federal help, because he did not want federal control, proving that, sooner or later, it could be done without federal help and damage to the Constitution.

All of the vast federal infrastructure projects of the 1930’s were also not constitutionally based.  The federal government had no authority to finance infrastructure projects or job creation.  Many also question whether these were absolutely necessary for economic survival.  Others, including myself, believe that they prolonged the Great Depression to 12 years, instead of the usual two to three years, and that it was World War II that ended the Depression, not anything that Franklin Roosevelt did.

Federal job creation, formerly left entirely to the private sector, is now expected by voters as is a forced retirement plan called social security.  Two new amendments to the Constitution would have authorized these drastic changes in the distribution of power and in authorizing such, but no amendments were even sought.  We have had extensive national debt since.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, presumably troubled by the stark constitutional departures of his two predecessors, based his extensive interstate freeway infrastructure project on national security.  Why not make landing strips for military planes everywhere available by merely, when needed, closing down a section of the freeway to public travel?  It has never been used for such.

It was a brilliant stretch of the Constitution but national defense is at least a federal government responsibility as it is empowered “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”  Still, given the cost and that its primary function was to promote interstate travel thus, in practice had very little to do with national security, Constitutionalists would have had us seek other ways of accomplishing the landing of jets, as for example, at military air bases and, in a real emergency, commercial airports.

Some have defended these huge constitutional departures by referring to interstate commerce.  The Constitution reads, “The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce … among the several States.”  Under the original interpretation, commerce among the states did not begin until goods commenced their final movement from their state of origin to that of their destination.  It was to ensure that states did not impede commerce, the movement of things, by regulation.  This had been a problem necessitating the Constitutional Convention.  Who had authority at the border, more especially when the border was a river moving commerce, as the Potomac between Maryland and Virginia?  But there was never authority given to create the river or the road?  Like postal delivery another itemized federal power, commerce would use existing roads.

Now the states are addicted to federal handouts.  Rather than raise state taxes to fund even big projects, often referred to as TIGER grants, to which they have become accustomed, they do not mind federal slavery as long as the feds do not dry up their federal teat. Fifty years ago they would have resisted losing their independence from the federal government.  Now dependent they are likely to resist Trump’s measure to be otherwise.  Trump wants to stretch federal dollars to provide the extra percent to put the project over the top.

Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.

90% of Native Americans OK with Washington Redskins name

GOPUSA – A poll in the Washington Post has found that nine out of 10 Native Americans are not offended by the Washington Redskins name.

The poll surveyed 504 people who identified as Native American in every state in the US, and reflects the findings of a similar poll in 2004. Washington’s NFL team has been under pressure for some time over its name, which many say is offensive. The survey also asked respondents whether the word “Redskin” itself is disrespectful: 21% said it is.

Washington’s owner, Dan Snyder, has long resisted calls to change the team’s name, and said the poll backed up his stance.

“The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride,” said Snyder in a statement. “Today’s Washington Post polling shows Native Americans agree. We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name.”

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Target Sues Hero

Sons of Liberty – Target stocks plunged $2.5 Billion in just 10 days once word got out about the company’s pandering to less than half a percent of the population, which would open up bathrooms to those of the opposite gender. The stocks continue to fall and are at almost a $20 loss per share, but that isn’t stopping the retail company from suing one of their own customers who saved another shopper from a stabbing attack.

Breitbart reported on a 2013 event in which Michael Turner grabbed a baseball bat and used it to chase of an attacker and save the life of a young woman who was being attacked in a Target store. Instead of offering praise or award for Mr. Turner, the store has chosen instead to sue him for endangering other customers in the store with the bat. No, this is not satire.

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Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick: We’ll Give Up Federal Funds Over LGBT Policy

NewsMax – Texas’ lieutenant governor said Friday that the state is prepared to forfeit billions of federal dollars in public school funding in defiance of an Obama administration directive requiring schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
The new directive is expected to worsen tensions between Republican-led statehouses and the federal government over divisive social issues. It clarifies expectations for districts receiving federal school funds, which Texas’ powerful Republican lieutenant governor argues the state’s 5.2 million public school students can now do without.
“We will not be blackmailed by the president’s 30 pieces of silver,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said. “The people of Texas and the Legislature will find a way to find as much of that money as we can if we are forced to.”

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Congressman: It’s Easy ‘To Manipulate A Nation Of Naive, Self-Absorbed Sheep’

Sons of Liberty – You may not believe the incredible things that one member of Congress is saying about the corruption of our political system and the gullibility of the American people.  In a brand new book entitled “The Confessions of Congressman X“, one anonymous member of the U.S. House of Representatives confesses that he hardly ever reads the bills that he votes on, that his main job is to get reelected, and that it is “far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification”.

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Obama Issues Decree to Schools: Transgenders Use Bathrooms of Their Perceived Identity or Else

Sons of Liberty –
If there is any doubt in any American’s mind that Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Soebarkah believes himself to be the Dictator of the United States, the latest and most egregious “decree” to every public school system in America should remove all doubt. This administration is sending a letter to every public school district in the nation–a letter proclaiming that schools are required to allow students to use whichever restroom corresponds to their perceived “gender identity” or face a federal lawsuit and with-holding of federal money. The letter, sent jointly by the Department of [Un]Education and the Department of [In]Justice, went out on Friday, ordering by executive decree the change and not any law, rule, or pseudo-law in the form of regulations.
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Stoned Drivers Are Killing More and More Innocent Victims

By Cully Stimson – The Heritage Foundation

 

Blake Gaston, 23, killed while riding his motorcycle in Seattle. He played the piano, guitar, drums, wrote music, and developed websites.

Elizabeth Kemble, 46, was killed by a car while walking across the street in Portland, Ore. She previously survived three kidney transplants, and dedicated her life to helping dialysis patients and hungry seniors.

Debra Majkut, 34, mother of two, killed while sitting on her couch with three children when a car smashed into her house.

And the list goes on and on.

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UNC Students Fight Back Against Obama Administration Bathroom Lawsuit

The Daily Signal – A group of students at the University of North Carolina are fighting back against the Obama administration’s civil rights lawsuit against the state this week by filing a lawsuit of their own, alleging that the federal government is forcing them to choose between their educational pursuits and personal privacy.

“Our clients, the students, are between the proverbial rock and a hard place,” Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the students in their case, told The Daily Signal. “They could lose their funding, they could have neutral restrooms and locker rooms—there’s really only two ways this could go and both of them violate their rights.”

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