Stressed out communities in California caused by Progressive policies

Flying under the radar, a real estate web site called Movoto has released a list of the 10 most stressed out communities in the United States.  Three cities in California San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles make the top of the list behind the leader Washington D.C. the most difficult locations for people to live.

Criteria for this list included:

  • commute time
  • Unemployment
  • High cost of living
  • Crime per 100,000 residents
  • Hours worked
  • Population density
  • Percentage of income spent on rent

Is it a coincidence that the top 10 stressed out communities, which also included New York, Miami, Jersey City, Newark, Chicago, and Philadelphia, are all controlled politically by liberal democratic regimes?  I think not. It would appear that policies formulated on a local and state level have ended up throwing kerosene on making their citizens lives’ miserable.

It is true in the Golden State that commuting, whether it is by car or public transport, is a time consuming process for those who must go through this ordeal each day. The solution at least in Northern California is the insane One Bay Area Plan devised by regional agencies. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) formulate policies that build stack and pack housing near mass transit hubs

This ridiculous waste of government funds, which purports to reduce carbon foot prints and create ecological sustainability is only going to cause more misery and stress for those who live in these instant ghettos. This sketchy future will no doubt be made worse by restrictive land use policies that do not allow for population growth to occur in a realistic manner that makes sense economically or ecologically.

As a result, the cost of housing goes up in California especially in large cities which receive State and Federal subsidies. This likely will be  the case in suburban communities as well if legislation such as SB-1 and SB-33 are  implemented to augment earlier laws that dictate redevelopment.

Going along with current urban planning models is the assumption that high paying jobs are going to be somehow created. In reality other than construction and hiring government employees, such a scenario is a complete fantasy.

The 10 Most Stressed Out Cities In America

The truth is most of the employment coming out of building Project Development Areas (PDA’s) will be of a service variety. This is a code word for part time work and minimum wages at fast food outlets and franchises that will force bread winners to toil for multiple businesses to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, increasing pay for unskilled labor to living wages will never break the cycle of poverty that exists today. At the same time increased government regulations on small business continues to drive better paying jobs out of California.  Progressive politicians in California assail Texas Governor Rick Perry’s free market philosophies while at the same time their unemployment rates continue to spiral out of control.

A corollary to California’s and large metropolitan communities decline is the need for high taxes to support big government and huge social service entitlements to prop up their failing economic models. In addition to causing an exodus of local jobs to business friendly states, and a high cost of living, these California’s failed progressive policies have resulted in rising levels of crime for an increasingly desperate population.

While squandering taxpayer money in such areas as housing, social welfare, public schools, crime prevention, etc…. whose intentions look good on paper; they are no substitute for providing jobs and a foundation for a wholesome environment for families to successfully prosper.

There is a hideous notion among progressives that government intervention is a substitute for the nuclear family. The results speak for themselves especially in public education where the dismal performance of the schools reflects the malaise in society.

The question is how many years if not generations will it take for us to realize promoting a stressful urban life style is not the way to go? While San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and their cousins throughout the United States continue to struggle, other communities throughout the United States have gotten the message. We have seen the rebirth of such diverse areas as Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin where leaner government has lead to economic turnarounds.

It is not a coincidence that most of the states which that have recovered from the Bush-Obama Recession are Red States. It is this realization that will likely propel the Republican Party to majorities in both houses of Congress in the November elections.

Does this make any difference in California? Probably not. It’s no secret that the State Government is controlled by progressive legislators who represent large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Alameda.

These communities are where elected officials who are the keepers of the political cards reside. Whether their constituents at this point are stressed out means little as they keep on voting in limousine liberals who continue to implement failed policies that have destroyed California’s once vibrant economy.

Almost all objectivity has been lost. Recently I spoke with a liberal friend about the 16th Assembly race where political operative Steve Glazer is running on an anti union platform against progressive Tim Sbranti. In the event Glazer wins the primary, I asked my friend if he would support what he called an unprincipled career politician against highly qualified Republican moderate Catherine Baker?

The answer was an emphatic “no.” Apparently, it is better to support a candidate totally controlled by special interests over an individual whose biggest fault is being a member of the GOP.

