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Gas Tax Repeal Initiatives

John Moorlach
Sep 22, 2017 · 4 min read

When former State Assemblyman David Hadley considered a run for Governor in 2018, he came to the Capital and met with his former legislative colleagues and explained his exploratory efforts. David and I had a long, private discussion about his potential plans. One of the key points we both agreed on was how critical it is to have just one Republican running in order to secure at least a place in the “top-two” June Primary and then go on to the General Election in November. He was deliberate, thoughtful and considerate of the counsel he was given. Unfortunately, he has since dropped out of the race.

There are currently two Republican candidates running for Governor. One is leading a ballot measure drive that is aiming to repeal the recent gas and auto tax increase, SB 1, recently approved with a two-thirds vote of the State Legislature (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Do You Recall? — July 10, 2017 ). This repeal effort is a righteous cause. The other has a proposed ballot measure that is aiming to restructure the state legislature with an innovative, but complex and confusing electoral and neighborhood system of representation. While an intriguing way to deal with our out-of-touch legislature that represents too many people, his proposal is neither a reasonable solution nor a worthy cause.

Although David Hadley informed me of his potential intentions to run for Governor, Assemblyman Travis Allen did not. I found out when you did, via the news media.

I have not endorsed Assemblyman Allen or John Cox, the other candidate, in their gubernatorial efforts at this time.

Immediately after the passage of SB 1, KOGO AM 600 Radio Talk Show Host Carl DeMaio filed a request to petition the recall of State Senator Josh Newman. Senator Newman’s vote proved to be crucial, as he was one of the necessary 27 votes to obtain the required two-thirds passage of this new tax.

Not too long thereafter, Assemblyman Allen filed a request with the Secretary of State to circulate a petition to repeal the gas tax because no one else did. He filled the vacuum and made a bold leadership move. It garnered him significant attention in the social media world. In full disclosure, around that time I accepted Assemblyman Allen’s invitation to serve on his initiative’s advisory committee.

In the meantime, DeMaio quickly gathered more than 100,000 signatures for the recall in Sen. Newman’s District, far more than the minimum required.

Assemblyman Allen’s efforts were stymied by the State Attorney General’s customary poison pill where this statewide office traditionally writes a bogus ballot title and summary for conservative measures to confuse potential petition signers and ballot measure voters.

Earlier this week, Daily Pilot columnist Barbara Venecia asked me to give a status report on the gas tax repeal effort. Not too long after I sent my quick analysis, something quite amazing happened in Superior Court, where Assemblyman Allen contested the regular nonsense produced by the AG’s office. He prevailed. According to the LA Times, “A judge tentatively ruled Tuesday that the state-written title and summary of an initiative to repeal the recent gas-tax increases were misleading and should be rewritten by the state attorney general’s office.” Unheard of. Kudos to the Assemblyman.

The Daily Pilot piece appeared online last evening. It is still not in print and may appear in tomorrow’s edition or over the weekend. But, Assemblyman Allen called me to express his displeasure with my quotes. Obviously, I did not expect an appropriate ruling out of our state’s court system. I meant no affront to the Assemblyman. And, I apologized. Apparently, the now vying initiatives has the Assemblymember a little on edge, which is an honest response. I wish him all the best in both of his efforts. The fun between these two statewide leaders is provided in the first piece below.

Bloomberg Businessweek provides a six-year-old quote in their column about Puerto Rico (MOORLACH UPDATE — JWA and #2 — November 14, 2011 november 15, 2011 john moorlach — unfortunately, the full piece did not load up on the blog).

After reading the piece you may wonder if this is a foretaste of what’s in store for the state of California. I don’t believe that Puerto Rico’s situation comes close to what occurred in Orange County. But, not providing full disclosure of the true facts and trends is not a good idea. Will similar trends be in California’s future? After reading the piece, you will understand why I voted in opposition to every bond bill on the Senate Floor.

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