Steven Greenhut writes about CA Enviornmentalists’ lastest Boondoggle

in

California’s Latest Environmental Boondoggle

The facts about Jerry Brown’s misguided plan to “save” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

an excerpt:

“The administration’s plan will tear up the Delta for at least 10 years. We know how government infrastructure projects are always delayed, so it’s anyone’s guess how long it actually will take. Even its advocates admit that they aren’t sure about the unintended consequences of the project.

As part of its ecosystem restoration program, this boondoggle will flood a large portion of the Delta’s land, destroying vineyards, farmland, orchards, and marshes. It will submerge islands. There will be land confiscations.
Environmental groups believe the re-engineering of the ecosystem will destroy salmon and other fish habitats. No one in their right mind would hand over a precious region such as this to bureaucrats, but in Sacramento these days the Brown administration is trying to relive the glory days of the New Deal where central planning and big spending are the in thing.
Here’s a case where free-market advocates such as myself and true environmentalists should make common cause – to stop a misguided project that will raise water rates and increase the state’s debt load to provide limited and questionable gains.”

Click here to go to, and read the article

Call them out on Class and Crony Capitalism and Change up the Game

 

…Republicans need to make Obama own the class issue since his record is fairly indefensible. The fortunes of the middle quintiles of Americans have been eroding pretty much since Obama took office in 2009.

There’s nothing fundamentally unRepublican about class warfare. After all, the party – led by what was then called Radical Republicans – waged a very successful war against the old slave-holding aristocracy; there’s nothing to be ashamed of in that conquest. Republicans under Abraham Lincoln also pushed for greater landownership through such things as the Homestead Act, which supplied 160 acres of federal land to aspiring settlers.

No one expects the Republicans to turn socialist, but they can reap benefits from anger over the crony capitalism that has become emblematic of the Obama era. Wall Street and its more popular West Coast counterparts, the venture capital “community,” consistently game the political system and, usually, succeed. They win, but everyone else pretty much has to content themselves with keeping up with the IRS.

Join me on Talk Back with Chuck Wilder, while I guest host a cast of friends of liberty, on CRNTalk.com, Noon to 2 pm

Ben Boychuk of City Journal California and the Sacramento Bee will talk about how the Democrats in the California state legislature are working to undermine the initiative process that has kept government excesses in check for the past century. He’ll also talk about California’s efforts to undermine the Second Amendment.

Wayne Lusvardi of CalWatchDog.com will talk about his Special Report just recently published up at CalWatchDog.com, Brown proposal would force local school tax increases, a brazen betrayal of his word to the voters if they passed his signature ballot initiative, Prop 30 last November.

We’ll have Chuck Michael from the CA Pistol and Rifle Association  and the CA Chapter of the National Rifle Association NRA,  join us on the latest developments in the State’s efforts to disarm citizens or make it so expensive that only the rich can afford to have guns and protection.

Wednesday, Feb 13, LIVE on CRN1  from Noon-2:00 PM PST
CALL (800) 336-2225 to Join the Conversation!

 

Podcasts for Thursday’s Talk Back with Chuck Wilder Show are up on the podcast page

The first hour I spoke with Dave Workman, Communications Executive with The 2nd Amendment Foundation.

Chuck Michael, a civil rights attorney with the California Rifle and Pistol Association joined us.

The second hour I talked with Eapen Thampy, Executive Director for Americans for Forfeiture Reform. We talked about the Caswell’s Motel, the recent Federal Court decision, the egregious abuse of this policy, and the danger it poses to everyday law abiding citizens.

Richard Rider, Chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters Association joined me and we discussed the impact of the new higher taxes in CA and Federally. We talked about Pro golfer, Phil Michelson’s comments that he would probably leave CA as a result, and Rider pointed out the true extent of the increase in taxes on Michelson.

The elite media and the politicians in charge deny, dismiss and ignore the number of high earning individuals who are fleeing the state of CA. The prospects are not good, but the voters proved blissfully ignorant of the consequences of squeezing the “rich” to make them pay their “fair share.”

Words matter, ideas rule and Kotkin fingers the new power class

Here’s an excerpt:

Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are far from “the workers of the world,” but closer to modern-day robber barons. Through their own ingenuity, access to capital and often oligopolistic hold on lucrative markets, they have enjoyed one of the greatest accumulations of wealth in recent economic history, even amidst generally declining earnings, rising poverty and inequality among their fellow Americans.

Click here to read the article

Filling in for Chuck Wilder on CRNtalk.com tomorrow, from noon to 2 pm PT

We’ll be talking guns, money, taxes, and the “war on drugs” used to seize assets from innocent bystander citizens. Dave Workman of The 2nd Amendment Foundation joins us to talk about moves to “Do Something!” now, a.k.a. to save us from the danger of guns out there. And we’ll have our own local CA expert, Chuck Michael, of the CA Rifle and Pistol Association to focus on how fast our CA State legislators are moving to capitalize on the public fear resulting from the horrific tragedy in Newtown, CT this past December.

Richard Rider joins us to talk about the millionaires who are leaving CA because they don’t want to pay 82% taxes on their earnings. Steven Greenhut recently wrote about one such individual, Pro Golfer, Phil Mickelson, and his new 62% tax bracket in CA, but Rider will explain how it’s actually 82%! What happens when the millionaires leave? Yikes.

He’s always loaded for bear, so don’t miss it. Join us live from noon to 2 pm PT on CRNtalk.com as we fill in for the venerable Chuck Wilder who is in recuperation.

Greenhut illustrates how when mob rules, right is whatever the mob says, stealing is justified, force is deified, liberty is suppressed and denied

From AppealDemocrat.com Steven Greenhut: Despite his apologies, Mickelson had it right
January 26, 2013 09:52:00 PM

Rebels, non conformists, free thinkers, independent-minded ones, anyone who believes in individual liberty, the human spirit, the power of entrepreneurship, this is a serious wake-up call.

After hearing the storm of criticism directed toward golfer Phil Mickelson for his modest comments about California’s highest-in-the-nation tax rates causing him to consider relocating, I was left wondering what country we live in. Did you ever have one of those moments?

“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.” He pointed to “drastic changes” that are driving his decision — an obvious reference to the income-tax hikes California voters placed on millionaires like him. Media critics were aghast and mocked this poor rich guy for his complaints.

The spectacle of Mickelson apologizing on Sunday, then doing so a second time later in the week, was the worst part of this spectacle

Click Here to Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/mickelson-122859-tax-consider.html#ixzz2JJJ6mqZv

Greenhut on CA’s Real Financial State: A fantastic spin and denial of reality

Sunday’s The Daily Democrat published State’s wall of debt dead ahead, by Steven Greenhut, potent enough to keep you up at night, if you practice a habit of conscious critical thought.

A cursory glance at Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget could make you believe that California’s days of fiscal gloom are over as he champions a balanced budget and newfound “fiscal restraint.”

 
But it’s all manipulated spin to divert your attention to the details. Here are a few nuggets to rattle your nerves if you dare:

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office agrees that the budget is basically balanced, but the agency’s head, Mac Taylor, expressed concern:
“It doesn’t pay all of the wall of debt within the time period. It builds up very little of a reserve by the end of that period, and it does nothing regarding our various retirement-related obligations.”

 

Even more disturbing:

Others were blunter about California’s financial health. As the Los Angeles Times reported: “It owes Wall Street more per resident than almost every other state. And it has accumulated a crushing load of debt for retiree pensions and health care, now totaling more than taxpayers spend each year on all state programs combined.”

There’s more, and I don’t expect anyone of those who prefer to continue living in a delusional state of denial.   This addiction to living as if money can be plucked from whomever has it, at will of any elected officials and their supporting voters is more powerful than any addiction to nicotine, hard drugs or alcohol.   It appears evident that there is no hope for a recovery until the collective abusers and enablers hit rock bottom.

Unfortunately a lot of people will be hurt in that process.    There’s a lot more sober talk by Greenhut in this piece.  Click here to read it in full. 

Glen Greenwald Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King and His Most Ignored Passion

The civil right achievements of Martin Luther King are quite justly the focus of the annual birthday commemoration of his legacy. But it is remarkable, as I’ve noted before on this holiday, how completely his vehement anti-war advocacy is ignored when commemorating his life (just as his economic views are). By King’s own description, his work against US violence and militarism, not only in Vietnam but generally, was central – indispensable – to his worldview and activism, yet it has been almost completely erased from how he is remembered.

King argued for the centrality of his anti-militarism advocacy most eloquently on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City – exactly one year before the day he was murdered. That extraordinary speech was devoted to answering his critics who had been complaining that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work (“Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask?”). King, citing seven independent reasons, was adamant that ending US militarism and imperialism was not merely a moral imperative in its own right, but a prerequisite to achieving any meaningful reforms in American domestic life.  Click here to read Greenwald’s full post

The Conneticut Shootings–I avoided the media blitz and waited to listen to a thoughtful analysis

The horrific crime happened on Friday. I couldn’t log on to the internet that morning, where I was staying. I looked at Facebook, and read a post on the newsfeed about how children must be wondering why their parents are hugging them and telling them how much they were loved. I knew something had happened, and then heard bits and pieces, but avoided getting sucked into the Matrix dialogue. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, when I went on my walk in the late afternoon, that I looked to Stefan Molyneux, to listen to his latest, and in the course of listening to the podcast of the latest Sunday show, he made reference to his message about his reaction to the Connecticut shootings.

