Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Loyalty or Just Another Fact in the Era of Term Limits

I have been hearing a lot of names being bantered around as the new COS for Assemblyman Blakeslee. I was surprised to hear some and not so surprised to hear others. Some of the names mentioned have only been with their current Members for a year or so.

This leads me to the question, what has happened to loyalty in the Capitol?

I can understand the concept of leaving a Members office when he/she is in their last year or even last term. However, is it fair for someone to leave an office during the middle of the first term?

I can also understand under certain circumstances, maybe moving from the Assembly to the Senate or the Legislature to the Administration but just moving from one Assembly Member to the other does not seem fair to the first member that has invested time and confidence into that person. It is not easy for third house and community groups to identify staffers with specific Members anymore.

One specific instance that baffled me was Aaron Boone who went from being Nakinishi's Leg Director to being Sharon Runner's COS but within less than one year had left that position to take over as COS for termed-out Guy Houston.

Is this just another by-product of term limits or do staffers like Kevin Bassett, 14 years with Dave Cox, not exist anymore?

Old Time HNF Poll

I was thinking back to the old HNF polls and thought I would post a new one.

Since a lot of comments on my previous posts claim to be from Republican COS's and what they do all day I thought it would be a perfect time to get everyone's comments on the following subject:

WHO IS THE BEST ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN COS AND WHY?

I know it is a lot to ask but can we keep it clean and to the subject? Inappropriate comments will be deleted immediatly.

Real Chutzpah, but more than that.

While I am a Dem and probably disagree with her on just about everything, I like her guts! Janet seems to have some real chutzpah and will show the boys a thing or two.

That said, her candidacy and campaign doesn't seem to be only about chutzpah. Looks like she has some real support out there and is a serious contender.

In reality I know nothing about the internal Reep politics down there in the OC, but a friend of mine forwarded this to me and since I haven't seen it anywhere else I thought I'd post it. (Truth is, if I lived down there I would still support and vote for the Democrat - what can I say - I am a party girl)

You’re Cordially Invited to
Garden Grove Councilwoman Janet Nguyen’s
68th Assembly District Campaign Kick-off Fundraiser
with

Special Guest Speaker

THE HONORABLE SHARON RUNNER
Assemblywoman, 36th Assembly District
Assistant Republican Leader Assembly Caucus

at

Thursday, February 9, 2006
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Antonello Ristorante Restaurant
3800 Plaza Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Cost: $100 per person / $150 per couple

For more info, contact Valerie at cribariassoc@hotmail.com
or call (949) 939-7044
Friends of Janet Nguyen 2006, ID#1282281

Monday, January 30, 2006

Kevin Bassett vs. Julie Sauls

With two years under her belt as COS to the Assembly Republican Leader I thought I would do a little comparison between current COS Julie Sauls and former COS Kevin Bassett.

How they got there
Kevin put in his time as Dave Cox's chief advisor for many years positioning his boss to be at the right place at the right time when they pulled a coup and replaced Bill Campbell.

Julie was able to secure a job with a freshman Assemblyman who had already paved the way to a leadership position.

I would give this a tie. Yes, Kevin was much more influential in his boss becoming leader, but Julie was smart enough to latch onto a rising star and got there without having to do any work.

Relationship with staff and campaigns
Kevin always had an open door and a great relationship with staff. While his boss did not support campaigners Kevin was always available and helpful.

Julie has a kiss my ring bow before the throne policy. If you do not agree with Julie or cross her watch out. If you want a job that has to go through the Leaders office and you have not kissed the ring or if you are not on the favorite list you probably will not get it.

Winner Kevin was by far more liked and respected by staff.

Caucus
Kevin was not only COS he was in charge of Caucus operations.

Julie had those responsibilities stripped from her and additional professional managers were brought in to shape the course of Caucus operations.

I will give this one to Kevin. However, while Kevin did a good job juggling both aspects of the job the Caucus needed professional leadership.

Campaigns
In the one full cycle that Kevin was COS and thus had input into election strategy the Republicans picked up two seats.

In the cycle Julie was COS we had the worst candidate field in recent memory. The Republicans could not even find a quality candidate to run against Nicole Para, the district adjacent to her boss's seat.

