Stem cell pork 0

Back in 2004 California voters passed Prop. 71: $3 billion in bonds for research on embryonic stem cells. The full cost, including interest on the bonds, will be $6 billion. Many people opposed it because of the abortion argument.

But another argument in opposition was that this was “industrial policy” — the government picking winners and losers in business. That’s the main reason Japan has been stuck in a “lost decade,” as the Tokyo government, to deal with a recession, started intervening in industry — inevitably picking the wrong businesses to invest in.… Read more

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State of the Union 3

Those wishing to understand the full power public employee unions hold over state government — or who simply feel too good about life in general and want to come down a few notches — ought to peruse today’s new Legislative Analyst’s Office report titled, The Governor’s Employee Compensation Proposals.

It starts off pretty easily, with the stat that the state pays rouhgly $24 billion in payroll each year and the view that the LAO itself “believe[s] that employee compensation reductions are necessary due to the magnitude of the budget problem.” But then it’s all doom, all the time from then on…

* On the governor’s proposal to increase employee pension contribution rates by 5 percent of pay: “Pension Contribution Shift Is Very Risky.… Read more

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Mixed reviews to Baugh's gauntlet 0

Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh told me today that his speech, delivered at the county central committee the night before the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, calling on the his county party to withhold its endorsement from candidates who accept union funds has met with a mixed reaction. The grassroots has appreciated his stance, the unions have been angry and politicians have been mixed.… Read more

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State may sue CCPOA over owed funds 3

Jan. 26, 2010

By STEVEN GREENHUT

The Schwarzenegger administration has threatened legal action against the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association — the prison guards’ union — if its officials continue to refuse to pay the millions of dollars the union owes the state to reimburse taxpayers for the time its leaders spend on union business.

According to the administration, CCPOA is supposed to pay the state for the salaries and benefits for its top leaders, who spend their careers doing union business yet remain on the state payroll and receive government pensions.… Read more

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We wuz robbed! 0

There’s an old rule in journalism that says always credit your sources. I think they still teach it in Journalism School. Anyway, someone ought to school Sacramento Bee blogger Torey Van Oot in this practice.

I’m referring to this Capitol Alert blog entry, posted at 10:41 on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 26: “Steinberg looks to rename LOB after Dem strategist Bill Cavala.” It’s a short post that does little more than quote from Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s Jan.… Read more

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The enemy of clear language 0

Jan. 26, 2010

Sometimes I really feel sorry for reporters who cover the Capitol. Their job is to follow around our esteemed elected officials, hauling their notebooks, laptops, cameras and recording equipment to all manner of photo ops and press conferences. And there they sit (or stand), dutifully recording the officials’ words in hopes that they can later pass some important truth onto their audience.… Read more

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