Tag Archives: feinstein

CA, WI Join the Common Sense Brigade:Election Wrap-up

June 6, 2012   Today seems brighter. It was a big election night last night. Governor Scott Walker becomes the first governor in history to survive a recall effort. It wasn’t even close. In one of the most heated and important political battles in recent history, voters overwhelmingly approved of Walker’s reform efforts, handing a big loss to the heavily funded unions. Not to sound overdramatic (oh who am I kidding? I’m an actress; it’s my thing) but Walker’s victory has now become the official battle-cry of a spending-weary American electorate. The message has been sent. Voters can no longer tolerate being the sole support for bloated public pensions and Cadillac healthcare plans when they themselves are out of work and cutting back in all areas of daily life. Have no doubt, union bosses around the country are shaking in their boots. The bell cannot be unrung. The people mean business. The tea party is not dead – it’s just come to mean something else. It’s come to mean…Americans.

If you need more proof that the tidal wave against big government is gaining momentum, look no further than the biggest of big government states, California. Two cities – San Jose and San Diego- had pension reform on their ballots last night. They both won big. Also, new taxes were pretty much uniformly voted down across the state, including Prop 29, which imposed a new $1 per pack tax on cigarettes. It was a very close vote, but in the end voters decided they just couldn’t tolerate another tax, especially one that projected to raise $750 million without any of the revenue being allocated to pay down the state’s massive debt and pension liability.

As Jon Fleischman at the flashreport.org coined it, Tuesday night was V.U. Day – Victory Over Unions!

Other important ballots I was watching in California were:

Los Angeles District Attorney: In an unexpected upset, perceived frontrunner Carmen Trutanich was denied a spot in the top two. The heavily funded L.A. City Attorney was beat out by Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey (endorsed by outgoing D.A.Steve Cooley) and Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson (endorsed by law enforcement). Lacey and Jackson will head to the runoff.

Three Fullerton City Council members were successfully recalled in response to their handling of the beating death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police. Fullerton residents charged that the members covered for police during the investigation.

Todd Spitzer handily won the race for Orange County Supervisor, marshaling 68% of the vote over tea party favorite Deb Pauly. The controversy surrounding the race seems over for now.

Senator Diane Feinstein will run off against Republican Elizabeth Emken. Feinstein receive 50% of the vote, while Emken reached only 13%. Emken has seen weak fundraising compared to Feinstein – hundreds of thousands as compared to Feinstein’s millions. This will be a key race to watch in the coming months. Emken could get closer if the GOP decides to throw some money and support behind her.

Proposition 29 would levy another $1 per pack tax on cigarettes to “support cancer research”. This horribly flawed proposition is projected to raise $750 million in revenue with no provision for the money to be spent within the borders of California. As of this post the vote is still being declared to close to call, even with 100% of districts reporting. The “No” vote has edged out the approval vote so far by 65,000 votes out of more than 3 million cast and with absentee ballots still arriving. This verdict could stretch out for days or weeks. I’ll update as I receive information.

Proposition 28 is a stellar example of how the wording of a proposition on the ballot and in advertising is so absolutely vital. The proposition was billed as term limits, and it asked voters to reduce the number of years lawmakers could serve in legislature from 14 years to 12 years. Currently a lawmaker can serve two 3 year terms in the House and two 4 year terms in the Senate. Prop 28 shortens the total time one can serve, but allows lawmakers to serve those 12 years in either of the houses. This leaves our capitol at even greater risk for even more entrenched, corrupt politicians. Californians instinctively know they can’t trust their representation. Most people are in favor of term limits. Who would vote against them? The wording of the Prop on the ballot was such that anyone who had not properly done their research beforehand would have most likely been inclined to vote in favor. Prop 28 passed overwhelmingly and now it will be even harder to prevent entrenched cronyism.

The “top-two” system seemed just fine. We’ll have to wait to see the real effects in the coming months. I heard few complaints about it while I was out and about talking to voters.

In all, it was a great day for America. Wisconsin showed up big time and public sector unions across the country are looking over their shoulders at the fed up tax payers. With San Diego and San Jose also voting to reform their pension systems, could it be that common sense is making a comeback in California? I won’t hold my breath for that, but it’s a start.

UPDATE: June 7, 2012 It looks like Prop 29 has been narrowly defeated. No new cigarette taxes in California.

 crossposted at kiradavis.net

Californians Face Primary Voting Today: Races to Watch

Tuesday, June 5

Californians head to the polls today to vote in primary elections and the ballots will be longer than voters have seen in the past. That is because new ballot rules goes into effect this election cycle. Under the new “top-two” system, party affiliations are removed from candidates and voters will have the opportunity to choose from any candidate from any party. The top two winners will then square off in the November elections. This applies to all races except the Presidential race.

