CA Unfunded Pensions Triple to $884 Bil | Chris Street for CalWatchDog

The cabal of California politicians, bureaucrats and crony consultants that justified the granting of lucrative benefits to employees, while failing to contribute enough to support the true pension costs, solemnly dismissed the Stanford report as unsophisticated reflections by academics.

But now that a swarm of local governments wants to abandon the floundering retirement trusts, the state plans are willing to credit only a 3.8 percent expected return.

If the California state pension plans adopted the same 3.8 percent rate they are only willing to credit when participants want to leave, their published $288 billion in pension shortfall would metastasize into an $884 billion California state insolvency.


If the pension investment returns skyrocket, the unions will bargain for increased benefits. If the pension investment returns crash, the public employees are protected by a rock-solid contract law that prevents any reduction in benefits.

In 2007, I was fortunate to gain the support of enough Orange County Pension Trustees to reduce speculative derivative use by 90 percent. At the time, trustees for the California state public pension plans solemnly dismissed Orange County as unsophisticated. Shortly thereafter, the stock market crashed and the state pension trustees stopped making comments.

Click to read more…

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog presents Assemblyman Chris Norby, on Tomorrow’s CA Budget Deadline, Prison for Small time Pot Growers, Redevelopment dead or alive? & Matt Rexroad, an expert on the new Redistricted Maps–The First Draft

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog presents Assemblyman Chris Norby, on Tomorrow’s CA Budget Deadline, Prison for Small time Pot Growers, Redevelopment dead or alive? & Matt Rexroad, an expert on Redistricting on the new CA Redistricted Maps:  The First Draft–where do we go from here?

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

June 14, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:   CA Assemblyman Chris Norby R-District 72 and Matt Rexroad, a Sacramento based Republican Consultant with an expertise on Redistricting, particularly in CA.  John Seiler of CalWatchDog will be with us on the program.  
 
We’ll talk with Chris Norby about the looming hard set budget cut off date of June 15, for California lawmakers, where no budget means no pay, not no deferred pay, but NO PAY for the legislators for the time they don’t produce a budget. What does this mean for the taxpayers?   How seriously does this hard set deadline influence the legislators?

June 17th, America’s War on Drugs is 40 years old.  Although in CA we have  adopted a somewhat more tolerant policy toward Marijuana use via Medical Marijuana Laws, we still put people in prison for growing plants for personal consumption.  We’ll ask Chris about his support for AB1017, which would have allowed California prosecutors to decide whether folks caught cultivating marijuana should be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.  The San Francisco Chronicle referred to its primary sponsor as “Uber liberal Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.” The bill failed and Norby is said to have ripped his fellow Republicans for not supporting it.  We’ll ask him why? 

Governor Brown is said to still be determined to redact, not reform Redevelopment in CA  and using the revenue that now goes to Redevelopment Agencies, to go to pay for local city and county services instead.  Is the budget showdown a High Noon moment for Redevelopment? 

We’ll ask Chris about the critical and obfuscated issue of Public Employee Pensions, possible reforms and initiatives being discussed in the Legislature, and what he sees as possible reform initiatives at the State level.

And we’ll welcome Matt Rexroad, political consultant with a formidable grassroots political pedigree and an expert on Redistricting, to discuss the new CA political district maps, what they mean, the issues and possible challenges and changes before they become final.  Yesterday I posted an L.A.Times story on redistricting which cited Matt, and touched on a few of the questions I’ll have him.  You can call in too, and share with Matt and the rest of us, your questions.  

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929. 

 I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.   Thank you for supporting our enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!
Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are.  California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources,  when we get it right.   Join us.

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes: 


iTunes

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut & John Seiler, w/ Guest, Carlos A. Rodriguez, on the Role of Latinos in CA Politics, His Efforts to Recruit Them to Liberty’s Cause, & His Stand on Immigration Policy

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This week, CalWatchDog‘s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler both join me on the show.  We’ll be joined by Carlos A. Rodriguez.   

Carlos was the 2010 Libertarian Party Candidate for U.S. Congress, CA District #28.  He got 8% of the vote, in a district with a very high Latino population.   He is an immigration attorney, a Libertarian, committed to advancing the Libertarian Party, and he’s a Cuban American, which gives many Latino Democrats fodder to cast aspersions and dismiss his credentials as “authentically” like the majority of Latinos in California.  

We’ll ask Carlos about his positions on policy and politics related to public employee benefits and pensions, education, property rights, his own political evolution and his self-identified strongest suits– the role of Latinos in CA politics and his team’s efforts to recruit them to liberty’s cause, and the issue of immigration. 
Other news for discussion on tonight’s show, from CalWatchDog’s Website, re-posted here:

Breaking News

MAY 10, 2011 By DAVE ROBERTS “I’ve never forgotten Jack Kemp saying the way we define compassion is not by adding up how many people receive government benefits, but rather tallying the numbers of those who no longer need them. The Democrat Party is not interested in that definition of compassio…

MAY 9, 2011 By KATY GRIMES California residents planning automobile road trips this summer beware. The Department of Motor Vehicles is not allowing July auto registrations to be paid. The DMV has been ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown to refuse to accept payment of all two million July vehicle regis…

MAY 9, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Californians keep looking for ways to boost our economy, which also would bring in more revenue to the state government. The Legislature still is struggling with a budget deficit of about $15 billion, after $10 billion in cuts were made. Here’s an idea: Switch to …

MAY 6, 2011 By STEVEN GREENHUT Yet another report released this week confirms the enormous liabilities that California taxpayers must endure to pay for pensions for public employees. The study, released at a Pension Boot Camp for elected officials held in Citrus Heights by the reform group Cal…

News from Around the State


We’ll touch on as many of these stories with our hosts and guest, as time permits, and get your imput if you want to give us a call during the show. 
 

My mission for this radio program is (I quote here the mission statement of The Future of Freedom Foundation. I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”
 I am committed to being a stand and a cause for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that creates jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.   Thank you for supporting our enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others.  I value your patronage. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are.  California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we get it right.   Join us.

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the player below: 

About the show last night on Gadfly Radio

Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, joined Steve Greenhut, John Seiler and me, to share some positive developments in the realm of public policy.  Steve talked about some of the highlights of what others called a debate last week in O.C.  It was Steve vs Orange County’s Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, a government union, in what Steve calls a floor mopping–him doing the mopping! We had a lot of fun while discussing the dismal state of CA’s business climate, for small business and the middle class, and the politics and policy that have major impact, and we highlighted a new emerging leader, and some policy victories as a hint of what is possible if only…  One caller  took a few of our panel on a contemplation of his dream if only the north of CA separated from the south… Too short a time for so much to talk about, but it was fun and lively and… We’ll pick it up next week, same time, same place.  Hope you enjoy the podcast! 

