Sunday, May 31, 2009

California’s Whitman gains powerhouse endorsement from GOP heavyweight John McCain

In a town hall meeting Meg Whitman, a GOP frontrunner for governor, gained a powerhouse endorsement from former presidential candidate John McCain. “I was inspired by John to run for governor, his commitment for smaller government is now mine,” Whitman said.

Whitman brings a lot to the table. She is a savvy businesswoman who brought eBay through the national ranks. Worth an estimated $1.4 billion, Whitman claims she has what it takes to not let California fail and be the state’s first female governor.

The usual stump speech topics were presented to an enthusiastic crowd in Orange County. “We will create more jobs by stripping the regulation and high taxes associated with California,” Whitman announced. “Next we must cut wasteful spending and finally address the K-12 schools that now rank 48th in the country.”

These statements are nothing new to the campaign trail; however Whitman yields a lot of calculated business experience in her portfolio. “Her ability to streamline business will make her successful in Sacramento,” Senator McCain added. “She will bring hope and confidence back to the state capitol.”

Whitman proposes a host of solutions for the problems that plague California. In an attempt to build a broad bipartisan coalition, Whitman plans to work directly with union workers.

“First, more than 80 percent of workers are working without a contract. I will tackle the unions by renegotiating these contracts. Technology is another important sector within the state that isn’t being used to its full potential. I will also employ technology to streamline the state government,” she said.

Another area Whitman proposes cutting back is within the DMV. “If we simply pay once every two years, we will save the state $1 billion per year.”

It is clear Whitman is comfortable on the national stage. The ease at which she answered questions proves she is up for the tough task of running for California’s top spot.

“Meg speaks with candor,” said Amy Colin, a town hall attendee. “I thought she was a better speaker than John McCain and her ability to really breakdown any question put to her was impressive.”

A trend Whitman hopes to reverse is the staggering size of state government. “The state capitol has grown by 80 percent in the last 10 years. That is a real problem,” she said.

Indeed reducing the size of government may pose a bigger problem than anyone anticipates. Sacramento’s growth comes with a union cost. In fact these unions run the state capitol by controlling the legislature’s purse strings.

“There are not many people who are willing to vote themselves out of a job,” Whitman says. “But I will cut a strict 10 percent across the board. I feel bad for those who will lose their job, but I also feel bad for the other unemployed Californian’s who don’t work for the state.”

Looking down the road one can’t help but notice the California school system is in a lot of trouble. When asked how she would repair a broken system near the bottom of the list, Whitman turned to the Florida playbook.

“Under Jeb Bush, Florida was able to turn their schools around by implementing three things,” she explained.

First, Bush graded each school A-F, letting parents know where their schools stood. Then the Florida governor increased the number of Charter schools in order to provide parent choice and finally he paid higher performing teachers more money.

“Once parents can see how their individual school is performing, they will get together and make the necessary changes for their children’s education,” Whitman insisted.

The one thing Whitman promises to make use of that current Gov. Schwarzenegger does not is the ‘Line Item Veto.’ “This is something the president of the U.S. would kill for and I plan to use a lot as governor.”

Meg Whitman Bio

Meg Whitman, 52, retired from eBay in March 2008 following a decade with the company. She helped eBay grow from 30 employees and $4.7 million in revenue to more than 15,000 employees, almost $8 billion in revenue and a network of 12 million users in California alone.

Before eBay, Whitman distinguished herself in leadership positions with Procter & Gamble, Bain & Company, Disney, Stride Rite Corporation, FTD and Hasbro.

On February 9, 2009, she announced the formation of her Exploratory Committee for Governor of California.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taking refuge in the U.S. legally is a long road

San Diego – All too often immigration is associated with illegal crossing of the southern borders, however, taking refuge in America legally is a long road, but possible.

One such legal route is sought through International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit organization that relocates thousands of refugees throughout the United States. This year alone the U.S. will take in close to 80,000 refugees.

Most in this country do not know the true meaning of the word refugee says, Eleyce Northcraft a volunteer outreach coordinator with the IRC. “The U.N has strict guidelines with the definition. A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence.”

Around the globe there are an estimated 42 million refugees, but only 14 million have status through the United Nations. “The need is so great for assistance that it is hard to get the paperwork processed,” Northcraft said.

