SaveCalifornia.com Blog//

Archives for the ‘Voters’ Category

Did California conservatives choose constitutional fighters or RINOs?

Thursday, March 14, 2024, 8:12 am | Randy Thomasson

SaveCalifornia.com provides this solely for educational purposes
and does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

March 21 update: We’ve added State Senate District 37 in Orange County, where a Republican challenger could oust an incumbent Democrat.

March 19 update: All election-tracking links on this post have been updated due to Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office changing her urls right in the midst of processing ballots. Two more Assembly races that could be won by Republicans have been added.

* * *

In California’s March 5 (actually month-long and not over yet) “jungle primary” election, it was a chance for pro-family voters to support constitutional fighters over RINOs. Were conservative voters wise or foolish?

Now that the “dust has settled” the week after voting ended in all the California races for State AssemblyState Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, here are my observations, which I hope will help you vote, volunteer, and donate this election year.

Needed: Constitutional fighters to expose evil

The overwhelming need of pro-family citizens — who live in California or who have family and friends to live here — is to have at least one Republican in each house of the California State Legislature who will stand and speak to expose the harm of Democrat Party politicians and their evil bills.

In recent decades, reliable speakers in the Assembly for constitutional, moral/social/fiscal conservative values have included Tim Donnelly of the Inland Empire’s high desert, and before him, Steve Baldwin of San Diego County. And in the California State Senate in the 1990s, we had Ray Haynes and Dick Mountjoy.

But now, they’re gone, and more than two decades later, I can’t count on one reliable, consistent California state legislator who knows he or she is accountable before God and who will speak up for family values and expose the harm of “LGBTQIA+” bills, baby-killing bills, and other immoral bills, whether they be moral, social, or fiscal in nature.

Yes, I know there are some legislators who speak up for parental rights, but did you know they also vote for “LGBTQIA+” or increasing union-boss power or are otherwise mute when bad bills come up?

Which means, today, because of silence, acquiescence, and lack of exposure, the devilish Democrat Party supermajority in both houses in Sacramento has had “smooth sailing” — because no current Republican legislator will reliably stir up a storm whenever a bad bill comes up on the Assembly or Senate floor!

Believe that conservative, constitutional, pro-family legislators standing and raising their microphones is the priority. Because when you’re in the numerical minority in Sacramento, your voice matters more than your votes.

RINOs getting worse and more plentiful

Here are some of the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) who are likely to be reelected, return to Sacramento, and vote for some evil Democrat bills:

California State Assembly
Voting in 2023 in favor of both pro-“LGBTQIA+” bills or pro-abortion bills or both were:

• Greg Wallis of Bermuda Dunes: AB 659, AB 5, AB 223, AB 352, AB 443, AB 492, AB 576, AB 598, AB 957, AB 1078, AB 1194, AB 1432, HR 33, ACA 5, SB 345, SB 385, SB 760

• Juan Alanis of Modesto: AB 5, AB 352, AB 443, AB 492, AB 598, AB 1194, AB 1432, HR 33, ACA 5, SB 541, SB 760

• Marie Waldron of Escondido: AB 5, AB 443. HR 33, ACA 5, SB 58, SB 541, SB 729, SB 760

• Laurie Davies of Laguna Niguel: ACA 5, AB 1194, SB 541

• Diane Dixon of Newport Beach: AB 223, ACA 5

• Bill Essayli of Riverside: AB 223, ACA 5

• Josh Hoover of Folsom: AB 5, ACA 5

• Phillip Chen of Yorba Linda: ACA 5, AB 443

• Devon Mathis of Porterville: ACA 5

See documentation of these bills and votes at our Legislation Center 2023 Archive

Of the 4 biggest RINOs in the Assembly:
Greg Wallis, whose district is in the Greater Palm Springs area, is likely returning because no conservative, pro-family primary opponent who would take him on.

