“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!

The Sacramento Bee unearths a stunning fact about the growth in spending on state workers.

California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11.

The details:

In 2001, the state had the “full-time equivalent” of 372,678 employees and was paying them $1.7 billion a month. By 2011, the FTE’s, as they are dubbed, had increased to 407,321 and payroll costs to $2.4 million billion.

Over the 10-year span, which included two major recessions separated by a brief period of economic expansion during the housing boom, FTE’s in higher education, the largest single component of the state workforce, increased by 23 percent from 128,665 to 158,229, and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount — from 48,896 to 60,007.

Click here to read this poignant piece.

Real Progressives who authentically care about the poor should support Gov Scott Walker

GREENHUT: Real progressives should support WI’s Scott Walker
By Watchdog Staff / May 30, 2012 /

“…once-proud movement of working people who fought oppression has morphed into an upper-middle-class movement of coddled public employees who do not care about debt levels and eroded public services. They have their gold-plated pensions and no one better touch them or else.

Progressives used to pride themselves on their desire to help the poor, but in Wisconsin these days they’d rather throw the poor under the bus — a public bus, of course, with a union driver — to protect the relatively wealthy class of workers who administer government programs.”

Click here to read the article

The New Aristocracy–Public Employee Unions–The Cluprits in Los Angeles’s Insovency

Officials and agency board members enjoy perks, and Cadillac benefits, without regard to who will pay the piper.

Unions the culprit in L.A. insolvency
by Brian Calle
Published: April 20, 2012 Updated: April 22, 2012 12:11 p.m.
Orange County Register

“…the City of Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System is $9.25 billion unfunded; the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System is $11.32 billion unfunded; and the City of Los Angeles Water and Power Employees’ Retirement System is $6.59 billion unfunded. To put the numbers in context, L.A.’s 2011-12 operating budget is $6.87 billion, according to the city…”

Click here to read the article

Some of the hottest on CA News concerning public policy and Fiscal sanity, or insanity, depending on how you see it.

State & Local – POLITICS
Cash-strapped California city gears up for battle with unions over pension reform
By William Lajeunesse
Published March 14, 2012

Facing an ocean of debt, San Diego is offering voters in June a potential lifeboat: public employee pension reform.

“Taxpayers have had it,” former Mayor Roger Hedgecock said. “A huge portion of the city budget is going to fund these pensions far beyond anything in private sector.”

The initiative would force new city workers into private-sector style 401(k)s. Current employees would pay more, and their retirement payments would be based solely on base salary – not accrued sick leave and vacation time, often used to inflate pension pay.

To read more and check out the video report: Click here

CalPERS reduces investment forecast – How will California cover the difference?
March 14, 2012

n the midst of massive budget deficits and recent heat over pension reform, the Board of Directors of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, voted today to lower its assumed rate of return for the first time since the recession dragged down stock and real-estate prices.

They’re readjusting from 7.75 to 7.5 percent, which might not sound like a lot, but in actual dollars, it means finding an additional $167 million in the state budget to pay pensions, for which California spent $3.5 billion in 2011. The new rate will take effect on July 1, although CalPERS has been asked to phase the change in over two years, hopefully sparing cities from more cuts.
To read more and to listen to the audio with Pat Morrison, Click here.

The Union War on School Volunteers
By Editor, on March 13th, 2012

There are so many facets to the problem of public sector unions that one of their most outrageous abuses, their war on volunteerism, is barely covered by the media. But it happens all the time, especially in public education. If any volunteer does work that could be done by a unionized worker, even if no funds exist to hire that worker, the union is likely to use all their power to stop that volunteer from providing their services.

In Culver City, a suburb of Los Angeles, the union war on school volunteers has taken a new twist. In order to maintain supplemental language programs, as well as adequate staffing of classroom helpers in the Culver City Unified School District, a few philanthropic individuals have funded the payment of modest stipends to people to assist the teachers. They are essentially volunteers. But that’s not ok with the Culver City Association of Classified Employees – translation, the local union – who has threatened to file a complaint with the powerful, union-friendly Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a “quasi-judicial administrative agency that is charged with upholding and administering collective bargaining statutes that cover employees working in California schools.” For more on this, refer to the following reports: “Parents lodge strong opposition to unionizing of CCUSD language school employees,” and “Parents Attracting Name Allies in Dispute with Union.”

