New city manager selected

Ken Domer

Ken Domer

According to an announcement posted on the city’s website, Fullerton will soon have a new city manager: Ken Domer, who is currently the Assistant City Manager in Huntington Beach. He has served in that capacity since October of 2013.

According to the website Transparent California, his base pay in in Huntington Beach in 2016 was $196,872, and with other pay and benefits his total compensation came to $279,251.

Domer previously served as the Assistant City Administrator in Placentia (2008-2013) and as City Manager of Villa Park (2005-2008). Prior to that he worked in various capacities for the County of Orange (1996-2005) and the State of California (1991-1995).

He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

His appointment to Fullerton’s city manager position will be voted on by the city council at its meeting tomorrow night (see Agenda Item #2). Public comments will be allowed prior to the vote.

According to Transparent California the total pay package of Fullerton’s previous city manager Joe Felz, who retired in December, was $302, 250.

Posted in City Council, City Manager | Leave a comment

Newman recall effort stymied by the Legislature

By Jon Coupal | Members of the California Legislature apparently believe they have the power to change outcomes they don’t like. This is like awarding the NBA Championship to Cleveland by retroactively mandating that all of Golden State’s three point baskets be counted as only two.

Jon CoupalWhile basketball is not on the minds of lawmakers, they are working to interfere with something of much greater value to average Californians, their constitutional right to recall elected officials. The Sacramento politicians think they have found a way to derail what appears to be a successful grassroots effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, who cast a key vote imposing a new $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax on already overburdened taxpayers.

The power of recall is a powerful tool of direct democracy. The secretary of state’s website says, “Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.”

Read the entire column in the Orange County Register . . .

Posted in 29th State Senate District, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Jon Coupal, Josh Newman, Recall | Leave a comment

The latest on the Newman recall signature campaign

Yesterday afternoon, KFI Radio talk show hosts John and Ken provided an update on the signature-gathering effort to recall state Senator Josh Newman. KGO Radio’ talk show host Carl DeMaio, the recall’s primary organizer, was their on-air guest:


Posted in 29th State Senate District, Carl DeMaio, Jon and Ken Show / KFI Radio, Josh Newman, Recall | Leave a comment

Fullerton City Hall is closed today for another three-day weekend

City Hall Closure Dates

January – 1*, 2*, 13, 27
February – 10, 20*, 24
March – 10, 24
April – 7, 21
May – 5, 19, 29*
June – 2, 16, 30
July – 4*, 14, 28
August – 11, 25
September – 4*, 8, 22
October – 6, 20
November – 3, 10*, 17, 23*, 24*
December – 1, 15, 25*, 26*, 31*

*Holiday observed


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Unable to fend off Newman recall, Democrats embrace banana republic tactics

By Steven Greenhut| California’s Democrats control just about everything in the state. They own every statewide constitutional office and have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. Heck, a news report this week revealed that Republicans have a majority of voters in only 14 of the state’s 482 cities. In other words, the majority party can pretty much do as it pleases wherever it chooses.

Steven GreenhutYet the usually hapless Republican opposition has managed to inspire enough fear in the majority party that Democrats have resorted to the kind of cheating one would expect in some third-world backwater.

As this column has explained, one of the state’s savviest GOP officials, former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio, is leading a recall campaign against a Democratic senator, Josh Newman, who represents a GOP-leaning district in Orange and Los Angeles counties. The recall has legs because Newman cast a deciding vote on a massive increase in the gasoline tax and the state’s vehicle-license fees — something that will cost many Californians hundreds of dollars a year. (The roads here need help, but state leaders are too busy spending money on other priorities.)

Recall advocates seem likely to succeed at picking off this freshman senator, given widespread anger — even among many Democrats — at the tax hike. Losing Newman will mean that Democrats lose their legislative supermajority. In California, supermajorities are needed to pass every manner of tax increase. Furthermore, DeMaio and company have plans to use the latest tax hike to target other vulnerable legislators in other districts.

