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:



iTunes

Cop Lobby Flexes Its Muscle–Politics behind the defeat of CA SB 1019

“…law enforcement, after last year’s decision, gets a pass. An officer can mistakenly arrest you, can beat you, can even kill you and then the public (including victims and their families) will learn nothing about the investigation or whether that officer is disciplined. The public now is forbidden from learning about the background of officers who repeatedly use excessive force.

“Ultimately, this bill is about the public’s right to know, about the public’s ability to hold government accountable,” said Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, a liberal Democrat and author of SB1019. In a previous statement, the conservative Sen. Tom McClintock, a Thousand Oaks Republican and a co-sponsor, agreed: “The police exercise the ultimate of official power — and that ought to be tempered by the ultimate of public scrutiny. Unfortunately, because of a combination of bad law and a bad court decision … the police have the least public scrutiny.”

Click to read Steve’s analysis.

Steven Greenhut: Bureaucrats don’t come to the rescue – Orange County Register

June 3, 2011
SACRAMENTO – As a tragic San Francisco fire that claimed the life of at least one firefighter Thursday has shown, public safety jobs at times can be very dangerous. But an incident from earlier in the week across the bay in Alameda has also shown, public safety agencies also can be so mired in bureaucracy that safety officials fail to act decently, let alone heroically.

Not only did Alameda firefighters and police stand around, watch and do nothing as a suicidal man, Raymond Zack, spent an hour neck-deep in the waters of San Francisco Bay,…
Click to read the article.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut & John Seiler, w/ Guests Stewart Rhodes, Tom Donalson, and Carlos Rodriguez

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This week, CalWatchDog‘s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler both join me on the show.   

Also on the program tonight, Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers on Saturday’s Nullify Now! Event happening in L.A.  Saturday late afternoon and evening.  

And on the first ever “Open Primary” election in California, Carlos Rodriguez, local immigration Attorney,  LP Chair for Hollywood, Downtown and Central L.A. and Co-organizer of the Greater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group, and Tom Donalson, of Americas Majority Foundation and President, Marketing Consultant and Research Associate for Americas PAC join us for a lively discussion as to what happened, and what does it say is possible?

Steve and John, both wrote about yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which the Court ordered the state of CA to reduce its prison population by 30,000 inmates, to bring it down to 137.5 percent of the system’s capacity. John noted that the decision upheld a lower court ruling that from 38,000 to 46,000 must be released due to overcrowding that violated the Eight Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishments.”
There is a lot of hysteria on the talk radio circuit, a lot of hand wringing, finger pointing.
How long have we known about the situation? Was it anticipated? Why are the prisons so over crowded? Is there any plan in place? Surely there was an anticipation for this kind of ruling?


Who’s responsible for our current overcrowding and inhumane conditions?
John wrote this ruling “Court Decision Could Spur Prison Reform.” That’s a maybe? Or else what? Can they ignore the Supreme Court ruling?
What is AB 109?
How are Counties responding to the ruling?

Stewart Rhodes, Founder of Oath Keepers, Constitutional Attorney, and former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff is speaking at the Nullify Now!
Event in Los Angeles this Saturday, May 28th. He joins us to talk about the Nullify Now! Event coming up on Saturday: Who’s speaking? What does it mean? What can attendees expect to experience at the Nullification Now! event? Why is it historic? Why it is particularly significant in CA?
Rhodes was referred to me by Michael Boldin, Founder of The Tenth Amendment Center. What’s the connection?
There is a real eclectic mix of people attending this event. Heritage Foundation is the go to for Foreign Policy Hawks. At The Tenth Amendment Center, they note that although Heritage isn’t embracing the term, Nullification, they do embrace the concept.

Carlos Rodriguez, local Immigration Attorney, LP Chair for Hollywood, Downtown Central L.A., Co-Organizer of Greater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group, and former CA Congressional District Candidate in Congressional District 28, in the Valley. He garnered 8 percent of the vote in Nov in his district. And Tom Donalson, President of Americas Majority Foundation, and Marketing Consultant and Research Associate for America’s PAC. He took over where the late Richard Nadler left off before his untimely death.

We’ll talk with them about what just happened in CA’s Congressional District 36.
L.A. Times wrote: “Huey stunned politics-watchers by edging past Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat, in last week’s special primary”

Allen Hoffenblum, Publisher of the California Target Book, wrote yesterday in Fox and Hounds DailyCA‘s 36th Congressional District in Los Angeles County. about the results of last Tuesday’s special election in
It was CA’s first congressional special election run under the new “Top Two Open Primary” law that passed last November as Prop 14.

