It's the Spending, Stupid

By Jon Coupal

“Government is like a baby,” Ronald Reagan was fond of saying. “An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”  If the former California governor were observing Sacramento today, he would probably add that our state government functions more like “triplets,” and has been doing so for more than ten years.

Back at the beginning of the millennium, the California treasury was overflowing due to capital gains tax receipts from what has become known as the “dot.com bubble.”  Almost everyone in the state understood that these tax producing profits were the result of a short-term business cycle, and the excessive flow of tax revenue would not be a permanent condition.  Unfortunately, there were a small group of Californians who did not understand these basic economic principles, including the majority in the state Legislature and Governor Gray Davis.

These officials responded to the increased revenue by spending it all and committing Californians to pay for expensive long-term programs, like radically increased pensions for government workers, that now have state and local governments facing nearly a half-trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.

This profligate approach to governing was a contributing factor to the successful recall of Davis.  However, governor Schwarzenegger, and the party-hearty lawmakers that continued to dominate the Legislature carried on like there was never a problem.  When the state came up short, they used accounting gimmicks that allowed them to carry on spending as if there were no tomorrow.

Between 2003 and 2007, spending increased by one-third.  Then the housing bubble burst, and these same suspects imposed the largest tax increase in the history of all 50 states.  They had learned their lesson, they said, and pledged to taxpayers they would use the two years of massively higher taxes to buy time to reorganize and reform their spending ways.  Two years later, and in spite of California families having paid about two-thousand dollars in extra taxes, the state is now facing a $26 billion shortfall.  The “spendaholics” have fallen off the wagon, again.

All of this could have been avoided if the malefactors, who clearly lack self-control, had been compelled to work under a hard spending cap.

Because the politicians that control the Legislature and our current governor – the Department of Finance shows that Governor Brown’s budget will grow 31% by 2015 – are still in a state of denial regarding spending, there is an urgent need to take measures to restore a strict spending limit on state government.

This is why Senator Tony Strickland has introduced Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 10, sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, that would impose a firm spending cap on lawmakers.  The expenditure limit includes General Fund and special funds, and contains no exemptions for education or local government funding.  It creates a reserve of up to 10% of spending; this reserve can only be tapped to backfill revenue shortfalls in the current budget year and to fund non-fiscally related emergencies.  Funds could only be used by a Declaration of the Governor and two-thirds vote of the Legislature.  Half of the excess revenues beyond the 10% cap would be used to pay off existing debt.

Back when Bill Clinton was running for president, a big sign that read, “It’s the economy, stupid” was placed on his campaign office wall.  In an ideal world every member of the Legislature would be required to post a sign on their office wall that said, “It’s the spending, stupid.”  Sen. Strickland’s SCA 10 is the taxpayers’ way of sending this message.


New anti-deficiency law for short sellers hits the state 1/1/11

A ray of good news for homeowners in California. Lame-Duck Arnie actually signed a bill that provides some relief for short-sellers.

Existing law prohibits a deficiency judgment by the holder of a first trust deed on a property that has sold through foreclosure. SB931 extends that protection to short-sellers of a property as well. If the holder of a first trust deed or mortgage gives written consent to a short sale, that lender is obligated to accept the sale proceeds and discharge the remaining amount owed (the deficiency). Prior to this law, lenders could pursue a homeowner even after approving a short sale for the balance of the deficiency. It still allows the holder to pursue the seller in the event they determine there was fraud or waste by the borrower and it does not apply to holders of second or subsequent notes.

The California Association of Realtors was optimistic that the Gov. would also sign our sponsored bill SB1178 that would have extended anti-deficiency protection to owners who had refi-ed their homes only to the extent that the subsequent loan was used to pay debt or costs incurred in the purchase of the home. In other words, if you refi-ed only to get a better interest rate but took no  money out, your original anti-deficiency protections would still accrue.

We all know that during the boom years, banks were quick to offer refi-s but slow to disclose that you were giving up a valuable protection by taking them up on the offer. You sacrificed your anti-deficiency protection when you refi-ed. Arnie sided with the banking lobby and declared that SB1178 would interfere with the contract between the bank and the borrower. No matter that there was no disclosure or explanation of the ramifications. CAR will be looking to again sponsor this bill in the upcoming legislative session in hopes that a new Governor will have a better grasp of the issues.