Kafkaesque: U.S. Govt. Seizes Nearly 7 Million from Foreign citizen, doing legal business in a foreign country.

My thanks to a friend on my facebook page for summarizing the point of this story. The innate evil of the State is starkly evident in this story, yet so many among us will still wring hands and agonize over what we can and should do to make government be good.

DOJ nabs nearly $7 million from Antigua resident accused of violating U.S. gambling law in Antigua–where his conduct is legal.
On December 16, 2012, Scott Alexander Meiner reports:

The United States Department of Justice settled a forfeiture controversy with William Paul Scott, forfeiting $6,976,924.00, seized from the Royal Bank of Scotland International as an amount roughly equivalent to what Scott’s company held in its foreign account when U.S. authorities first pursued the funds. Incident to the settlement, Scott was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Wire Act and three counts of international money laundering. Prosecutors accused Scott, a resident of Antigua and former U.S. citizen, of making online gambling available to U.S. citizens. While such gambling is legal in Antigua, U.S. prosecutors nonetheless maintain that it is illegal if accessible and/or targeted to U.S. citizens.

Click here to read the full commentary

Feds probe drug task force in south Texas– More evidence, the War on Drugs corrupts law enforcement

The police officer sons of two south Texas law enforcement chiefs who made fighting corruption the cornerstones of their careers have been taken into custody on suspicion of waylaying drug caches coming across the border from Mexico.

Federal agents investigating several border departments west and south of McAllen arrested Jonathan Treviño, the son of Lupe Treviño, sheriff of Hidalgo County, and Alexis Espinoza, the son of Rodolfo Espinoza, Hidalgo’s police chief, the McAllen Monitor is reporting.

Blue States’ Tipping Point for Financial Ruin Gets a Boost

In Blue State Suicide Pact, Joel Kotkin explains. Here’s an excerpt:

The people whose wallets will be drained in the new war on “the rich” are high-earning, but hardly plutocratic professionals like engineers, doctors, lawyers, small business owners and the like. Once seen as the bastion of the middle class, and exemplars of upward mobility, these people are emerging as the modern day “kulaks,” the affluent peasants ruthlessly targeted by Stalin in the early 1930s.

Click here to read the article

Legend of Lincoln Deconstructed

In theaters now, everywhere, one can go see a perpetuation of the myth of Lincoln as hero, a  great example of propaganda that romanticizes the State’s grotesque use of violence to solidify and expand its power, while it glosses over obscene  violations of individual liberties.

Jeffery Tucker writes  “To be sure, this was a mind-bending experience. I watched Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln on the same weekend that I read Joseph Fallon’s Lincoln Uncensored, the recent “e-book of the week” released by the Laissez Faire Club. Worlds collided.

Fallon’s book, which is brilliant and the most useful Lincoln book I’ve read, sticks to the facts by organizing material from the 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln. The reader is given Lincoln’s own words on subjects like slavery, secession, Fort Sumter, equality of blacks and Mexicans, habeas corpus, war power, free speech, tariffs, debt, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Union, and vastly more.

Fallon (educated at American University and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs) is, obviously, a master researcher. His editorial notes take advantage of all modern scholarship and are carefully cited.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In order to understand Lincoln’s passion for preserving the Union, you have to put yourself into a different era of federal finance. There was but one source of revenue: the tariff. There were no internal taxes. There was no “too big to fail,” because there was no central bank capable of bailing out an entire industrial base. As Lincoln himself said by way of explanation, “The tariff is to the government what a meal is to the family” (1861). The South’s ports collected 75% of all federal tax revenue. Without that revenue — that’s what secession meant — the federal government would be starved.

Read more:  Lincoln Uncensored here, at Daily Reckoning

 

Grieving, taking account, soul searching, exploring reason, rigorously

The elections have fallen heavily upon a body of individuals who took their passion and pushed with all their heart and mind, to throw back the tentacles of the State, that grows exponentially, without pause.

Activists who thought there was momentum, and a large enough constituency whose consciousness was elevated and was present to the surreal course of policy, finance, and power, unsustainable, and accelerating towards a point where the mask of government as good, and benevolent, caring, and essential would drop away in large proportions.    But alas, most are firmly connected into the matrix.   And the losses this past Nov washed away any delusions to the contrary.

Gadfly Radio will be back soon.   I want to speak with friends about what happened, what we lost, what we got and what  is possible.

 

Are Conservatives Rethinking their Hostility to Criminal Justice Reform?

Tough-on-crime usually means tough-on-taxpayers.

by Steven Greenhut| Nov 30, 2012

For advocates of less-intrusive government, finding the good news in the recent election is like looking on the bright side after your house has been wiped out by a hurricane. You never did like that floor plan, anyway, and this seems like a great opportunity to rethink your lifestyle.

The political storm was particularly fearsome in California. Democrats already are floating trial balloons now that they have gained a legislative supermajority that allows them to pass direct tax increases without GOP support.

But there was some good news, however slim, on the ballot in the long-neglected area of criminal-justice reform. California voters passed, by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin, a measure (Proposition 36) that reforms the state’s notoriously tough three-strikes-and-you’re-out sentencing law.

In 1994, California voters passed Proposition 184, which targeted repeat offenders. Under that law, if a person convicted of two serious or violent felonies commits a third “strike,” it would automatically lead to a life term with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The verdict is out on how much “three strikes” contributed to falling crime rates, but there is little question that California’s strict version led to rising incarceration costs and high-profile instances of injustice.

Unlike any of the other 23 states that passed “three strikes” laws, California imposed the life sentence on offenders whose third conviction was for “any” felony, rather than for a serious or violent one. So we’ve witnessed cases where offenders have received that life term for stealing a piece of pizza, kiting a bad check, and other relatively minor crimes.  Click to read more.

 

 

The latest “Scandal” in DC underscores, for those who will listen, why Government is dangerous–It’s orchestrated by humans, a fallible lot, dangerous when armed with lethal force over society

In

Let’s Hear It for Scandal!

Gene Healy writes:

 

At a minimum, scandals serve as a useful reminder that we’re usually led by people of questionable competence, miserable judgment and a flexible relationship with the truth. At their best, they can even provoke much-needed reforms.

As disgraced former CIA head Gen. David Petraeus snuck over to the Hill Friday to testify about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, it wasn’t clear whether this would end up being the latter sort of scandal.

With all the focus on “who altered the CIA talking points?” and “what did [U.N. Ambassador] Susan Rice know and when did she know it?” — the Republicans seem to be missing more fundamental questions. For starters, how about, “what are we doing in Libya in the first place?”

Click here to read the article

A model for taking on unions-Chicago, not California: educational improvements require taking on unions and their counterproductive work rules

So writes Steven Greenhut in The Republican American, a CT based and online publication.

It is hard for education reformers to be too optimistic about the post-strike prospects for Chicago schools…

Click to read post here.

GadflyRadio CA Elections 2012 with Brian Calle as special guest

Tuesday Oct 16, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Brian Calle, Senior Fellow with Pacific Research Institute and Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog.com.

This is Gadfly Radio’s last show. Brian Calle joins us to talk about the statewide initiatives on the ballot, and the significant role of Public Employee Unions in the elections of November 2012.

We’ll also talk about special races and local initiatives on a few city ballots, as a means to shore up local control over their finances and decisions.

The multimillion dollar feud between Molly Munger and Gov Brown may be toning down.  How has it served the taxpayer? If Munger really backs down, will this help Brown’s Prop 30 to recover?

Everyone can share how they’re voting in this upcoming election.
Related Links:
Unions dominate California ballot propositions
by Brian Calle | October 14th, 2012,  OC Register

No ‘global warming’ for 16 years
Can we cancel AB 32 now?
By John Seiler | Oct. 15, 2012, CalWatchDog.com

State government is always growing
Oct. 15, 2012 Katy Grimes: It appears that California state government is thriving and growing…

Cities vying for local control on Nov. ballot
Oct. 16, 2012 By Katy Grimes

In addition to a government reform ballot initiative attempting to stop unions from using employee dues for political purposes, three cities have initiatives on the November ballot asking voters to allow a constitutional change to become charter cities.

Prop. 32 could end union stranglehold on government
Oct. 16, 2012 By Dave Roberts “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Brown rebuffs corporate welfare
Oct. 14, 2012 By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO — In much of the country, the mere mention of the name, Jerry Brown, signifies the otherworldly nature of California politics.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

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CA Open Primary Bodes Change in Balance of Power–Allan Hoffenblum’s analysis on probable and likely winners and losers

Tuesday Oct 9, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Allan Hoffenblum, Publisher of the California Target Book, owner of Allan Hoffenblum & Associates and contributor to Fox & Hounds Daily.

Due to redistricting and the new top two Open Primary, there will be more competitive races for congress and the state legislature this November than we have seen in this state in over a decade. L.A. Times reports “Recent developments put the party within reach of gaining the two seats it needs for a two-thirds majority in the Legislature’s upper house.”

Allan Hoffenblum,  publisher of the California Target Book, wrote a four-part series for Fox & Hounds Daily, describing where those competitive races will be.   We’ll talk Hoffenblum about what these developments mean for the people and the politics of CA.

