Local Political PAC Comes Out Against Mathis

Tensions are rising in the Tulare County Republican Party over Assemblyman Devon Mathis’ yes vote on the Managed Care Organization (MCO) Tax. Mathis says it is not a tax, and that his vote allowed the state to receive one billion in federal funding. Many Tulare County Republicans say that it was a tax and that health care insurance premiums will go up as a result.

Because of Mathis’ vote, and other alleged problems with his first term in office, Common Sense Information PAC (CSI) is launching a radio and newspaper ad campaign to educate the public about Mathis’ vote. CSI is also targeting Bakersfield Assemblyman Rudy Salas for not taking a stand against the $15 minimum wage increase.

Founded by businessman Tal Cloud six years ago, CSI has advocated or campaigned against certain candidates running for office or political issues. CSI debuted in 2010 when the PAC ran radio ads attacking then-state Sen. Jeff Denham, who was making his first congressional run. Denham ended up winning the election.

Cloud said, “Assembly Member Devon Mathis Republican, from Visalia, has been a failure in his first term protecting conservative values that he claimed to represent when he asked for our vote two years ago.  Assemblyman Mathis voted to raise taxes and give the Democrats in Sacramento another weak Republican member to take advantage of, and we cannot have that given how close we are to a Super Minority in Sacramento.”

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, and State Senators Jean Fuller and Andy Vidak all voted no on the MCO tax bill.

The issue at hand is Assemblyman Mathis’ vote on February 29 in favor of the Managed Care Organization tax. Ten other Republicans in the assembly, and two in the state senate, voted in favor of the tax along with Mathis. The California Disability Services Association, California Hospital Association, Kaweah Delta Health Care District among many others also supported the bill.

According to a recent Foothills Sun Gazette article, Mathis said, “The MCO tax reform package is good fiscal policy for California and directly helps some of our state’s most vulnerable Medi-Cal and developmentally disabled patients. This bill package creates a net $100 million tax savings, and will allow more than $1 billion of Californians’ federal tax dollars to return to our state in the form of matching funds.”

The editor of this paper called Devon Mathis’ office for his reaction to the CSI advertising campaign and his vote on the MCO. Their response was, “No comment for the Valley Voice.”

The Tulare County Taxpayers Association, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and the National Federation of Small Business took a neutral stance on the bill. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, however, came out against the bill. Norquist says that those Republicans who voted for the tax hike are damaging the Republican brand. Norquist explains this is simply a tax on health care providers that will be passed onto the consumer.

“In the last election, Californians elected more than enough Republicans to the state legislature to give the GOP the ability to block Democratic efforts to raise taxes in Sacramento” said Norquist. “California has the nation’s highest marginal income tax rate, the 8th highest corporate tax rate, and the 6th highest overall tax burden. If Republicans aren’t going to stop legislative Democrats from raising taxes at the behest of government employee unions who fund their campaigns, what purpose do they serve? Doorstops?  Organ donors?”

The Business Journal reported that, “Whereas the old tax has been imposed only on managed care plans in the Medi-Cal business, the new tax will be levied on all managed care plans. However, to encourage providers not to pass the tax on to consumers and to offset the cost to insurers, other taxes insurers pay were eliminated. The new legislation includes $371 million in breaks on state premiums and corporation taxes.”

The Business Journal concluded, “the impact it will have on businesses is uncertain.”

Mathis’ vote on the MCO tax was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Woodlake Mayor, Rudy Mendoza, when he decided to run for assembly again.

“Mr. Mathis does not represent the values of our district, the strongest Republican district in the Central Valley where we fight tooth and nail every day against government bureaucracy and bad regulations. Mr. Mathis voted for a major tax increase that will hurt the working class families of our district. He has become the best friend of Governor Jerry Brown by helping to pass yet another tax that will do nothing but create additional hardship on our citizens.”

One longtime establishment Republican who did not want to be named vehemently agreed with Mendoza and said Mathis’ vote was simply “Pay to play.”

“What gets my goat is that the state legislature was going to pass the MCO tax anyway, so he didn’t even have to vote yes.” She said that the Southern Inyo Hospital stood to gain $1.3 million from the MCO tax, which is a direct benefit to Healthcare Conglomerates Association (HCCA.)

HCCA donated $7200 to Mathis’ campaign and just acquired the contract for Southern Inyo Hospital.

14 thoughts on “Local Political PAC Comes Out Against Mathis

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  1. Here’s the comment we would like you to post on the article (link at the bottom). Thank you for doing this.

    Can you site the exact article where the Business Journal says this? I’ve just looked and there are two article about the MCO but neither of them say what you are quoting. One is about Kaweah Delta asking law makers to vote for it and the other talks about the vote. it says
    California lawmakers voted today in favor of the state’s revamped Managed Care Organization (MCO) financing package providing millions of dollars to hospital-based skilled nursing facilities throughout the state.

    Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) was among the few Republican supporters of the bill, which is expected to bring millions to his district, including $800,000 to Kaweah Delta.

    “The MCO tax reform package is good fiscal policy for California and directly helps some of our state’s most vulnerable Medi-Cal and developmentally disabled patients,” Mathis said in a prepared statement. “This bill package creates a net $100 million tax savings and will allow more than $1 billion of Californian’s federal tax dollars to return to our state in the form of matching funds.”

    According to the statement, Mathis was a member of the Republican negotiating team working with Governor Jerry Brown’s office to secure the claw back language in the MCO bill package, in which he is a co-author.

    Mathis was among several local lawmakers named in a letter published by Kaweah Delta Health Care District last week, encouraging state senators and assembly members to pass the bill.

    In the statement, Kaweah Delta CEO Lindsay Mann said the bill will help restore distinct-part skilled nursing facilities’ funding, which was originally slashed in 2011.

    “We need to restore the funding to these critical facilities that service primarily vulnerable Medi-Cal patients,” he said.

    The California Hospital Association (CHA) also supported the tax package and the group issued a release today applauding the bipartisan passage in both houses.

    “Today’s passage of the MCO tax package will prevent clawing back of previously made payments to hospital-based skilled nursing facilities and will help prevent the closure of vital hospitals without imposing any new burden on state taxpayers,” the statement read.

    According to the CHA, Medi-Cal beneficiaries make up nearly 80 percent of the patients receiving hospital-based skilled-nursing care. In the last several years, nearly one-third of such facilities have closed in California due to financial pressures.

    The MCO will now go to the governor’s office, where it is expected to be signed into law.

    No where in there does it state what you are quoting.

    • I couldn’t find the link. But I did some scouting around the Business Journal site. I’ll ask the author about this source and get back to you.

    • Hi, Scott,

      Plugging the quote from Catherine into Google gives me the following result from the North Bay Business Journal:

      http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/industrynews/healthcare/5313191-181/california-mco-new-tax

      “Whereas the old tax has been imposed only on managed care plans in the Medi-Cal business, the new tax will be levied on all managed care plans. However, to encourage providers not to pass the tax on to consumers and to offset the cost to insurers, other taxes insurers pay were eliminated. The new legislation includes $371 million in breaks on state premiums and corporation taxes.

      The impact it will have on businesses is uncertain.

      “It really depends on the carrier,” said Victor McKnight, a principal at EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants in Petaluma. “A carrier who doesn’t have much Medi-Cal, like Blue Shield, might get hit harder than someone who does.””

      • Our trusty tech wizard strikes again! It appears the author somehow omitted “North Bay.” Thank you, Tony–full marks!

  2. There is no such thing as a Managed Care Organization Tax or a Healthcare Tax. Listened to that sleezy Mendoza this morning on the radio, he couldn’t even tell us what tax Mathis’ supposedly raised! If you’re so sure it was a tax increase, shouldnt you be able to tell us EXACTLY which tax was raised? Rudy is a Devin Nunes puppet who dodges questions if they aren’t on the script daddy devin gives him. Don’t be fooled people. They are banking on you being ignorant enough to believe their lies. Mendoza, probaby with Nunes money, pays this rag to print this crap. This is a tabloid, not a serious news outlet.

  3. This MCO package saved our local hospitals $7M. Maybe our local hospitals should save a little more money and stop advertising in this rag. I think I’ll write them a letter.

  4. Thanks for getting back. The North Bay Business Journal???? Oooookay.

    So Mr. Mendoza is claiming Assemblyman Mathis raised taxes by $100. This article says that taxes were reduced by $371 million. That is, at worst case, a NET REDUCTION of $271 million. So even if, for sake of argument, we take this north bay article as factual. Mathis reduced taxes by $271 million, saved $1.1 billion in medi-cal reimbursements (do you have any idea what it would costs us taxpayers if we lost that money??), saved our hospitals here locally $7million which will save costs not passed on to the consumers, and funded the developmentally disabled community. Some of the most vulnerable in our community.

    We think this is a bad deal???

    This is the kind of leadership we have been lacking and sorely need.

    I’m voting for Devon Mathis.

    • The author says she was lead to the North Bay Business Journal through links on the Business Journal’s website. So there you have it.

  5. From what I have recently read in the Visalia Times Delta it appears Devin Nunes is behind this PAC, funding it The point I would like to make is that the flyers they are sending out are in violation of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment. I’m disappointed in Mr Nunes for his actions, also mentioned on the fliers is Ms Conways name…it’s 2014 all over again. It seems to me that if they were such good Republicans, they would not have stooped this low.

  6. Tal Cloud is behind CSI, the PAC featured in this article. Devin Nunes supports–and in part funds–an entirely different PAC ranged against Devon Mathis, Republicans For Lower Taxes 2016.

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