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!

 

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. 

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

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.

 

 

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!
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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.

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

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.

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:
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.

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)

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.

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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

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!”

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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

Unethical Unscrupulous Run CA and Literally Fleece and Plunder While Our Economy Weakens, Our Middle Class Shrinks.

Parks Scandal Highlights Government Mismanagement

Amid a fervent campaign to convince the public that they should tax themselves $8.6 billion dollars more, Governor Brown’s Parks Department is under fire for a secret stash of $54 million dollars that was recently uncovered.  A smaller scandal – an illegal slush-fund vacation payout to state park employees – led to the discovery.

Here is a scenario: Click here to read the article at Fox and Hound. 

Not the Mortgage Crisis, Not the Economy, but Foolishness! Greenhut calls it, in “Bankrupt cities suffer for officials’ foolishness”

“California’s exclusively Democratic leaders not only are unwilling to rein in the costs of benefits for their patrons, the public-sector unions, they have been erecting roadblocks in the paths of localities that want to fix the problem on their own. Yet all the political hurdles in the world cannot fix the basic problem of insolvency.”

Click to read the article at OC Reg, July 22, 2012

Government Rip-offs & Rackets that Rob Children & Adults of Their Savings, and Future on Gadfly Radio Tues. at 10AM PT

Tuesday, July 17,  Wayne Lusvardi, regular contributor to CalWatchDog.com,  self employed real-estate appraiser, and formerly an eminent domain appraiser for over 20 years,  joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Also on the program, Larry Sand, President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Almost half of CA’s budget goes to pay for Education, yet we’re at the bottom, or second from the bottom in results.  The CA Teacher’s Union and all their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government block any reforms, even the most narrowly tailored,  that would modestly improve the chances for poor and lower middle class kids to have access to quality teachers and schools.

Two lawsuits have just been filed, to take on the teacher’s union, in the courts.  Larry Sand will fill us in.

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:

US Housing Crisis – Negative Equity Infographic – Zillow

Bad news for CA housing recovery | CalWatchDog
July 9, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Should San Berdoo cherry pick underwater mortgages? | CalWatchDog
July 13, 2012 | By Wayne Lusvardi

What a ripoff. San Bernardino County wants to use eminent domain to let a private mortgage lender cherry pick “underwater” mortgages without paying damages to the lenders. Doing so supposedly would stimulate the resale market for homes.

Eminent domain mass delusion hits San Berdoo | CalWatchDog
July 16, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

“…the mania of the San Bernardino County Joint Powers Authority to seize “underwater mortgages” on homes through the use of eminent domain.”

Students vs. Status Quo–California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules. by Larry Sand – City Journal | June 6, 2012

Debt Ridden Govt Agencies are Ganging Up on Little Guys–Predominanly Mexican Food Truck Owners

I met Tuesday in Santa Ana with about 12 owners of catering trucks — mobile eateries that sell mostly Mexican food — and they told a disturbing tale of how the state’s Orwellian-named tax agency, the Board of Equalization, is targeting and mistreating them. The business owners assembled in the room blamed their tough times more on state tax authorities than on the economy.

The truck owners say the state is handing them tax bills for tens of thousands of dollars, based on unrealistic estimates of their taxable sales. When you buy food at the trucks, a burrito and Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola (the kind with real sugar, rather than the icky corn syrup) may cost, say, six bucks. That’s all you pay, as opposed to a restaurant, where state tax would be added onto the transaction. The trucks don’t collect a per-item tax, but owners later estimate their sales and send their money to the tax man.