In fact refugees often have to wait in oppressive refugee camps for more than five years before they are able to reach the safe haven of the U.S. “Those are five long years to wait without hope,” Northcraft explains. “The paperwork required to reach their last chance home requires a lot of patience. However, once the refugees arrive, their hard work is not over.”

The long journey to America has an unlikely beginning. Once the legal path is established, the refugees must take out a loan and purchase their expensive international airplane tickets. The IRC believes this step gives the refugees a stake in their new life.

When the refugees land in the U.S., the hard work of acclamation ensues. “The day after they arrive they need to report to the IRC center and fill out even more paperwork,” Northcraft said.

All refugees are required to obtain a social security card, get a job and most importantly learn how to survive in America. “Most of the refugees don’t know how to get along in a highly-technological society,” according to Northcraft. “Some of these refugees come from third world countries and have never even seen an ATM card let alone know how to use it.”

Part of the acclamation process includes learning to speak English, tackle the public transportation system and learn how to maintain their apartment on a monthly basis. “The families need to enroll their children in public schools, learn how to not be intimidated in the grocery stores and figure out how to get by in a new country,” Northcraft explained.

Upon arriving in this country the refugees are provided with a fully-furnished apartment, stocked with all the necessities (like beds, toiletries and food) and money to get by. Depending on their circumstances, they have up to eight months to establish a lively hood and make it on their own.

During this time the IRC spends endless hours teaching English classes. “This task is often an arduous task because many of the adults have never been in a classroom,” Northcraft said. “But learning the language is crucial to their success.”

Northcraft also points out that approximately 80 percent of IRC refugees do become fully integrated within the U.S. “Most of these people realize this is their last chance and they have the pride to succeed.”

Placement within the U.S. is also taken into consideration. For example, San Diego receives a lion’s share of Iraqis because it has a large community already established. “This makes it much easier for new families to adjust. If they are able to communicate in their home language and have some sort of familiar cultural practices, they are more likely to transition into American society,” Northcraft said.

Finally the IRC states the refugees do not come here for a free ride, they are motivated to be here and know this is really their last opportunity. In fact, 50 percent of the IRC’s employees are former refugees themselves. “Their language skills are certainly in high demand in this country,” Northcraft concludes.

A refugee’s freedom doesn’t come easily, but in America many things are possible when you respect the law. And with the IRC‘s help, the refugees journey; from harm to home is complete.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California prepares to slash and burn its budget just in time for summer

Memorial Day weekend traditionally sets summer into motion. This year Sacramento will begin to slash and burn the state’s $23 billion budget deficit.

In an attempt to cut billions of dollars Sacramento is set to cut jobs and funds for the following big ticket state entities; education, law enforcement, prisons, healthcare as well as other social programs.

Statewide elected officials will also see their paychecks decrease by 18 percent. However, California’s lawmakers will continue to be the highest paid lawmakers in the country. Not to be outshined, California’s teachers, firefighters and prison guards are also among the highest paid in the country.

Next, the Governor is looking to borrow $2 billion from local governments. Isn’t this how California got into this pickle? But Gov. Schwarzenegger won’t stop there; he is also looking to borrow an additional $15 billion in federally-backed bonds. Again, not to be picky here but this isn’t cutting, it’s borrowing.

Last week Californians went to the polls and sent Sacramento a clear message to shrink the size of government. Also last week former Secretary of State Colin Powell said the people wanted more government and they were willing to pay extra for the services. Really?

Republican lawmakers in Sacramento have proposed some cuts of their own. They would like to cap the days they can work (lucky them), reduce pensions and transfer state government jobs into the private sector. I’m pretty sure that will be tough to accomplish as Sacramento is riddled with special interests and unions. Good luck.

Here are my top three picks to get the state back on track.

First, stop the green nonsense. California enacted a state law for public transportation providers;. By 2012 all transportation agencies must have 15 percent of their fleet “green.” Sounds fair?

These so-called “green buses” cost a staggering $51 per mile for fuel and maintenance. On the flip side it only costs $1.61 per mile for fuel and maintenance for a diesel bus. Not tough to do the math here. In addition, independent researchers have pointed out the change in buses would do little to protect the environment against global warming.

Next up the bullet train boondoggle, the start-up cost for this project is somewhere around $81 billion. Independent researchers have noted that Californian’s would pay at least $70 billion in interest charges. This would cost the taxpayers a whopping $150 billion. Looking at what a colossal failure Amtrak is, I don’t envision any return for the taxpayer money.