Similarly, Juan Alanis, whose district covers Stanislaus and Merced counties, had no conservative, pro-family Republican primary challenger for Alanis’ reelection campaign.

Marie Waldron, of inland San Diego County, is termed out of office, yet this final year she’s pushing her AB 941 to require the State to embark on a path of legalization of “hallucinogenic or psychedelic substances,” which make our society more dangerous.

Laurie Davies, whose district stretches from Laguna Niguel in Orange County to Vista in San Diego County, had no conservative, pro-family challenger. This year, Davies has authored AB 2030 to fund the Left by sending up to $250,000 in taxpayer money to “LGBT business enterprises.”

The rest of the Assembly Republicans listed above, who’ve supported either pro-“LGBTQIA+” or pro-abortion bills or both, are likely to be reelected due to having no conservative Republican primary challengers.

California State Senate
In the California State Senate, 2 “Republicans” voted for Democrat bills promoting baby-killing or “LGBTQIA+” or both were led by:

• Scott Wilk of Santa Clarita: AB 352, AB 659, AB 1194, ACA 5

• Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh of Yucaipa: SR 33, SB 760, AB 1194

In addition:

• Both Wilk and Ochoa Bogh supported AB 1352 (which fortunately did not pass the Legislature) to permit liberal school boards to boot off conservative members.

• The sole Republican voting in favor of the Democrats’ SB 274 (signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom) to largely eliminate government-school suspensions or expulsions of disruptive, defiant “students,” was Brian Dahle of Bieber.

The State Senate’s biggest RINOs:
Scott Wilk, whose district covers Southern California’s Antelope and Victor Valleys, is termed out. Despite adding to California’s immorality, Wilk says he’ll move out of state.

Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, whose sprawling Inland Empire district runs from Rancho Cucamonga to Hemet, is running for reelection in the newly-drawn 19th District covering much of eastern San Bernardino County. This primary election, she did not have a true pro-family, conservative Republican challenger.

RINOs in California’s Republican congressional delegation:
Among California’s current 11 Republican U.S. Representatives, some have cast controversial votes for or against impeachment; yet there are six (in alphabetical order) who’ve supported the unnatural, unhealthy, unbiblical, tyrannical “LGBTQIA+” agenda:

  • Ken Calvert (1)
  • Mike Garcia (1)
  • Jay Obernolte (1)(3)
  • Darrell Issa (1)(2)
  • David Valadao (1)(2)

(1) Voted to “codify” homosexual “marriages” in federal law (July 19, 2022)

(2) Supported or did not oppose taxpayer-fund “sex changes” in U.S. military (July 13, 2017)

(3) In the 2818-2019 California State Assembly, Obernolte twice voted in support of “LGBTQIA+” and abstained on pro-“LGBTQIA+” resolution attacking Christian churches

See SaveCalifornia.com’s documentation

Known RINOs who are not currently state legislators who are running for office:
In San Diego County, the top two vote-getters in the open seat of Assembly District 75 are homosexual activist Carl DeMaio and pro-family conservative Andrew Hayes, both Republicans. Will Hayes be able to expose DeMaio’s agenda and win in November?

In the northern reaches of Los Angeles County, Suzette Valladares, who was the most liberal Republican in the State Assembly*, was the top vote-getter in the primary election for the newly-drawn State Senate District 23 stretching from Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County to Hesperia in San Bernardino County.

* On June 27, 2022, then-Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares was the only Republican voting yes on SCA 10 to ask voters to place “the right” to unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions into the California State Constitution. Sadly, the Democrat politicians’ baby-killing SCA 10 (Prop. 1 on the November 2022 ballot) is now state law.

Is it wise to vote for ‘the lesser of two evils’?

You might think, “If I don’t vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m contributing to a worse government.” Or you might think, “It’s better to get anyone in office who’s registered as my party of choice — even a liberal — than someone from the opposing party.”

