Teachers and Nurses Take Action at Yacht Club to “Save Our State From Bungling Billionaires”

A few weeks ago an agonized fundraising appeal went out from three right wing millionaires on behalf of the so-called “Californians for Reforms and Jobs, Not Taxes” campaign against Proposition 30.

Apparently business executives Floyd Kvamme, David Marquardt, and Mark Stevens had learned that Prop 30, also known as the “Protect Schools and Local Public Safety Act,” would cause the wealthiest Californians to have to part with 1 to 3% more of their enormous incomes to support public education and public safety programs.  Faced with the unnerving prospect that millions of school children might have smaller class sizes, and neighborhoods across the state might become safer places to live and work, they sprang into action.

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Earth to Right-Wing Pundits: The Green Jobs Are Here

A question that is being asked by talking heads on the right-wing yak shows lately is, “Where are all the green jobs?” Well, there is a simple answer: Those jobs are here in the Southwest, my little conservative Debbie Downers. All over Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona you will find massive solar projects with thousands of construction workers getting their first paychecks in months or, in some cases, years. There are so many solar-energy jobs helping us climb out of the absolute depression in the electrical industry that you can’t swing a Birkenstock and not hit one.

That’s right, despite their efforts to kill every single meaningful jobs bill in the House and Senate for the last four years, conservatives have failed to stop the sprouts and shoots of the new green economy.

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LA Times’ Michael Hiltzik: Prop 32 is the “Fraud to End All Frauds”

about Prop 32, and he did not pull any punches. After he described how LBJ would not appreciate the “Rich Persons and Corporations Empowerment Act of 2012,” he detailed some of the many deceptive points of this measure. But before going through that, he stops to put Prop 32 in its place in history:

“In this state, we've come to expect ballot initiatives sponsored by business interests to be, essentially, frauds. But it's hard to conceive how one could be more fraudulent than Proposition 32. If there was any doubt left that the initiative process has been totally corrupted by big business and the wealthy, this should put it to rest for all time.” (LA Times)

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Back to the Future: Preventing a Collapse in the Workers’ Compensation System

Legislators are often criticized for delayed reactions to inevitable crises. Those legislators would likely counter that only hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes it’s crystal clear that everyone should have seen a disaster coming.

For example, all involved in the California workers’ compensation debate agree that our beleaguered system is unsustainable, and employer costs will someday increase so dramatically that major, sudden reform will be necessary.  (Experts estimate that workers comp costs will grow 18% in 2012 alone). As workers, we’ve seen this movie before, and we’re painfully aware that such a rushed fix will put our benefits on the chopping block. Rather than sit around and wait for that inevitable reckoning, though, legislators this year should seize a rare opportunity to prevent such a crisis.

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A Better San Diego Coalition Hosts Community Forum to Stop Prop 32

is a coalition of community, faith, and labor groups that seeks to improve our community by addressing and demanding action on the important economic issues that face us. Friday morning, the coalition took a long look at the troubling truth behind Proposition 32.

We started the coalition specifically to address the economic issues that matter to us all, including direct attacks exactly like Proposition 32. Friday morning, our monthly breakfast discussion took an in-depth look at the threat from Prop 32 to our San Diego community and California overall. The fight will be tough, but our overflow crowd was fired up to get out and spread the word after getting the primer from a fantastic group of speakers.

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Prop 37 Solution to Walmart’s Untested, Unlabeled, Toxin Spliced Corn

As the summer winds down, family barbeques are in full swing and supermarkets are filled with shoppers searching for the right foods to grill up with friends and neighbors.

But do they really know what they’re buying? What they may not know is that Walmart has admitted it will soon start selling agrichemical giant Monsanto’s sweet corn, which has been genetically engineered with an insecticide inside it — not on the corn, but IN it.

Bt toxin works as an insecticide by disintegrating the lining of insects’ stomachs when they chomp on the corn.  So what is this doing to the bodies of adults or children who eat the corn? We don’t know.

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Proposition 32: Anti-Teamster & Anti-American

On Saturday, July 28th, over 800 Teamsters gathered at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds to kick off a massive member mobilization against Proposition 32, the “Special Exemptions Act.”  Teamsters came from as far away as Redding to Bakersfield, Salinas to Visalia – an area roughly larger than 41 states. View photos of the event here.

This followed a similar kickoff in El Monte in April which was attended by over 1,400 Southern California Teamsters.

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SB 488 a Common-Sense Bill That Prohibits Deception in Campaign Mail

Make no mistake:  It’s no coincidence that the hired gun for the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs (COPS), Kelly Moran, is actively trying to kill a great piece of campaign reform legislation SB 488.  This bill prohibits the unauthorized use of public safety logos, insignias and other identifiers on political mail pieces.

COPS rakes in MILLIONS  each election cycle through the use of fake public safety badges in its political “voter guides”, which gets sent to voters in the hopes of swaying their decisions on candidates and issues.

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A Brief Perspective: The Reagan Assault on the Middle Class

Once, the landscape was populated by private-sector types who answered a call to public service—a hybrid of liberal-minded republican men of the Nelson Rockefeller type.  With the Ronald Reagan presidency, a new type of man emerged who equated “private” to mean the “shining city on the hill”, a seemingly autonomous creation detached from its creators.  For Reagan, “public” denoted government, and government was to be dismantled at all costs.  Of course, Reagan would herald this very narrow view of government anathema to that which sought to serve ordinary people.

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Hollywood’s Back Door

A neighborhood on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin and shorthand for the movie and television industries, Hollywood had its own city charter for fewer than ten years before being annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. By joining L.A., it gained access to the water supply then beginning to flow by aqueduct from the Owens Valley 233 miles to the north.

D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplan filmed there but now, in fact, studios and related businesses are situated throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area with particular concentrations in Culver City, Burbank, the San Fernando Valley and – of course – the part of town known as Hollywood.

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