The seat is currently vacant, and was held until recently by Democrat Jane Harman, who announced in February of this year that she was stepping down to become the new director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was known as a “moderate” Democrat. Harmon held that seat for 6 years prior to 92, then ran for Gov against Gray Davis and lost, and then retook the seat in 2000 and held it for another 10 years.
“The conventional wisdom among most political observers was that due to the district’s heavy Democratic registration, and the high name ID of the two leading Democrats, that Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen would most likely come in first and second, making this the first race to see a runoff between two candidates of the same party.”
We talked about this right here last week on the show with Richard Winger of Ballot Access Blog.
Well, “It didn’t happen.”

Alan writes “Not surprisingly, what did happen is that the two candidates who both spent the most money and worked the hardest became the two top vote getters.”
The result is that on Election Day, Huey received 22% of the votes cast, 750 votes ahead of Debra Bowen.
Now, the real upset will be if Huey defeats Hahn in the July runoff election.

“But Huey’s strongly held views on social issues — anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage — in a libertarian inclined coastal district where 57% of the voters voted NO on Prop. 8 to ban gay marriage and 64% voted for Obama, makes that highly unlikely.”

Tom Donalson says “There were some good news and some lessons for conservatives.”  Here’s what we’ll ask Tom to share with us:

What was the first bit of good news?
What was the second bit of news?
What was Huey’s winning message?
How will this play out in the general?
Who really won in this election?
How significant were Americas Pac’s efforts in outreach to minority voters?

What are other observations that we can learn from from this past election, Huey’s strategy and Americas PAC’s involvement?
Tom Donalson says “The time to begin defending ourselves is now!”

I am a stand and cause 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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others.  I value your patronage. 


It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!


Tuesday nights live on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are.  California is 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 player below: 

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut & John Seiler, w/ Guest, Richard Winger, Editor & Publisher of Ballot Access Blog

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This week, CalWatchDog‘s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler both join me on the show.  We’ll be joined by Richard Winger, Editor and Publisher of Ballot Access Blog

Update: May 18, 2011:  We’re not posting the podcast for this show due to technical errors from our remote locations.   There was a lot of breakup and interference and the audio quality is not up to any acceptable standard.  We’ll be back next week, same time!

Tonight we’ll talk about the budget. What is in, what’s out, and what’s up in the air. Steven Greenhut has been up and down the state speaking with concerned citizens about the budget deficit and the costs of government public employees, their salaries and defined retirement pensions and benefits.  We’ll get his insights and take your calls.

A new ruling by a California Appeals Court orders Sacramento County’s pension system to make public the names and pension pay for 8,500 retirees.  L.A., Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties, among others, may have to follow suit. Is it binding or will it be delayed by appeal to a higher court?   Who’s for the ruling, and who is opposed to it?

Card Check for farm workers passed both the CA State Senate and Assembly and now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Farm workers, workers who earn among the least for the hardest type of labor will now be defenseless against forced unionization. All that is required for a union to prevail is for 50 percent plus 1 worker signed cards to be “submitted,” and each card is valid for up to a year. No election is necessary. This bill was sponsored by the United Farm Workers Union.

Are reporters indignant that farm workers have been robbed of their right to a secret ballot?  No!  How do they report it?   “The state Legislature has passed a bill that would give farm workers an alternative to secret ballots in deciding whether to join a union.”  How nice of them! To give the workers an “alternative.”  Al Capone couldn’t put it any nicer.

Democratic Latino voters in urban communities will likely ignore or applaud this new law, not recognizing the gross infringement of civil liberties on an entire community stripped of their right to a secret ballot.

Richard Winger, the editor and publisher of Ballot Access Blog joins us to discuss the special election that is today, with some results coming in before our show is up, and also to discuss the impact of Prop 14 passed this past November on the outcome of this election. He’ll also talk with us briefly about Americans Elect, group that claims it will get on the ballot for Elections in November of 2012 in all fifty states, (and Puerto Rico?)

My mission for this radio program is (I quote here the mission statement of The Future of Freedom Foundation. I agree with their 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 am a stand and cause 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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others.  I value your patronage. 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Tuesday nights live on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are.  California is 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 player below: 

Update: May 18, 2011:  We’re not posting the podcast for this show due to technical errors from our remote locations.   There was a lot of breakup and interference and the audio quality is not up to any acceptable standard.  We’ll be back next week, same time!

