CA Open Primary Bodes Change in Balance of Power–Allan Hoffenblum’s analysis on probable and likely winners and losers

Tuesday Oct 9, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, managing editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Allan Hoffenblum, Publisher of the California Target Book, owner of Allan Hoffenblum & Associates and contributor to Fox & Hounds Daily.

Due to redistricting and the new top two Open Primary, there will be more competitive races for congress and the state legislature this November than we have seen in this state in over a decade. L.A. Times reports “Recent developments put the party within reach of gaining the two seats it needs for a two-thirds majority in the Legislature’s upper house.”

Allan Hoffenblum,  publisher of the California Target Book, wrote a four-part series for Fox & Hounds Daily, describing where those competitive races will be.   We’ll talk Hoffenblum about what these developments mean for the people and the politics of CA.

We’ll ask him what he thinks about the propositions on the ballot too.  CalWatchDog has a lot of coverage on the initiatives, with two propositions, Prop 30 and Prop 32 testing the political grip the special interests and public employee unions have on CA’s voters and their support.

Target Races: 

Part One: State Assembly

• Part Two: State Senate 

• Part Three: Congress 

Part Four: Same Party Runoff

Related Links:
A Democratic supermajority for California’s Senate?
Recent developments put the party within reach of gaining the two seats it needs for a two-thirds majority in the Legislature’s upper house.
October 06, 2012|By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

Democrats May Get Two-thirds Majority in California Senate
October 8th, 2012 | by Michael Burg | DailyPolitical.com

Crazifornia: Moneyball time in Sacramento
Oct. 8, 2012 | By Laer Pearce | CalWatchDog.com

“…Should Prop 30 fail in November, Brown will have a chance to start playing Moneyball. Here are some ideas for the manager of the major league Sacramento Spenders…”

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. If it’s Tuesday, you can be sure Gadfly Radio is on from 10 am to 11 am PT! The number to call if you have any questions or comments during the show is 1-800-336-2225

David Crane Breaks it Down in Layman’s Terms, Public Employee Pension Benefits, General Funds, Special Funds, Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary

David Crane has a new piece cross posted today at Fox and Hounds Daily and on Advancing a New Society
The title, With Retirement Costs Consuming One-Fifth of Discretionary Spending, California Must Reduce Un-Accrued Pension Benefits makes the point plain and simple. Then Crane breaks it down, for those who don’t understand the distinctions of public finance funds, budgets, and projections.

He breaks public funds down into categories, and even provides a chart for those of us who love graphics to help drive a point home.

Pensions and other retirement costs will consume more than 23% of discretionary state spending in fiscal year 2012-13, according to the budget recently passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown – nearly three times the share taken up by retirement costs just ten years ago.

For Californians, rapid growth in retirement costs has meant less money for universities, parks, courts and other services as well as a temporary tax increase in 2009 and another being proposed currently (one of three proposed tax increases on the November ballot – Propositions 30, 38 & 39). In the absence of reform, that share will grow, which means even more taxes and fewer services.

California’s general and special fund spending for 2012-13 is budgeted at $131 billion and effectively fits into three categories: Non-discretionary, Fiscally-protected and Discretionary.

Allow me to explain all three in layman’s terms:  (click here to go to Fox and Hound to read the full article)

Stephen Downing on Redress for Anaheim, Wayne Lusvardi Outs the Big Ruse–Hidden State Funds? Really? John Seiler on Highway Robbery by Cops

Tuesday, August 7, Retired L.A.P.D. Deputy Chief of Police, Stephen Downing, and Wayne Lusvardi join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Stephen Downing, Retired Deputy Chief of Police, L.A.P.D. joins us to discuss the issues with Anaheim. Points to consider for redress. How to foster peace officers to serve and protect, and to work with the communities they serve, and not occupy them.

Wayne Lusvardi joins us to talk about the big magic show acts hailing from Sacramento. John Laird, an old life long progressive from Santa Cruz, now a CA State Senator from the region of environmentalist rulers, appears in the middle of a big ruse, a trick to deceive and dissemble to the pubic. What’s the real story behind all the supposedly “hidden funds?”

John Seiler on The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.
Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related Links:
Quiet protest outside Disneyland | police, outside, biggest | The Orange County Register | Aug. 4, 2012 | By Mary Ann Milbourn
Mom to stop marching in weekly Anaheim police protests | The Orange County Register | August 5, 2012 |by Eric Carpenter

Theresa Smith says she appreciates support from peaceful protesters in recent weeks, and she wants to ‘do positive things.’…
…Jaclyn Conroy, of Anaheim Hills, whose nephew Justin Hertl was shot and killed by police in 2003, said she will continue protesting. She marched with other protesters to Disneyland on Sunday.

“It puts a tear in my eye that people from outside the area have come to support us,” she said. “They’ve helped bring a national spotlight and that allows us here locally to talk to people about the problems we’re having with police.”

Anaheim shootings, protests: Anger, politics, power | The Orange County Register | By Doug Irving, Eric Carpenter, Denisse Salazar and Alejandra Molina

In June – a month before the most recent shootings and subsequent protests – three Latino leaders filed suit against the city, demanding changes in city government. Their lawsuit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, calls for council members to be elected by districts rather than at-large; a change they believe would break up the Anaheim Hills’ political dominance and encourage more people from more neighborhoods to run for office.

One of the leaders who filed suit, Jose Moreno, 42, a trustee of the Anaheim City School District and president of the group Los Amigos, said the city and its Police Department have work to do to improve relations with Latinos.

“Police don’t do their work in a vacuum,” he said. “For them to rebuild relationships in our communities, we need to feel like part of the political system – like we are sharing in the resources of this city.

“In the same way, kids don’t decide to join gangs in a vacuum. Those city resources aren’t coming to us.”

‘AFRAID TO COME OUT’
Police estimate that 2,500 documented gang members claim turf in Anaheim. They belong to some 35 active gangs – all, police say, are Latino except for one African American gang.

By comparison, the police force arrayed against them is overwhelmingly white. The department has 363 officers; 82 are Hispanic and 249 are white. [ Ethnic make up of the police aside–the City Council can be responsible for police practices, policies and community relations.]

The relationship between Anaheim’s police force and its Latino communities has long been strained.

Mayor takes on Anaheim violence | CalWatchDog | August 6, 2012 | by Steven Greenhut

Unfortunately, in my view, the city’s Police Department has embraced the wrong kind of policing methods — ones that are unkind and tend to undermine people’s freedom. I don’t see police officials there using their brains to handle a situation resulting, in part, from overly aggressive policing tactics and insufficient police accountability and transparency.

Clearly, the cultural changes the mayor is trying to implement in the city bureaucracy need to filter into the police department — a point Tait also makes.

Steven Greenhut: Mayor on right path in Anaheim | Opinion – The Orange County Register | August 3, 2012

In Anaheim, voting by district could alter the power dynamic | Los Angeles Times | August 4, 2012 | Nicole Santa Cruz, Doug Smith and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Anaheim is now under growing pressure to switch to district voting, which usually makes it easier for minority groups to win council seats.

Fund transfers are purging earmarks from state budget | CalWatchDog | August 1, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Park fund scandal a ruse to grab gas tax funds from off-roaders | CalWatchDog| August 6, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Stockton police chief rips off $204K pension | CalWatchDog | by John Seiler | August 6, 2012

Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed | Bloomberg | By Alison Vekshin, James Nash and Rodney Yap | Jul 31, 2012