Yet both these ideas contribute to mid-term and long-term evil. Because you and I see what liberal Republicans have wrought: Political prostitution, failure to fight or speak against evil, deeper debt, more baby-killing, more sexual perversity, less religious freedom, less free speech, and less medical freedom. When “Republicans In Name Only” (RINOs) become numerous in a Republican caucus, the result is all that frustrates and grieves you about the modern Republican Party.

For only a liberal Republican can redefine or replace the Republican Party. And that’s what’s been happening the last few decades, all because of the fallacy of voting for “the lesser of two evils.” 

Then how should you, a moral, constitutional conservative, vote? This is how I vote in a general election: I will only support dependable conservatives, but not RINOs, and not Democrats. If the Democrat wins, then the RINO has lost, and I and my friends get to work a) exposing the misdeeds of the elected Democrat, and b) recruiting a true, conservative, constitutional fighter for the next election.

Will these conservatives expose the darkness?

As I’ve already explained, there are too many RINOs and seat-warmers (conservative legislators who mostly vote right but do not speak up for moral, family-values issues). Again, we need pro-family fighters who will speak up and expose the harm and dysfunction of the ruling Democrats. Republicans can’t win with their votes, but they can expose the lies and harm of Democrat Party agendas, if they wish.

These following non-incumbent candidates are moral conservatives, who, if elected, might have the vision to stand and speak for you and your values. Because articulate moral voices to expose evil are desperately needed on the Assembly and Senate floors in Sacramento.

California State Assembly
Covering parts of Fresno and Madera counties, much of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Inyo County and Death Valley, Assembly District 8 looks like it will have a Republican winner in November because, right now, Republican candidates are both of the top two vote-getters. If former congressman George Radanovich wins, he could expose much evil in Sacramento. For, as Radanovich says on his own website, he “believes many societal problems can be traced directly to the breakdown of families.” How refreshing for someone to tell it like it is. In Congress from 1995 to 2011, Radanovich is rated by the voter-tracking-database OnTheIssues as a “Hard-Core Conservative.”

In Orange County’s Assembly District 73, Scotty Peotter is a long-time moral, Christian conservative activist. If he beats incumbent Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris, Peotter could be a noticeable moral-values voice on the Assembly floor.

In west Riverside County, will Republican Leticia Castillo (already earning 48.5% of the primary vote) take back this formerly Republican seat? On her website, Leticia seems strongly pro-family, with faith in God.

In Stockton and San Joaquin County, could parental-rights and medical-freedom activist Denise Aguilar Mendez win an open Assembly seat? In Assembly District 13, she’s received 36.2% so far. But as the second-highest vote-getter, if she works hard, Denise’s ability to attract followers could surprise many.

A Republican pick-up could be AD 27 covering Merced, Madera, and Fresno counties, where Joanna Rose has received more votes than her Democrat incumbent, Esmeralda Soria. It’s unknown whether Joanna Rose will speak on moral/family values. Yet her strong opposition to Covid tyranny means she likely supports medical freedom and property/ownership rights.

Another Republican pick-up could be in the sprawling Assembly District 36, in the southeast corner of California, where pastor Jeff Gonzalez, endorsed by moral Christian leader Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, will very likely speak out for moral values if elected. This is an open, newly-drawn seat, with the combined vote for Gonzalez and another Republican totaling 46.2%.

California State Senate
Covering San Joaquin County and the 680 corridor in Alameda County, the newly-drawn State Senate District 5 is an open seat, where super-patriot and strong moral Californian Jim Shoemaker, as the Republican candidate, received 44.1% on just a “shoestring” campaign against two well-funded Democrats. Going into the general election, if Shoemaker receives adequate funding to reach non-union, “common man” voters and diligently exposes the wrongs of his favored Democrat Party opponent, former U.S. Representative Jerry McNerney, Shoemaker could win an upset victory.

