Special Interest Corruption

Penalty Assessment Fees Report

Penalty Assessment Fees Report

Investigating the relationship between stressed public finances and rising misdemeanor fines and penalties By Reiss Becker, David Vasquez, Zane Zovak   BACKGROUND California Policy Center analysts have documented the state’s collapsing public finances over the past few decades – not just the rising level of public debt, but the subsequent effects of crumbling infrastructure, slashed government...

By California Policy Center

Public Sector Unions – The Other Deep State

Public Sector Unions – The Other Deep State

When government fails, public-sector unions win. When society fragments, public-sector unions consolidate their power. When citizenship itself becomes less meaningful, and the benefits of American citizenship wither, government unions offer an exclusive solidarity. Government unions insulate their members from the challenges facing ordinary private citizens. On every major issue of our time; globalization, immigration, climate...

By Edward Ring

The perilous state of Santa Ana schools

The perilous state of Santa Ana schools

Class conflict: Santa Ana schools are spending more and more on fewer students. (U.S. Air Force file photo) School officials in California’s sixth-largest school district are working overtime to promote a massive $1.2 billion bond tentatively scheduled for a districtwide vote in November. Yet behind their chatter about improving Santa Ana Unified facilities is a...

By Kelly McGee

CalPERS board’s antics highlight political nature of nation’s largest pension fund

CalPERS board’s antics highlight political nature of nation’s largest pension fund

Sacramento — In its argument in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus case, which challenges the right of unions to collect union dues for collective-bargaining purposes, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees argues that collective bargaining is not inherently political. But the plaintiff Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee, argues that everything a...

By Steven Greenhut

Under guise of ‘affordable housing,’ abusive agencies might be making a comeback

Under guise of ‘affordable housing,’ abusive agencies might be making a comeback

Sacramento – In the seven years since Gov. Jerry Brown shut down California’s redevelopment agencies, their defenders have managed to resuscitate their image. Never mind that these controversial agencies ladled out corporate welfare, wantonly abused eminent domain on behalf of developers and diverted $5 billion annually from public services. A new bill would bring them...

By Steven Greenhut

Permanent Water Rationing is Coming to California

Permanent Water Rationing is Coming to California

Have you experienced water faucets that spray tiny jets of water onto your hands? You know, those eight tiny jets of water, each about 1.0 millimeter in diameter, that are emitted with so much pressure that the paltry quantity of water bounces off your skin before you can get it wet enough to apply soap,...

By Edward Ring

How Can Local Officials Prepare for the Upcoming Janus vs AFSCME Ruling?

How Can Local Officials Prepare for the Upcoming Janus vs AFSCME Ruling?

“A public employer shall provide all public employees an orientation and shall permit the exclusive representative, if applicable, to participate.” – Excerpt from California State Assembly Bill AB 52, December 2016 In plain English, AB 52 requires every local government agency in California to bring union representatives into contact with every new hire, to “allow...

By Edward Ring

What if California’s Government Never Unionized?

What if California’s Government Never Unionized?

A story that still makes the rounds in Sacramento is that Governor Jerry Brown, speaking off-the-record to a group of business leaders back around 2009, admitted that the worst political decision of his life was signing legislation to permit public employees to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Whether or not Governor Brown actually...

By Edward Ring

The Biggest Dupes in the History of the World

The Biggest Dupes in the History of the World

Last week the California Policy Center released a new study that compared the average full-career government pension to the average annual earnings of a full-time private sector worker. Not surprisingly, at least for anyone paying attention, ex-government workers make 26% more than people make in the private sector who are still working. The average government...

By Edward Ring

California is world-leader in traffic; Caltrans engineers get raises

California is world-leader in traffic; Caltrans engineers get raises

Gov. Jerry Brown has often expressed his vision of California as America’s – maybe the world’s – leader in technology, climate change, anti-smoking campaigns, environmental protection, health care for the poor. But California is inarguably the leader in one category: Two California cities are among the world’s worst for traffic congestion. Los Angeles ranked No....

By Edmund Pine

Does Berkeley’s Teachers Union Support Free Speech to Suppress Free Speech?

Does Berkeley’s Teachers Union Support Free Speech to Suppress Free Speech?

“There is no free speech for fascists. They do not have the right to organize for genocide.” –  Yvette Felarca, as reported by Frances Dinkelspiel writing for Berkeleyside, Nov. 2, 2016 Most anyone who follows current events is familiar with the riots at UC Berkeley that stopped a planned February 1st appearance by Breitbart editor and...

By Edward Ring

Rude and Loud Minority Seeks to Stifle Open Democratic Discourse

Rude and Loud Minority Seeks to Stifle Open Democratic Discourse

Whether one is speaking of First Amendment-protected speech on university and college campuses or efforts of elected congressional representatives to conduct dialogues with their constituents, America has become messy indeed. While we weren’t looking, groups were organizing to take away our most fundamental civil liberties. Organized and paid political activists mingle among honest citizens seeking...

By Hector Barajas

Questions for Someone Who Supports Superior Benefits for Government Workers

Questions for Someone Who Supports Superior Benefits for Government Workers

“Without disputing the figures, Monique Morrissey, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., said the findings are misleading because they do not compare specific classes of employees or account for differences in education levels and total hours worked.” California Is Golden State For Public Employees, by Michael Carroll, AMI Newswire, Jan. 31,...

By Edward Ring