MOORLACH UPDATE — Working With the Governor-Elect — November 8, 2018

One of the more amazing aspects of Tuesday’s General Election results is the number of Republicans rioting in the streets upset that Gavin Newsom will be the next California Governor.

I jest, of course. Republicans are not the ones that react this way. There. I got that off of my chest.

Looking at the local election results, please note that Orange County is still Orange County. It voted against Prop 1, while the rest of the state’s voters approved even more debt. And the OC voted for Props 5 and 6, while the rest of the state wanted more taxes (with many complaining that the rent is to damn high). Orange County also voted for the Republican statewide candidates. Orange County is still Orange County.

What did we observe? Diane Harkey, who won in the OC, failed in her run to succeed Congressman Darrell Issa. She raised $1.7 million, only to face $17 million thrown at her opponent from around the nation. The joys of having so many liberal billionaires, like Michael Bloomberg, playing in our local campaigns. Expect more of this in future election cycles, now that they are emboldened.

The voters have spoken. Accordingly, I welcome our new Governor and extend an offer to work together on many critical areas facing the state of California in my submission to The Sacramento Bee. It will be in print tomorrow morning. It is also in the San Luis Obispo Tribune and is the first piece below. And, the Canada Free Press provides Katy Grimes’ election perspectives in the second piece below.

SOAPBOX

Gov.-elect Newsom, let’s work together, starting with housing the homeless

BY JOHN MOORLACH

Special to The Sacramento Bee
https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article221325820.html

https://www.sanluisobispo.com/opinion/article221325820.html

 

Congratulations to Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. I look forward to working with you on solving the state’s most pressing problems. These include our state’s sorry fiscal condition, massive debt foisted upon our children and grandchildren and ending the boondoggle of all boondoggles, the high-speed train that improperly uses cap-and-trade funds, while doing nothing of substance to reduce California’s carbon footprint.

You’ve been opposed to high-speed rail from time to time, but now you’ll be responsible for signing the budget that does or does not continue a multi-billion-dollar black hole. It’s time to redirect this misspending for other urgent needs.

Let’s start with addressing homelessness. Even before I became an elected official a quarter-century ago, I worked diligently to help those who could not find shelter. This issue is so close to my heart that upon my 2015 special election to the state Senate, I chose to be sworn in at the Orange County Rescue Mission in Tustin.

We both could rattle off previous bills on homelessness and some of the underlying issues most prevalent with mentally ill people in California. Yet the state has only taken small steps toward removing the barriers so the least among us can actually afford a place to live.

One of my recent legislative efforts came in a bill that I co-authored with state Sen. Kevin de Leon. Senate Bill 1206, the No Place Like Home Act, became Proposition 2, which voters approved on Tuesday. It authorizes the state to borrow as much as $2 billion against the state income tax on millionaires to build housing for homeless mentally ill individuals.

I also helped move forward the bipartisan Assembly Bill 488, which creates a long-needed Orange County Housing Finance Trust to fund the planning and construction of homeless housing. Orange County generates the second most personal income taxes among California’s counties, but also has to deal with a large mentally ill homeless population.

Looking forward to 2019, there is much more to be done. You have called for building 3.5 million new homes by 2025, a herculean task. But that certainly is possible in a state that once built the State Water Project and the world’s best public universities.

You are quoted as being proud of outraging activists by cutting welfare for single homeless adults and applying those funds to housing services while San Francisco mayor. Good for you.

Now I suggest an even bigger “Nixon goes to China” opportunity to move the dial on housing construction – reform the California Environmental Quality Act. Designed to protect the environment, CEQA instead has become a bureaucratic monstrosity and NIMBY tool that greatly increases the time and cost of building housing of any kind.

When the will is there, CEQA has been magically modified to expedite construction for sports stadiums and arenas, including exemption bills this fall for the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Clippers. I did not vote for those bills because I oppose CEQA favoritism.

What’s good for millionaire players and billionaire owners should be good for the middle class and the homeless. But Gov. Jerry Brown did little on CEQA reform as he presided over the worst housing situation in generations.

Gov.-elect Newsom, let’s push for substantive CEQA reform stop the expensive and unnecessary high-speed rail fiasco, address the state’s debt and care for the least among us.

John Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican, represents the 37th District in the state Senate. He can be contacted at Senator.moorlach.

California Blue Wave: Will it Lead to Insolvency Faster?