So far, we’ve seen the expected pushback — a particularly ugly hit mailer by Newman backers, and a tsunami of support from the majority party and from liberal interest groups. That’s politics as usual, but the latest gambit is particularly outrageous: Legislative leaders are pushing through a bill that would change the rules of the game for recall elections to assure that Newman can survive this challenge.

Read the entire column at The American Spectator . . .

Posted in 29th State Senate District, Carl DeMaio, Gas Tax, Josh Newman, Recall, Steve Greenhut | Leave a comment

If you need a petition for the Newman recall

Recall Josh NewmanThere has been a number of requests for recall petitions, so it seemed like a good idea to post information on how to get them.

The easiest and fastest way is to go to the website You can download a petition at this link. Complete directions are provided.

Posted in 29th State Senate District, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Josh Newman | Leave a comment

Poll on gas tax sends a tremor through the political landscape

By Joel Fox | A tremor ran through the 2018 California elections with the release of the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll that shows widespread disdain for the recently passed gas tax and vehicle fees–even before collection of the tax begins in November. The gas tax issue could sway California elections from the governor’s race on down, especially if an initiative effort to repeal the measure makes the ballot.

Joel FoxThere is a long way to go before November 2018. Other issues could come to dominate that election. A test of the gas tax could come earlier if the recall effort against Democratic senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) qualifies for the ballot.

But the potential of a gas tax revolt is offering interesting shadows in my cracked crystal ball as we look ahead to 2018.

The IGS poll found California registered voters opposed the gas tax plan 58% to 35%. Those strongly opposing the plan stood at a solid 39%. Strong supporters were only at 14%.

While these numbers might raise concerns for legislators in closely contested districts who voted for the tax, the gas tax issue would magnify if an initiative to repeal the tax makes the 2018 ballot.

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) has filed a gas tax repeal measure.

If the gas tax repeal were on the ballot and the idea gained the passionate support indicated by the poll, candidates for office would face the simple question. Are you for or against the ballot measure—for or against repealing the gas tax for which many legislators approved? Voters well could use the candidate’s response to the question to determine for whom they will vote in the election.

The candidates for governor and other statewide offices would face the same question as legislative candidates.

The prospect of the measure qualifying for the ballot was iffy, but the IGS poll could change things. Money from outside Sen. Newman’s district has fueled the recall effort, state Republican Party money included. If the same supporters see the gas tax issue as possibly flipping seats and tightening up races around California, a windfall of money could be headed to support the initiative.

Gas tax increase head cheerleader, Gov. Jerry Brown, scores well in the IGS poll. But, by November 2018, the outgoing governor will be less relevant to the California voters who will be choosing a new chief executive while sending a message about the gas tax both through their votes on the initiative and votes on candidates. It will matter more to them what a future governor has to say about the issue.

Remember when Jerry Brown pledged that all tax increases would have to go before voters? The poll indicates what would have happened if he applied that test to the gas tax.

Long way to go, but the poll could mark a disturbance in the force that makes up current California politics.

[Cross-posted from Fox & Hounds.]


Posted in 29th State Senate District, Gas Tax, Governor, Joel Fox, Josh Newman | Comments Off

Democrats push new election rules to help protect Josh Newman

Just when you think you’ve seen everything in California politics, along comes something new and astounding.

According to a news story by reporter Jim Miller in the Sacramento Bee posted this afternoon:

Democrats are pushing a late-blooming bill to significantly improve state Sen. Josh Newman’s odds of surviving an effort by the state GOP and others to recall him from office.

Senate Bill 96, which became public Monday morning, would add months to the existing timeline of certifying a recall election for the ballot. The measure would virtually assure that any recall election would be held at the regularly scheduled June 5, 2018 legislative primary election.

The legislation was immediately attacked in an email message from recall the organizer, San Diego radio talk show host Carl DeMaio:

We just received word that Gov. Jerry Brown and Sacramento politicians just passed a law that will take away our ability to use the Recall Initiative this year to remove State Senator Josh Newman from office … Make no mistake: the law the Sacramento politicians just passed is unconstitutional and our coalition plans to file a lawsuit immediately.

