Auditions for California Governor Are Officially Open

With little fanfare, the third attempt to recall Governor Newsom got underway on June 10th. Proponents have until November 17th to gather 2.0 million signed petitions, in order for 1.4 million of them to withstand verification and qualify the recall for a special election in early 2021.

There isn’t a seasoned political professional anywhere who takes this effort seriously, because without millions of dollars to pay signature gatherers, state ballot initiatives never qualify. But this season could be different.

Skeptics should consider just two questions: Are there more than 2.0 million California voters who would sign a recall petition, and if so, can the recall campaign find 2.0 million voters in California willing and able to sign a recall petition?

The answer to the first question is undoubtedly yes. There aren’t just 2.0 million California voters willing to sign a recall petition, there are at least twice that many. So why can’t they be found? To this, the answer is unequivocal. They can. And it doesn’t require millions of dollars any more. It requires a grassroots army, a technology platform to facilitate signature gathering, and publicity. And the grassroots army is already formed.

Behind this latest effort to recall Newsom there is an organization with tens of thousands of volunteer activists spread all over the state, with most of them already trained from the earlier recall efforts. The lead proponent, Orrin Heatlie, is a retired police sergeant who has, with extraordinary determination, built a good management team around him and […] Read More

Firefighting in Orange County – Part Two, Building An Independent Fire Dept

On July 1 the City of Placentia will begin to operate a fire department independent of the Orange County Fire Authority. The motivation for the Placentia’s City Council to take this step was to provide equal or greater service at a lower cost. In this report, those cost savings will be summarized. The figures cited in this report were gathered using 2018 payroll data provided to the state controller, budget documents available from the City of Placentia, as well as via numerous conversations with local elected officials, city staff, and outside consultants familiar with the project.

Providing these estimated savings in a format detailed enough to be useful, yet brief enough to be readily absorbed by policymakers and interested observers, required use of assumptions and projections which are open to interpretation. This is freely acknowledged, and readers are invited to offer alternative interpretations as well as any information that may have been incorrect or overlooked. Taking all of that into account, however, it appears clear that Placentia will save significantly over the next several years by forming an independent fire department.

The first step in understanding how much Placentia will save is to consider what Placentia was paying to the Orange County Fire Authority in the most recent fiscal year which ends this June 30. In the first chart, below, these costs are estimated. The first set of rows shows the average annual pay in 2018, by category of pay, for OCFA’s four primary operating positions. How these pay averages […] Read More

All Livelihoods Matter

When examining the challenges facing the black community in America, the conservative response – if they have any courage at all, that is – is to attack the policies that Democrats have implemented supposedly to help blacks. This is a valid response, which can be summarized as follows:

Increased spending in public schools is futile because Democrats have taken away the ability to discipline disruptive students, and the teachers union has monopolized public education. For example, instead of being fired, thanks to these unions, bad teachers end up teaching in low income communities. Public education is a disaster in black communities.

Welfare spending has taken away the necessity for households to have a male breadwinner, and hence, a male role model and authority figure. This has disproportionately impacted black families because a higher percentage of them collect welfare and other entitlements. Two thirds of black children are growing up in single parent households.

There are other reasons conservatives may cite, centering around the theme of personal and community accountability. Why aren’t more black conservatives stepping up and demanding school choice, family values, and a collective rejection of gang culture? And why isn’t the media elevating those black conservatives who do speak out, instead of pointing the cameras at the same old Sharptonesque hacks, year after year?

These responses explain a lot, and deserve to be heard, but there’s another factor at work affecting black lives in America, and it’s also mostly the fault of Democrats.

The […] Read More

California Pushes the Frontiers of Woke

“Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations. The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today. It will be removed.” —Official statement from the California State Legislature, June 16, 2020

And just like that, the legislative leaders of California’s one-party state are going to remove an inspiring symbol of exploration, discovery, and courage, as well as a beautiful work of art.

Calls to the Capitol have confirmed that California’s legislators have no idea, of course, what may replace the statue of Columbus and Queen Isabella, which, for now, still sits in the exact center of the State Capitol rotunda. Expect something that pleases everyone and no one, some bland and mediocre product of a committee whose primary qualifications will be the “diversity” of the members.

