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

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

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

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

Call in number:  1-800-336-2225

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

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

Related Links:

Former City Manager Chris Meyer Shares Wisdom; Recipients Underwhelmed

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, CA City Journal’s Ben Boychuk & Special Guests Steven Greenhut, and Mark Cabaniss

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
October 18, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com, welcome CalWatchDog’s editor in chief Steven Greenhut, and former public defender and DA  Mark Cabaniss.   

We’ll ask Steve about the news, from bad to worse concerning California’s fiscal crisis, and the battle over what to do about it. 

We’ll ask Mark what he thinks about District Attorney Raukaukus’s choice to only charge two of the six officers involved in the murder, and what he makes of the charges the DA did hand down.

KFI’s John and Ken host the number one drive time show in the country, second to New York City market in numbers, and first in monetized market share.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, if you’re in radio, you wish you had their numbers.

They’re populist and some of their political rants and perspectives line up well with the principles of liberty, sound fiscal policy and limited government that doesn’t infringe on a healthy entrepreneurial class, the middle class, the small business class.

Some of their ideas are reactionary. But that’s another topic. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct 19th, they are going to Fullerton, CA to support the recall of three sitting City Council members who make up the majority of the City of Fullerton’s City Council, and their reason is spot on for all the latter perspectives about their populism.

The issue that brought this recall into being was the police brutality against and murder of Kelly Thomas, a 37 year old 135 pound schizophrenic homeless man who also happened to be son of a former Orange County deputy sheriff and a loving caring father. The reason this case was not buried under the rug as so many police brutality cases and sometimes even the murder of a detained person or prisoner are, was the forming of an alliance between Kelly Thomas’s father and the writers of a local and popular blog called Friends for Fullerton’s Future.

Guest, Mark Cabaniss, who lives in the Sacramento area in Northern CA, is a former DA and a public defender. He has written on this case on at least three separate occasions and his pieces have been published at CalWatchDog, Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog, the Greater LongBeach.com online news publication, and other publications. You can find a compilation of his works on this issue here.
Each of the different op-eds he wrote on this case appeared is various different publications but are only listed here one time.

Tonight we’ll ask Mark to explain to us what he thinks about District Attorney Raukaukus’s choice to only charge two of the six officers involved in the murder, and what he makes of the charges the DA did hand down. L.A. Times Blog reported the D.A.’s charges like this:

Two Fullerton police officers have been criminally charged in the violent confrontation that left a homeless man dead, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday.

Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the beating of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

Are the charges fair?  Can the public expect justice be served?   Yes or no, and why? 

Special guest, Steven Greenhut, studies, writes and speaks about public policy.  In addition to being editor and chief of, and regular contributor to CalWatchDog.com,  he regularly contributes columns to online and hard copy publications, including the Opinion section of the O.C. Register, and the hard copy of City Journal.  He has authored two powerful books on abuse of the public trust in public policy: Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain , and his most current, Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation .

We’ll talk with Steve about as much as we can and have time for, concerning the ongoing battle between citizens who want to reign in the costs, power and burdens of the Public Sector in California, and those who defend the status quo, and are pushing to up the costs of sustaining the current paradigm onto the tax payers, in terms of raising taxes, and reforming or diluting Proposition 13, raising fees,  and further restricting citizens in cities or municipalities from enacting reforms at the local level to cut down the costs of their public sector services, employees, benefits and retirement pay.

Steve lived in Southern California until recently, and worked as an editor for the Opinion Section of the Orange County Register and their blog. He wrote a lot on police practices during his tenure at the O.C. Register and has much insight to share with us on the issue of the Kelly Thomas case, the DA’s charges, and the policy, politics and practices that enable police and sheriff Departments to develop into a culture of abusive practices.

Other related links:
Outlook goes from bad to worse for CalSTRS under proposed accounting standards: By Dale Kasler

California’s big public pension funds are already short tens of billions of dollars. An organization of accountants is about to make the picture look even worse. A proposed change to pension accounting standards could give more ammunition to conservatives seeking to reduce pension benefits for public sector workers. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to issue a wide-ranging proposal to overhaul pensions sometime soon.

Departing DeVore Zings Union Ally Spitzer Silencing Local Gov’t Truth-Teller

Merging cities: ‘Out of the mainstream’?