This comes as KFI radio talk show hosts John and Ken are scheduled to do a live pro-recall broadcast tomorrow from the Ayres Hotel in Orange between 2:00-6:00. Carl DeMaio will also be broadcasting his KOGO talk show live from the same location from 3:00-6:00. The public is invited. (The Ayres Hotel is at 200 N. The City Drive in the city of Orange, right off of the 5 Freeway.)

Last week registered voters in the 29th State Senate District received a mailing from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association that included petitions to be signed by the recipients and also circulated to friends and neighbors:

HJTA mailer including reall petitions




Posted in 29th State Senate District, California Legislature, Carl DeMaio, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Josh Newman, Recall | Comments Off

The relentless battle for legislative transparency

By Jon Coupal | For decades, it has been nearly impossible for ordinary citizens to pierce the veil of legislative secrecy in our state capital.

Jon CoupalOf course, California is not unique — legislative bodies have sought to conceal their activity for millennia. This is inherent in the differences between rulers and subjects. But we all know too well that mischief feeds on secrecy. The Roman poet Virgil wrote more than 2,000 years ago, “Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.”

In California, the citizens have tried repeatedly to force legislative activity into the sunlight. So last year, to counter the common practice in the Legislature of introducing new bills and passing them within hours, often in the dead of night, voters approved Proposition 54. That important reform requires legislation be in print and available for public review for at least three days prior to final passage.

Passed as a constitutional amendment, Proposition 54 is not stated in discretionary language — its provisions are mandatory. And complying with its terms hardly places an onerous burden on lawmakers. Honestly crafted legislation should easily withstand a few days of public scrutiny.

Read the entire column in the Orange County Register . . .


Posted in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Jon Coupal, Taxes | Comments Off

Senate Dems kill measure to reaffirm commitment to Prop. 13

Today, Democrats on the Senate Governance and Finance Committee blocked Senate Resolution 39 by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), a measure that would have recognized the historic passage of Proposition 13 and its role in keeping property taxes low for homeowners. The committee’s rejection of this measure comes on the heels of the largest gas and car tax increase in California history and the Senate’s recent passage of a single-payer state-run health care bill estimated to cost $400 billion annually and that could increase personal tax bills by more than $9,200.

“It has become increasingly clear that Sacramento Democrats do not believe there should be any limits on the amount of money that can be taken from hardworking citizens to pay for growing government,” said Morrell. “Proposition 13 has empowered seniors on fixed incomes to stay in their homes and made homeownership possible for millions of first-time buyers. Senate Resolution 39 would have recognized this fact and shown the people of California that this body is in strong support of the initiative almost four decades after voters passed it.”

Prop 13Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 1978 to lower property taxes. During a time of economic uncertainty, the law ushered in welcome tax stability and certainty. Today, Proposition 13 continues to save individual new homeowners and small businesses thousands of dollars annually in property tax payments. The initiative still remains popular with voters 39 years later.

“As we celebrate the 39th anniversary of Proposition 13, we can be thankful that property owners have saved hundreds of billions of dollars in property taxes,” said David Wolfe of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in support of Senate Resolution 39. “The stability of Proposition 13′s one percent cap has been imperative to not only keep seniors in their homes and small businesses afloat, but also to allow millennials to overcome high home prices to be able to live out the American Dream.”

“Only in the California legislature would standing up for a law that saves homeowners money and prevents them from being kicked off their property be considered controversial,” continued Morrell. “Today’s vote should be a red flag to taxpayers, as it further reinforces the fact that Democrats want to see Californians pay even more of their well-earned money to the government.”

Senate Resolution 39, supported by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, failed passage in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee by a final vote of 2-5. Committee members voting in favor of low property taxes were Senators John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove). Committee members voting against the resolution were Senators Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), and Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg).


Posted in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Prop. 13 | Comments Off