This makes me sad. How can we ever change government in a positive way if people are so doctrinaire? Whatever happened to the notion that it is best to elect people of honesty and integrity rather than based solely on their political party affiliation?

As proof, isn’t the political environment healthier on local city councils which tend to be non-partisan where pot holes are not a Democratic or Republican thing?

Fortunately, this notion is not completely lost in American politics. There are still independent and undecided voters who occasionally rise up from the ashes and surprise us by getting rid of office holders who are not working for the people’s best interests.

The question is how long will it take for California’s stressed out communities and urban populations to make a U-turn from the progressive yellow brick road to ruin?

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Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro to use ranked-choice-voting in 2010

RCV lets voters rank candidates simply by marking 1-2-3 on a single ballot to produce a majority winner in a single election.

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Three East Bay Cities have decided to reform their elections by implementing Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in 2010. Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro councils have all voted to use RCV, also known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), currently used in San Francisco for its supervisoral district and other elections.

RCV lets voters rank candidates simply by marking 1-2-3 on a single ballot to produce a majority winner in a single election. RCV eliminates costly and undemocratic runoff elections, and, some say, rewards candidates that appeal to larger constituencies instead of narrow interests, while helping to minimize the impact of special interest money and spoilers.

VOTE IN A DEMO CHOICE ELECTION

According to Public CEO:

After years of efforts in the three Alameda County cities, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen in December approved a computer system for ranked voting submitted by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (and its contractor, Sequoia Voting Systems).

On Jan. 5, the Oakland City Council voted to use ranked voting in 2010 city elections. Sixty-nine percent of Oakland voters supported a 2006 measure authorizing RCV once the county had an appropriate system in place.

The San Leandro council had a spirited discussion of the merits of RCV on Dec. 7, with the issue tabled until a meeting today, Jan. 19. At that time, San Leandro is expected to vote on a resolution to authorize ranked voting for 2010 city elections and approve a memorandum of understanding to reimburse Alameda County for expenses incurred in preparing for ranked voting.

Berkeley is waiting to see what its share of the reimbursement cost is, which includes waiting to see if San Leandro opts in Jan. 19. A vote for ranked voting in 2010 elections could land on the agenda for council meetings Jan. 26 or Feb. 9, said Julie Sinai, chief of staff for Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.

In all three cities, political discussions are already simmering about which candidates RCV favors — incumbents, better organized candidates, those with significant support in minority communities, etc.

Santa Clara, San Jose, and other Bay Area cities are watching closely. Visit Californians for Electoral Reform for more information about the benefits of preference voting.

“RCV is not well understood by the public, and many simply under vote the ballot,” explained Contra Costa’s elections chief Steve Weir. “A public relations campaign would be required to help voters understand.”

Down the road, see New America Foundation‘s plan for a 360 member unicameral legislature comprised of single seat district representatives combined with a proportional party list.

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How literate is California? Not very

San Francisco was 12 (down from 5), San Diego is second highest at 33, Oakland 35, and Sacramento, 35, were only cities to appear in top 50

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The Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) has released a report on the most literate cities in the U.S. Seattle, Washington D.C. Minneapolis, Pittsburgh PA, and Atlanta Georgia placed in the top five. The highest ranked California City is San Francisco in 12th place.

According to Public CEO, San Francisco fell from its No. 5 spot in last year’s survey. The second California city, San Diego, didn’t make the list until the No. 33 spot. Oakland ranked at No. 35 and Sacramento ranked at 41.5 as the only other two cities to fall in the Top 50.

The good news, for sites like Halfway To Concord, is that in terms of rankings of Internet access, California has four of the Top 10 cities: San Francisco (t-6), Oakland (t-6), San Jose (t-6) and San Diego (10). Which goes to show that you can have great IP access in a second-world Stalinist Banana Republic, like California.

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Who is Claudia Bermudez?

We suspect that the smart money is on Republican Jerry Salcido to pull out the big win in a close election that has the possibility of not only sending a defeated Bermudez into retirement, but maybe even causing a few R.I.N.O.s to go along with her.

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The nominations have already been made. The two candidates to be the next Chairman of the Alameda County Republican Central Committee are Claudia Bermudez of Alameda, and Jerry Salcido of Fremont.