We’ll ask him what he thinks about the propositions on the ballot too.  CalWatchDog has a lot of coverage on the initiatives, with two propositions, Prop 30 and Prop 32 testing the political grip the special interests and public employee unions have on CA’s voters and their support.

Target Races: 

Part One: State Assembly

• Part Two: State Senate 

• Part Three: Congress 

Part Four: Same Party Runoff

Related Links:
A Democratic supermajority for California’s Senate?
Recent developments put the party within reach of gaining the two seats it needs for a two-thirds majority in the Legislature’s upper house.
October 06, 2012|By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

Democrats May Get Two-thirds Majority in California Senate
October 8th, 2012 | by Michael Burg | DailyPolitical.com

Crazifornia: Moneyball time in Sacramento
Oct. 8, 2012 | By Laer Pearce | CalWatchDog.com

“…Should Prop 30 fail in November, Brown will have a chance to start playing Moneyball. Here are some ideas for the manager of the major league Sacramento Spenders…”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. If it’s Tuesday, you can be sure Gadfly Radio is on from 10 am to 11 am PT! The number to call if you have any questions or comments during the show is 1-800-336-2225

CA Renewable Energy Electricity Strategy is Crony Capitalism on Steroids–Taxpayers and poor made poorer, more dependent on Govt Aid

It’s a win-win for Big Govt and Crony Capitalists, a big loss for affordable clean energy, accountability, a healthy free market economy, free people.

This L.A. Times story tells a lot:

Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants
THE SOLAR DESERT
A new breed of prospectors — banks, insurers, utility companies — are receiving billions in subsidies while taxpayer and ratepayers are paying most of the costs. Critics say it’s a rip-off.
September 20, 2012|By Evan Halper, Ralph Vartabedian and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times

Who are the Cronies?

“Banks, insurers and utility companies have jumped in, taking advantage of complex state and federal tax incentives to reap outsized returns. Among the solar prospectors in the Mojave are investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., General Electric, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and technology giant Google Inc.”

What are the costs and who pays no matter what the outcome?

“Stanford University economist Frank Wolak, an expert in the California electricity market, said the state’s renewable energy strategy could boost electricity rates 10% to 20%, depending on a number of factors. Potentially, consumers’ bills could go up by 50%.”

“The low-interest, government-guaranteed loans — more than $16 billion for renewable energy projects so far — pay up to 80% of a project’s construction costs.

“If this were a modern-day fairy tale — and in many respects it is — solar developers would be saying, ‘Mirror, mirror on the ground, look at all the money I found!’ ” said one county official, who did not want to be identified because of pending negotiations with a solar developer.”

“Even renewable-energy advocates, such as the Bay Area-based Climate Policy Initiative, acknowledge that the nation’s first forays into utility-scale solar plants will be expensive.

The group estimates that 43 cents of every dollar of energy produced by the Ivanpah facility will be paid for by taxpayers.”

Hey regular Joe, you think Public Utility Commission is your friend, looking out for you first?  Ha!

The state Division of Ratepayer Advocates, whose purpose is to represent consumers, concluded in a report last year that the power contracts the PUC has been approving have put consumers on the hook for $6 billion in excess costs.

“What the commission’s practice has been is not to consider the cost of renewable power but to approve every renewable project that came before them,” said Joe Como, acting director of the division. “We really spent too much money. It’s frustrating as hell.”

Read the complete piece here.

Want a Gadfly T-shirt? Subscribe to the feed, and send me a note saying so. We’ve got a few to give away.

I went to a fund raising event for Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger in Fullerton, CA and was happy to share some T’s with these impressive citizen activists for clean, transparent and accountable government.

The T’s are beefy  100 percent cotton, size XL.  The front says Gadfly Radio with Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog.

The back has a graphic explaining the self discovery of a  of a gadfly.   It reads ” I FEEL A DESPERATE NEED TO BE IRRITATING..AND PERHAPS , TO REFORM SOCIETY”

Send me an email and let me know where to send it to you, anywhere in CA.    Offer is good while supply lasts.

Cheers to all fellow Gadflies!

Mark Cabaniss, Chris Reed on Gadfly Radio: Public Employee Pension Costs, and the 50-ton Godzilla in the room

Tuesday Oct 2, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome  Mark Cabaniss, and Chris Reed. 

 

Mark Cabaniss is an attorney from Kelseyville, CA. He has worked as a prosecutor and public defender. In September he penned two articles for CalWatchDog:

Yes, we can break public-employee pensions
Sept. 20, 2012

Even if politicians’ pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution, they are still breakable. In pretending otherwise, the politicians are lying. In other words, merely noting that pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution is not the end of analysis, but only the beginning, for all contracts are breakable, and all constitutional rights are subject to limits.

Breaking public-employee pensions: The political path
Sept. 27, 2012

The most important of the contract law doctrines that could be used to get out from under current pensions is the doctrine of mistake. According to that doctrine, the current pensions were granted while relying on mistaken assumptions, specifically, unrealistic projected future pension fund investment returns which have turned out to be too high.

The second contract law doctrine which might be used to get out of onerous pensions is that the money simply isn’t there to pay excessive pensions (the current highest in California is, ha-ha, $302,492 per year). The legal arguments, as well as the political arguments, are the strongest for reforming the very highest pensions, those in excess of $100,000 per year.

Chris Reed, Publisher of CalWhine.com, Editorial Writer with San Diego Union Tribune, and contributor to CalWatchDog.com, recently penned two articles concerning CA’s Teacher’s Unions and their power in Sacramento.
The sad reason Steinberg’s right about significance of his education bill
Sept. 28, 2012

and

The ‘nut graph’ you’ll never see in a state government story
Oct. 1, 2012

Here’s a one-paragraph version that should be the basis of what journos call the “nut graph” of most stories about state spending and state priorities:

“The members of the most powerful political force in state politics, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, get far more money from taxpayers than any other single group. The teacher unions’ power derives from the automatic dues deducted from teachers’ paychecks, meaning taxpayers directly fund the lobbying and political operations of Sacramento’s most influential entity.”

Ben Boychuk has a piece recently published in the NY Post:
Jerry Brown’s tax-hike hail mary

“…Brown might just find a way to hike taxes without Prop. 30, if Democrats can pick up those four legislative seats in November. Earlier this month, he told the editors of The San Francisco Chronicle that if Prop. 30 loses, ‘we’re not going to go out to the people again. Because we’ve tried it.’”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. If it’s Tuesday, you can be sure Gadfly Radio is on from 10 am to 11 am PT! The number to call if you have any questions or comments during the show is 1-800-336-2225

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog coming to an end

Three more shows.   Mark Cabaniss, and Chris Reed, Oct 2, Allan Hoffenblum on Oct 9, and Brian Calle on Oct 16.

Allan Hoffenblum is the publisher of The CA Target Book.

Special Feature:

Due to redistricting and the new top two Open Primary, there will be more competitive races for congress and the state legislature this November than we have seen in this state in over a decade.

Allan Hoffenblum, the publisher of the California Target Book, wrote a four-part series for Fox & Hounds Daily, describing where those competitive races will be

Target Races: Part One: State Assembly • Part Two: State Senate • Part Three: Congress • Part Four: Same Party Runoff

Lisa Snell, of Reason on Education v. Politics in CA, Nov 2012 Elections

Tuesday September 24, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Lisa Snell, director of education and child welfare at Reason Foundation.

Lisa has recently been debating some formidable adversaries concerning some of the ballot initiatives.   We’ll talk with her about Prop 30, and 38, and of course I have to ask her for her thoughts on Prop 32, the initiative the public employee unions are going all out to defeat, and which former Senator Gloria Romero, the Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform, supports.

Two  Fridays ago, Lisa and her husband were part of a gathering of activists invited to a private screening of the film, Won’t Back Down. which was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bonnie Reiss, the new Global Director of the new USC Schwarzenegger Institute.   Reiss presided over an impressive all star panel which included Leyla Avila, Exec V.P. of TNTP Gabriel Medel, Founder of Parents for Unity, Julie Collier, Founder of Parents Advocat League, Michelle Rhee, CEO/Founder of Students First, and Daniel Barnz,  the film Director of  Won’t Back Down.  The movie premieres this Friday, so we’ll have a few words about it too.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
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Related and Other Important Links:
Yes, we specialize in serious journalism
by Steven Greenhut | September 24, 2012 | Watchdog.org

The following is  Steven Greenhut’s response to “‘Serious, point-of-view journalism’?,” a Columbia Journalism Review article about Watchdog.org. CJR declined to print the response, but instead asked us to post it in its comments section. CJR’s reporter did not contact Watchdog.org or the Franklin Center (Watchdog’s parent organization) for a comment before publishing its story. (Click here to read on.)

