Blowing the whistle on sexual harassers may get easier for Capitol workers

Before sexual harassment allegations rattled the Capitol, legislation by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, to extend whistleblower protections to workers in the statehouse died in the Senate four years in a row.

Now an amended version of the Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act – with an urgency clause and more than half of the Legislature added on as co-authors – is back in the Senate and expected to come up for a floor vote Thursday.

Assembly Bill 403 makes it illegal to retaliate against a legislative worker who blows the whistle on a lawmaker or another employee with “a good faith allegation” for any action that may violate state law or a legislative code of conduct. The Senate currently operates with a code of conduct, while the Assembly does not.

Anyone who retaliates against a legislative employee faces up to a $10,000 fine and one year in jail, as well as civil liability, under the bill. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

California GOP Calls For Resignation of Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes

Chad Mayes2In an unusual move for the California Republican Party — which has long staked its comeback on moving toward the center — the state board of the party voted to call for the resignation of one of it’s own, who was presumably sticking to the establishment script, Assembly GOP Minority leader Chad Mayes.

The results of the vote of the 20-member board, which took place Friday evening, was posted on the FaceBook Page of Harmeet Dhillon, who is former Vice Chair of the party, becoming National Committeewoman in 2016.

The vote was 13 in favor, 7 opposed with one abstaining.

Dhillon, who made the motion calling for Mayes to resign, included the text and results in her post:

“Given the uproar over recent decisions and actions by Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes and the fact that those decisions and actions have acted to divide the California Republican Party, the Board of Directors of the CAGOP urges Leader Mayes to resign his leadership position immediately, and if he fails to do so, urges the members of the Republican Assembly Caucus to select a new leader at the earliest opportunity.”

The vote was 13 for, 7 against, one abstention (Team Cal, the donor representative). The seven against were mainly regional vice chairs, which is interesting. McCully, Caro, Wilder, Willmon, Guerra, Mayes, and Olsen voted NO. The rest of the board voted yes.

Tony Kravaric, a board member and Chair of the powerful San Diego County GOP also posted the results on his Facebook, offering a glimpse into the internal conflict confronting the California Republican Party:

It is done. The California Republican Party (CRP) board voted to ask Assemblyman Chad Mayes to step down as Leader, and if he doesn’t, for the Assembly Caucus to force new leadership. It saddens me that it had to come to this but it had to be done. I pray that Chad does the right thing and steps down…

[having earlier posted]

(…”I take no pleasure in casting this vote but dangit I volunteer over 1000 hrs per year for our Party and expect more from our leaders.)”

The Los Angeles Times reports that:

Mayes said he has no intention of stepping down, and he believes he has enough support to remain in his position.

“I am not going to capitulate,” he said. “I’m going to continue to keep pushing forward.”

What the Times did not report is that both Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes and current CRP Vice Chair Kristin Olsen, who are rumored to be having an affair, both voted “No” on the motion calling for Mayes to resign.

The first opportunity for an actual vote to “vacate the chair” — which is necessary for anyone to put their name forth to replace Mayes — will take place Monday when the Republican Assembly Caucus reconvenes after their summer recess.

So far two candidates have expressed interest in the leadership position: Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), who announced her interest on Thursday and was promptly endorsed by the Riverside County GOP, and Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake), who has been quietly building support behind the scenes.

Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and Author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless.  He also ran for governor in 2014.

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/tim.donnelly.12/

Twitter:  @PatriotNotPol

This article was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

California Republicans Try to Undo Campus Free Speech Restrictions

Free Speech ProtestCalifornia’s increased crackdown on free speech on several of its college campuses has pushed several Republicans, and even some Democrats, to push back.

Bill Nielsen, a 72-year-old Republican cattle farmer, and Nicolas Tomas, a 26-year-old vegan Democrat, have joined forces. According to the Los Angeles Times, Nielsen has proposed a bill that would “reaffirm that outdoor spaces on campus are public forums. Institutions would only be able to impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech, such as barring demonstrations with bullhorns in front of the library during finals week.” The Times adds, “School policies would also need to allow for spontaneous assembly and distribution of literature, so students can react to breaking news events.”

The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), is called the Campus Free Speech Act. It would prevent schools from disinviting speakers because thy are “controversial” and would reportedly establish disciplinary action for anyone who infringes on the free speech right of others.

“You’re not allowed to just disinvite people because they’re controversial,” Melendez told the Times. “You can’t have mob rule.”

Earlier this month, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the eight page Campus Free Speech Protection Act into law, making the “Volunteer State” on the first to pass legislation designed to stem the assault on free speech at its public universities.

Breitbart News previously reported:

The law mandates that public colleges and universities in Tennessee adopt free speech policies consistent with the University of Chicago’s 2015 Stone Report. Chaired by Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone, the report’s findings were adopted last year to great fanfare. Despite his emphasis on campus free speech, Professor Stone is hardly a right-wing ideologue. He clerked with archliberal Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, chaired the Board of the American Constitution Society, a leading lefty-leaning lawyers’ association, and served on the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Meanwhile, the University of California has reportedly estimated that enforcing Nielsen’s measure could add millions of dollars of costs for administrative, security and legal fees to the system.