There is only so much we faithful, native Californians can take. How much beautiful weather is worth this leftist insanity, and/or before this leftism turns into liberty crushing authoritarianism? Just sayin…

Katy Grimes image

By Katy Grimes

https://canadafreepress.com/article/california-blue-wave-will-it-lead-to-insolvency-faster

The midterm elections have turned out as most observers expected, nationally, statewide, and in Sacramento. By historical standards, nationally, the Democrats underperformed and lost a number of high-profile races. There was no Blue Wave—more like a blue ripple.

However, California is another story, remaining as blue as can be, and headed right into insolvency. In the contest for governor, California voters chose Democratic politician Gavin Newsom over Republican businessman John Cox, who is not a politician.

California goes ‘Full Nuthouse’ as my friend Leslie Eastman reports at Legal Insurrection. In addition to electing Newsom, Eastman points out voters rejected a repeal of the gas tax, and says, “a majority of Californians are thrilled that Sacramento will squander more of their money.”

A friend pointed out “California is a state where everyone bitches about how poor they are and how they need rent control, and yet constantly vote to raise their taxes every chance they get. The voters of this state have never seen a tax increase or bond measure they didn’t love.”

Brilliant.

Californians also re-elected long-time incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, rejecting Democratic State Senator Kevin de Leon (Los Angeles). Dumb and dumber was the choice there.

There were some surprises as well. California Democrats flipped three Republican districts: Rep. Steve Knight, (CA-25th District) lost to Democrat Katie Hill, Republican Diane Harkey lost Rep.Darrell Issa’s 49th District to Democrat Mike Levin, and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher lost his race in the 48th District to Democrat Harley Rouda.

In statewide races, it appears Marshall Tuck has beat Assemblyman Tony Thurmond in the race for Schools Superintendent. Tuck is a real reformer. “Tuck made a name for himself in Los Angeles turning around high-poverty, low-performing charter schools before then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recruited him to improve schools within the conventional public school system,” the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board said in their endorsement of Tuck. “Marshall Tuck is the clearest and most emphatic voice for reform in the field.”

Democrat State Senator Ricardo Lara and Steve Poizner appear in a near tie for Insurance Commissioner.

California’s Legislative Democrats appear poised to regain their super majority in the state Senate and retain the super majority in the Assembly.

Democrat Assemblywoman Anna Caballero beat Republican Rob Poythress in the race to succeed outgoing Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella in the Central Valley 12th Senate District.

Incumbent Republican State Senator Andy Vidak surprisingly lost his reelection against Democrat Melissa Hurtado in Senate District 14.

“Picking up both seats would give Democrats 28 seats in the Senate and restore the super majority they lost in June when voters recalled Josh Newman of Fullerton,sacbee.com reported.

The ballot initiatives were another surprise. Proposition 3, the water bond, was thankfully defeated. “With millions of dollars of unspent water bond money from 2006 and 2014 water bonds, why is there yet another a water bond on today’s June Primary ballot, and another on the November ballot?” I wrote in June 2018.

Proposition 5 was defeated, which would have allowed homeowners age 55 and older to sell their current homes, purchase a replacement property anywhere in the state and transfer the property tax assessment from the home they sold to the home they bought. The opposition lied and claimed that the state would have lost millions of dollars if Prop. 5 passed. Not so—Prop. 5 would have encouraged empty-nesters to sell their large family homes and downsize without being penalized. And it would have meant more money with the sale to the new owners.

Proposition 6, the gas tax repeal was also defeated—California’s high gas taxes and high car registration fees will remain. Sadly. Prop. 6 would have also amended the state constitution to require voter approval of all future increases in fuel and vehicle taxes or fees.

Proposition 8, which would have authorized State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics, was defeated. Thankfully.

Proposition 10, repeal of Costa-Hawkins, was defeated. Prop. 10 would have allowed state government to regulate rent, and would actually have created an even worse housing shortage in California.

Sacramento’s Measure U sales tax increase, a slush fund for greedy politicians, was passed by voters, despite that Sacramento city revenues are more than $120 million up from 2010, and up 16 percent in just the past two years.

Measure U doubles the 2012 half-cent sales tax increase and makes it permanent, raising Sacramento’s sales tax to 8.75 percent.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg and most of the members of City Council can’t or won’t be honest about their gross spending and particular taste for other people’s money. Despite promising to spend the Measure U tax increase money wisely, the additional $50 million will likely go straight to unfunded city pensions, which are expected to increase by $60 million a year and are projected to hit $129 million by 2022-23.

What is needed is spending discipline rather than continuing to pick the pockets of the taxpayers and business owners.

Buried at the end of the SacBee article on Measure U’s passage, is this little gem:

“Even with Measure U’s passage, the city’s budget is still projected to be in the red. The city deficit is estimated to be $7.6 million in fiscal year 2019-2020 and $28 million in 2022-23, according to the city budget. If Measure U had failed, the city’s deficit was projected to grow to $47.3 million in fiscal year 2019-2020, and to $80 million in 2022-23.”