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut & John Seiler on the hottest in Politics and Policy, w/ guest, Richard Rider, Tax Fighter, on good news for taxpayers and property owners in San Diego. Could it Start a Trend?

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This week, CalWatchDog‘s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler both join me on the show.  We’ll also welcome tax fighter, Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, on some good news developments to reign in the size and costs of big government.

We’ll talk with Steve about the debate he had last Tuesday with Orange County’s Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, a government union. It was held at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach and sponsored by the Orange County Forum, the Lincoln Club and the Pacific Research Institute, CalWatchDog.com’s parent think tank.

The topic was “Can Pensions Be Reformed Cooperatively?”  A video recording of the debate is posted up at CalWatchDog’s website.  I want to pose the same question and others to Steve, and you are welcome to add your question to the discussion.

A new air quality bill has sailed out of the Senate “Environmental Quality committee on a 5 to 1 vote on Monday…[It is] another global warming bill, SB 246. This one would require the state Air Resources Board to monitor and regulate sources of emissions of greenhouse gases affecting owners of cars, trucks, boats and lawn mowers — as well as sources in homes and businesses. Sounds like we better get ready for the Green Police!

Authored by Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, SB 246 ironically discourages emission reductions and would significantly increases business costs as well as overall market uncertainty. It does so by imposing hefty new requirements on the development and use of compliance offsets in the cap-and-trade program under AB 32.”

John Seiler reports:  CA Dems Hold Looters’ Convention.  The Democratic Party of CA is bent on raising taxes to fix all their problems, and there seems to be no connection for these leaders with taxing too much and losing droves of businesses and tax revenues from those who are picking up and moving to other states where they are welcome, and rewarded with a hospitable business climate.   He includes some very compelling facts and numbers to drive home this trend and the impact it has on CA. 
Richard Rider, Chair of the San Diego Tax Fighters on some encouraging developments in San Diego.  Could these developments succeed and if yes, could they start a trend? 


We’ll cover these stories and more, and get your imput if you want to give us a call during the show.  

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.” 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are.  California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.


Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the player below: 

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog’s John Seiler on CA Government, politics, Latino voters, Altas Shurgged–the movie, and Redevelopment

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This weekend I saw Atlas Shrugged, and I loved it.  I had some issues, but over all, I thought it remained true to Ayn Rand’s novel of the same name.  We’ll talk about it. Last week I posted a review by Steven Greenhut called Audience Didn’t Shrug at Atlas Screening, and this week, he’s posted an updated review, Statists Fear ‘Atlas Shrugged’Flick about the film.

A property rights victory in National City is a stark example of the abuse of Redevelopment to rob poor of their property, by politicians and big rich developers who want it for private development.  Blight is the slur used to justify the legal power for Government to steal land and disrupt and destroy community.  How does this recent court victory impact the future of Redevelopment?

A just released L.A. Times/USC Poll says Latinos self describe as “conservative” more than their  non-Latino white counter-parts.   John Seiler reports:

The poll doesn’t include blacks and Asians. And it doesn’t get more specific by including “libertarian” among its political labels, presumably subsuming that into “conservative.” Moreover, political labels nowadays are much fuzzier than they were a decade or more ago.

Still, how do we explain that Latinos, at base, are “conservative,” yet vote for liberal Democrats in California?

John puts forth his opinion in answer to this question.  I have a few theories of my own.

Other Stories, if we have time:
Poor Should Pay Their Fair Share

Steven Greenhut: “I was recently on a left-leaning radio show where the host and callers echoed the standard Democratic talking point that the key to solving the state’s budget crisis is to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. If the rich paid their fair share, of course, the tax burden would increase dramatically on the middle class and poor given that the rich pay far more than their fair share.”

More San Francisco companies wonder why Twitter’s tax break would be exclusive
Crony Capitalism thrives in leftist San Francisco. 

In Court rejects retro pension cut, what’s next? Ed Mendel writes about Orange County’s failed lawsuit attempt to reverse a retroactive pension increase for Deputy Sheriffs. I found the comments most interesting.  We’ll talk about the significance of this lawsuit in the future of Public Employee Pension reforms for California.

In The Return of Bilingual Ed Plague? John Seiler looks at the history of bilingual education, the politics, costs, failures and detriments.  I personally don’t have an issue with bilingual education in theory, but, like education in general, it’s all in the delivery, quality and the measurable results, and first you have to clear the political hurdles. I would have loved to raise my sons to be bilingual, and schooled in both languages. If we had had the financial means to be  free to choose, if Government was not the purveyor, save for the rich who can afford private schools of their choice, it would have been possible and it would have been my preference.  Why?  I’ll tell you why. 

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the player below:
 

John Seiler at CalWatchDog explains Why Republicans Hate Tax Increases–and explains the Difference Between Supply-Side Economics and Milton Friedman’s Monetarist Economics–Good Stuff!

(Why Republicans Hate Tax Increases)

APRIL 22, 2011

By JOHN SEILER

Republicans are ridiculing President Obama’s call to increase taxes on the rich.

And in California, so far Republicans in the Legislature have resisted siren calls to join Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic legislators to back tax increases, or even to put tax increases on the ballot. Why is that?

David Cay Johnson is a well-known investigative reporter formerly with the New York Times. He takes a stab at the story in the S.F. Bay Guardian. (John posts a one-page version at this point in the article, at CalWatchDog.com.)

Unfortunately, he seems not to have done his homework, even though he was born in 1948 and lived through this whole period.

His story is called “The Failed Experiment.” Subtitle: “How misplaced faith in tax cuts and other economic myths are destroying the country”

It begins:

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity — so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates.

Actually the phrase “supply-side economics” was popularized in the 1970s, and formed a major part of the theories behind California’s Proposition 13 tax cuts in 1977 and Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts of 1981 and 1986. But the theory goes back much further than the name. Click here to go to the article at CalWatchDog.com

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog’s John Seiler on CA Government

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

 Tired of the propaganda mainstream media machine that agitates, divides, obfuscates, distorts, ignores and or sensationalizes news to keep you polarized and frozen in your corner?  Unplug from the “matrix” and tune in to a program that presents reason, analysis, discussion, possibilities and ideas.

Tonight, meet Adam Kokesh, a former U.S. State Marine, and now the host of a new program on RT America on the Air, Monday through Friday, 7 PM ET, and the shows are archived and available at Adam vs the Man.    He’s unplugged from the “matrix” and is bringing it to the man, and wants to bring people together, to be effective against “the man.”  He takes on the issues you don’t hear discussed in mainstream news media, including the Fed, the War on Drugs,  and the Warfare/Welfare State, and is firmly rooted in the principles of and committed to advancing liberty.