Governor Schwarzenegger holds the distinction of vetoing more real estate friendly and CA sponsored bills than any previous governor of our state. But he talked such a good line when he came to talk with us – we thought he really meant all his accolades about real estate making him the man he is today. Oh well, he turned out to be much less of a man than we all hoped. Some people light up a room when they enter, others when they leave. Don’t let the door hit ya in the bum on the way out.


Gov. Vetoes CAR Anti-deficiency bill. Thanks Arnie. Are you almost gone?

Update!

Governor Vetoes C.A.R.-Sponsored

Anti-Deficiency Bill

On Thursday, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1178 (Corbett), C.A.R.’s sponsored bill that would have expanded anti-deficiency protections. In his veto message, the Governor made clear his view that the bill interferes with an existing contract. While disappointed in the Governor’s misinterpretation of the bill, C.A.R. is grateful to the almost 13,000 California REALTORS(R) who urged him to sign the bill by responding to the Red Alert.

C.A.R. sponsored SB 1178 to better protect homeowners going through foreclosure. SB 1178 would have ensured that homeowners keep the same “anti-deficiency” protections they have in the original loan after the loan has been refinanced.

California’s anti-deficiency protection for “purchase money” mortgages says that if a homeowner defaults on a mortgage used to purchase his or her home, the homeowner’s liability on the mortgage is limited to the property itself. The law has worked well since the 1930s to protect borrowers, ensure the quality of loan underwriting and allow borrowers brought down by financial crisis to get back on their feet.

Unfortunately, the 1930s law hasn’t kept up with current times. Current law doesn’t apply to loans used to refinance the original purchase debt, even if the refinance was only to gain a lower interest rate. Recent years of low interest rates have induced tens of thousands of homeowners to refinance their mortgages. During those years, almost no one realized that refinancing their mortgage to obtain a lower rate, they were forfeiting their protections and were becoming personally liable on the new note.

SB 1178 would have corrected this injustice by extending anti-deficiency protections to those who have refinanced their loans.

Thank you again to everyone who joined C.A.R.’s Government Affairs Team and fought for our clients.

For More Information

California Water Bond Pulled from Ballot – 2 more years

Well, there was some question as to whether it would happen or not but apparently little Johnny got his way so the $11 billion water bond initiative will be pulled from November’s ballot.

Good riddance… or not.

Many (myself included) would argue that we desperately need this bond to pass so we can start to address the chronic water problems that plague this state. And when I say ‘desperately need’ to do this, I’m not just whistling Dixie. The construction of additional storage damns is critical, the implementation of an alternative conveyance method (i.e. peripheral canal) should have been done 14 years ago. The water issue will have greater long term consequences on this state than unemployment and Prop 32 combined.

But sensing, probably with more prescience than he has exhibited for a long time, that this proposition would go down to defeat at the hands of voters this fall, Gov. Arnold requested that the vote be delayed for 2 years and placed on the ballot again in 2012 when, apparently, all the state’s other ills will have been resolved and voters will be in a better mood to pass this bill.

That’s a stretch. Facing another $19 billion budget deficit this year and the very real prospect of higher taxes to cover it, it was probably an accurate assumption that we wouldn’t be in the proper frame of mind to pony up to another $11 billion bond. But since our budget deficit seems to have become an integral part of our state’s dysfunction, what’s the likelihood that in two short years we will have licked that problem?

Every year the budget impasse seems to get worse. We’ve resolved past years budgets by raising a few taxes, cutting a few costs and simply kicking the can further down the road. Those defrayed bills will be coming due soon, if they haven’t already. Unemployment shows no sign of letting up, housing and tech aren’t going to rebound fast enough to save us, our Democratic legislators continue to chase jobs away at prodigious rates while ramping up hiring in the public sector – why should 2012 be so much rosier than 2010?

Then there’s the bill itself. What should have been a $6 or $7 billion proposal got larded up to $11 billion by the time it hit the floor. Why? Because to insure the votes needed to pass both houses and qualify for the ballot, deals were made. Everybody with an interest in the outcome, from our legislators to the Sierra Club to the public unions and water commission insisted on plugging in their pet project to insure their acquiescence. A few million over here for Delta research, a few million over there for the Salton Sea, a few more for endangered species, pretty soon you’re talking real money – another $4 or $5 billion of real money. Don’t think for a minute that the bills opponents would have let you forget that during the run up to the election.

