Entries by Will Swaim

Early Christmas for LAUSD teacher: a refund of his UTLA union dues – and an end to future deductions

This article first appeared on FlashReport.org. Just in time for Christmas, the Los Angeles teachers union gave Thomas Few some good news: a refund of $433.31 dues he paid and the union’s promise to stop taking $80 per month from his paycheck. Few said he is “elated by the victory,” but also determined to press […]

After Janus, California teachers unions teaching us a lesson in sleight-of-hand

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court abolished the 40-year practice of requiring public employees to join a union. But a day later, union leaders in California’s sixth-largest school district were hard at work – blocking the exits. In a June 28 email, Santa Ana Educators Association president Barbara Pearson urged teachers to renew membership in […]

Why can’t California lawmakers stop sexual harassment in the capitol?

You know who doesn’t look so weird anymore? Vice President Mike Pence. When Pence told the Washington Post that he doesn’t dine alone with women, and never, ever attends an event solo if alcohol will be served, many gasped. He seemed like a too-tightly wrapped antihero from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. But that was […]

In a Political Campaign, City Officials Can Spend Your Money Against You. They Call it 'Education'

This commentary appeared first in the Orange County Register. Californians going to the polls on Nov. 8 will find more than 300 measures to raise taxes. And despite multiple legal decisions limiting the practice, municipal officials in California may be paying outside consultants to run the campaign to sell you on your local tax measure. […]

Top 10: Vernon Leads California Cities with More Public Employees Than Residents

For Immediate Release October 11, 2016 California Policy Center Contact: Will Swaim Will@CalPolicyCenter.org (714) 573-2231 Vernon, California is so famous for its history of corruption that it was the municipal star of season 2 of HBO’s “True Detective” series. Now the diminutive L.A. County town can claim another achievement: Vernon is the only California city with more public employees than […]

Keep Breaking the Law: Your Government Needs the Money

My colleague Matt Smith recently observed that Huntington Beach is following the model of Ferguson, Missouri: raising fines on misdemeanors in order to generate more revenue for a cash-strapped city. The Department of Justice found that strategy was a contributing factor to rioting that followed the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson on August […]

Freedom Foundation Serves Notice in California with Union Opt-Out Ads

The Freedom Foundation – which last year expanded into Oregon after spending a quarter century fighting for free markets and limited, accountable government in neighboring Washington – will take its first formal plunge into California this week by unveiling a series of TV ads targeting unionized caregivers. Much like ads that have run successfully in […]

Gov. Brown says yes to school finance reforms inspired by CPC study

For Immediate Release August 18, 2016 California Policy Center Contact: Will Swaim Will@CalPolicyCenter.org (714) 573-2231 SACRAMENTO — It’s rare that a think-tank study produces real reform, but it happened today when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill designed to stop school officials before they recklessly spend again. Assembly Bill 2116 began one year ago with […]

The Unions’ Favorite California State Senator

Money in politics has been a recurrent theme in this election cycle. Campaign finance reform advocates, mainstream media and certain candidates have repeatedly driven home the idea that corporations and rich conservatives are biasing the political process by making big-money donations, often without disclosure. Much of the narrative – advanced by authors such as New […]

SUITABLE FOR QUOTING: Expert Responses to CalPERS' Monday, July 18 Earnings Report

For Immediate Release July 18, 2016 California Policy Center Contact: Will Swaim Will@CalPolicyCenter.org (714) 573-2231 California Policy Center Responses to Monday, July 18, 2016 Earnings Report For reporters and commentary writers, the California Policy Center can make available two public finance experts. We also offer for publication these immediate responses to the CalPERS report:   ED […]

FOR PUBLICATION: Ed Ring Response to CalPERS' disastrous 2015-16 earnings report

For Immediate Publication July 18, 2016 California Policy Center Contact: Will Swaim Will@CalPolicyCenter.org (714) 573-2231 Latest earnings report is more evidence California retirement agency will reform or die By Ed Ring | California Policy Center The officials who run California’s public-employee retirement system should have released today’s earnings report with sound effects – a flugelhorn, maybe, […]