Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘election’

Prop 26 – A New Way To Stop Projects?

Given how deft Sacramento is at hiding taxes as fees in order to avoid the mandatory two-thirds vote for taxes, who didn’t vote for Prop 26, so fees will also be subject to a two-thirds vote?  Well, actually 4.3 million Californians didn’t, by current count. Fortunately for wallet-watchers, 4.7 million voted yes.

But California is nothing if not the Land of Unintended Consequences.  Now it looks like Prop 26 could be a nifty new way for state regulatory boards like the California Coastal Commission or a Regional Water Quality Control Board, which are subject to its provisions, to delay new development projects.

Development fees are not subject to Prop 26, so if a new project is dinged a nice little bucket of cash to improve signals at some intersections it’s impacting, no special vote  is required.  That’s fine – the authors of the California Chamber-sponsored proposition anticipated that, and wrote the measure to protect developers.

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Water Weekly 3: A veteran pol and a veteran plant

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

A Veteran Returns to Big Problems

Jerry Brown isn’t that kind of veteran – and a big Veterans Day THANK YOU to those of you who are! – but he is a veteran of the governor’s office … which makes us wonder why he’d ever want to go back.  Brown is committed to rebuilding California’s water infrastructure and fixing the Sacramento Delta’s environmental problems, but that stuff is pretty far down his list of priorities.  And now, with the budget deficit pegged at $25.4 billion we’re also wondering:  Will water ever get its due?

Read Capitol Weekly’s story listing Brown’s priorities and problems

Why wasn’t the deficit news published before the election?

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Land Weekly 3: Friendlier or Snippier Times Ahead?

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPALand on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Friendlier Feds, Snippier State Regulators?

According to political insiders – and pretty much anybody who’s ever dealt with an appointed regulatory body – having more Republicans in office generally is good news for permit-seekers in the housing industry.  So the outcome of last week’s election should bring some hopey, changey prospects in the short-term nationwide, as the GOP takes over key committee posts in the House and a slew of new Republican governors take office.  Here in California, it’s a whole different story.  Tuesday meant at least four more years of Jerry Brown, whose agenda will be topped, said CalWatchdog’s Steven Greenhut at a recent luncheon, by environmental issues and slowing (or stopping!) new development.  That’s not exactly change we can believe in.

Read the Real Estate Channel‘s take on the GOP win

Read MSNBC’s take

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Water Weekly 3: Up, Up and Up Again

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Election Round-Up

On Election Day as voters across the country re-defined the American political mainstream, Californians defiantly went up a different creek – whether they did so with or without a paddle remains to be seen.  In any case, the election was big news for water wonks.

  • At the local level, most water district incumbents did well.
  • At the state level, the Brown administration will be gray – the governor-elect has signaled he’ll surround himself with advisors from his first two terms, including water wonk Jerry Merrill.  One important water legislator, Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), went under.  Prop 23′s defeat will likely raise energy and compliance costs, and therefore rates.
  • Nationally, Jim Costa, the pro-water Democrat, lost to his Republican challenger, but all other prominent water folks were re-elected, including George “Fish before Farmers” Miller.  Of course, Carly Fiorina, who campaigned hard for water fixes (using messaging prepared by Laer Pearce & Associates) fell to Barbara Boxer, who has never seen a water infrastructure project she likes.

Read Jerry Brown’s water supply plan here

Read Barbara Boxer’s water supply plan here

Read ACWA’s election analysis here (more…)

In OC at least, incumbents fared well

Nationally, 2010 definitely was a star-crossed political year, as most incumbents did all they could to cross off that little * that noted their incumbency.  And, it turned out, they had good reason to, as the roll call in both the House and the Senate and the names on the door of many Governors’ offices will change dramatically, come January.

Not so in Orange County.

In our city council races, 63 incumbents were on the ballot, and 48 will be staying on their respective councils – roughly three-quarters of them.  Just 15 lost their re-election bids, including several LP&A friends – Joel Bishop in Dana Point, Toni Iseman in Laguna Beach (once a great Coastal Commission member), Craig Scott in Laguna Niguel, Richard Dixon in Lake Forest and Neil Blaise in Rancho Santa Margarita.

It was much the same with OC’s water and special district races, as 78 percent of the incumbents held their seats, including all the incumbents at the water districts on the LP&A client list – Irvine Ranch, Moulton Niguel and Mesa Consolidated (with the possible exception of Jim Fisler for the short-term seat at Mesa, which currently remains too close to call).  We have some friends among the incumbents who will be leaving: Richard Dietmeier at South Coast and John Summerfield and Bill Mills at Yorba Linda, but were most surprised to see Arlene Schafer voted off the Mesa Sanitary Board.  Arlene is a star who has given tirelessly of herself to promote and protect the interests of Special Districts.

All members of the OC Congressional delegation survived their challenges, most by margins of 30 points or more, although Loretta Sanchez didn’t know until late in the evening that she had defeated her Republican challenger, Van Tran.  The same incumbent-friendly aura covered our Sacramento delegation, except perhaps Democrat incumbent Tony Mendoza in the 56th, who leads his GOP challenger Henry Bestwick by just 96 votes out of 12,247 ballots counted thus far.

Our congrats go to all the winners, and to those who lost, our thanks for their public service and our best wishes to them in their next endeavors.

Land Weekly 3: New Lawns, New Species, New Priorities

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPALand on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Raking of Muck Slows Raking of New Lawns

Political wonks like the crew at LP&A love the craziness and drama that comes with election season.  But it turns out that homebuyers just might not be so keen on it.  According to Shea Homes CEO Bert Silva, political attack ads “just don’t put people in the mood to buy a new home.”  Our fingers are cautiously crossed that today’s political battles will bring the beginnings of a path toward less regulation and greater economic certainty come November 3, and that should surely put those weary homebuyers  – and homebuilders – in better spirits.

Read The Orange County Register article here

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