Steven Greenhut writes about CA Enviornmentalists’ lastest Boondoggle


California’s Latest Environmental Boondoggle

The facts about Jerry Brown’s misguided plan to “save” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

an excerpt:

“The administration’s plan will tear up the Delta for at least 10 years. We know how government infrastructure projects are always delayed, so it’s anyone’s guess how long it actually will take. Even its advocates admit that they aren’t sure about the unintended consequences of the project.

As part of its ecosystem restoration program, this boondoggle will flood a large portion of the Delta’s land, destroying vineyards, farmland, orchards, and marshes. It will submerge islands. There will be land confiscations.
Environmental groups believe the re-engineering of the ecosystem will destroy salmon and other fish habitats. No one in their right mind would hand over a precious region such as this to bureaucrats, but in Sacramento these days the Brown administration is trying to relive the glory days of the New Deal where central planning and big spending are the in thing.
Here’s a case where free-market advocates such as myself and true environmentalists should make common cause – to stop a misguided project that will raise water rates and increase the state’s debt load to provide limited and questionable gains.”

Click here to go to, and read the article

A model for taking on unions-Chicago, not California: educational improvements require taking on unions and their counterproductive work rules

So writes Steven Greenhut in The Republican American, a CT based and online publication.

It is hard for education reformers to be too optimistic about the post-strike prospects for Chicago schools…

Click to read post here.

Police Unions Employ Mob Style Tactics to Protect and Expand Their Power and Profits

Tuesday September 4, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at welcome Adam Elmahrek, who, last Tuesday, reported on Police Unions Bullying City Councilmen, in this Voice of OC article.
(Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is out this week.)

Update:  Wayne Lusvardi will be joining us on Gadfly.   He’s got a new piece up at  

Prop. 31 would regionalize state revenue sharing
Wayne Lusvardi | Aug. 30, 2012 |
I asked Wayne to help me understand what it means to me, in one sentence, two including a byline:

Prop 31 is a mixed bag but has more bad than good in it.  It would likely divert State funds from suburban cities to big cities with large unfunded pension liabilities that are running budget deficits.  
It is being oversold as a state budget efficiency measure but it is really a way for the governor to grab more power away from the legislature and work independently with strategic area plan committees to do local projects. 

I get it now.   We’ll talk with Wayne about this horrific bill!  Why are Republicans backing it?  What is their spin on it?  Do they not get it, or do they not care?

We’ll talk with Adam Elmahrek about his news report at Voice of OC:

“Members of a handful of Orange County city councils Tuesday told stories of attempts by police unions to bully them into voting for generous labor contracts and said a flood of similar revelations is yet to come.

In a news conference led by Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer outside Costa Mesa City Hall, two council members from Buena Park and one from Fullerton recalled how their cities’ police associations had a councilman followed, blogged that officers should target cars belonging to council members’ children and bullied women employees at a local coffee shop that posted campaign signs supporting a councilman.

The allegations come just days after Righeimer accused unions of orchestrating a botched attempt to have him arrested for drunk driving.

The common thread, the council members said, was controversial law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which does labor contract negotiations consulting work for police unions. The law firm had posted on its website a slew of bullying strategies to secure lucrative labor contracts, the Orange County Register reported earlier this month.”

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A Darker Shade of Blue
By Steven Greenhut | Sept. 3, 2012 |

“What you have here is police associations and their law firms hiring private detectives to dig up dirt on elected officials that they can then use to extort them, embarrass them, or worse, in order to get the elected official to vote against the best interests of the city to protect themselves,” Righeimer told me. “That’s the definition of extortion.”

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials
California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.
Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012 |

How police play hardball at bargaining table
Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter | August 16th, 2012 | O.C. Register
There is a link in this article to the website for the Upland law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which featured “their play book for twisting arms during impasse negotiations,” but the content on the law firm’s page has been removed, and reads this instead:

“This portion of the material has been removed from the website. What was intended to be informational, historical and educational material has been misconstrued by some as advice on negotiations “tactics.” Accordingly, to avoid the misperception, [they must mean misconception, or then again, maybe not] the information has been removed.”