Winner Kevin by far.

So to wrap this up, In my book Kevin was a much better leader. Julie should still have four more years, however if we see a repeat of last cycle Mr. McCarthy might be looking at a Committee Vice-Chair instead of the Leaders office.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jay La Suer Love Fest

I received an email directing me to this site http://ilovelasuer.blogspot.com/. I thought it was a porn site from MARVIN LUCAS so of course I checked it out.

I can't tell if it is anti or pro Jay but it is hilarious.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hacks, Flaks and Attacks

With all the traffic on this and many other blogs popular in the CA political blogosphere I am always amused at the attacks, name calling and general playground behavior that is engaged in by some.

I won't repeat the names on this and other sites that have been popular amongst the schoolyard children - but one question needs asking? Do the children even know the people that they are slamming?

Most of the names I have seen (to be fair, not only on this blog but others), are known in political circles (both Dem and Reep) as respected, intelligent, and talented professionals dedicated to their causes.

So what is the motivation of the anonymous children that attack? Is it jealousy? Is it envy? Is it just a general dissatisfaction in your own lives?

All the back and forth is just so amusing, but I am so curious?

Politics and political campaigns are rough. Every pro knows that and most of the attack victims are veteran enough to have developed a very thick skin - but some of these attacks would make even Bob Mulholland blush.

XO -

Blakeslee Looking for COS

For all of you climbers up in Sacramento, Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee is looking for a new Chief of Staff in his Capitol office. More information can be found by calling 916-319-2033.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What do Endorsements Mean or Primary Press Release Nonsense?

I received the following email today and thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone knows about this race. We are going to be receiving more and more of these and I will share them with you.

Assembly Members Jay LaSuer and
Doug LaMalfa Endorse Jim Ayres for Assembly

(San Jacinto) – Today, Assemblymen Jay LaSuer and Doug LaMalfa announced their support for Jim Ayres in his campaign for the open 65th Assembly District, joining Ray Haynes and Mark Wyland, among a host of other GOP elected officials.

“We need Jim’s drive, values, and tenacity here in Sacramento,” said Assemblyman LaMalfa. “He will be a solid vote to curb the out of control spending and bureaucratic waste that has plagued California’s government for so long.”

“I have no doubt that once elected, Jim Ayres will be a solid Conservative vote in the State Assembly,” added Jay LaSuer. “The people of the 65th District will be well served having Jim Ayres as their Assemblyman.”

Assemblymen LaSuer and LaMalfa join a growing list of Ayres supporters, including over thirty local elected Mayors, council members, Supervisors and other GOP elected officials.

In May of 2003, Jim Ayres retired with the rank of Master Sergeant after twenty-one years of service in the United State’s Air Force – service that included tours of duty in both Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Decisive Endeavor, providing support for the no-fly zone over Bosnia.

A member of the San Jacinto City Council since 1999, Jim Ayres is also immediate past Chairman of the Riverside Transit Agency – an agency with the second largest service area in the United States and a $40 million dollar operational budget.

For the period ending December 31, 2005, Jim Ayres had already raised over $400,000 in campaign funds with $309,000 in available cash on hand.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Follow Up: Maybe You Won't Get Shot in the Foot After All?

Ok boys, this follows up on a little post I wrote a week back about your Reep difficulties in OC. Hope you enjoy - kudos to Jubal over at the OC Blog the info. XOX

From the OC Blog

Councilwoman Janet Nguyen Raises Over $100,000 For 68th AD Exploratory Committee
This came over the transom today from Janet Nguyen's 68th AD Exploratory Campaign:

Garden Grove - City Councilwoman Janet Nguyen reports raising over $100,000 for her 68th Assembly District Exploratory Committee. Planned events over February expect to raise another $100,000. Nguyen also boasts over 40 endorsements from local elected officials.


See the rest at OC Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ackerman in Trouble?

I am hearing rumors down in here in LaLa land that State Senator Dick Ackerman's leadership position is in jeopardy.

Can any of you people in Sacto confirm or deny this?