 

Taking Algebra away from Middle School Kids is a huge backward step

Out of the Equation:  California courts educational failure if it does away with eighth-grade algebra.
by Ze’ev Wurman and Bill Evers | City Journal | 14 September 2012

A bill sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk would upend 15 years of achievement in mathematics by California students. Sponsored by Oakland Democratic senator Loni Hancock, Senate Bill 1200 would consign the Golden State’s eighth-grade students to a weakened, one-size-fits-all, pre-algebra curriculum prescribed by the Common Core national standards. No longer would qualified California eighth-graders have the opportunity to take Algebra I, as do their peers in high-performing countries. SB 1200 is so wrongheaded, in fact, that it would prohibit schools from offering any options in mathematics, even to high school students. The bill insists that only “one set of standards” be offered at “each grade level” across the entire K–12 span.   Click here to read more

Whitney Tilson’s emails’ coverage on CTU’s Strike–some excerpts

From Sunday September 16, 2012  at 8:13 AM PDT

1) Here’s the latest from Chicago, courtesy of DFER’s Joe Williams. It’s hard to tell how strong Rahm stood (keep in mind, below are the highlights provided by the union, which is trying to persuade its members to accept the deal):

Union delegates will vote on the proposed deal at 3 p.m. Chicago time, which would then end the strike and set the stage for classes to resume tomorrow. According to the union, the deal includes:

·         Raises of 3 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent over the next three years, with the option to extend the deal to four years “by mutual agreement” with another 3 percent raise.

·         Preservation of extra “step’’ increases based on experience, with new increases in the three highest steps.

·         The hiring of 600 additional teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other so-called “special’’classes.

·         The requirement that teachers be allowed to “follow their students” to other schools if the teachers school is subject to “school action,” such as closure.

·         10 months of “true recall” to the same school if a position opens.

·         One-half of all CPS hires must be laid-off CTU members.

·         In new teacher evaluations, limits to 30 percent the weight given to student growth, down from what had been a maximum of 40 percent, and provides the right to appeal a “neutral” rating.

·         Reimbursement of school supplies up to $250.

·         An agreement to hire more nurses, social workers and school counselors if the system gets new revenue, including from tax increment financing funds.

Other stuff:

– DEAL COULD LEAD TO LAYOFFS, TAX HIKES, SCHOOL CLOSINGS: http://www.suntimes.com/15149998-761/teacher-deal-could-lead-to-property-tax-hikes-school-closings-layoffs.html

– KAREN LEWIS SICK OF BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO BY BILLIONAIRES: Makes it seem like the strike was about air conditioners in schools. http://www.suntimes.com/15177062-761/union-head-teachers-tired-of-billionaires-telling-us-what-to-do.html

You can see her entire speech here: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8812091
From Sunday September 16, 2012 8:12:25 PM PDT

In an astonishing development, the Chicago Teachers Union today voted to continue its strike until at least the middle of this coming week.

My first thought is that my heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands of Chicago parents and children who are going to be hurt even more by this needless strike.

My second thought is that the outrageous, selfish, greedy behavior by the union is an absolute godsend to we reformers. Parents in Chicago – and everyone else who’s paying attention across the country – are so mad that they can’t see straight – and it’s now 100% directed at the union. This will benefit us in Chicago and nationally for years to come.

This type of behavior isn’t an outlier of course: so many teachers unions in cities and states all over the country are so disconnected from reality, so arrogant, and so used to bullying everyone that they do self-destructive things like this regularly, greatly diminishing whatever public support they might have. It may well be the greatest asset we reformers have.

Off the top of my head, in the pantheon of the many amazingly dumb things the unions have done in recent years to diminish their support, this far surpasses the recent killing of the bill in CA to make it easier to fire sexual predator teachers and trails only the unions going all in with Hillary in the primaries four years ago, thereby ensuring that Obama, once elected, owed them nothing.

I almost feel sorry for Randi: she’s smart enough to understand what a disaster this is for the unions. I’ll bet she’s wondering what she did to deserve Karen Lewis – who, by herself, is the #1 godsend to we reformers have right now. I wish I could put a blue ribbon on her mouth – every time she opens it, she helps us so much!

Below is a statement from Michelle Rhee and an article in the Chicago Tribune.
——————-
Statement from StudentsFirst CEO and Founder Michelle Rhee

Despite reaching an agreement on a framework for a deal on Friday, the CTU announced that it would extend the teacher strike into its second week this evening with CTU President Lewis stating:

“Our members are not happy.  They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”

[AP, September 16, 2012]

Michelle Rhee, CEO and founder of StudentsFirst, issued the following statement in reaction to the news:

“I was disappointed to learn that Chicago’s school children won’t be in school tomorrow morning, and outraged when I heard President Lewis’ reason why.

We heard a lot of talk from union leadership about fewer students in each classroom, about improving training, and about the very real challenges teachers face. But by extending the strike tonight, the union proved that this wasn’t about addressing any of those issues.

It’s clear this was only about job security and compensation for union members. It is as President Lewis herself said this evening about “anything else they can get” even if it means kids are kept from the classroom for longer.

If it were about the kids, we wouldn’t be negotiating the idea that increased compensation should come with more accountability for learning — not less. If it were about kids, we wouldn’t be negotiating whether principals should be empowered to choose the best teachers available regardless of fit or effectiveness.

And if it were about the kids, 350,000 students would be in class tomorrow morning instead of at home or on the streets.

Chicago families have paid enough. The education of Chicago’s children should not be a chip at the bargaining table for one hour longer so that the Chicago Teachers Union can see if “there is anything else they can get.”  StudentFirst.org/Statement
——————-

Court hearing to wait a day, union to meet Tuesday
By Jason Meisner and Hal Dardick, Tribune reporters
8:39 pm, September 17, 2012

Chicago Public Schools students will miss a seventh day of classes Tuesday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to get the courts to quickly end the teachers strike did not produce immediate results.

Instead, a judge opted to hear arguments on the mayor’s request Wednesday from the school district and the Chicago Teachers Union.

By then, the legal matter could be irrelevant. Union leadership could decide at its Tuesday meeting to end the walkout in anticipation of a vote by teachers down the road on a new contract proposal that was hammered out during marathon negotiations last week.

If the strike is not called off, however, Cook County Circuit Judge Peter Flynn will listen to the merits of granting the school district an injunction against the union…

…he school district attorneys also made a second argument, asserting that the strike is “a clear and present danger to public health and safety.” The district noted that 84 percent of CPS students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals served at the schools, that no student has been shot in a school since 2007 and that special education services are provided to 50,000 students who “may suffer from loss of or decline in critical life skills.”

Several labor law experts said Monday that the city has a strong case when it says the primary issues cited by the union do not allow it to strike.

“This is a strike over noneconomic issues” said L. Steven Platt, a prominent city labor lawyer, noting that only economic issues are legal cause for a strike under state law. “Of course they insist there are other issues, but the main issues, the ones that are driving the strike, are noneconomic issues.”

That view was not unanimous. Martin Malin, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law who specializes in labor law, said that some issues being negotiated, like air conditioning in schools, affect working conditions that are legal grounds for a strike.

Labor law experts did agree on a couple of points, however. One is that it will be very tough to prove that the strike represents a clear and present danger to public health and safety. “We’ve never had a teachers strike enjoined under this standard since the statute took effect,” Malin said.

Another point took the form of a question: Would a judge up for retention be willing to rule against the labor unions that historically have played a key role in city elections? Flynn is seeking retention on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“You tell me what chancery judge is going to issue an injunction against the teachers union,” Platt said. “Believe me, the unions have long memories. Every union is going to remember this judge … come election time.”

One option would be for the judge to try to settle the matter in chambers, without issuing a ruling that risked offending unions or even the mayor, the experts said.

The school district will first have to prove to Flynn that the matter should be in his court and not before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

The union has stated that the strike was partly over unfair labor practices. It filed a complaint with the state labor relations panel and argues that board is the only agency with the right to ask a court to stop the strike. A preliminary ruling on the unfair labor practices matter is expected Tuesday.

CA Spotlight on Chicago Teachers Union Strike: Battle over Education v Warehousing, Accountability v Mediocrity

Tuesday September 18, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Larry Sand, President of California Teacher’s Empowerment Network CTENhome.org

We’ll speak with Larry, Ben and John about the Chicago Teacher’s Union Strike, the brokered deal that was not good enough, the demands, and the impact on reform, particularly in CA.

We’ll also talk with Larry about rackets teachers unions in CA use to up their pay.   It’s not about performance, and the Hollywood motion picture coming out September 28 loosely based on The Parent Trigger Law.

Last Friday, Larry and I both attended a screening of the film, which was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bonnie Reiss, named Global Director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute in 2012.  She presided over an impressive all star panel which included Leyla Avila, Exec V.P. of TNTP  Gabriel Medel, Founder of Parents for Unity, Julie Collier, Founder of Parents Advocat League, Michelle Rhee,  CEO/Founder, Students First,  and Daniel Barnz, Director, Won’t Back Down.  Each of these individuals have accomplished extraordinary results in their disciplines, and each was an inspiration.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
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Related Links:

Won’t Back Down Moive

Chicago teachers stifle reform

Viewpoints: Chicago teachers’ strike matters to California

Whitney Tilson’s emails’ coverage on CTU’s Strike–some excerpts

Out of the Equation
California courts educational failure if it does away with eighth-grade algebra.

14 September 2012

Contract on California
How useless “professional-development” classes for teachers cost taxpayers billions

23 September 2011
Court hearing to wait a day, union to meet Tuesday

Labor law experts did agree on a couple of points, however. One is that it will be very tough to prove that the strike represents a clear and present danger to public health and safety. “We’ve never had a teachers strike enjoined under this standard since the statute took effect,” Malin said.

Another point took the form of a question: Would a judge up for retention be willing to rule against the labor unions that historically have played a key role in city elections? Flynn is seeking retention on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“You tell me what chancery judge is going to issue an injunction against the teachers union,” Platt said. “Believe me, the unions have long memories. Every union is going to remember this judge … come election time.”

CA Prop 32: No on 32 Campaign has raised $35.8 million as of Sept 11, The State Worker reports–Check out who’s funding , and how much

Labor organizations have made defeating the measure a top priority this fall, since it would squeeze their political spending resources. The measure would ban payroll-deducted monies from use for political purposes, cutting off unions’ chief means of raising such funds. Corporations would come under the same restrictions, but the measure wouldn’t impact them as significantly since they play in politics with money contributed by executives and companies’ funds.

We’re posting this spreadsheet in response to several blog users’ requests that we make the information easily accessible. We’ll soon publish the details behind the funds raised by the Yes on 32 side, which amounts to a little more than $3 million.

Ideals like those of Michelle Rhee, around education, are the core of a pivotal battle taking hold in the Democratic Party

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party

Molly Ball | Sep 8, 2012
In a major shift, education reformers are now influential at the highest levels of the party once dominated by the teachers unions. Click here to read the story

Gadfy Radio: Richard Rider, Wayne Lusvardi–Schemes, Theft, Lies, and CA Government

Tuesday September 11, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with Wayne Lusvardi,  contributing writer at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Richard Rider, Chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters.

Rider will talk with us about his recent post about CA State Assemblyman Ben Hueso’s poison-pill ploy to sabotage pension reform by hurting workers’ in their nest egg for their retirement.   It’s poison and a fallacy.  There is a way to reform pensions using a 401K like structure, and he’s got the goods on how it’s done!

Wayne Lusvardi will talk with us about his latest post at CalWatchDog.com, Lt. Gov. Newsom threatens mortgage eminent domain threateners.

Newsom is threatening to call in the U.S. Department of Justice against any banks, Wall Street investment firms, bond rating agencies or others who may consider “boycotting” any county or joint powers authority that wants to use eminent domain to acquire mortgages that exceed the market value of homes.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

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Related Links:
Social Security by Choice: The Experience of Three Texas Counties
by Merrill Matthews | Thursday, April 12, 2012 |NCPA.org

Follow  Rider on Facebook.
Surprise! Chase Is Refinancing Your Mortgage
By Les Christie | September 9, 2012 |CNNMoney.com

Pension woes backdrop to Chicago teachers’ strike
By Steve Malanga | September 10, 2012 | PublicSectorInc.com

Everything you need to know about the Chicago teachers’ strike, in one post
Byy Dylan Matthews | September 10, 2012 | The Washington Post

‘Cool roads’ AB 296 threatens Southern California’s groundwater
By Wayne Lusvardi | September 10, 2012 CalWatchDog.com

Police Unions Employ Mob Style Tactics to Protect and Expand Their Power and Profits

Tuesday September 4, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com welcome Adam Elmahrek, who, last Tuesday, reported on Police Unions Bullying City Councilmen, in this Voice of OC article.
(Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is out this week.)

Update:  Wayne Lusvardi will be joining us on Gadfly.   He’s got a new piece up at CalWatchDog.com:  

Prop. 31 would regionalize state revenue sharing
Wayne Lusvardi | Aug. 30, 2012 | CalWatchDog.com
I asked Wayne to help me understand what it means to me, in one sentence, two including a byline:

Prop 31 is a mixed bag but has more bad than good in it.  It would likely divert State funds from suburban cities to big cities with large unfunded pension liabilities that are running budget deficits.  
It is being oversold as a state budget efficiency measure but it is really a way for the governor to grab more power away from the legislature and work independently with strategic area plan committees to do local projects. 

I get it now.   We’ll talk with Wayne about this horrific bill!  Why are Republicans backing it?  What is their spin on it?  Do they not get it, or do they not care?

We’ll talk with Adam Elmahrek about his news report at Voice of OC:

“Members of a handful of Orange County city councils Tuesday told stories of attempts by police unions to bully them into voting for generous labor contracts and said a flood of similar revelations is yet to come.

In a news conference led by Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer outside Costa Mesa City Hall, two council members from Buena Park and one from Fullerton recalled how their cities’ police associations had a councilman followed, blogged that officers should target cars belonging to council members’ children and bullied women employees at a local coffee shop that posted campaign signs supporting a councilman.

The allegations come just days after Righeimer accused unions of orchestrating a botched attempt to have him arrested for drunk driving.

The common thread, the council members said, was controversial law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which does labor contract negotiations consulting work for police unions. The law firm had posted on its website a slew of bullying strategies to secure lucrative labor contracts, the Orange County Register reported earlier this month.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

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Related Links:
A Darker Shade of Blue
By Steven Greenhut | Sept. 3, 2012 | CalWatchdog.com

“What you have here is police associations and their law firms hiring private detectives to dig up dirt on elected officials that they can then use to extort them, embarrass them, or worse, in order to get the elected official to vote against the best interests of the city to protect themselves,” Righeimer told me. “That’s the definition of extortion.”

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials
California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.
Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012 | Reason.com

How police play hardball at bargaining table
Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter | August 16th, 2012 | O.C. Register
There is a link in this article to the website for the Upland law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which featured “their play book for twisting arms during impasse negotiations,” but the content on the law firm’s page has been removed, and reads this instead:

“This portion of the material has been removed from the website. What was intended to be informational, historical and educational material has been misconstrued by some as advice on negotiations “tactics.” Accordingly, to avoid the misperception, [they must mean misconception, or then again, maybe not] the information has been removed.”

Police Unions Bullying City Council Members–This is the Hammer, Jerry’s Pension Reform is the Puppet Show
GadflyRadio.com | August 30, 2012
The two houses have passed and sent to the Gov for signing, AB 2451, which extends the number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9.

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast

GadflyRadio.com  | August 30, 2012
A prescient report by Tony Saavedra on The City of Stanton, a haunting look into the near future for many cities in CA.

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!
GadflyRadio.com | August 28, 2012

“…California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11…”

Chamber launches ‘California Comeback’
Joseph Perkins | Aug. 31, 2012 | CalWatchdog.com

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials–California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.

Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012
California city officials typically spare police officers even modest reductions in the pay and pension packages that are a main source of local budget problems, even when the other alternatives are cuts in public services or even municipal bankruptcy.
The common explanation is politicians are afraid of the cop unions’ political muscle come election time. That is true, but disturbing behavior by operatives associated with the Costa Mesa police union paints a much darker picture of the fear such unions instill in local officials. The incident has statewide and even national implications.

Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer… Click here to read the full article at Reason

Police Unions Bullying City Council Members–This is the Hammer, Jerry’s Pension Reform is the Puppet Show

How serious are the Legislators, to real pension and retirement healthcare reform for public employees? The two houses have passed and sent to the Gov for signing, AB 2451, which extends the number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9.
Katy Grimes reports on this bill here.
The Calfire Blog has a softer spin on the bill here.

Why don’t the politicians just say no, and stand up to the abuse of the public trust? Well, many of those who do are facing the wrath and fury of the Police Union.

PublicCEO.com today has posted a story today, Council Members Allege Widespread Police Union Bullying, linked to the story reported Tuesday in the Voice of OC.

Members of a handful of Orange County city councils Tuesday told stories of attempts by police unions to bully them into voting for generous labor contracts and said a flood of similar revelations is yet to come.

And,

The common thread, the council members said, was controversial law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which does labor contract negotiations consulting work for police unions. The law firm had posted on its website a slew of bullying strategies to secure lucrative labor contracts, the Orange County Register reported earlier this month.
Shortly thereafter, the Costa Mesa Police Officers’ Association fired the law firm.

 

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast

In case you’re lulled or enticed into buying the spin from Jerry Brown or the Legislators who cower when the most powerful and richest of the special interest groups gnash their teeth, here’s a look into our collective future if we don’t turn off their spigot of cash they use to buy, bully, and control our legislators at all levels of government.

Steep budget cuts over the last four years have left Stanton, population 38,000, a shell of a city.

Visitors to Hollenbeck Park will find it fenced off, because the city can no longer afford to water the grass. Children who once played in the sprinkler-like water attraction at Dotson Park will now find it dry. Over at Zuniga Park, volunteers are taking care of maintenance and paying for water.

The city recreation department has been virtually disbanded, with most after-school programs closed. Gone are the days when children nibbled on city-funded snacks at the park. Graffiti is staying up longer because the public works department has been whittled down to three.

At City Hall, staff has been cut to 23 people, who empty their own wastebaskets because the clean-up crew was let go. One employee stays late to vacuum the floors. A part-timer paid through a government program cleans the toilets.

 

The city of Stanton is planning to possibly close three of its parks to save money on its annual budget.

And Stanton can no longer afford membership in the League of California Cities.

In 2010, when council members were running unopposed, the city canceled the election to save $32,261.

“There’s nothing else we can cut,” Marsh said. “It’s scary. If we laid off every single employee left, it still wouldn’t close the gap.”

Marsh said the city is paying for only the things it is legally required to provide…

“…Every city is in trouble to some extent. Some are just starting to confront it, but we’ve been loud and noisy in trying to fix it all along. I don’t know if that was wise, from a PR-standpoint – but we are going to have a balanced budget.”