De-Development Nightmare Haunts CA Biz

Convicting an officer is a tough challenge, experts say: Jurors are usually sympathetic toward police officers and even when prosecutors get a conviction, the sentence may be reduced.

Baca says he was out of touch with county’s jails: The Los Angeles County sheriff said he failed to implement important reforms that could have minimized brutality. He also said his command staff has at times left him in the dark about jail conditions.

30 jailers punished for inmate beatings, report says: Sheriff’s Department watchdog releases study on inmate abuse. Sheriff Baca plans to install more video cameras in jail to document misconduct.

L.A. County deputy says he was forced to beat mentally ill inmate: The rookie, top recruit in his class, resigned after the incident, which he said was covered up. The deputy’s supervisor was allegedly threatened by the young man’s uncle, a sheriff’s detective.

L.A. County jail guards aid drug trading, sources say: Inmates pay to get narcotics and other contraband through deputies. Baca says guards’ financial hardships are usually involved.

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Mark Cabaniss, attorney who has been both a former prosecutor and public defender, joins Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog next Tuesday night to discuss OC DA Raukaukas’s Charges of only 2 of the Fullerton Six Police Officers invoved in the Fatal beating of Kelly Thomas

 Has OC DA Raukaukas handed down charges that make it very possible for both men to get off with little if any time behind bars?  Are the charges lenient?   Did he set up the charges with an easy escape hatch for the officers?  What are very possible and probable outcomes given these charges?

Below are essays Mark Cabaniss was inspired to write, given the grotesqueness of this case of Police criminal abuse of power.    They were published at CalWatchDog, and picked up by the Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog and the Greater Long Beach Newspaper Publication. 

OC DA’s POLICY OF PRE-EMPTIVE SURRENDER  

Monday, September 12th, 2011 By MARK CABANISS

It is getting close to decision time for Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas in the Kelly Thomas case, in which six Fullerton police officers are accused of beating Thomas to death. While the investigation is still not completed and must be b…

THE KELLY THOMAS CASE: INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER OR FELONY MURDER?

By Mark Cabaniss | August 31, 2011, 5:34 pm

An involuntary manslaughter charge depends on the assertion that the police were lawfully arresting someone. But if they beat Thomas after he lost consciousness, it was no longer a lawful arrest. Felony murder—death arising from a felony—could be based on Thomas’ death arising from battery with serious bodily injury, mayhem or torture, as examples.There does not have to be any intent to kill.

TO END POLICE ABUSE, PUNISH ABUSERS 

Tuesday, AUGUST 16, 2011 By MARK CABANISS

Let us be clear: Kelly Thomas’ death was not a “tragedy’ during a “confrontation,” or an “altercation”; it was a gang killing in which six men beat to death a small, mentally ill man who was completely unconscious as the final death blows fell.

What About Those Other Four Cops, Their Bosses, and the FPD Code of Silence?

Posted at Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog by Grover Cleveland in Law ‘N Disorder, Setting The Bar Low, The Crime Beat on September 22nd, 2011:

Watch as the DA explains how the other four officers involved in the Kelly Thomas murder did not mention excessive force when they wrote their reports of the incident.

There is a video posted of DA Raukakus speaking about the other four police officers involved in the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas

Watch as the DA explains how the other four officers involved in the Kelly Thomas murder did not mention excessive force when they wrote their reports of the incident.

Also recall that those reports were supposedly written (and even more importantly, rewritten) to the satisfaction of “The Management” who watched the tape.

Put it all together and you’ve got the makings of a full-fledged cover up. 

Click to read the post and see the short 30 second video.

The Fullerton 6: A Death Penalty Case–Published at Fullerton’sFuture.org

September 8, 2011
By Mark Cabaniss, an attorney who has worked as both a prosecutor and as a public defender.

Mark has written several interesting pieces on the Kelly Thomas case over at GreaterLongBeach.com and CalWatchDog.com.

Reportedly, the Orange County DA is waiting for the coroner’s report before deciding whether to file charges against the six Fullerton police in the beating death of Kelly Thomas. As the medical evidence comes in, it looks increasingly likely that charges will be filed. But will the charges, if they are brought, be minimal, or will they be serious? Will they be the most serious charges warranted by the evidence? We don’t know. What we do know is that Kelly Thomas died after six Fullerton police severely beat him. The DA is still waiting for the official cause of death to be determined, but for the sake of this article, I am going to assume that the death came about as a result of the beating. Now let us make two further assumptions:

Click here to read more.