Click here to read Tax collectors bite taco trucks | CalWatchDog

Greenhut writes: First pensions, and now bankruptcy tsunami

July 12, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

First Vallejo, then Stockton, then Mammoth Lakes and now San Bernardino. As Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach told Bloomberg News, the bankruptcy dominoes are starting to fall. One California city after another — following a decade-long spree of ramping up public-employee pay and pension benefits, as well as redevelopment debt — are becoming insolvent. Click to go to the article on CalWatchDog.com

Travis Kiger on Fullerton Recall & Reform, Larry Sand on Powerful CTA Acts to Protect Child Molesters

Tuesday, July 10,  Travis Kiger, newly elected City Council Member for  The City of Fullerton, and an active contributor with Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog, joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and  Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Also joining us is Larry Sand,  President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

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

Call in number:  1-800-336-2225

Travis Kiger talks with us about being a newly elected and sworn in City Councilman of Fullerton, CA, the new majority now in office, and the changes they pledged to make.

Larry Sands talks with us about “the defeat” on June 27, 2012, “of a proposed law that would have made it easier for school districts to fire teachers in cases of sexual and other egregious misconduct has shone a spotlight on the strong sway of the California Teachers Association, widely considered the state’s most politically influential labor union with more than 325,000 members.

Related Links:

Former City Manager Chris Meyer Shares Wisdom; Recipients Underwhelmed

Defeat of Calif. teacher bill shows union power – SFGate CHRISTINA HOAG, Associated Press, June 28, 2012

L.A. Sheriffs set the standard for dealing with the homeless By Tori Richards, CalWatchDog.com |July 9, 2012 and published on Friends for Fullerton’s Future same day.

Dysfunction @ County Reaches Rock Bottom By The Fullerton Shadow, Fullertonsfuture.org | July 9, 2012

 Kelly Thomas killing aftermath: Reforming how cops deal with the homeless by Tori Richards | CalWatchDog.com and also published on Friends for Fullerton’s Future, July 5, 2012

New Council Kills Illegal Water Tax By Admin, July 4, 2012 |Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog

Sorry Mob, Your Rulers Have Spoken: California Senate Approves High Speed Rail–Reason Hit & Run

By Scott Shackford | July 6, 2012

Published at Reason Hit & Run

You just lack vision, Californians.

Here’s an intriguing paragraph from The Sacramento Bee’s breaking coverage that nicely illustrates why legislators would actually go against public opinion in the middle of a massive economic meltdown on an election year while asking the same public to approve a tax hike in four months:

The approval was a major legislative victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. [Senate President Pro Tem Darrell] Steinberg said the Democratic governor “talked to a couple members” ahead of the vote, while Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, reminded colleagues that the project not only had Brown’s attention, but also that of President Barack Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Electorate, what electorate? Obama and Pelosi are the ones who matter.

Click here to go to article.

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Posted by Reason.com on Friday Jul 6th at 11:00am

image

Just as the housing industry is showing signs of recovery, California’s Democratic officials have passed a “solution” that adds additional regulations and higher costs to the foreclosure process. And as Steven Greenhut observes, these are the same officials who can’t produce an honest budget and refuse to deal with a deepening public-employee pension crisis and other issues under their purview, but once again they think they can correct problems in complex private markets. Click here to view this article.

Travis Keiger, Newly Elected And Sworn In City Councilman of Fullerton, CA on The New Majority in Office, and the Change They Pledged

There are plenty of cities in CA that are in hot water.  Stockton, followed closely by Mammoth Lakes are in bankruptcy.

The City of Fullerton, CA, a City in Orange County, is unique in that they just ran a recall of three sitting Councilmen who have been on the City Council for many years.   Travis Kiger and a crop of supporters and two other new council members, ran to address the issue of a corrupt and abusive culture within their police department, and against the tacit approval shown this same corrupt department in the face of a brutal murder and then cover up which was denied to be a cover up.