John Seiler of CalWatchDog joins us to talk about some of his latest posts at CalWatchDog.com:
Arnold’s Back — Crass as Ever
Gov. Jerry’s Pension ‘Reform’ Joke
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Government’s Favorite Day 
Monday, April 18th, 2011

CA Business Exodus Accelerates
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

CA Court Rejects Pension Reform
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Will July CA Tax Cuts Spur Recovery?
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Premiered this past weekend, and we’ll talk about it with John.   Steven Greenhut wrote a thoughtful review of the film, posted at CalWatchdog.com
Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.
To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:
 

CA Business Exodus Accelerates | Repost from CalWatchDog

NEW: CA Business Exodus Accelerates
APRIL 14, 2011
By JOHN SEILER
As fast as was the business exodus from California last year, it’s even faster in 2011. The new Pharaoh, Jerry Brown, also is not relenting in his oppressions of business.
According to the latest update from Business Relocation Coach Joseph Vranich:

California is experiencing the fastest rate of of companies relocating to out-of-state or out-of-country locations since a specialized tracking system was put into place two years ago. The disturbing trend is reflected in a review of activity from Jan. 1 through April 12 of this year when 69 California company disinvestment events occurred, an average of 4.7 per week — greater than the 3.9 average per week last year….
Unfortunately, the stage is set for California to lose additional companies, capital and jobs in the future. That’s because the business environment worsened yesterday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that utilities obtain one-third of the state’s electricity from renewable sources. California companies, which already pay 50% more for electricity than companies in other states, can expect costs to increase by another 20% or so.

Another factor is the continuing imposition of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Backers, such as then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said it would rejuvenate the state by creating new high-tech jobs. Critics said it would kill a million jobs. Looks like the critics are being proven right — assuming the critics haven’t left the state.
Vranich writes:
Click here to read more.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut and John Seiler on CA Government and Lydia Grant on the harm and danger of unchecked police power against children in LAUSD

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

Gadfly Radio, with me and CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on the latest and hottest stories up at CalWatchDog.com and in L.A. Children are being injured and their futures destroyed, by none other than the L.A.U.S.D.’s own police force with the help of the LAPD and the L.A. DA’s Office and LAUSD’s Complicit School Administrators.

A Black High Schooler in Los Angeles, CA uses a Cell Phone Camera to record a Police Officer beating a Student, is Charged with Attempted Lynching and faces Fourteen Years in Prison
Lydia Grant, education reform activist, parent, an LAUSD student safety activist and community liaison joins us to talk about the “seemingly weird case of Jeremy Marks, who is charged with “Attempted Lynching” and how the numerous examples of a gross abuse of power in this case are not so uncommon.  The difference in this case, the victim’s mother is getting some help to fight back, to expose a web of what appears to include a framing of an innocent bystander, dangerous harassment and intimidation by police officers against parents and children involved in the case, a cover up, and a gross abuse of power by police agencies with assistance from the Los Angeles DA’s Office.

A kid was severely beaten by a police officer for smoking a cigarette, and Jeremy Marks faces fourteen years for video taping the assault and not plea bargaining with the police. “If he pled guilty to charges of obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, criminal threats and “attempted lynching,” he’d serve only 32 months in prison.” Documents have been lost, kids’ homes raided at gunpoint by swat teams in gear, and other kids with similar stories have come forward. What is flying for “law and order” is criminal, immoral, unethical and dangerous for all of our children in public schools in Los Angeles.  

From the files at CalWatchDog.com, your eyes on California Government:
NEW: Govt. Fights Citizens’ Right to Know
How do we know there are over sixteen thousand retired public employees, from CalSTRS, CalPERS and Cal’s UC alone, receiving over $100,000 a year in retirement income? Well it took legal battles to get documents disclosed. This is information the public is entitled to know. We are entitled to know how our Government works, what they do,  how they serve us, and how their actions impact our tax liabilities, burden are obligations. The average citizen’s ability to find out what the Government will not willingly disclose is what is now under direct assault.

From CalWatchDog’s Breaking News Page:

NEW: High-Speed Rail Rides Again
APRIL 12, 2011 By KATY GRIMES Another attempt to stop the unchecked spending on high-speed rail was killed in committee on Monday on a party-line vote. That happened despite research proving that taxpayers cannot sustain the inevitable subsidy the project will require, and claims that voters…

NEW: Guards Imprison Gov. Brown
APRIL 12, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Call me a bleeding heart, but I think prisoners should be treated humanely. In most American prisons, they’re treated like animals — actually, the ASPCA would get anyone who treated animals like that arrested for cruelty. But given that prisons are run by gove…


NEW: Public Pensions Crowding Out Services

(or, “Cutting Redevelopment to Solve Pension Crisis”

APRIL 12, 2011 By WAYNE LUSVARDI A Chinese folk tale tells of a sculptor that placed fake money on a tree to trick villagers into cutting it down for him. But so many people believed the tree to be sacred that the sculptor was warned that if he cut down the tree he would be cursed. At the …

NEW: Forced March to the May Revise
APRIL 11, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Things are looking bleaker by the day for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $12 billion tax hike. So far, Republicans have remained rock solid against it, denying him the two GOP sellout votes he needs in each house of the Legislature to put a tax-increase before voters…

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Tonight! Gadfly Radio with Me and CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler! 8PM PT!

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Gadfly Radio–Steven Greenhut and John Seiler will have lots to talk about this evening.

We’ll talk about these stories by Greenhut and Seiler, from the Home page at CalWatchDog’s Website and I want to share a little bit about my trip to Austin, Texas this past Friday and Saturday for the sixth Annual Latino Congreso (which if I’d named, would be called Congreso Latino)

Breaking News

Will Brown Hike Taxes w/o Election?

MARCH 28, 2011 By JOHN SEILER If you watch politics long enough, you see everything. The latest is progressives acting like conservatives on the state budget deficit and the liberals’ desire to raise taxes $12 billion. Last week a PPIC poll showed the tax increases would get wiped out by vo…

Dems Put Brakes on Budget Train Wreck

MARCH 28, 2011 By WAYNE LUSVARDI A new Field Poll  found that a supermajority of Democrats has swung against tax increases and wants to halt what appears to be an unstoppable future state budget train wreck. In what should have been unsurprising to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Part…

GOP Finally Gets Budget Action

MARCH 26, 2011 By JOHN SEILER There are a lot of problems with the list of budget demands Republicans proposed, such as retaining redevelopment. (The full list is here.) But at least they’re finally getting a rise out of Democrats. To this point, the large Democratic majorities in the Legis…

Restored Gann Limit Would Balance Budget

MARCH 25, 2011 By JOHN SEILER The problem with Calfornia’s $25 billion budget deficit is that state spending gushed upward in three wild splurges. I’ll list
 them here. As I do, recall if your pay was increased each year anything near as much as the California budget. Probably not. 
The first splurge is one people often forget. When Gov. Pete Wilson’s 1991 tax increases expired  in 1994, California finally joined the national economic recovery — two years late. Revenues recovered. And he spent the money. Expenditures rose 8 percent a year for four years straight fiscal years: 1994-95 through 1997-98. Then, in 1998-99, revenues went up another 9 percent.
The second splurge was when Gov. Gray Davis was elected in 1998. For his first two budgets, for 1999-2000, he increased spending an incredible 15 percent. And for 2000-2001, he splurged with an increase of an even more incredible 17 percent.