Who is Ron Thomas? Kelly Thomas’s father-an intimate, eloquent, rightous depiction of the great father that Ron Thomas was and is

A quote from a blog post up at Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog. They get so many comments on their posts, it’s like a paper like the WSJ. This one was number 24 of 282 comments… That number will grow. This comment like many on the blog, is a jewel. It is a tribute to Ron Thomas. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! You were a great dad to Kelly Thomas. Your heart must break each time you hear that recording of your son calling out for you, his last words…Dad! Dad! dad!

“Shut your pie-hole you taint! Ron Thomas has been asked by the City of Fullerton to become chairman for a new Homeless/Mentally Ill support committee for the city. Why? Mainly to teach the police force and hopefully other ignorant bungholes like yourself, some of the behaviors of mentally ill people and how to effectively deal with them. This man cared for his son. He obtained conservatorship over his son. His son was spending the night at his house on a regular basis, but also chose to sleep elsewhere. He did many ‘tough love’ things with his son like placing him in psych wards when he was a little off, for ongoing evaluations and monitoring his meds. He had to physically restrain his son to do this on many occasions and did it very well without beating him or tasing him. GO AHEAD and tell us more about how Ron Thomas was not doing his job as a parent Mr. Killer Cop or Mr. Killer Cop’s wife!!!”

Saturday night on 870AM KRLA, Two Titan Developers Battle The Labyrinth of Insider Politics Over Land Use & Subsidies to Build An NFL Stadium In L.A. Also, What About the Parent Trigger as Empowerment for Parents over Failing Schools?

Saturday Night February 5 at 11PM

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

Podcast Part 1 Ben Austin, Larry Sand, Norberto Santana & Part 2 Ron Kaye, John Seiler


Ben Austin, Executive Director of The Parent Revolution joins me to talk about the Parent Trigger, What is it? What does it do? How does it work? Why do opponents say among other things that it is a scheme to destroy public education and is supported by far right wing factions who want to privatize education? Larry Sand of the CA Teacher’s Empowerment Network also joins us.
And on Billionaires’ Playgrounds and their visions, using taxpayer subsidies and land give-aways to bring NFL Stadiums to the City of Angels, Ron Kaye of Ron Kaye L.A. Blog, and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.

Antonio Gonzalez, host of Strategy Session at KPFK said he’d join us. And we should hear from Blogger Reporter Norberto Santana of Voice of OC, on a story he broke here, regarding a story previously covered on Friends for Fullerton’s Future Blog here, alleging Former State Senator Dick Ackerman had lobbied his former Orange County colleagues in the CA State Legislature in violation of State law, concerning the sale of the OC Fair Grounds, but which was lacking records or a smoking gun, until now. Santana uncovers both records that are certainly compromising to Ackerman and to O.C. DA Tony Rackauckas, who looks like he covered for Dick.

Related Posts in the News & on the L.A. Bloggosphere:
Signs of Hope: Can L.A. Come Together for Everybody’s Benefit?
By Ron Kaye on February 4, 2011 6:40 AM
EDITOR’S NOTE: The CRA action Thursday in locking up $930 million included attaching a supplemental agenda that wasn’t previously included, one that was not made available online, leading to complaints of lack of transparency. Here’s the list you can  download in PDF.
A series of events on Thursday offered hope for the future of Los Angeles.
Coverage in the media of AEG’s “greed is good” NFL stadium extravaganza caught the wretched excess of it with the mayor and other city officials lying down on the artificial carpet and kowtowing to Tim Leiweke.  Click here to read the post

Here Are the Rules for an NFL Stadium in the City of Greatness:
THE SCORE AT FARMER’S FIELD by Stephen Box

Note: (Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch.  Disclosure: Box is also a candidate for 4th District Councilman.)
Essence of Stephen’s post is that he’s for it, with certain conditions which he enumerates here…Click here to read more.

L.A. City Council takes cooler view of football stadium plans

By Patrick J. McDonnell and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
February 3, 2011
Click here to read more

Examiner’s owner wants stadium, has spread $$$

By Josh Richman Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 6:07 pm
Reacting to today’s Los Angeles Times story about how “developer Philip Anschutz’s plan to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles may now hinge on whether state lawmakers will allow him to bypass some environmental rules so the 64,000-seat project can quickly get underway,” Berkeley-based bloodhounds MAPLight.org quickly uncorked a long list of lawmakers to whom the Denver-based billionaire businessman has made contributions.
[You've got to check out this list of who's who in elected legislative office.] Click here to read the story.


Roski: Only room for one stadium

Posted: 02/02/2011 07:37:40 PM PST
INDUSTRY – Billionaire real estate developer Ed Roski Jr. said Wednesday there can only be one National Football League stadium in the Los Angeles area.


Roski’s plan to build a 75,000-seat stadium in Industry is in competition with Anschutz Entertainment Group President and CEO Tim Leiweke’s idea to build a 64,000-seat stadium in downtown Los Angeles….
AEG spokesman Mike Roth declined to comment for this story.  Click here to read the article.

Will Farmers Field Feed LA’s Hunger?

By Ron Kaye on February 2, 2011 5:49 AM
In announcing his full and undivided support for AEG’s takeover of the LA Convention Center and erection of an NFL stadium, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed a Blue-Ribbon Commission (BlueRibbon.rtf) headed by Austin Beutner to thoroughly examine what is already a done deal…


What could be more natural than to call it Farmers Field in a city where so many fortunes were made bulldozing farmland and paving paradise, where even a vital community asset like the South Central Farm was bulldozed for no reason at all. Click here to read more.

City borrowing for NFL stadium may cost taxpayers millions
Bill Boyarsky  January 26 2011 4:52 PM

Why should Los Angeles borrow $350 million to tear down a perfectly good convention center building and rebuild it on another expensive downtown location? Click here to read more.

Grannan: Powerful “Parent” Trigger operators target vulnerable school; attack misfires Guest post by Caroline Grannan — P.P.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The current hot story in education reform is California’s Parent Trigger law and its deployment against high-poverty McKinley Elementary school in disadvantaged Compton, near Los Angeles. Click here to read more.

Head to Head: Should state support its ‘parent trigger’ law? A resounding ‘Yes!’
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 – 12:00 am 
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 – 8:33 am

On Tuesday, in the SacBee, Pia Lopez, a Sec Bee Columnist and Ben Boychuk of the Heartland Institute wrote this very instructive op-ed on California’s Parent Trigger Law, what it is, what does, and why it should be supported.
Posted on this blog here.

Have Trigger Law – Will Organize

By Larry Sand 12/14/10 3:01 PM EST

Shoot out in Compton is the beginning of a gun fight that promises to rival anything the Wild West has ever seen.

Back in the 50s, like many kids, I was a huge fan of TV Westerns. I could not let a Gunsmoke, Have Gun-Will Travel or The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp go by unwatched. Good guys and bad guys in white hats and black hats filled my TV landscape on a daily basis. Click here to read more

GOVERNOR BROWN: DROP RACE TO THE TOP

Doug Lasken February 4, 2011 on Flashreport.org
[I post this as related only because Ben Austin was on the State Board until Jerry promptly booted him and supporters, upon taking office last month, and replaced them with what many would describe as very friendly and sympathetic to the CA Teacher's Union.]
In spite of California’s $25 billion deficit, we are about to pour $1.6 billion down the drain.

That’s the estimated cost of replacing the California education standards with President Obama’s Common Core Standards (CCS). The Schwarzenegger appointed State Board of Education voted last summer to make the switch in pursuit of Obama’s Race to the Top (RTTT) education grant. Our RTTT application was rejected and we will not receive a dime of the grant, but as all eyes are focused on California’s dire budget options, we are still blithely planning to spend $1.6 billion of state money on testing companies, publishers, and school staff training, for no apparent reason. Click here to read the post

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Here’s a link to a great candidate race in Fullerton, CA. This guy is a taxpayer hero to the people of CA. He’s helped save us Billions!!!

Please check out these great posts telling of his feats, and please spread the word. He needs your help to win. Let’s reward a hero, and help him defeat a turkey!

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