This high speed train would service a San Francisco to Sacramento route; Sacramento to Los Angeles route and possibly a Los Angeles to San Diego route. Due to the size of California the train would still take an hour longer than an airplane and would cost more. With California’s current budget problems the state simply cannot afford this misguided project.

Finally, there is no way California can continue an open border policy. With an economy that continues its downward spiral, spending money on people who are not here legally is wrong. If California really wants to get its golden state status back, it needs to close all the immigration loopholes.

A good start would be to pass the California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010. This would save California $1 billion up front and many billions down the road.

The people spoke last week, now it’s up to Sacramento to start listening.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The cost of freedom is often silence

Old Glory flying proudly, the sound of taps dancing in the air and memories of silence embrace the most solemn U.S. national holiday – Memorial Day. It is one day set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our liberty.

Perhaps our first president, George Washington said it best, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”

We don’t often talk about the real meaning of Memorial Day. Most think of it as the opening day of summer. Some head to the beach, others barbeque with friends or watch the Indy 500. Most get a paid holiday and the ability to sleep in. However, few take the time to cherish what this day offers. It offers a chance of remembrance for those who lost their lives fighting in abhorrent conditions in a country far away – away from their loved ones, away from their home.

As America inches further away from the horrors of September 11th, we seem to ponder less of wartime and more about ourselves.

“We are a nation of patriots,” President George W. Bush said after the World Trade Center attacks. “The attacks of September 11th, and the attacks that have followed, were designed to break our spirit. But, instead, they’ve created a new spirit in America. We have a renewed spirit of patriotism. We see it in the countless flags that are flying everywhere in America. We hear it in familiar phases that move us more deeply than ever before.”

Liberty is not free. Liberty often means the sound of silence, the loss of life. Since 9/11 the call to freedom came and thousands of everyday Americans heard the call. Let us not forget them, let us hear their silence.

In an era long ago President Abraham Lincoln said on the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” We will never forget.

Every American generation has heard the call, all have fought honorably and some lost it all. We will never forget.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” John F. Kennedy said.

Our great nation doesn’t often get the praise it deserves. But let us not forget that we are that shining beacon of hope. We are the most compassionate nation. Let’s remember what our Founding Fathers wanted when they embarked on their New World experiment. They wanted freedom and liberty for all.

“A people free to choose, will always choose peace,” said Ronald Reagan. “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” We will never forget.

It seems that our modern-day wars are fought in honor of allies. Americans give their lives and treasure to bring liberty to those who are unable to attain it on their own. “Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government,” Thomas Jefferson said. We will never forget.

“We must remember that many who served in our military never lived to be called veterans. We must remember many had their lives changed forever by experiences or the injuries of combat. All veterans are examples of service and citizenship for every American to remember and to follow,” President George W. Bush said, Oct. 30, 2001.

Indeed we are Americans. We sing a National Anthem and say our Pledge of Allegiance with a heart-felt passion – always remembering – never forgetting.

“Let freedom ring, let freedom ring,” says Martin Luther King Jr.

We will remember their silence.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

President Obama sharply disagrees with U.S. Senate over Guantanamo

In a break from a very popular president, the United States Democratic-led Senate voted 90-6 against funding the closing of Guantanamo Bay prison. President Obama’s administration was looking for $80 million to begin the closing down process.

“The president’s speech today was trying to sell a plan and tell people to trust him one more time,” U.S. Rep Brian Bilbray R-Calif. said. “Obama did change his mind with regard to the release of detainee photos and this is another chance for us to change his mind.”

In a speech from the National Archives in Washington D.C., the president restated his vow to close the prison which houses more than 240 detainees.

Not to be outdone, former Vice President Dick Cheney gave a fact-driven speech of his own at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. “When the new president mischaracterizes the Bush Administration – he deserves an answer.” Cheney has been out front on this issue vehemently defending the Bush policies.

In the months leading up to the election we heard then vice presidential candidate Joe Biden –D-DE explained that Obama was going to face a steep learning curve. “As we see with the Gitmo situation, you see the curve is real steep,” Bilbray said. “The fatal problem here is the president is doing this all for image and he is not worried about the taxpayer’s pocketbook.”

The Bush administration went to great expense to modernize the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The facility is surrounded by three bodies of water and Communist Cuba on the fourth. “It’s the perfect location with all the security required,” Bilbray said.