To read more Click here.

California’s Greek Tragedy No one should write off the Golden State. But it will take massive reforms to reverse its economic decline.

By MICHAEL J. BOSKIN and JOHN F. COGAN

Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state’s largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.  (Click here to read more.)

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, CA City Journal’s Ben Boychuk & Special Guest Richard Rider of San Diego’s Tax Fighters Group

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
October 4, 2011: Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com, welcome Richard Rider of San Diego’s Tax Fighters Group for a lively discussion on what the looters of America are up to and getting away with like it or not. Used this last line last week, and lo and behold, it still fits.

Yesterday, Katie Grimes of CalWatchDog.com wrote Brown Hands Out More Union Gifts. It is a bloody gutting of a bill at the 11th hour, to fill it with an egregious flagrant power grab, to neuter, nullify, squash, smash, any efforts by citizens in local governments to govern themselves, to do what Sacramento is too corrupt and dysfunctional to do, to reign in the Blob that controls the Governor and the majority of the Legislature in Sacramento. The bill SB 922, that started out as a bill to legislate immunizations and tuberculosis screening was gutted and transformed into a death knell on City or Municipally passed initiatives to ban Project Labor Agreements anywhere in CA, because what has been brewing in San Diego has been getting the attention of activist around the state, inspired by the success of the activists in San Diego, to build coalitions to establish sound fiscal policy in San Diego, to protect vital services and restore financial solvency.

The coalition for Comprehensive Pension Reform C.P.R. announced on Friday, last week, that they had qualified a major game changing initiative for the ballot, in June next year, to reform public employee pensions for the City of San Diego. Earlier in the month of September, activists in the City of San Diego just qualified an initiative to ban Project Labor Agreements for Construction in the City of San Diego.

We’ll talk with Richard Rider on the reform measures that have been passed, and the two that have just been qualified for the June ballot and this move by the Governor and the Union controlled Legislators who have passed a bill to cut the San Diego reformers off at the knees. What now?

I want to talk about my take on the Latino Groups who announced last week, they want John and Ken removed from the airwaves on KFI.  It is not a coincidence that the same week, Governor Brown refers to John and Ken as part of a group he coins as the ‘Legion of Acceptability’ in a interview with the NYT.

Related links:
Anti- Project Labor Agreement Initiative Qualifies for Summer Ballot

my take on the Latino Groups who announced last week, they want John and Ken removed from the airwaves on KFI.

  
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.

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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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Summary of Pension Dates and Votes | CalWatchDog

John Seiler:

The Orange County Register’s Teri Sforza wrote up a great summary of California’s pension crisis, beginning with goosing the pensions during the past decade. She brings up the 9/11 attacks and the overwhelming support that went to police and firemen across the country. Then the police and fire unions took advantage of the taxpayers:

Among the many legacies of 9/11 — a nation’s sudden sense of its own fragility, trillions spent on military and security operations, not being able to accompany guests to airport departure gates — is the legacy of uber-generous public safety pensions, which may result in government agencies essentially paying two police and firefighter forces: One that works, and one that doesn’t.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that police and fire unions took advantage of the 9/11 tragedy to increase their pension benefits,” said Jack Dean, editor of pensiontsunami.com, in an email. “No elected official wanted to appear ungrateful for our local ‘heroes’ in uniform, and so they gave them whatever they asked for. Unfortunately, we taxpayers — and our children and grandchildren — will be suffering the consequences of those pension formula boosts for many decades.”

It wasn’t just Orange County.

Click to read the post at CalWatchDog.

14 Cities That Are Being Eaten Alive By Public Sector Workers

Congratulations California! We have five out of the top 14 cities in the country that are being eaten alive by their employees!

Click here to go to the article.

Christopher Sheldon, Vice President of CWA District 1, calls Governor Christie and Democratic Leaders Nazis during an anti-pension rally in Trenton, NJ on June 16, 2011.


They’re sounding desperate now.

Editorial: Even Massachusetts gets it about unions – Orange County Register

June 03, 2011|By ocregister

In Massachusetts, liberal-leaning Democrats run the government. But to its credit, the Democratic-controlled Legislature has boldly acted to bring spending of taxpayer money under control by voting to curb collective bargaining rights on health care for municipal employees…

These otherwise public union-friendly lawmakers are acknowledging taxpayers are not a bottomless pit of cash, and there are limits on how much government can dole out.