And aside from my concern that our water crisis is still not being resolved, as passage of this bill might have at least initiated, I’m concerned about what it will cost us to pull it off the table. The report I read stated, “After some intense late-night vote wrangling, AB1260 and AB1265, the two bills necessary to pull the water bond off the ballot, passed the Senate relatively easily but ran into heavy opposition in the Assembly”. I’m not sure if ‘heavy opposition’ is a shot at Assembly Leader John  Perez’ weight but Perez made sure everybody knew he was using this as a bargaining chip to solidify his none-too-subtle agenda. Perez, as you may be aware, is the newly anointed leader of the Assembly and thus far has exhibited all the tact and finesse of a bull at Pamplona. Be assured this marks a victory of some sort for him and if some new fee or tax emerges unopposed, you’ll know the price for Perez’ vote.

So another ‘teachable moment’ emerges from Sacramento. A badly needed solution to our state’s water crisis starts it’s humble journey only to have mountains of pork piled on it’s flanks by the greedheads charged with making it work. What may have been at least a beginning to resolving water issues has now become a victim of the same greedheads charged with making it work because they couldn’t get their acts together on the rest of their job (running our state). As one legislator put it – ‘Maybe we need to roll up our sleeves and work on a bond with more chance of success.’ I’m betting that if this bill does manage to be resuscitate in 2012, the cost will have bloated to $15 billion or more. And not one penny more will have anything to do with water. Welcome to California.


$700 Bailout for California Homeowners? Don't hold your breath.

$700 Million OK’d for California Homeowners!

That’s  a headline that would reach and and grab you over your oatmeal, wouldn’t it? It certainly caught my attention yesterday. Here’s a new program (4 actually) designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure  and the Department of Treasury has just approved $700 Million of those old leftover TARP funds just for us in California. The article went on to say it’s to help:

  • unemployed homeowners in danger of defaulting on their loans (lenders must match federal funds)
  • borrowers who are a little behind on their mortgage but could catch up with a little help (lenders must match)
  • reduction in principle for borrowers needing it to avoid foreclosure (lenders must match)
  • transition assistance for families who can’t afford to keep their home.

I guess if I had any faith in any program the government was trying to foist on us right now this sounds like it has possibilities. I mean, who knew there was still a spare $700 million in TARP funds laying around for just one state over a year into the program. That program, along with all the other great unveilings like HAFA, HARP, HAMP, etc, have been such resounding successes you’d have thought the money would already have been used up to stimulate the economy. At least the Administration will tell you that’s why our jobs & housing market are roaring along so robustly right now.

Of course I don’t have much faith in anything the government is doing right now and wish they’s simply get the hell out of the housing business. This is no different. CalHFA’s Keep You Home Program plans to use the money to develop those four programs, oh, out around November 1. When? People are hurting TODAY. The money is available TODAY. The programs may be available in 4 months?  Well, yeah. There’s that government sense of urgency thing.

And that’s assuming they can get the lenders to match up to $700 million in order for homeowners to qualify. You think lenders in California are gonna just pony up another $700 million? Wasn’t TARP supposed to go to lenders to begin with?

Oh well, don’t hold your breath. Even the CalHFA spokeshole cautioned people not to get their hopes up. “We recommend that if homeowners are currently having financial difficulties, they do not wait for these programs.” They should contact lenders and HUD counselors to see if they can make use of one of the other worthless programs being touted by the administration or get screwed over by a loan mod or short sale scam artist. He also had no additional advice for those that have already been hosed by lenders and counselors and need assistance before the programs might start. He encouraged people to visit their website http://keepyourhomecalifornia.com/. Here you can find out about how close you came to actually getting assistance including a great quote from our Governor about the new future program “The new funding announced today will play a vital role in aiding the state’s neediest homeowners. Blah, blah blah blah blah KawLeeForKneeya.”

Read beyond the headlines folks. There’s no free lunch, the check is in the mail and we’re from the government and we’re here to help you – provided you can hang on until November.



Calling All California Veterans – Needs Assessment Survey.

Calling all Veterans

vetThe California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) is looking for feedback from Californians who have served in the armed forces, including family members or anyone interested in veterans services.

The State of California is trying to prioritize its efforts in addressing the needs of veterans living in the state and they have posted a Needs Assessment Survey on-line to get that direction.