In another speech to the Senate on Wednesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller told congress bringing the detainees to the U.S. could pose a number of risks – even in the “supermax” prisons. This led to the landslide vote and the Senate turning away the president’s plan to close the often controversial Gitmo compound.

The president said he “won’t let this problem fester.” He also accused the GOP of “fear mongering.”

Former Clinton and Bush CIA Director George Tenet disagrees; “I’ve seen it all, this program works.”

Where the detainees end up is anyone guess. In a recent briefing from the Pentagon there are four potential sites for these terrorists to go. Two of them are in San Diego county; MCAS Miramar and Camp Pendleton.

“San Diego would be a terrible location. We live in one of the largest metropolitan cities,” Bilbray explained. “If the terrorist were moved here, there is a real possibility that other terrorists would target the facility to break out their buddies.”

Another fear for the San Diego location is the terrorists could scout out the employees who work at the prison and target their families in order to get the keys. “In Guantanamo, the personnel are anonymous and we don’t have those fears,” Bilbray said. “The president just needs to stop, count to ten, and be brave long enough to say, ‘I was wrong about this.’”

A statement from U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter R-Calif. reads; “Instead of using this opportunity to put forward a thought out, detailed plan to close Guantanamo Bay, the president continued to defend his decision with vague and simple assurances.”

“Still, there is no workable plan on the table or even under discussion, which is why congress rejected the president’s request for funding to proceed with this effort,” Congressman Hunter is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Californians just say No

Californians just say NO

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego – Californians just said no; No to Sacramento’s bungling of the state’s revenue, no to higher taxes and no to business as usual in California.

A title wave is headed to the shores of the golden state. However, the wave is a $21.3 billion deficit. The years of over spending met their fate yesterday with a thumping at the voting booths. All five of the budget related propositions 1A-E was voted down by a 2-1 margin. The only measure to pass was the feel good proposition 1F of no pay increases for legislators during a deficit spending year.

“It was a very good day for California,” quips Dr. Gary Gonsalves of Stop Taxing Us. “The voters told the legislature to start cutting up the credit cards, you will charge no more.”

“That was the cut waste exclamation point tax reform groups needed,” said Ted Hilton of the Taxpayers Revolution. “The vote yesterday will increase momentum for the 2010 ballot initiative California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010.”

This initiative will save taxpayers upwards of $1 billion a year in the CalWORKs cases by eliminating benefits for children of illegal aliens which are not mandated by federal law.

“The voters are fed up with government overall and yesterday’s vote reflects their frustration with a state capitol that clearly lacks creditability,” U.S. Rep Brian Bilbray, R- Calif. said. “The people of California have sent a clear signal to the lawmakers.”

A statement from the Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger office read, “We have heard from the voters and I respect the people who are frustrated with the dysfunction in our budget system. We must now move forward.”

The governor promises to make cuts across the board, including a proposed release of prisoners. Congressman Bilbray doesn’t envy the tough choices the governor has to make. “When I was a mayor, I had to make similar choices. Going forward I don’t blame Schwarzenegger’s choices, he has to bring California together financially.”

California’s budget stalemate began earlier this year. The Sacramento lawmakers were all but locked into discussions by the governor in round the clock negotiations. The end result was a tax increase on three fronts; 1 percent increase in sales tax, income tax increase and the vehicle registration tax hike.

The two thirds vote garnered only six republican lawmakers in favor of tax hikes. In an attempt to shrug off continued cuts in California’s public spending the governor tried to let the people decide. They decided.

The 2010 budget crisis isn’t just a California problem. It has been reported that 44 states face a combined deficit of $121 billion. Still California faces the lion share of the problem with a predicted $42 billion deficit heading into 2010.

It’s clear the recent tax day tea parties are gaining more traction than the national press has reported. “For those who thought these tea parties were just complaints, it’s clear Californian’s feel otherwise,” Hilton explained.

Now that the voters have spoken grassroots organizations like Stop Taxing Us will grow, recruit and promote their philosophies. “We will continue to let people know we are on their side,” Gonsalves said.