The California Legislature, also controlled by liberal-leaning Democrats, would be wise to learn from their East Coast kindred spirits.

Click here to read the short pithy commentary

In “War Against All Get Closer” it looks like Joel Fox is saying “See. I told you so!” about CA’s Prop 25 in 2010, and the Public Employee Unions backing it.

By Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee
Tue, May 31st, 2011

I read with interest John Seiler’s column last week in CalWatchDog.org in which he described the plans of the California Federation of Teachers to raise taxes – many taxes: higher income taxes on the rich; oil severance taxes; business property taxes; taxes on services. Seiler was quoting from an article written by Marty Hittelman, president of the CFT.

What particularly caught my attention was Hittelman’s comment from the magazine article that passing Proposition 25 for a majority vote budget last year was only a first step. The goal is to lower the two-thirds vote for taxes.

I debated Hittelman a number of times on Prop 25 when it was on the ballot. I pointed out Prop 25’s flaws, that it opened up the possibility to new taxes and that the ultimate goal was to get at the two-thirds vote on taxes. Hittelman denied this. Click here to go to the story

The Trouble with Public Sector Unions–Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers:

Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason?

DANIEL DISALVO
Fall/2010

When Chris Christie became New Jersey’s governor in January, he wasted no time in identifying the chief perpetrators of his state’s fiscal catastrophe. Facing a nearly $11 billion budget gap — as well as voters fed up with the sky-high taxes imposed on them to finance the state government’s profligacy — Christie moved swiftly to take on the unions representing New Jersey’s roughly 400,000 public employees.

On his first day in office, the governor signed an executive order preventing state-workers’ unions from making political contributions — subjecting them to the same limits that had long applied to corporations. More recently, he has waged a protracted battle against state teachers’ unions, which are seeking pay increases and free lifetime health care for their members. Recognizing the burden that such benefits would place on New Jersey’s long-term finances, Christie has sought instead to impose a one-year wage freeze, to change pension rules to limit future benefits, and to require that teachers contribute a tiny fraction of their salaries to cover the costs of their health insurance — measures that, for private-sector workers, would be mostly uncontroversial.

The firestorm that these proposals have sparked demonstrates the political clout of state-workers’ unions. Christie’s executive order met with vicious condemnation from union leaders and the politicians aligned with them; his fight with the public-school teachers prompted the New Jersey Education Association to spend $6 million (drawn from members’ dues) on anti-Christie attack ads over a two-month period. Clearly, the lesson for reform-minded politicians has been: Confront public-sector unions at your peril. Click here to read this insightful and timeless piece in full.

(Video) of Unions Badgering Wisconsin

Anthony Randazzo
February 22, 2011, 1:26pm
Last night I went on RT to discuss the union collective bargaining rights issue in Wisconsin and where the national debt issue stands in Congress.

…”the fact remains true that Wisconsin overspent its growth rate during the past decade, assuming that the large tax revenues yielded from economic expansion would continue in perpetudity. And that is not to mention pension system mismanagement that relied on unrealistic return on investment expectations. Those are reasons why Wisconsin’s budget is in trouble. It is not because Alan Greenspan missed the housing bubble.”

Click here to watch the (Video) about Unions Badgering Wisconsin and read the rest of Randazzo’s short pithy report.


Dick Morris puts it bluntly to the Republican-elect Majority in the Congress: Smash the Union Thug-o-cracy

The victory of Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid can be attributed to the underestimated power of the Public Employee Unions to get out the vote.
“One of the first orders of business to come up in the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be the demand for bailouts of states where expenditures have been especially profligate – California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut. Throughout 2009 and 2010, these states governments have stayed above water by repeated infusions of federal cash. These one-shot stimulus payments must be repeated each year. They are all non-recurring expenditures requiring separate annual appropriations.”…”The fiscal crises facing state and local governments and school boards makes these unions and their political clout vulnerable, potentially at the mercy of a Republican controlled House of Representatives. We may, at long last, have a way to liberate our nation from the domination of those who should be our public servants but instead are frequently our union masters.” Click here to read the article published at DickMorris.com

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Pro-union study twists stats, takes public for saps

By: Steven Greenhut
Special to The Examiner
October 24, 2010

California’s public employee unions have taken the public for suckers for years, so it’s understandable they now think they can play us for fools.

