Enough Already!

scared-on-the-slide[1]It’s been an election roller-coaster ride lately in California.

Last June’s mid-term election: UP! Voters in both San Jose and San Diego overwhelmingly passed ballot measures to limit the cost explosions going on with public employee pensions.

Last November’s general election: DOWN! Two tax measures passed, meaningful reform died and the Democrats swept every state-wide office and seized super-majorities in both the Senate and Assembly.

Tuesday’s LA municipal elections: UP AGAIN! Sure, the GOP candidate for mayor only got 16.6 percent of the vote, missing the run-off by – yikes! – 13 points. And sure, a “cost neutral” change to police and fire pension paperwork-shuffling passed. (Time will tell if it is really cost-neutral.)

EnoughOvershadowing those votes was the dismal, high-profile failure of Proposition A, which would have imposed a permanent one-half cent sales tax increase to fund the continuation of Los Angeles’ exorbitant “business as usual” big government money-squandering.

Had it passed, LA’s sales tax would have been 9.5 percent, one of the highest in the nation.

Here’s the list of would-be recipients of A’s largess: 911 emergency response services; firefighters, paramedics, and police officers (by protecting current staffing levels); community policing; senior services; after-school gang and drug prevention programs, and pothole and sidewalk repairs. LA voters decided it wasn’t worth it, and it failed by a whopping 55/45 margin – blowout numbers! – even though big government advocates like SEIU and the police and fire unions wasted $1.3 million trying to pass it.

It’s looking increasingly like November’s Prop 30 tax  hike is being seen by voters as the last tax they want to pass. When you consider that 66% of LA voters voted for Prop 30 and 55% voted against A, the shift in opinion in just four months is impressive testimony in support of the position that in even liberal LA, voters have had enough of higher taxes.

Watch Out, LA! Here Comes Solis

Hilda Solis made good news and bad news today.

The good news: The left-leaning LA native is stepping down as President Obama’s Labor Secretary.

The bad news: She wants a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Los Angeles has plenty to show for the leadership of its longstanding left-leaning Democrat majority. Its water and sewer infrastructure are in disrepair and its roads are a nightmare. It is chock-full of social welfare recipients and works diligently to expand their numbers. It has over-promised its employees, is under-serving its citizens and has over-spent its way into debt.

Count on Solis to make things even worse.  Are you not familiar with her? Then you haven’t read Crazifornia. Here’s what I wrote about her:

To understand how California’s PEER axis [Progressives, Environmentalists, Educators and Reporters] helps to drive the Progressive agenda nationally, look no further than Hilda Solis, President Obama’s secretary of labor.  Solis, who grew up in an East Los Angeles union household, is the proud holder of a 99 percent “liberal quotient” from Americans for Democratic Action and a two percent “conservative quotient” from the American Conservative Union from her time in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009.

She graduated from La Puente High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, then went on to California Polytechnic University under California’s progressive Educational Opportunity Program.  There, she prepared for public sector work with a political science degree, then moved on to the University of Southern California, where she picked up the degree coveted by all feeders at the public trough: a Masters in Public Administration.

Solis has never spent a working moment in the private sector.  Instead, she worked first with another program for disadvantaged students wanting to go to college – California apparently needs at least two such programs – before winning her first elected position, on a college district board.  Her subsequent legislative career, first in California, then in Washington, reads like a Progressive’s check list:  pro-illegal immigrant, pro-union, pro-regulation, pro-abortion, anti-business and anti-gun.  No wonder she caught Nancy Pelosi’s eye and became vice chair of the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee, then caught Obama’s eye as he looked for someone to fill his last remaining cabinet seat, Secretary of Labor.

Some of the first rumors of her appointment to the cabinet came from the Communist Party USA’s People’s Weekly World, which may not be surprising, since the party had backed Solis when she first ran for Congress in 2000.   The Red rag reported that Solis’ name was put forward by Service Employees International Union president Andrew Stern, which explains why the nomination was seen as a big win for unions and evidence of pro-union things to come from the Obama administration.

Republicans held the nomination up for months, in part because she was not forthcoming in her answers about her support of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have reduced free choice in union elections by eliminating secret ballots. The nomination was also slowed because she was caught in the same net as so many Obama nominees: failure to pay taxes.  In Solis’ case, it was her husband who didn’t pay. But the revelation still was damaging, and the cause of more than a little political lampooning.  …

Solis’ nomination finally made it through the Senate. Since then, she’s extended unemployment benefits, added 250 investigators to the department’s Wage and Hour Division and directed them to crack down on what few employers in the country still have employees, loosened restrictions on “immigrant labor” put in place by President Bush and issued the largest OSHA fine in U.S. history. The Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S. affiliate of Socialists International, is pleased as Red punch by Solis, writing in 2010:

Those who voted for “change you can believe in” in 2008 have found many reasons since Obama’s inauguration to be disappointed with the new White House. But there have been some bright spots in the administration’s first year as well—positive steps that illustrate the difference that a progressive-minded administration can make when it stands up to corporate interests and is unafraid to act in the public good. One well worth acknowledging … is the work of the Department of Labor under Secretary Hilda Solis.


If you live in Los Angeles and want to put a stop to its skid into unlivability, I suggest you go with ABS: Anyone But Solis.

LA: Starting a “Chalk-pocalypse?”

Despite all the odds, it looks like Los Angeles has pushed itself to the top of the heap once again.

Yup. The City of Angels is leading the nation … in arrests for writing on public spaces in chalk. In fact, it’s become the tip of the spear in a growing nationwide confrontation between “chalkers” and law enforcement officials determined to erase the rising tide of chalking.

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

According to a Mother Jones article forwarded me by my incredible daughter (Yes, I do have questions about why my daughter is reading Mother Jones), Occupy LA is the instigator of law enforcement’s new-found interest in chalking:

The war on chalk’s most active front as of late has been Los Angeles, where police have arrested numerous chalk-wielding Occupy LA members on vandalism charges. Last month, the occupiers fought back during the city’s popular Art Walk by staging their own Chalk Walk, decorating walls and sidewalks with slogans such as “Arrest corrupt bankers, not chalkers” and “When chalking is a crime, only criminals will play hopscotch.”

Nice rhetoric, that, but rest assured that the law enforcement community isn’t going around cuffing little girls who play hopscotch:

I asked if this meant that children could be arrested for making hopscotch courses. “The children in your scenario would not be committing a misdemeanor because they have no malicious intent,” [DA spokesperson Frank] Mateljian replied. “Therefore, they would not be arrested.”

Occupy is malicious to its core, but really, expending police manpower to contain periodic incidents of unwanted exposure to chalk? Recently, one no doubt perfectly reasonable Occupier attracted a couple cops and was arrested for chalking one word – Crooks – next to a Citibank logo. This is a good use of the city’s plunging bank account balances?

It also looks like California’s leadership in exporting left-wing laws, policies and social movements to the rest of America also has been reinforced by chalking.  “The recent chalk arrests might just be a warmup for a chalk-pocalypse at the upcoming Democratic and Republican national conventions,” writes Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson.  Like it or not, California is headed your way.