When gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari told conservative talk-radio listeners in Los Angeles last week that he would not immediately move to lower taxes on the wealthiest Californians, he suggested his campaign for governor will diverge from a tax-cutting theme Republicans have pressed hard in recent years.
The position is strategic, not ideological. Voters in this Democratic state overwhelmingly approved a tax increase in 2012, and Kashkari – outflanked by a more conservative candidate, Tim Donnelly, on the right – will likely need support from independent voters to advance from the June primary election to a runoff against Gov. Jerry Brown in the fall.
On the “ John and Ken” show Thursday, Kashkari said he believes “our taxes are too high” and wants to “get everyone to the table” to discuss them. But he said, “I don’t think, politically, that’s where we start.”
Instead, Kashkari – like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman before him – is going after budgetary waste.
“To me, I think it’s critical that we start getting our money’s worth for the taxes that we’re collecting,” he said.
– David Siders
Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, has introduced AB 1566, aimed at thwarting thefts of used kitchen grease. Popularity of the grease is increasing because it can be used to produce biodiesel fuel. Citing the state Department of Food and Agriculture, Holden says a typical fast-food restaurant produces 150 to 250 pounds of grease a week and that a fully loaded pumper truck could be worth as much as $900 at a recycling center. The bill would increase penalties for grease theft and toughen record-keeping requirements for grease renderers.
“I guess I’m getting used to crisis management here.”
SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEM DARRELL STEINBERG, speaking with reporters about the legal issues of Sens. Ron Calderon and Rod Wright