But it wasn’t just the murder of Kelly Thomas that drove the three new council members into office.   A lavish and crony capitalist Redevelopment Agency, a bloated City Government budget, and more all fueled the fire in the hearts and minds of the voters.   We’ll talk with Travis Kiger on their new roles, their promises, challenges, and first orders of business.  Next Tuesday on Gadfly Radio

ObamaCare’s next stop and Minority Outreach and Winning Elections with Brian Calle, and Tom Donaldson

Tuesday, July 3, Brian Calle, O.C. Register columnist, and Editor in Chief for CalWatchDog.com, on ObamaCare, A.K.A. The Affordable Care Act, and Tom Donaldson of Americas PAC on Minority Outreach and winning elections, join Martha Montelongo, with Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

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

Related Links:

The importance of the Minority Vote WSJ Opinion Video June 14, 2012

Fight shifts to fall | court, tax, president – Opinion – The Orange County Register by Brian Calle, June 29, 2012

Brian Calle: Uncommon Ground by Brian Calle, June 28, 2012

Tom Donelson | Texas GOP Vote–Track Donaldson Blog Entries

Why Obamacare needs to be Repealed! | Texas GOP Vote
by Tom Donaldson July 2, 2012

If Congress and Obama stated from the beginning that Obamacare would increase the budget deficit, all Americans would see higher taxes, there would be a possibility of not keeping your current insurance, there would be government rationing of health care, and millions would still not be covered, this bill would have been rejected even by Democrats. The Democrats and Obama sold the American people on a health care reform based on false data and false hope.

Obamacare is going to make American health care more expensive but not better. Obamacare is nothing more than a mandatory health care tax to fund an inferior healthcare system.

Greenhut writes: Governor Brown Celebrates ObamaCare Ruling

Not a surprise.

Gov. Jerry Brown is happy with the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling: “Today’s dramatic Supreme Court ruling removes the last roadblock to fulfilling President Obama’s historic plan to bring health care to millions of uninsured citizens.”

That makes sense. The court decided that the individual mandate isn’t really a mandate — but simply a tax. And Gov. Brown believes that the state and the country can pretty much tax its way out of its fiscal problems. Figures, a conservative justice appointed by President Bush, John Roberts, authored the opinion. Conservatives have little principled opposition to big government — they just have different ideas of how that government should be used.

Click to read the full commentary here

Brian Calle on the Health care ruling: a change in the relationship between government and the individual?

June 28th, 2012,

With its decision to uphold most of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the U.S. Supreme Court rationalized that the government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance, but it can tax them if they do not. The Court’s majority opinion ratifies a policy that fundamentally changes the relationship between government and the individual.

The 5-4 decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. The chief justice joined the court’s four liberals.
Article Tab: An opponent of President Barack Obama’s health care law demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 28, 2012, before the court’s ruling on the law.

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” the majority said. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

You may recall that during debate on the Affordable Care Act in 2010, defenders of the bill, from President Obama to Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, denied that the individual mandate amounted to a tax. Now, the Supreme Court majority has decided retroactively that it is a tax.

Click here to read the full commentary

Teacher Claims Sweden Cares More and Spends More on Education Than the U.S.–Richard Rider Responds in Dollars and Sense

Richard Rider, San Diego Tax Fighter, Pens a Letter to the Editor at the Union Tribune–Rejected, he shares it with the public anyway, and I’m sharing it here.  We not only spend more, but he points out what does help Sweden out-perform the U.S.  Sweden supports competition, and empowers their population with school choice, showing real commitment to putting students first:

Dear U-T Editor:

This is an expanded version of a letter I submitted to the SAN DIEGO U-T. Didn’t run, but no need for my research and insights to go to waste. Here ya go.

—–

Dear Editor:

Teacher Sharon Collins’ letter selflessly calls for higher taxes for education, citing socialist Sweden as her shining light.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/21/letters-sd-schools-teachers-labor-pact/?print&page=all
She didn’t do her homework.

She thinks Sweden values education more than America because they have a 25 percent sales tax (actually a VAT tax). But that high tax tells us nothing.

For a meaningful comparison, look at education spending per student. Of the 32 OECD counties (the economically advanced countries of the world) providing data, in 2008 Sweden ranks 6th in primary school per student spending, the U.S. 5th. Sweden ranks 9th in secondary school spending, the U.S. ranks 4th.

