Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Attempt at Stirring the Pot Part 1

I rarely have "hot diggety dog" moments in my life, but today I had one and it was just too incredible to pass up. I headed into work today in a great mood, knowing that today would be the last day before my usual three days of freedom began. I work a rather humdrum job at the local Staples Office Supply Store in Auburn here in Northern California, and to top that off I work in a closed off area that prohibits interaction with customers and co-workers with the exception of the ones who work in that area with me. Nevertheless, we are privy to work that does not go through the other channels of the job and so we have unique opportunities if one knows how, where, and when to look for them.

Today I had such an opportunity.

As many across the state and nation know, the 2010 midterm elections are coming up in November, and many of those races are gubernatorial in nature. Republicans expect to make huge gains after the laughingstock that is the current congress finally falls off the cliff with all their lemming friends.

One such candidate is Steve Poizner, who styles himself a conservative Republican and is hoping to take over Schwarzenegger's spot. First, however, he must contend with challenger Meg Whitman in a primary race.

Notice I said "styles himself" a conservative Republican. The reason for this is because I have incontrovertable proof that what Meg Whitman says about Poizner is absolutely true.

At my job we make copies. Thousands of copies on a daily basis, in fact. Well, this time a few thousand of those copies just happened to be a campaign memo written by Steve Poizner's people about how they are going to "reinvent" Poizner to appear more Conservative than Whitman is.

Here is the Memo:

POIZNER 2010 CAMPAIGN MEMO

To: Campaign Insiders
From: Research and Strategy Department
Re: Early Prep for Gubernatorial Race
Date: September 17, 2007

Given our candidate's long record of supporting higher taxes, defying the conservative branch of the GOP, and defending high paid government bureucrats, it's pretty clear that we are going to have to go to great lengths in the months to come to "re-define" him in the eyes of Republican activists and voters. Without such and "about turn" there is virtually no way we will be able to survive a primary election.

We are not exaggerating the problem's we will have with the candidate's record. For example, in 2000, he funded an effort to raise property taxes for all Californians by more than $40 billion to the tune of $200,000. In 2004, he supported increasing local sales taxes in order to pay for transportation improvement. Then, in 2006, a group he co-founded, fought to raise property taxes by $500 million per year.

This is just the tip of the iceberg...and if we don't "recreate" the candidate (have him show up at some GOP organizations, give them some red meat, maybe spread some money around to start over the next year or so) our man is looking more and more like the Titanic. I mean this guy actually gave $10,000 to the GORE RECOUNT! Can you imagine how ANY Republican is going to react to that? I nearly fell off my stool when I read it.

Another little problem is that when he ran for the Assembly the newspapers covered his race pretty good. There is article after article , column after column, where the candidate stresses his disgust for the conservative wing of the GOP, his liberal social positions, and his desire to increase taxes. It won't just be the other Gubernatorial candidates calling our guy a liberal, it will be the newspapers reporting his own views. Not sure what to do about that right off the bat.

Frankly, and this is confidential, if he wasn't such a good paying client we'd argue that an attempt by the client to run statewide as a conservative would be laughable. But, as we all know, you can fool most of the people most of the time if you tell them what they want to hear, and spend enough money. Let's get to work over the next week coming up with a new ideology for the client. We can probably just poll it out, find out what conservatives want, and go with that. He sounds like he'll say just about anything we tell him, so that makes it easy.

We've attached some of the problems we are going to have to overcome for your review. It's quite a stack, and there is more coming via mail tomorrow. Hold your nose, it's not pretty.

IN 2000, POIZNER SUPPORTED PROPOSITION 39

In 2000, Poizner Supported Lowering The Threshold To Approve School Bonds That Are Paid For By Increasing Taxes

In 2000, Piozner Supported Lowering The Threshold To Raise Taxes:

In October 2000, Poizner Contributed $100,000 In The Form Of A Loan, To "Taxpayers For Accountability & Better Schools (Tabs), Yes on Prop 39 A Coalition Of Teachers, Parents, Seniors, Taxpayers & Business." (California Secretary of State, http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov, Accessed 8/6/09)

"[P]roposition 39 -- A Measure On The Nov. 7 Ballot -- Would Reduce The Threshold Needed To Pass A School Bond From Two-Thirds Of The Voters To 55 Percent." (Maria Saccheti, "Prop 39: Weighing Cost Vs. Need EDUCATION," Orange County Register, 10/22/00)

"Proposition 39: What It Would Do: Lower The Vote Required To Approve A Local School Bond From The Current Two-Thirds To 55 Percent. Bonds Are Repaid With Interest From Property Tax Increases Over Several Decades. The Money Would Be Used For School Construction And Remodeling Projects." ("Propositions 38 and 39 At-A-Glance," The Associated Press, 10/18/00)

Opponents of Prop 39 Said The New Law Would Impose A Property Tax On Poor Communities Disproportionately To That On Wealthy Districts. "Some poor communities, [Jon] Coupal, [President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association] said, would have to impose a property tax 20 times that of some rich districts to raise the same amount of revenue per pupil." (Lisa Schafer, "School Voucher Plan Divides State Voters," Contra Costa Times, 8/10/00)

The Legislative Analysis of Prop 39. Said It Would Raise Taxes:

"This Proposition Allows (1) School Facilities Bond Measures To Be Approved By 55 Percent (Rather Than Two-Thirds) Of The Voters In Local Elections And (2) Property Taxes To Exceed The Current 1 Percent Limit In Order To Repay The Bonds." (Proposition 39, "School Facilities. 55% Local Vote. Bonds, Taxes. Accountability Requirements." http://vote2000.sos.ca.gov/VoterGuide/pdf/39.pdf)

The Analysis Demonstrates That The Tax Increase Would be $3000 More In Paid Taxes Over 30 Years For Someone Who Owns A Piece Of Property Worth Only $170,000. "How Would the Proposition Affect the Average Homeowner? As noted in the text, this proposition would only have an impact on property owners in cases where a school bond issue is approved by less than two-thirds but at least 55 percent of the voters. In these instances, the impact on a property owner (business or homeowner) would depend on two factors: (1) the tax rate "add-on" needed to pay the debt on the bonds and (2) the assessed value of a particular property. The following illustrates the possible impact of the proposition. A homeowner lives in a unified school district that places a bond before the voters. The bond is approved by with a 58 percent vote and the size of the bond requres a tax levy of $60 per each $100,000 of assessed value. If the assessed value of the owner's home is the statewide average (about $170,000), the owner would pay about $100 in additional property taxes each year for the life of the bond (typically between 20 and 30 years)." (Proposition 39, "School Facilities. 55% local Vote. Bonds, Taxes. Accountability Requirements." http://vote 2000.sos.ca.gov/VoterGuide/pdf/39.pdf)



Estimates of How Much Prop 39 Raised Taxes Reached $40 billion:

In The Three Years After The Passage of Prop 39, Taxes in California Were Raised By At Least $20 Billion. "With the new 55% requirement, early all school bonds will pass easily. In the first three years since the passage of Proposition 39, about 90% of local school and community college bonds passed under the reduced 55% passing standard. Seeing this, school officials can be expected to confront taxpayers with even more bonds for higher amounts, saddling homeowners with billions of dollars of additional debt. In just the first three years since the passage of Proposition 39, more than $20 Billion in local school and community college bonds passed under the reduced 55% passing standard." (How to Defeat Prop 39. 39 Bonds In Your Area," Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, http://www.hjta.org/tools/how-to-defeat-prop-39-bonds-in-your-area, Accessed 8/11/09)

Jon Coupal Estimated That Prop 39 Would Raise Property Taxes By $40 Billion. "Proposition 39 is identical to Proposition 26, which taxpayers defeated in March, except that instead of replacing the two-thirds vote requirement to pass local school bonds with a simple majority, Proposition 39 would lower the requirement to 55 percent. This standards would provide little comfort to taxpayers because it would mean that, based on elections since 1996, more than nine out of 10 (94 percent) bonds would pass. Each of these bonds would burden property owners with additional taxes. The legislative analyst estimates the cost to taxpayers at hundreds of millions of dollars annually. But Proposition 39 promoters have stated that, if Proposition 39 passes, it will bring in $20 billion in new revenue. Counting intereston the new bonds, that's nearly $40 Billion in property taxes - on both businesses and homeowners." (Jon Coupal, "Proposition 39: Pro and Con Views," http://www.caltax.org, Cal-Tax Digest, Sept. 2000)

  • "Proposition 39 Promoters Have Stated That If This Proposition Passes It Will Bring In $20 Billion In New Revenue. Counting Interest On The New Bonds, That's Nearly $40 Billion in New Property Taxes - On Both Business and Homeowners." (Jon Coupal, Op-Ed, "Proposition 39 - Con: Taxpayers Merit Protection," The Daily News of Los Angeles, 10/30/00)

Between 1986 and 2000, If Prop 39 Had Been Law, Taxes Would Have Been Raised By $13 Billion. "Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association argues that more than 60 Percent of school bonds put before voters since 1996 have passed. The legislative analyst reports that since 1986, voters have approved $18 Billion in K-12 bonds, while an additional $13 billion in bonds 'received over 55 percent, but less than two-thirds of voter approval.'" (Debra J. Saunders, Op-Ed, "Prop 39 Lowers Bar To Raise Taxes," San Francisco Chronicle, 10/20/00

In November 2000, Prop 39 Passed:

Proposition 39 passed. "After twice rejecting similar proposals, voters Tuesday approved an initiative that his expected to put more money into school construction by making it easier to pass local bonds. Gov. Gray Davis led a drive financed by wealthy Silicon Valley busniessmen that resulted in the passage of proposition 39, which lowers the requriement for approving local school bonds from two-thirds to 55 percent of the electorate." (Ed Mendel, "Threshold Lowered For School Bonds," The San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/9/00)

As A Result Of Prop 39, Taxpayers Across California Faced Tax Increases:

"Seventeen schoola nd three community college districts are hoping they can get teir voters to approve more than $2 billion in school bonds and parcel taxes on March 5. It is a task made easier by Proposition 39, which in 2000 lowered the majority voter approval needed from two-thirds to 55 percent, but some districts will still bee in for an uphill battle." ("$2 Billion At Stake In Bonds, Taxes," San Francisco Chronicle, 2/25/02)

Under Prop 39, Bakersfield Taxpayers Had to Pay For A $82.1 Million Tax Increase. "College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita passed an $82.1 million bond in November under Proposition 39 and had to go to Bakersfield to find its taxpayer member." (Karen Maeshiro, "Millions Stuck in Limbo," The Daily News of Los Angeles, 3/4/02)

Anti-Tax Group Was Strongly Against Prop 39:

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Was Strongly Against Prop 39. "According to Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, their overwhelming wealth means these entrepreneurs are "out of touch" with the average California homeowner." (Emily Bazar, "Silicon Valley Adds Fuel To The Education Debate," Scripps Howard News Service, 9/24/00)

  • The Tax Payer's Group is the primary opponent of Proposition 39. Its leaders argue that taxes will increase should the initiative succeed, and the burden will fall unfairly upon homeowners who pay off school construction bonds through higher property taxes." (Emily Bazar, "Silicon Valley Adds Fuel To The Education Debate," Scripps Howard News Service, 9/24/00)
POIZNER WOULD NOT RULE OUT TAX INCREASES IN 2004 ASSEMBLY RACE

While Running for Assembly, Poizner Did Not Rule Out Increasing Taxes
In 2004, Poizner Did Not Rule Out Raising Taxes When Running For The Assembly:

During The State Assembly Campaign, Poizner Would Not Rule Out Voting For A Tax Increase. "Poizner, the Republican, would rule out voting for a tax increase, touted state programs to promote hybrid vehicles and 'clean energy' and calle dfor more spending on public schools. Ruskin, the Democrat, said he opposed raising taxes, played upon his bona fides as a fiscal conservative on the Redwood City Council, and called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance 'excellent'" (Poizner used the same adjective to describe the governor.)" ("Contention In Palo Alto," The San Jose Mercury News, 5/23/04)

"Mr. Poizner Said He Would Not Sign A 'No New Taxes' Pledge, But Said That Before Increasing Taxes, He Would Focus On Several Other Priorities." (David Boyce, "Voter Guide 2004: Assembly Candidates Square Off," http://www.almanacnews.com, 10/13/04)

Poizner said California would "certainly need to raise taxes to balance its massive budget deficit". "He has said the state will almost certainly need to raise taxes to balance its massive budget deficit -- an option even moderate GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has forsworn." ("Mayor Expected To Reveal Plans Soon," San Jose Mercury News, 7/25/04

POIZNER SUPPORTED A SALES TAX TO PAY FOR TRANSPORTATION COSTS

In his campaign for assembly, Poizner supported local sales taxes to pay for transportation. "I will support Santa Clara and San Mateo County efforts to seek local tax funds to pay for local transportation for operations and maintenance light-rail, buses and BART." (Real Solutions For A Better California," Steve Poizner State Assembly, 2004)

POIZNER'S GROUP SUPPORTED PROPOSITION 88 WHICH RAISED CALIFORNIA PROPERTY TAXES

EdVoice, A group that Poizner co-founded, pushed for a $500 Million property tax per year.

In 2006, EdVoice sought to raise property taxes by $500 Million per year:

Edvoice Sought a "Statwide Property Tax" in California. "Two prominent Silicon Valley Executives are preparing to take on the near-sacred Proposition 13 anti-tax measure. They envision a new statewide property tax to raise money for schools." (Timothy Roberts, "Big Guns Take Aim At Prop 13," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 3/27/06)

  • Proposition 88 was authored by Ed Voice. "Proponents of Proposition 88 - Authored by EdVoice, a coalition that includes backing from such wealthy philanthropists as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Silicon Valley investor John Doerr and SunAmerica Chairmain Eli Broad - say the state's schools are in dire need."
The Tax would create a $50 tax on every real estate parcel in the state. "Reed Hastings, the chief executive officer of Netflix.com, and John Doerr, a high-profile venture capitalist, are funding a ballot initiative for the fall that would create a statewide $50 tax on every real estate parcel, both residential and business." (Timothy Roberts, "Big Guns Take Aim At Prop 13," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 3/27/06)

  • Prop 88 is a statewide parcel tax -- the first such statewide tax in California since 1910. Every parcel in the state, no matter what the size, would pay $50 to fund statewide education programs, amounting to $450 million to $500 million a year. A car dealer or Costco would pay $50, the same as for a family home or small business." (Editorial, "Storming the Prop 13 Battlements", the Orange County Register, 8/27/06)
The total tax hike would have been $500 million. "The Change would raise an estimated $500 million for elementary and high school education. The money would be used to reduce class size, pay for textbooks and improve school safety." (Timothy Roberts, "Big Guns Take Aim At Prop 13," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 3/27/06)

"Every property owner in California, No matter how big or small or valuable the parcel, faces paying a flat $50 tax to fund schools under a measure voters will be asked to approve in November." (Harrison Sheppard, "Prop 88 Could Bring $50 Tax To Your Door," Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 7/29/06)

  • "Proposition 88 would seek to increase K-12 school funding by charging a $50 tax on each real property parcel in California. The measure, which would exempt certain elderly and disabled homeowners, would raise up to $500 Million annually for public school programs."
NOTE: "The legislative analyst estimates that the tax would raise only $450 million." (Timothy Roberts, "School Funding Proposition Hasn't Picked Up Much Support," Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 10/23/06)