Spending rose from $57.8 billion in 1998-99 the year before Davis became governor, to $78.1 billion in 2001-02, his second year in office. It was a 20.3 billion increase in spending in just two years — a 35 percent. (Click the title to read the article.)


CA GOP Is The Party Of Numbskulls

MARCH 28, 2011
by Steven Greenhut
California Republicans love to talk about limiting government, fighting bureaucracy and keeping taxes low, but March 17 they proved that this is nothing more than a rhetorical device. Given the opportunity to rein in the size and power of government in a tangible way, Assembly Republicans — with a sole exception — punted. They rallied to save some of the most abusive and wastrel government agencies around.
California voters ought to at least understand where the overwhelming majority of GOP Assembly members stand — in this instance, on the side of big government, higher taxes and uncontrolled debt and against property rights, individualism and freedom. As the party blathers about luring minority and working-class voters, let it be clear that the GOP sided with the developers and government planners, folks who usually want to drive minorities and working-class people off their properties.

The Democrats, awful as they usually are, may be right: The GOP is the party of big business and privilege.

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”

It’s my privilege to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can manage to get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Gadfly Radio with Me and CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler! Tonight! 8PM PT!

Gadfly Radio Premiere’s Tonight, March 15th at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
We’ll talk about Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami.  What are some of the reverberations for California’s economy and our energy supply options.   We’ll also talk about the Budget Crisis in Sacramento and what are the possibilities, one way or the other, if the Governor gets to put a measure to raise or “extend” taxes to a vote on a ballot in June?  What if the tax increase measure is put on the ballot after it’s after the ‘temporary’ taxes the CA Legislature gave us back in the spring of 2006 expire before the Governor and the Legislature were able to get them  ‘extended,’ with a Yes vote by CA voters?   Will it be a mail in only ballot?   What happens if the voters vote NO on the Governor’s tax increase/extension plan?  
Talk about tsunamis, another CalPERS scandal worth tens of millions of dollars! The fox is not a good watchdog for the hen house!
Update on the Parent Trigger Law.

To listen to a podcast:

Another Web of Corruption Uncovered–Will likely cost Taxpayers the Tens of Millions of Dollars Scammed and Lost.

Sac Bee reports: Web of corruption described in CalPERS bribery scandal
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2011

The bribery scandal at CalPERS likely cost the pension fund tens of millions of dollars in inflated fees, a lawyer hired by CalPERS to investigate the case said Monday. [Readers should remember we, the taxpayers are on the hook for the lost dollars which are part of the promise politicians made to CalPERS members with our money, for their benefits. That’s the rub!]

Washington lawyer Philip Khinda, in a report to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board, said former “placement agent” Alfred Villalobos corrupted top pension fund officials, notably former Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro, to steer investments to his clients.
Click here to read more.

John Seiler at Cal Watch Dog asks: How much more of this are Californians going to take? Will another tax increase be needed?

L.A. Times Reports:

In a scathing report, a former chief executive of the California public employee pension fund was accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms.

A 17-month investigation also found that Federico Buenrostro Jr. — along with former pension fund board members Charles Valdes and Kurato Shimada — strong-armed a benefits firm to pay more than $4 million in fees to consultant Alfred J.R. Villalobos, who later hired Buenrostro.

The report, prepared for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System by Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, comes amid widening attacks on public employee pension funds in California, Wisconsin, Iowa and other states for providing lavish benefits that cash-strapped governments can no longer afford.

Click here to read more.

Battlelines are drawn: In CA and Wisconsin, the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits rip open the debate! Also, grotesque abuse of power by Steve Cooley’s L.A. Prosecutorial Agency and the L.A.S.P.D., Saturday Night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA

Saturday Night February 26 at 11PM

You can listen live at 870AM KRLA, or 
on line at http://KRLA870.com/
To call us during the show dial 1-866-870-5752
Martha Montelongo with CAL WATCH DOG  presents: 

As one veteran follower of teacher unions remarked this week, the battle lines are clear. Like it or not, reformers of every political persuasion will have to pick sides.
Podcast Part 1 & Part 2

In light of the standoff between the unions and their supporters in Wisconsin’s state legislature, the brave warriors hiding out in amusement parks and cheap hotels, using doctor’s note’s so they can claim medical leave, and excused absence so as not to miss a paycheck, to avoid dealing with Governor Walker’s proposal to eliminate collective bargaining, a USA Today/Gallup Poll came out early this week that found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

Almost two-thirds of those polled say their states face budget crises, but respondents oppose or are split on potential solutions, from tax hikes to spending cuts.
Key results:
— 71% oppose increasing sales, income or other taxes while 27% are in favor that approach.
— 53% oppose reducing pay or benefits for government workers while 44% are in favor.
— 48% opposed reducing or eliminating government programs while 47% were in favor of cuts.
“This underlines the difficulty of solving these problems,” Jeffrey Jones of Gallup says. “It’s hard to find a consensus on what to do.”

The poll has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

Dick Morris did a poll on Wisconsin, in which he concludes, “voters back the principal of collective bargaining.  But they are also willing to limit these negotiations so that they would not impede education reforms.”

[Voters] support many aspects of the proposal by significant numbers:

VOTERS SUPPORT CHANGING THE BENEFITS TO STATE WORKERS, PAY, AND AUTOMATIC DEDUCTION OF UNION DUES

• By 74-18, they back making state employees pay more for their health insurance.
• By 79-16, they support asking state workers contribute more toward their pensions.
• By 54-34, Wisconsin voters support ending the automatic deduction of union dues from state paychecks and support making unions collect dues from each member.
• By 66-30, they back limiting state workers’ pay increases to the rate of inflation unless voters approve a higher raise by a public referendum.

VOTERS OPPOSE CHANGING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

On the issue of limiting collective bargaining to wage and benefit issues, however, they break with the Governor, opposing the proposal by 41-54.

If the issues to be taken off the bargaining table are related to giving schools flexibility to modify tenure, pay teachers based on merit, discharge bad teachers and promote good ones, however, they support such limits on collective bargaining by 58-38.

Bring it home to California, which is in deep trouble over the State’s unfunded public employee pension liabilities and retirement benefits and to add fuel to this fire, a union in California is now  targeting city management.