Sweden spent $9,080 per primary school student. The U.S. spent $9,940. Sweden spent $9,940 per secondary school student — the U.S. spent $12,007.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888932463593

Think that’s not a fair comparison? Compare spending as a percent of GDP. Sweden spends 4.0% of GDP on K-12 education. The U.S. spends 4.1% — without a 25 percent “sales tax.” The OECD average is 3.8%.
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2011/what-proportion-of-national-wealth-is-spent-on-education_eag-2011-17-en

But here’s the kicker — since 1993 Sweden has had a full-blown school voucher system. ANY parent can take the money spent on public schools and use it for sending their kids to private schools — religious or secular.

All Swedish schools compete for students, making the kids’ education a higher priority than the welfare of the school employees. While controversial when first adopted, education vouchers are now a non-issue in Sweden, as almost everyone supports the common sense choice and competition that this option offers.
http://open.salon.com/blog/richard_rider/2011/01/30/swedens_school_voucher_system_is_a_model_for_america

Inadvertently, teacher Collins picked an interesting subject on which to “school” us. Class dismissed.

Richard Rider

Tax Initiative gets approved, but what’s the hold up on Reform Initiative that was submitted earlier?

In California Forward Waits and Waits, Joel Fox writes:

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday. Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

Click to read the story

Well It Looks Like Law Makers in Sacramento Do Have a Limit to How Much They Will Bend to Public Employee Union Dictates

Steven Greenhut on California Lawmakers Pushing Back Against Police Secrecy

June 22, 2012

It’s dangerous to read too much into some small signs of sanity at the California state Capitol, writes Steven Greenhut, but the death of two obnoxious police-secrecy bills in recent days remind us that there are indeed some limits to the groveling that California legislators will do to earn the favor of law-enforcement unions.

View this article.

California’s Legislators play fast and lose with taxpayer money, services, and resources they’re elected to protect

They make Wall St Shysters like JP Morgan’s Jaime Dimon look like alter boys.

In  California’s Bad Bet Makes JPMorgan’s Look Minor,  David Crane writes:


California legislators on Sept. 10, 1999. They decided that investment gains would cover 100 percent of the cost of retroactive pension increases they granted that day to hundreds of thousands of state workers.

The politicians made the wrong bet — and the result has been a penalty to California’s budget that has averaged $2 billion a year ever since and that will cost the state billions more for decades to come.

Promising that “no increase over current employer contributions is needed for these benefit improvements,” and that the state pension fund would “remain fully funded,” the proposal, known as SB 400, claimed that enhanced pensions wouldn’t cost taxpayers “a dime” because of healthy investment returns. The proposal went on to assert that it “fully expects” the state’s pension costs to remain below $766 million a year for “at least the next decade.”
 

Click here to read the article.

Marcia Fritz, Fix Pensions Now: “We Can’t Afford to Party Like it’s 1999,” Joins Gadfly Radio to talk Dollars and Sense

Tuesday, June 19, on Gadfly RadioMarcia Fritz, C.P.A., and an active voice for Fix Pensions First | FixPensionsFirst.com, joins Martha Montelongo, with CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

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

Related links for the show:
Viewpoints: When it comes to pensions, we can’t afford to party like it’s 1999 | Fix Pensions First

April 16th

By Marcia Fritz

The Legislature has until June 28 to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require all state and local government employees to contribute one-half the cost of their pensions. Future employees would be eligible for a hybrid plan that includes a defined benefit (pension) component, but with limits. The balance of the governor’s plan can be enacted through legislation.

Paying half of pension costs won’t be a shock to teachers and state employees – most pay half or close to half today. But thousands of local government employees retire at 55, collect six-figure pensions and lifetime health care benefits, and contribute nothing to their retirement plans.

Voters douse most tax-increase fires | CalWatchDog
June 15, 2012

By Dave Roberts

“…Despite fire tax proponents spending $177,000 (to zero spending by opponents), the tax hike failed to gain a majority of the vote, let alone the two-thirds required to pass.