About the show last night on Gadfly Radio

Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, joined Steve Greenhut, John Seiler and me, to share some positive developments in the realm of public policy.  Steve talked about some of the highlights of what others called a debate last week in O.C.  It was Steve vs Orange County’s Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, a government union, in what Steve calls a floor mopping–him doing the mopping! We had a lot of fun while discussing the dismal state of CA’s business climate, for small business and the middle class, and the politics and policy that have major impact, and we highlighted a new emerging leader, and some policy victories as a hint of what is possible if only…  One caller  took a few of our panel on a contemplation of his dream if only the north of CA separated from the south… Too short a time for so much to talk about, but it was fun and lively and… We’ll pick it up next week, same time, same place.  Hope you enjoy the podcast! 

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut & John Seiler on the hottest in Politics and Policy, w/ guest, Richard Rider, Tax Fighter, on good news for taxpayers and property owners in San Diego. Could it Start a Trend?

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This week, CalWatchDog‘s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler both join me on the show.  We’ll also welcome tax fighter, Richard Rider, Chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, on some good news developments to reign in the size and costs of big government.

We’ll talk with Steve about the debate he had last Tuesday with Orange County’s Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, a government union. It was held at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach and sponsored by the Orange County Forum, the Lincoln Club and the Pacific Research Institute, CalWatchDog.com’s parent think tank.

The topic was “Can Pensions Be Reformed Cooperatively?”  A video recording of the debate is posted up at CalWatchDog’s website.  I want to pose the same question and others to Steve, and you are welcome to add your question to the discussion.

A new air quality bill has sailed out of the Senate “Environmental Quality committee on a 5 to 1 vote on Monday…[It is] another global warming bill, SB 246. This one would require the state Air Resources Board to monitor and regulate sources of emissions of greenhouse gases affecting owners of cars, trucks, boats and lawn mowers — as well as sources in homes and businesses. Sounds like we better get ready for the Green Police!

Authored by Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, SB 246 ironically discourages emission reductions and would significantly increases business costs as well as overall market uncertainty. It does so by imposing hefty new requirements on the development and use of compliance offsets in the cap-and-trade program under AB 32.”

John Seiler reports:  CA Dems Hold Looters’ Convention.  The Democratic Party of CA is bent on raising taxes to fix all their problems, and there seems to be no connection for these leaders with taxing too much and losing droves of businesses and tax revenues from those who are picking up and moving to other states where they are welcome, and rewarded with a hospitable business climate.   He includes some very compelling facts and numbers to drive home this trend and the impact it has on CA. 
Richard Rider, Chair of the San Diego Tax Fighters on some encouraging developments in San Diego.  Could these developments succeed and if yes, could they start a trend? 


We’ll cover these stories and more, and get your imput if you want to give us a call during the show.  

My mission for 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 their 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.” 

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live 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, if we can 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 player below: 

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog’s Steve Greenhut and John Seiler: Gov Brown’s Yawner Budget, Suicide by Public Employee makes Costa Mesa Ground Zero in the Battles Over Public Pensions

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Gadfly Radio, with me and  CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on some of the latest and hottest stories up at CalWatchDog.com

Brown’s Pension Reform A Yawner
 Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Proposal for California Is a Yawner and today is the first Costa Mesa City Council meeting since Huy Pham, 29year old maintenance worker’s suicide in Costa Mesa, after he was called in to receive his notice of termination?   Bloomberg News reported today, Costa Mesa, California Is ‘Ground Zero’ for Pension Battle After Worker Suicide (Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg)

Sky Not ‘Falling’ on School Budgets
What’s the story behind these  “cuts” in education we have been hearing about on radio ads 24/7?  CalWatchDog’s reporter, Wayne Lusvardi refutes the “sky is falling” claims we’ve been bombarded with on the airwaves.  We’ll discuss his report and tell the side the mainstream media is not telling you.

Card Check Bill Passes CA Senate, reported by Katy Grimes on March 31: The “card check” bill, SB 104, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, passed the Senate this morning 24-14, after a heated debate.  “This bill would permit agricultural employees, as an alternative procedure, to select their labor representatives by submitting a petition to the board accompanied by representation cards signed by a majority of the bargaining unit,” reads the bill.  “On the Waterfront” anybody?  And to do this the most vulnerable workers in the name of protecting them is doubly immoral.

Dependency Bill is a bill that if passed would put government powers back in check where parents and children were safe from abuse by social workers’ powers to remove children from their parents and put children into foster care without due process, or merit, or accountability.  Will it survive the next phase?