Another State Senate seat that Republicans might pick up is a newly-drawn open seat in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. District 31‘s primary election shows that a Republican can win it, because Republican Cynthia Navarro has, so far, received 45.8% of the counted votes despite spending hardly any money. If State Senate Republicans fund her general election campaign, Navarro could reach independents and Hispanics throughout the district with her popular message — as she outlined in this newspaper interview — of fighting crime, championing parental rights, and supporting small businessowners who provide jobs. Navarro’s Democrat opponent, “LGBTQIA+” activist Assemblyperson Sabrina Cervantes, has voted the polar opposite in Sacramento.

Still another State Senate seat in Orange County could flip Republican. This is the newly-drawn District 37 stretching from Fullerton to Laguna Niguel. In the primary election, Republican candidates (combined) received 52.9% of the vote, putting reliably-conservative-voting Steven Choi (a former state assemblyman) in the functional lead to defeat current Democrat State Senator Josh Newman in November.

U.S. House of Representatives
There are more than a dozen California congressional races where the Republican U.S. House candidate or all of the Republican candidates together received at least 40% of the vote in the March 5 primary election. Can they pull off victories in November?

Let’s look at the U.S. House primary contests with non-incumbent Republicans advancing to the general election (Caution: For most of these races, I do not yet know whether the Republican is a RiNO, a seat-warmer, or a conservative, constitutional, pro-family fighter):

In Sacramento County, will the Republican Party target Democrat incumbent Ami Bera and help conservative Republican Christine Bish pull off an upset?

In Stockton/Lodi, will Republican Kevin Lincoln oust Democrat incumbent Josh Harder?

From Fresno to Bakersfield in District 20, will the more conservative Republican Mike Boudreaux beat the less conservative Republican Vince Fong in November?

In the heart of the southern San Joaquin Valley, will Republican Michael Maher oust Democrat Jim Costa in November?

In Greater Palm Springs, will Republican Ian Weeks oust Democrat incumbent Raul Ruiz in November?

In Ventura County, will Republican Michael Koslow oust Democrat incumbent Julia Brownley in November?

In San Bernardino, will Republican Tom Herman beat Democrat incumbent Pete Aguilar in November?

In District 35, will Republican Mike Cargile oust incumbent Democrat Norma Torres in November?

In District 38, will Republican Eric Ching oust incumbent Democrat Linda Sanchez in November?

In District 39, will Republican David Serpa oust incumbent Democrat Mark Takano in November?

In Orange County, will Republican patriot Scott Baugh take back this Democrat seat in November?

In San Diego County, will Republican Matt Gunderson oust incumbent Democrat Mike Levin in November?
I hope this special election update has informed you — please share with others! But most of all, please grasp the opportunities presenting themselves this election year. If moral conservatives rise up in California, Right can overcome Wrong for the benefit of all.

To do evil is like sport to a fool,
But a man of understanding has wisdom.
Proverbs 10:2

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9

Election returns: Prop. 1 tied, but most money-grabs passed

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 8:45 pm | Randy Thomasson

California just had an election where conservatives voted at a greater rate than liberals, which is very good! And while this isn’t you and others who follow SaveCalifornia.com, the results also show us that too many “conservatives” are financially foolish.

I wanted to take a day after “Election Day” to let the dust settle. And while I’m happy about what SaveCalifornia.com did, and what many moral, constitutional California conservatives did to fight for what’s right in God’s sight, there’s some “humble pie” to eat.

First of all, thank you to you if you voted, voted right, and helped others vote right. You are the civics application of the flavorful “salt of the earth” that Jesus Christ described!

Second, thank you for following SaveCalifornia.com’s lead to expose the fraud, theft, and waste of Proposition 1 and the local government money-grabs. Your votes against Gavin Newsom’s Prop. 1 transient magnet and against local government’s money grabs are the righteous deeds that other Californians need, whether they know it or not!

The best news statewide is, because of you and other Californians who knew about government waste, human nature, the bondage of bonds, and Gavin Newsom’s untrustworthiness, the transient magnet of Prop. 1 is “on the ropes” and in a virtual 50-50 tie between supporters and opponents.