It was always going to be a tough sell asking for an additional $2,200 per home over 10 years when most people have lost 39 percent of their net worth in the last three years and many are still staggering from the aftershocks of the Great Recession. But the district board decided to go for it anyway, doing the bidding of the firefighters union as it seeks to increase salaries, benefits and jobs.

Fire tax hikes were not that popular throughout the state. In addition to the failure of the East Contra Costa tax hike, a $100 tax hike in Higgins, a $40 hike in North Auburn-Ophir, a $79 tax in Placer Hills and a $59 tax in Crest all failed.

There were two successful fire tax measures: a $150 tax in Newcastle and a four-year extension of a $65 tax in San Mateo County.

Steven Greenhut: ‘Reforms’ will raise California taxes | The Orange County Register
June 16, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO – God help California from its current crop of wealthy “moderates” who believe that the only thing that will save our state is a dose of higher taxes. They continue to embrace electoral rule changes that ultimately will undermine the Republicans’ supposedly hard line against tax hikes.June 5 saw was the first election to use the “top two” primary system, a form of open primary designed specifically to elect more candidates who resemble former state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two politicians most responsible for its implementation. These are two of the least-effective and least-principled Republicans to attain higher office in recent years, so let this serve as a warning about what is to come.

The emerging California Fusion Party | CalWatchDog
By Wayne Lusvardi
June 18, 2012

Political fusion is an arrangement where two parties on a ballot list the same candidate. Fusion has been outlawed in many states.

A version of fusionism emerging in California is this under the new Top Two system, which voters approved under Proposition 14 back in 2010. The majority party floods election ballots with at least two of its candidates. Then it only allows the minority party to influence election results by endorsing one of the major party’s candidates. Another name for political fusion is cross-endorsement…

Now, the Union Pushback: Following big victories for public-pension reform in California, the union empire takes to the courts.
by Steven Greenhut – City Journal
June 12, 2012

The nation’s public-sector unions have become so emboldened by years of political victories, and so insulated from voter concerns, that they apparently never considered the possibility that voters, given a clear choice, would turn against them. Last Tuesday was as close as the nation gets to a clarifying election, the result of union overreach in Wisconsin and union intransigence in California. “Election results in California and Wisconsin this week are being viewed as a turning point for organized labor—to its detriment,” reported the Los Angeles Times, echoing a story line repeated nationwide.

Steve Greenhut’s Take on the 2012 Fullerton Recall–People taking their governments back

Libertarian columnist Steve Greenhut wrote a recap on the Fullerton Recall, and put it in the context of people taking their governments back. He had lots of good things to say about the Recall and FFFF.org, and the FFFF.org folks posted the piece on their website. It’s definitely an inspiring and instructional story.

“…A campaign-sign slogan captured the essence of the recall: “Failure to lead.” And the final hit mailer against the buffoons, focused on the absurd city-worker compensation packages that exploded during their watch, reinforcing that these officials were not leading the city, but following the demands of union workers.

It was time for a change, and the pension-abuse issue, bolstered by these leaders’ duck-and-cover routine after the Thomas killing, was enough to spark the recall. They were bounced by nearly 2-1 margins, so it wasn’t a fluke. And the ground had been plowed by Bushala and his merry band of local-minded libertarians, thanks to their Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog. Granted, the three soon-to-be-ex-council members provided plenty of side-splitting fodder…”

Click here to read the full op-ed

If they don’t come up with a budget today, no paycheck, but if it’s a wasteful fraud, S&P downgrades CA’s credit rating. Up Against the Wall!

Standard & Poor’s is threatening to downgrade California’s outlook if lawmakers don’t balance the budget without gimmicks. “We are  being disciplined by our lenders who will downgrade us for fudging,” said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point.

Bad old  Wall Street bankers are forcing California to clean up its financial mess in order to prevent a catastrophic economic tsunami.