The former Chair, Karen Wind of Pleasanton, resigned back in March after only serving three months as the elected Chair. The committee has already held one election between Bermudez and Salcido, back on May 19th, which ended in a 16-16 tie vote.

Next Tuesday, at the monthly meeting the final vote will be held and a new Chairman will be elected to lead the Central Committee for the remainder of the 2009-2010 term. At this point it’s any body’s call. While Jerry Salcido, 31, is a relative new-comer to local politics, Bermudez is not. Her name may be recognizable to some Bay Area Republicans since she has already ran, and lost badly in two separate local races, one for Congress in 2004 and the other for State Senate in 2008.

In both campaigns Bermudez was expected to lose and lose she did; compiling only 12% of the vote in the election against Democratic Congresswomen Barbara Lee, and only 15% against Democratic State Senator, Loni Hancock. Republican voter registration numbers were nearly identical to the percentage of the vote that Bermudez received in both of her elections, showing that Bermudez’s campaigns have failed to appeal to the all important Decline to State demographic, which is crucial for Republican success in any election.

Will Bermudez, 56, finally reach the winner’s circle in her bid to become the next Chair of the Alameda County GOP? Assistant Treasurer, David LaTour, an Elected Member from Alameda County’s largest Assembly District (AD-18) expressed some doubt about Bermudez’s leadership abilities. “To lead, you need to be present! Claudia Bermudez made no effort to attend committee meetings up until she was convinced to run for Chair. Before that she was a no-show. Her candidacy was a surprise to many of the members on the committee. The truth is, we need a leader that’s there with us, who’s heart is in it because we have a lot of work to do.”

salcidoLaTour has endorsed Salcido who he says, “has shown the commitment as well as the energy that we need in the GOP now more than ever.” Salcido has also received endorsements from the majority of the leadership on the Executive Committee, which includes the Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary, along with LaTour. It would appear that Salcido won’t have a problem fitting in if he were to be elected as the new Chairman.

But what about Bermudez? Can she unite a divided committee where legal actions are more common than political action? According to Parliamentarian, Dick Spees she can. In his endorsement email to fellow committee members, Spees wrote, “We are fortunate to have someone of her stature, experience and proven ability…” Some of the other members, however, were unaware of Bermudez and her hidden talents due to her lack of involvement with the committee ever since she assumed office as an Ex-Officio Member back in July of 2008. “I met Claudia [Bermudez] through the pdf file that she emailed to the committee announcing her candidacy for Chair. Before that, I knew nothing of her.” said 15th Assembly District Elected Member, Casey Fargo, who also supports Salcido for Chairman.

Dick Spees was vague, at best, in describing Bermudez in his endorsement email to fellow committee members. One can only question the legitimacy of a claim that touts Bermudez as someone with “experience” and “proven ability” when taking a look at the facts of the matter. Spees, however, is not the type to let the facts get into the way when making political decisions, or endorsements for that matter. Reflecting on Bermudez’s track record, it would appear that she is experienced in loosing local elections in landslides, and has demonstrated a proven ability to be consistent in doing so.

Is this more of what Alameda County Republicans need, repeats of 2006 and 2008 where Republicans put their names on the ballot only to run empty campaigns? Depends on who you ask. Local Democrats may be supportive of the lack of competition? They have already shown that they have Bermudez’s number dialed in, which is an undeniable fact that can’t be ignored, even by left-of-center Republican In Name Only, Dick Spees, who in the past has officially endorsedDemocratic Congresswomen Barbara Lee, who was responsible for crushing Bermudez back in 2004.

For real conservatives, this should be tough to swallow. What kind of Republican endorses Barbara Lee? Well, the same type of Republican that endorses Bermudez of course! It should be considered to be a major problem in the Party when there are Republican leaders that are willing to sacrifice principle to play pal-around with the elected majority in an effort to be popular? Is it any wonder that the GOP is in such bad shape? The Party is in desperate need of principled leaders, not followers looking to be Democrat-lite!