Police Unions Bullying City Council Members–This is the Hammer, Jerry’s Pension Reform is the Puppet Show | August 30, 2012
The two houses have passed and sent to the Gov for signing, AB 2451, which extends the number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9.

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast  | August 30, 2012
A prescient report by Tony Saavedra on The City of Stanton, a haunting look into the near future for many cities in CA.

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus! | August 28, 2012

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

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

Chamber launches ‘California Comeback’
Joseph Perkins | Aug. 31, 2012 |

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials–California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.

Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012
California city officials typically spare police officers even modest reductions in the pay and pension packages that are a main source of local budget problems, even when the other alternatives are cuts in public services or even municipal bankruptcy.
The common explanation is politicians are afraid of the cop unions’ political muscle come election time. That is true, but disturbing behavior by operatives associated with the Costa Mesa police union paints a much darker picture of the fear such unions instill in local officials. The incident has statewide and even national implications.

Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer… Click here to read the full article at Reason

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

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

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

John Seiler on The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.
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Related Links:
Quiet protest outside Disneyland | police, outside, biggest | The Orange County Register | Aug. 4, 2012 | By Mary Ann Milbourn
Mom to stop marching in weekly Anaheim police protests | The Orange County Register | August 5, 2012 |by Eric Carpenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anaheim Riots Spotlight Need for Broad Police Reform–The city’s law enforcement culture values aggressiveness over community policing.

Anaheim Riots Spotlight Need for Broad Police Reform
The city’s law enforcement culture values aggressiveness over community policing.
Steven Greenhut | | July 27, 2012

While Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait is, thankfully, no Frank Rizzo, he tried his hand at tough-guy rhetoric at a press conference: “Vandalism, arson and other forms of violent protest will simply not be tolerated in our city. We don’t expect last night’s situation to be repeated but if it should be, the police response will be the same: swift and appropriate.”

Of course, we are all against violence, vandalism, and arson. Indeed, the mother of one of the victims poignantly called for calm. But it’s ridiculous to argue that the police response was appropriate.  Tait—who at least called for an FBI investigation of the police shootings that triggered the incident—has failed to live up to the promises he made when he took over as the city’s mayor. Tait promised to foster a culture of “kindness” in the city.
   .  Click here to go to  article.

San Francisco Needs a Free Market, Not Free Water–My mother would call them cínicos, y hipocritas, cynics, hypocrites

Steven Greenhut writes in  a column at

…ironic: “In the past, San Francisco environmentalists and the Chronicle have supported river restoration efforts on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers, even if hydropower generation was reduced. Could it be that San Franciscans are fine with sacrificing energy generation for environmental benefits, so long as their energy isn’t being touched?”


John Seiler posted the column on CalWatchDog’s blog, aptly titled S.F.’s hypocrisy on water.


Not the Mortgage Crisis, Not the Economy, but Foolishness! Greenhut calls it, in “Bankrupt cities suffer for officials’ foolishness”

“California’s exclusively Democratic leaders not only are unwilling to rein in the costs of benefits for their patrons, the public-sector unions, they have been erecting roadblocks in the paths of localities that want to fix the problem on their own. Yet all the political hurdles in the world cannot fix the basic problem of insolvency.”

Click to read the article at OC Reg, July 22, 2012

Debt Ridden Govt Agencies are Ganging Up on Little Guys–Predominanly Mexican Food Truck Owners

I met Tuesday in Santa Ana with about 12 owners of catering trucks — mobile eateries that sell mostly Mexican food — and they told a disturbing tale of how the state’s Orwellian-named tax agency, the Board of Equalization, is targeting and mistreating them. The business owners assembled in the room blamed their tough times more on state tax authorities than on the economy.

The truck owners say the state is handing them tax bills for tens of thousands of dollars, based on unrealistic estimates of their taxable sales. When you buy food at the trucks, a burrito and Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola (the kind with real sugar, rather than the icky corn syrup) may cost, say, six bucks. That’s all you pay, as opposed to a restaurant, where state tax would be added onto the transaction. The trucks don’t collect a per-item tax, but owners later estimate their sales and send their money to the tax man.

