The Twelve Days of Crazifornia

“On the twelfth day of Crazifornia,
Gov. Moonbeam gave to me twelve months of craziness,
Eleven propositions
Ten UC tuition hikes,
Nine “high-speed rail links,”
Eight states’ worth of takers,
Seven-ty percent underfunded pensions,
Six billion in debt
Five fleeing comp’nies,
Four bankrupt cities,
Three falling bridges,
Two super-majorities
And a tax hike on millionaires.”

California was even crazier than this in 2012.

It looks like Guv Moonbeam re-gifted us this year. After all, we got twelve months of craziness last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year ….

I am one day late posting the twelfth of the twelve days because my wife and I are in Arizona visiting our oldest daughter, who fled California because of one of its major crazy features: unaffordable housing. In California, the cost of over-regulation adds 30 percent or more to the cost of housing, which explains why all ten of the nation’s top ten cities for regulations’ burden on housing costs are in California.

Legislators are well aware of the impact their regulations are having on the housing industry, and they know how important new home sales are to the state’s economy.  As recently as 2007, new home sales – not resale homes, just new ones – generated more dollars in sales than any other industry in the state, even more sales than all the retail sales combined.

If they would dial back the regulations, it would help they state. The Democrats in Sacramento know this. So what did they do in this crazy year? They increased the energy efficiency standards for new homes, which will add at least $1,500 to the cost of even the most modest home  – and even more in the most hard-hit parts of the state.

Crazily, California already has the nation’s most demanding home energy efficiency standards. We’re doing a great job. We can rest on our laurels and still be the best in the nation. But no, recession or not, the Legislature ratcheted up what the state demands of homebuilders.

Why? To save the world from global warming of course. Will a small incremental gain in the energy efficiency of homes in a state where new homes already are extremely energy-efficient cause global temperatures to drop? No, of course not. It will do nothing but make the state less attractive.

Here’s some more California craziness from 2012:

One-third of the nanny-state laws passed in the nation were passed by California legislators, including most famously one that would make it illegal to try to turn around gender confusion issues in children.

California became the #! Judicial Hellhole in the nation, the #1 state for outrageous pay to state workers, topped by a state psychiatrists’ “earnings” of $822,000, and the #1 state for the number of people in poverty.

During the year, school districts all over the state started obligating themselves to expensive bonds to meet their outrageous pension obligations. Schools in Poway (San Diego County), for example, took on bond debt that will cost $1 billion in order to meet pension obligations of $100 million. A school district having pension obligations of $100 million? That’s almost as crazy!

Speaking of San Diego County, San Diego sued itself over a bridge that cost twice its estimated cost.

The year also saw the state’s first carbon credits auction under its first-in-the-nation state carbon cap-and-trade program. (Less crazy states aren’t considering such a program, or have delayed them because of the recession.)  Moonbeam wanted $1 billion  from the auction but only got $289 million. Do you sense the whole campaign against carbon is more about raising state revenue than saving planets?

On and on it goes. Obviously, the craziest thing that happened all year occurred in November, when voters sized up the Democrats who are so responsible for much of the state’s crazinesses and decided to award them with a legislative super-majority.

Expect things to be even crazier in 2013.


The Great Redistricting Heist

Proposition 20, which passed in 2010, was supposed to set up a nonpartisan redistricting committee that was tasked with sorting out the gerrymandered mess of California political districts in the interest of creating a fairer system. The committee of just plain citizens was supposed to draw new lines based on input from the communities themselves, not the political parties.

As the committee set about doing its work, the California Democratic Party was already primed and ready to illegally (or at least immorally) influence the process.  The Republicans, as they do, respected authority and stood on the sidelines as they were supposed to.

The Democrats of course deny they conspired to corrupt the redistricting process, but Tuesday’s election tells a different, more truthful tale:

  • California Democrats picked up four seats in the US House of Representatives
  • Democrats gained super-majorities (2/3-plus) in the State Assembly and Senate. The exact size of the super-majorities won’t be known until the final ballots are counted and the tight races are decided, but it appears unlikely Dems will fall below 2/3 in either house.

“It Ain’t Me”

ProPublica, the independent, non-profit investigative journalism outfit, proved to me it really is nonpartisan when it broke the story of the Democrat’s shameful success last December. The lengthy expose’s title tells it all: How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission. You should read the entire article, but here’s a quick summary of the Democrat’s scam:

Democrats surreptitiously enlisted local voters, elected officials, labor unions and community groups to testify in support of [district] configurations that coincided with the party’s interests.

When they appeared before the commission, those groups identified themselves as ordinary Californians and did not disclose their ties to the party. One woman who purported to represent the Asian community of the San Gabriel Valley was actually a lobbyist who grew up in rural Idaho, and lives in Sacramento.

In one instance, party operatives invented a local group to advocate for the Democrats’ map.

Did it work? ProPublica found a memo that was written as the process was wrapping up that said, ““Every member of the Northern California Democratic Caucus has a ticket back to DC. This is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated by advocates throughout the region.”

Most acknowledge the Democrats weren’t as successful in Southern California but there were victories. One involved Orange County’s large Vietnamese community which pleaded to the Redistricting Committee for a district aligned with Little Saigon’s boundaries. That went nowhere. Instead, Little Saigon was split in half to ensure Democrat Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez would have a safe district.

Progressivism at Its Best

The scam is a classic example of negative effects of the grip of the Progressive philosophy on California, which I discuss more fully in Chapter One of Crazifornia: “How the PEER Axis (Progressives, Environmentalists, Educators and Reporters) Turned California into Crazifornia.”

Being secular and therefore fundamentally amoral, Progressives see nothing wrong in bending the rules to achieve ends they believe are better for the greater good of society. And, despite ample evidence to the contrary, Democrats believe having more Democrats in office will lead to a better California, a better America and a better world.

The ends, as Saul Alinsky so strongly postulated, justify the means.



Utter Obliteration

Twenty-two days after the midterm elections, Steve Cooley has just conceded to San Francisco left-wing DA Kamala Harris in the attorney general race, making the devastation of the California GOP complete.  With the Secretary of State no longer reporting any “close races” on her website, we now know that Dems hold every state-wide position, and every Dem incumbent running for Congress or the Legislature was re-elected.

And, of course, Prop 25 made the GOP irrelevant in the budget process, since the Dems will be able to pass whatever monstrosity they wish upon California with a simple majority.

The GOP train has officially wrecked.  Is anyone ready to stage the come-back that’s supposed to happen at this point?

A relevant bit on Harris from Wikipedia:

[C]ritics argue that San Francisco sends fewer people to jail per arrest than other counties throughout the state. The San Francisco DA’s incarceration rates are among the lowest in the entire state of California—fully 10 times lower than in San Diego County, for example. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “roughly 4 of every 100 arrests result in prison terms in San Francisco, compared with 12.8 out of 100 in Alameda County, 14.4 of 100 in Sacramento County, 21 of 100 in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, 26.6 of 100 in Fresno County, 38.7 of 100 in Los Angeles County and 41 of 100 in San Diego County.”

On the plus side, her inability or unwillingness to incarcerate dangerous felons may be just what California’s ruined prison system needs.