Tag Archives: Jerry Brown

California moves to let schools, co-workers “red flag” dangerous gun owners

phil ting

Bill sponsor Phil Ting wearing his Planned Parenthood fighting gloves.

What could possibly go wrong?

From Yahoo: Lawmakers in the California Assembly voted Monday to advance a bill that would authorize employers, co-workers and school personnel to request the temporary confiscation of guns from individuals determined to pose a danger to themselves or others.

The legislation, AB 2888, would build on California’s existing “red flag” law, passed in 2014 following a deadly shooting spree in Isla Vista. The 22-year-old gunman in that case had reportedly exhibited a number of warning signs before killing six people, and then himself, in the rampage.

The current red flag law gives family members, roommates and law enforcement officers the power to petition the court to remove firearms from individuals who have displayed dangerous behavior. Judges then hold a hearing to determine whether to order the gun owner to surrender their firearms and stay away from all guns, typically for a year, although the restraining orders can be extended beyond that based on additional evidence.

The new bill would expand the list of people who can file for such restraining orders to include a subject’s employer and co-workers and the staff of a high school or college that the person has attended in the last six months.

“We’re grappling with this issue of gun violence as a nation,” bill sponsor Assemblyman Phil Ting (D) told HuffPost. “I’ve never said this is a panacea, but it’s just one of many solutions we have to offer.”

The state’s courts have issued around 200 restraining orders to prevent gun violence since the original law went into effect in 2016, according to Ting. He said his bill would provide additional opportunities to catch troubling behavior.

“Once you move away from home and you’re an adult, you may not spend time with your family,” said Ting. “You may not have much interaction with law enforcement, but chances are if you’re working, you see your co-workers every day for eight-plus hours a day, and you’re with them not just in the work environment but socially.”

Ting pointed to the February massacre in Parkland, Florida, as a case in which a red flag law ― and specifically this sort of broader statute ― might have been able to save lives. Although the suspect in that shooting, a 19-year-old former student at the high school, had attracted the attention of local authorities on numerous occasions before his attack, school staff had also reported concerning behavior as far back as 2016. Florida is among the nine states with a red flag law and one of the four to have ushered through legislation since the Parkland shooting.

In 2016, Ting filed a similar bill to broaden California’s red flag law, following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, which began at an office holiday party. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) ultimately vetoed the legislation, calling it “premature to enact a further expansion” even as the initial law was just going into effect.

A year later, Ting’s San Francisco area district faced its own mass shooting when a disgruntled UPS employee walked into his workplace and fatally shot three colleagues, before killing himself.

When it comes to school safety specifically, restraining orders aimed at stopping gun violence are only part of the equation, said Amanda Wilcox, legislative chair of the California chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. She noted a California law that holds parents criminally liable if they leave their gun where a child can access it and mentioned other resources, like the Brady campaign’s Speak Up hotline, that allow students to anonymously report violent threats made by their peers.

“Practices and law and policies that make homes safer would also keep schools safer,” she told HuffPost.

Wilcox said she supports Ting’s bill and suggested that the relatively few restraining orders issued in the past two years under the original law show that it isn’t being overused, as opponents argued it would be.

“The standards of proof are high in the law,” she said. “It probably needs to be used more, but also under the law it’s supposed to be a last resort if there’s not another way to remove the guns.”

With more time to educate Californians on how the red-flag process works, Wilcox said she’s hopeful these restraining orders will be able to keep more guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. “What I don’t want is a case where it could have been used and should have been used and wasn’t, and someone is dead because of that,” she said.

AB 2888 passed in a 48-25 vote largely along party lines. The state Senate is expected to consider the bill in the coming weeks.

DCG

Gov. Jerry Brown pardons five “nonviolent” illegal aliens facing deportation

jerry brown

According to Brown’s office: Kidnapping, robbery, using a firearm, inflicting corporal injury, intent to terrorize and obstructing a police officer are now classified as “nonviolent crimes.”

That’s California for you…

From Sacramento Bee: Amid a brewing legal battle with the Trump administration over California’s liberal immigration policies, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday granted pre-Easter pardons to five immigrants illegal aliens facing possible deportation.

They were among 56 pardons and 14 commutations that the Democratic governor handed down ahead of the Sunday holiday. The majority were convicted of drug-related or other nonviolent crimes, according to Brown’s office.

Executive clemency is particularly significant for immigrants, since they can be deported for old convictions, even if they have legal resident status. By forgiving their criminal records, Brown eliminates the grounds on which they could be targeted for removal from the country.

“These are individuals who have turned their lives around and deserve a second chance,” said UCLA School of Law Professor Ingrid Eagly, who represents two of the immigrants pardoned Friday. She added that the stakes are higher since the election of President Donald Trump, who has emphasized stricter immigration enforcement.

“Under the current administration, there’s much more of a focus on deportation. More individuals are being picked up and placed into deportation proceedings,” Early said. “There’s also less discretion being exercised by immigration agents on the ground and by immigration prosecutors.”

