Friday, July 23, 2010

Assemblyman Curt Hagman: Time For Democrats To Work With Republicans On Responsible No-Tax Budget

From Assemblyman Curt Hagman:

Three weeks have passed since the beginning of the 2010-11 fiscal year to pass a state budget. Yet California is still without one and people are right to ask what on earth is going on in Sacramento.

Months before the budget deadline, my Republican colleagues and I called on Democrats to work with us. We posted 100-day countdown calendars on our office doors as a reminder that the deadline was fast approaching and urged them to work with us so we would have a solution in time.

Unfortunately, the Democrat leadership rebuffed our hand of cooperation. They instead said that they would rather delay the budget process until Republicans agree to raise your taxes and reject spending reductions.

Some political observers even said that the delay could be a ploy to convince Californians that the two-thirds requirement to pass a budget was the main cause of the delay. One liberal Democrat went so far to say that his party should allow the state to reach a more desperate situation when kids go back to school in August to get Republicans to sign off on higher taxes.

In the meantime, I have been meeting with constituents and stakeholders to listen to their budget concerns. We discussed ways we can address those concerns in a difficult economy and conveyed their suggestions to my colleagues. Yet we have seen no real action from Democrats, other than press conferences to pound home the theme that the state "needs more revenue "(code for higher taxes) to protect government spending and welfare programs we cannot afford.
Even more telling, we have not seen a unified and detailed budget proposal from Senate and Assembly Democrats that can be vetted. All they have put forward is a "statement of principles" that reaffirms their commitment to big government. A statement of principles is not a serious budget that will close a $19.1 billion deficit.

As a result, without a balanced budget in place California state government spends $52 million more each day than it receives in revenues.

In contrast, my Republican colleagues and I have made it clear that we support the Governor's budget blueprint he released in May. It is a detailed plan that addresses the deficit without higher taxes.

Republicans have always been willing to work with Democrats to craft a bipartisan budget that protects taxpayers and funds essential services such as schools without raising taxes. We know that tough choices will need to be made to reduce spending, which is why we have asked Democrats for months to work with us.

Yet the Democrat leadership shows no signs of urgency and refuses to budge, hoping that weeks of delay will work to their advantage. We must get down to work on the budget now, so we can get California back on track. It is long overdue for Democrats to work with Republicans on passing a responsible no-tax budget that will move our state forward. A delay may serve the interests of a few liberal politicians and interest groups, but it hurts the state as a whole.

Passing a balanced budget is one of the most important - if not the most important - duty of a legislator. We are elected to make tough choices and I stand ready to do my part to craft a responsible, no-tax budget as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cost per vote in 42nd, Liberatore spent more than triple what Rep. Miller did.

Candidates in the 42nd recently had to file their financial reports with the FEC, which show how much money was raised and spent leading up to the June promary election. Now that the vote totals have been finalized with the Secretary of State's office we can see how much Rep. Gary Miller and Phil Liberatore spent per vote. For this I added the amount spent since January 1 divided by the total votes.

Miller: $328,966.80 spent, 32,669 votes= $10.07
Liberatore: $794,537 spent, 25,181 votes =$31.55

So Liberatore spent more than triple what Miller did per vote and more than double overall. Wow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

San Gabriel Valley Business Journal on Bob and Mei Mei Huff

The San Gabriel Valley Business Journal has a profile on State Senator Bob Huff and his wife Mei Mei.

It starts,

One of the San Gabriel Valley’s most powerful political couples is State Senator Bob and Mei Mei Huff. The “House of Huff” represents the culmination of luck, tenacity and a lot of hard work. Together, they have influenced education, transportation and environmental policies which potentially spur economic growth for the whole state. Their story is why they are this Business Journal’s first San Gabriel Valley Decision Makers.

To best summarize the Huffs, you have to go to the matriarch, Mei Mei Huff herself. “We are put on this earth for a reason. I believe that Bob’s gifts make him suited for public service,” Mei Mei says, “and I am here to make sure he succeeds.” It is through this mindset we have seen the Huffs rise to become one of the San Gabriel Valley decision makers.

To continue reading you can find the article here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Assemblyman Curt Hagman: Finally Recognized, The 2nd Amendment

From the Office of Assemblyman Curt Hagman


Californians who legally own firearms can be encouraged by last month's U.S. Supreme Court's ruling. In a landmark decision, the Court found that the constitutional right to bear arms applies not just to the federal government, but to state and local governments as well. In other words, owning a gun in the home for self defense is now officially recognized as a fundamental American right that cannot be violated by overzealous politicians on any level of government.

This is a remarkable defense of our Second Amendment right. This specific issue came about because Chicago instituted a misguided city-wide ban on handguns, which was intended to clamp down on deadly gun violence. Instead of just targeting thugs, it restricted law-abiding residents from owning guns to protect themselves in their own homes. Thankfully the Supreme Court saw it correctly, acknowledging that "Self defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day," as Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. The Court's ruling recognizes the original intent of the Second Amendment which provides that: "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

However, this victory is only a first step, as it is still unclear where the decision will lead for the future of our current gun laws and those that could be enacted in the future. Indeed, Justice Alito wrote that the ruling "does not imperil every law regulating firearms." In the years going forward there will be significant battles over the true meaning of this ruling, and the numerous complex rules and regulations governing firearms. Particularly in California, the ruling gives Second Amendment supporters a powerful argument to challenge dubious proposals that hurt lawful gun owners. We now need to work on challenging the most restrictive laws that are already in place. While no one can predict the long-term consequences of the Court's ruling, there is a good chance it will lead to future victories over restrictions on Second Amendment rights and force lawmakers to think twice before passing more burdensome laws.

Government has a critical responsibility to help ensure the safety of our families, but it needs do act in ways that respect our rights as a free people. We can keep our communities safe by improving enforcement of existing laws that target criminals who use guns. Taking guns away from the "bad guys" and putting them behind bars will make California safer, without targeting law-abiding citizens.

With the Supreme Court's reaffirmation at the judicial level, I hope we can now move beyond debating attempts to undermine the Second Amendment in the Legislature. It is time for lawmakers to stop undermining lawful gun owners with more restrictive measures and to start working on issues that matter most to hardworking Californians, such as job creation.