California’s economy is nearly one-eighth of the entire country’s gross domestic product. It totals 30 percent of the debt carried by all 50 states, according to Gabriel Petek, an S&P analyst. Petek, interviewed by FOX Business, said that California is overly reliant  on personal income taxes, and that the state’s tax structure is behind the deficit because of this reliance.

In 2009, the Legislature voted to allow the state to pay … (click here to go to S&P forces Democrats to balance budget | CalWatchDog

No matter how much it hurts, how many more jobs it kills, how less competitive it makes CA businesses, clean energy now, outrageous costs be damned.

The problem is that the state’s target for renewable energy generation is far ahead of the market for such energy. In fact, private R&D funding for renewable energy is $1 billion less than it was 10 years ago, according to the state energy commission.

That’s because, for all the promise of renewable energy, the price of electricity generated by solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources remains higher than the price of electricity generated by natural gas and nuclear power, which, between them, continue to generate 70 percent of the Golden State’s electricity.

That’s why lawmakers have mandated an artificial share of the state’s electricity market to renewable energy. That also is why the state government continues to directly and indirectly subsidize renewable energy.

Click to read more, at  State promotes renewable energy at all costs | CalWatchDog

Pleasant Hill police chief retires, says CA pension so lucrative “it doesn’t make sense to keep working.”

Pleasant Hill police Chief Pete Dunbar to retire – ContraCostaTimes.com

Post CA & WI Primaries Analysis with Wayne Lusvardi and John Seiler of CalWatchDog

Tuesday June 12, on Gadfly Radio,  Wayne Lusvardi joins Martha and John Seiler, managing editor of CalWatchDog, to discuss the election results of the  pension reform initiatives in San Diego, and  San Jose, the failed recall of Scott Walker in Wisconsin, the victorious recall of three sitting city council members and the election of their replacements,  in Fullerton, CA, a spectacular story.   and  some of the hot and contentious candidate races that developed  in last week’s CA Primary Election.

Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is away, on assignment. 

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

 

Some Related Links:  for more, check out CalWatchDog.com  Ask me questions on Facebook,
Pension reform or double-dip storm in San Diego and San Jose?

June 6, 2012 By Wayne Lusvardi A pension reform ballot proposition was passed by the voters in the city of San Diego by a margin of 66.2 percent in favor to 33.8 percent opposed.. A similar pension reform measure in the city of San Jose is lead…

Beware the California Pension Reform Foxes
Liberal downfall of San Diego falsely blamed on conservatives
State voters did the right thing | CalWatchDog
By Steven Greenhut
June 11, 2012 By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO — Several years ago, Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones cornered me at a political event, asked my opinion on.
CalWatchDog

RealClearPolitics – Public Unions’ Icarus Moment
by Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
The Lauzen Plan: How to Rein In a $3 Trillion Rogue Pension Elephant – Forbes by Ralph Benko

There is a simple, humane and practical solution to Illinois’s threatening insolvency: the “Lauzen Plan.” If tried successfully and emulated it promises to staunch the red ink threatening the viability of many states and municipalities. Lauzen is leaving the state Senate, after 20 years of service there, where he, together with other legislators of integrity, consistently predicted, and tirelessly formulated solutions to, the cascading fiscal catastrophe now manifesting. The officials blithely ignored or aborted the solutions.

My personal message to Travis Kiger, newly elected City Council member  of the City of Fullerton: “Congratulations. I am thrilled with your victory, and the team you are part of.  You’re awesome and inspiring. I thank all of you, and you individually.” and “I want to congratulate you on such a marvelous fantastic thrilling victory. I have followed from before Kelly Thomas, and you had a stage set already. You were able to catch that wave and ride it like champions!
Bravo. I love it.”

What is Jerry Brown saying to Ed reformers in the Democratic Party base? He wants their support for the tax increases first. Keep talking, he says “we” hear you.

How bold are the reformers?  How firm do they stand? Or are they waiting, hoping, and prodding, but do not want to upset the establishment? Do they support the tax increases as necessary for real education reform?