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 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. 

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.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. The number to call if you have any questions or comments during the show is 1-800-336-2225

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

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!”
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

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.)

 

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!”
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:

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.

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.

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:
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

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…

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

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

Students vs. Status Quo: California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules

Larry Sand writes about the approach reformers are taking to combat the impenetrable block the CA Teacher’s Unions practices to prevent any kind of reform to policies such as seniority and tenure rules for teachers.

When politics fails, reformers turn to the courts. California’s Democrat-controlled state legislature has resisted reforms that threaten teacher-union power. Now two class-action lawsuits could undo the state’s longstanding seniority and tenure rules. On Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge heard arguments from attorneys representing six families who say the nation’s second-largest school district has ignored the 40-year-old Stull Act, which requires the use of student performance in teacher evaluations. If successful, the lawsuit, filed last November, would require every school district in the Golden State to establish its own method of evaluating teachers—but all would need to use evidence of student learning based on standardized tests, just as 23 other states currently do.

A second lawsuit, filed last month on behalf of eight students from around the state, claims provisions of California’s education code—rigid tenure rules, a seniority-based firing system that ignores teacher quality, and a “due-process” system that makes it all but impossible to remove incompetent or criminal teachers—violate student rights.

Click here to go to City Journal and read the full article.

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 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

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.