The results:

Prop 1A – Yes 34 percent – No 65 percent
Prop 1B – Yes 37 percent – No 62 percent
Prop 1C – Yes 35 percent – No 64 percent
Prop 1D – Yes 34 percent – No 65 percent
Prop 1E – Yes 33 percent – No 66 percent
Prop 1F – Yes 73 percent – No 26 percent

For more stories link:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tax Hike Anyone? California Voters Head to the Polls

San Diego – A number of concerned voters will head to the polling station tomorrow to vote for a tax hike, however the latest poll numbers have five of the six going down in flames.

Usually state politicians would be out front in promoting these new propositions, but with the state legislature garnering only a 14 percent approval rating and the governor’s 33 percent approval rating these propositions lack a strong voice.

At this weekend’s get-out-the-vote rally in Spanish Landing Park hundreds chanted “No more taxes.” One of the organizers of the event, Leslie Eastman, a stay at home mom said, “I’m tired of the politicians raising my taxes.”

Eastman and two other moms started the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition in order to have their say in state politics. “I just wanted to voice my opinion and give others the opportunity to speak out against these ridiculous tax burdens placed on our families.”

The main focus of this rally was to enlighten the voters on the upcoming election. “Let me be perfectly clear, proposition 1A has nothing to do with a spending cap,” Richard Rider of San Diego Tax Fighters said. “This government is just as dishonest as when they tried to pass the balanced budget act in 2004.”

Rider explained there are many ways for a state government to save money. “They just need to change the way they deliver their services.”

Some examples Rider pointed out included saving money on printing costs. “Often large jobs receive big discounts; the in house cost is 5 cents per copy. However, if the government sends the printing jobs out they would only pay 1 cent per copy. This simple formula saves taxpayer money.”

Another big saving idea comes with city-owned vehicles. “Right now the city pays $8,700 per car for maintenance each year. This is simply outrageous,” Rider slammed. “We need to provide the adult supervision to change these outrageous expenditures.”

Rider’s watchdog group also contends that if the city and state simply contracted out services such as library, prisons or DMVs the taxpayer would save millions of dollars per year. “Outside vendors are capable of running businesses much more efficiency.”

However, the biggest proponent to privatization is the unions. They have created a strangle hold on most government agencies. “It’s hard to get these people to vote themselves out of a job,” Rider stated.

This has sparked many Californians to get good and mad. “We all have to shout out for conservatism and more importantly localism,” Eastman said.

Another big spending issue that outrages many taxpayers is the pension’s local, state and federal employees receive. “These government workers receive anywhere from 120-140 percent of their highest paid income year. Most average folks don’t realize working for the government has its perks,” Rider explained. “Not only are they getting these great pensions, but they are making approximately 30 percent more per government job over an equivalent private sector position.”

“It is the civic responsibility of every American to stand in defense of their communities when foreclosures are rampant, business doors are closing all over the nation and people are threatened with keeping less of their money,” Tommy Chandler said. “The Tea Party is our stand.”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

California budget crisis leads to a fire sale

California budget crisis leads to a fire sale

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego- California’s budget crisis leads to a fire sale. Need money now? Quick sell some of your stuff. For average Americans that means electronics, cars or maybe a house- but in the case of California it means, San Quentin Prison (Charles Manson’s home), Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Home of the 1984 Olympics) or Del Mar Fairgrounds (home of Del Mar Racetrack).

Yes, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the market to sell some California stuff. Among other ideas the Governor is reaching his hand out to Washington to work with U.S. Rep. Barney Frank –D-MA. The state capitol is seeking Washington’s help in raising some federal-backed bonds, all this back room dealing in order to keep California afloat through the fall.

The reality about California’s fiscal problems run far deeper than the sale of some real estate. Even if the state was able to unload the properties and procure short-term loans, the state still faces a massive deficit.

California voters will go to the polls on May 19 to vote themselves a tax hike. But the Field Poll for California shows a double-digit no vote. Taxpayers aren’t buying into another tax increase. Even if the voters passed one of the measures 1A, the state will still face a $21.3 billion deficit through mid 2010.

The time has come for California to pay the piper and figure out how to restructure. Something about the line by line process that may be in order.

One such new program that may be put before the voters is The California Protection Act of 2010. This will do away with the anchor baby program many illegal aliens use to gain residency in California. This commonly leads to more children and lifetime welfare.

Once Californian’s are able to see how their money is being spent, maybe, just maybe real change will happen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Washington continues its power grab in California

Washington continues its power grab in California

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego – California’s broke. If there was a state that needed the stimulus money the most, California would be near the top, yet Washington D.C continues its power grab by not releasing the $6.8 billion in promised funds.