To respond simply visit www.calvet.ca.gov or www.veterans.ca.gov and click on the Veterans Needs Assessment link. The survey ends May 15, 2010 so take a moment to help them help you.

Dear California Veteran,

The people of our Golden State are indebted to you for your incredible service and bravery. You and your loved ones have sacrificed much to keep our nation safe, and we thank you for your actions.

But more than just saying thanks, we want to show you how much your service means to us. One way we are doing this is by offering you a new program called Operation Welcome Home. It is a one-stop shop that will help you find jobs, education, housing, health care and much more. This is a great program and one that California is excited and honored to offer to you.

In order to ensure that Operation Welcome Home provides the best services tailored to your needs, we want to hear straight from you, the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces. I have directed the California Department of Veterans Affairs – the agency running Operation Welcome Home – to put together an online survey that will help us know how to better coordinate the numerous services provided at all levels of government. I encourage you and all our veterans, especially combat veterans, to fill out this important survey, which you can find at www.veterans.ca.gov/veterans_assessment.htm. Thank you for taking a few minutes to let us know how we can better serve you.

On behalf of your fellow Californians, I express my gratitude for your courageous work to protect America and the freedoms we hold dear. You have done your job, and now it’s our turn to do ours.

With appreciation and respect,

Governor's Signature

SB 401 Tax Relief Bill Signed By Gov.

This release doesn’t mention the half dozen or so tax increases that are also contained in the bill. But hey, a least some folks get a tax break. This is considered a ‘REVENUE NEUTRAL’ bill, folks. By definition, if some people are paying less tax, then some others must be paying more. If you aren’t getting a tax break then you’re one of the others. Actually even if you are getting a tax break from SB401, you’ll probably be paying higher taxes in other areas.

And you thought lunch was free…..

Office of the Governor

PRESS
RELEASE

For Immediate Release:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Contact: Aaron McLear

Mike Naple

916-445-4571

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation

to Provide Greater Assistance

to California Homeowners

Tax Conformity Bill Also Promotes
Growth in California Renewable Energy Projects

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 401 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), legislation that will bring much of our state tax policy in line with federal policy while specifically providing greater tax relief to struggling California homeowners who have sold their homes as short sales or modified their mortgage loans. This bill will also assist companies that are developing new renewable
energy projects in the state that are financed by economic stimulus grants received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).

“This legislation is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together to solve problems that affect Californians, and I applaud Senator Lois Wolk, Senator Ron Calderon,  Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino for their work. It is important that we continue to provide all possible assistance to homeowners who were negatively impacted by the mortgage crisis, and this bill will provide them with necessary mortgage debt relief and protect them from thousands of dollars in unfair taxes,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.
“SB 401 will also help promote the growth of renewable energy projects in California by providing tax assistance to businesses to get their projects of the ground, which is good news for our economy.”

SB 401 extends the law providing mortgage debt forgiveness to homeowners who have already lost their homes due to declining home prices and cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars in taxes because the mortgage company forgave the remainder of the loan. This means that Californians who have sold their homes as short sales are allowed to exclude from taxable income the amount that was still owed to the mortgage company. The legislation, which increases the amount of mortgage debt forgiveness available, also applies to homeowners who have made loan modifications in 2009.

The bill also assists renewable energy companies that are currently establishing the financing to build their projects in California. By designating federal economic stimulus grants received through the Recovery Act for renewable energy projects are not treated as income for tax purposes, this legislation will help companies move these projects forward and help their business thrive in the  state.

Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

http://go.emaildirect.com/t/_p_ga4x2nq3yjfubkqx6a4r6jkxrjrz2nrxrdrubuqx7grub8tsr4uw3js5vjjw7tdrr4jqy69fn64xntjs388r3a5n_p_/msg.gif


Tax Forgiveness Bill? Watch Out For the Strings!

108 pages! 108 mind-numbing, single-spaced goddam pages!

The goal was simple – bring California’s tax code regarding debt forgiveness – specifically regarding short-sales and foreclosures – into conformity with federal tax code. In Sacramento nothing is simple, folks.