 Show Us Your Papers Please!
“Republican legislators gathered on the north steps of the state Capitol today to pitch AB26, which would clamp down on illegal immigration. Modeled after Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal-immigration law, the bill would “beef up enforcement of immigration laws against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and make being in California illegally punishable as a misdemeanor,” according to the Victor Valley Daily Press. “It aims to end so-called sanctuary cities by enabling residents to sue the government over lax enforcement.” Members of the Service Employees International Union were on the sidewalks making catcalls as various officials and crime victims addressed a crowd that seemed dominated by Tea Party members.”

“The bill certainly expands government powers.   Steve Greenhut’s “main concern is summed up by a sign holder who was an official participant at the event, someone who was standing in the group surrounding the Assembly members: ‘I would be happy to show you my papers any time. Yes AB26.’
Is this right? Are self-styled supporters of freedom and the Constitution really willing and happy to show government agents their papers at any time?
American citizens of Latino heritage know that they will be the ones repeatedly asked to show their papers in any such scenario. This explains the opposition to it from so many people. Once again, we see Republicans who are advocating laws that are in direct conflict with their stated goals of promoting liberty.”

My mission for 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 their 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.”

It’s my privilege to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can manage to get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

CA GOP Saves Eminent Domain! Party of the tax payer? NOT! Party of the Property Owner? NOT!

MARCH 18, 2011

By STEVEN GREENHUT

California Republicans love to talk about limiting government, fighting bureaucracy and keeping taxes low, but on Thursday they proved that this is nothing more than a rhetorical device. Given the opportunity to rein in the size and power of government in a tangible way, Assembly Republicans – with one sole exception – punted. They rallied to save some of the most abusive and wastrel government agencies around.

As the California GOP begins its convention in Sacramento today, party members ought to at least understand where its Assembly members stand – on the side of big government, higher taxes and uncontrolled debt and against property rights, individualism and freedom. As the party blathers about luring minority and working-class voters, let it be clear that the GOP sided with the developers and government planners who want to drive minorities and working-class people off of their property. The Democrats are right: The GOP is the party of big business and privilege.

As part of the governor’s budget package, the Assembly voted on SB77, which would have ended the state’s redevelopment agencies. But only longtime redevelopment foe, Chris Norby of Fullerton, sided with taxpayers and property owners. The rest of the Assembly Republicans voted “no” or didn’t vote at all. Had even one of the Republicans joined Norby, the bill would have passed with a two-thirds majority. There may still be time, but the GOP is too busy celebrating that it stopped Brown on this one issue. They put partisanship above their own ideology. They stopped Brown in one of the few areas where Brown was right.Click here to read more.

Gadfly Radio with Me and CalWatchDog’s Steven Greenhut and John Seiler! Tonight! 8PM PT!

Gadfly Radio Premiere’s Tonight, March 15th at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
We’ll talk about Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami.  What are some of the reverberations for California’s economy and our energy supply options.   We’ll also talk about the Budget Crisis in Sacramento and what are the possibilities, one way or the other, if the Governor gets to put a measure to raise or “extend” taxes to a vote on a ballot in June?  What if the tax increase measure is put on the ballot after it’s after the ‘temporary’ taxes the CA Legislature gave us back in the spring of 2006 expire before the Governor and the Legislature were able to get them  ‘extended,’ with a Yes vote by CA voters?   Will it be a mail in only ballot?   What happens if the voters vote NO on the Governor’s tax increase/extension plan?  
Talk about tsunamis, another CalPERS scandal worth tens of millions of dollars! The fox is not a good watchdog for the hen house!
Update on the Parent Trigger Law.

To listen to a podcast:

Next Tuesday Night at 8PM PT! Listen to ‘Gadfly Radio’ with Me, Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog on L.A. Talk Radio, on LATalkRadio.com

Gadfly Radio Premiere’s on March 15th
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

To listen to a podcast:

Battlelines are drawn: In CA and Wisconsin, the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits rip open the debate! Also, grotesque abuse of power by Steve Cooley’s L.A. Prosecutorial Agency and the L.A.S.P.D., Saturday Night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA

Saturday Night February 26 at 11PM

You can listen live at 870AM KRLA, or 
on line at http://KRLA870.com/
To call us during the show dial 1-866-870-5752
Martha Montelongo with CAL WATCH DOG  presents: 

