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Monday, September 25, 2017

Judicial Victory for California Gas Tax Repeal

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

California Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen is a minority voice in the wilderness of liberal left Democrat Party domination.  California's Democrats have gone into full socialism and "kill-the-golden-goose" mode since regaining a supermajority in California's State Legislature that essentially has rendered the Republican opposition moot and unable to stop any of the madness the Democrats have planned for the once golden State of California.  State Senate Bill Number 1 (S.B. 1) signed by Governor Jerry Brown on April 28, 2017, and filed with the Secretary of State on the same day, launched an assault of crushing taxation upon the residents of California that had also been tried in 2003, but led to the recall of Governor Gray Davis.

Travis Allen responded by launching the Repeal the Gas Tax Initiative, easily garnering enough support, and hopefully enough upcoming signatures, to reverse the law put into place by the tax-hungry Democrats in Sacramento, California.  His proposal went to the biased Democrat controlled State Attorney General's Office who is responsible for adjusting and establishing the language of the title and summary that ballot proposals have when placed on the ballot.  Once the signatures are gathered, the proposal then goes to the Secretary of State's office for a validation of signatures process.  After Attorney General Xavier Becerra was finished with the language for the title and summary of the proposed ballot measure, his anti-liberty wordsmiths had twisted it all in such a way that it was obvious the language was being constructed to be misleading and to impede, and mask, the true aim of the initiative. Travis Allen's group sued, and a judge has ruled that the language used for the ballot measure was misleading.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy M. Frawley, who will now be likely targeted for termination by the California Democrats, ruled that the State used misleading language in the summary of the ballot measure to repeal California gas tax.

Travis Allen, also a candidate for Governor of California, said of the ruling, “This preliminary ruling is a major victory for Californians.  This brings us one step closer to repealing Jerry Brown’s hugely unpopular gas tax. I look forward to the final ruling on Friday, and ensuring that the Repeal the Gas Tax Initiative receives the straightforward ballot title and summary that it deserves.”

Last Friday, the victory for Allen's Gas Tax Repeal continued.

The official and final opinion of Judge Frawley was that the title and summary written by Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra was misleading, and would confuse voters because it focuses on the loss of transportation funding rather than the repeal of taxes.

Frawley noted that the law requires him to give deference to the attorney general's ballot description, but he said it was so deceptive that it must be tweaked.

"Deference does not mean abdication," Frawley said. "In this circumstance, I honestly believe that the title and summary ... is misleading."

The judge said he'd hoped lawyers for Becerra and Allen could agree on a compromise, but since they couldn't he'll write a new title and summary himself.

"I think he has properly seen that the attorney general tried to intentionally mislead the voters of California because he's trying to prejudice their vote and keep increased taxes for California," Allen said after the hearing.

More signatures are still needed by Allen's repeal effort to continue the journey of killing the Democrat Party imposed tax-increase vote that originally occurred in April.  The claim by the Democrats is that the new tax increase is a benevolent thing.  They say it will raise $5 billion a year for road repairs in a State that is already among the highest taxed in the union, yet still has the worst roads when compared to the roads of other States.  Past tax increases, tax creations, and bills of credit, however, have been diverted from road repairs to things like the train-to-nowhere, and out-of-control public pensions, so supporters of the repeal ask, "What guarantee do we have that the money would go to road repairs?"  Besides, if one was to break down California's budget, one would realize that there is more than enough revenue, and that the problem is corrupt and frivolous spending.  The Democrats have been in control of the spending, so how is it they couldn't find money for the roads before?  The Republicans in California recognize the problem, but have been voiceless in Sacramento thanks to the Democrat Party's supermajority.

The repeal is designed to reverse the November 1 increase of gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon and diesel taxes by 20 cents - the latter being an increase that would further increase the cost of goods and services, slamming those in poverty and the middle class with yet another government imposed increase of the cost of living.

So much for the Democrat Party's claim they are for the little guy.

The increase that the repeal bill targets goes beyond the gas taxes, however.  Allen's repeal also targets reversing next year's new fee tied to vehicle registrations which will cost motorists between $25 and $175 more depending on the value of the vehicle.

Even the environmentally-minded leftists who normally support the Democrats are being targeted.  In the case of the "save-the-Earth" crowd, included in the Democrat Party's attack on taxpayers is an effective in 2020 fee of $100 in addition to their registration fee for zero-emission vehicle owners because they pay less in gas taxes as a result of their vehicles having better gas mileage.

Save at the pump, get punished in additional taxes.

The groups opposing Allen's effort to collect enough signatures required to carry out this voter-proposed reversal of politician-imposed taxes are heavily funded and are mounting a very aggressive campaign against the repeal of the gas tax.  The counter to Allen's Gas Tax Repeal effort is called Fix Our Roads, funded by construction unions, contractors and business groups who think they will get more business if the gas tax remains in place.  The lie of a promised increase of business for supporting Democrat Party mandates and taxes reminds me of the insurance companies being told they'd get more business and make more money if they supported Obamacare; and what wound up happening is the promise was a false one, and the health care insurance industry is now in panic mode as they are being forced to withdraw from State after State due to the damage Obamacare has wrought against the private industry.

Allen's repeal is not the only repeal effort out there.  A separate initiative proposed would also repeal the recent gas tax hike, but includes an added bonus: amending the state constitution to require any future gas tax hike to receive voter approval (as opposed to 3/4 legislative approval as it stands now).  That initiative is backed by Reform California, a Republican Group headed by former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio.  They recently filed papers with the state attorney general’s office for their initiative, needing 587,407 signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot.

"Sacramento politicians really crossed the line with these massive car and gas tax hikes and we intend to give taxpayers the chance to reverse that decision with this initiative," DeMaio said in a statement.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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