With the silly season in full swing, candidates are taking sides in an effort to wrangle enough votes to get or stay in office. California is ripe with many contentious races and the home to the largest Tea Party organization and illegal immigration population.
California’s budget has wallowed in the red the past two years, many tie the root-cause to benefits doled out to illegal aliens. Gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, a Republican says he will put end to all taxpayer-funded services to undocumented immigrants, including denying their children public education and health care.
“We’re just out of money … and one of the reasons the state’s in trouble is because of illegal immigration,” said Poizner, who claimed California spends more than $10 billion annually on services for illegal immigrants, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I’m going to be the truth teller in this campaign. As governor I’m going to stop illegal immigration once and for all,” Poizner, said at the California State GOP convention.
The tough talk didn’t sit well within the Latino community. Univision, the largest Spanish language network, said Poizner’s statements were the beginning of “a frontal war against our community.”
The budgetary talk didn’t get any easier from Digger’s Realm. In a story written by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, LA County could expect to pay more than $1 billion per year on illegal immigrations and their children.
“This number does not even include the costs of education.”
“LA County spent $50 million in January alone for food stamps and other welfare services. That’s per month. Lets calculate this… 50 x 12, $600 million, then add in the $500 million for the health care and the $350 million for public safety,” Antonovich explained.
He goes on to explain these staggering numbers do not include public school education. “And that’s just public spending through the government, imagine the private costs people are paying in terms of higher insurance rates to cover all the illegal alien drivers without insurance who get in accidents or the expense people are paying due to being victims of identity theft when an illegal steals their identity to get a job or housing and the depression that occurs when you get a tax notice from the IRS for monies you didn’t earn.”
LA County reported in April 2007 that illegal aliens were receiving as much as $35 million per month in CalWorks and food stamps. By August of the next year the program was handing out more than $37 million per month. Now the numbers have reached $50 million a month in benefits to illegal immigrants.
“If you’ve been hearing that illegal aliens are leaving the United States, you’re being lied to. The numbers prove out the truth,” Antonovich said. “This is all fraudulent monies obtained by illegal aliens and if there is a mass amnesty passed for illegal aliens this number is surely to triple or quadruple.”
Antonovich anticipates the money paid out to illegal immigrants to continue their uphill climb ($3-$4 billion per year) if nothing is done about the masses migrating to Los Angeles.
“Of course people who live there are not thinking logically or thinking ahead. Many of them are sympathetic supporters of illegal aliens. If they thought parts of Los Angeles were bad now, wait until a tripling of public service users hit their county,” he said.
According to Supervisor Antonovich illegal aliens cost Americans around $9 billion a year in education expenses as reported in the 2004 statement from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. A report from the same group in 2005 entitled “‘Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red,’ put the national costs without including free-and-low cost lunches or English as a Second Language (ESL) at $28.6 billion per year.”
As California’s unemployment edges past the 12 percent mark and the budget operating in the red, politicians will have to make bold decisions when it comes to solving the budget and illegal immigration quagmire the state is staring down.
This week Mexico gained a few dubious titles, most violent city in the world (Ciudad Juarez), highest single-day murder rate (69) and drug cartel capitol of world; that being said, Mexico’s neighbor to the north, California has started its march toward legalizing marijuana and collecting taxes in order to close the states’ chronic budget shortfalls.
In a narrow vote along party lines California Democrat Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D- San Francisco), who sponsored the bill, successfully did what no other city or state has been able to do and that is legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. If the legislation is able to make it through both California legislative bodies, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has indicated he will sign such a bill.
“This is a significant vote because it legitimizes the quest for debate, legitimizes the quest for discussion,” Ammiano explained. “This is far from over. Not only did we get it out of (the) public safety (committee), but members are now willing to say, yes, this is worthy of discussion.”
The overly liberal delegation from San Francisco was instrumental in pushing the legalization of marijuana as a way to earn extra money for the budget shortfalls that plague California.
“This is an absurd proposal on the part of those in the Legislature that just don’t get it. They’ve spent years raising taxes, and yes fees are taxes, too, and then spending the daylights out of it. They have yet to find a tax they don’t like,” says Andy Ramirez a border security expert. “In this case, they truly believe they can balance the budget off dope, which is stupid. There are many consequences to messing with narcotics and those who support it contribute to the consumption by the masses. What else can one expect from elected officials serving the People’s Republic of San Francisco?”
According to the Drug Policy Alliance Network, this is just the formal beginning of the end of getting pot off the streets and into the local liquor stores.
However the legislation drew heavy concerns from opponents. “We are going to legalize marijuana and then tax it and then educate our kids on the harms of drugs? You got to be kidding me,” Danny Gilmore, assemblyman (R-Hanford) said.
It appears that some state lawmakers wish to tap into the regulation process before a similar ballot initiative reaches the November ballot in California.
The Democratic bill that passed out of committee would rescind laws on the books regarding the penalties enforced regarding green plants (pot). If passed, California residents would be able to cultivate, transport, purchase and sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21.
Lawmakers behind the push for legalization see this as a potential $14 billion windfall enabling Sacramento’s spending spree.