If Prop. 1 is defeated (there are hundreds of thousands of “uncounted ballots”), it will be a testament to your good values and all the people who last week opened SaveCalifornia.com’s email messages sent to millions of Californians or heard our messages on conservative- and Christian-format radio.

Yet if conservatives had a big voter turnout, why is Prop. 1 almost passing? It’s obvious that too many Californians who call themselves “conservative” are foolishly trusting in government “authorities” and don’t understand that tax increases, tax extensions, bonds, fees, and assessments just make wasteful government bigger and the private sector (we who are not “owned” by evil government) all the poorer.

Because, up and down California, most of the 100+ money-grabbing local ballot measures PASSED. This foolishness is the equivalent of voluntarily giving more money to thieves. For the tough, in-reality, outside-of-California audits are just not happening, and the government “authorities” regularly deny there’s any waste to be cut.

Don’t believe in corrupt, Democrat- or RINO-government waste? Believe it when they don’t even use our money to do the basics we pay them to do. See this “pothole” story from Democrat-Party-controlled Los Angeles

And let’s not forget WHY the money-grabs are happening. It’s because the out-of-control police and fire department pensions are pressing burdens and temptations for union-boss-prostituting politicians and highly-paid city-employee “managers” to raise more revenue (never to cut waste or drastically reform government-employee pensions) — which is the main reason for their outright lies about the purpose of their money-grabbing ballot measures. It’s both a shell game and a black hole!

These grow-government-bigger and make-average-citizens-poorer schemes are passing because too many “independents” and even “conservatives” don’t want to study this and because they have at least a halfway “blind trust” of what local politicians tell them.

Yet there are pockets of resistance, with wiser Californians who know unneeded, thieving revenue schemes pushed by Democrats, RINOs, or bureaucrats should always be opposed. Be encouraged with these examples of where the government thieves lost:

I’m especially encouraged that voters in two big, urban, Democrat Party strongholds — the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento — rejected money-grabs.

In San Francisco, the city’s “Proposition B” was rightly labeled the “cop tax” and over-taxed San Franciscans — even “faithful liberals” said no. And in Democrat-run Sacramento, voters resoundingly defeated Measure C, which would have raised taxes on businesses large and small.

Another local victory protecting taxpayers and property owners was the defeat of Measure M in the city of Woodland, northwest of Sacramento. The Democrat-controlled city council’s deceptive ballot measure would have put city residents in greater debt in order to inhumanly flood and harm farmers’ lands, all because the environmental wacko groups’ “bought” politicians won’t improve creeks, like they did in “the old days.”

These wins are happening because:

a) any pain — including financial pain — can make people wiser — and Newsom & Co. and Biden & Co. have been pouring on a lot of financial pain for years now.

b) both San Francisco and Sacramento had strong “no” campaigns where wealthy individuals and business associations (not the “chamber of commerce”) cared enough to spend big money educating voters of the harm of these particular tax increases.

Also, I want you to know cultural, pro-family battles are still being fought in California.

First, a painful, probable loss in the city of Orange, in Orange County, where the election-night margin of “yes” versus “no” on the recall is holding steady:

Yet here’s some very good pro-family news from Huntington Beach, also in Orange County, where constitutional Republicans are the city council majority:

What’s needed now? That statewide, conservative activists will raise up local armies in their communities to defeat more money-grabs and to fight for what’s right in God’s sight. Because even foolish liberals can believe in and oppose government thievery if you reach them with the evidence.

All this is to say that “salt of the earth” people can strategically use leverage in their communities to educate the masses on issues of concern. Because people who haven’t “awakened” to the Tyrannical Left can indeed vote right on “crossover issues” when conservative activists give time and concerned business owners give money.