As one veteran follower of teacher unions remarked this week, the battle lines are clear. Like it or not, reformers of every political persuasion will have to pick sides.
Podcast Part 1 & Part 2

In light of the standoff between the unions and their supporters in Wisconsin’s state legislature, the brave warriors hiding out in amusement parks and cheap hotels, using doctor’s note’s so they can claim medical leave, and excused absence so as not to miss a paycheck, to avoid dealing with Governor Walker’s proposal to eliminate collective bargaining, a USA Today/Gallup Poll came out early this week that found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

Almost two-thirds of those polled say their states face budget crises, but respondents oppose or are split on potential solutions, from tax hikes to spending cuts.
Key results:
— 71% oppose increasing sales, income or other taxes while 27% are in favor that approach.
— 53% oppose reducing pay or benefits for government workers while 44% are in favor.
— 48% opposed reducing or eliminating government programs while 47% were in favor of cuts.
“This underlines the difficulty of solving these problems,” Jeffrey Jones of Gallup says. “It’s hard to find a consensus on what to do.”

The poll has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

Dick Morris did a poll on Wisconsin, in which he concludes, “voters back the principal of collective bargaining.  But they are also willing to limit these negotiations so that they would not impede education reforms.”

[Voters] support many aspects of the proposal by significant numbers:

VOTERS SUPPORT CHANGING THE BENEFITS TO STATE WORKERS, PAY, AND AUTOMATIC DEDUCTION OF UNION DUES

• By 74-18, they back making state employees pay more for their health insurance.
• By 79-16, they support asking state workers contribute more toward their pensions.
• By 54-34, Wisconsin voters support ending the automatic deduction of union dues from state paychecks and support making unions collect dues from each member.
• By 66-30, they back limiting state workers’ pay increases to the rate of inflation unless voters approve a higher raise by a public referendum.

VOTERS OPPOSE CHANGING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS

On the issue of limiting collective bargaining to wage and benefit issues, however, they break with the Governor, opposing the proposal by 41-54.

If the issues to be taken off the bargaining table are related to giving schools flexibility to modify tenure, pay teachers based on merit, discharge bad teachers and promote good ones, however, they support such limits on collective bargaining by 58-38.

Bring it home to California, which is in deep trouble over the State’s unfunded public employee pension liabilities and retirement benefits and to add fuel to this fire, a union in California is now  targeting city management.

With Wisconsin’s Governor and Republican legislators trying to repeal the state’s collective bargaining law for public-employee unions, as well as requiring state workers to pay some of their pension costs, Sacramento’s former head of labor relations, Dee Contreras, is now trying to organize a labor union of city managers and other highly-compensated administrative workers.

The practice of former city managers and upper management city executives crossing over to the other side of the negotiating table is growing, despite the strong push back by voters and private sector.

Here to talk about this battleline, your CalWatchdogs, John Seiler and Steven Greenhut.   John posted his analysis of the report released Thursday by The Little Hoover Commission, regarding California’s Public Employee Pensions, with an in depth analysis of how we got here.

The Commission report makes recommendations for how to deal with the critical situation in California.  Who is The Little Hoover Commission?  Is the report comprehensive? Are the recommendations enough?
What say John Seiler and Steve Greenhut regarding:

  1. Gallup’s national poll concerning voters support for government employees having collective bargaining?
  2. Dick Morris’s poll concerning Wisconsin’s voters support for collective bargaining and reforms?  
  3. The latest developments in California with Dee Contreras, Sacramento’s former head of labor relations, now trying to organize a labor union of city managers and other highly-compensated administrative workers?
  4. The Little Hoover Commission Report? 

Related Links:
George Skelton, the house liberal Icon Columnist weighs in on the issue:
SKELTON: Reality behind pension debate – National Voices – Modbee.com
“…in the eyes of many in private enterprise. It’s sort of an American civil war between government and nongovernment families.
“A key question that we think needs to be asked,” Assistant Legislative Analyst Jason Sisney said in a recent report, “is this: Can the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits be sustained much longer? We think that it probably cannot.”

But, does Skelton’s opinion carry water? The folks at The Democratic Strategist don’t think liberals matter so much to the Democrats, as much as do moderates!
Is the Center Still Vital?
This item by TDS Contributor and Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow and managing editor Lee Drutman is cross-posted at Democratic Strategist from Progressive Fix.
Third Way’s Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck have published a new analysis about the role of moderates in American politics, “The Still-Vital Center: Moderates, Democrats, and the Renewal of American Politics.”
Posted by staff on February 24, 2011 6:43 PM

“…moderates are more likely to support Democrats. Since 1980, the U.S. electorate has hovered around 20 percent liberal, 33 percent conservative, and 47 percent moderate. This means that Democrats need moderates more, since liberals make up only one-fifth of voters. Conservatives outnumber liberals by a substantial amount, so Republicans need fewer moderates to establish a winning coalition. This is the kind of simple math that liberals keep forgetting. Obama, like every Democrat before him, couldn’t have won without strong support among moderates.”

Bottom line, according to Democratic strategists, liberals can drop dead. The Democratic strategists are going for the moderates, a group the same study describes as “less-educated, less-engaged citizens who don’t know or care enough about politics to pick a side.”

Lydia Grant, an LAUSD student safety activist and community liaison, joins us to talk about the Los Angeles School District Police Department, or L.A.S.D.P, and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley’s active role in an horrific case of abuse of power concerning Jeremy Marks “Attempted Lynching” Case.  This is about a black teen who filmed an LAUSD campus cop hitting a student and for that faces bizarre charges and years in prison.
Lydia Grant is disgusted by the piling-on of accusations against Jeremy Marks, the student observer with a cell phone camera, and the severe charges that could send him to a California prison for 14 years.

Lydia Grant is also a Parent Representative, who helped pass the Parent Trigger Law in California last year, that empowered parents in chronically failing schools to force change at their child’s school by getting 50 percent plus 1 of the parents at the school to sign a petition. 

Lydia will give us an update on the  Parent Trigger Law and the stymied efforts of parents at McKinley Elementary to get the change they are demanding.  Their petition has been denied based on a “wrong cover letter” and “the board felt the parents didn’t vet their charter selection with enough rigor.”   This battle is far from over.  We’ll get from Lydia, what’s next?

  Lydia also sits on the, Sunland–Tujunga Neighborhood Council and is a board member of L.A. Clean Sweep, the PAC that is giving some grief to the political hacks who rule City Hall, and who serve Big Developers and the public employee unions who run City Hall, at the expense of everyone else who lives and works in Los Angeles.  

We’ll meet two candidates, Kelly Lord, and Brad Smith, who are running for City Council in L.A CD 12, are both endorsed by L.A.Clean Sweep PAC, are friends, and talk like team players. Who are they, and who is L.A. Clean Sweep and why did LA Clean Sweep endorse both of them? Who are they running against? What are the odds for bumping the anointed successor to the retiring sitting council member?
Clean Sweeps Key Platform Issues:
Issue No. 1: Clean Up City Hall
Issue No. 2: Fix the Budget
Issue No. 3: Focus on Core Services
Issue No. 4: Power Sharing

I am the host of the Martha Montelongo Show with CalWatchDog.com on 870AM KRLA on Saturday nights at 11 pm.

Update, March 5, 2011: Change of Venue: 870AM KRLA on Saturday nights at 11 pm to LA Talk Radio, Tuesdays at 8 PM, PT. I’m new to LA, sort of. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, graduated from UCLA, and then moved to Santa Cruz in my late 20s and stayed there until my boys were well into their college years. I’ve just returned to L.A. and my show is new and I hope to grow it and have it move up in ratings and number of listeners.  number of days, but 
In the mean time, I am enjoying the surge of energy, the synergy and momentum I have discovered is happening here.
I’ve been involved in politics on the periphery since high school, a quixotic journey, on and off through a maze of adventures. I thought I was going to move to Fullerton when I moved back here at the end of last year.

Back in 2006, I worked on Proposition 90, a statewide ballot initiative on the November General Elections ballot.  It lost 47.53 to 52.47.   Prop 93, to legalize Marijuana on the ballot in November of 2010 lost 46.4% to 53.6% and that was considered close and worthy of coming back again.

Prop 90 would have grandfathered in current renters but phased out rent control. The land grabbers were able to whip up panic and frenzy with the apartment renters who feared the owners would throw them out rather than wait for them to die or move away so the apartment would be free of rent control.

They didn’t seem to connect that the danger to their dwelling and what has done in so many renters and home owners is the REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY AND THEIR LOCAL CITY OR COUNTY GOVERNMENTS.   That abuse of eminent domain would have been put to rest had Prop 90 passed. It would have stopped eminent domain for commercial development. Many apartment building owners want nothing more than to care for their rentals and to have a nice and steady income and maintain their properties.

I discovered Chris Norby, then O.C. Supervisor in Orange County, and Bruce Whitaker, now City Councilman in Fullerton, but then working as political adviser to Norby during the Prop 90 campaign. Chris was a co-founder of M.O.R.R. Municipal Officers for Redevelopment Reform. He saw the injustice of Redevelopment as an excuse to steal people’s property and committed to doing something about it.

Besides the M.O.R.R. Conferences that happen twice a year, where you meet people who are fighting the political machines in their communities, and you hear them tell their stories–some win and many lose, and the battle goes on, he wrote a 38 page, 8 1/2 inch by 11 1/2 inch book with lots of cartoon illustrations, called Redevelopment: The Unknown Government–What it is. What can be done.
The last version published was in 2007. You can download it for free on line in older versions or track down the M.O.R.R. people on line and ask for a copy for a small cost to cover printing and shipping.

I’ll tell you thrill seekers and adventurers, it’s a lot more powerful to sit through and experience these heart wrenching stories that happen right here among us, than to go check out at Burning Man or any other transformational experience. You understand profoundly that it’s us against the political establishment and their well connected partners and none of us little guys are safe and we could be next on the chopping block if “they” decide.
Bob Blue, one of the activists now part of LACleanSweep.org, which I’ve just discovered, has been going to M.O.R.R. conferences every year, for several years. He lost his luggage store, and the burn converted him and his colleague, Ziggy, into fiery activists against the abuse of Government using Redevelopment.

I met Tony Bushala who admins Friends For Fullerton’s Future and is a very effective gorilla campaigner, very focused, and very grounded on moral principles around property rights and other civil liberties and also at holding elected officials accountable in Fullerton.

Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami lives down there too. He’s been a favorite guest for all the time I had a show on CRN Digital Talk Radio. He has done a lot, like John the Baptist, only instead of foretelling, he was forewarning and his database mailing list just grew and grew and grew, and a lot of people were alerted by his efforts about the coming of the public employee pension crisis we are now critically facing.

Steven Greenhut was the Deputy Editor for the Opinion Section at the OC Register. I met him in 2006 during the Proposition 90 campaign.  In 2004 he published a book called Abuse of Power: How Government Misuses Eminent Domain [i like to add, "to steal your land."]

“Abuse of Power is must read for anyone interested in understanding the pervasive plundering committed by governments across this nation.” — James Bovard – Author, Terrorism and Tyranny Feeling Your Pain, Freedom in Chains & Lost Rights

I wanted to live in Fullerton and become part of the synergy of activists and writers for freedom, but, fate would have it, I ended up in L.A. instead.  It was a blessing.  I am grateful for the reason I ended up choosing Whittier instead.  But I had no idea whom I would coalesce with politically. I can’t believe how excited I am to have discovered what is going on here. There is a formidable movement. It’s fledgling but it’s comprised of individuals who are experienced in their respective ways. They’ve all been warriors fighting good fights for liberty–property right, school choice, fiscal accountability, transparency in government, and calling for a balance of power.

The political establishment has behaved as if they were untouchable and impenetrable. But bloggers, including two formidable former L.A. newspaper editors, and local News Magazines and website publications are all reporting. They’re organizing themselves. There is momentum and vitality coalesced around LA Clean Sweep‘s mission and their White Papers, their defining principles, their platform including key issues.

The board of L.A. Clean Sweep is of former newspaper editors but also, of activists including one Ms. Lydia Grant, recognized as organizer of the month in November of 2010 by The Parent Revolution fighting for charter schools in LA.   Ron Kaye, former editor of the LA Daily News publishes RonKayeLA.com blog.  Bob Blue who was a victim of Redevelopment in the City of Hollywood when he lost his Bernard’s Luggage Store near Hollywood and Vine, but not without a fight and then he turned activist,  and Jack Humphreville  both write at CityWatchLA.com.   

Bill Boyarsky, former City-County Bureau chief, city editor and columnist at the LA Times, publishes at LA Observed.  Kevin James, talk radio show host on 870AM, KRLA on Monday through Friday nights covers the stories these bloggers and reporters with the LA Weekly and even the L.A. Times Blog write about, from midnight to 3 AM.  I know I’m in good company being up at this hour of the night.  He was formerly at KABC 790 AM.  

John McIntyre who is on 790 AM KABC from Midnight to 3 AM Monday through Friday used to cover the local beat in L.A., but now he’s mostly national now from 1 to 5 AM.  Yesterday, Tuesday night, he had Steve Greenhut on his show talking about what is happening in Wisconsin, and public employee unions and Steve’s book called  Plunder:  How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation. 

This Saturday night, we’ll hear from two candidates who are endorsed by LA Clean Sweep in the upcoming LA City Council elections coming up on March 8th and the core issues that earned them endorsement from this coalition,  LA Clean Sweep.

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 http://KRLA870.com/
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 CityWatchLA.com, and former newspaperman Kaye, who blogs at RonKayeLA.com.

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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Poster Children for Abolishment: LA & GLENDALE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

Rudy Martinez, Candidate for 14th District Los Angeles and Challenger to Huizar, incumbent, Princeton Graduate, and friend of the public employee unions and Redevelopment, 

Bob Blue, Vice President of the Hollywood Highlands Democratic Club, founding member and past chair of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council and activist against the abusive use of eminent domain for Redevelopment.  

Steven Greenhut, editor in chief of CalWatchDog.com, author of Abuse of Power: How Government Misuses Eminent Domain, talk with us on Redevelopment in Los Angeles and Glendale, on the radio program, this Saturday night at 11PM on 870AM KRLA and on KRLA870.com 

Bob Blue, City Watch LA
Many Californians were not aware of the Redevelopment Law that allows (but does not mandate) the creation of a Redevelopment Agency (RDA) in order to eliminate “blight.” But Governor Jerry Brown upset the serenity of Redevelopment in California by focusing a beam of light on RDAs, their massive burden of debt on the State and local budgets, and one of RDA’s draconian powers, Kelo-type Eminent Domain.

With a bright light on Los Angeles’ Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), the biggest in the State, and its neighbor, the City of Glendale, and their Redevelopment Agency, the Glendale Redevelopment Agency (GRA), both Agencies became poster-children for abolishing all RDAs in California.

A hastily prepared plan was first hatched in Los Angeles to shield almost $1 Billion in unused Property Tax increment funds from Brown’s plan to return them to “…schools, counties, special districts, and city general purposes.”

Glendale quickly followed its “Big Brother” one week later with the same short 24-hour Special Meeting notice which had a hyperlink that was supposed to link to a detailed report, but instead lead to single a page with only the following text: “REPORT FOR SPECIAL JOINT CC GRA HA[D] TO BE POSTED SOON.”

Then with all of California watching, the RDAs of Los Angeles and Glendale stepped up to the plate to protect and nurture an often misunderstood species, LA’s Billionaires. Click here to read the rest of Bob Blue’s article.

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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 KRLA870AM.com
 
To call us during the show: 1-866-870-5752

This Saturday night, January 29, 2011:
Steven Greenhut, CalWatchDog.com’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 CalWatchDog.com join me this Saturday night at 11 PM on 870AM KRLA and KRLA870.com 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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Steven Greenhut posted this on CalWatchDog.com’s Blog: L’Aristocracy de CalPERS

As he notes in his post, it’s long but well worth the time if you handle the darkness of truth told. I suggest you read the comments at the end of the post on CalWatchDog’s blog. I hope someone posts a reply to the public employee retiree who gives the pat excuse and rational that it’s not their fault and it’s only fair given what someone of their same education background gets in the private sector. First, that’s a myth, second, if it were true, public servants were supposedly sacrificing the “higher” pay and benefits of the private sector to serve and in return would be assured a modest but secure pension. Ha! We have been had! A link to CalWatchDog.com is at the bottom of the video. Click here to read the comments on CalWatchDog’s Blog.

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Steven Greenhut’s “State GOP verging on irrelevant” may be a great understatement. The Dems aren’t the only ones who’ve been in denial over the destructive course of their actions.

And it appears there is little sign of any large or significant aspect of epiphany. All the same, I believe and so, I cannot resign into cynicism. Hope you read it and move into a positive course of action.

Republicans have been amused by President Barack Obama’s thick-headed response to the Democratic Party’s electoral defeat. Despite near-historic gains for the GOP in the House of Representatives and significant GOP gains in the Senate and statehouses, Obama refused in his news conference Wednesday to pin the blame on his agenda, instead pointing to economic frustrations and a failure by his administration to adequately explain his policies.

Despite the president’s delusion, Democrats would be wise to engage in some soul-searching if they hope to reconnect with the public.

Republicans in California need to do some soul-searching of their own as they find themselves in a much deeper hole than the Obamaites. The Democrats eventually will regain some steam across the country, but Tuesday’s drubbing of the GOP in California suggests the state party might now be an irrelevancy. Click here to read the article

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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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