Getting Off of a Sinking Ship

With the state of the Republican Caucus, especially on the Assembly side, it’s no wonder that a wisely run political consulting firm, like Meridian Pacific, would bail on their GOP Assembly Caucus account. Matt Rexroad’s rationale published in the Capitol Morning Report this morning was brilliant - reasoning that having to work closely with individual candidates "prevented us from doing some of the independent expenditure work that we wanted to do." Translation: "you’re a lost cause, there’s no helping you."

Now is this a rat jumping a sinking ship or management realizing that under Meridian Pacific little progress has been made towards gaining a majority?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Goldwater's Example and the Spirit of 1994

Anybody invoking Goldwater has my support!

By JOHN SHADEGG
January 18, 2006; Page A10

WASHINGTON -- Ten years ago, the American people put Republicans in control of the House of Representatives for the first time in more than 40 years. It was a historic achievement, made possible because we stood for the principles the American people believed in: smaller government, returning power to the states, lower taxes, greater individual freedom and -- above all -- reform.

Some Republican leaders in the House seem to have lost sight of those principles, though the American people still believe in them. Meanwhile, Americans are sick of scandals. To fully regain their confidence -- and to retain and grow the Republican majority -- we need to make a clean break with the past and return to our ideals.

Republicans promised the American people two things in 1994. First, we promised to rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Second, we promised to clean up Washington. In recent years, we have fallen short on both counts. Total federal spending has grown by 33% since 1995, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Worse, we have permitted some of the same backroom practices that flourished in the old Democrat-controlled House. Powerful members of Congress are able to insert provisions giving away millions -- even tens of millions -- of dollars in the dead of night. The recent scandals involving Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff have highlighted the problem, but this is not just a case of a few bad apples. The system itself needs structural reforms.

This has been clear for some time. I did not discover reform as an issue -- like Saul on the road to Damascus -- when I entered the majority leader race. It has been an integral part of my record, not at one time a decade ago, but constantly, year in and year out since 1994. Yesterday John Boehner wrote on this page about a proposal to reform the earmark process offered by Rep. Jeff Flake. While Mr. Boehner is suddenly talking about this idea, I was one of the first co-sponsors when it was introduced last spring.

We need sunshine in the earmark process, and an end to secret, backroom deals. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, the total number of earmarks in 2005 was nearly 14,000 -- compared with only 1,439 in 1995. Earmarked money is often spent without the oversight and consideration in the regular appropriations process, so waste, abuse or even fraud is more likely. Congress should base decisions on what is good for America, not what is good for the lobbyist friends of a few.

Every year Congress adopts a budget, and every year we exceed it. Cheats and dodges -- supplemental spending without offsets, "off budget" spending -- hide this expenditure, but it is added to our national debt, a legacy of irresponsibility to burden future generations. We are still using a budget process that dates from 1974, when Democrats ruled the House and the government was a fraction of its current size. We need reforms in our budget rules to force Congress to stay within the budget it adopts.

No elected official who takes a bribe, including a member of Congress, should get a taxpayer-funded pension. This is a reform I proposed months ago, as soon as we learned about Duke Cunningham's crimes, and it is one that others have urged for years. Who is afraid of this reform?

I grew up watching the example of Barry Goldwater, who worked closely with my father. He taught me that "a government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." That philosophy guided me when I ran for Congress in 1994. I was thrilled to be part of the Revolutionary Class of '94, and the sense of hope and mission of the early days after the American people elected a Republican majority in the House is still with me. We believed then that we could take back our government, and I believe it today.

When I ran for policy chairman last year, I said I wanted to help the leadership, and our entire Republican Conference, achieve our agenda for the American people, and I still do. I was able to reach out to all corners of our conference, and was honored to be elected without opposition.

Since then I have worked to bring the conference together by hosting a series of Unity Dinners to find consensus on the difficult issue of immigration reform. The bill we passed at the end of last year was significantly based on the progress we made.

In order to make clear my commitment to this race, and my goal of leading a reinvigorated Republican majority, I resigned from my position as policy chairman. I am proud of the work the policy committee has done, but I believe it is not appropriate to try to retain one position in our elected leadership while running for another. My campaign is based on reform, and those who claim reform should lead by example.