Will California’s Blue Wave lead to insolvency faster?

Costa Mesa Republican Sen. John Moorlach’s fiscal report, “Financial Soundness Rankings for California’s Public School Districts, Colleges & Universities” finds 2/3 of California’s 944 School Districts bleed red ink. That report follows his March 2018 reports on the state’s 482 cities that found 2/3 of them in the red; of 58 counties, 55 suffered deficits and only three enjoyed positive balance sheets. His May 2018 report on the 50 U.S. states found only nine were financially healthy, with California ranked among the worst, in 42nd place.

There is only so much we faithful, native Californians can take. How much beautiful weather is worth this leftist insanity, and/or before this leftism turns into liberty crushing authoritarianism? Just sayin…

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This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — It’s Time to Vote — November 4, 2018

You get to vote now if you vote by absentee ballot or take advantage of an early voting facility provided by the OC Registrar of Voters. Or you can be a traditionalist and vote on Tuesday at your local polling place.

If you live in the OC and need help finding your polling place, go to the Registrar’s website at https://www.ocvote.com/voting/voting-in-orange-county/.

For my complete all-inclusive voter guide, go to MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — All-Inclusive Voter Guide — October 24, 2018. It also has links to the focused voter guides that I’ve provided over the past few weeks.

The first piece below is a segment of an interview of the three candidates in one district in the city of Costa Mesa that can be found on the electronic version of the OC Register. It deals with the subject matter of my recent unfunded actuarial accrued liability percentage UPDATE (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Trick or Treat? — October 26, 2018). Also, if you go to my Senate website, you’ll find verification of the support claim of my SCA 10 that was made (see https://moorlach.cssrc.us/content/senate-constitutional-amendment-10-pension-transparency).

The second piece is from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, which has a letter to the editor in support of a “Yes” vote on Proposition 6. A “Yes” vote repeals the gas tax foisted on Californians last year by two-thirds of the legislature, excluding yours truly.

California’s Department of Transportation needs serious managerial and fiscal reforms before vehicle owners provide it with more funding. The manipulation by the supporters of this gas and auto tax has been astounding. Starting projects and guilting you to continue them by your making the financial sacrifices that Sacramento is not willing to make itself. Again, it is nice to see that my office’s research on the efficiencies, or lack thereof, of Caltrans is being appreciated and referred to.

The third piece is an editorial submission in the Voice of OC on the OC District Attorney’s race, giving one side of the debate on this race. As I know both candidates, I am neutral and have not made an endorsement.

Election 2018: Costa Mesa City Council District 5 candidates share their priorities and thoughts on local issues

By STAFF REPORT

https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/24/election-2018-costa-mesa-city-council-district-5-candidates-share-their-priorities-and-thoughts-on-local-issues/

Question 4: Communities across the state are grappling with rising pension and other post-employment benefit costs. What do you think needs to be done to deal with this problem?

Allan Mansoor: We need to have greater restraint of pension benefits. That’s why I officially supported SCA 10 by Senator John Moorlach to require voter approval for any increases in retirement benefits. Locally, I voted to authorize prepayments from Costa Mesa to CalPERS when cash flow and cash balances permit. I made the motion to have city staff research using an Internal Revenue Code Section 115 Irrevocable Trust to pre-fund pensions and other accounts, such as OPEB.

Arlis Reynolds: Costa Mesa is in good financial health with an AA+ credit rating. We must establish a strategic plan that proactively allocates budget to pension obligations while maintaining high-quality public safety and services that benefit residents and attract visitors. Employees already contribute at a rate higher than legal mandates. We should optimize non-PERSable benefits, consider a Section 115 trust, invest in upgrades that reduce costs, support economic growth, and leverage credit ratings to optimize debt obligations. I will work with our Finance and Pension Advisory Committee and our new Finance Director to analyze various strategies and develop a long-term plan to address pension costs and overall financial health.

Rebecca Trahan: As a former Costa Mesa finance and pension committee member I had direct access to the city budget information, which included the money allotted for CalPERS. While on that committee I worked with a team to find solutions to this impending financial disaster and minimize the risk to our city — not just for current residents but also for those whom it most likely will have a devastating effect, our younger and future Costa Mesa residents. If I am elected to the city council representing district 5, I will continue to make addressing and resolving the pension debacle one of my top priorities. One of the ways I will address this is by re-examining every aspect of our budget and find areas where we may set aside more money for reserves to cover the pension payday when it will occur. In doing so, I will not just study it and do nothing as has happened with the council in the past — I will actually take action to draw down our liability and set us on a path for recovery and sustainability.