With Wisconsin’s Governor and Republican legislators trying to repeal the state’s collective bargaining law for public-employee unions, as well as requiring state workers to pay some of their pension costs, Sacramento’s former head of labor relations, Dee Contreras, is now trying to organize a labor union of city managers and other highly-compensated administrative workers.

The practice of former city managers and upper management city executives crossing over to the other side of the negotiating table is growing, despite the strong push back by voters and private sector.

Here to talk about this battleline, your CalWatchdogs, John Seiler and Steven Greenhut.   John posted his analysis of the report released Thursday by The Little Hoover Commission, regarding California’s Public Employee Pensions, with an in depth analysis of how we got here.

The Commission report makes recommendations for how to deal with the critical situation in California.  Who is The Little Hoover Commission?  Is the report comprehensive? Are the recommendations enough?
What say John Seiler and Steve Greenhut regarding:

  1. Gallup’s national poll concerning voters support for government employees having collective bargaining?
  2. Dick Morris’s poll concerning Wisconsin’s voters support for collective bargaining and reforms?  
  3. The latest developments in California with Dee Contreras, Sacramento’s former head of labor relations, now trying to organize a labor union of city managers and other highly-compensated administrative workers?
  4. The Little Hoover Commission Report? 

Related Links:
George Skelton, the house liberal Icon Columnist weighs in on the issue:
SKELTON: Reality behind pension debate – National Voices – Modbee.com
“…in the eyes of many in private enterprise. It’s sort of an American civil war between government and nongovernment families.
“A key question that we think needs to be asked,” Assistant Legislative Analyst Jason Sisney said in a recent report, “is this: Can the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits be sustained much longer? We think that it probably cannot.”

But, does Skelton’s opinion carry water? The folks at The Democratic Strategist don’t think liberals matter so much to the Democrats, as much as do moderates!
Is the Center Still Vital?
This item by TDS Contributor and Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow and managing editor Lee Drutman is cross-posted at Democratic Strategist from Progressive Fix.
Third Way’s Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck have published a new analysis about the role of moderates in American politics, “The Still-Vital Center: Moderates, Democrats, and the Renewal of American Politics.”
Posted by staff on February 24, 2011 6:43 PM

“…moderates are more likely to support Democrats. Since 1980, the U.S. electorate has hovered around 20 percent liberal, 33 percent conservative, and 47 percent moderate. This means that Democrats need moderates more, since liberals make up only one-fifth of voters. Conservatives outnumber liberals by a substantial amount, so Republicans need fewer moderates to establish a winning coalition. This is the kind of simple math that liberals keep forgetting. Obama, like every Democrat before him, couldn’t have won without strong support among moderates.”

Bottom line, according to Democratic strategists, liberals can drop dead. The Democratic strategists are going for the moderates, a group the same study describes as “less-educated, less-engaged citizens who don’t know or care enough about politics to pick a side.”

Lydia Grant, an LAUSD student safety activist and community liaison, joins us to talk about the Los Angeles School District Police Department, or L.A.S.D.P, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley’s active role in an horrific case of abuse of power concerning Jeremy Marks “Attempted Lynching” Case.  This is about a black teen who filmed an LAUSD campus cop hitting a student and for that faces bizarre charges and years in prison.
Lydia Grant is disgusted by the piling-on of accusations against Jeremy Marks, the student observer with a cell phone camera, and the severe charges that could send him to a California prison for 14 years.

Lydia Grant is also a Parent Representative, who helped pass the Parent Trigger Law in California last year, that empowered parents in chronically failing schools to force change at their child’s school by getting 50 percent plus 1 of the parents at the school to sign a petition. 

Lydia will give us an update on the  Parent Trigger Law and the stymied efforts of parents at McKinley Elementary to get the change they are demanding.  Their petition has been denied based on a “wrong cover letter” and “the board felt the parents didn’t vet their charter selection with enough rigor.”   This battle is far from over.  We’ll get from Lydia, what’s next?

  Lydia also sits on the, Sunland–Tujunga Neighborhood Council and is a board member of L.A. Clean Sweep, the PAC that is giving some grief to the political hacks who rule City Hall, and who serve Big Developers and the public employee unions who run City Hall, at the expense of everyone else who lives and works in Los Angeles.  

We’ll meet two candidates, Kelly Lord, and Brad Smith, who are running for City Council in L.A CD 12, are both endorsed by L.A.Clean Sweep PAC, are friends, and talk like team players. Who are they, and who is L.A. Clean Sweep and why did LA Clean Sweep endorse both of them? Who are they running against? What are the odds for bumping the anointed successor to the retiring sitting council member?
Clean Sweeps Key Platform Issues:
Issue No. 1: Clean Up City Hall
Issue No. 2: Fix the Budget
Issue No. 3: Focus on Core Services
Issue No. 4: Power Sharing

Little Hoover: Cut Current Pensions– CalWatchDog

John Seiler:

It’s not Wisconsin — yet. But today the Little Hoover Commission released a new report on California pensions that pushed forward the serious cutting of government-worker costs on the state budget.

“Public Pensions for Retirement Security” is 106 pages of well-reasoned analysis of what got the Golden State into a sinkhole of budget trouble — and some reforms that can help get us out.

Click to read the article at CalWatchDog

Cyclist Activist joins forces with Small Business and Clean Govt Advocates to Viably Challenge the Political Machine in LA./ Steve Greenhut & Robert Vaughn on Public Employee Unions, Pensions and Phony Conservatives Saturday Night at 11 PM 870AM KRLA

Saturday Night February 19 at 11PM

You can listen live at 870AM KRLA, or 
on line at http://KRLA870.com/
To call us during the show dial 1-866-870-5752

Podcast Part 1 Pensions, LA City Council Races, RDA, Collective Bargaining, Greenhut, Box, and Vaughn & Part 2 Greenhut, Box and Vaughn

Public employee salaries, benefits and pensions are hot news items, finally. Taxpayer guaranteed contracts exploded into a new and unsustainable realm a decade ago with little notice by the average voter. The formulas sound so innocuous–an increase to three percent up from two percent or the like. But the overall results are taking a toll on governments from local to state to Federal.
Groups like Californians for Pension Reform have been effective at exposing the current course we are on. Among other tactics, they fought and won important lawsuits for the right to publish a whose who list of “members” in what they dub the $100,000 Pension Club, where $100,000 is the minimum to qualify for “entry” into the club. The $100,000 Pension Club of CalPERS, CalSTRS and UC members now enjoys over sixteen thousand members and growing.

Steven Greenhut, the editor in chief at CalWatchDog–Your Eye on California Government, is the author of Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation.  He’s been on national news talk stations all over the country underscoring the critical need for reform and the burden and costs these runaway plans have on basic public services.