Click here to read Tax collectors bite taco trucks | CalWatchDog

Greenhut writes: First pensions, and now bankruptcy tsunami

July 12, 2012

By Steven Greenhut

First Vallejo, then Stockton, then Mammoth Lakes and now San Bernardino. As Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach told Bloomberg News, the bankruptcy dominoes are starting to fall. One California city after another — following a decade-long spree of ramping up public-employee pay and pension benefits, as well as redevelopment debt — are becoming insolvent. Click to go to the article on

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Steven Greenhut on California’s Latest Misguided Effort to Fix the Housing Crisis

Posted by on Friday Jul 6th at 11:00am


Just as the housing industry is showing signs of recovery, California’s Democratic officials have passed a “solution” that adds additional regulations and higher costs to the foreclosure process. And as Steven Greenhut observes, these are the same officials who can’t produce an honest budget and refuse to deal with a deepening public-employee pension crisis and other issues under their purview, but once again they think they can correct problems in complex private markets. Click here to view this article.

Greenhut writes: Governor Brown Celebrates ObamaCare Ruling

Not a surprise.

Gov. Jerry Brown is happy with the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling: “Today’s dramatic Supreme Court ruling removes the last roadblock to fulfilling President Obama’s historic plan to bring health care to millions of uninsured citizens.”

That makes sense. The court decided that the individual mandate isn’t really a mandate — but simply a tax. And Gov. Brown believes that the state and the country can pretty much tax its way out of its fiscal problems. Figures, a conservative justice appointed by President Bush, John Roberts, authored the opinion. Conservatives have little principled opposition to big government — they just have different ideas of how that government should be used.

Click to read the full commentary here

Well It Looks Like Law Makers in Sacramento Do Have a Limit to How Much They Will Bend to Public Employee Union Dictates

Steven Greenhut on California Lawmakers Pushing Back Against Police Secrecy

June 22, 2012

It’s dangerous to read too much into some small signs of sanity at the California state Capitol, writes Steven Greenhut, but the death of two obnoxious police-secrecy bills in recent days remind us that there are indeed some limits to the groveling that California legislators will do to earn the favor of law-enforcement unions.

View this article.

Steve Greenhut’s Take on the 2012 Fullerton Recall–People taking their governments back

Libertarian columnist Steve Greenhut wrote a recap on the Fullerton Recall, and put it in the context of people taking their governments back. He had lots of good things to say about the Recall and, and the folks posted the piece on their website. It’s definitely an inspiring and instructional story.

“…A campaign-sign slogan captured the essence of the recall: “Failure to lead.” And the final hit mailer against the buffoons, focused on the absurd city-worker compensation packages that exploded during their watch, reinforcing that these officials were not leading the city, but following the demands of union workers.

It was time for a change, and the pension-abuse issue, bolstered by these leaders’ duck-and-cover routine after the Thomas killing, was enough to spark the recall. They were bounced by nearly 2-1 margins, so it wasn’t a fluke. And the ground had been plowed by Bushala and his merry band of local-minded libertarians, thanks to their Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog. Granted, the three soon-to-be-ex-council members provided plenty of side-splitting fodder…”

Click here to read the full op-ed

And Now Act 2 of the Dramatic Situation Between the Runnaway Train, i.e. the Public Sector Union’s Crushing Weight on California & the Battle for Reform

Here’s a link and a excerpt: San Jose’s mayor addresses legal challenges – Public Sector Inc. Forum
By Steven Greenhut on June 6

Pull Quote:

San Jose’s unions didn’t really fight the Measure B pension reform that passed with 70 percent of the vote Tuesday, but they did immediately file a legal challenge. Here is Mayor Chuck Reed’s response to claims that the reform he championed isn’t legal:
“Measure B was carefully crafted to follow California law. San Jose is a charter city and the California Constitution gives charter cities: ‘plenary authority’ to provide in their charters for the compensation of their employees. i San Jose’s City Charter reserves the right of the City Council and the voters to make changes to employees’ retirement benefits: ‘.. the Council may at any time, or from time to time, amend or otherwise change any retirement plan or plans or adopt or establish a new or different plan or plans for all or any officers or employees.’ ii San Jose’s…