The city is focusing its budget knife as a last resort on police and fire spending – the biggest drag on the 2012-13 $16.4 million operating budget.

Police and fire amounts to 77 percent of the city’s general fund. By contrast, the city of Vallejo’s public safety spending hit 80 percent when it declared bankruptcy.

From this article, Financial doom may loom for at least one O.C. city
published in the OC Register on July 14th, posted by Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!

The Sacramento Bee unearths a stunning fact about the growth in spending on state workers.

California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11.

The details:

In 2001, the state had the “full-time equivalent” of 372,678 employees and was paying them $1.7 billion a month. By 2011, the FTE’s, as they are dubbed, had increased to 407,321 and payroll costs to $2.4 million billion.

Over the 10-year span, which included two major recessions separated by a brief period of economic expansion during the housing boom, FTE’s in higher education, the largest single component of the state workforce, increased by 23 percent from 128,665 to 158,229, and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount — from 48,896 to 60,007.

Click here to read this poignant piece.

In CA is Relief by Reform Dead? Serious problems with no relief from the law makers

Tuesday August 28, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Troy Anderson, to discuss his recent article published on CalWatchDog.com, Stockton leads tsunami of Calif bankruptcies.

As a growing number of cities in California are contemplating or filing bankruptcy, some pension experts say they are disappointed that the cities are choosing to default on their debts and cut public services instead of dealing with the exploding costs of public pensions.

“They won’t touch pensions,” says Joe Nation, a professor of the practice of public policy at Stanford University. “In the case of Vallejo, they literally reduced the number of police officers by about one-half. It’s horrible. They don’t want to even take modest steps to deal with the pension problem.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays!

Related Links:
Stockton leads tsunami of Calif. bankruptcies
By Troy Anderson | CalWatchDog.com | Aug 27, 2012

Fighting public service ‘corruption’
By Steven Greenhut | CalWatchDog.com | Aug. 27, 2012

Bluto’s Ghost: Reform — Dead!
By Joel Fox | Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee | Fox & Hounds Daily | Aug 27th, 2012

Troy Anderson is an award-winning reporter and editorial writer at the Los Angeles Daily News, The Press-Enterprise and other newspapers for 20 years.  He writes for Reuters, Newsmax, CalWatchdog.com and many other media outlets. His stories have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury-News. He’s won more than two dozen writing awards, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was featured as an investigative reporter in The McGraw-Hill book, “Careers For Puzzle-Solvers & Other Methodical Thinkers.”

A magazine he writes for – Rebel – won a 2011 Eddie Award for the best series of articles, the “Rebel With a Cause” feature he writes.  He can be reached at troyanderson.writer@gmail.com.

CNN Reports On CTA’s Donations Killing Child Molesters Bill, Legislators Hide: This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party

Gloria Romero, former CA State Senator and former CA State Senate Majority Leader, speaks out in this stinging investigative report which shows how powerful the special interests are, even at the expense of the safety of our children from sexual predators.
According to Maplight, the four Democrat Senators in the powerful Education Committee who abstained from voting, which is the equivalent of a no vote in this case, included Wilmer Carter of Rialto who according to Maplight has received $7000 from the CTA since 2009 (she sold out for the cheapest price), Mike Eng of Alhambra who has received $18,000 since 2009, Betsy Butler of El Segundo who has received $11,000 from the CTA since 2009, and Das Williams of Santa Barbara, who has received over $30,000 since 2009.

SB 1530, proposed by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was introduced in response to the sex-abuse scandals at Miramonte Elementary and other campuses in Los Angeles Unified. It would have streamlined the process for terminating teachers in cases involving sex, drugs and violence against children.

The measure was supported by Los Angeles Unified officials, including several board members who testified during the hearing. However, the powerful California Teachers Association, as well as United Teachers Los Angeles, lobbied against it, saying it would have violated due process for teachers.

The vote of the 11-member committee was 5-2, with four abstentions. The measure needed six votes to advance.

DailyNews.com

David Crane Breaks it Down in Layman’s Terms, Public Employee Pension Benefits, General Funds, Special Funds, Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary

David Crane has a new piece cross posted today at Fox and Hounds Daily and on Advancing a New Society
The title, With Retirement Costs Consuming One-Fifth of Discretionary Spending, California Must Reduce Un-Accrued Pension Benefits makes the point plain and simple. Then Crane breaks it down, for those who don’t understand the distinctions of public finance funds, budgets, and projections.

He breaks public funds down into categories, and even provides a chart for those of us who love graphics to help drive a point home.

Pensions and other retirement costs will consume more than 23% of discretionary state spending in fiscal year 2012-13, according to the budget recently passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown – nearly three times the share taken up by retirement costs just ten years ago.

For Californians, rapid growth in retirement costs has meant less money for universities, parks, courts and other services as well as a temporary tax increase in 2009 and another being proposed currently (one of three proposed tax increases on the November ballot – Propositions 30, 38 & 39). In the absence of reform, that share will grow, which means even more taxes and fewer services.

California’s general and special fund spending for 2012-13 is budgeted at $131 billion and effectively fits into three categories: Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary.

Allow me to explain all three in layman’s terms:  (click here to go to Fox and Hound to read the full article)

What if Fullerton PD Officers who witnessed Kelly Thomas’s killing came forth instead of being silent? As of now, they are not safe to speak out.

The 9th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling in California Police Whistle-blower Case

Dahlia v. Rodriguez Sets Dangerous Precedent, Chills Police Officers’ First Amendment Rights

Aug. 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Burbank police officer who blew the whistle on police misconduct is protected by the First Amendment, Public Citizen told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today. In a petition asking a larger panel of the appellate court to overturn a ruling by three of its judges, Public Citizen argued that if the decision in Dahlia v Rodriguez stands, police officers would not be protected when speaking out about misconduct by fellow officers — and so no officer would speak out.

Beginning in 2007, Angelo Dahlia witnessed fellow Burbank Police Department officers beating, threatening and choking suspects. After he complained within his department, officers threatened Dahlia himself. Shortly after Dahlia disclosed to another law enforcement agency and to his officers association the abuses he witnessed, he was placed on administrative leave and lost pay and a promotional opportunity. In response, Dahlia filed a lawsuit alleging that his First Amendment rights had been violated.

On Aug. 7, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled that Dahlia was not protected by the First Amendment because reporting misconduct is part of his job as a police officer, not an action undertaken in his role as a citizen.

In asking for the case to be heard by an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, Public Citizen argues that the scope of a police officer’s job duties and what speech is protected should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Public Citizen also warns that the decision by the three-judge panel, if allowed to stand, will deter police officers from speaking out about misconduct within their ranks.

“Courageous police officers like Dahlia are in many circumstances the public’s best or even only available source of information about police corruption and abuse,” said Scott Michelman, an attorney for Public Citizen. “If the case is not reheard, it will exert a powerful chilling effect on officers who might otherwise report official misconduct and abuse.”

Attorneys at the firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill of Upland, California, brought the case and are co-counsel on the petition for rehearing.   Click here to visit Citizen.org to learn more about Dahlia v Rodriguez and the Thin Blue Line that muzzles good cops.

Jack Humpreville–Stop the Pension Scams-Yes on Prop 32 & Hubris to the N’th Degree–Forget the Judge’s Ruling–Doors Remain Locked to Parents and their Children’s Education

Tuesday August 21, 2012, at 10 AM PT,  Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Jack Humpreville, the LA Watchdog for CityWatch and David Phelps, National Communications Director for The Parent Revolution.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Jack Humphreville, LA Watchdog of LA CityWatch, on the central role of Public Employee Pensions in the Tsunami of of fiscal bankruptcies coming to cities throughout the state of California, and why he advocates a Yes on Prop 32.

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — www.recycler.com . He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com.

David Phelps, new National Communications Director for The Parent Revolution on the shocking hubris of the Adelanto School Board which decided to ignore a judge’s order in the Desert Trails (Calif.) Parent Trigger Petition decision handed down 30-days ago by Judge Steve Malone in the San Bernardino Superior Court. We’ll also talk with David about the upcoming Hollywood film, “Won’t Back Down,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, inspired by real events. “Won’t Back Down” premiering in September, is the dramatic story of a community taking back and fixing its failing school.

Related Links:
CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam
By Jack Humphreville | 08.16.2012

Won’t Back Down – In theaters September 28

Trailer for Won’t Back Down

Adelanto School Board Decides To Violate Court Ruling on Desert Trails Parent Trigger Petition

Victorville, Calif. – August 18, 2012 – In the wake of Superior Court Judge Steve Malone’s historic July 18 ruling in favor of the Desert Trails Parent Union (DTPU) Parent Trigger Petition the Adelanto school board on Friday night, August 17, voted to flagrantly violate Judge Malone’s order and to continue its never ending attempts to preserve the status quo at any cost.

Proposition 32: A fraud to end all frauds
Proposition 32, on the November ballot, is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members.

Steven Greenhut: Bankruptcy no panacea for pension mess
OC Register | Aug. 17, 2012 Updated: Aug. 18, 2012 9:20 a.m.