Marijuana activist, Aaron Smith of the Marijuana Policy Project said, “Prohibition has failed to stop or curb marijuana use or availability. This legislation would end this insane policy of allowing this huge market to go completely unregulated and free of taxes.”
Disputing Smith’s claim is the acting President of the California Police Chiefs Association. “It’s not only naïve but patently dangerous.”
Since America consumes 80 percent of the world’s drugs several critics don’t see the logic in teaching children about the perils of drug use and then turn around and say it okay when you are 21.
The old arguments also remain in place from parents, “the use of marijuana can lead to the use of hard core drugs. I also believe that if adults can purchase pot legally what is going to stop them from purchasing a larger quantity and sell it to kids for a profit,” Nancy Dillinger said. “It’s ridiculous to think legalizing a drug would prevent kids from using it.”
Back in Mexico the drug cartels are profiting from a thriving drug business, one that has led to more murders in a year than the entire eight-year war in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. It’s hard to believe the cartels will step back a say, ‘hey California has made it legal so I guess we will look for a new line of work, who needs billions of dollars.’
Speaking of the cartels, in an effort to curtail marijuana apprehensions in Mexico the government legalized the right to own small amounts to pot in the country. The result –crime and murder rates have continued to escalate.
Since the legalization of drugs in Mexico the country has seen more than 15,000 murders and there hasn’t be a slow down in the war against the drug cartels. In fact, last year Forbes magazine put cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman on the list of the world’s wealthiest billionaires.
As long as the demand remains, the brutality of the cartels will remain, and if then cartels remain so does the violence associated with the drug trade. Does California really want to be responsible for the perpetual cycle the drug trade fosters?
The Obama Administration lost the only Republican governor who supported the Democrat health care reform bill; California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger-R announced at his annual State of the State message he would no longer support the President’s bill to landmark health care reform.
In a stunning reversal, Schwarzenegger slammed the backroom meetings and sweetheart deals as a deal breaker for the constituents of California.
“Congress is about ready to put billions of dollars of responsibilities on Californians with the health care bill. While I enthusiastically supported health care reform; it is not reform to push more costs onto the states that are already struggling while other states are getting sweetheart deals,” he said.
“Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes,” the California governor said. “You’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere. This is health care to nowhere.”
Governor Schwarzenegger explained to excited Sacramento legislators the congressional delegation should vote against this health care bill because it would be a disaster for California. He went on to explain that if these representatives are bent on supporting health care it was their duty to go back to Washington D.C. and fight for the same deals the Cornhusker State received.
Senator Nelson “got the corn and we got the husk,” Schwarzenegger quipped.
In October President Obama touted the “unprecedented consensus that has come together” with the health care reform. Since then the numbers in support for the bill as well as President Obama have dropped like a rock.
The 2,000 plus-page bill has lost support from Americans who are more concerned with jobs, than health care. It didn’t help the administration that members of Congress didn’t bother to read the legislative monstrosity.
Opposition leaders point out that this is Obama’s signature legislation, yet it is being passed in the middle of the night behind closed doors without any Republican input.
The jig is up with the American people who realize you can’t cover 30 million new people without raising taxes, decreasing care or increasing the deficit.
It has been reported that the White House told Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) to drop the opposition regarding the taxation of the “Cadillac plans” because the 40 percent tax increase was needed to help cover the uninsured. This amounts to another broken promise by the president to raise taxes on the middle class as many union middle-class employees get these types of plans as work incentives.
The pressure now turns to California lawmakers who either fight for Californians or sell them out.
“Now that Barbara Boxer’s home state governor has rescinded his support for the costly and contentious health care bill, will Senator Boxer do what’s right for her constituents, or will she continue to stand by a flawed bill that has been crafted behind closed doors and that will bankrupt California,” said Amber Wilkerson Marchand, NRSC Press Secretary. “To date, Boxer has been unwilling to explain how California can afford this bill because the reality is that it will be paid for on the backs of families, seniors, and small business owners in her state. Senator Boxer’s constituents are watching closely and are prepared to hold her accountable for this failed legislation in the November elections.”
This is certainly true when it comes to small business owners like Catherine Bragg a small business owner of Flourchylde Bakery. “As a small business owner I’ll be forced to pay a fee (they won’t call it a tax) but a fee in order to pay into a pool that they will gather for the next four years. And while they are gathering the money nobody will have insurance between now and then,” Bragg explains. “I have employees that I won’t be able to afford to buy insurance for now or then either.”
It sounds like the American people are listening and they will hold politicians accountable the only way they know how – in the voting booth.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
Kicking off the patriotic ceremony was a dramatic tribute to the veterans and those serving in the military –Americanism was in the air. Thousands of tea-party attendees stood at the steps of the California state capital, each with their own reasons for taking time from their day to listen and learn.
Key Note Speaker, Mark Meckler, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots explained that this event was not about any single event, but a culmination of issues that threaten California’s very existence.
He explained that third generation families of truckers, loggers and farmers are going out of business because of California’s strangling regulations. “I’m very concerned and wanted to bring everyone together. There is just too much government and they need to get out of the way.”