A study released Monday by a think tank that specializes in pro-union advocacy purports to show that public employees receive less total compensation than their counterparts in the private sector. Unfortunately, the study is being depicted in the media as a serious analysis that debunks public hysteria about overpaid and over-pensioned public employees in cities such as Bell. But it’s nothing of the sort.

“This is the kind of paper where they started with a conclusion and tailored the research around it,” said my Pacific Research Institute colleague Jason Clemens, an economist who directs PRI’s research efforts. Basically, the researchers took the total wages in the public and private sectors, averaged it out and then adjusted for educational levels and several other factors.

The researchers didn’t look at, say, a private sector janitor with a set amount of experience and compare his total compensation package to a similarly skilled janitor in the public sector. “Instead, the study relied on education levels —- ‘the single most important earnings predictor’ —- and other factors widely found to affect compensation levels, such as gender, race, ethnicity and disability, to compare the two sectors,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle. They also adjusted for average employee age.

How anyone could report that without noting that such an approach is bogus, is beyond my comprehension. Click here to read the rest of the article at the SF Examiner website or you canClick here to read the article at CalWatchDog.com.

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Unions Battle Reform in GOP Stronghold

by Steven Greenhut

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction,” said German psychologist Erich Fromm. Whatever greed does to one’s psyche, it does even worse things to public budgets. California, sinking amidst a structural $19 billion deficit and facing as much as one-half-trillion-dollars in pension debt, is paying the price for years of legislators giving away the store to public employee unions.

Click here to read more.

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What’s a thug? How does a thug operate? They try to sit on you, tie you up, render you defenseless. Behold Public Employee Unions’ latest thuggish move:

Just when a City finds a way to fight back against Public Employee Unions who are bankrupting their city budget, as well as bankrupting the State, behold, a water-carrier carries a bill, to kill local government’s power to negotiate for relief. The only solution acceptable to the unions, is for the taxpayer to pay more.

The other solution, the fair solution, which requires unions to negotiate new contracts and make concessions, like the rest of us have to in this economy, is unacceptable to the public employee unions. Instead, they turn to their bought and paid for elected legislators and have one of them carry a bill, and their committees speed it along, before any other city tries to do what Vallejo just had to.

This bill would take declaring bankruptcy for local governments, off the table.

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The Government Pay Boom America’s most privileged class are public union workers.

It turns out there really is growing inequality in America. It’s the 45% premium in pay and benefits that government workers receive over the poor saps who create wealth in the private economy.

And the gap is growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers. In the recession year of 2009, with almost no inflation and record budget deficits, more than half the states awarded pay raises to their employees. Even as deficits in state capitals widen and are forcing cuts in services, few politicians are willing to eliminate these pay inequities that enrich the few who wield political power.

Let’s walk through the math. In 2008 almost half of all state and local government expenditures, or an estimated $1.1 trillion, went toward the pay and benefits of public workers. According to the BLS, in 2009 the average state or local public employee received $39.66 in total compensation per hour versus $27.42 for private workers. This means that for every $1 in pay and benefits a private employee earned, a state or local government worker received $1.45.Click here to read more.

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How Unions Destroyed Greece; Union Greed and Gall in Nevada; Union Protests In Utah; Taxes on Food in Phoenix

How Unions Destroyed Greece; Union Greed and Gall in Nevada; Union Protests In Utah; Taxes on Food in Phoenix

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Sat Feb 6: Public Unions Ascend to Outnumber Private Sector Unions, & Sink CA’s Economy| Also an Extra 3 Hr Special 8-11PM Hot Topics & Guests



Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN, on
CRNtalk.com Channel 1

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
Mark Bucher joins me to discuss California’s Economic Crisis, the causes, and a Citizen Power Campaign Intiative to shift power back to the citizens, away from the Public Employee Unions that dominate the State Government at every level.

Public employee union membership now outnumbers private sector union membership. This is a first time ever on record. The impact of this ascendancy is glaringly evident in California. The impact of this turn in the balance of power shows a destructive and unsustainable financial drain across the Country.

Saturday night I fill in for Nicole Bella Remini on CRN Digital Talk, CRN 1 from 8 pm to 11 pm Pacific Time. Please join me again.