House Republicans differ about policy and tactics, but we stand together in our respect for this institution, our hatred of corruption, and our support for the basic principles of our party. The American people overwhelmingly support the principles we stand for. We cannot allow the current scandals to distract their attention from our substantive agenda. If we do not make a clear, public break with the recent past, there is a good chance we will lose our majority.

I do not need a poll or questionnaire to tell me what Republicans stand for. The party of Ronald Reagan exists not to expand government, but to protect the American people from government's excesses. President Reagan once said, "If you're afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again." House Republicans are ready to move again, too.

Rep. Shadegg of Arizona is a candidate for majority leader of the House of Representatives.

Monday, January 16, 2006

As Reagan said, "There you go again..." --- Shooting yourself in the Foot

So I read over at the blog California Campaigns about Reep Jim Righeimer challenging Janet Nguyen in the 68th Assembly race now that Van Tran is running for State Senate.

I don't mean to mettle in your internal affairs, but hey, my party has no shot in this seat.

Question for all you out there --- I read the OC Blog (great blog Jubal!) and FlashReport and it seems the old white guy crowd (how us dems refer to Reeps) are pushing an old white guy (Righeimer) versus a fresher face (Nguyen)?

Now don't get me wrong I love how this plays into my stereotype of you guys, but all things being equal (everyone seems to agree that both Nguyen and Righeimer are to the right of Jerry Falwell), why perpetuate the stereotypical image of Republicans that Rove and crew seems so badly to want to change?

I am curious. XO

Friday, January 13, 2006

Darrell "PLO" Issa

I just read Jason Roe's blog on FlashReport that Rep. Darrell "PLO" Issa is considering a run for Republican Policy Committee Chair. For those of you elephants with short memories, you may remember that Darrell Issa has made apologist statements regarding Yasser Arafat, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations. In fact, Mr. Issa even met with PLO Terrorist Yasser Arafat a few years back.

Now as a Dem, I couldn't care less about your internal Reep workings except when it relates to such an important matter and you guys are in fact in charge in D.C.

The prospect of having such an Anti-Israel congressman running the GOP Policy apparatus is frightening, especially at this tenuous time in history. I hope AIPAC speaks out strongly against this potential move.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Red Meat to the Wolves

So, unless you were asleep all day I assume you read the article about Susan Kennedy (Gov. Arnold's chief of staff) going on campaign payroll and schmoozing top donors.

A couple questions for you Reeps -

Is this in bad taste?
Is he just trying to screw with you?
Is this just privileged access for the wealthy few?

This is just plain wild.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Doolittle Death Watch

My apologies for the long hiatus, business in the southland has me preoccupied. I have been paying attention to the postings and noticed that no one is addressing the likely downfall of Doolittle.

Republican John Doolittle, ironically a member of the House Appropriations Committee, pocketed $46,000 from well-known "questionable sources." Julie Doolittle, the Congressman’s wife/fundraiser is now on the hot seat for her fundraising activities. But rather than take his lead from President Bush, Speaker Hastert or Majority Whip Blunt and give the money back to spare he (and his wife) further embarrassment and ridicule, Doolittle decides to keep it as evidence of his innocence. Keeping bribe money is proof of innocence...

Is this foreshadowing a Doolittle resignation? Will he follow in the footsteps of another well-known California Republican (hint: his name rhymes with puke)? It only goes to show that bribery, eventually, does not pay.

Making the Dems nervous?

From the Flashreport:

Sacramento Correspondent Joe Justin. For those who didn't realize that in addition to writing for this site, Joe actually does other work...Joe is recognized as one of California's most accomplished political campaign professionals. His resume is long, and his successes around the country are many. It was announced yesterday in a caucus of Assembly Republicans that Joe has been tapped by Assembly Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to be the lead political consultant overseeing efforts to pick up GOP seats in the lower house in this year's elections! This is a great pick! Now whether even 'Mighty Joe' can impact the iron-clad districts of the infamous "Incumbent Protection" reapportionment plan we have in place in this state...??