In “A Progressive’s Progress” Greenhut writes about what one authentic progressive is standing for in California

Steven Greenhut
A Progressive’s Progress
San Jose mayor Chuck Reed shows how Democrats can take the lead on public-pension reform.
30 May 2012

Skyrocketing compensation costs for public employees are forcing California municipalities to contemplate spending cuts and, in some cases, even bankruptcy. The question isn’t whether to rein in these pension and medical liabilities—that’s unavoidable—but precisely when and how to do so. Dominated by public-sector unions, the state legislature remains in deep denial, but some local leaders, acknowledging reality, are taking action on their own to control costs. “We’ll do this city by city a few times and that will help to move the state,” San Jose mayor Chuck Reed told me in a recent interview at City Hall. Eventually, Reed says, California will need a statewide pension-reform initiative to overcome the legislature’s intransigence. Reed, a progressive Democrat who has dragged along a slim majority of a 10-member city council, is leading the most impressive effort statewide.

Click here to read the article published in City Journal

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the article

CA Assembly passes bill to protect “public servants” from investigative reporters who seek to out fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds, trust, & welfare

“The state is about to destroy the most significant source of public records, and create an open invitation to fraud and theft in order to combat a phantom threat. The bill was introduced by a legislator who ought to know better, Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). Not long ago, Feuer argued that openness is the key to stopping abuse in his city’s terminally troubled children’s court system, but now he is the champion of secrecy.”

The California Assembly, in a move that reminds me of my my childhood friend who’d take the Candy Land deck of cards under the table to “shuffle” them, just passed AB 2299 by a vote of 68-0.   This bill reinforces the evidence that the CA legislators are beholden to the new aristocracy of California, the public employee unions and their members.   If the bill becomes law, it eliminates the inconvenience of laws that allow reporters and citizen journalists to investigate and expose fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.   It still has to pass the CA Senate, and be signed by the Governor.

This gives Organized Crime a whole new meaning.  Click here to read Steven Greenhut’s article

Why is the GOP forever shrinking in CA? It’s the incongruity!

Steven Greenhut: If you wonder why the GOP is having such hard times, one need only look at the goings-on in Orange County, where Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh is pulling out all the stops to ensure the election to the board of supervisors of Todd Spitzer, the former Assemblyman who is a close union ally and someone who proudly increased pensions for his deputy sheriff union friends and then stood by that action right until he started getting political heat for doing so.

Click here to read the article.

Jerry Brown is the Great Dissembler

Steven Greenhut | More Gimmicks, Less Honesty | California continues to play budget games | 17 May 2012

As the Sacramento Bee reports, “The state budget deficit had grown by a remarkable 70 percent since January, but fiscal experts said the economy had little to do with it.” If not the economy, then what could possibly explain the shortfall? The answer: Brown and his administration embraced overly optimistic budget projections—what the Legislative Analyst’s Office described as “an aggressive forecast.” In January, Brown had claimed a budget deficit of $9 billion; today, it stands at $16 billion.

Click here to read the article.

Should I Stay or Should I go? Greenhut says Conservatives should stay in CA

Yes, There’s a Case for Staying in California: Steven Greenhut

“Just as California progressives view their first-in-the-nation ideas such as cap-and-trade as a means to push the entire nation to the left, so too could conservatives and centrists use California as a model for a back-from-the-brink rescue.”

Click here to read the article.

The Occupy Protesters are a mish mosh of divergent factions, but at least they’re angry. Greenhut ponders why are most people not angry over the harm done under guise of Government?

“The problem is not with one agency, but with the vast expansion of federal and state government, which takes our money and freedoms and leaves a path of destruction wherever it goes.

Sure the Occupy protesters are annoying. But the real surprise is why the rest of us aren’t at least as angry as they are.”

Click to read Legislature worse than occupiers,
May 7, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Does Being GOP “Moderates” equal Being Unprincipled, Tax Hiking, Union Backers.