Tea Party Patriot Ben Bergquam joins me. The Tea Party Movement is having their 1st ever, National Convention, this weekend. This movement’s impact is quantifiable and undeniable. Ben will talk with us about the national movement, and because he is based in CA, he’ll talk about the issues the Tea Party Patriots in CA have in their frontsight for CA: Public Employee Unions, their unfunded pensions, hiring and salaries exceeding the private sector, dominating power over legislators and government officials.

Tea Party Patriots were a lethal force against Government run health care legislation passing in Congress, unless the Congress acts in an extraordinary run around rules and procedures.
The most progressive (Leftist) individual States have passed or are attempting to pass their own versions of government run health care. Cap and Trade is dead in the Congress thanks to the scare Democrats have finally responded to, but it took three major earthquake-upset-elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and finally, Ted Kennedy’s seat going to a Jack Kennedy Republican, Scott Brown.

CA’s own version of Cap and Trade law, AB 32, and Federal EPA Agency and the Democrat Controlled U.S. Congress are distroying CA’s largest private sector industry–Agriculture. We’ll hear from Bergquam on the way radical environmentalists in Washington D.C. are using environmental laws to kill this vital artery of CA’s economic engine, and how CA Democratic Congressmen and Senators in DC are doing nothing to stop them and we’ll review the initiatives and races in the frontsight of the CA Tea Party Movement activists.

Andrew Klavan, author of The Long Way Home, talks with us about his latest novel, and his big beef with the hugely successful AVATAR and director James Cameron, his problems with The Hurt Locker, and Quentin Trantino’s Inglorious Bastards, all three contenders for Best Picture this year, all three, according to Klavan, push a strong Anti-American message.

CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.

To request CRN Digital Talk Radio in your home or for advertising information, email info@CRNi.net.

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The Public-Union Ascendancy: Government union members now outnumber private for the first time.

WSJ
Published February 3, 2010
It’s now official: In 2009 the number of unionized workers who work for the government surpassed those in the private economy for the first time. This milestone explains a lot about modern American politics, in particular the paradox that union clout with Democrats has increased even as fewer workers belong to unions overall.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that 51.4% of America’s 15.4 million union members, or about 7.91 million workers, were employed by the government in 2009. As recently as 1980, there were more than twice as many private as public union members. But private union membership has continued to decline, even as unions have organized more public employees. The nearby chart shows the historical trend.

Click here to read more

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Mark Bucher on Unplugging the Political Machine. Cast Sunshine on the Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Public Employee Unions Get to Fund their Gig!

What’s this movement? What is it about? What’s the problem? How insidious is it? What can you do about it? Time flies by in an interview with Mark Bucher as we talk about the Political Machine, and the movement to “unplug” it.

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Sat Nov 14, 2009: Feel under seige? Don’t know how much of your $ “the Man” will let you keep, to get by? Time to Unplug The Political Machine!



Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN Digital Talk Radio, & on
CRNtalk.com CRN 1
Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Had enough? There’s a new game in town! It’s big. In California it’s called The Citizen Power Campaign. It’s purpose: Unplug the Political Machine! If you’re not in CA, listen up, because the political machine that is sucking us dry is well established and expanding where you live too.

Public Employee Unions are now the most powerful special-interest group in Sacramento because they have special powers that no one else has.
Join me with my guest Mark Bucher to discuss what exactly is the problem? And what’s the solution?

You want to make a difference, have a purpose, produce measurable results? Make politicians accountable to the voters? Good. Listen up.

Dr Jane Orient, Executive Director for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons joins us to share the massive amount and type of backlash they are witnessing from doctors against the AMA, for their endorsement of the Health Care Bill.

I’ll also give you a brief report on my experience with Babe’s with Bullets (TM) Ladies Action Shooting Camp this past week. It was a blast! I learned a lot. Without discipline, focus, practice and repetition to ingrain the right habits, one can not succeed, but with the right skills, the commitment to learn them, to practice and to be responsible and accountable, target range accuracy becomes the rule. I’m going back for more in April, to accomplish my goal to perform at the level of excellence.
The lines are open. I hope you put us on your calendar, tune in, give us a call, and join us for hot talk radio, Saturday at 10AM PT, one fast hour on CRN 1
CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.
To request CRN Digital Talk Radio in your home or for advertising information, email
info@CRNi.net.

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