Moody’s Warns of Mass California Municipal Bankruptcies
By Chriss Street | August 18, 2012

CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam author, Jack Humphreville joins Gadfly Radio next Tuesday, Aug 21 @ 10AM PT

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com

See his piece CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam

Bankruptcy is supposed to be bottom, and a new beginning–Unless it’s used to favor and further plunder

LA WATCHDOG – In a stunt that would make South American strongman Hugo Chavez proud, the imperious California Public Employees Retirement System (“CalPERS”) and the bankrupt City of Stockton conspired to give an absolute preference to Stockton’s $147 million pension obligation ($245 million over the next ten years) to CalPERS over Stockton’s remaining creditors who are owed an additional $550 million.

But this sweetheart deal where bondholders and other creditors are treated like dirt will have major ramifications in the markets for California bonds and notes as credit rating agencies will lower their ratings and investors will require greater security and significantly higher rates of returns on these higher risk investments.

Click here to read Jack Humphreville’s latest piece at City Watch, posted Aug 16, 2012 Jack Humphreville

Former CA State Senator Gloria Romero, DFER stands up to Union Bosses, for “Yes on Prop 32″

Senator Romero joins Gadfly Radio Tuesday, Aug 14, at 10 am PT. Romero has always been a champion for civil liberties, throughout her entire career as an elected official. She was a teacher before she went into politics and she has always been popular and respected for her courage and bold leadership on issues that bear a disproportionally heavy impact on poor black and Latino communities.
Tuesday,  Aug 14, Former Senator Gloria Romero,  joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Former Senator Romero’s convictions run deep. As a life long Democrat, she continues to champion fundamental civil rights and dignity with courage and bold leadership.  She and the California Chapter of Democrats for Education Reform boldly stand for Proposition 32, against the power of the CA Democratic Party and the union bosses who want to hold on to their dues and power no matter what. 

If money and grassroots networks rule, the odds are against Prop 32, simply because of the amount of money that the unions will contribute to the NO on 32 campaign. A brief summary of the largest donors’ with contributions over $50K as of July 8, 2012 on Ballot-Pedia show the Yes on 32 side outspent by a margin of 6 to 1. This is not the final tally.  The No side will have the deepest, largest pockets and the ratio will persist and broaden up to the finish line.

Despite the main stream media covering for the bosses and their bought and paid for politicians, the average voters are on to them.  Will outspending Yes on 32 ten to one  prevent what happened in Wisconsin?    Have things gotten bad enough here yet for the average to understand why roads and schools and parks and services are falling away?

We’ll cover the stories we didn’t get to last week, with John Seiler and Ben Boychuk. We’ll talk with John Seiler on his piece about The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.

Related Links:

StopSpecialInterests.org for “Yes on 32″ Campaign information.
Unions air statewide radio ads against Prop. 32
August 7, 2012 | 4:51 pm

California Proposition 32, the “Paycheck Protection” Initiative (2012) Ballot-Pedia

Behind the Prop 32 Curtain
Steve Smith | Aug 8, 2012 | The California Majority Report

Of course Prop. 32 would slam unions
Aug. 9, 2012 | By John Seiler | CalWatchDog

LA’s Pending Insolvency and Prop 32
By Jack Humphreville | Fox & Hound Daily | Friday Aug 10, 2012
LA Watchdog writer for CityWatch, President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and Publisher of the Recycler
Friday, August 10th, 2012

Good-government groups call Proposition 32 deceptive I read this title as “Good Government” groups call Proposition 32 deceptive.
LA Times | Jul 23, 2012
Representatives of the League of Women Voters of California and Common Cause denounced Proposition 32…

The Damage to Modern Policing by Our War on Drugs

By Sean Dunagan, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Posted on Radley Balko’s site, The Agitator

The war on drugs has claimed innumerable victims. The tens of thousands killed in Mexico, the half a million incarcerated here for nonviolent drug offenses, the taxpayers who have funded it all to the tune of a trillion dollars. But one of the greatest victims of the drug war is law enforcement itself.

I don’t mean the bloated bureaucracy of DEA or the robber barons of the prison-industrial complex. I mean the foundations of civilian law enforcement.

(click here to read more)

Stephen Downing on Redress for Anaheim, Wayne Lusvardi Outs the Big Ruse–Hidden State Funds? Really? John Seiler on Highway Robbery by Cops

Tuesday, August 7, Retired L.A.P.D. Deputy Chief of Police, Stephen Downing, and Wayne Lusvardi join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Stephen Downing, Retired Deputy Chief of Police, L.A.P.D. joins us to discuss the issues with Anaheim. Points to consider for redress. How to foster peace officers to serve and protect, and to work with the communities they serve, and not occupy them.

Wayne Lusvardi joins us to talk about the big magic show acts hailing from Sacramento. John Laird, an old life long progressive from Santa Cruz, now a CA State Senator from the region of environmentalist rulers, appears in the middle of a big ruse, a trick to deceive and dissemble to the pubic. What’s the real story behind all the supposedly “hidden funds?”

John Seiler on The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.
Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related Links:
Quiet protest outside Disneyland | police, outside, biggest | The Orange County Register | Aug. 4, 2012 | By Mary Ann Milbourn
Mom to stop marching in weekly Anaheim police protests | The Orange County Register | August 5, 2012 |by Eric Carpenter

Theresa Smith says she appreciates support from peaceful protesters in recent weeks, and she wants to ‘do positive things.’…
…Jaclyn Conroy, of Anaheim Hills, whose nephew Justin Hertl was shot and killed by police in 2003, said she will continue protesting. She marched with other protesters to Disneyland on Sunday.

“It puts a tear in my eye that people from outside the area have come to support us,” she said. “They’ve helped bring a national spotlight and that allows us here locally to talk to people about the problems we’re having with police.”

Anaheim shootings, protests: Anger, politics, power | The Orange County Register | By Doug Irving, Eric Carpenter, Denisse Salazar and Alejandra Molina

In June – a month before the most recent shootings and subsequent protests – three Latino leaders filed suit against the city, demanding changes in city government. Their lawsuit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, calls for council members to be elected by districts rather than at-large; a change they believe would break up the Anaheim Hills’ political dominance and encourage more people from more neighborhoods to run for office.

One of the leaders who filed suit, Jose Moreno, 42, a trustee of the Anaheim City School District and president of the group Los Amigos, said the city and its Police Department have work to do to improve relations with Latinos.

“Police don’t do their work in a vacuum,” he said. “For them to rebuild relationships in our communities, we need to feel like part of the political system – like we are sharing in the resources of this city.

“In the same way, kids don’t decide to join gangs in a vacuum. Those city resources aren’t coming to us.”

‘AFRAID TO COME OUT’
Police estimate that 2,500 documented gang members claim turf in Anaheim. They belong to some 35 active gangs – all, police say, are Latino except for one African American gang.

By comparison, the police force arrayed against them is overwhelmingly white. The department has 363 officers; 82 are Hispanic and 249 are white. [ Ethnic make up of the police aside--the City Council can be responsible for police practices, policies and community relations.]

The relationship between Anaheim’s police force and its Latino communities has long been strained.

Mayor takes on Anaheim violence | CalWatchDog | August 6, 2012 | by Steven Greenhut

Unfortunately, in my view, the city’s Police Department has embraced the wrong kind of policing methods — ones that are unkind and tend to undermine people’s freedom. I don’t see police officials there using their brains to handle a situation resulting, in part, from overly aggressive policing tactics and insufficient police accountability and transparency.

Clearly, the cultural changes the mayor is trying to implement in the city bureaucracy need to filter into the police department — a point Tait also makes.

Steven Greenhut: Mayor on right path in Anaheim | Opinion – The Orange County Register | August 3, 2012

In Anaheim, voting by district could alter the power dynamic | Los Angeles Times | August 4, 2012 | Nicole Santa Cruz, Doug Smith and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Anaheim is now under growing pressure to switch to district voting, which usually makes it easier for minority groups to win council seats.

Fund transfers are purging earmarks from state budget | CalWatchDog | August 1, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Park fund scandal a ruse to grab gas tax funds from off-roaders | CalWatchDog| August 6, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Stockton police chief rips off $204K pension | CalWatchDog | by John Seiler | August 6, 2012

Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed | Bloomberg | By Alison Vekshin, James Nash and Rodney Yap | Jul 31, 2012

Anaheim PD Violence, City Govt and Drug Laws, One Teachers’ Pay Hike Racket, When Defrauding and Shaking Down the Public Became “de rigueur”

Tuesday, July 31, Judge Jim Gray, Larry Sand, and Katie Grimes join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Judge Jim Gray authored Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs.  “It was the culmination of his experience as a former federal prosecutor, defense attorney and trial judge.”  We’ll speak with Judge Gray about Anaheim, about an important factor  in the legal conflicts between the people of the affected neighborhood of Anaheim and the Anaheim Police Department.

Larry Sand  of CTEN talks with us about a racket teachers in CA use to hike their pay regardless of whether or not they hike their skills or achievements as teachers.