***GOP (see I didn't say Reep) staffers are buzzing about the capitol that this is the best move McCarthy has made (ok, I know the bar is low but still) and is a big step in an effort to balance a sinking ship. We'll see if it works, but Dems should at least get a little nervous.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

DeVore Supports Tran

This was forwarded to me last night by a Reep friend in the know (they also said I need to stop writing "Reep"...why?)

NEWS RELEASE
Tran for Senate Exploratory Committee

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2006 Contact: Michael Schroeder
(714) 647-6488

Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore Announces Support of Van Tran for 34th Senate District

(Orange County) - Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, a conservative leader in Orange County, announced his endorsement of Van Tran for the 34th Senate District.

“We need more conservative voices to help put an end to the irresponsible policies coming out of Sacramento,” said DeVore. “Van’s experience and reputation gives Republicans a perfect opportunity to win this seat and help California get back on the path of fiscal responsibility.”

Currently held by Democrat Joe Dunn, the 34th Senate District has seen a dramatic swing in voter registration over the past 2 years, with a difference of less than 4,000 voters between Republican and Democrat registration.

“Assemblyman DeVore is widely regarded as one of the most principled legislators in Sacramento,” commented Tran. “I’m honored to have his support and encouraged about the opportunity to have a more balanced Senate.”

In December Assemblyman Tran formed an exploratory committee to evaluate the viability of a run of the 34th Senate District. The committee is co-chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and former California Republican Party chairs Shawn Steel and Michael Schroeder.


###

In Sacramento, nothing in life is certain except debt and taxes

“Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

With all the empty hype from embryonic stem cell researchers and quack cloners the public may soon begin to doubt the inevitability of death. If Benjamin Franklin was alive today in Sacramento he might instead opine, “Nothing in life is certain except debt and taxes.”

I just got back from the Republican legislators’ monthly issue roundtable where former Republican Assemblyman and current Cabinet Secretary to Governor Schwarzenegger, Fred Aguiar, gave a detailed defense of the governor’s plan to sell $68 billion in bonds over 10 years.

Mr. Aguiar claims that the rate of new debt issuance over the next 10 years will be less than it was over the past five years. Coincidentally the same argument is used by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides to dismiss the governor’s plan as inadequate, saying, "We need to do more than we are doing…”

I’m rather surprised to hear Mr. Angelides complain the Governor isn’t proposing to borrow enough when just the other day he was complaining we had too much debt.

In any event, my concerns with the Governor’s plan are two-fold:

1) His plan isn’t likely to restrain Sacramento’s appetite for additional bonding on non-priority items. All it takes is for some vested special interest to qualify a bond initiative and then sell it to the voters, a la Prop. 71’s $3 billion of bonds for stem cell research, and voila, our debt load increases.
2) Without real regulatory and labor reforms to streamline the projects, we will be borrowing a dollar to get less than a quarter’s worth of needed construction.

On the other hand, the more I find out about the Governor’s initiatives to encourage private financing, design, build and operation of roads, the more I like what I hear.

As for the rest of the budget, I wish we’d save that $5.2 billion of unexpected revenue for debt retirement or pay-as-you-go road construction.

Today's L.A. Times features an article about California's budget blueprint that will be released today by the Governor. It quotes my concern that debt service pressures will lead to higher taxes down the road:

But some of the governor's Republican allies wonder how the state would pay it all back. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine), a vocal opponent of new taxes, has expressed concern that the debt service cost would put so much pressure on future budgets that it could force a tax increase.


"We might be maxing out our credit card," he said. "There is a fundamental question of how we are going to pay for this."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget10jan10,0,7999922.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Dem Perspective of the GOP Political Bru-ha ha

A little GOP Inside Baseball from the non-Reep perspective. I have no dog in this fight, other than my previous statements of disgust at heavy handed machine type politics -

1. Umberg and/or Correa are more frightened of a Tran candidacy than a Daucher challenge for a number of reasons, first and foremost is that Daucher doesn't pull any Democrat votes. Democrats will vote for Democrats unless there is some other personal or overarching connection to a GOP candidate. I am sure Reep voters behave similarly.

2. According to my Orange County Reep friend(s), this is really a powerplay by Ross Johnson and his chosen son Dick Ackerman.