The Service Employee International Union’s (SEIU) has filed a complaint against California in Washington with the Obama administration that the state unfairly cut wages by $74 million (1.4 percent of California’s budget) for a group of its healthcare workers.

This same group of 223,000 caregivers pays the SEIU nearly $5 million per month in union dues. According to The Los Angeles Times, this particular program has “loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia that have allowed fraud to fester.”

In effect the federal government wants to run California. “Why do we have governors, mayors and other elected officials if Washington D.C. and the Obama administration can strong arm how we conduct business within the state,” U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray R-Calif. said.

“The intimidation and shake down of Chicago-style politics Obama is using shouldn’t be tolerated,” Bilbray continued. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn’t back down to these SEIU union officials or the White House.”

When California faces huge deficits and the first decline in state income tax revenue since 1938 the back and forth couldn’t come at a worse time. Also for the first time in the state’s history the largest source for income will not come from sales, property or income taxes, but courtesy of the federal government.

According to a SEIU spokesperson the union donated more than $33 million to get Obama into the White House. “This is political payback pure and simple,” explained Bilbray.

At the time of posting there was no comment from the White House and the $6.8 billion in stimulus money remained in limbo.

“We can’t give into the White House on this. What would be next?” Bilbray finished.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Driving Into Chaos

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego – Driving in Southern California on any given day can be a minefield. Throw in unlicensed drivers and you have a recipe for chaos.

Illegal aliens find themselves in a catch 22 when they attempt to navigate the highways. What are Californians’ to do? Escondido police Chief Jim Maher believes the Department of Motor Vehicles should give those living in the shadows a driver’s license.

He contends that at the very least they would be required to read the traffic signs, pass a state driving test and procure insurance.

Sounds great.

Except proponents like Federation for American Immigration Reform F.A.I.R argue issuing state identification rewards breaking the law and doesn’t keep anyone from canceling the insurance coverage the very next day.

Currently the U.S. government only employs the U.S. passport as a universal identification document. However, many Americans never obtain a passport, leaving drivers licenses as their sole identification method.

This leaves many in a state of influx and perplexed about the growing concern when it comes to protecting Americans in a post 9/11 world.

All of the 9/11 hijackers had a drivers license. All made it through airport security. All were able to find residences with their driver’s licenses as identification.

This tactic of giving those living in the country illegally drivers licenses cost former California Gov. Gray Davis his job. Shortly after he signed the bill into law, a massive recall effort for Davis ensued and he lost his job.

After the 9/11 Commission Report came out, politicians in Washington jumped on board to pass the Real ID Act in early 2005.

The Real ID Act provisions established national standards for the issuance of driver’s licenses and barred people living in the country illegally from obtaining an ID that could be used to say, vote, drive or enroll in flight school.

Other groups that would be barred from obtaining a license are people with ties to terrorist organizations and political asylum immigrants. The Real ID Act also determined it was essential for the completion of the border security fence.

There is no doubt that the immigration issue in this country is in a quagmire. Moving forward is going to be contentious with sides being taken. But there will be a debate later this year and it would behoove all citizens to study what the ramifications will be for this national reform issue. Americans need to examine how this will impact their daily lives.

Commencing in June Congress will take up the discussion of the Real ID Act. This Homeland security issue will be put on the floor in a different form for the politicians to vote on.

Now that the numbers have shifted in Congress, a new bill known as the PASS ID Act is floating around. This bill would roll back all the security improvements made since 2005.

According to some Congress members this new bill will pave the way for granting a general amnesty to illegal aliens. After reading the draft version of the new bill, one can see it will force all states to issue drivers licenses to all illegal aliens.

Do we really want to make it easier for potential terrorists to integrate into our country again?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Taxman Cometh

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego-They’re back…Just when you thought the elections were finally over, Sacramento decides to keep them alive with a special election on May 19th.

Propositions 1A – 1F are attempting to disguise themselves as a “rainy day budget, education reform, higher lottery payouts, children’s services, mental health funding and elected officials salary reform.”

Don’t be fooled says Dr.Gary Gonsalves of Stop Taxing Us. “This is nothing more than Public Employee Unions trying to increase taxes in California in order to forgo any type of reform.”

“We are exposing their playbooks,” he continues. “California is broken. You can’t begin to fix the problem until we defeat these ill-planned propositions.”

