Mark Cabaniss, Chris Reed on Gadfly Radio: Public Employee Pension Costs, and the 50-ton Godzilla in the room

Tuesday Oct 2, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome  Mark Cabaniss, and Chris Reed. 

 

Mark Cabaniss is an attorney from Kelseyville, CA. He has worked as a prosecutor and public defender. In September he penned two articles for CalWatchDog:

Yes, we can break public-employee pensions
Sept. 20, 2012

Even if politicians’ pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution, they are still breakable. In pretending otherwise, the politicians are lying. In other words, merely noting that pensions are contracts protected by the Constitution is not the end of analysis, but only the beginning, for all contracts are breakable, and all constitutional rights are subject to limits.

Breaking public-employee pensions: The political path
Sept. 27, 2012

The most important of the contract law doctrines that could be used to get out from under current pensions is the doctrine of mistake. According to that doctrine, the current pensions were granted while relying on mistaken assumptions, specifically, unrealistic projected future pension fund investment returns which have turned out to be too high.

The second contract law doctrine which might be used to get out of onerous pensions is that the money simply isn’t there to pay excessive pensions (the current highest in California is, ha-ha, $302,492 per year). The legal arguments, as well as the political arguments, are the strongest for reforming the very highest pensions, those in excess of $100,000 per year.

Chris Reed, Publisher of CalWhine.com, Editorial Writer with San Diego Union Tribune, and contributor to CalWatchDog.com, recently penned two articles concerning CA’s Teacher’s Unions and their power in Sacramento.
The sad reason Steinberg’s right about significance of his education bill
Sept. 28, 2012

and

The ‘nut graph’ you’ll never see in a state government story
Oct. 1, 2012

Here’s a one-paragraph version that should be the basis of what journos call the “nut graph” of most stories about state spending and state priorities:

“The members of the most powerful political force in state politics, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, get far more money from taxpayers than any other single group. The teacher unions’ power derives from the automatic dues deducted from teachers’ paychecks, meaning taxpayers directly fund the lobbying and political operations of Sacramento’s most influential entity.”

Ben Boychuk has a piece recently published in the NY Post:
Jerry Brown’s tax-hike hail mary

“…Brown might just find a way to hike taxes without Prop. 30, if Democrats can pick up those four legislative seats in November. Earlier this month, he told the editors of The San Francisco Chronicle that if Prop. 30 loses, ‘we’re not going to go out to the people again. Because we’ve tried it.'”

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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.

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 program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others.

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government policy 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:



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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.

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.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog’s John Hrabe, CA City Journal’s Ben Boychuk, with special guest Mark Cabaniss

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929 
August 16, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal joins me as we talk with John Hrabe of CalWatchDog on the CA Redistricting, and Mark Cabaniss on his take on the Fullerton Police Department gang of 6 who should be prosecuted for murder and what the public needs to watch for and resist from the O.C. District Attorney.  We’ll discuss Ben’s on-line debate on the Parent Trigger for Education reform,  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villareigosa’s pronouncement today at a press club event calling for “reform” of Prop 13, and why is Ron Paul ignored as a top tier candidate? 


Related links:

To end police abuse, punish abusers By Mark Cabaniss, an attorney from Kelseyville, California, who has worked as a prosecutor and public defender in his former state of residency.

The Parent Trigger: A Positive Step or a Distraction for Improving Our Public Schools? an online debate featuring Ben Boychuk and Julie Cavanagh.

Mike Ward: Redistricting Panel Broke Law by John Hrabe of CalWatchDog.com

Carla Marinucci blogged today following LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls for overhaul of “corporate giveaway” in Prop. 13 “in a much-anticipated speech to the Sacramento Press Club today, urged progressives to “stand up to the idealogues” of the Tea Party and called for massive overhaul of state tax system — including Prop. 13 — to protect California’s future and resources, including education.”

I want to ask our panel, Why the media black out of Ron Paul’s 2nd place victory at the Iowa Ames Straw Poll on Saturday?

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 program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others.

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog‘s team of government policy 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