As a People, our biggest need is to daily repent before God in Jesus’ Name. And in regard to preserving our republic, conservatives who don’t vote and otherwise biblical pastors who don’t publicly say, at least, “Remember to vote,” need to repent of their lack of love.

For Christian involvement in politics is all based on Jesus Christ’s Second Greatest Commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And when evil government is hurting your neighbor, the need to protect also becomes apparent to non-believers who still have an intact conscience.

“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.'”Jesus Christ, Savior of the world and God in the flesh, in Luke 15:7

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”The Bible, Matthew 4:17

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
The Bible, Micah 6:8

Election Alert: Oppose your city’s money-grab

Sunday, March 3, 2024, 5:25 pm | Randy Thomasson

In California, liars and thieves are trying to make you poorer, which is why SaveCalifornia.com is urging you to vote against all money-grabs.

Today, I want to explain why Democrat- and RINO-run cities are so tempted to make you poorer. I’m going to try to say it simply, with lots of evidence, and with a couple of cartoons to illustrate.

But first, please know I strongly support moral/ethical police officers and firefighters, and the necessary services they provide. Yet I adamantly oppose thieving union bosses and their prostituting city officials for the government waste, fraud, and abuse they promulgate.

Now for my explanation:

In California’s March 5 primary election, more than 100 local governments are trying to trick you out of your hard-earned money. These money-grabs are on your ballot in the form of tax increases, tax extensions, bonds, fees, or assessments. Yet all are deceptive and wasteful. Unless you vote no on all money-grabs, you’ll be taken advantage of and become poorer, while “public servants” become all the richer.


The Pension Rights Center reported last October, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, that only 19 percent of American workers are in a pension plan.

So, despite the lie that government employees are underpaid “victims,” the following cartoon represents how most Californians — and Americans — in the workforce don’t have guaranteed pensions, and many younger employees aren’t even familiar with the idea.


  • In 2016, intrepid conservative researcher Steve Frank reported how lucrative pensions are making some California “public employees” very rich off the backs of financially-hurting taxpayers: “Updated numbers displayed at OpenTheBooks.com show there is a $2.8 billion annual cost to payout 21,862 six-figure public-sector retirees via CalPERS. It’s a massive payout equivalent to the combined income tax payments of nearly 1.6 million individual California taxpayers.”
  • City employees in the police and fire departments can receive abnormally high salaries. For example, the Transparent California database reports that, in 2022, in Anaheim, seven fire chiefs and captains made from $477,762 to $671, 238 in total pay and benefits. Even in Fresno with lower housing costs, the “top brass” of city and fire departments in 2022 were paid $350,000 a year in total pay and benefits. Another example is in San Diego, where, in 2022, both a police sergeant” and a “police sergeant” were both paid more than a half million dollars a year in total pay and benefits.
  • California state law (thank the corrupt, ruling Democrats) places the burden upon local governments, not police and fire deparments, to fund pensions. As one wealth management firm explains, in a defined-benefit plan: “The funds are guaranteed to the individual regardless of the performance of the investments in the larger pool, and the organization/business that you previously worked for is liable to cover the cost of all payments, even when the investment funds are unable to cover the cost.”
  • This continually growing pension burden has resulted in overly-generous police and fire retirement pensions significantly pressuring city and county budgets, even threatening them with insolvency. In 2016, the California Policy Center wrote“Five California counties reported that their pension contributions now exceed 10 percent of total revenues: Santa Barbara County (13.1 percent), Kern County (11 percent), Fresno County (10.7 percent), San Diego County (10.4 percent) and San Mateo County (10 percent) … A sixth county, Merced, is also expected to report that its required contributions topped 10 percent of 2015 revenue when it files its audit. We estimate Merced’s payments at slightly over 11 percent of revenue.”

Listen to fiscally-conservative professor of finance Joshua Rauh of Stanford University, who’s also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Like me and others, he’s blowing the whistle on the unjust and evil union-boss-and-Democrat-Party-politicians pension scheme, including reporting updated numbers in 2019: “In California, more than 62,000 retired public employees are receiving pensions of over $100,000 per year.” Wow — these retired employees — your “public servants” — receive more not working than most working Californians receive.


