Entries by Jon Coupal

California Fair Political Practices Commission Cracks Down on Illegal Political Expenditures

Over the last several years, this column has exposed multiple instances of government entities using taxpayer dollars for political advocacy, a practice that is illegal under both state and federal law.  Because progress in stopping these violations has been difficult, taxpayers will be pleased to hear that on December 20th, California’s campaign watchdog agency, the […]

Looming Decision on “California Rule” Will Dramatically Affect Pension Reform Efforts

On its surface, the case heard last Wednesday by the California Supreme Court in CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS doesn’t seem that important. At issue is the so-called “California Rule,” an obscure legal doctrine relating to public employee pensions. But for California’s beleaguered taxpayers, the case is one of extraordinary importance because its outcome will […]

The FPPC Finally Charges a Government Agency with Illegal Political Advocacy

This column has, over the last several years, exposed multiple examples of government entities using taxpayer dollars for political advocacy, a practice that is clearly illegal under both state and federal law.  The free speech clauses of the federal and state Constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or […]

California is not creating jobs fast enough to support tax increases for pensions

On a superficial level, things look pretty good in California. Sure, we have big problems with wildfires and other periodic disasters, but the state’s finances have made a strong recovery since the depths of the recession. Indeed, Gov. Brown has repeatedly touted the multi-billion-dollar surplus and the state’s balanced budget. But objective assessments from government […]

Government Unions Run Sacramento

June 6 marks the 40th anniversary of voters’ overwhelming approval of Proposition 13, which has been protecting all California taxpayers ever since. Some people mistakenly think Prop. 13 protects only homeowners, because it cut the property tax rate statewide to 1 percent and put a stop to uncontrolled increases in assessed value. But it did […]

What Janus v. AFSCME could mean for California

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court will hear the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. For California taxpayers, the potential impact is huge. The issue is straightforward: Does public-sector unionism violate the First Amendment rights of workers who do not want to join a union? The […]

Local Governments Rigging Elections – Again

With all the state and local taxes on the November ballot, one would think that government at all levels in California was starved for revenue. But even a cursory review of the Golden State’s “tax machine” reveals that the tax burden is already too heavy for many to bear. California has the highest income rate […]

Proposition 13 Is Safe — For Another Few Weeks

The Legislature is in adjournment, and with lawmakers at home campaigning for reelection, they are unable to engage in their favorite pastime of undermining Proposition 13 and its protections for California taxpayers. However, this time out is only a brief respite from the Sacramento politicians’ inexorable pursuit of taxpayers’ wallets, the ferocity of which matches […]