He has been so effective that he’s now at the center of a media campaign in defense of the public employee union packages in question, by the firefighter’s union, and as part of this defensive campaign, Greenhut is dismissed as a right wing extremist whose out to hurt workers. We’ll talk about it.  Robert Vaughn, Co-State Chair of the Campaign for Liberty, Director of LA’s Republican Liberty Caucus and a public employee union member himself joins the discussion.

Next week Steve reports at CalWatchDog on the Dumbest New Bills to address the budget crisis. But this week I want to talk with him about some phony conservatives who offer up phony bills to pretend they are for reducing regulations and keeping taxes lower but are in fact well, phonies.

Stephen Box  joins us in the studio tonight as we continue our coverage of this heated election campaign in Los Angeles, where citizen activists are coalesing around principles of civil liberties and small business survival protection to take on the steamroller political machine which Bill Boyarsky, former LA Times editor says “…is run by land developers and unions.” He left out their political lackeys– the targets of this campaign. 

An LA Weekly story on Stephen Box profiles his rise to viable candidate to do the impossible and unseat an incumbent LA City Council member.
“It took Box 46 years to become a U.S. citizen, which he did in 2010 for a specific purpose: to run for Los Angeles City Council.”
“…One of the most damning criticisms of the 15 council members, the highest paid in the U.S. at $178,789 a year — 400 percent of the average L.A. household income — is that they oversee their districts like feudal lords, with more than 300 personal staffers, while their time is largely occupied by parochial minutiae instead of, say, developing citywide policy or planning new infrastructure.”

“If you have a pothole on your street” your best to “jump ahead of others by seeking a favor from your council member…”if the council member thinks you can help — say he or she faces a development battle and needs to fill seats with ‘stakeholders’ — your potholes stand a good chance of being filled in a city that admits it’s about 50 years behind on road repairs.”
Box says… “This’ll be a great city when we stop reacting to complaints and start addressing standards.”

“…Box is running against LaBonge, 57, who is widely seen as an energetic, likable booster for L.A. — and, like many of the 14 other council members, an intellectual lightweight.”

“Seven incumbents running for City Council on March 8 enjoy countless advantages, not least of which is delivering these special personal favors to constituents, including cash gifts drawn from a $90,000 annual slush fund controlled by each council member. A new candidate like Box could never tap such riches…”
Box, as a result of his ascent as an effective activist for bicyclists in LA, played “a featured role in the grassroots citywide campaign against 2009’s Measure B, the controversial bid by the Department of Water and Power to control much of the solar power–installation industry in L.A.

Remarkably, bloggers, activists and neighborhood council leaders convinced normally disinterested L.A. municipal voters to reject the DWP power play. The little-guy opponents stopped Measure B, while being outspent by $1.5 million to just $65,000.

The victory cemented an alliance between Box and a group of budget-restraint advocates and City Hall watchdogs, such as Jack Humphreville, who blogs at CityWatchLA.com, and former newspaperman Kaye, who blogs at RonKayeLA.com.

Humphreville and Kaye are far different from bicycle advocates — they’re older, less liberal and, for the most part, skeptical of a vision of Los Angeles that isn’t car-centric. But Box has won them over on the issue of making allowances for bicycles by finding common ground.”

Related Links:

The Bikeroots
City Council candidate Stephen Box and L.A. bicyclists roll into the halls of power
By Hillel Aron Thursday, Feb 10 2011

CityWatchLA – Times of Crisis: Think Small CityWatch, Feb 15, 2011
Vol 9 Issue 13 LA NEEDS TO SUPPORT SMALL BIZ by Stephen Box. This piece underscores the coalition bond between the likes of Ron Kaye, Bob Blue, Jack Humphreville, and Bill Boyarsky “…one of the simplest strategies for jumpstarting LA’s local economy would be to retool the current “bigger is better” approach to business development in favor of a model that supports small businesses.”

L.A. council’s salaries are highest among 15 key cities, new study finds
February 2, 2011 7:04 pm

Rudy Martinez Versus Los Angeles City Hall
Flip This House reality TV star hopes to push out Councilman Jose Huizar

By David Futch Thursday, Dec 2 2010

L.A. City Council Spends Thousands of Your Money on Top Restaurants, Clubs, Hotels (Even for a ‘Personal Fiesta’)
By Dennis Romero, Thu., Feb. 10 2011 @ 9:28AM
City News

Fight for Council District 12
Valley citizens try to crack open L.A. City Hall
By Beth Barrett Thursday, Feb 17 2011

New CalWatchdog Radio Show
FEB. 13, 2011
Steven Greenhut: Stay tuned to 870 am KRLA in Los Angeles every Saturday night at 11 pm for the Martha Montelongo Show with CalWatchdog. Various CalWatchdog writers will join Martha every Saturday night and we will soon have the podcast included on our Web site. We’ll be talking about state issues, of course, and Martha always features interesting guests and provocative subjects.
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Saturday Night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA: The New Martha Montelongo Show with CalWatchdog–OC and Pension Lawsuit, Parent-trigger is suspended, Super Sized Developers & Redevelopment v. Local Business Owners and Residents

Saturday Night February 12 at 11PM

You can listen live at 870AM KRLA, or 
on line at http://KRLA870.com/
To call us during the show: 1-866-870-5752
Podcast Part 1 Greenhut on OC Pension lawsuit, Linda Serrato on Parent Trigger& Part 2 Rudy Martinez, Bob Blue, Greenhut on LA and Glendale Redevelopment

Rudy Martinez, local resident, born and raised in East LA is fighting to curb the looting of Los Angeles by titan developers and their enablers and assistants at LA City Hall.   Star of Flip this House, LA, he is a successful local small business owner, and independent real estate developer who cultivates good local businesses, environment and good neighbors.    He poses a formidable challenge to sitting council member, Huizar in up coming City Council races in March.

Rudy Martinez joins Bob Blue, local LA blogger, reporter and champion property rights activist, and Steven Greenhut, to discuss Bob Blue’s recent column on why Glendale and Los Angeles are the poster children for why the CA Redevelopment Agency CRA should be abolished, including the most recent looting of millions of dollars and attempted looting of one billion dollars by CRA/LA and the battle between Ray Patel, owner of the Golden Key Hotel in Glendale and Los Angeles resident billionaire and developer, Rick Caruso, who is seeking and getting CRA/Glendale’s  support to obtain ownership of  Patel’s property that is not for sale!

Public Employee Pensions is a steaming hot topic particularly in California!
Steven Greenhut
, editor in chief at CalWatchDog and the author of Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation, talks with us about the Orange County Board of Supervisors sending their legal battle over a retroactive compensation increase up to the State Supreme Court–an act that  pushes  for decisive resolution on the issue statewide.   How significant is this development?