Because cities and counties are legally liable (a bad state law of prostituting Democrat state legislators, who are loyal to their union-boss pimps) to fund increasingly more “catch-up” payments into pensions, the real story is California cities are being crushed by fire and police department pensions.

As California Policy Center co-founder Edward Ring sagely reported in 2018, in a case study of the San Mateo County city of Millbrae: “Currently, as can be seen on the table, for every dollar it pays active employees in base wages, Millbrae must contribute 59 cents to CalPERS. This does not include payments to CalPERS that Millbrae collects from its employees via withholding. The same data show that, by 2024, for every dollar Millbrae pays active employees in base wages, they will have to contribute 89 cents to CalPERS. Put another way, while Millbrae may expect its payroll costs to increase by $1.4 million, from $6.3 million today to $7.7 million in six years, their payment to CalPERS will increase by $3.1 million, from $3.7 million today to $6.8 million in 2024.

But here’s the rub. Nearly all of this increase to Millbrae’s pension costs are the “catch-up” payments on the city’s unfunded liability. In just six years Millbrae’s payment on its unfunded liability will increase by 99%, from $2.9 million today to $5.8 million in 2024.


What are the implications?

It is difficult to overstate how outrageous this is. Here’s a list:

1 – Virtually every pension “reform” over the past decade or so has exempted active public employees from helping to pay down the unfunded liability via withholding. Instead, their increased withholding – in some cases supposedly rising to “fifty percent of pension costs” (the PEPRA reforms) – only apply to the normal contribution.

2 – In order to appease the unions who, quite understandably, lobby for the lowest possible employee contributions to pension funds, the “normal cost” is calculated based on financially optimistic projections. The less time an actuary predicts a retiree will live, and the more an actuary predicts investments will earn, the lower the normal contribution.

3 – In order to cajole local elected officials to agree to pension benefit enhancements, the same overly optimistic, misleading projections were provided, duping decision makers into thinking pension contributions would never become a significant burden on cities and counties, and by extension, taxpayers.

4 – Because cities and counties couldn’t afford to pay down the growing unfunded liabilities attached to their pension plans, tricky accounting gimmicks were employed, where minimal catch-up payments were made in the present in exchange for bigger catch-up payments in the future. The closest financial analogy to what they did would be the “negative amortization” mortgages that were popular prior to the housing crash of 2008.

5 – The consequence of this chicanery is that today, as can be seen, catch-up payments on the unfunded liability are typically two to three times greater than the normal contribution. And it’s getting worse. In 2024, Millbrae, for example, will have a catch-up contribution that is nearly six times as much as their normal contribution.

6 – When a normal contribution isn’t enough, and the plan becomes underfunded, the level of underfunding is compounded every year because there isn’t enough money in the fund earning interest. The longer catch-up payments are deferred, the worse the situation gets.”

What an unholy mess! Similarly, in September 2018, City Journal’s investigative journalism, “Policing Pensions, informed us (as well as gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, but he didn’t listen) that “The League of California Cities recently reported that their members expect pension costs to rise by at least 50 percent over just the next half-decade. Cities employing police officers and firefighters will face the highest burdens: for every $100 spent in salary on current employees, they will soon have to shell out at least $54 to the state’s pension fund, CalPERS.”

Only four years ago, the threat of out-of-control police and fire pensions was threatening city and county budgets, and the threat is exponentially worse today (yet the Democrat Party rulers of California, loyal prostitutes to their union-boss pimps, have done nothing to solve this). As the June 2020 CalMatters article, “Surging pension costs push more California cities toward bankruptcy,” reported:

Three California cities have declared bankruptcy in recent years, and fast-rising pension costs have been major factors in all. One was Vallejo, whose recently retired city manager, Daniel Keen, joined his colleagues in seeking relief, saying he expected pension costs for police to reach 98 percent of payroll in a decade and hinting that Vallejo could slip into insolvency again.