Also this week Sutter Health removed a statue of California Pioneer John Sutter from one of their medical campuses. Will they also change the name of their corporation? Surely if a statue of John Sutter is unacceptable, the name “Sutter Health” is also unacceptable. As one of the agitators for the statue’s removal said, “He’s a racist, he’s a murderer, and he enslaved thousands of Native Americans.” This act generated less controversy in California—who reads history anymore?—than it did in Sutter’s native Switzerland.

All this hate. Such an exaggerated, negative interpretation of history. Christopher Columbus and […] Read More

Firefighting in Orange County – Part One, Firefighter Pay and Benefits

In June 2019 the City of Placentia, in a 3-1 council vote, decided to leave the Orange County Fire Authority and build their own fire department. The reasons for this decision, and the means to accomplish it, will be explored in greater detail in a follow up article. But the decision came down to this: a majority of members of the city council believed that they could build a fire department of equal or greater effectiveness, at an equal or lessor cost.

The consequences of this decision are significant. How Placentia manages their independent fire department could inspire other cities currently being served by OCFA to withdraw from their contracts and also build their own fire departments. Placentia’s experience may also inspire cities in Orange County that already have independent fire departments to renegotiate the terms of the collective bargaining agreements they’ve made with their firefighter unions.

The Orange County Fire Authority, or OCFA, originally served the cities of Cypress, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Placentia, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda, along with unincorporated areas of Orange County. Since then, new cities have incorporated, and existing cities have decided to choose OCFA services over managing their own fire department. These additional client cities are Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Dana Point, Garden Grove, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.

So how […] Read More

The “Seattle Autonomous Zone” is Coming to America

Over the past week, protesters have established the “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) in an area encompassing roughly 10 square blocks and 500 local residents. Less than one mile northeast of the downtown core, the enclave includes an 8 acre park, easily big enough to encamp hundreds of activists.

The fate of CHAZ is uncertain, but with a sympathetic mayor, a sympathetic governor, and funds pouring in from enthralled leftist supporters all over America, it is possible this experiment will linger for a long time, relatively undisturbed by reality. If you happen to live in CHAZ, a place that was up until June 8, merely a hardcore liberal precinct of a hardcore liberal city, buckle up.

If the consequences of leftist activism were confined to isolated enclaves sprinkled across a handful of Blue cities in Blue states, apart from the existential disruption these “autonomous zones” would impart to those residents who were unsympathetic to the invasion and occupation of their neighborhoods, America would survive. But “CHAZ” is just the tip of the leftist spear. It is part of something much bigger, and far more dangerous.

Seattle’s Capital Hill Autonomous Zone is an extreme caricature of what the mainstream Left is slowly institutionalizing across America. The project is most advanced on the Blue West Coast, but is rapidly proceeding through Blue cities and states everywhere. Moreover, because Republicans barely recognize the phenomenon, or what is at stake, much less have alternatives, the project is stealthily creeping into Red […] Read More

The Destruction of the Upper Klamath River Economy

Ever since the heinous killing of an unarmed black man by four rogue police on May 25, protests and riots have consumed America’s cities. These mass protests have mobilized millions of so-called progressives, incited to destructive fury by well organized provocateurs. The groups behind this extremism are well known, as is the leftist and anarchist ideologies that propel them. But there is another movement growing in the United States.

Either neglected or misrepresented by the media as right-wing extremism, this movement has its heart across rural America, but increasingly makes common cause with every beleaguered business owner or overtaxed household in America’s cities. There is nothing extremist about this movement. It is founded in common sense, a desire for justice and equal treatment. As millions of productive Americans find it harder than ever to survive the onslaught of progressive government policies, the movement grows.

The biggest political wild card in American politics today is which of these groups, productive citizens of rural areas and their urban counterparts, or urban progressives, will claim the ultimate allegiance of undecided voters. It is convenient that climate activists wish to depopulate rural areas and concentrate Americans into dense urban cores. Because the more predominant the urban vote becomes in elections, the less likely the average voter will understand what’s happening in rural America.