Linda Serrato, Communications Director with the Parent Revolution, joins us to talk about the unjust scene at the Capitol on Wednesday, between impassioned parents and the political class of servants to the teacher’s union lobby. Parent Caroll Turner will also speak with us.

The Parent-trigger, which we covered on this program last Saturday is suspended until the adversaries who fought it, can revise it and make it to their liking.   The trouble is, the parents have tasted the power and responsibility that is inherent in having say over important matters like the education for their children, and they are not rolling over.   Meet one of the parents and Linda Serrato, Communications Director with Parent Revolution for an update on this epic battle for the future of our children. 

RELATED LINKS:


Poster Children for Abolishment
LA & GLENDALE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES
Bob Blue

Citizen’s Legal Action Halts LA City Council’s $1 Billion CRA Steal
By Ron Kaye on February 9, 2011 6:12 PM
REPRINTED FROM PRESS RELEASE
Contact Miki Jackson 323-855-0764 mikijackson@sbcglobal.com

Rudy Martinez Versus Los Angeles City Hall
Flip This House reality TV star hopes to push out Councilman Jose Huizar
By David Futch Thursday, Dec 2 2010

State Board of Education puts the brakes on parent-trigger law A group will be appointed to study how to implement the measure, which lets parents petition for sweeping reforms at low-performing schools. Critics see it as an attempt to derail the law.

Parents: Don’t gut ‘parent trigger’
Unknown: Will lawmakers clarify (undo) law?
Posted on 2/10/11

Shocker: California Superintendent Tom Torlakson Plans to Re-Write Parent Trigger Law, Education Reformers Stunned
By Patrick Range McDonald, Wed., Feb. 9 2011 @ 3:41PM

Fox News 11 flew out to Sacramento to film a segment on the Parent Trigger hearing and they nailed it on the head, how confusing the process was and how passionate these parents are.

My recent post on the Parent Trigger developments as of Thursday, Feb 10, 2011

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.”

Make us your nightcap on Saturday nights in Southern California or where ever you are. California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources.   Join us.

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Saturday’s Show Guests: Steven Greenhut and Ron Kaye on Redevelopment & Larry Sand on a Landmark Court Ruling in Children’s Favor v. Teacher’s Union Policy

Saturday Nights at 11PM Pacific Time
You can listen live on line at KRLA870AM.com
 
To call us during the show: 1-866-870-5752

This Saturday night, January 29, 2011:
Steven Greenhut, CalWatchDog.com’s editor in chief and former deputy editor and columnist for the Orange County Register and author of Abuse of Power: How Government Misuses Eminent Domain, joins Ron Kaye, publisher, editor and columnist for RonKayeLA Blog in a discussion on Redevelopment.

Podcast Part 1 & Part 2

Podcast: Part 1 Larry Sand of the CA Teacher’s Empowerment Network
and Intro to Steve Greenhut and Ron Kaye
Part 2 Steve Greenhut and Ron Kaye on the CRA/LA, Gov Jerry Brown’s proposal to abolish it, the corruption it breeds, and the LA Convention Ctr and Stadium Project that is a poster child for how rotten it makes all the players involved.

Governor Jerry Brown set off a firestorm almost as soon as he took office, after announcing he was going to dismantle Redevelopment in California (CRAs). Local city government officials have been scrambling to divert funds and political officials and consultants to defend the program or to equivocate over the merits of some Redevelopment Programs over others.

Most people don’t know what it is, unless they’ve been victims of forced evictions by threat of eminent domain, or their homes or businesses have been incorporated into a Redevelopment Zone where all of a sudden their equity became hostage or dramatically reduced. Current Assemblyman Chris Norby’s short pithy illustrated book on the subject is aptly titled, Redevelopment: The Unknown Government.  It explains the billions of dollars in property taxes that are shifted from public services to Redevelopment Agencies.
Dan Walters, a veteran senior columnist for the Sacramento Bee wrote in a column on Thursday: As the battle picks up momentum and the factions exchange barrages of self-serving propaganda, the only safe haven is a report by the Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor.

Taylor concludes that there is “no reliable evidence that redevelopment agencies improve overall economic development in California” and that redevelopment tends to “shift development from one location to another but does not significantly increase economic activity statewide.” That’s pretty damning.

On Education:
A Superior Court Judge ruled this month in favor of the ACLU versus The Los Angeles Unified School District over the district’s last hired first fired layoff policy.

It is a landmark decision hailed as such by education reformers, but teacher’s unions denounce it as a step toward dismantling tenure policies.

The Washington Post reported:

“The ruling by Superior Court Judge William Highberger approved a settlement between the ACLU, the state and LAUSD in which the district agreed to shield 45 of its lowest performing schools from layoffs and to ensure that the redistribution of those layoffs will not be sent to a school that will experience greater than the district average of layoffs for that year.

It also calls for an incentive plan to attract and retain teachers and principals at the struggling schools.

“This settlement is about giving our most disadvantaged children a fighting chance at their schools,” said Mark Rosenbaum, ACLU-SC chief counsel.

Teachers union United Teachers Los Angeles UTLA will appeal the ruling because it is unfair to pass on layoffs to teachers who have earned their jobs and skills, said Vice President Julie Washington.

“What it is really saying is that experience in teaching has no value,” she said. “We feel that this remedy, if allowed to go through, will actually exacerbate the problem.”

The union was supported by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who filed a brief opposing the settlement on Friday noting it “could have far reaching, unintended consequences throughout the state.”

Larry Sand of the California Teacher’s Empowerment Network joins me to talk about this ruling, the firestorm it has caused statewide, and you can be sure nationally as well, and what happens next. He’ll also speak with us about a little known law that was passed by the legislature last year, as part of a move to capitalize on the President’s Race to the Top financial incentives for states to adopt certain education reform measures. This law is unique to CA and the brain child of Ben Austin, Executive Director of the Parent’s Revolution and it says simply that a simple majority of parents at any failing school can force a change of staff and programs. It gives the parents of failing schools power they have not had before.

But Governor Jerry Brown’s first action as Governor was to remove Ben Austin from the State Board of Education as well as a majority of the board who supported the Parent Trigger Law and replaced them with what many critics call union sympathizers. What is the fate of the Parent Trigger Law?

The mission of this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with there stated mission, by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.” I hope the president of The Future of Freedom Foundation is flattered and not offended by my copying their mission statement here.

We talk politics, business and culture, and feature ordinary individuals who accomplish extraordinary feats, who act and lead to help transform the future of California such that our best days lay ahead.

Make us your nightcap on Saturday nights in Southern California or where ever you are. California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources. Join us.

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Redevelopment: The Unknown Government. Politicians on Both Sides Are Scrambling to Defend Some or All of It. Bottom line: Is it ethical at all? Can it be reconciled with the fundamental principles of Liberty?