Vote yes on Prop. 6 to stop pols’ wasteful spending: Letters

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2018/10/19/vote-yes-on-prop-6-to-stop-pols-wasteful-spending-letters/

Vote yes on Proposition 6 to repeal an unfair, regressive tax.

The cost of living is already too high in California, and the gas and car tax hikes hurts working families that already struggle to pay bills. On Nov. 1, 2017, Californians were hit with a new tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 per year. It gets worse!

The car and gas tax hikes are slated to increase every year, automatically. If this tax is not repealed, by 2021 Californians will be paying close to $2 more a gallon extra because of taxes and other government mandates. That’s $40 extra each time you fill up your car.

The tax also hits business owners who rely on transporting good, raising the cost of everything from apples to bread and everything in between, which is then passed on to working families.

This latest gas tax hike will not fix our roads because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds.

State Sen. John Moorlach, a CPA, released a stunning report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax funds goes to roads, and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

This latest gas tax increase contains no guarantee that even a penny will go to roads. For years, the Sacramento politicians have been raiding the existing gas tax funds to pay for their pet projects and general fund spending rather than fixing our terrible roads.

What little money that is spent on roads is largely wasted. We need to stop politicians’ wasteful spending first. Remember, a yes vote on Proposition 6 will repeal this unfair tax.

— Darryl Craft, Redlands

ELECTION EDITORIALS

Mitchell: Tony Rackauckas – A Threat to Public Safety

By WILLIAM R. MITCHELL

Our Orange County District Attorney Office has become a house of horrors as revelations of misconduct, incompetence, and delayed justice pile up. DA Tony Rackauckas’s failures have not only undermined public confidence in the judicial system – they undermine public safety.

Though the 60 Minutes investigative report highlighted Raukauckas’s disregard for the law, a study by Harvard Law School disclosed that his office’s rate of overturned convictions due to prosecutorial error is among the highest in the state. These overturned criminal convictions are in addition to the botched handling of the homicide case against mass murderer Scott Evan DeKraai, who shot and killed seven in a beauty salon. The DA’s mishandling of the deadliest mass killings in County history meant that DeKraai received a life sentence rather than the death penalty. Also, there have been six recent murder cases that have resulted in dismissed or reduced charges due to errors by the DA’s office.

The Harvard Law School report is just the latest in a litany of findings confirming Rackauckas’s incompetence and misconduct. An Evaluation Committee appointed by Rackauckas found that the DA’s office was a “rudderless ship.” In 2017 a Grand Jury report confirmed the Evaluation Committee’s finding of a lack of leadership by the DA and additionally found the existence of a hostile work place and inadequate sexual harassment policies in the DA’s Office. In the face of the multitude of mishaps, State Senator John Moorlach summed it up best when he said “Tony should not be the D.A. anymore.”

Most recently his delayed response to victim’s reported complaints of rape and sexual assault against Dr. Robicheaux are inexplicable. The unsealed warrants show that the DA dragged its feet in prosecuting the multiple reports of criminal sexual assault.

Given the long and well-documented failures of Rackauckas, one would expect more outrage. The muted response is due to two unrelated factors that silence criticism. In 1995, then District Attorney Michael Capizzi authorized an early morning raid on the home of recently elected Assemblyman Scott Baugh. The outrage over the aggressive prosecutorial tactics on a Republican office holder led to Capizzi being forced from office. When Rackauckas ran for DA, he pledged that he would not criminalize political conduct. Rackauckas has resolutely stuck to his pledge, with the minor exception of the prosecution of Assessor Webster Guillory, which was, unsurprisingly, driven by a personal feud. The most conspicuous example of this pledge at work was Rackauckas’ refusal to investigate the allegations against then Sheriff Michael Carona. Rackauckas’ refusal to investigate Carona for crimes occurring right under his nose forced the Justice Department to take action, leading to Carona’s prosecution and conviction.

Even though Rackauckas bungles prosecutions, his refusal to investigate or prosecute political activity earns him the support, donations and silence of many political elites. To understand this arrangement is to understand both their reluctance to replace Rackauckas, and their reluctance to replace him with anyone who will actually enforce the law. Apparently, for many key Republicans and Democrats, the undermining of the integrity of the criminal justice system is but a small price to pay to avoid the application of the law to them.