Ditto says U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. “Nobody has been able to convince me that any of these will benefit Californians.”

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Associated agrees with other watchdog groups. “This giant tax increase is disguised as a ‘spending cap’ and ‘budget reform,’” says Jon Coupal of HJTA. “Don’t be fooled by this outright deception.”

If you own a television the unions have been pummeling the airwaves with sad stories about teacher and firefighter job losses that will take place if proposition 1A-B doesn’t pass.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Gonsalves said. “On balance, it seems to us these measures fall far short of the needed reforms.”

The gist of proposition 1A is a huge tax increase.

According to the Claremont Institute’s Golden State Center for State and Local Government April 7 report; these propositions will cost taxpayers more than $1,000 per year.

Proposition 1A would extend this year’s tax increases into 2012. Proposition 1B would increase education spending. Proposition 1C would borrow money on future lottery earnings and abolish the tie between the lottery and education. Propositions 1D-E would move money around from special set-aside programs which currently hold a surplus.

Finally, proposition 1F would prevent legislators and the governor from getting a pay increase in years with a deficit until a budget is passed.

“The sum total for all these propositions is an approximately $1,100 tax increase for every California family,” Gonsalves points out. “That makes this is a big election for California voters.”

According to a poll of likely voters, Gonsalves claims when asked about prop 1A the tally is close with 51 percent of voters saying no. “However, when that same voter is educated about 1A the no vote increases to a staggering 71 percent.”

That’s why many Tea Party goers are attending a get- out-the vote rally this weekend at Spanish Landing on Saturday May 16th at 11 a.m. in San Diego.

“There are more than 20 different organizations that will be participating at this event,” organizers Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition said.

The future of these propositions now rests in the fate of California voters. “I think it’s sad that so few exercise this precious right to vote,” Carol Derbis, president of Oceanside Watch League O.W.L. said.

“California taxes have discouraged business and sent hard-working taxpayers out of the state at an alarming rate. It’s urgent that we reign in the spending,” Derbis said.

Accountability seems to be on most taxpayer’s minds and these watchdog groups are working overtime to make sure these propositions are voted down.

Perhaps Gonsalves summed it up the best, “all we can do is keep going. California’s problems aren’t going to be solved overnight, but stopping the bleeding would be a great start.”


A Brief Description of Propositions 1A - 1F:

Proposition 1A – The Rainy Day Budget - Changes the budget process. It extends this year’s tax increases two years and expands the state’s “Rainy Day Fund.” This would make budgets easier to pass without cutting bureaucracy. The state is looking to raise roughly $16 billion though the 2013 year cycle.

Proposition 1B – The Teachers’ Union Special –Requires supplemental payments to local school districts and community colleges. This bill exempts education spending from belt tightening and more specifically the education bureaucracy outside the actual classroom. No reform is offered here.

Proposition 1C – Gambling with the Lottery – Allows $5 billion of borrowing from future lottery profits to help balance the 2009-10 state budget. The luxury of doing so, however, will cost the state handsomely in the long-term and may incur harmful and unintended consequences.

Proposition 1D – Children Services Funding – Temporarily provides greater flexibility in funding to preserve health and human services for young children while helping balance the state budget. This would temporarily reallocate to the General Fund some $1.68 billion of this surplus over the next five years.

Proposition 1E – Mental Health Funding – Helps balance state budget by amending the Mental Health Services Act to transfer funds for two years in order to pay for early screening, diagnosis and treatment.

Proposition 1F- Elected Official Salaries – Prevent pay increases during budget deficit years. This proposition represents a tepid mea culpa by the legislature for driving the state finances into the ground. Currently the legislatures have to vote themselves a pay increase anyways.

For more San Diego Tea Party information you can listen to Jesse Lipscomb’s radio show on Wednesdays between 7-8 p.m. on 1170 KCBQ AM and