The pardoned immigrants are:

  • Sokha Chhan, who is in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement pending deportation to Cambodia. He came to the United States at the age of 13 to escape the Khmer Rouge regime and has lived here for 35 years. Chhan was sentenced in 2002 for inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize, both misdemeanors; he served three years probation and 364 days in jail. In his clemency application, one his five children, whom Chhan raised as a single father, wrote that he had shown her “what it meant to be a loving and independent individual.”
  • Daniel Maher, who has publicly advocated for immigrants with a criminal record to have an opportunity for redemption. Maher moved to California from Macau legally when he was 3 years old, according to KQED, but he never applied for citizenship and he lost his green card when he was sentenced in 1995 for kidnapping, robbery and using a firearm (as a prohibited possessor). He served five years in prison, before being released early for good behavior, and three years on parole. Maher now oversees the curbside recycling program in Berkeley and has been recognized by the city for training at-risk youth for green jobs. He was detained, but not deported, by ICE in 2015.
  • Phann Pheach, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the United States at the age of 1, according to a GoFundMe account set up by his wife. Pheach was convicted in 2005 for possession of a controlled substance for sale and obstructing a police officer; he served six months in prison and 13 months on parole. Pheach has been detained by ICE and is facing deportation proceedings to Cambodia, “a place he never once knew,” his wife wrote on the fundraising page for his legal defense. “He is the glue that holds his family together,” she added. “I am crumbling apart without my husband, who I have been with for over 10 years.”
  • Francisco Acevedo Alaniz, who was convicted for vehicle theft in 1997 and served five months in prison and 13 months probation. In his clemency application, he reported being active in his church and volunteering with a youth sports program.
  • Sergio Mena, who was sentenced in 2003 for possession of a controlled substance for sale and served three years probation.

Immigration has been at the center of a political showdown between California and the Trump administration. Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed suit against California for three new laws passed last year to protect immigrants living in California illegally.

Brown slammed Sessions for “initiating a reign of terror” against immigrants illegal aliens in California and accused the federal government of “basically going to war” against the state. Days later, Trump visited California for the first time as president and dismissed the state as “totally out of control.”

During the past year, as federal immigration authorities have escalated their enforcement efforts, Brown has regularly included immigrants in his annual Easter and Christmas acts of clemency.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Sanctuary California: Illegal alien who killed 6-year-old was previously deported twice and arrested for DUI

Grace Aguilar killed by illegal

It’s not fair: Grace Aguilar taken from her parents.

The federal government ought to do its job and not blame California.

Tell me Jerry Brown, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and Libby Schaaf: Who is to blame now? The death of this little angel means nothing to you? NOTHING?

Apparently the last words of Kate Steinle meant nothing to you.

Why I’m so mad:

You politicians who support the sanctuary status in your state, and the voters who support you, make me sick.

Shame on the California politicians who shelter and protect illegals who kill American citizens. Shame on you!

From NBC Los Angeles: Angela Aguilar had just gone back inside her Fullerton home to cook. She thought her 6-year-old daughter, Grace, was also inside.

Grace Aguilar, though, was in the front yard, where she had gone to sit by her favorite tree. Angela Aguilar heard the crash, but she didn’t realize that an out-of-control driver had struck her daughter.

Grace Aguilar died in that Feb. 17 crash, which police say was caused by a drunk driver, and now her parents can only look back on a young life that had filled theirs with so much joy.

“For something so stupid to happen in a second, just to have (your child) taken away from you, it’s not fair,” Angela Aguilar said. “It’s not fair.”

Immigration officials say 50-year-old Maximino Delgado Lagunas, who is in the United States illegally, had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he was arrested. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has revealed to NBC4 that Lagunas, a Mexican national, had been deported twice, once in 2001 and again in 2008.

Court records show that in 2015 he was arrested for another DUI. Immigration officials say that back then Buena Park police did not detain Lagunas for the required 48 hours for pickup  by immigration officials, instead placing him on informal probation and releasing him to the streets.

Angela and Jesus Aguilar say it took them eight years to have a child. Now they can only mourn their daughter after Lagunas’ actions.

The girl’s parents say their daughter was friendly and mature. She loved people, nature and God. Her father remembers her hugs and her smiles. Her mother remembers the sound of her voice. “She had this beautiful laugh,” Angela Aguilar said. “I still hear it in my head every day.”

Lagunas could now face a possible murder charge.

“He’s taken away from me the best thing I had in life,” Jesus Aguilar said.

DCG

More Californians could ask state to take guns from dangerous individuals under a new bill

phil ting

Bill author Phil Ting wearing his Planned Parenthood fighting gloves.

While I’m all for a solution to preventing whackos from gunning down people, I’m not a fan of a person being deprived of their due process.

From Sacramento Bee: Following a school shooting in Florida this week, a California legislator has reintroduced his proposal to expand the state’s gun violence restraining order system.