A new study for the League of California Cities, conducted by a consulting firm, Bartel Associates, projects that over the next seven years overall city pension costs, excluding health care, will nearly double, reaching an average of 15.8 percent of their general fund budgets by 2024-25. Costs for police and fire personnel will climb to well over 60 percent of payroll.

“The results of this study provide additional evidence that pension costs for cities are approaching unsustainable levels,” Bartel’s report warns. As those burdens outstrip revenue growth, it says, “many cities face difficult choices that will be compounded in the next recession.”

The chart below illustrates how California cities’ and counties’ pension debt for government employees (including police and fire department employees) dramatically increased with the pro-union bill signings of RINO governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his second term (2007-2010) and after that, even higher during the first six years of Democrat governor Jerry Brown (2011-2019).

The harsh consequences upon local governments and taxpayers were explained in a 2018 paper by the Pacific Research Institute, which concluded: “In the end, political mandates cannot change economic realities. California can proceed as if the current promises of the public pension systems can be met, but there are costs of doing so. These costs, which will be imposed on future generations, will include higher tax burdens, bleaker economic prospects, and fewer core public goods and services.”

The creative, scary, and fuzzily-rendered cartoon below illustrates union bosses’ and their Democrat Party politicians’ monstrous cannibalization of city budgets, which your city councilmembers and county supervisors won’t tell you about.

Bottom line, when local candidates are endorsed by police and fire unions and win, they are “bought politicians” who will never go against their union-boss masters. So, because these anti-people Democrat or RINO politicians think your money is theirs, they come after you for it. 

Nearly every election season, they lie that they need to improve roads, sewers, water facilities, roofs, infrastructure, “save the library,” or whatever they feel they have to say to deceive and coax more taxes, bonds, fees, assessments — more money — from the uninformed citizenry. And because these Democrat and RINO politicians are “bought” by the police and fire department unions, they hardly ever admit that government waste exists — when it surely does.

Yet there is a just and sure way to escape this lying, thieving stranglehold — but it’s probably going to take a well-drafted (without “holes”) state constitutional amendment in California that the people approve for the sake of fairness and protection from thieves.

As the Winter 2013 City Journal article, “The Pension Fund That Ate California,” explains: “CalPERS and its legislative allies keep resisting the one reform that would truly free California taxpayers from this ruinous pension system: moving it toward a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan, as other states and municipalities, including Utah and Rhode Island, have done. In a defined-contribution plan, the government’s commitment ends after it makes its annual required contribution into a worker’s retirement account; the taxpayer’s liability also ends there. Under the CalPERS regime, by contrast, employees are guaranteed benefits even if the government hasn’t put aside money to pay for them, placing all the future liability on the taxpayer.”


STEP 1: This March 5, 2024 California primary election, please oppose all money-grabs (any and all tax increases, tax extensions, bonds, fees, and assessments). Tell the thieves and liars “no more!” Instead, demand real fire and police department pension reform and tough, waste-finding conservative audits from outside of California. Please share my email with others and also share our special site, SaveCaliforniaElection.com.

STEP 2: Because of how unions and their “owned politicians” put deceptive tax hikes on the ballot, and since union bosses regularly spend union dues to elect and re-elect corrupt Democrat Party politicians, if you’re a union member, please resign from your union. You have the legal right to do so, while keeping your job, benefits, and more of your own money. Here’s how government employees can get out and here’s how private sector employees can stop funding the beast.

In the Bible, God commands respect for ownership rights and contractual rights
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’”
Jesus Christ, Savior of the world and God in the flesh, in Matthew 20:1-15

“Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the Public Treasury.”
Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. president (1929 to 1933) in his December 9, 1930 speech

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”
Attributed to Scottish advocate/judge/writer/historian Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813)