MOORLACH UPDATE — New Caucus Leader — March 15, 2017

The decision and the time line has arrived for the California State Senate Republican Caucus to make a peaceful transition in its leadership (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Sieve — March 2, 2017 march 2, 2017 john moorlach). The big questions have been resolved (“Who is willing to take it and when do we do it?”).

Please allow me to announce and welcome our new Leader, Sen. Pat Bates (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Resolution 8 — February 6, 2017 february 6, 2017 john moorlach).

The first piece below is out of Bakersfield, in the Tehachapi News and The Californian, and provides all of the details. The job of Caucus Leader is very critical. The Leader gets to herd cats, recruit candidates, and raise money. Sen. Fuller did a very good job. It’s just very unfortunate that the results were not as positive as we all wished they could have been.

I will do my best, again, to assist the Leader. At least this time I’m not involved in two major campaigns in two years. And I have a model to pursue: the State of Kentucky. More on this later.

The East Bay Times provides an editorial submission in the second piece below. It’s great when citizens understand the gravity of the pension crisis in California and are appreciative of our reform efforts with SB 32 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — PEPRA 2 With SB 32 — January 15, 2017 january 15, 2017 john moorlach). More on this later, too.

Fuller steps down as state senate Republican leader

State Republican legislators finally found someone to take Jean Fuller’s job.

Following a two-month search for a state senator willing to lead the Republican caucus of a legislative body dominated by Democrats, Fuller’s colleagues elected Patricia "Pat" Bates of Laguna Niguel on Tuesday.

Fuller, the former Bakersfield educator who became the first woman of either party to lead a state legislative caucus, will formally step down as Republican leader April 12, an aide confirmed.

She is termed out of office in 2018.

The effort to find a successor for Fuller was difficult because some prominent Republican senators said in recent weeks that they did not want the job, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Fuller started talking to colleagues about eventually stepping down and passing the torch to another member not long after she began her current term as caucus leader last December.

“(Fuller) has been calling all of us to say, ‘Hey, are you interested,’” Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, told the Times on March 1. “The question is, who is willing to take it and when do we do it?”

Bates was approached about the job by colleagues because term limits will not force her out of office until 2022.

GOP senators, outnumbered 27-13 by Democrats, selected Bates in a closed door meeting Tuesday.

The new leader’s challenge will be keeping her caucus relevant at a time when the Democrats enjoy two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature, giving them power to increase taxes without any votes from the minority party.

Fuller acknowledged the difficulty that presents.

Republican caucus leader "is a very tough job, but we have a great collegial team that works very hard," Fuller told The Californian.

Serving as Republican leader "is a lot like being the superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District," she said. "The list is endless and the resources are limited, but you do the best you can for your constituents."

Fuller, who represents the vast 16th Senate District, won her first election in 2006. She served two terms in the Assembly and is now serving her second term in the State Senate. She served as superintendent of the BCSD, the largest K-8 school district in the state, before turning to politics.

Fuller said she is prepared to help Bates ease into the job.

“I look forward to working with her during the transition to ensure that the voices of the 13 million Californians that we represent as a caucus continue to be heard in the Senate,” Fuller said in a prepared statement.

Before her election to the State Assembly in 1998, Bates served four terms as mayor of Laguna Niguel, starting in 1989, when the city was incorporated.

— With reporting from the Los Angeles Times

My Word: Why are we crippling

our kids with our retirement?



It’s unfortunate that future generations, unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted pension programs, entitlements and boondoggle projects, requiring them to pay higher taxes and work later into their lives to pay for these promises.

It’s the inmates running the pension asylum that have negotiated extraordinary pension and retirement benefits today without considering the unfair financial burden it places on future generations.

The international business world is intelligent enough to know that “defined benefits,” neither capped nor precisely quantifiable in advance, are financial disasters to any business, thus, all businesses focus on the known, i.e., defined contributions alone.

Stealing from the young who have no votes but silently shoulder the costs and bear the burden of unfunded promises of these programs to enrich the old, seems to describe the government’s expansion of entitlement benefits and other government services as well as the taxes young people will have to pay to support them. They mostly subsidize older Americans.

The inmates know that debt for our future generations buys votes. Over the decades, the proven “concept” practiced by voters is to defer as much financial responsibility as possible to future generations. Simply stated, if we cannot afford it today, pass it off to the future generations to minimize any impact on our current lifestyles.

Another insult to the taxpayers and future taxpayers is that many of those early retirees collect their guaranteed pensions and then take another job.

Many elected officials are heavily financed by unions, which are focused on entitlements for their current members. The unions, elected officials and bureaucrats have been very successful in manipulating the system to enrich themselves. Thus, no changes can be expected in the foreseeable future.

Even before those young folks can vote, our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars.

The GASB requirement for accounting and financial reporting standards now provides accountability and transparency for county, city and state budgets to show how those unfunded pension liabilities and expenses will be funded in the decades ahead, i.e., either tax increases, and/or a reduction in current services to meet those funding requirements.

The theory behind GASB was that maybe if the uninformed citizens can “see” the full impact of the pension tsunami that’s coming, they’ll either accept the rip off or revolt.

To get the government’s own house in order, California State Sen. John Moorlach is pursuing a 2017 “SB 32”-type initiative to cut California’s unfunded liabilities at CalPERS down from the current $168 billion to the near zero 1980 levels. It is a parallel approach to the decade-old emissions crusade to roll back state emissions to 1980 levels.

We would appreciate it if our representatives stop promoting the unsustainable defined benefit programs and come to grips with the real problems facing all Californians.

A few other problems that deserve some priority time and action from our Legislature are:

1) Affordable housing continues to be out of the reach of most citizens.

2) California’s energy costs for transportation fuels and electricity continue to be the most expensive in the country.

3) The mid-’70s pioneering California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has created a nightmare for those seeking affordable, conveniently located housing, workplaces and shopping centers.

Ronald Stein is founder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine.


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