Prop 8 8 was an "Unprecedented Real Estate Parcel Tax." "Two of the boldest electoral initiatives yet to emerge from valley interests will be on November's ballot: NetFlix founder Reed Hastings and Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist John Doerr are backing Proposition 88, an unprecedented statewide real estate parcel tax to benefit education..." (Mary Anne Ostrom, "Tech Players Play Politics," San Jose Mercury News, 7/29/06)

NOTE: Taxpayer Groups opposed the Tax Hike. "Although it's still early in the election season, the move already is generating criticism from taxpayer groups and property owners who say it's a regressive tax and adds to the burden on average citizens who are already overtaxed." (Harrison Sheppard, "Prop 88 Could Bring $50 Tax To Your Door," Inland Valley Daily Bulletin,, 7/29/06)

The Legislative Analyst Stated that the new tax would "result in teh vast majority of individuals and businesses that currently pay property taxes":

"The Measure Adds a new section to the state constitution that establishes an annual $50 tax on most parcels of land in California. (This dollar amount would not change over time.) For purposes of the measure, a "parcel" is defined as any unit of real property in the state that currentlyy receives a separate local property tax bill. This definition would result in the vast majority of individuals and businesses that currently pay property taxes being subject to the new parcel tax."
(Proposition 88, "Education Funding, Real Property Parcel Tax. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute." http://www.sos.ca.gov)

Prop 88 would result in $450 million tax increase per year. "We Estimate the statewide parcel taxwould result in roughly 450 million in new tax revenue each year." (Proposition 88, "Education Funding. Real Property Parcel Tax. Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute." http://www.sos.ca.gov)

There was controversy on how the tax would be implemented if it became law:

The Tax Hike was proposition 88. "Proponents of Proposition 88 - authored by EdVoice, a coalition that includes backing from such wealthy philanthropists as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Silicon Valley investor John Doerr and SunAmerica Chairman Eli Broad - say the state's schools are in dire need." (Harrison Sheppard, "Prop 88 Could Bring Tax To Your Door," Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 7/29/06)

  • Depending on Local County Tax Laws, every individual owner of a timeshare could have to pay the $50, meaning a s7/30/ingle unit could be taxed up to 52 times." (Harrison Sheppard, "Mansion or Cottage, $50 Flat Tax Sought For Schools," Contra Costa Times, 7/30/06)
  • The Timeshare Provision varies according to an individual county's tax policies, according to officials in the timeshare industry." (Harrison Sheppard, "Mansion or Cottage, $50 Flat Tax Sought For Schools," Contra Costa Times, 7/30/06)
  • If the county sends separate tax bills to each individual owner of a timeshare, those individuals are likely to each have to pay $50." (Harrison Sheppard, "Mansion or Cottage, $50 Flat Tax Sought For Schools, Contra Costa Times, 7/30/06
  • But if the county sends a single bill to the timeshare association or management company, which typically then sends its own bills to the individual owner, it is more likely they would only have to split a single $50 payment among all the owners." (Harrison Sheppard, Mansion or Cottage, $50 Flat Tax Sought For Schools," Contra Costa Times, 7/3/06)
  • "That Means in some counties, if a timeshare is divided among 52 weekly owners, the total new tax bill is on that unit would amount to $2600. In other counties, it would total $50." (Harrison Sheppard, Mansion or Cottage, $50 Flat Tax Sought For Schools," Contra Costa Times, 7/30/06)
And that's just HALF of the damning document in question. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming to a blog site near you.

Part 2 will include:

Hypocrisy on the abortion issue

Steve Poizner's donations to Al Gore (I THOUGHT he was a Republican!)

And last but not least, his opposition to the furlough program instituted by Ah-Nuld to help curb California spending and close the budget deficit.

Bring the duct tape, kiddies. It's going to be a gory read.