Bad and good news from the Guv


First, the bad news: Jerry Brown has vetoed a couple of important bills by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, showing that he's still a strange and unpredictable guy. He rejected a measure that would have provided some basic labor protections to domestic workers and another that would have opened up state prisons to a modicum of media access. His message on domestic workers was confusing (gee, maybe it would cost more to make sure people get meal breaks); on the media access, it was just bizarre:

"Giving criminals celebrity status through repeated appearances on television will glorify their crimes and hurt victims and their families," Brown wrote in his veto message for Assembly Bill 1270.

What? The notion that the press might be able to interview prisoners about conditions behind bars in an agency that consumes more than $10 billion a year in state funds will "glorify crimes?" Sorry, but Jerry is out of his mind.

From Ammiano's press release:

“Press access isn’t just to sell newspapers. It’s a way for the public to know that the prisons it pays for are well-run,” Ammiano said. “The CDCR’s unwillingness to be transparent is part of what has led to court orders on prison health care and overcrowding. We should know when the California prisons aren’t being well run before it goes to court. I invite the Governor to visit the SHU [special housing unit/solitary confinement] to see for himself why media access is so important.”

Same goes for the TRUST Act, which had the support of a lot of local police chiefs, the mayor of Los Angeles and Assembly Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

On the other hand, Brown did sign a bill by Sen. Mark Leno that could turn out to be the best budget news San Francisco's had in years. SB 1492 would allow the Board of Supervisors and the voters to reinstate, just in this city, the vehicle license fee that former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut, to such disastrous effect, when he first took office. If the supervisors put it on the ballot and the voters approve, a two percent hike in the car tax could raise $70 million a year for the city -- more than triple the amount that the mayor has agreed to raise in his weak gross receipts tax proposal.

That law goes on the books Jan. 1 -- and the supes should immediately take up the challenge and approve the VLF hike for the next even-year ballot, November 2014.

Then the Guv vetoed Leno bills protecting cell phone users from warrantless searches and alloing the state to recognize more than two people as parents of a child.

Sen. Leland Yee's bill allowing juveniles who were sentenced to life without parole to get a second chance made it passed Brown's desk.

So what do we make of the governor? About the usual -- he's random.


the citizens of San Francisco is repulsive. Poorer people are disproportionately impacted by raises in fees like the vehicle license fee - yet he can barely wait to try and get another dollar from them.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

Middle class yuppie Tim is willing to pay, the poor slobs should feel awesome about forking over more money to the city.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

But, of course, the facts are all wrong.

Poor folks with cars worth $1000 pay a few dollars extra.

The ones who will be getting lightly spritzed -- certainly not soaked -- are the well-to-dos with their Navigators, Escalades, and Hummers; Jaguars, MBZs, etc.; the same people who are having room made for them at parking meters, on bridges, in HOV/toll lanes by the congestion pricing schemes which are in vogue. Screw em.

Of course many of the really fancy rich sell cars to each other for a dollar so they can evade such taxes, which is why I'd like to see all congestion pricing based on a tax sticker visible on the windshield so the scale can be progressive and cheaters can be identified.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

and selling cars for cash have to do with each other?

I found your statement to be very confusing. HOV stickers are governed by mileage efficiency rules and number of cars sold - specifically to encourage early adoption of the most highly efficient cars, which is one reason they no longer apply to the Prius and other popular models.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

You don't understand. On lilli's planet the inhabitants often sell their vehicles to each other for a nominal sum in order to be able to drive with certain undeserved privileges.

Of course.

The same process does not exist here on planet earth.

Posted by Troll on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

HOV/toll lane = HOT lane

Selling cars for $1 = means for reducing license fee

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 02, 2012 @ 5:57 am

You lie when you pretend to worry about poor car drivers. The VLF hits those with fancy new cars -- and multiple cars -- the hardest; i.e. those who can most afford it.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 02, 2012 @ 7:12 am

Or sell for way under market, with a cash kicker on the side.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 4:53 am

Seriously with the value of homes here, lots of turn over since prop 13, one of the highest sales taxes in the state, etc, do we really have a funding issue. Seems more like a spending problem.

Posted by D. native on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

Did you hear that - City employees are only making in total compensation ($135k average) double what actual City residents earn - so why not steal another $70 million?? Let me guess- it will be earmarked for "public safety."

It's just embarrassing how easily duped people can be by the union bandits.

Hopefully this will be SOUNDLY rejected and common sense will prevail.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 01, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

I share Troll II's concern about taxes that disproportionately impact the poor. That's why I tend to oppose sales tax hikes -it's regressive taxation. But the VLF is different. First of all, it only impacts those who are wealthy enough to have a car. While that may include a lot of working class folks, the way the VLF is structured as I understand it, is that it's tied to the value of the car. My VLF went down year after year as the car got older. If you have a late model Mercedes, you pay more. If you have a 12 year old clunker, you pay less. If you're too poor for even an old clunker, you pay nothing. It's about as progressive as you can get. If that's the way the city structures their VLF, I'm all for it.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 02, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

Go out to Stockton or Tracy and everyone there needs a car.

Russian Hill? Telegraph Hill? Nah.

The wealthiest places in CA are the most walkable e.g. Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, SF, La Jolla, Berkeley.

Wanna walk around Bakersfield or Fresno? Didn't think so.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 4:55 am

Look, I'm not totally anti-car. I have a car myself. Note the post I made on the bike thread. But to suggest that on average, car owners are poorer than non-car owners, well that's just demagoguery.

And again, I'd be more accepting of the argument that poor car owners will get hit hard, if the VLF wasn't graduated, based on the value of the car. As it is, the argument really doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 6:42 am

Look guys, give it up. I've been saying this since before you endorsed this guy -the old Jerry is gone.

He's still ok with the gays and all, and unlike most Republicans he lives in the "reality-based community" when it comes to budgets; but he's cozy with developers, and he's developed a nasty authoritarian streak in his old age. Anything to do with the cop and jail lobby, you can expect him to be on the wrong side of the issue.

I'm actually pretty surprised that he signed Leland Yee's bill. Maybe it's the whole catholic anti-death penalty thing. But whatever the reason, I guess we should be grateful for small victories.

Posted by Greg on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 7:08 am