I was on a conference call with CAR Chief Lobbyist Alex Creel yesterday when he broke in to announce that both our Senate and Assembly had rushed a bill through and sent it to the Governor for signature. This was a ‘cleaned-up’ version of a bill the Gov. vetoed a couple weeks ago because it had a bunch of frivolous crap tacked on by Democrats. We didn’t have any specifics on exactly what was in the bill or even who voted for and against because it was essentially introduced yesterday morning and passed within an hour or so in the interest of ‘helping those in distress’.

So last evening I was at a campaign event with Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries and thanked him for getting this bill through since, in concept, it is similar to a bill sponsored by CAR to accomplish the same goal. Kevin said “Don’t thank me – I didn’t vote for it.” Nor did any Republican in the Assembly or Senate for that matter. Here’s why.

The bill does contain the provisions to bring California tax code into conformity with federal tax code regarding the forgiveness of debt for short sale and foreclosure situations as promised. But the other 106 pages contain a number of new and/or increased taxes that everybody else gets to pay. As is customary in Sacramento, all 108 pages of this bill were dropped on Legislators desks and asked for their immediate vote. Republicans called their caucus together to at least give themselves a chance to read the bill (drafted by a Democrat). As they discovered at least 6 new taxes in the bill, they determined they could not, in good conscience, vote for the bill even though it contained the provision badly needed by as many as 87,000 Californians.

screwdHow did this happen and how were Democrats able to get new taxes through without the required 2/3 vote? Simple. They called the bill ‘revenue neutral’. In a classic tit-for-tat Democrats said – if you want tax breaks for this classification of people it’s going to cost other segments of the populace. So since, in theory, the bill does not increase taxes across the board, it can pass on a simple majority vote, which the Democrats hold in both our houses.

So the bill allows tax breaks in conformity with federal law set to expire in 2012. But the tax increases go on and on and on. That’s what ‘revenue neutrality’ looks like to the Democrats. The bill is so cumbersome I would challenge anybody to read it and make sense of it in an hour, let alone the few minutes given before the vote. (you can read the bill here)

There is even one provision I know is in the bill and I can’t find it. Republicans referred to it as the ‘kiddie tax’. If you’ve got a minor that earns money by mowing lawns or working fast food or delivering newspapers, they will now be taxed at their parents tax rate, not on the paltry few bucks they earn. Way to encourage our entrepreneurial youth you dim-bulbed bastards. The only good thing to come out of that will be to encourage a whole new generation of pissed-off people who, by the time they reach voting age, will be ready to throw the scoundrels out. Building a Tea Party one (young) businessperson at a time.

So if you have sold your home short in 2009 and will benefit from this new legislation, congratulations. The Association of Realtors has been supportive of this relief all along. But just be aware that your relief comes with an additional tax burden that will be born by the rest of us long after your immediate gratification runs out. Thank Lois Wolk and the Sacramento Democrats for that.

SB401: The bill would bring a number of areas of California tax code in line with federal law, including a provision that excludes “forgiven debt” on a principal residence from being considered taxable income. Currently, people who sell their homes back to the bank for less than what they owe on their mortgages are being hit with tax bills counting the difference between the mortgage balance and sale price as income. The bill would apply to short sales, foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and loan modifications that reduce the principal due. The Legislature is expected to pass this bill today, and it appears likely the governor will sign it. The 108-page bill would be retroactive to the 2009 tax year.

Inmate Releases Making Our Communities Safer

The headline in today’s Californian sums it up pretty accurately – ‘Violent Parolees not being watched‘. Of course you’ve been keeping up with this prisoner release debacle that has saddled our state after the passage of AB 3X 14 last year. As many as 40,000 inmates will be released into our streets and cities and the exodus has begun.

You may recall we were assured by the lying hypocrites that voted for it (21 Democrats. all 15 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted NO) that NO ‘violent criminals’ would be released. At the time the bill was passed I published a partial list of crimes which would either qualify for immediate release, or which were being ‘written down’ in severity to facilitate immediate release.

These include: Gross vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated, Kidnapping, Kidnapping in the commission of car jacking, Assault with the intent to commit rape or other sex crimes, Human trafficking, Sexual battery, Assault with deadly weapons, Rape in concert, Pimping a minor, Aggravated sex crimes on a child, Felony child abuse, Child abuse resulting in death, Female genital mutilation child abuse, Domestic violence, Forcible sodomy, Lewd and lascivious acts on a child, Child pornography, Elder abuse, Burglary, Identity theft, Attempted murder, Crimes against children under 14 and the developmentally disabled, Rape by people who know they have AIDS, Infliction of injury on a pregnant woman (with the intent to do so), & aggravated arson. (list courtesy of Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, Mushroom Alert, 8/20/2009)

Well that includes a pretty sweet cross-section of our populace, don’t you think?