Using regulations pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and countless other laws and regulations including an exploding body of new regulations designed to […] Read More

Ban Police Union Money in Politics, or Ban ALL Public Union Money in Politics?

“Before we give someone a gun, uniform, badge and the power to put handcuffs on someone’s wrist, we need make sure they are the best and the brightest…police unions are making it impossible.” – Chesa Boudin, San Francisco District Attorney, on The Appeal, June 5, 2020

It is hard to imagine a public figure whose ideology is more toxic to the future of California and America than Chesa Boudin. But politics can make for strange bedfellows.

Chesa Boudin epitomizes San Francisco’s failure as a city and, increasingly, California’s failures as a state. Boudin is part of a political movement that has created criminal friendly cities, where thieves and drug addicts cannot be arrested and prosecuted, where cash bail is about to be abolished, where citizens are slowly being denied the means to protect themselves.

The policy agenda promoted by politicians like Chesa Boudin has released tens of thousands of dangerous inmates from California’s jails and prisons. And if downgrading drug and property crimes, trying to eliminate bail, and emptying the prisons didn’t do enough to make it nearly impossible for police to keep Californians safe, the California legislature passed AB 953 which requires police to report the race and gender of every person they interact with in order to monitor possible disparate impact.

Which brings us to the issue of the day; the alleged disproportionate targeting of black people by police in America. Like so many emotional issues that are shamelessly exploited by ideologues and […] Read More

Leftists Are Destroying Black Upward Mobility, Not Racism

The rioting and looting across the United States is universally condemned. The “peaceful protests,” on the other hand, are universally praised. But is this appropriate? Wouldn’t a broader and more balanced discussion be more constructive, rather than praise without reservations?

Obviously people have the right to peacefully protest injustice, and obviously incidents of murderous police brutality are more than sufficient justification for protests. But that’s as far as it goes. The scope of these protests is disproportionate to the offense, not because it isn’t hideously wrong, but because there are far worse challenges facing black Americans. The biggest challenge of all; leftists who indoctrinate blacks to think they are victims of racism.

Debunking this narrative of racism can start with the allegation that a disproportionate number of blacks are victims of police brutality, which itself is extremely rare.

To put this into context, there are over 800,000 sworn police officers in America, authorized to make arrests and use deadly force. Over 50 million Americans have at least one encounter with a police officer per year, usually for something minor such as a traffic stop. Police make over 10 million arrests each year. On average, just over 1,000 Americans each year are killed by police, but nearly all of them were armed. In confrontations with unarmed people over the past decade, only between 50 and 100 have been shot per year by police, about the same number as police who are killed in hostile encounters per […] Read More

The Progressive Destruction of Venice Beach

Make no mistake about it, behind the lawless mentality that has informed rampages across this nation over the past week, there are progressive roots. Because these riots aren’t about what remains of racism in America, or nurtured by pugnacious tweets from President Trump. Instead the root cause of the anarchy we are seeing are decades of progressive indoctrination which has corrupted a generation.

The destruction of the Venice Beach community in Los Angeles typifies how the progressive agenda has evolved from trying to save the disadvantaged to trying to destroy those who are not disadvantaged. In the process, the progressive movement has been taken over by plutocrats and tyrants, finding personal advantage in the corrupt parody of what was once an ennobling ideology.

In just a few years, progressive power, abetted by big money and co-opted bureaucrats, has turned Venice Beach from a bohemian gem into a lawless hellhole. The streets are overran with drug addicts, drunks, sexual predators, petty (and not so petty) criminals, and psychotics.

Worst of all, Venice Beach is also overran with otherwise normal youth who have made a rational choice to go on a perpetual rampage because there is no accountability, no expectations, no law and order, and, wherever possible, the government provides them free food and shelter. While the citizens endure a COVID lockdown, the “unhoused” of Venice Beach continue to go anywhere they like, anytime they want. It’s gotten so bad that even when the lockdown eventually ends, these residents will remain besieged […] Read More