The law currently allows family members and law enforcement to petition a court when they believe someone is an “immediate and present danger” to themselves or others. If a judge agrees, that person must temporarily give up possession of their firearms and is banned from buying new ones, generally for 21 days.

Assembly Bill 2607 would add employers, coworkers, high school and college staff, and mental health workers to the list of individuals who can seek a restraining order.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who is carrying the measure, said his bill could have helped teachers and administrators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student on Wednesday killed 17 people, despite warnings to law enforcement.

“It just tells people in a workplace environment, if they see something, if they feel something, they can do something about it,” he said. “They don’t have to be helpless.”

Ting previously pursued a similar expansion two years, following the San Bernardino terrorist shooting, where a county Department of Public Health employee and his wife killed 14 colleagues at a Christmas party. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill, deeming it “premature” just six months after the original law took effect.

In 2016, the first year of the system, California courts issued 86 gun violence restraining orders. The largest number came from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties; six were issued in the Sacramento region.

DCG

California demorats want businesses to give half their tax-cut savings to the state

phil ting

Phil Ting fighting for baby killers Planned Parenthood and to get more taxpayers’ money.

Of course they do. Greedy bunch they are.

From SF Gate: California lawmakers are targeting the expected windfall that companies in the state would see under the federal tax overhaul with a bill that would require businesses to turn over half to the state.

A proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment by Assemblymen Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would create a tax surcharge on California companies making more than $1 million so that half of their federal tax cut would instead go to programs that benefit low-income and middle-class families.

“Trump’s tax reform plan was nothing more than a middle-class tax increase,” Ting said in a statement. “It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals. This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care, and other core priorities.”

As a constitutional amendment, the bill would require approval from two-thirds of the Legislature to pass, a difficult hurdle now that Democrats have lost their supermajority. If passed and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would then go to voters for final approval.

Democrats lost their supermajority following resignations of two Assembly Democrats, Matt Dababneh of Encino (Los Angeles County), and Raul Bocanegra of San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County) amid sexual misconduct allegations. Another Assembly Democrat, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of Los Angeles, resigned citing health issues. In the Senate, Democrat Tony Mendoza of Artesia (Los Angeles County) is taking a leave of absence pending an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

California Democrats have been exploring ways to help those in the state who could end up paying higher federal taxes next year under the Republican tax overhaul.

The GOP overhaul caps state income taxes and local property tax write-offs on the federal income tax return at $10,000, a move expected to hurt high-local-tax states such as California, where the average state and local tax write-off in 2016 was $22,000.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León introduced legislation this month that would allow Californians to get around the state and local tax cap with a voluntary donation to a charitable fund created by the state of any amount of owed taxes above $10,000. That donation — in lieu of taxes — would allow donors to write off the gifts on their federal tax returns.

DCG

LA Times asks, “Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

nancy pelosi tweet

Demorats own this.

Doesn’t take an econ major in junior high to solve this riddle.

Kerry Jackson at the LA Timeswrote this op-ed piece: Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.

With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.

h/t PJ Media

DCG

Sanctuary state signs in CA welcome felons, illegal aliens and MS-13

sanctuary sign in ca

Turns out it was a prankster who put up the signs. I thought it was for real, as nothing the proggies in California does anymore surprises me.

From Fox News (as reported by Greg Norman): Drivers entering California are being greeted with signs proclaiming the liberal bastion an “OFFICIAL SANCTUARY STATE,” according to photos and videos circulating on social media appearing to show a prankster attached the official-looking blue signs just below legitimate “Welcome to California” markers.

The sanctuary state sign, which adds “Felons, Illegals and MS13 [gang members] welcome,” is similar to one hung up by a Malibu activist last year. 

“Democrats Need The Votes!” reads a message on the signs, which are plastered with the Great Seal of California and a donkey, one of the symbols of the Democratic Party.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) spokesman Mark Dinger told Fox News on Tuesday that one of the signs was taken down yesterday on Interstate-15 near the California/Nevada border. A crew has been dispatched today to remove another sign spotted on I-40 near the border with Arizona, he added.

“For safety reasons, Caltrans does not permit any unauthorized signs in the state right of way,” the agency said in a statement. “If we haven’t done so already, Caltrans crews will take steps to remove them.”

California became a “sanctuary state” on Monday after a bill Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in October officially took effect. The law bars police in the nation’s most populous state from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities in most cases.

The Golden State is home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants aliens.

The signs in photos and videos being circulated on social media are similar to one placed in Malibu in April 2017, after it declared itself a sanctuary city.

“Official Sanctuary City ‘Cheap Nannies and Gardeners Make Malibu Great!’ (Boyle Heights Not So Much.)” read the sign on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway, according to FOX5. That sign was reported by a California State Parks employee to authorities but was already taken down by the time deputies arrived to investigate.

“This was not an official city sign,” Malibu Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal had told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s down, and it’s very disheartening that anyone would put up such an ugly sign.”

“Whoever did this spent some time on it,” she added.

DCG