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
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, and former newspaperman Kaye, who blogs at

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 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
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

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:

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 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


Doug Lasken February 4, 2011 on
[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
To call us during the show: 1-866-870-5752

This Saturday night, January 29, 2011:
Steven Greenhut,’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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Redevelopment: The Unknown Government. Politicians on Both Sides Are Scrambling to Defend Some or All of It. Bottom line: Is it ethical at all? Can it be reconciled with the fundamental principles of Liberty?

Ron Kaye, Resident citizen and publisher of of Ron Kaye L.A. Blog and Steven Greenhut, Editor in Chief of join me this Saturday night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA and to set the record straight on the inherent abuse of government power on the individual citizen built into the framework of Redevelopment. There is no such thing as a good Redevelopment Agency or Program; not if you stand on principle of individual liberty as enumerated in our U.S.Constitution.

Have a look at the work Ron Kaye has produced of late on his blog on this controversial issue that California Governor Brown has brought to the fore with his announcement that he would abolish Redevelopment. Here is a page Ron Kaye has set up to speak to this issue as it applies to Los Angeles. To read an older version of Redevelopment: The Unknown Government, click here. And tune in Saturday night for spirited discussion on your liberty and Redevelopment.

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