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CA Democrats Want to Raise the Gas Tax to Pay for Dam, Road Fixes

After posting up a picture of a San Bernardino County Fire Truck that lay on it’s side in a river of mud about 30 feet below the freeway surface, I got a flurry of comments on my Facebook Page from people criticizing me for blaming California’s elected leaders for what Mother Nature did.

That picture and the dramatic footage of the Studio City sinkhole that swallowed two cars have done what California’s infrastructure hawks couldn’t do for a decade: forced the question.  Those graphic images combined with the near catastrophic failure of the Oroville Dam—did more to make the public pay attention and care about the condition of California’s roads, bridges and dams than decades of warnings.

According to an LA Daily Breeze story, it’s been a wake up call for politicians and the public alike, but one California Democrat, state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, is pushing a proposal to raise $6 billion in new money by raising gas taxes.

Beall has proposed boosting the per-gallon gas tax by 12 cents, the diesel excise tax by 20 cents and the sales tax by 4 percent, plus enact an annual $100 fee on zero-emission vehicles.

“I’m not surprised by any of this that is happening right now because we have been delaying maintenance everywhere,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Southern California Association of Governments.

Former San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris quickly drew the same conclusion.

“I guess that’s testimony of the amount of maintenance needed in California,” Morris told the Breeze by phone.

“When you get rainstorms like we’ve experienced over the last several weeks, suddenly reality sets in,” he said.

State Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula, termed the damage a wake-up call – and symbol.

“It’s symbolic that we’re not paying attention to infrastructure,” Stone said. “It’s a symptom of a greater problem. It all comes down to neglect.”

Even some Democrats are willing to concede that infrastructure must  become a priority.

Former Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale admitted that the storm damage reflect the lack of attention California leaders have given to transportation lately.

“Some of it is human nature,” Gatto said.

He said public officials, like everyday people, often react to problems and challenges rather than plan for them in advance.

“But you can’t attribute all of this to human nature,” he said. “We need a little more forethought in our state.”

Perhaps this rare note of agreement by both parties can lead to action.

Getting back to even will be daunting.

Ikhrata said a recent analysis estimated there is a 10-year, $296 billion backlog of maintenance for the state as a whole, and a $190 billion backlog for the six counties the association represents.

“This is just to bring the system up to par,” he said.

A Few Suggested Solutions:

  • We need to pass a budget that reflects and prioritizes our actual priorities.
  • Gov’t doesn’t exist to give everyone a cushy job and a retirement, so renegotiate every contract starting with our elected officials from the top down, and include every single state employee, union and non-union alike, get rid of duplicate agencies, and cut down the number of regulations so you can fire a lot of the unnecessary regulators, saving money.
  • Cut off every penny of direct and indirect aid that is taxpayer-funded to illegal aliens. If people want to help them, let them do it with their charity, not our infrastructure dollars.
  • Figure out the savings from above actions and invest it from the general fund (not more borrowed bond money) into the most critical infrastructure projects in the order of urgency
  • Dams, Waterways, Bridges, Roads only, not enviro-pork or politician’s pet projects like high speed rail, or sand dunes in Pismo or bike paths in San Diego.

That’s what I’d do to start. Lots of other things need to be done, but if we stopped spending so much money on things that Gov’t was never intended to do, we could begin an aggressive campaign to update, repair, and expand our infrastructure (much like they did in the 1940’s and 1950’s to sustain the 38 Million Californians who now live here. It’s not complicated, but it would require some hard choices.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman, who ran for CA Governor in 2014.  His first book, Patriot Not Politician:  Win or Go Homeless exposes the endless corruption within California’s dysfunctional legislature.   You can buy an autographed copy here, or click here to order a standard copy of the book on Amazon.

 

 

 

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The Cost of Wasting Tax Dollars on Illegal Aliens instead of Infrastructure

This is the cost of spending all our tax dollars in CA on freebies for illegal aliens, public sector unions and politician’ pet projects like the High Speed Rail boondoggle–instead of investing in and maintaining our infrastructure.  Fire truck falls off collapsing freeway (see video, it’s unreal), sink holes in Los Angeles gobbling up Mercedes SUV’s, the nation’s tallest dam comes to the brink of collapsing under the massive burden of serving as the collection point for almost 2/3’s of the drinking water in the state as it feeds water through the State Water project.

Last time we gave out—or proposed a new benefit for illegal aliens?  24 hours ago with the proposed Gov’t run single-payer health insurance plan to include illegal aliens.  Before that it’s been every few days since the election of Donald Trump.

Proposal to make California a Sanctuary State.

Proposal to give Obama’s unvetted refugees in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

Proposal to cut off Federal Withholding taxes to Federal Gov’t unless they back off immigration enforcement.

California Democrats are so drunk with power that the President Pro Tem of the CA State Senate admitted half his family is here illegally and uses fraudulent documents to work.

