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

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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State Board of Education puts the brakes on Parent-trigger Law, one of two miraculous laws that passed in CA’s Union Dominated Legislature Last Year.

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.–LA Times Local Section

By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times

February 10, 2011

The state Board of Education, in its first full meeting with a majority of members appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, moved Wednesday to put the brakes on a landmark law that gives parents the right to force major reforms at low-performing schools.

The board took no action on proposed regulations to implement the law but instead will set up a working group to help determine the procedures. The panel will include those who had complained that the previous board was rushing the process without sufficiently considering their input. The board will reconsider the issue in March.
Read more here.


Does this mean they will also kill the other law that passed by a thread, and that has real teeth?  The one that made it legal to use childrens’ test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation, because prior to this miraculously hard won law, before, it was illegal to use a teacher’s students’ test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation. 

That means if a teacher is  incompetent,  that every year when the incompetent teacher’s children leave her with far lower proficiency scores than when they came into his class, same results, year after year, this teacher never was held accountable for this correlation, for it was illegal to speak of it!  It was illegal to do such an analysis!  

So why would they not eliminate both powerful laws that are explosively driving real reform?

They are set to take the power back from the parents, whom up until the parent-trigger, had none, no choice but to leave their children at home, alone, or to send them to a failing school, with generations of failure.   They offer no solutions but the same empty promises of committees to study the matter.

They are taking away from the parents this short lived power to have say over standards, quality, and curriculum.  They claim these parents are not qualified to say what is the difference between a school that fails their children and one where their child is learning to read and write and do math and language arts.  And they blame the parents for not being educated themselves, as if the parents are not discerning.  As if they cannot judge a quality program by the result, i.e. their child is learning or not to read and write and love learning!  

I would be surprised if it were not the very second item on the State Board of Education’s agenda after they have completed to take away this powerful tool from the parents who have no other power, recourse or options.

Linda Serrato, Communications at Parent Revolution, joins me this Saturday night at 11 on 870AM KRLA, to talk about the unjust scene between impassioned parents and the political class of servants to the teacher’s union lobby at the Capitol this past Wednesday. Parent Caroll Turner will also speak with us briefly.

In case you missed it, you should hear about the brave and enduring parents that rode all night in a packed bus to appeal to the State Board of Education as they had their eighth hearing on the Parent Trigger law. These parents made emotional pleas requesting that the Board ensure that any permanent regulations empower parents, not district bureaucrats or well-paid Sacramento lobbyists.
Education writer, John Fensterwald, wrote the dedicated words of the parents and posed the question parents across the state are asking: how much will legislature alter the law?

LA Weekly highlighted with skepticism how State Superintendent Tom Torlakson expresses concern that the law is too sloppy and how all he wants to do is to “clean up” the Parent Trigger law along with fellow Parent Trigger opponent, Assembly member Julia Brownley.

Even the LA Times reported critically on the State Board and how they “moved Wednesday to put the brakes on a landmark law that gives parents the right to force major reforms at low-performing schools.” Pretty difficult considering the passion and earnest effort of the parents who came and testified before the Board.

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.

They made it clear: the lobbyists cross N St. to give their well-paid spin but parents will organize, speak eloquently and passionately, and they will defend the rights of their children for the long run. Parents are organizing and working together to ensure that every next step from Sacramento will have parents involved, organized and working together. 

The teacher’s union lobbyists, and former lobbyists who sit on the Board of Education want to keep the status-quo and not allow these parents to upset their lock hold on their racket.   At stake are the children.

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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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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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Guests this Saturday night are former Bracero turned Wine Maker Grower Reynaldo Robledo Sr. & Jacob Hornberger on Immigration, Prosperity and Liberty

Podcast Part 1 & Part 2

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 22, 2011:

Sr. Reynaldo Robledo Sr. came to California from Mexico as a teenager and a Bracero, a guest worker, in 1968.  He discovered a passion for growing grapes, and learned how to grow them exceptionally well.  His story is a great American story. 

Today in addition to his thriving vineyard management business managing hundreds of acres and his family’s own over three hundred acres, the Robledo Family also is a fine wine maker. 

His values are the values shared by all free spirited lovers of liberty and freedom, family and entrepreneurship. 

He believes in the possibility of individuals like him, who start with nothing, but given the opportunity, can rise to create wealth, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful products for edifying pleasure and celebration.

I am also delighted to welcome a new friend, Jacob Hornberger, President and founder of Future of Freedom Foundation FFF.org.   Love the name!   Mr. Hornberger is a native of Laredo Texas and he grew up in a bilingual bi-cultural community.  He notes in an essay “The city, whose street names include many Spanish and Mexican historical figures, has the biggest celebration in the nation honoring George Washington’s birthday.”  His example as does Reynaldo Robledo’s, shatters the myth that multi-lingual, multi-cultural communities undermine American Exceptionalism!  In Spanish we would say ¡Eso! ¡Eso! in English, Here! Here!

The truth, the words of freedom and liberty ring true and are the same principles in any language. Like the Bible is the Word, in any language, the principles of Liberty are the principles of liberty in any language. If we speak them and practice them, we are united.

The Future of Freedom Foundation’s mission statement rings true, loud and clear: The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.

The motivation for the people who make this radio program possible is our passion for liberty.  Our purpose is to inform, inspire, celebrate and advance integrity, creative endeavors and individual liberty.

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 still a happening place, and this little engine, The Martha Montelongo Show is revved up to go! Join us.

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