Schwarzenegger’s Bizarre Analysis

Steven Greenhut: I love it when politicians have their chance in power, squander their opportunities, then spend the rest of their career lecturing us about how to reform government. Arnold Schwarzenegger was not just a disappointment, he was a fraud — and a particularly embarrassing one at that. Now he is playing martyr, suggesting that the Republican Party is “too narrow” and rigid. In Politico, he points to the departures from the GOP of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a man whose only political principle is the advancement of his own career, and Anthony Adams, as terrible losses for the party:  Click here to read the post on

Government is not the answer! How does Govt make life worse? Steven Greenhut spells it out!

Entrepreneurs take risks. They often fail, but they sometimes make great strides forward. Government employees, on the other hand, go to jobs where they cannot be fired except in the most extreme circumstances. They regulate us and provide “services” few of us want. They retire at young ages with pensions that make them the envy of their neighbors. They consume an ever-larger share of the money earned by those who take risks and create growth. Then their unions lobby for more government. And unfortunately, writes Steven Greenhut, our fellow citizens willingly vote for the politicians who perpetuate this system. Read the rest at here

How Big Government Is Killing California

When you’ve lost the entrepreneurs, free-spirits, and dreamers, you’ve lost the Golden State.
Steven Greenhut | April 27, 2012

The new USC study pointing to a much-slower population growth rate in California has been greeted by demographers and urban planners as good news, in that it supposedly gives our state’s leaders a little breathing room to plan better for the future. The rate of growth has slowed to about 1 percent a year, the result of fewer immigrants coming here and so many Californians heading to other states.


Click here to read the article

Desperate Means to Stop a Bellwether Measure

Steven Greenhut
Reform by Any Other Name
Call it “modification” if you prefer—but San Jose’s pension initiative will be a national bellwether.
17 April 2012

San Jose union officials are celebrating a decision last week by the Sixth District Court of Appeals, which struck some city-drafted language from a June ballot measure designed to reduce pension benefits for newly hired city workers and require existing workers either to pay more for their current pension plan or switch to a lower-benefit plan. But the three-judge panel’s unanimous verdict will do little to affect the ultimate outcome of the pension measure and much to remind the public of the lengths to which the state’s public-sector unions will go to resist any reform—and keep voters from having a say. (Click to read more)

Steve Greenhut joins Gadfly tomorrow, April 3rd! Here’s a taste…

Steven Greenhut: Bankruptcy may be only way out for cities, states| bankruptcy, unions, reform – Opinion – The Orange County Register Feb 24, 2012
The problem in the public sector is that government never is allowed to fail. There never is a day of reckoning no matter how poorly government provides its so-called services.

What happens when failure is no option? – HUMAN EVENTS  Feb 28, 2012
SACRAMENTO — In my latest column, I documented how the state’s pro-union Attorney General Kamala Harris provided an unfair and dishonest title and summary to a pair of pension reform initiatives submitted to her office, thus effectively killing the measures. Last week the unions tried — and almost succeeded — with an even nastier stunt designed to undermine democracy.

If Stockton Is Broke, Then Why Isn’t San Diego?: Steven Greenhut – Bloomberg March 1, 2012

California Refuses to Fix Public-Sector Pensions – Reason Magazine  March 9, 2012
Golden State lawmakers close their eyes and pretend the looming pension crisis doesn’t exist.

Special Series: Broke Municipalities Look to Bankruptcy Option | CalWatchDog  March 9, 2012
This is the second in a Special Series of 12 in-depth articles on municipal bankruptcy.

Public Unions Send Medical Bills to Taxpayers – Bloomberg  March 15, 2012
The U.S. public pension mess, with its $2 trillion to $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is such a volcano of gloom that it takes a potentially bigger problem to turn our eyes away from it.
Turn your attention instead to the size of the taxpayer- backed health-care obligations for public employees.

Are there Other Stocktons Out there?
By Kevin Klowden
Director, California Center; Managing Economist
Monday, April 2nd, 2012 Want to ask Steve what he thinks of Klowden’s remarks here:

“There is hope on the horizon, however. Negotiations to reduce future pension and benefit obligations are bearing fruit and will clearly show long-term improvements for cities such as Stockton. Construction of intermodal port facilities in the city are creating jobs both in the near and long term. The concern is that neither of these developments helps Stockton and cities like it right now.”