It is clear the state is in trouble. California sits at the bottom of the list in education and cost of living remains the highest in the country. Unemployment is higher than the national average at nearly 12 percent.
“Every industry is under attack,” Meckler said. “The environmentalists are uses the divide and conquer strategy to put all industries out of business.”
Meckler also touched on the Tea Party successes. “We’ve shelved cap-and-trade, we’ve stalled health care and we solidly defeated a tax increase in California.” The crowd went nuts.
The speaker also made note of President Obama’s recent $10 billion loan for oil exploration in Brazil, sending more money and jobs overseas. This drew cheers from the angry protesters.
“It was like Woodstock without the drugs,” said Leslie Eastman, co-founder of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition located in San Diego.
Some in attendance were afraid of giving out their name in fear of retaliation from Service Employee International Union (SEIU) leaders may find out. However, it didn’t stop a nurse who is trying to start a new Health Care Nurses Union to get out from under the SEIU.
Another sponsor of the event was Debra John, of Tea Party Express said, “Our Constitution says ‘we the people’ not we the Congress.”
While Americans are awakened throughout the month of August, some politicians aren’t getting the tea party news flash.
In an effort to combat everyday citizens who are hopping mad at the left showing up at town halls and tea party events across the nation, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has written a letter to her supporters in order to raise $100,000 to fight the will of the people.
She says, “The fight for meaningful health insurance reform is too important to be sidetracked by misinformation and false attacks.”
“The real enemies are the radical environmentalists who have taken over our government,” said Devin Nunes, said a Californian Congressmen. “It has been 701 days since I’ve asked the politicians to stop this man-made drought in California.”
“We will hold the politicians accountable on how they vote,” Nunes said
“Here is a personal message to President Obama, ‘we don’t want your welfare, we want the water turned back on,’” He finished and the crowd responding boisterously.
Another California Republican Congressman, Tom McClintock, added his two cents when it comes to state and national issues plaguing everyday Americans.
“We need everyone to focus on the new media like, the internet, facebook and twitter. It’s a great way for voters to get connected,” McClintock noted.
He explained that it was important to not get news from the main stream media because often they are not in touch with the folks in small town USA.
What’s with the czars, says the Congressman. “The concept came from Russia and all they do is oppress the American people.”
“The American spirit is returning,” McClintock said. “The Obama Administration didn’t count on that.”
Moving along Water for All founder, Piebad Ayala had plenty to say about the Central California water crisis. “Nobody (politicians) is being effective with the water issue and we continue to receive about 10 percent of what our farms require.”
“The people have been great today. We are on the right side and will not stop until we get our water back,” Ayala said. “They (politicians) are blaming farmers for the problems, but we have video of sewage being dumped straight into the Delta.”
“It’s sad the government is siding with the fish over the humans. This is a human issue,” he finished.
The attendees were a truly blended-crowd.
Loggers have also been on the chopping block in California. For example, Mike Anderson owns a logging business and would like to pass it on to his son one day, but with all the regulations coming down the pike he may not be able to pass anything to his son.
“The California, Air Resource Board (ARB) will force me to replace my diesel engines in the next couple of years. I wouldn’t even be able to sell the old parts because it would be illegal,” he says.
According to Anderson, the Fort Bragg logging industry would be wipe out completely, again generations of families would be left unemployed.
The Chairperson of ARB says, “There’s nothing that can’t be done without money.” This further illustrates how out of touch bureaucrats and politicians are with the everyday working Americans.
Up next is part three.
For more information on the water issues plaguing California visit; http://www.waterforall.com/
For more stories;www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner
Again a shout out to my eyes and ears on this story Leslie Eastman
Washington continues its power grab in California
By Kimberly Dvorak
San Diego – California’s broke. If there was a state that needed the stimulus money the most, California would be near the top, yet Washington D.C continues its power grab by not releasing the $6.8 billion in promised funds.
The Service Employee International Union’s (SEIU) has filed a complaint against California in Washington with the Obama administration that the state unfairly cut wages by $74 million (1.4 percent of California’s budget) for a group of its healthcare workers.
This same group of 223,000 caregivers pays the SEIU nearly $5 million per month in union dues. According to The Los Angeles Times, this particular program has “loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia that have allowed fraud to fester.”
In effect the federal government wants to run California. “Why do we have governors, mayors and other elected officials if Washington D.C. and the Obama administration can strong arm how we conduct business within the state,” U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray R-Calif. said.
“The intimidation and shake down of Chicago-style politics Obama is using shouldn’t be tolerated,” Bilbray continued. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn’t back down to these SEIU union officials or the White House.”
When California faces huge deficits and the first decline in state income tax revenue since 1938 the back and forth couldn’t come at a worse time. Also for the first time in the state’s history the largest source for income will not come from sales, property or income taxes, but courtesy of the federal government.
According to a SEIU spokesperson the union donated more than $33 million to get Obama into the White House. “This is political payback pure and simple,” explained Bilbray.
At the time of posting there was no comment from the White House and the $6.8 billion in stimulus money remained in limbo.
“We can’t give into the White House on this. What would be next?” Bilbray finished.