However, Joe Cohn, the legislative director at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), told the Times that argument was bogus. “The idea that the bill will add costs to the state is silly on its face,” Cohn reportedly said. They already have this same liability and same legal obligation, regardless or not if the bill passes.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/california

Let localities opt out of sanctuary status

Maria Ortiz, at left, a Mexican immigrant has been living in the United States for 23 years. "I am single. I work so hard to stay. I never needed support from the government," Ortiz said. She is not a citizen and works as a janitor, she said during an immigration protest outside Rep. Ed Royce's office in Brea. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – Shot 111713 – immig.fast.11.19 Advocates for immigration reform will camp our near the office of Rep. Ed Royce for five days, where they will stage a fast. They are asking OC's Republican leaders in Congress to publicly support an overhaul to the nation's immigration laws, including the so-called pathway to citizenship that would create a process for some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally the right to become citizens.

Grandstanding California politicians seem intent on outdoing each other in finding new ways to appear to be resisting the policies of our new president. Efforts to ban cooperation by local agencies with the federal government on immigration issues include working to make California a “sanctuary state.”

As prominent elected officials beat their chests in defiance of federal law, they ignore the fact that their actions could jeopardize the wellbeing of millions of Californians who depend on the hundreds of billions of dollars Washington provides our state, the majority of which goes to support vital services to our most vulnerable citizens.

While the governor and the majority of the members of the Legislature seem intent on putting California’s share of federal dollars at risk — sort of like playing Russian roulette only the gun is aimed at the heads of taxpayers and the needy — there is an alternative. Assembly Bill 536 (by this column’s coauthor Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez) would protect the billions of dollars California currently receives in federal funding.

Assembly Bill 536 allows counties to opt out of any state laws that may result in a loss of federal funding. By electing not to implement a state law that jeopardizes funding, counties will then work directly with the federal government to receive the allocations to which they would otherwise be entitled.

While the majority of lawmakers may see themselves as heroically standing up for their principles, they don’t speak for millions of California who depend on federal dollars to help them survive. And they do not speak for taxpayers who do not want to pay new taxes to make up for the mistakes of irresponsible politicians and their misguided laws.

This is not a trivial issue, although one might think so after listening to the Sacramento leadership. Approximately 40 percent of California’s budget is allocated through the federal government. California receives $368 billion in federal funding, or about $9,500 for each Californian. The funding is most prominently used for welfare benefits and retirement pensions; however, the federal government spends money in various capacities in California — from infrastructure upkeep and maintenance, to assisting refugees.

Here are a few examples of what is at stake:

  • California’s Department of Health Care Services received almost $54 billion from the federal government in order to provide health care services to millions of low-income and disabled Californians each and every day.
  • California’s Department of Education receives almost $12 billion from the federal government, which include K-12 and higher education.
  • California’s Department of Social Services, which is responsible for the oversight and administration of programs serving California’s most vulnerable residents, receives $7 billion from the federal government. Those programs include food stamps, child welfare and veteran services to state a few.

Average Californians are desperately in need of sanctuary. They are the ones in need of a “safe space” where they are protected from the frivolous yet dangerous actions of the self-aggrandizing political elite who are gladly putting the welfare of so many at risk. Lawmakers should pass Assembly Bill 536 and allow county boards of supervisors to spare their constituents from a disruption of federal benefits.

Jon Coupal is the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Melissa Melendez is the Assembly representative for California’s 67th Assembly District.

Legislature Votes to Mandate Vaccinations for CA Kids

The mandatory vaccine bill, SB277, passed the state Assembly on a 46-30 vote during a Thursday hearing.

sb277 vote

Proponents of the bill say the passage is a victory for science and public health, while opponents decry the bill’s infringement upon parental rights.

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said in a prepared statement that the issue at hand with SB277 was not “whether or not you support vaccines” but “about the freedom to make our own choices as citizens”:

“I am concerned this legislation is yet another overreach of the state trying to dictate how we live our lives. As a mother, I made the choice to have my children vaccinated because I believe that was right for my family. By denying the ability for parents to choose what is right for their children, we are robbing Californians from one of their most essential liberties. This is not about vaccines; it is about whether or not the government should be telling us how to raise our children.”

vaccineBut during the Assembly hearing, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said, “As a mother, I understand that the decisions we make about our children’s health care are deeply personal. While I respect the fundamental right to make medical decisions as a family, we must balance out with the fact that none of us has a right to endanger others. SB277 strikes a balance.”

“This isn’t just about Disneyland,” said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, referring to the measles outbreak that occurred last year. “And this isn’t just about the need to make sure we wait for a crisis.”

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, voiced his opposition to the bill, calling it a “slippery slope” and said it sets a precedent where the state could mandate nearly anything “in the name of the common good, protecting others and stopping an outbreak.” He emphasized that the Legislature is “tasked with drawing lines” and said SB277 does not demonstrate where the line for medical necessity “reasonably ends to justify a law.”

A statewide poll from the Public Policy Institute of California released earlier this year revealed that more than two-thirds of California adults support barring unvaccinated children from attending public schools.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

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