But here’s something you may not be aware of. The vast majority of people being released are NOT ON PAROLE. That’s right. Pimps, child abusers, rapists, sodomizers, kidnappers and the like are being turned onto the streets – at a time of record high unemployment – with no record being kept as to where they’re released, where they migrate to and nobody keeping track of them!

That’s because according to Gov. Arnie & state correctional officials, dumping this many new parolees into the system would totally overwhelm an already shaky system so the argument went that releasing these convicts without paroled supervision would actually ‘improve public safety by concentrating parole supervision on only the most dangerous felons’. There was a further ‘benefit’ in that if they weren’t on supervised parole there would be fewer of them sent back to prison for parole violations as they could only be sent back to prison for ‘new crimes’. I swear to God I’m not making this up.

The releases started on January 25th, 2010. In less than 24 hours one releasee had already been re-arrested for rape, the crime he was originally imprisoned for. Of the 1,944 convicts released through the end of February, 96 had been in jail on weapons or explosives charges, 120 had been in for stalking, domestic violence and/or child neglect or cruelty, and several had been in for a variety of sex crimes, battery and involuntary manslaughter, arson, soliciting murder and false imprisonment. We can only thank our lucky starts they’ve still got all those 1 joint pot smokers locked up tight.

Well folks, the fun has just started. If you question my veracity, talk to any local police chief. I got a lot of my info from Murrieta Chief Mark Wright. The PD is absolutely thrilled at the prospect of thousands of the ‘non-violent’ convicts descending on our communities at a time when even honest, hard-working people are having trouble finding work. They are released with no notice to the community and no monitoring or supervision whatsoever. Is it any wonder applications to carry firearms has skyrocketed in the past 6 months? It’s gonna be a long, hot summer. Realtors beware – be aware walking neighborhoods, doing open houses. Don’t become a statistic.


Senator Hollingsworth to be Honored Guest at RAF Luncheon

hollingsworth

The Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors is pleased to announce that Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) will be our honored guest at a June 18th luncheon. Senator Hollingsworth has been a champion of legislation to benefit Southwest California during his tenure as as Assemblyman and more recently as Senator. Over the years he has also carried several bills on behalf of Realtors® and for property rights issues.

Senator Hollingsworth has been a staunch anti-tax crusader, a position that elevated him to his current role as Minority Leader when his predecessor got a little too chummy with the tax-and-spend majority in Sacramento. As presented in numerous posts to this site, Hollingsworth has continued to rail against tax increases and the spending abuses that plague our state. Hollingsworth has led the Republican Caucus in advocating reduced spending and smaller government at a time when state government has expanded at a prodigious rate.

On a personal note, I have also credited Hollingsworth with helping Gov. Arnold find his balls late last year at a time when all seemed lost. Hollingsworth, who shares an affinity for cowboy boots and stogies with the Gov., was often spotted with Arnie in the Governors ‘smoking tent’ on the back lawn of the Capitol. It was during this time that Arnold experienced a brief resurgence of the vigor and focus that gave so many hope when he first ascended to the office.

As a former President of the Riverside County Farm Bureau, Hollingsworth has brought a unique knowledge and perspective to his position. He understands the need for conservation and the preservation of property rights. But he also understands the need to balance those needs with infrastructure requirements and job creation. He has lobbied the federal government on the Endangered Species Act and specifically, de-listing the Delta Smelt – the wee beastie that has wrought havoc on our state water supply. He has also led several efforts on behalf of Southwest County as well as the entire state, for more local control of funds, projects and power.

Senator Hollingsworth has also just been confirmed as the Keynote address during CAR’s Legislative Day on June 9th. Delegates from SRCAR and other associations will be meeting privately with the Senator in the afternoon. Attendance at our June 18th event will be limited to those members of our Realtor Action Fund Champions who have invested the ‘True Cost of Doing Business’ prior to June 1, 2010. If you would like to find out more about this event and how to get your name on the guest list for this exclusive opportunity to chat with our Senate Minority Leader, please contact me at GAD@SRCAR.org.