Monday, October 22, 2012
Lois Capps Service Built on Trust?
You have heard the saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?  A lesson obviously lost on Congresswoman Lois Capps!
Lois Capps has been slamming her opponent Abel Maldonado relentlessly for months because his family’s farming operation has a dispute with the IRS over their tax return.  Abel’s family believes the IRS is wrong and they are suing the IRS accordingly.  Unlike Lois Capps, I will wait to cast stones until after their day in court.
In August, residents of the Central Coast learned of Congresswoman Lois Capps’ failure to report more than $40,000 in rental income from her staffer to the IRS for 10 years.
But it gets worse…
Recently news broke that Capps failed to report over $500,000 of her income.
Lois Capps’ actions and statements hardly fit with the “lifetime of service built on trust” she’s made the centerpiece of her campaign.

Capps Failed to Report Over $500K: Representative Lois Capps left more than half a million dollars in income off financial disclosure records for an eight-year period, according to documents required by the clerk of the House of Representatives. – Santa Barbara Independent, 10/16/2012
Capps caught again: Congresswoman fails to report over half a million dollars in income: This is not the first time Capps has been in hot water over financial disclosures. In early August, The Daily Caller reported that Capps rented a room in her personal home to one of her congressional staffers, Jeremy Tittle, for years and did not report the income to the IRS for more than a decade, until 2012. Capps also withheld that information from the proper congressional authorities for five years, from 2001 until early 2006. – Daily Caller, 10/18/2012
With regard to ballot propositions, I can heartily recommend that you vote NO on all of them, with the possible exception of Prop. 32, which I need to explain.
I respect unions too much to tell you to simply vote yes on Prop. 32.  However, I also do believe that unions have a disparate influence on election outcomes and a stranglehold on Sacramento as it affects the real reform we need to get our State going in the right direction once again.
Proposition 32 affects the ability of unions to collect money from their members for political purposes without their consent.  If passed, there is a chance that union members themselves would volunteer to forego giving to their own union because they themselves do not agree with the position the unions take in their name and with their money!  Can’t really argue with that. 
The California Teachers Association is the worse culprit with respect to this phenomenon.  If Proposition 32 only affected the CTA, I would be walking door to door for your support for Prop. 32!
Conversely, I believe that historically union influence overall helps the rest of us in the workplace.  Unions won working conditions, pay standards and rights for all of us and I don’t want to see them crippled entirely!  Because I believe in public safety, I like the fact that public safety unions help keep the pressure on our politicians to fund it accordingly.

Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and the host of the Andy Caldwell Show weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on AM1440.
Posted at 09:09 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
My Analysis and Recommendations on State Ballot Propositions
 I am the Executive Director of COLAB, the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business of Santa Barbara County.  My main job is to serve as a government watchdog, business and taxpayer advocate, and someone who communicates with the general public on a regular basis via radio shows and editorials in our local newspapers.

 Having said all that, sometimes the opinions I express are my own and not necessarily those of the organization I represent.  Such is the case today, as I am going to share with you my positions on the ballot propositions.

 There are three tax measures on the ballot, Propositions 30, 38 and 39.  I am going to vote no on these because I do not believe low tax rates is what is ailing the State of California.  The fact is California, back before the crash of 2008, was enjoying record revenues coming into state coffers and they spent all that money and more!  California routinely spends more money than it brings in, and truth be told, they are so indebted to government employees for their unfunded pensions, that none of the money generated by these tax measures is really going to create or restore services.  Much of it will go to backfill budgets drained by pension obligations.   Proposition 39 additionally devotes money to alternative energy; we already are spending enough on that!  We need reform, not higher taxes.  Vote No on these measures.

 Proposition 31 is a con job.  It promises reform, but it really is more of an attempt to reorganize government that in the end will reduce accountability to the public.  Hidden in the language of the initiative is the creation of regional forms of government that will make it easier for local politicians to escape culpability from the local electorate.  It will also mandate certain programs that we cannot afford.  Vote No!

Proposition 32 is a tricky one.  This has to do with limiting the influence of unions and corporations on elections.  It does not ban their involvement, but it limits how the money is collected.  On the one hand, I do believe unions in California have a disparate influence on politicians because they donate more money to campaigns than most everyone else combined.  However, on the other hand, courts have recognized the rights of unions and corporations to be involved in campaigns, and have not taken lightly efforts to restrict the same.

 Proposition 33 can be interpreted one of two ways.  It either offers a discount to consumers who maintain continuous insurance coverage or it is justification to raise rates on those who don’t!  The fact that one insurance company is eminently backing this makes me suspicious.  I will be voting no.

 Propositions 34 and 36 seek to abolish the death penalty and amend the Three Strikes law, respectively.  I will be voting no on both of these.  Keeping inmates on death row is not in and of itself expensive.  It is the endless appeals and the costs associated with not executing cold-blooded killers that is causing the bills to pile up!  I believe some crimes deserve the ultimate penalty from society and I believe some people are career criminals who have proven themselves incapable of reformation.  It is sad, but true.  Paying to incarcerate these people for life is exorbitantly expensive and the alternative of letting them out of prison just means more victims.

 Proposition 35 should be defeated.  I am all for throwing the book at sex and human traffickers, however, this bill would require convicted sweat shop owners to be registered as sex offenders?

 Proposition 37 would require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such.  These foods are safe, very common and they represent increased efficiencies, thereby eliminating hunger and the need for pesticides!  Vote no!

 Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and the host of the Andy Caldwell Show weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on AM1440.
Posted at 13:21 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

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