In addition to Rackauckas’s unwillingness to investigate politicians, the fear of retaliation by Rackauckas silences would be critics as well. In the last year, four respected employees of the DA’s office have alleged that they were targets of retaliation by Rackauckas because they either reported prosecutorial misconduct or engaged in legitimate political activity. The most troubling claims are those of senior investigators Craig Hunter and Tom Conklin who both independently report that Rackauckas used his office to investigate political rivals and, in one instance, punished the investigator for failing to produce incriminating information on the political rival. Rackauckas’s practice of using his public office to investigate political adversaries is especially repugnant, as is his use of the office to retaliate.

The use of retaliation is a reflection of Rackauckas’s character and his abuse of the office. This lack of character is on full display in his re-election campaign. His chief defense for his failure in office is to use personal invective against his opponent. He avoids running on his record at all cost – his accomplishments are thin and scattered.

Rackauckas’s misconduct and incompetence impact every aspect of the DA’s office. The overturned convictions, the mishandled murder cases, delayed justice and the botched DeKraai case prove that public safety is at risk with Rackauckas in office. His refusal to investigate and prosecute political crimes imperil our community – no one is safe when politicians are above the law. We need a DA that puts public safety first and commits to hold politicians accountable. We need a new DA.

William R. Mitchell – former Chair of Orange County Common Cause, Co-Author and Sponsor of the Orange County Finance and Ethics Commission Ordinance, long standing good government advocate and OC business attorney.

MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — School District Races (#27 – #19) — October 11, 2018

Welcome to the first of three Voter Guide editions for Orange County’s 27 school districts. The first group is the bottom third of school districts, having the largest Unrestricted Net Deficits in the county and the state, is the first piece below (see MOORLACH UPDATE — LAUSD vs. OC School Districts — September 18, 2018).

The first column is the ranking within the county on a per capita basis. The second column is the statewide ranking, out of 940 districts reviewed, on a per capita basis. The fourth column is the ranking of just the Unrestricted Net Position (UNP). The fifth column provides you with the population that the district serves. The sixth column is the actual UNP according to the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. And the seventh column is the sum of the prior two columns, providing the actual cost per resident if they were to bring the district to a zero UNP.

Because we’re focusing on the finances, this is one opportunity for you to ask the incumbents what they’ve been doing to improve the situation. Accordingly, I’ve provided the names of the incumbents, regardless of party affiliation. One asterisk (*) signifies that the candidate is a registered Democrat, two asterisks (**) means they are declined to state, and four asterisks (****) signifies they are a registered Libertarian.

No asterisk means they are a registered Republican, and should be a safe vote (with one exception). If the name is in bold, I have endorsed. If in italics, they are a good vote for the position.

This group has two districts with no candidates this cycle. One district has no Republican candidates. Other blanks for areas means there are no Republican candidates.

For Irvine USD, I would advise against voting for the Republican candidate. He would attend Board of Supervisors meetings every week when I served and based on my observations, I am not sure he is up to the job.

The second piece is from KFI AM 640 and is a review, including a podcast, of Proposition 1 (also see MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — 2018 Ballot Measures — September 21, 2018).

The third piece is a letter to the editor supporting Proposition 6 from State Historical Landmark Number 296, Copperopolis, in The Union Democrat.

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LOCAL NEWS

Propositioned – Prop 1 – How Do We Fund Affordable Housing?

posted by RJ Johnson @rickerthewriter

https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2018-10-11-propositioned-prop-1-how-do-we-fund-affordable-housing/

Propositioned - Prop 1 - affordable housing on the ballot

Welcome back to Propositioned! Hosted by KFI’s Kris Ankarlo, this limited series podcast is back to take a look at the 11 different propositions you’ll see at the ballot box this November 6!

Now in its third season, Propositioned is a chance for both sides on each question to make their case to you, the voter. Then you can take that information with you to the voter booth.

Today’s episode deals with Proposition 1, a general obligation bond that would authorize up the government to sell $4 billion in bonds to fund existing housing programs.

Supporters say the money could be a big help for families who have always dreamed of buying a home in California, but were unable to until now. Habitat for Humanity Orange County Chapter Vice-President Chris Biochi says Prop 1 could help 50,000 families and veterans realize that dream.

“Among families, the house is the single greatest vehicle for inter-generational wealth transfer,” Biochi told KFI’s Kris Ankarlo. “And that changes things for a family. I’m proud to work for an organization that does that on a daily basis and I think this proposition is a chance for us to start heading in that direction as a state, to start giving that opportunity to others.”

However opponents say borrowing money isn’t the right way to solve the affordable housing crisis in California. Republican state senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) says these types of projects should be paid for out of California’s general fund.

“I think the big tragedy is, is that, this year we’ve actually had what we would quantify as a budget surplus. We’ve had a little bit more in revenue than normal – $12 billion more in fact,” Moorlach said. “Well, why didn’t we go use a third of that to go ahead and pay the $4 billion?”

