Now is the Time to Help, Not Hurt Small Businesses in California

By Carl DeMaio

If Governor Gavin Newsom and California Democrats really wanted to help struggling small businesses and millions of unemployed California workers they would immediately suspend or repeal a variety of damaging and costly taxes, mandates and regulations that have been choking the California economy for years.   

At the top of the list of relief should be the repeal of AB 5.

Last year Governor Newsom and the Democrats passed AB 5 into law to ban the use of independent contractors in California and impose stiff penalties on small businesses for hiring independent contractors.  AB 5 is an outrageous attempt to deprive Californians of the freedom to work, destroy the once-booming “gig” economy, and boost government tax revenues by forcing independent contractors and their clients to pay higher employment taxes. 

Even before the Coronavirus, AB 5 had devastated hundreds of thousands of workers already – and now AB 5 is one of the biggest obstacles for unemployed Californians seeking what little work is available.

Gov. Newsom has the power to suspend AB 5 completely so small businesses and independent contractors can find work during these challenging times.  I want to commend Assemblyman Kevin Kiley for leading the fight to ask the Governor to do this, but Newsom has refused to do it.

What’s worse, Gov. Newsom is weaponizing the Coronavirus federal bailout program to enforce AB 5 and punish small businesses and independent contractors.

President Trump wisely included independent contractors in the unemployment insurance provisions of the federal Coronavirus bailout program since many have lost their clients during the shutdown.

Unfortunately, Gov. Newsom has instructed the state’s Unemployment Insurance Program to use the federal bailout funds to collect data and evidence from independent contractors when they seek the unemployment benefits to build enforcement cases against small businesses that used independent contractors after January 1, when AB 5 went into effect. 

I have heard from many independent contractors who fear if they apply for federal unemployment benefits, they will get their small business clients in trouble under AB 5. 

Punishing struggling small businesses and independent contractors is NOT what we need during this economic crisis. 

If California politicians are serious about helping ease the economic impact of Coronavirus they need to start by repealing or suspending AB 5.

Concerned taxpayers who agree that California politicians should suspend or repeal AB 5 can help send a message today by signing this petition:

Carl DeMaio is Chairman of Reform California.

Ads urge San Diego voters to take action against politicians who want to raid Road Repair funds and add a “Congestion Tax”

Reform California today launched a large-scale digital ad campaign across San Diego urging voters to be aware of the raids against the Road Repair funds, the proposal for a Congestion Tax, and to urge voters to contact the politicians who are supporting the proposed road fund raised and Congestion Tax to urge them to oppose it.

“When politicians in San Diego attempt to raid road repair funds for mass transit systems and propose adding yet another tax on San Diegans, we’re stepping up to ensure they feel the wrath of voters,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Recently, San Diego County’s regional transportation planning agency, SANDAG, released a plan to cut 14 freeway and highway improvements and shift all of that money into “transit” for downtown San Diego and to fund conversion of road lanes to dedicated bike lanes.

Recently, San Diego County’s regional transportation planning agency, SANDAG, released a plan to cut 14 freeway and highway improvements and shift all of that money into “transit” for downtown San Diego and to fund conversion of road lanes to dedicated bike lanes. 

SANDAG and its subsidiary MTS also propose higher taxes: both a massive Sales Tax hike and a “Congestion Tax” for anyone wanting to use the roads – with all that money going to transit, not roads.

Despite a recent poll that even shows voters in the heavily urban areas of the City of San Diego overwhelmingly oppose these proposals – by a whopping two-to-one margin! – SANDAG and politicians continue to push Road Repair Raids and the Congestion Tax forward.

The month-long digital flight will hit voters in their cars, homes, and connected devices.

Freeways to Feeways:
Freeways to Feeways (radio):
Harder to Drive:
Harder to Drive (radio):
Demand Change (radio):
Congestion (radio):

12 Democrat Legislators Named Targets of Campaign to Defeat the Water Tax

12 Democrat Legislators Named Targets of Campaign to Defeat the Water Tax

Group that successfully recalled State Senator Josh Newman in 2018 over Gas Tax will now target 12 “Water Tax Weaklings” in State Senate and State Assembly

In 2018, State Senator Josh Newman was successfully recalled from office over his decision to cast the deciding vote on the controversial Gas Tax hike. In light of equally-controversial Water Tax being proposed in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget, Reform California announced it is targeting 12 state legislators (4 state Senators, 8 Assemblymembers) over the issue in an attempt to either block the Water Tax from being passed OR to use it as a wedge issue to defeat these legislators in the 2020 cycle.

“Sacramento politicians are hereby put on notice that if they vote to impose a costly and unfair Water Tax on California’s already-struggling working families they will face consequences at the ballot box,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Targeted Members of the Assembly
Brian Maienschein
Sharon Quirk-Silva
Sabrina Cervantes
Tasha Horvath
Cottie Petrie-Norris
Jacqui Irwin
Christy Smith
James Ramos

Targeted State Senators
Richard Roth
Tom Umberg
Melissa Hurtado
Anna Caballero

These 12 legislators are seen as the most vulnerable members of the state legislature – and more importantly, if 3 State Senators or 7 Members of the Assembly announce their opposition to the Water Tax, it would effectively be killed as any tax hike requires a two-thirds vote in BOTH chambers to pass.

The Water Tax Weakling campaign will include 30-second ads, Facebook ads, text messaging and phone outreach, and storefront canvassing to reach more than 1.5 million high-propensity voters in each of the 12 districts held by the targeted legislators. Voters will be informed of their representative’s unacceptable position on the Water Tax and will be asked to sign a petition to oppose the Water Tax. Links to all campaign creative materials and the Water Tax Petition is at

“For those who doubt the potency of an issue like the Water Tax, just ask former State Senator Josh Newman whose political career was ended after he voted for the Gas Tax hike,” DeMaio said. “This campaign to target 12 Water Tax Weaklings is just the beginning,” he concluded.

About Reform California: Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money.

Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio Blasts Proposed “Water Tax” as Just Another Way to Hose Taxpayers

Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio Blasts Proposed “Water Tax” as Just Another Way to Hose Taxpayers

Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California, blasted a proposal cooked up by Gov. Gavin Newsom to impose a tax on water. The so-called “Water Tax” would be a new tax imposed on every water bill in California and would be added on top of the actual cost of water consumed by each Californian. California already has some of the highest water rates in the nation!

DeMaio is launching a campaign to block the Water Tax from taking effect and is urging all Californians to join is effort.

“This outrageous Water Tax must be stopped because it is just another way out-of-touch Sacramento politicians are trying to hose taxpayers,” said Carl DeMaio. “The Water Tax is unfair and unnecessary and will just be yet another blow to working families who already struggle with high cost-of-living,” DeMaio concluded.

DeMaio’s campaign includes an immediate grassroots effort to contact Sacramento legislators to urge them to oppose the Water Tax. If the Water Tax passes, DeMaio proposes legal action and a possible ballot initiative to reverse the tax.

Join Carl DeMaio’s campaign to Stop the Water Tax. Sign this petition and share it with your friends.