 

Last time we actually built a dam?  38 years.

 

The year was 1979–the New Melones Dam.

 

You just can’t make this stuff up.  Maybe it’s time for a new direction in California.  Time to Make California Great Again!

 

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California Democrats Propose In-State Tuition for Refugees

California Democrats have proposed a law to give refugees in-state tuition at publicly-funded colleges and universities, and grant to others “priority enrollment status” over U.S. citizens.

According to the Orange County Register, State Assembly Democrats announced a package of bills Wednesday to grant refugees in-state tuition at public colleges and provide money to school districts with large child refugee populations.

Another bill in the package would also give refugees with Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) who served the U.S. Armed Forces or State Department in Iraq or Afghanistan priority enrollment in public colleges and help them apply foreign work experience toward a professional license.

Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), and Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) held a press conference in Sacramento on Wednesday to announce their package of bills.

“We’re not taking part in this fear mongering and this hatred, and in fact we’re going to do the opposite,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), the Register reported. “We’re going to open our arms. We’re going to continue to find ways to support them and say, ‘You are welcome.’”

Sacramento Assemblyman McCarty also likened individuals with SIVs — earned for their work with the State Department or U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan — to U.S. combat veterans.

However, when the California legislature first passed its so-called “Deam Act” to give in-state tuition to illegal aliens who attend California’s taxpayer-funded public colleges and universities, that same privilege was not offered to active-duty service members and their families, who might be transferred to California for duty.

Although that discrimination against military service members has since been rectified, it still does not include spouses and college-aged children, who often move into California to be close to their loved one.

According to Kevin McCarty’s official Assembly website (emphasis added):

The California Welcomes Refugees package pushes back on religious and racially charged hate rhetoric from the federal government that has sought to limit refugees and other legal immigrants from entering the United States. The legislative package will offer a number of ways to help refugees successfully integrate in California, including:

  1. Providing refugees with in-state tuition at public colleges and providing priority enrollment for refugees with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) (those who served the U.S. Armed Forces or the U.S. State Department in Iraq or Afghanistan).

  2. Allowing SIV refugees to apply foreign work experience toward a professional license.

  3. Making a one-time budget request of $5 million to provide grants to Local Education Agencies in counties with high child refugee populations to improve refugee student integration.

  4. Declaring June 20, 2017 as World Refugee Day and affirming California’s commitment to support and protect refugees from throughout the world.

California is home now to almost 8,000 refugees brought in under President Barack Obama’s program.

The bill, Assembly Bill 343, is available here.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman.

Author, Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/

Twitter:  @PatriotNotPol

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California State Senate Leader: ‘Half My Family’ Here Illegally

California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Léon (D-Los Angeles) said last Tuesday that “half his family” was in the country illegally, using false documents, and eligible for deportation under President Trump’s new executive order against “sanctuary” jurisdictions.

De Léon, who introduced the bill, made his remarks at a hearing in Sacramento on SB54, the bill to make California a “Sanctuary State.

He said (at 1:27:34 in the video that follows):

… I can tell you half of my family would be eligible for deportation under [President Donald Trump’s] executive order, because if they got a false Social Security card, if they got a false identification, if they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB60, if they got a false green card, and anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That’s what you need to survive, to work. They are eligible for massive deportation.

Testifying before the Senate Public Safety Committee, De Léon defended the widespread practice by illegal aliens of using fraudulent documents to work and obtain taxpayer-paid benefits, dismissing any concerns California citizens may have about being the target of identity theft.

In an interview the following day on KPCC 89.3’s Air Talk with Larry Mantle, De Léon expressed outrage that President Trump’s executive order would include those who possess fraudulent documents or committed identity theft to obtain a Social Security number.

“Someone simply who received or purchased a [fraudulent] Social Security card down at McArthur Park, or elsewhere in my district would be eligible immediately for mass deportation,” De Léon said (at 11:45 in the link above).

“He’s trying to deputize police officers — and with the suspicion of someone being a criminal or having a broken taillight, that they themselves, as a local police officer, could call the ICE agents immediately and have that person deported without even legal due process.”

Host Larry Mantle asked him: “… First of all, I just — I want to make sure I understand correctly: You don’t think purchasing a phony Social Security card and number should be a deportable offense?”

De Léon replied: “I don’t think so … the vast majority of immigrants — hard working immigrants — have done that.  I can tell you I have family members specifically who came here as undocumented immigrants, and they did the same thing. That’s what you need to do to survive in this economy.”

Mantle objected: “But of course the problem is, — and I know people too — who’ve had their Social Security numbers and identities stolen as a result of that….”

De Léon minimized the problem, saying it was not the same as “Russian” hacking.

Breitbart News’ calls to the President Pro Tem’s office were unreturned.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman, who writes a column for Breitbart News.

Author, Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless