Economy & Budget

Dispatch From the People’s Republic of California

Gov. Jerry Brown, facing a stack of hundreds of bills passed by the California Legislature and a deadline to either sign or veto each of them, has signed most and vetoed some of them, unleashing on California the most radical set of new laws ever. 
 
Welcome to the late great Golden State, utterly transformed into the People’s Republic of California (PRC).
 
Let’s just mention a few of these gems.
 
Brown vetoed legislation requiring police to obtain a warrant from a court before searching the mobile phone of a suspect at the time of arrest. 
 
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires in relevant part that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause …”
 
This ancient right in the Bill of Rights is now repealed in the PRC.  Without any suspicion or pretext, PRC police may now search the contents of mobile phones which, in this digital age, may contain e-mail, call records, voice messages, text messages, photos, business records, bank records, and even where the phone has traveled.  Your “papers and effects” have gone mobile, but your rights to them have not.
 
In the U.S. in the past, such evidence would have to be obtained by the police under the authority of a warrant issued by a judge.  The phone could be kept by the police as evidence that it existed, but absent a warrant and probable cause, the contents would remain the private property of the person who owned it.
 
The police and sheriffs unions lobbied heavily for the veto.  They contributed heavily to the governor’s election.  They won.  The Fourth Amendment lost.
 
The governor also responded promptly to the desires of the powerful prison guards union.  A federal judge has repeatedly ordered California to reduce inmate overcrowding.  Past efforts to build more prisons lacked the money.  An effort to send prisoners to private prisons under contract was blocked by the guards union.  Overcrowding is a function of the fact that some 20% of the California prison population is illegally in the country.
 
Brown’s answer to the overcrowding problem was easy—release felons into California communities. 
 
Forty of these felons were recently released in San Diego County and ordered to report to the county probation department within 48 hours.  They were released on a Thursday night before a three-day weekend.  By the next Tuesday, only one of the 40 reported in—the others disappeared, and arrest warrants have been issued.  These arrest warrants join a backlog of some 600,000 unserved warrants in San Diego County alone.
 
Brown signed more than a dozen labor-backed bills, among them a bill to ensure a prevailing wage for trash haulers, increased fines for employers who violate labor laws, and new restrictions on the use of nonunion contractors for state services and projects.  He signed labor-sponsored legislation that would stop the sale of alcohol at automated checkout machines in grocery stores, put new restrictions on local governments seeking to void union contracts, and guaranteed wages in libraries that are privatized.
 
There was no matter too big or too small on the labor agenda that didn’t get the governor’s full attention.
 
Speaking of illegals, earlier this year Brown signed legislation that allowed college students illegally in the country to apply for private scholarships and loans.  Now he’s signed a new law that allows illegal students to apply for state-funded student aid.
 
The California Dream Act now allows illegals to attend PRC colleges and universities, pay instate tuition, apply for private aid, and apply for public aid as well.  And they don’t ever have to apply for citizenship.  An illegal who was elected student body president at a California state college openly bragged that he had registered to vote and would remain illegal.
 
U.S. citizen, California resident students will now compete with resident illegals for scarce financial aid paid for by their parents’ taxes.
 
Citizen students from other states will pay higher (out-of-state) tuition and be ineligible for Cal Grants or other state financial aid because they come from other states.
 
Legal foreign students studying in the PRC will likewise pay the out-of-state higher tuition and be ineligible for state-funded financial aid.
 
Only foreigners illegally here will get preferential treatment.  Now you know why California is also known as Mexifornia.
 
The bill’s sponsor, state Assemblyman Gil Cedillo said this preferential treatment of illegals would “help increase the earning potential of these students.”  I know it’s a technicality, but those illegally in the country are not legally supposed to hold any job here.
 
Brown had more goodies for these “undocumented Democrats.”
 
The governor signed legislation prohibiting law enforcement officers at a checkpoint or traffic stop from impounding a car where the driver does not have a valid California driver’s license.
 
Up to this point, officers have impounded cars from unlicensed drivers under the sound reasoning that unlicensed drivers should not be driving.  About 99% of the unlicensed drivers in the PRC are illegals.  Despite Assemblyman Cedillo’s best legislative efforts over many years, you still must be a citizen to get a California driver’s license. 
 
Advocates for illegals have raised a storm of protest over the car impounds, and now Brown has complied.  Illegals will continue to get tickets for being an unlicensed drivers—which they will promptly throw away in the certain knowledge that no consequences will follow.  Break the law once (illegal entry) with no consequence (and maybe even a reward), and breaking the law again and again is no big deal.
 
California citizens already have to carry “uninsured motorist” coverage.  Car insurance is mandatory in California, but the illegals ignore the requirement.  Unlicensed, uninsured drivers in an accident just laugh and walk or drive away.
 
I could go on, but you get the idea.  The PRC, once the great State of California, is a Democrat party-run state routinely trampling on the rights of its citizens, creating new rights for illegals, carrying out a sloppy love affair with unions, and a jihad against business.
 
We in California are already living in Obama’s second term.

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