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30 Jun 2011 00:35


U.S.: California Governor: No more tax-free Amazon shopping

  • YES Californians must pay sales tax at source
  • » Starting Friday, California residents (including the author of this post!) will have to pay sales tax on items purchased on Amazon, Overstock, and Internet retail giants located out-of-state. The new rule comes in the form of budget legislation signed into law Wednesday by Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown. The gov’nah called it a “common-sense idea;” called it “unconstitutional.” The measure could pull in $317 million, but that doesn’t make me feel any less grumpy about having to pay an extra two dollars for my Puddle of Mudd album.

16 May 2011 23:50


Politics: California’s financial situation gets slightly less awful

  • $6.6 billion in unexpected money for California source
  • » Where’d it come from? Rising wages. The average Californian worker will see a $4,000 uptick in pay over the next two years, resulting in more tax revenue for the fledgling state than was originally projected. If Governor Jerry Brown gets his way, this unexpected surprise will net schools an additional $3 billion in funding and take a significant bite into the state’s $15 billion deficit.

16 Feb 2011 10:33


U.S.: Why Jerry Brown’s California state hiring freeze likely means nothing

  • Davis The recalled governor pushed a hiring freeze on the state in 2001, but made some exceptions for certain departments. Those departments hired 6,500 more people in just six months. Oops.
  • Ah-nold During his time in office, he also enforced a hiring freeze, but allowed exceptions for state workers approved by the governor’s office – around 10,000 of them in his final year of office.
  • Brown Now, Jerry Brown plans to do the same thing – with the same loophole as Schwarzenegger. Stop us if you think you’ve heard this one before. Actually, we’ll just stop ourselves. source
  • » One thing Brown won’t be doing, though: The California governor quietly killed a lawsuit put in by Schwarzenegger that would have cut state worker pay to minimum wage during unresolved budget crises. Brown’s office, however, didn’t make a big deal about this. It’s also worth noting that the hiring freeze contains no specifics in terms of how much it’ll actually save.

27 Jan 2011 13:21


Politics: Jerry Brown’s tax pitch to Californians may pay off

  • 54% of California likely voters are okay with raising taxes source
  • » New polling from the California Public Policy Institute: A surprising and heartening result, in light of Governor Brown’s rhetoric about tough choices and shared sacrifice. Staring down a state in dire fiscal crisis, Brown has proposed broad, painful spending cuts, as well as a special election to seek voter approval on a package of new taxes and fees. Say what you will about the strategy, but Brown’s candor and honesty about his cuts have been impressive, and it seems voters may reward him with that rarest of the rare: a voter approved tax increase.

20 Jan 2011 22:31


Politics: Meg Whitman wants you to give Jerry Brown a shot

  • I want [Jerry Brown] to be successful. California needs him to be successful. Let’s give the guy a chance to turn around and let’s see what he can do.
  • Meg Whitman • In a speech this week at the University Club. Some have taken this speech, along with another she’s set to give at the end of the month, as a sign that Whitman is planning a political comeback. We think that’s a tad premature. This is simply an ex-candidate wishing good luck to the guy who beat her. In our current political climate, that’s is a nice change of pace. source

10 Jan 2011 20:41


U.S.: Jerry Brown gives California a bitter budgetary pill to swallow

  • $12.5B the size of the spending cuts that Jerry Brown’s trying to sell to California residents
  • five the number of years of tax increases that would also be part of the fairly risky deal
  • no Republicans are on board with Brown on this yet – he used the phrase TAX INCREASE! source
  • » About those tax increases: They would extend a series of temporary tax increase implemented in 2009, which are set to expire in July. Californians are set to vote on the increases in June. And other changes are recommended too – certain services could be transferred from state local governments (such as prisons), and services for the poor are among the ones getting cut the most. However, K-12 schools will be protected from cuts (and just about nothing else).

03 Jan 2011 21:37


Politics: New-old Governor inherits worse disaster than last time

  • 9.4% unemployment rate in California when Jerry Brown first assumed the Governorship back in 1975
  • 12.4% California’s unemployment rate today, as Brown begins his third term. Good luck, man. source

28 Oct 2010 15:53


Politics, U.S.: Cost-benefit ratio: Meg Whitman spends high, polls low

  • Everybody knows that the California Governor’s race is really, really expensive. Meg Whitman has dropped  $162 million so far on her bid, with Jerry Brown spending an only-modest-by-comparison $25.5 million. However, Whitman’s spending (including $22 million this month alone) hasn’t been able to buy her a lead in the polls. The latest Public Policy Poll has Brown leading by 11 points, 53-42. This made us wonder: how much has each candidate spent for each percentage point they hold in the polls? The results were somewhat lopsided:
  • $481k the price Jerry Brown pays for one percentage point in the polls. Not a paltry sum, to be sure.
  • $3.8m the price Meg Whitman pays for one point in the polls. That’s eight times as much. And she’s still down! source

28 Oct 2010 10:03


Politics: Meg Whitman’s money may not win California’s governor’s race

  • 49% of folks plan to give Jerry Brown another whirl as governor
  • 39% plan to take Meg Whitman’s eBay know-how into the governor’s chair
  • 12% plan to vote for Arnold again even though he’s not running source

21 Oct 2010 07:42


Politics: Crossdressing Korean bassist: Pawn in Meg Whitman’s campaign

  • And let this be a lesson to political campaigns: If you miss a character on a URL, you might not get what you want. Meg Whitman’s press secretary lost a character in her tweet, pulling this entertaining video instead of the rah-rah endorsement that Whitman got from some police group. Sure, it happens to everyone, but it’s usually not as entertaining as this. source