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California’s problem is one party rules all

Democrats in Sacramento do a lot of preaching about equity, unless, of course, it comes to making things more equitable among policymakers.

The California State Senate is comprised of 32 Democrats and eight Republicans. The California State Assembly has 62 Democrats and 18 Republicans. Lopsided much? They always get their way and have no room for compromise.

They like high-speed rail, they get it.

They want taxes to go higher, they get it.

They don’t want to build more dams for water storage, they get their way.

PG&E wants a rate hike, they get it.

They could help lower the cost of living to prevent people leaving the state and they say tough, move.

Democrats won’t give any Republican a seat at the table. Republicans have been calling for action to reduce the cost of gasoline but deafening silence has resulted. On Feb. 27 Assembly Democrats voted unanimously to continue with Governor Gavin Newsom’s special legislative session to impose a new tax on gasoline. By opposing Assembly Republicans’ motion to end the special session, Democrats backed Newsom’s effort to deflect blame for high gas prices from the state’s taxes and regulations.

While gas prices nationwide are expected to fall this year, experts predict prices in California will again approach $7 per gallon in the coming months.

At a state Senate hearing in February on the issue of high gas prices, professors and energy industry experts testified that Newsom’s new gas tax would likely fail to reduce prices at the pump, while creating shortages and gas lines.

Republicans have asked for delay in the switch to summer blend of gas, which can add 20 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas, extend the tax holiday on diesel fuel and suspend the 8% gas tax increase scheduled to take effect July 1.

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This is puzzling. Quinnipiac University’s poll on living conditions in California note that seven in 10 California voters do not want to see Newsom run for president. That’s 70 percent.

Yet when California voters had a chance to boot the governor in the September 2021 recall, 61 percent voted to keep him over Larry Elder. Hopefully it wasn’t because the Democrats who voted in the recall election weren’t racist and voted against Elder because he is black. Then in the Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, 59.2 percent voted to re-elect Newsom over Republican California State Senator Brian Dahle!

The poll does not look for Newsom at all. Only 44 percent of all voters polled approve of the job he’s doing while 43 percent disapprove and 13 percent are clueless or have no opinion. Men over women are more apt to think he’s doing a bad job (53 percent to 34 percent). The division is wide among parties. Only 4 percent of Republicans think Newsom is doing a good job while 78 percent of Democrats approve.

Even 54 percent of Democrats don’t think Newsom should run for president in 2024. Apparently they like Biden too much for 86 percent of Democrats think the president is doing just great.

The Quinnipiac poll revealed how Californians view their state’s biggest problem – 22 percent say homelessness followed by affordable housing (17 percent) and inflation (10 percent).

Republicans view the top problems as: immigration (17 percent), homelessness (14 percent), taxes (14 percent), affordable housing (11 percent), and crime (10 percent).

Apparently Democrat voters aren’t concerned about crime as it didn’t even get double-digits. Instead they feel the top issues are homelessness (26 percent), affordable housing (24 percent), and climate change (13 percent).

Among independents, the top issues are homelessness (23 percent), affordable housing (15 percent), crime (12 percent), inflation (12 percent), and taxes (11 percent).

Of those polled, 3 percent are apparently living in the ether zone because they stated homelessness is not a very serious problem or not a problem at all. Apparently those folks haven’t backed their cars out of the driveway in a while.

Forty-five percent say they can’t afford to live in California and 43 percent say they would leave the state if they could afford it.

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Why wasn’t this a major national news story? Nine children (including a five-year-old) were shot in a Columbus, Georgia filling station. Was this story glossed over because all nine survived? Or was it because of the color of shooter D’Angelo Robinson Sr., 35, and his 15-year-old accomplice? I’m also left asking why is Robinson only being charged with nine counts of aggravated assault and not nine cases of attempted murder? Seems like if you shoot somebody you are attempting to murder them.

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Newsom doesn’t let an opportunity slip away if he can politically capitalize on something.

The governor has it in for district attorneys who are critical of him. He’s also quick on the draw to take potshots at judges who are poised to block his unconstitutional gun grabbing.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez is one of them. Well, in an unrelated matter, Benitez did something in court that I would applaud. On Feb. 13 Benitez had in his court a man was being considered for a revocation of probation following five years in prison and five years of supervised release on a drug conspiracy charge.

After the man told Benitez he was concerned for his daughter, who was crying, because she seemed to be going down the path that got him into trouble, Benitez called the girl forward  and had her briefly handcuffed in an effort to scare her away from criminal behavior.

If it worked, I say good for the judge. Young people need to face consequences and if this scared her straight, why not?

Newsom apparently had a problem with the judge’s approach – or simply wanted to portray a caring man as an unfeeling monster for Newsom tweeted: “Judge Benitez on full display. THIS is the man who is deciding the fate of CA’s assault weapons ban. A man that will handcuff innocent kids in a courtroom for the sake of humiliation. I’m the dad of a 13-year-old daughter – this sickens me.”

Well, Governor, your 13-year-old daughter probably isn’t showing sign of going off the rails and into the prison system either. After all, you live in an affluent area of Marin County.

This is what bothers me about Newsom is countless people are victimizing by people he wants to let out of prison. 

Newsom recently attacked several 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges by name in a press release after the panel struck down a law barring those convicted of domestic violence from owning guns. The panel said it violated the Second Amendment gun rights of citizens.

American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) admonished Newsom saying “the personal denigration of judges should not be tolerated, especially when done by those who hold powerful government offices.”

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Fewer murders are being solved today than in recent decades. In the 1960s, nearly all homicides were cleared with an arrest and conviction. In the 1980s, police nationwide cleared about 70 percent of all homicides. Now it’s about half – an unsettling statistic.

This could be owing to a number of factors. In the old days, some murders were cleared with shoddy evidence and sending innocent people to prison. Also, in 1966 the Supreme Court affirmed in the Miranda that the accused don’t have to talk to police. 

Consider too that as society unravels, we have more strangers randomly killing people and if they use a gun at a distance the amount of evidence to make an arrest could be miniscule or non-existent. In some black communities lots of folks know about killers but refuse to help the po-po for distrust of police or fear of reprisals.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation.  How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at