Ron Kaye, Resident citizen and publisher of of Ron Kaye L.A. Blog and Steven Greenhut, Editor in Chief of CalWatchDog.com join me this Saturday night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA and KRLA870.com to set the record straight on the inherent abuse of government power on the individual citizen built into the framework of Redevelopment. There is no such thing as a good Redevelopment Agency or Program; not if you stand on principle of individual liberty as enumerated in our U.S.Constitution.

Have a look at the work Ron Kaye has produced of late on his blog on this controversial issue that California Governor Brown has brought to the fore with his announcement that he would abolish Redevelopment. Here is a page Ron Kaye has set up to speak to this issue as it applies to Los Angeles. To read an older version of Redevelopment: The Unknown Government, click here. And tune in Saturday night for spirited discussion on your liberty and Redevelopment.

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Saturday Night Radio Show on 870AM KRLA

 Saturday Nights at 11PM, starting January 8th, 2011.
You can listen live on line at http://KRLA870.com/
To call us during the show: 1-866-870-5752

Podcast:

This Saturday night, January 15, 2011:

John Seiler, investigative reporter and blogger at CalWashDog.com joins us to breakdown Gov Jerry Brown’s budget for CA, Tough Talk Can’t Hide Tax/Spend Budget.

We’ll talk with John about his most recent post called Mexican View of Government. “…The rationale of the state is not utility nor profit but power–gaining it, conserving it and extending it. The archetype of power does not lie in economics but in war, not in the polemic relationship of capital to work but in the hierachical relationship of commander to soldier.”–Octavio Paz

Co-host Chris Thompson, will be kicking up the dust in Orange County GOP politics. Chris and I will host a forum between Deborah Pauly and Allan Bartlett in their challenge against Jon Fleischman for the 1st Vice Chair of the Orange County Republican Party.

Passionate for liberty, the game we are up to with our talk and our guests, is to call out unethical, immoral behavior, inform, inspire, celebrate and proliferate integrity, creative endeavors and individual freedom.

We talk politics, business and culture, to define what is out of integrity and an abuse of power and public trust, and feature leaders, stories and examples for ordinary individuals act and lead to clean it up and be a part of transforming the future of CA such that our best days lay ahead.

Make us your nightcap on Saturday nights in Southern CA, or where ever you are. This is still a happening place, and this little engine, The Martha Montelongo Show with Co-Host, Chris Thomson is revved up to go! Hope you’ll join us.

Call or write with comments or questions:
Email: martha@marthamontelongo.com

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Newsflash: “Dems Prepping State For Tax Hikes” Say whaaa? No… Say it ain’t so!

DEC. 22, 2010
By STEVEN GREENHUT

“The governor needs to add a third (or perhaps fourth) voter option to his false ‘either-or’ choice,” explains Richard Rider, chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters association. “It’s not just less services or more taxes—the issue he’s dodging is how best to deliver desired public services.”

They should listen to Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, who wrote, “We should, for instance, find out why, with 12 percent of the nation’s population, we have 32 percent of its welfare cases, and why we’re spending three times as much on prisons as Texas, which has almost as many inmates.”

And Californians should ask why there are more than 15,000 members (and growing) of the $100,000 pension club (in all California retirement systems), and why lists of state salaries are filled with police and fire officials and city managers earning $250,000 or more.

We are asked to choose between fewer services or higher taxes. Yet no one wants to look at the inefficiencies in the current system, at the way the state misspends its resources. Where’s the talk of privatization? Or pension reform? Or reduction of public sector salaries?
As the year ends, let’s review where Californians stand with its busted budget. This piece was published in PublicSectorInc.

California’s Democratic leaders would have you believe that our state’s budget has been cut to the bone. They contend that the state’s never-ending budget deficit—currently estimated at more than $28 billion over 18 months—is the inevitable result of an unusually bad economy, and that more revenue is needed to avoid devastating service cuts. This is a false choice—there remains fat to cut in California’s budget, if politicians are willing to overcome union objections to doing so.

Governor-elect Jerry Brown (D) held a budget briefing earlier this month and fiscal conservatives took heart that the new governor was dealing forthrightly with dismal budget realities.Click here to read more

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Now you tell us? Big Hope and Promise for Green Jobs, Recipient of $535-million federal loan guarantee, more than $1 billion in private equity funds is leaving CA.

The LA Times let’s the cat out of the bag the day after voters reject Prop 23, just in case that might have given voters pause to reconsider voting green and rejecting Prop 23 that would have suspended the Legislative AB 32 that is placing stiff demands on Businesses to pay for green technology or pay fines.

NEW: Solar company faces dark days ahead

Katy Grimes: The day after the election, the Los Angeles Times reported that Solyndra Inc., a solar power system manufacturing company in the San Francisco Bay area, is closing one of its factories, laying off 40 employees and letting the contracts for more than 150 temporary workers expire.

It’s hard not to question the timing of this information.

Even with substantial government subsidies, credits and loan guarantees, many are wondering if Solyndra enticed by the Schwarzenegger administration and/or opponents of Prop 23 to keep the news of the downsize quiet until after Tuesday’s election, in order to guarantee failure of the proposition. It certainly appears so.

The Times reported Solyndra had received “a $535-million federal loan guarantee, more than $1 billion in private equity funds and supportive visits from dignitaries such as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Vice President joe Biden and President Barack Obama.” Click here to read more.

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(Rome is burning and …) Who Cares About Nannies? Or housekeepers?

From CalWatchDog.com, Steven Greenhut: If only Meg Whitman were an actual human being, rather than a carefully crafted campaign machine surrounded by scores of advisers, she could have indignantly mocked the Jerry Brown/Gloria Allred cheap-shot October surprise regarding Whitman’s illegal nanny. Whitman didn’t do anything wrong, yet the Bee plastered this on the front page for two days and all the usual suspects are pretending that Whitman is a goner. Some Republicans are responding by pointing to similar illegal-immigrant situation with an aide to a Brown spokesman. So what?Click here to read more.

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Bell Shows Value Of Open Records

SEPT. 21, 2010 By TORI RICHARDS
When Bell city officials starting raking in obscene salary amounts, it’s a safe bet that they never considered the California Public Records Act. The law that discloses almost anything related to politicians’ lives would prove to be their undoing when placed in the hands of an enterprising journalist. Eight Bell officials were arrested today for the misappropriation of $5.5 million. Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley called the Bell scandal “corruption on steroids.”

Bombshell allegations of wrongdoing are always followed by a media frenzy of damning proportions and the inevitable probe by prosecutors. And in this case, the repercussions have reached to the state Legislature, where lawmakers — who make paltry salaries by comparison – work feverishly to right the wrongs by refunding taxpayer dollars and closing loopholes that allow such behavior to flourish.Click here to read more.

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