In the next episode of Propositioned, Kris takes a look at Prop 2, which also deals with housing – but this time for people with mental illness.

Listen to yesterday’s episode on the history of propositions in California here!

Here’s what the ballot says Proposition 1 will do:

Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans, farmworkers, manufactured and mobile homes, infill, and transit-oriented housing. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging about $170 million annually over the next 35 years.

Here’s what a YES Vote Means:

A YES vote on this measure means: Allows the state to sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Here’s what a NO Vote Means:

A NO vote on this measure means: The state could not sell $4 billion in general obligation bonds to fund veterans and affordable housing.

Photo: Getty Images

Vote Yes on 6 — Repeal an unfair, regressive tax

https://www.uniondemocrat.com/opinion/6588716-151/letters-to-the-editor-for-october-11-2018

To the Editor:

Estimates suggest the new increase in gas tax will cost a typical family of four $779.20 or more per family, per year.

On Nov. 1, 2017, Californians became subject to an additional tax of 12.5 cents more per gallon of gasoline (and 20 cents more for diesel), also increasing auto registration fees as much as $175 a year — striking the wallets of hard-working families across the state.

The gas tax hike will not fix our roads — because politicians will continue to fraudulently raid and divert gas tax funds. This latest gas tax increase contains no guarantee that even a penny will go to roads.

Prop 69 did not end the raids of existing gas tax funds and allows the governor to spend gas tax money to fund budget shortfalls.

State Sen. John Moorlach — a CPA — released a stunning report showing that only 20 percent of existing gas tax goes to roads and Caltrans wastes half a billion dollars annually on extra staffing.

A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation shows that California spends 2.5 times the national average on roads.

• Nobody is denying that California’s roads are crumbling, but there’s plenty of money to repair the roads if the politicians put 100 percent of the existing gas tax revenue into doing the right thing.

But that’s not all, our present state budget surplus provides plenty of money to fix our roads.

Please vote Yes on Prop 6.

Al Segalla

Copperopolis

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MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — City Council Races (#34 – 28) — October 2, 2018

The first piece below is a Voter Guide for seven of Orange County’s wonderful 34 cities. The question was how to recommend council candidates. Instead of doing it in alphabetical order or those within my Senate District first, I decided to do it in reverse order according to Unrestricted Net Positions and in five groups.

The first seven cities below need strong fiscal leadership. How Costa Mesa is in 34th place has me baffled. With South Coast Plaza and the Harbor Boulevard of Cars, it should be one of the strongest in the rankings.

The Voter Guide screening is simple. I first provide those candidates that are registered Republicans. For positions with no Republican candidates, I have no recommendation or I mention the Democrat (*) with whom I have a relationship. Those in bold are endorsed. Those in italics are a good first or second choice.

Smaller groupings allows me to provide more color, so here is the first of five.

Costa Mesa — Sandy Genis and I go back more than three decades as fellow Mesa Verde residents. We served as officers of the Homeowners Association back then. We have not always agreed on a number of issues, but we have enjoyed a good relationship. As a city planning professional, she brings the best skill set to the Mayoral position.

Newport Beach — I know all of the candidates personally, but one, Joy Brenner. I’m not sure about her party registration, as her publicly disclosed personal political contributions to Democrats are confusing. Although I’ve decided to stay neutral in all four districts, I am thankful for the fine relationships I enjoy with the incumbents, including their resolve on addressing the city’s pension issues.

Anaheim — Over the years I’ve built a rapport with Cynthia Ward. She knows the city and does excellent research. She has no elected experience, but she would bring a down to earth approach to this critical job. In District 6 there are two candidates who will do a great job. Patty Gaby brings a fresh citizens approach to the seat.

Huntington Beach — The easy road is to endorse all four of the incumbents. But, Ron Sterud is a financial planner who would bring these badly needed skill sets to the Council. Billy O’Connell is a friend, but this time consuming role interferes with his focus on his critical nonprofit organization.

The second piece is a recent letter to the editor in the Santa Maria Times.

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Vote yes on Prop. 6

https://santamariatimes.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-bill-ostrander-on-ag-policy-take/article_307c601c-b150-5751-9f0f-520fe165c5d0.html

On Nov. 1, 2017, the tax on California gas increased another 12.5 cents per gallon (20 for diesel) plus increased our auto registration fees — up to $175. Even this latest increase contains no gaurantee our money will go to roads. State senator and CPA John Moorlach released a stunning report, only 20 percent of existing gas tax goes to roads.