3. Why? Daucher embodies the Orange County moderate that these guys want as the face of the party. She comes out of privilege and pedigree, yet her views are Democrat-esque socially avoiding the "right wing extremist" label.

4. Tran doesn't fit the mold of your typically Orange County Republican in the eyes of these guys. First off, he comes from a minority group that I don't believe is yet fully accepted by the GOP establishment there. Second, Tran has a "star power" that goes beyond the OC borders and is not dependent on Ackerman or his cronies. By "star power" I mean that he is thought of by my sources as congressional material. Lastly, he has taken (and I just learned this myself) very bold and strident Anti-Communist, Anti-North Vietnam positions and that has ruffled the feathers of the tea and crumpet elite types (now I see why YAF loves this guy).

5. As noted in another blog there is a personal beef between that Ackerman holds and he is doing everything he can to make this personal.

Just my thoughts on a campaign and area I know little about. XOX

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cal-YAF Wants Tran for Senate

I just recieved the following press release from Cal-YAFer Brandon Powers.
Cal-YAF PAC Starts Draft Van Tran for Senate Campaign
Launches Website: www.DraftTranForSenate.com

Arcadia, CA - Cal-YAF PAC has launched a website, www.DraftTranForSenate.com, urging Van Tran to campaign for the only State Senate seat Republicans can gain in 2006.

Cal-YAF PAC has also called on Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman to unite the Party and get behind Assemblyman Tran’s campaign, giving up his efforts to push Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher into a race she can’t win.

“It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” said Brandon Powers, Chairman of Cal-YAF. “Lynn just doesn’t fit the District.”

Assemblyman Tran has been a rising star in the Republican Party, spearheading the Party’s efforts at taking back Central Orange County. His efforts have reduced a 10-point registration gap to about three. He has broad-based support among Asian-American voters, Democrats included, which will make him competitive against any Democrat candidate.

“Van Tran is the only Republican candidate who can win the 34th,” Powers continuted. “No one understands Central Orange County better.”

Additionally, with roughly 10% of the district voters being Asian Democrats and Independents, Tran stands uniquely positioned to challenge the Democrats for this seat. Tran, a conservative Republican, has historically drawn nearly 90% of the vote among Vietnamese Democrats and Independents.

“It is great that in this case the pragmatic choice is also the most conservative choice,” Powers said.

“We hope our site will show Van that he has the support necessary to win, and in the process show Senator Ackerman that his efforts to push an unwanted candidate on the Party are futile,” Powers added.

“It is time for Republicans to unite and not waste precious resources better spent registering voters and fighting Democrats,” Powers concluded.

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), founded in 1960 at the estate of William F. Buckley, is the nation’s oldest conservative youth organization. Cal-YAF PAC (and its predecessor Liberty’s Torch PAC) has a 100% success rating with its Independent Expenditures opposing moderate Republican State Legislative candidates.

The 34th Senate District is currently represented by Senator Joe Dunn, who is termed out at the end of his term.

###

“Bond, Arnold Bond…”

Tonight during Governor Schwarzenegger’s state-of-the-state address, it is widely expected the governor will call for up to $27 billion of bonds to be issued over five years as part of a 10-year, $100 billion public works program.

The bonds would pay to build roads, schools, jails, courthouses, levees and retrofit hospitals. If approved by two-thirds of the legislature, they would go on the June ballot for approval by the voters.

If issued, the bonds would add about $2 billion per year in principle and interest payments to California’s budget burden, adding pressure to increase taxes.

It’s this last issue that should most concern fiscally responsible people because unless we can reach agreement to restrain the rapid growth in other areas of the budget, issuing more debt will compound the budget mistakes of the Davis administration.

Instead of issuing more debt, we ought to consider market alternatives to having the state finance, design, and build new infrastructure.

In Texas, as an example, the state auctioned off the right to build and operate the 600-mile “Trans-Texas Corridor” from Oklahoma to Mexico. The contract calls for an initial private investment of $6 billion for a 316 mile four-lane toll road with an additional $1.2 billion being paid to the state for the right to operate the segment. Think about it: 316 miles of road with the state getting $1.2 billion and not a penny of government bonds issued.