Katy Grimes of CalWatchDog talks about the investigative reporting she’s done recently, to uncover millions of dollars of stashed away taxpayer dollars.  While the State of CA cries poverty and threatens to shut down parks, cut vital services and cut back university and K-12 funding, agencies have been hoarding and doling out millions of dollars, like slush funds.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related Links:

Parks Dept. corruption not isolated
July 27, 2012 By Katy Grimes

The recent scandal inside of the State Parks and Recreation Department is no surprise to anyone, but the levels of corruption, schemes and deceit, is. The agency director, Ruth Coleman, resigned. But as she r…

Contract on California
How useless “professional-development” classes for teachers cost taxpayers billions
by Larry Sand | 23 September 2011

Anaheim Police Prepare for Protests Today With Public Displays of Arsenal–UH OH…
By Gustavo Arellano Sun., Jul. 29 2012 at 7:51 AM<
/a>

Anaheim Police Arrest Protesters; Angrily Point Rifles at Photographers
By R. Scott Moxley Sun., Jul. 29 2012 at 3:45 PM

Police shooting policies need rethinking
July 30, 2012 | By Steven Greenhut

“…Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait…tried his hand at tough-guy rhetoric at a news conference after Tuesday’s violence: “Vandalism, arson and other forms of violent protest will simply not be tolerated in our city. We don’t expect last night’s situation to be repeated but if it should be, the police response will be the same: swift and appropriate.

Of course, we all are against violence, vandalism and arson. Indeed, the mother of one of the men killed by police poignantly called for calm. But I can’t agree that the police response was appropriate.

Tait, who rightly called for an outside investigation of the police shootings, over the objections of other council members, needs to work harder to live up to the promises he made when became mayor. Tait promised to foster a culture of “kindness” in the city. I know he means it, and he told me he is deeply concerned about some police actions.

Police culture

Anaheim’s police culture echoes the old Los Angeles Police Department culture that valued aggressiveness over community policing, and the city administration has shown no willingness to confront it. City police have shot six people this year, five fatally, under varying circumstances (Gadfly’s emphasis).”
and

“Powerful police unions

While Anaheim has a greater need than some other cities to re-evaluate its policing policies, problems with police use-of-force problem are endemic throughout the country and, especially, in California, where police union priorities — i.e., what’s best for officers, not the citizenry — have dominated policy decisions for decades.

Recent news reports show a significant increase in police-involved shootings in many areas of California. Police shootings account for one of every 10 shooting deaths in Los Angeles County, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Videotapes of the encounters often show that the official version of the story is at odds with what really happened. No wonder police agencies spend so much time confiscating video cameras from bystanders, something that should chill every freedom-loving American, whether on the political Left or Right.

The California Supreme Court’s Copley Press vs. San Diego decision in 2006 allows allegations of police misconduct to remain shrouded in secrecy. The public can access complaints against doctors, lawyers and other professionals but, in California, misbehavior by public employees who have the legal right to use deadly force often is off-limits to scrutiny. Because of an exemption in the public-records act, police agencies need not release most details of their reports of officer-involved shootings.

Furthermore, the Peace Officers Procedural Bill of Rights in California’s Government Code gives accused officers such strong protections that officers can rarely be disciplined or fired. The “code of silence” is alive and well in police agencies…”

The “POBR”
Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act.

History: First state to get a POBR (Peace Officers Bill of Rights), effective 01-01-77. The concept originated around 1974. The largest supporter of POBR was the ACLU. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law.

CALIFORNIA CODES
GOVERNMENT CODE
SECTION 3300-3312

Police Violence, Racialized Indifference and a Hunger for Justice in Anaheim
Friday, 27 July 2012 09:53 By Rania Khalek, Truthout | Report

Of the six victims of Anaheim police-involved shootings this year, five were Latino. In fact, the Anaheim neighborhood where Diaz was shot is almost 90 percent Latino.

At news conferences and in statements to the press, Anaheim police have repeatedly used the term “gang member” in justifications for the recent shootings and subsequent treatment of protesting residents.

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter has said that the firing of bean bags and pepper spray at residents protesting the killing of Diaz was in response to “some known gang members” throwing bottles and rocks at officers.

In a detailed statement released by the Anaheim Police Association on July 24, Kerry Condon, president of the police union, said the following:

“… we live in a dangerous world where there are too many violent gang members like Manuel ‘Stomper’ Diaz and Joel ‘Yogi’ Acevedo who spent their young lives wreaking havoc on their neighborhoods and the law-abiding citizens who live there. It was the actions of these gang members, not the police officers, who set these unfortunate events in motion.

“Even though there have been several death threats to Anaheim police officers in gang neighborhoods throughout the city of Anaheim in the last year, our officers continue to go into these areas to fight gang crime and protect the residents who continue to live in fear of these domestic terrorists.”

Hundreds continue protest against Anaheim police
MyDesert.com | Jul. 29, 2012 | 10:25 PM

“What’s going on here in Orange County is symbolic of a problem with the system,” Eduardo Perez, a 21-year-old student, told the Register. “This wouldn’t happen to white people. This is racism, simple as that.”

The demonstrations occurred just hours before a scheduled evening memorial service for Manuel Diaz, a 25-year-old man who was shot dead July 21. Police said Diaz, who had a criminal record, failed to heed orders and fled police. He was unarmed.

2 Anaheim protests: 1 raucous, 1 silent; 9 arrested
July 29, 2012 | Updated: July 30, 2012 9:25 a.m.
By Eric Carpenter, Andrew Galvin, Tom Berg, Scott Martindale and Sonya Quick |The Orange County Register

The Rev. Fr. Arturo Ferreras of St. Matthew Ecumenical Catholic Church in Orange urged the mourners – mostly residents of Anna Drive – to use Diaz’s death to work toward permanent, positive change in their community.

“We are gathered to let the world know we don’t want a community of violence on Anna Drive,” Ferreras told the mourners in Spanish as he presided over an ecumenical Catholic Mass. “We want our children to be able to grow up in peace. … Hopefully we will be able to make a better Anaheim and a better Anna Drive.”

Ferreras, who stood next to a 4-foot-tall Virgin of Guadalupe statue near where Diaz was shot, blessed the site where Diaz was killed and the children who witnessed what happened that day.

He also challenged young Anna Drive residents to become community activists and to use “democratic” channels to pursue change.

Judge James P. Gray – The Primary Issues:

“2. Repeal the failed and hopeless War on Drugs by restricting the role of the federal government to assisting each state to enforce its chosen laws. Crime was reduced by more than 20 percent within one year after we pursued this course with the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition, and the same results will be realized when we finally repeal Drug Prohibition. People must be held accountable for their actions, instead of for what they put into their bodies. The War on Drugs has directly created an enormously large and lucrative black market that has corrupted institutions, people in all walks of life, and, most especially, children, here and all around the world. In addition, it has enabled the sale of illicit drugs to provide huge amounts of funding for terrorists. Our policy should be changed for specified drugs like marijuana to be strictly regulated for distribution to adults — and taxed — and users of other drugs should be allowed legal access to them under the strict supervision of medical professionals. Medical programs of this kind are successfully reducing crime, drug usage and health problems today in countries like Switzerland and Germany , and we can emulate their success.”
 

The Videos Anaheim PD Doesn’t Want Us to See
By: Siun | Firedoglake.com | Sunday July 29, 2012 6:00 pm

“Is California the welfare capital?” Uh, I would say yes

Is California the welfare capital?  Delving into why California has such a disproportionate share of the nation’s recipients

WELFARE IN CALIFORNIA
34% Of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California but only 12% of the U.S. population resides here.

How we compare
California: $179
New York leads the nation: $256
Idaho is at the bottom: $17

Next time you hit a pot hole, or another service is cut, remember this. It’s not just the fact that we have a huge drain on city and county budgets do to runaway pensions and retirement benefits. We’re also the go to destination if you want to kick back in a place with ideal climate and great welfare benefits. Check out the story here

Immoral, Unethical, Dangerous, Deadly, Unconstitutional, Absurd–Our DEA and Drug Policies at work

Truck owner wants DEA to pay up after botched sting
By Dane Schiller
Updated 08:20 p.m., Sunday, July 29, 2012
Craig Patty is seeking damages after his truck was used without his permission as part of a botched law-enforcement operation that left the driver dead.

“Your driver was shot in your truck,” said the caller, a business colleague. “Your truck was loaded with marijuana. He was shot eight times while sitting in the cab. Do you know anything about your driver hauling marijuana?”

“What did you say?” Patty recalled asking. “Could you please repeat that?”

The truck, it turned out, had been everywhere but in the repair shop.

Click here to go to the news report.

Anaheim Riots Spotlight Need for Broad Police Reform–The city’s law enforcement culture values aggressiveness over community policing.

Anaheim Riots Spotlight Need for Broad Police Reform
The city’s law enforcement culture values aggressiveness over community policing.
Steven Greenhut | Reason.com | July 27, 2012

While Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is, thankfully, no Frank Rizzo, he tried his hand at tough-guy rhetoric at a press conference: “Vandalism, arson and other forms of violent protest will simply not be tolerated in our city. We don’t expect last night’s situation to be repeated but if it should be, the police response will be the same: swift and appropriate.”

Of course, we are all against violence, vandalism, and arson. Indeed, the mother of one of the victims poignantly called for calm. But it’s ridiculous to argue that the police response was appropriate.  Tait—who at least called for an FBI investigation of the police shootings that triggered the incident—has failed to live up to the promises he made when he took over as the city’s mayor. Tait promised to foster a culture of “kindness” in the city.
   .  Click here to go to  article.