The Yes on Prop. 6 campaign qualified to be on the ballot with nearly a million signatures (nearly double what is required) and has an alternative solution to fixing roads without a tax hike. Yes on 6 would save a typical family of four more than $700 a year.

The Yes on 6 campaign has over 25,000 donors statewide and over 20,000 volunteers working throughout California. It is wise to research: Why has the opposition raised $28 million from big corporate donors including more than $3.9 million from out- of-state special interests to raise our taxes? This means the Yes on 6 campaign is being outspent 28-to-1.

Kitt Jenae

Nipomo

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MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Proposition 6 — August 11, 2018

Campaign season has started and November 6th is not that far off. One of the ballot measures you will be voting on is Proposition 6, which would repeal the gas and auto tax increase voted in by the Democratic supermajority and one Republican last year with Senate Bill 1.

The battle over Prop. 6 will be between taxpayers and tax-eaters. The “tax-eaters” are the cities, counties and state that will be fixing the roads. It is also the companies that will be retained to assist in this effort. So, the private sector industries benefiting from the taxpayers will be opposing this ballot measure in order to protect their potential profits. As they say, “when money talks, the truth is silent.” So you will hear plenty of reasons to oppose Prop. 6 by this well funded, and selfishly motivated constituency.

The sad story is that if this collaboration of tax-eaters could just convince Caltrans to be one of the better managed Departments of Transportation, we could have avoided this debate. Governor Brown failed in improving this department.

The “taxpayers” are you and your neighbors who are feeling the stress of being overtaxed. Last month, in the 29th Senate District, the voters showed their dissatisfaction with the gas tax increase by recalling their Senator, who had voted for it. The natives are definitely restless and this will be a fierce fall campaign battle.

The titular leader of the Proposition weighs in with two similar editorial pieces. The first is from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the second is from the San Francisco Chronicle. Carl DeMaio has been the energy bunny on this issue and continues to lead the charge. If you’ve been reading my UPDATEs since my election to the State Senate, you’ll see my research in both pieces.

Why Californians should repeal gas tax

By Carl DeMaio

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-prop6-gas-tax-repeal-20180803-story.html

Californians are struggling as the cost of living skyrockets higher. Unfortunately, state politicians are simply adding to the financial strain on working families with massive increases in our gas and car taxes.

That’s why it is important to vote Yes on Proposition 6 to repeal these regressive and unfair tax hikes that will increase the cost of living for the typical family of four by up to $800 more per year.

It gets worse! If we don’t pass Proposition 6, the car and gas tax hikes are slated to increase every year automatically — without a vote of the people.

This year Californians will pay nearly $1 more per gallon because of taxes, fees and other government mandates. By 2021, many Californians will be paying close to $2 more a gallon extra because of taxes, fees and other government mandates — that’s up to $40 extra each time you fill up your car.

Everyone agrees we need to fix our roads, but state politicians and special interests are lying to voters when they claim the gas and car tax hikes will be used to fix our crumbling roads.

As we have seen in the past, the gas tax money is largely diverted away from roads and what little funding that is provided to roads is riddled with waste, fraud and abuse.

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, released an independent analysis of CalTrans’ budget showing that only 20 percent of the gas tax funds were spent anywhere near roads.

Where do the politicians divert the gas tax money to? The funding has been diverted to cover budget deficits so politicians can continue to spend in other areas like higher salaries and pensions for state workers. For example, bus drivers in the Bay Area are earning six figures annually — with one bus driver earning $227,516 in pay and benefits last year alone!

Of the funds actually spent on infrastructure, the majority of funds get diverted from roads to transit buses, light rail projects, bike lanes (to replace roads), and even park land acquisition.

Our existing transportation agencies are riddled with waste and inefficiency. A recent study by the Reason Foundation shows for every $1 spent on average nationally to maintain or repair a mile of roadway, California spends $4.7 dollars for the same mile — a waste inflation factor of 470 percent.

Politicians will try to mislead you by bringing up the recently approved Proposition 69. Written entirely by politicians themselves, it is not the “lock box” they claim it is.

First, Proposition 69 did not cover all of the gas tax and transportation taxes we have to pay. Second, Proposition 69 contained zero accountability on where the gas funds will be spent — transit, bike lanes, parks, rail projects, etc. could receive all the funds instead of roads. Finally, the gas tax measure is specifically written to allow the governor to transfer the funds to cover General Fund shortfalls without a vote of the legislature or the people.

By voting Yes on Proposition 6 you can back a better solution to fix our roads without tax hikes.

Consider this simple fact: Before the latest gas and car tax hikes, Californians already paid one of the highest gas tax rates in the nation. That provides more than enough funding to have great roads, but only if the money is properly spent.