Ask Bermudez a simple question, and she’ll recite her favorite talking-point about her late father Enrique Bermudez, who was a military official under the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua that would later be installed by the CIA as the Contras’ top military (puppet) commander of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN). Bermudez will tell you that her father was a key figure during the fight in the United States-led foreign interventionist nation-building excercise against Nicaragua’s Sandinista Marxist government but, she might fail to mention his involvement with drug smuggling into the United States in order to finance the anti-Sandinista operations back at home in Nicaragua.

In fact, Enrique Bermudez, according to sworn testimony, recruited Los Angeles drug kingpin Danilo Blandon, a Contra middleman, that sold cocaine to South-Central’s crack dealers in late 1981 to raise money in California for the Contras.

rinoDon’t ask Bermudez too many direct questions though, you might not get a straight answer, if any answer at all. According to Project Vote Smart: “Ms. Claudia Bermudez repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on issues through the 2004 National Political Awareness Test” during her first campaign against Lee. 

Apparently, “Bermudez refused to provide this information when asked to do so by: Major News Organizations and key national leaders of both Parties including, Republican Senator John McCain.” If Senator McCain received the cold shoulder from Bermudez, what are we to expect? Well, not much different. After numerous attempts for the past four days, we were unable to get Bermudez to return our telephone calls for comment.

Who is Claudia Bermudez? Bermudez is Disappointment!

I guess some things should never be expected to change. When asked about her fund raising plan by a voting member at the May 19th meeting, Bermudez chose not to reveal her top-secret plan at that time, but did suggest that she had one ready. Eyes rolled as a “that figures” type of feeling circulated throughout the room.

Alameda County Republicans might want to get comfortable with the silent treatment from a non-responsive, do-nothing leader if Bermudez were to win Tuesday’s election. She seems to represent business as usual in the Party, and shows that the GOP doesn’t really have any new blood with any new ideas, just some more of the same ‘ol same. And we all know… that just isn’t going to cut it!

Who is Claudia Bermudez? A better question might be, Who Cares Who Claudia Bermudez Is?  We suspect that the smart money is on Republican Jerry Salcido to pull out the big win in a close election that has the possibility of not only sending a defeated Bermudez into retirement once and for all, but maybe even causing a few R.I.N.O.s to go along with her. The Alameda County Republican Central Committee would be a better place, and undoubtedly more conservative.

Let the re-building begin!

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Meg Whitman fundraiser, Jul 20

Meg Whitman, the former eBay exec who is running for the 2010 Republican nomination for California Governor, will hold a tres tres fundraiser in San Francisco, July 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at a private home. See the PDF documents below for details.

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Meg Whitman, the former eBay exec who is running for the 2010 Republican nomination for California Governor, will hold a tres tres fundraiser in San Francisco, July 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at a private home. See the PDF documents below for details.

7-20 SF Whitman Cocktail Buffet Reply Form

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DeSaulnier CD-10 open house

California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier held a campaign HQ open house, July 12 where over 300 people attended

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I attended The Mark DeSaulnier for Congress Open House on  07/12/2009 Walnut Creek today at the new campaign headquarters. And Holy Cow, what an event. What a fantastic location in terms of visibility 2014 North Main street in walnut Creek.

There must have been 300 people piled into this campaign HQ. A packed house by any standard. I had a nice conversation with the Mayor of Danville and of course it was great to see Mark DeSaulnier. Always a regular guy and master of the moment. Mark was obviously enjoying talking to everyone in the room. It was a great mix of electorate from every demographic. There was food a plenty and a plethora of folks representing the heart of the Contra Costa electorate all lending their support to the State Senator who now aspires to be the Congressmen from Congressional District 10.

In my career in politics I don’t think I have seen an organization like this in what is essentially a primary. While I was talking to the folks downstairs, upstairs their was a class training volunteers in walking door to door and making phone calls and then doing it. I met many young volunteers talking about the challenge of the campaign from now to election day on September 1st and how they can get the ball over the goal line and get DeSaulnier elected to the House of Representatives.

I have to say everything is in place for victory. DeSaulnier is a tireless campaigner. This is his third major campaign in three years. Nobody is better positioned to take this job. He on the correct side of every issues Democrats care about and is the perfect person in terms of temperament skill and ability to replace Ellen Tauscher in Washington D. C.

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