California Protection Act 2010

By Kimberly Dvorak

San Diego –A new state ballot initiative is set to challenge California’s hotly contentious illegal alien issue. Initiative 09-0010 will begin collecting signatures from California registered voters in June. Once the signatures are processed, the ballot will appear on the June 2010 statewide election ballot.
Dubbed as the “California Taxpayer Protection Act of 2010,” it sets out to protect California taxpayers from releasing public benefits to persons who cannot verify lawful presence in the country.
“It’s been a long process to get us this far,” said Ted Hilton of Taxpayer Revolution, the group who authored the initiative. “I’d say we’ve been working on this for more than 10 years. I’ve consulted with many Constitutional attorneys to get it right.”
His hard work is about to be put to the test. “California has been hit hard with illegal alien public spending that is out of control,” he contends.
Highlights of the proposed bill include, applicants for state, local, and state-administered federal aid to verify lawful presence in the United States. Additionally, applications for public benefits submitted by undocumented parents on behalf of their lawful-resident children will be given to federal authorities.
According to the Attorney General for the state of California, who prepares the title and summary, the state would deny birth certificates to children born to undocumented parents unless the mother provides a fingerprint and other information to be given to the federal authorities.
Finally, the initiative eliminates benefits for children in child-only CalWORKS cases which are not mandated by federal law.
“This initiative follows the intent of the framers of this country,” U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. said. “Article V of the 14th Amendment gives us the right to define subject to the jurisdiction.”
The bottom line is this initiative is a common sense approach, according to Bilbray. “This is a concept of fairness that is very moderately written to solve some of California’s problems.”
He continues to say that it is absurd to write welfare checks to people without checking their legal status.
This ballot measure is surely going to raise the bar for the illegal immigration reform on both sides of the issue.
As recently as last month Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. is on record as saying, “we must stop these raids. They’re Un-American.”
For those who want reassurance, the public benefits restrictions in this initiative have already passed and are on the books in five states, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma and Arizona. The latter state’s bill was challenged in the ninth circuit court and it was upheld to be lawful, says Hilton.
Verification of affidavits by qualified aliens for public benefits will be verified with Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), operated by the Department of Homeland Security. This agency will be responsible for protecting the state’s taxpayers from unlawful disbursement of public-state-and-federal funds.
The Taxpayer Revolution organization contends that the state could save upwards of $2 billion dollars.
“This initiative will save taxpayer money and slow down rampant illegal border crossings,” Hilton states.
San Diego Minutemen Founder Jeff Schwilk concurs. “The bottom line is that this initiative turns off a very large magnet and stops the anchor baby factor. It basically keeps the family status the same as when they entered the country illegally.”
Schwilk’s involvement with Taxpayer Revolution dates back a number of years and he has witnessed all the hard work the organization has put into this proposed ballot measure.
Cuban national, Tony Dolz, a naturalized citizen, who immigrated legally to this country strongly believes this ballot measure is needed. “My father was an attorney before he died and instilled on his children a respect for the rule of law and above all for the U.S. Constitution,” he said.
“We are a generous nation as shown by taking 1.5 million immigrants annually, a greater number than any other nation in the world,” Dolz explains. “I believe that foreigners who jump in front of the line of millions of law abiding foreigners that are in the process of complying with our immigration laws and who are doing so are showing disrespect for our country and its laws.”
Finally Bilbray states, “This is the type of initiative that should be a federal law. I endorse this new proposed ballot initiative.”
Backed up by fact, Hilton notes in 1987 California’s teenage birth rate was below the national average. One short year later, pre-natal care commenced for illegal aliens. “Four years later that caused the state’s teenage birth rate to grow to twice the national average and the highest of any state,” says Hilton.
According to the State of California, Department of Public Health’s latest birth records show there were 562,157 live births. A staggering 293,276 were born to a mother of Hispanic background.
“The state estimates between 20-25 percent of all births each year are to those here illegally. It is becoming very evident that the parents lack of ability to pay for these births and immediately require public services to care for these children,” Hilton said.
“Our citizen movement will launch a state and national debate to bring an end to “birth tourism” and automatic citizenship in the United States,” Hilton continues.
“The goal to stop automatic citizenship is critical toward reducing crime. A major reason deported criminal illegal aliens return immediately to the country after deportation is because they have left behind children who were born in the U.S.”
Before leaving office former Homeland Security Director, Michael Chertoff reported there were more than two million criminal illegal aliens in the United States.

Other items included in the initiative:

*Requires illegal mother to provide identification with a photograph, fingerprints and fees in person
*Ends all illegal public funded benefits
*Ends prenatal care for illegal aliens
*Terminates all child welfare checks to illegal aliens (some of which are sent out of the country)

For more information on this initiative and other California reform groups see the links located on the side of this story. For further information regarding the California Taxpayer Protection Act and the actual ballot initiative visit