There are only two propositions on the ballot this cycle:

Prop 28 has been billed as “term limits” legislation but technically lengthens the amount of time legislators can serve. Currently legislators are limited to two 3-year terms in the Assembly and two 4-year terms in the Senate. That’s a total of 14 years a politician can serve in the legislature. Prop 28 reduces that limit to 12 years but allows lawmakers to serve that 12 years in either house.

Prop 29 levies a new $1 per pack cigarette tax to raise money for “cancer” research. Opponents say it creates a new bureaucracy and doesn’t allocate taxes to be spent within the borders California. So far polling on the measures shows Californians in favor of passing both.

A couple of other races to watch in California today:

In Orange County the heated, controversial race for County Supervisor between “establishment” Republican Todd Spitzer and “Tea Party” candidate Deb Pauly will come to a head. Both Spitzer and Pauly have thrown out contentious, serious allegations of misconduct against each other. Pauly was ousted as vice-chair of the OC Republican Party just days ago and Spitzer has been running from a record in which he increased pensions.

The Senate race, where Republican Elizabeth Emken will join 23 other candidates to take on the heavily funded Diane Feinstein

The race for District Attorney in Los Angeles, where Republican Alan Jackson will try to force a run-off against Carmen Trutanich. Trutanich (D) has faced accusations of corruption and bullying, but has raised twice the funds of Jackson.

Two local elections are mirroring what is happening in Wisconsin today. In San Diego and San Jose voters will be asked to decide on pension reforms in order to reign in the city budgets. Predictably, unions have been fighting the measures in both cities. The results will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the state, as California faces an $85 billion unfunded pension liability in the coming years.

California currently does not have any of those pesky, racist voter identification laws so vote early, vote often.

You can follow election results live at the Orange County Register . I’ll also be doing a live, remote show from a special location to be disclosed at showtime, so tune into the Dark Side with Kira Davis at 7:00 p.m. Pacific.

The Real Reason for Fast and Furious

Percentage Keeps Dropping

First, the Obama administration (and Hillary Clinton) claimed that 90% of the guns used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States. There was just one problem with the 90% “statistic” – it’s not true. The number of guns arriving in Mexico from the U.S. has been controversial ever since a June 2009 report said that 87 percent of guns seized in Mexico came from the United States. What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman said, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.” In 2007-2008, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced, and of those, 90 percent were found to have come from the U.S. But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.

When that percentage was investigated and eventually discredited, it mysteriously dropped to 70%. The key to understanding the 70% claim is the phrase, “Of the weapons recovered.” The firearms that have been recovered in Mexico represent only a small fraction of the total number of weapons used in criminal activity in the country. But the dropping percentage and facts did not stop Mexican President Felipe Calderon. In June, 2011, he said, “I accuse the U.S. weapons industry of [responsibility for] the deaths of thousands of people that are occurring in Mexico. It is for profit, for the profits that it makes for the weapons industry.”

Now we find that only 17% of guns recovered from Mexican crime scenes can be traced to the U.S. And only 8% of weapons recovered in Mexico came through licensed U.S. gun dealers.

The Real Motive

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that lax gun control laws was the real problem uncovered by Operation Fast and Furious. “My concern, Mr. Chairman, is there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made, but I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem. And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?” When asked how gun control laws would have prevented the abuses in Operation Fast and Furious when the law enforcement agents responsible for upholding gun laws were the individuals giving the weapons to drug cartels, her staff refused to answer.

During a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, former Assistant Attorney-General Lanny Breuer provided testimony that confirms that the information presented to Congress by the Department of Justice, that guns were not being allowed to walk, was false. But when Senator Feinstein started to question Breuer, her focus was on the ‘need for gun control’ and bans of so-called ‘assault weapons’ rather than on Brewer’s statement. Feinstein wasted no time in zeroing in on the idea that the flow of guns across the border into Mexico from the United States must be stopped. Not only did Feinstein initiate the subject of gun control, she repeated the misrepresentations the Administration used from the beginning to justify its operation in the Gun walker scheme, that the majority of the guns used by Mexican drug cartels come from the United States.

The Real Reason for Fast and Furious

One of the worst aspects of Fast and Furious is that it appears to have been carried out with the intention of increasing border crime and chaos to levels sufficient to persuade Americans to embrace more gun control. In an e-mail, sent in July, 2010, Mark Chat, ATF’s assistant director of field operations, asked William Newell, special agent in charge in Phoenix during Fast and Furious, to pay special attention to multiple long-gun sales at gun stores because the ATF was already “looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long-gun multiple sales.” It appears the passage of more gun control laws was the goal all along. The requirement for a special form on multiple long-gun sales to law-abiding Americans was already being contemplated.

But that’s just my opinion.