Using the same model, California could obtain the environmental approvals for a truck tollway corridor from the ports of Long Beach and San Pedro to a point 50 miles distant in the Inland Empire and then auction off the right to build and operate the road to a private consortium. Other states exploring truck-only toll roads include Georgia, Virginia and Texas.

What about levees, must they be funded by government? In the Sacramento delta region relatively inexpensive farm land is converted to relatively affordable housing. One of the reasons why this land in inexpensive is that it often floods. This raises the question, why should residents of California who have paid a premium for land with no flood risk pay for people to settle in low-cost, but flood-prone land? The answer is they shouldn’t. Instead, private flood control districts linked to flood insurance premiums can be organized to reduce the flood risk though assessments to fund levees. As the flood risk is reduced, the insurance rates drop and the assessments can be reduced as well.

With transportation and levee improvements privately funded and built, it would allow the state to focus its infrastructure efforts on those areas that would be more difficult to fund through private means. This would reduce the debt burden on taxpayers and reduce the pressure to raise taxes.

Any interest in innovation out there? Or, must we be wed to the old ways of doing business?

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District

www.ChuckDeVore.com

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Blog viewing difficulties

To Those Concerned:

The reason why columns sometimes start below the sidebar - from my best guess - is because links included in post are too long. Blogger will eventually correct itself, so I ask you exercise patience. In the meantime, I will try to discover the link that is causing the glitch.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

UPDATE: I'm fairly certain it was the Assemblyman's post on the lying Left. The leftists strike again!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Importation of Prescription Drugs, Hot or Not?

This post is for all of you hack and flackers working up in Sacramento. In light of Governor Schwarzenegger's recent letter to Congress urging them to pass meaningful legislation allowing for the safe and effective importation of prescription drugs.

Since I became Governor, legislators and advocates have been encouraging me to enact legislation making it easier for Californians to import prescription drugs from other countries. I have consistently said I would not sign a bill that encourages foreign importation in violation of federal law. But in my letter to Secretary Thompson, I also urged the Bush Administration to aggressively pursue discussions with our trading partners to achieve fairer pricing of pharmaceuticals in the international marketplace and an equitable distribution of the costs of drug research and development. Sixteen months later, drug prices continue to escalate and there is no evidence that the federal government has been able to bring more equity to the global pharmaceutical marketplace. The Congress must act to allow Americans to import safe prescription drugs.

There are those in California and elsewhere who believe we should impose price controls on prescription drugs or use the importation issue as a covert way to import foreign price controls to the United States. I adamantly oppose efforts to impose price controls on prescription drugs because they will have a chilling effect on the research and development of life saving medicines and harm California's critical biotech industry.

I believe we have an opportunity to use free-market forces to create a more equitable international market and help millions of Americans pay less for their prescription drugs. First, the Congress should demand an end to price controls in foreign countries and vigorously support those pharmaceutical and biotech companies who refuse to sell their products to countries imposing price controls. Second, Congress must pass and send to the President legislation that allows Americans to import prescription drugs from other nations in a manner that protects patient safety and respects intellectual property rights. By simultaneously pushing to eliminate foreign price controls and giving Americans access to more affordable prescription drugs from those same countries, the federal government can promote more affordable medicines for American consumers and a more equitable distribution of the costs of developing the life-saving medicines that benefit us all.

Even though the Governor is calling for the importation of prescription drugs, this letter is nothing but fluff. First of all, Congress is in no position to convince European Countries to give up their socialistic forms of government that make price controls possible. Second, Republicans (the same folks who run the show in DC) aren't too happy with the Governor right now, and I would imagine that this would include Republican Congressional members. Third, this does little to change the current situtation of providing access to prescription drugs for those Californian's most in need. With the failures of both Prop 78 and 79 will this issue be hot once again in Sacramento or will the posturing swirling around who gets the largest piece of the pie from the proposed infrastructure bond overshadow this issue?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Show me yer Boo....J/K

Hey boys, While I will still be a contributor here at HNF, I have decided to fly solo for the most part and start my own, private, seductive, enticing, racy Capitol blog. Check out The Samish Shop when you get a chance, I hope it lives up to the great precedents set by HNF, FlashReport, Bobby M. and others.

XOX