The Proposition 6 coalition not only seeks the repeal of the gas and car tax hikes, but we propose all of the previous gas tax be spent entirely on roads. We also propose earmarking the sales tax on cars to regional, inter-modal transportation projects. Finally we would impose significant accountability, efficiency and transparency reforms to make sure our funds are effectively spent.

A Yes vote on Proposition 6 will provide immediate tax relief to working families to help them with their cost of living. A Yes vote on Proposition 6 sends a message to out-of-touch politicians that we must make California more affordable, not less affordable. And a Yes vote on Proposition 6 puts us on the path to fixing our roads without a tax hike.

Nearly 1 million Californians signed the petition to get Proposition 6 on the ballot — Democrats, independents and Republicans all see our cost of living as unsustainable. Get more information on the Yes on Prop 6 campaign and join our grassroots effort by going to www.GasTaxRepeal.org.

DeMaio, a former San Diego City Councilmember, is Chairman of Reform California – Yes on Prop 6.

 

OPINION

Repeal California’s gas tax increase and require road repairs

By Carl DeMaio
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Repeal-California-s-gas-tax-increase-and-13145858.php

In this era of divisive politics, here’s something everyone can agree on: The cost of living in California is way too high. And the recently imposed increases in the state gasoline taxes and vehicle fees will hit working families hard by increasing the cost of living for the typical family of four by roughly $800 per year.

These tax increases are unfair, regressive and simply too much. That’s why nearly 1 million Californians from all walks of life signed the petition to get Proposition 6, the “Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative,” on the ballot. Democrats, independents and Republicans all see our cost of living as unsustainable.

In addition to providing immediate tax relief to working families by repealing the gas tax and vehicle fee increases, a “yes” vote on Prop. 6 sends a message to out-of-touch politicians that we must make California more, not less, affordable.

If we don’t pass Prop. 6, a gas tax is slated to increase every year automatically — without a vote of the people.

This year, Californians will pay nearly $1 more per gallon because of increased taxes, vehicle registration and commercial weight fees and other government mandates such as the cap-and-trade assessment on fuels. By 2021, many Californians will be paying close to $2 more a gallon extra because of taxes, fees and other government mandates.

In addition to fighting the higher costs, a “yes” Prop. 6 will end this fraud being perpetrated by Sacramento: That the state spends the money to fix our roads. Want proof? Prior to these gas and car tax increases, California drivers were already paying some of the highest gas taxes in the country, and yet we still have the fourth-worst roads, according to Business Insider.

State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa (Orange County), a certified public accountant, has called out a California Legislative Analyst Office’s analysis of state highway and road programs funding and spending that shows only 20 percent of the gas tax funds were spent on roads.

The politicians will claim that Proposition 69, the “Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox” initiative approved by 81 percent of the electorate in June, provides a guarantee for road spending, but that is a flat lie.

Prop. 69 fails to cover all the transportation taxes we pay. It fails to guarantee even a single penny for roads. Instead, Prop. 69 allows the money to be diverted to a wide range of programs, including bike lanes, parkland acquisition, transit programs, light rail, and the state’s debt-ridden government pension program. Finally, the law gives the governor the ability to transfer all gas tax funds to cover General Fund shortfalls without even a vote of the Legislature or the people!

Bottom line: There is no guarantee for roads in these more recent gas and vehicle tax increases.

What little money that does make it to the roads is riddled with waste, fraud and abuse. The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report reveals that California spends 2.6 times per mile more than the national average on state-controlled highways.

In 2014, California state auditors slammed Caltrans for “weak cost controls” that “create opportunities for fraud, waste and abuse.” Those same auditors also found Caltrans is overstaffed by 3,500 employees at a cost of a half billion dollars a year. One Caltrans engineer even golfed for 55 days while on the clock!

There is a better plan to fix our roads and transportation systems without a tax increase that will hurt working families.

The Prop. 6 coalition not only seeks the repeal of the gas tax and vehicle fee increases imposed by the Legislature this year, but we propose that 100 percent of gas tax revenues be spent on roads. We also propose earmarking the sales tax on autos for regional inter-modal transportation projects approved by voters in the region served. Finally, we would impose significant accountability, efficiency and transparency reforms to make sure our tax funds are effectively spent.

A “yes” vote on Prop. 6:

•Puts us on the path to fixing our roads without a gas tax increase.

•Gives struggling working families a break when they need it the most.

Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city council member, is the chairman of Reform California — Yes on Prop 6. For more information, go to www.GasTaxRepeal.org To comment, submit your letter to the editor at SFChronicle.com/letters.

 

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This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

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