Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, with Special guest, Steve Greenhut on Redevelopment–Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead!

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

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Jan 3, 2012:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of  Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, joins us to discuss the latest and hottest stories in CA politics, but especially, we want to talk about the how California’s RDAs [were] Hoisted on [Their] Own Petard.

Steve’s most recent book, Plunder, about Public Employee Union Benefits and Pensions are bankrupting the nation, is well known and regarded by serious reformers in the field, across the political spectrum nationwide.

But Greenhut also did a compelling and comprehensive book on RDAs or Redevelopment Associations, called Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain.  Did he ever think he’d see this program be dissolved in California?  How did it happen?  The title of his report says it all in one sentence.  We’ll have a chance to hear him talk about it in detail. 

Every week we cover an important story concerning education and the struggle to transform it into an effective institution. This week we touch on two stories.

One is very subtly described as State Sponsored Thievery Continues in Plain Sight, in an op-ed by Larry Sand, published today at

The other story is regarding Parents across Southern California Demanding CTA apologize for fear mongering and intimidation tactics used against families who want to organize for reform, and demands that the CTA retract denigrating statements dismissing parents’ interests, intentions and good will. Linda Serrato of the Parent Revolution joins us to talk about this story.

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.


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RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog

Some of my favorite quotes from this op-ed by Steven Greenhut:

“The CRA, the League of California Cities and the foolhardy Republicans, such as Sen. Bob Huff were outsmarted. They were so arrogant that they tripped over their own clever plans. They passed Prop. 22, which then forbade the one mechanism that would have saved redevelopment from the ash bin of history.”

“Philanthropist Howard Ahmanson is best known in the liberal media for funding religious-right causes, but one of Ahmanson’s biggest interests for years was fighting redevelopment, for reasons of faith and justice. He supported two other heroes, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines and her husband, Sen. Ted Gaines, who both defied their parties and voted with the Democrats to end redevelopment.”

It takes a big man or woman to give credit where it is due, regardless of how much you would normally disagree with the man or woman you are acknowledging. Here’s a quote that does just that:

I can’t end without tipping my hat to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature. I almost never agree with anything they do, of course. And I don’t for one minute argue that the state’s Democrats ended redevelopment because of any concern for property owners or property rights. But they did indeed do the right thing. They stuck with it. I don’t believe that we would have this great victory had the eminent-domain-supporting Meg Whitman become governor. Brown’s analysis of redevelopment did indeed show a remarkable understanding of more than the fiscal problems with it. This victory makes many of his other bad policies almost tolerable.

To read the post, go to: RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog