Archives for December 2016

Government Regulations Kills 30 Jobs in Sonoma County

Congratulations to the California Labor Commission—it has done the work the unions could not—it killed the jobs of 30 Californians.  How?  By claiming the taxi drivers that set their own hours, routes, etc, were actually employees of the taxi company.  The State of California took 30 people off the pay rolls and put them on the welfare rolls.  Democrats prefer poverty to freedom.  If the cabbies di not want to work for the taxi company under the conditions they were their own boss, they could have refused to do the work.

“Owners of a Santa Rosa taxi company have agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and cease operations as part of a settlement with the state for refusing to provide 30 drivers with workers’ compensation insurance and “misclassifying” them as independent contractors, California Labor Commissioner Julie Su announced Thursday.

To government, all of us owned, by government, unions and corporations—they do not understand the concept of freedom—so this Christmas thirty families have been harmed by Jerry Brown and his job killing agents.  Feel good about this?

u.s.-economy-jobs-resumes-slow-growth-06sept2012-620x413

Santa Rosa’s A-C Taxi to pay fine, cease operations

ANGELA HART AND JEFF QUACKENBUSH, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT AND NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/30/16

Owners of a Santa Rosa taxi company have agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and cease operations as part of a settlement with the state for refusing to provide 30 drivers with workers’ compensation insurance and “misclassifying” them as independent contractors, California Labor Commissioner Julie Su announced Thursday.

Kevin and Jennifer Kroh, who run A-C Transportation Services Inc. as well as Healdsburg Cab Co., previously announced they would close the business at the end of the year because of the cost of battling with regulators. The Krohs’ final payment is due in June 2021, according to the state. The initial citation was $522,300.

“My office will not tolerate the misclassification of employees as a business model because it undercuts both workers’ rights and businesses who treat their employees fairly,” Su said in a prepared statement.

Su’s office launched its investigation into the company in 2014. The citation states that the Krohs did not provide workers’ compensation insurance from 2011 to 2015.

 

California Lowered Sales Tax Rate Still Among Highest in Nation (Quarter Cent!)

Congratulations thanks to the massive tax cut Jerry brown and the Democrats, using the voters approved.  That $4 Starbucks coffee is now one cent cheaper—not a typo.  That is a tax cut Democrat version.  Can’t wait to see a real tax cut provided by Trump and the Congress.

“California’s sales tax will drop by a quarter of a percent in the new year. The reduction comes from the partial expiration of a statewide ballot measure that helped end California’s budget crisis.

Four years ago, voters approved Proposition 30, which raised the income tax significantly on the wealthiest Californians and raised the sales tax a tiny bit on everyone.

That quarter-of-a-cent increase equated to paying an additional $0.01 on a $4 coffee; $1 on a $400 television; and $100 on a $40,000 car.

At the same time, the extension of Pro. 30 will cost California taxpayers at least $9 billion a year for twelve years.  In total, the November election gave us to close $500 billion in new taxes and debt.  So, save that penny, you will need it!

Taxes

The One California Tax Rate Dropping In 2017

Ben Adler, Capitol Public Radio,12/30/16

California’s sales tax will drop by a quarter of a percent in the new year. The reduction comes from the partial expiration of a statewide ballot measure that helped end California’s budget crisis.

Four years ago, voters approved Proposition 30, which raised the income tax significantly on the wealthiest Californians and raised the sales tax a tiny bit on everyone.

That quarter-of-a-cent increase equated to paying an additional $0.01 on a $4 coffee; $1 on a $400 television; and $100 on a $40,000 car.

Voters extended Proposition 30’s income tax increases in last month’s presidential election with Proposition 55 – but that initiative allowed the Prop 30 sales tax hike to expire.

As a result, California’s lowest sales tax rate drops from 7.5 percent to 7.25. Many cities and counties have tacked on additional sales taxes, meaning the highest rate drops from 10 percent to 9.75.

The state’s sales tax rates remain among the highest in the nation.

 

When city retirement pays better than the job

One in four El Monte residents lives in poverty. Yet taxpayers pay a steep price to fund bonus pensions and other perks for city workers.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

James Mussenden doesn’t bring up his pension in casual conversation. No point getting his golf partners’ blood boiling.

The retired city manager of El Monte collects more than $216,000 a year, plus cost-of-living increases and fully paid health insurance.

“It’s giving me an opportunity to do a number of things I didn’t get to do when I was younger, like travel to Europe, take some things off my bucket list,” Mussenden, 66, said recently. He even flew to Scotland to play the famed Old Course at St. Andrews, a mecca for golf enthusiasts.

Mussenden recognizes that few Americans have pensions anymore — least of all the El Monte taxpayers who are funding his retirement. So while he enjoys his monthly retirement check, he’s discreet about it. …

Click here to read the full story

Post Traumatic Trump Disorder in L.A. Schools

LAUSD school busPost Traumatic Trump Disorder” is a condition affecting an abundance of Americans these days. Many of the president-elect’s supporters are “suffering” from excessive jubilance, while many of his detractors are in the depths of despair. As I pointed out recently in UnionWatch and City Journal, the latter PTTD group is making life miserable for children across the country. But Los Angeles just may be ground zero for the new disorder.

The United Teachers of Los Angeles (United Trump-Loathers Assn.?), led by its radical agenda-driven president Alex Caputo-Pearl, is planning a major whine-in before school on January 19, the day before the new POTUS is sworn in. The UTLA website informs us that the union “will show that educators are united with our students and our communities against Trump’s racially charged and anti-immigrant proposals and that we will continue to fight attempts to privatize public education.” The union is urging the public to join “tens of thousands of students, parents, educators, school staff, and community members … to shield our public schools from the Trump/DeVos/Broad agenda.”

Nothing like a little early morning shot of teacher-led political indoctrination that the kiddos can digest along with their Rice Krispies.

Actually, the early morning festivities on Jan. 19 are really just a kick off for what Caputo-Pearl sees as a two-year offensive. (“Offensive” has two meanings here.) The issues that are paramount to the union boss are “green spaces on a campus … a plan to achieve strike readiness by February 2018,” as well as fighting charter co-location and getting union acolytes elected to the school board in March.

By the way, the above pre-Inauguration Day merrymaking is not limited to Los Angeles. The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a national network of far-left teacher union leaders (redundant, I know), is planning UTLA-like events across the country on Jan. 19. AROS insists that the “best way to ensure each and every child has the opportunity to pursue a rich and productive life is through a system of publicly funded, equitable and democratically controlled public schools.” In fact, one of their demands is “Billions of dollars for public schools in black and brown communities.” (I guess the $670 billion we now spend nationally on “democratically controlled public schools” isn’t enough for the AROS crowd.)

As the teachers union goes off the deep end, what is the Los Angeles school district up to?

Not surprisingly, the school board, suffering from advanced PTTD, is in a state of sheer panic. The mandarins who rule over the massive school district have set up a hotline to answer student questions as a way to deal with the regnant hysteria. While Trump has indeed made some questionable comments about immigration, the education establishment and a compliant media have blown things way out of proportion and worried many children needlessly. As such, the school board has absolutely no business dealing with frightened children; let their parents do that, please.

The school board members also spent time at a recent meeting passing resolutions as a hedge against actions that they think the Trump administration may take. Consulting “social-emotional learning experts” and declaring its schools “safe zones” are of paramount importance to them these days. Actually, if anyone needs a “safe zone” at this time, it’s students who dare to wear “Make America Great Again” hats.

Maybe the school board should instead focus on its mandate, which is to educate children and, at the same time, be judicious in how it spends the taxpayers’ money.

As for the education component, LAUSD, not to put too fine a point on it, is doing an abominable job. While California students did not fare well on the recent standardized tests, L.A. kids’ scores were in the toilet. In fact, 56 percent of the district’s 85 ranked middle schools were assigned the lowest overall ranking of 1 based on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, a test taken by students this past spring. The “good news” is that just 20 percent of the district’s elementary schools received the lowest rank, as did 31 percent of its high schools. (The latter number would be higher, but many poor performing 11th graders drop out of school before the test is given.)

Fiscally, LAUSD also deserves a “1.” As reported by LA School Report earlier this month, the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations in the future because it faces a cumulative deficit of $1.46 billion through the 2018-2019 school year. But LAUSD Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly, maintaining a smiley face, assures us that with just the right combination of smoke and mirrors, the district may be able to winnow the deficit down to a mere $252 million. Don’t bet the barn on that, however.

So let’s see, in Los Angeles we have a radical union leader, hell-bent on indoctrinating kids, an inept school board whose actions are frightening children, all the while seriously maiming taxpayers, and doing nothing to ameliorate its abysmal record of educating children.

Happy New Year, y’all!

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

This piece was originally published by UnionWatch.org

Eber: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Republican Party

In the past four years the California Republican Party has lost a net of 303,000 voters.  We now have a Democrat supermajority in both house of the Legislature.  In 2014 we ran an Obama voter and donor as the “Republican” candidate for governor.  He just got his reward—becoming the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.  Yet, it looks like the very same people that put us in the death spiral are going to continue their control of the California Republican Party.  How many more will leave the Party in the next two years?

  1. Spend some time and money in the next couple years recruiting decline to state voters who left the party primarily because of dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration. This group often determines the outcome of elections because they comprise mostly what is called the swing vote. The GOP needs these moderate (by Republican standards desperately. How serious is anyone going to take the GOP when they hold less than one third of the seats in the Assembly and Senate in a year that a Republican is elected to the White House?”

My good friend Rich Eber has created ten Resolutions for the Republican Party, to regain credibility in California.  While we lost three incumbent Assembly members and lost a Republican State Senate seat, the Republican Party of Massachusetts actually won a State Senate seat.  Thanks to Barack Obama, the Democrat Party nationally lost 1,030 legislative seats and Statewide positions.  In California we LOST all statewide races—even had a statewide race without a Republican on the ballot—and lost legislative seats.  Even Obama could not help the Republicans of California.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

10 New Year’s resolutions for the Republican Party by Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  12/30/16

  1. Embrace Donald and stop complaining about his many faults and odd behavior. He will never be the matinee idol that Ronald Reagan was nor the principled person that made Barry Goldwater so revered within the GOP. Concerned Republicans  should regard Trump with similar sentiments to a less than perfect son-in-law your daughter brings home; for which the words “We’ll learn to love him.” are spoken
  1. The same holds true for Republicans in California. No more thumbing noses at party members whom you don’t agree with 100% of the time.  Assemblywomen Catharine Baker (R-Dublin) is the poster child for this. During the last campaign where the only individual from the Bay Area elected to the legislature by the GOP was campaigning, a number of critics in the party hierarchy did not strongly support her. This is wrong and shows that the Republican Party has to increase the size of their ideological tent to accommodate more diverse views.
  1. For the moment put aside social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and the number of restrooms required in public buildings and concentrate on bread and butter topics that influence people’s lives most. This means high paying jobs, improving education, and the removal of barriers to building housing for families who want a piece of the American dream.  Again the Republican needs to follow the lead of Donald Trump who wants to create a healthy economy to promote business development.  Applying these principles to California is the key to making the GOP relevant once again.
  1. Recruit new members to the fold. Democrats in the Golden State have done a good job of reaching out to Hispanic and African American voters. These two groups are not the property of Progressives nor are women.   In fact family values promoted by the Republican Party are very much in evidence within all of these sub-groups.  Students on college campuses are another ripe area for recruitment if we can pry their minds from their leftist professors
  1. Spend some time and money in the next couple years recruiting decline to state voters who left the party primarily because of dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration. This group often determines the outcome of elections because they comprise mostly what is called the swing vote. The GOP needs these moderate (by Republican standards desperately. How serious is anyone going to take the GOP when they hold less than one third of the seats in the Assembly and Senate in a year that a Republican is elected to the White House?
  2. Put out a platform in California to make voters aware of what being a Republican stands for. For too long democrat have been able to depict Republicans as rich fat cats who are trying to exploit the masses for their own selfish purposes. Voters are not going join a political party that reminds them of Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. Again, the example of Donald Trump should be emulated because he was able to debunk much of the Progressive Party line by talking to people about economic issues important to them in a manor they could understand.
  1. Recruit a new generation of Republican Leaders to work from the ground up.  Unfortunately on a local level for the past two decades, would be Republicans in the area of local politics have had to renounce being members of the party to be elected to anything.  For many ambitious politicians this has meant pretending they are pro-life to fit in with the Democratic majority.

Typical is the city of Concord where I live where 3 of the 5 past members of the City Council were former Republicans who changed to become independents or democrats. This same model scenario has taken place all over the State.  No one want to put themselves in a place where being a Republican is synonymous with being a loser.

  1. Keep talking about transportation and what people want and not what the elected government thinks their constituents need. Democrats in California have resisted allocated enough dollars to fix the states congested highways.  Republicans should actively campaign for widening Hwy 5, 99, and 101 instead of discouraging use of these essential arteries.

Along with this the State has been unwilling to contribute a larger share to local road maintenance freeways asking local governments to pick up the tab. Instead these regional agencies prefer to spend these funds on Project Development Areas (PDA) and questionable public transportation programs at the expense of paying for maintaining the roads. Along with grounding the bullet train, Republicans need to be identified with making transportation work more efficiently

  1. Use water as a wedge issue emphasizing and how to make sure there is enough of it to go around in the future. Pushing for increasing storage throughout the entire state should be the cornerstone of Republican Party. Building a tunnel under the Delta is not the answer either as the people of Northern California will never allow for this.

Efficient use of water for farming and city dwellers are important but conservation can just go so far. Denying you access to H2O is not the entire answer as leftist environmentalists want us to believe.  The bottom line is that in the last 50 years or so while the population of California has expanded exponentially, increasing water capacity has been virtually stagnant.

The Republican Party need to grab and run with this issue while understanding that building a few dams and filling some lakes is a type of collateral damage that must be tolerated at the expense of alienating previously untouchable  environmental extremists.

  1. Come out of the closet and be more forceful about improving public education. The Republican Party has to make it known to voters that the leftist California Teachers Union CTA should not be calling all the shots when it comes to operating what has become a failing system.

Thus far Progressives have been selling the notion that more funding is the answer to all that is wrong with our educational model.  This is not entirely the case as a combination of pushing a leftist politically correct social agenda along with putting teacher’s union concerns before what goes on in the classroom has handicapped public education. Symbolic of all of this is the opposition of teachers (and thus the Democratic Party) to Charter Schools and other forms of alternative learning especially among low income groups.

As a bonus issue Republican’s need to talk all the time about the pension issue in California for public employees which is at least 1.5 trillion in the red? By pushing for reform including a ballot Measure in 2018, the GOP needs to attach themselves to this issue like Super Glue. By doing so voters will hopefully put them in charge to provide the needed fix when governmental services on all levels are adversely impacted by Progressive’s who favor the bargaining table over common sense.

All of these are great ideas but the big job of California’s Republican Party is how to package to the public what they stand for in order to give reasons to join their ranks. At the same time a selling job has to be done to unite California’s “silent majority” with the rest of the country that has embraced the GOP while rejecting the leftist Obama agenda.

This task will take more than a few years to accomplish.  Currently there is not one State  Republican office holder from the Governor on down and there hasn’t been a elected GOP member in the US Senate since Pete Wilson left office in 1991.

GOP Chairman Jim Brulte and other leaders of the Republican Party are acting like the Captain of the Titanic bragging about how they kept the vessel clear of coral reefs.  No matter how the performance of Republican leadership in the last election is analyzed, they have nothing to show for themselves in California except saying “Ah, Shucks, we’ll get em next time.”

The fact is in many cases conservative candidates won despite the Party’s involvement.  Unfortunately the fortunes of the GOP in California need to change quickly or Donald Trump will have to consider declaring them to be endangered of becoming extinct under the Endangered Species Act by 2018.

Abel Maldonado Betrayed California Families for Political Gain

Abel Maldonado as a State Senator gave way his vote to increase taxes on California families by $13 billion.  What did he want in return—to put a measure on the ballot, that become Prop. 14, to destroy the California Republican and Democrat Party and turn over government to unions, special interests and the unions.  On November, 2016, thanks to Maldonado, there were 28 legislative races with only one Party on the ballot, 16 legislative races with only one candidate on the ballot.  The race for U. S. Senate had a Northern California Socialist, vs. a Southern California Socialist—no one promoting the Constitution or freedom.

“Let’s review. As part of the budget deal of 2009 the California Legislature slammed taxpayers with the largest tax increase ever enacted by any statehouse in the history of America — $12 billion. Huge increases in the state’s income tax sales tax and the car tax hit ordinary California citizens at the worst possible time. But in order to enact this tax increase three Republican votes were needed in both the California Assembly and Senate. Since virtually all Republicans had signed a “no-tax” pledge taxpayer activists thought there was a sufficient cushion to prevent the tax increase from going forward.”

Now President-Elect is looking at Maldonado, the man who broke his word, for Secretary of Agriculture.  Let me give you another famous quote from the Leftist Republican,

Abel says Donald spews “hate speech”

FLASHBACK: Maldonado to Trump: You Have Lost Our Respect, Buying Power, and Votes

Abel to Trump: “We will never support you, your candidacy or your enterprises.”

Those three headlines come from the Flashreport

Abel Maldonado is the California version of Mitt Romney.

abel-maldonado-politicians-photo-u1

Betrayal

Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association,  12/13/10

We’ve seen this before. An ostensibly conservative legislator sells out California taxpayers by voting for a massive tax increase and everyone is left dumbfounded wondering how could this possibly happen. Later — maybe months or even years — the official gets a cushy high paying appointment on some worthless board or commission. For those who believe that these deals aren’t cut at the time of the offending vote we’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

Let’s review. As part of the budget deal of 2009 the California Legislature slammed taxpayers with the largest tax increase ever enacted by any statehouse in the history of America — $12 billion. Huge increases in the state’s income tax sales tax and the car tax hit ordinary California citizens at the worst possible time. But in order to enact this tax increase three Republican votes were needed in both the California Assembly and Senate. Since virtually all Republicans had signed a “no-tax” pledge taxpayer activists thought there was a sufficient cushion to prevent the tax increase from going forward.

But the deal went through with exactly three Republican votes in each house — the bare minimum to get the job done. In the Senate the votes came from Abel Maldonado (no surprise there as he openly sold out for placing the Open Primary measure on the ballot) Dave Cogdill (big surprise as he was a staunch conservative) and Roy Ashburn (also a surprise given the conservative bent of his district). In the Assembly the Republican votes came from Roger Niello of Sacramento (but Niello had never signed the pledge) Assemblyman Mike Villines (huge surprise) and Anthony Adams who had run for office as a staunch fiscal conservative and had signed the no-tax pledge.

The tax increases approved by the Legislature were imposed immediately and had a devastating effect on California’s economy. Moreover hanging over the heads of California taxpayers was another $16 billion in tax increases — basically extending the already imposed tax increases — for an additional length of time. But the extension of these tax increases was put before the voters in May of 2009 and by now California voters had had enough. Proposition 1A was defeated by a 2-1 margin.

The track record of those who betray taxpayers is not good. Both Villines and Maldonado ran for statewide office and lost. Niello ran for the California Senate but was bludgeoned by his main opponent Ted Gaines who used Niello’s anti-taxpayer vote to great advantage in a very conservative district. Roy Ashburn termed out and his political career is over. Anthony Adams was the target of a recall effort that almost qualified and was vilified by talk radio throughout Southern California. Although not termed out he chose not to run for reelection realizing that except for close relatives he wouldn’t be getting any votes. (And even the close relatives were in doubt).

Regrettably it appears that at least some of the votes for the budget deal were purchased with promises of appointments to the myriad of worthless boards and commission for which California is so famous. In the case of Anthony Adams who has no experience in the field of corrections he received one of the juiciest plums of all: A spot on the California Board of Parole Hearings which pays over $111000 per year. Along with benefits including medical and retirement the value of this payoff is well in excess of the salary alone. Villines too got an appointment to a lesser board (paying “only” $40000 annually).

For taxpayers such betrayals are very painful. But there are several actions citizens can take to minimize the risks of this happening in the future. First voters should base their support more on actions than promises. Although not foolproof voting for candidates with a proven track record of opposing tax increases helps. Second for all the criticism of “pledges” we now know they can be very helpful. Any candidate unwilling to sign a “no new tax” pledge should be immediately suspect. Third any legislator who violates his promise to his constituency must not get a free pass. Activists from taxpayer groups conservative organizations and the Tea Party movement must play the role of enforcers to ensure that anyone who supports tax hikes pays with the price of their very political careers. For those who believe this is distasteful get over it. This isn’t personal. It’s business.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

Pot vs. Art: How the Marijuana Industry is Hurting Artists in Oakland

We know that the tech industry has caused the cost of housing the Bay Area to skyrocket.  Want to buy or lease commercial property in the area—you better be Facebook or Google—rich, rich, rich.  Now the tech people are getting a run for their money.  While the tech industry is bidding up housing and property costs, along comes the marijuana industry to outbid them!

“Or they can just buy a building and kick tenants out. That’s what happened to Ruth when the warehouse he was living and working in was purchased in April.

The building, valued at about $630,000, was purchased for $1.5 million. Ruth had attempted to buy the building, but he was outbid by hundreds of thousands dollars. The selling price is indicative of a neighborhood inside Oakland’s green zone, a designated area for marijuana cultivation.

Ruth tried to buy some time because he was in the middle of a project he’d been working on for two years and, without his furnace, he can’t make glass. But profit won the day and he was evicted on Oct. 5.

Watch as the marijuana industry makes California even less affordable—and the Progressives that love using the stuff will find out they can legally buy pot, but can’t afford a place to live or work in the new marijuana economy. But no one thought about the economic implications for housing or commercial property due to pot.  Anything think about the water needed to grow the stuff?  That will became yet another crisis—fish vs. pot, how will the Democrats decide?

marijuana-leaf

Pot vs. Art: How the Marijuana Industry is Hurting Artists in Oakland

California City News, 12/28/2016

Since Oakland’s massive Dec. 2 fire, there has been endless talk about the city’s squalid warehouses and the lack of ‘safe spaces’ in which its artists can think and create. In light of the revelations about the flagrant safety violations and the city’s failure to flag them, many fear that the coming crackdown on structures like the Ghost Ship could make the problem even worse.

For many artists, however, the real threat comes not from transplant yuppies or city inspectors, but from fellow members of the counterculture itself. Former members, anyway. All over the city, artists are being kicked out of the buildings where they hone their craft to make way for the well-heeled pot trade.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a fascinating piece on this growing phenomenon:

East Oakland was already popular for pot growers long before the city began crafting medical cannabis laws. The deep-pocketed growers can afford premium lease rates.

Or they can just buy a building and kick tenants out. That’s what happened to Ruth when the warehouse he was living and working in was purchased in April.

The building, valued at about $630,000, was purchased for $1.5 million. Ruth had attempted to buy the building, but he was outbid by hundreds of thousands dollars. The selling price is indicative of a neighborhood inside Oakland’s green zone, a designated area for marijuana cultivation.

Ruth tried to buy some time because he was in the middle of a project he’d been working on for two years and, without his furnace, he can’t make glass. But profit won the day and he was evicted on Oct. 5.

Read the entire article here.

$100K Minimum Wage’ For 220,000 Highly-Compensated California Public Employees Costs Taxpayers $35B

Want to get rich, quick?  You do not have to work in Silicon Valley for a tech firm—work for a government agency anywhere in the State.  Wait a few years and you will be earning over $100,000.  In California more than 220,000 government workers are paid over $100,000 a year—that is not a typo.

“In many states, public service has little to do with serving the public and everything to do with using the public’s money to serve politicians. Whenever we open the books, California is consistently among the worst offenders. Recently, we found ‘animal collection curators’ making $110,290; city librarians earning $222,320; public utility commission bosses at $550,028; and county hospital doctors making $1.274 million.

This spring, at Forbes, we exposed 50,000 Illinois public employees earning six-figure salaries who cost taxpayers $8 billion. In California the numbers are exponentially larger:  218,667 employees making six-figures who cost $35 billion. For example, Illinois has 72 ‘city managers’ out-earning every governor of the 50 states. But, in California, the salaries of 171 assistant city managers average $201,550!

When you vote for more bonds, sales tax increases and parcel taxes, this is what you are really getting—along with a California debt of $1.5 trillion and a CalPERS unfunded liability of $1.4 trillion—in San Diego nine of the ten schools districts run a deficit EVERY year.  Want to get rich?  Work for government in California.  Want to be poor?  Be a taxpayer in California.

WhiteHouseMoney

‘$100K Minimum Wage’ For 220,000 Highly-Compensated California Public Employees Costs Taxpayers $35B

Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes, 11/11/16

In California, according to data captured at OpenTheBooks.com, 212 city and small town managers out-earn every governor of the 50 states ($180,000).

In many states, public service has little to do with serving the public and everything to do with using the public’s money to serve politicians. Whenever we open the books, California is consistently among the worst offenders. Recently, we found ‘animal collection curators’ making $110,290; city librarians earning $222,320; public utility commission bosses at $550,028; and county hospital doctors making $1.274 million.

This spring, at Forbes, we exposed 50,000 Illinois public employees earning six-figure salaries who cost taxpayers $8 billion. In California the numbers are exponentially larger:  218,667 employees making six-figures who cost $35 billion. For example, Illinois has 72 ‘city managers’ out-earning every governor of the 50 states. But, in California, the salaries of 171 assistant city managers average $201,550!

Using our interactive mapping tool, quickly review (by ZIP code) the 220,000 California public employees who earn more than $100,000. Just click on a pin and scroll down to search the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.

Here are a few examples of what you’ll uncover by ZIP code:

  • 90012, Los Angeles – the #1 ZIP code in California with 42,007 six-figure employees costing taxpayers $7.5 billion per year. The highly compensated LA ‘Port Pilot’ John Betz earned $482,792 helping cargo ships navigate the harbor and ten other ‘port pilots’ were paid an additional $3.7 million in salary plus overtime. Union contracts mandate the overtime abuses.
  • 92502, Riverside County – the home of Lee Wagner, an Assistant Sheriff who netted $653,025. Wagner’s base salary was $234,584, but received a salary spike by cashing-in unused banks of benefits, i.e. leave. Also, the county highly compensated its ‘staff psychiatrists’: Charles Yates ($472,175) and David Dinicola ($433,422).
  • 92522, City of Riverside – two ‘assistant city managers’ each exceed $200,000 in salary- Deanna Lorson ($220,994) and Alfred Zelinka ($209,700). While in the utilities department, eighteen ‘power line technicians’ made $105,572 and their manager cleaned off $198,516.
  • 94102, San Francisco – William J. Coaker, Jr. netted $507,832 as the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the City of San Francisco. In contrast, the CIO at CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) only made $456,877 last year – managing the largest pension fund in the United States with $301 billion in assets.  And, it’s good to be a truck driver in San Francisco. Thirty highly compensated drivers made $100,000 plus with Jeffrey Lamendola earning $184,767. Two city bricklayers made $106,681 and $101,460 respectively. Who knew that cities employed six-figure bricklayers?
  • 90210, Beverly Hills – 326 municipal employees earned six-figures including Art Director Aram Chobanian ($114,318) and Events and Filming Supervisor Benita Miller ($103,841). But topping the list are the fire and police staff: David Grate, Fire Battalion Chief ($349,449), Charles Ratcliff, Fire Engineer ($344,223), and Scott Dowling, Police Sergeant ($320,758).
  • 94538, Fremont – Levine Harvey, the City Attorney, cost taxpayers $419,394 with a $40,000 salary raise last year. 697 highly compensated staffers cost more than $100,000 per year with thirty over $300,000. Sixteen police and fire officers earned between $321,262 to $404,810. Even the ‘animal services manager’ cost taxpayers $186,422.

Recommended by Forbes

In total, there’s roughly $35 billion in total benefit flowing to highly-compensated government workers when counting the 21,332 federal employees based in California with six figure salaries.

So, who are the biggest culprits in conferring six-figure salaries locally?  We ranked the top 10 California-based units of government.

California’s largest ‘Big Dog’ governments conferring $100,000+ cash compensation.

Last year, at Forbes, we showcased the highly compensated lifeguards in Newport Beach, and determined that maybe they are the only CA public employees truly earning their pay. But this year, we found 97 first-responder lifeguards in Los Angeles County making six-figures including chiefs/captains like Adam Uehara ($256,005), Daniel Douglas ($235,091), Fernando Boiteux ($183,062) and the ‘ocean lifeguard specialists’ like Jaro Snopek ($161,713).

The stories of taxpayer abuse seem endless.

The City of Santa Monica employs twenty-six highly compensated ‘motor coach operators’ in their Big Blue Bus division each earning over $100,000 – including Vicente Gutierrez ($128,971) and Norman Colomer ($126,922). To put this in perspective, a Greyhound operator makes between $40,000 and $52,000 per year and trainees in the Santa Monica bus system make $15.37 per hour, or $30,000 per year.

Driving the large fire equipment and trucks is even more lucrative. At the City of Los Angeles, forty-three ‘apparatus operators’ employed by the City of Los Angeles earned more than $200,000. The top earner was Michael Henry who made $356,846.

Overall, there are 2,032 six-figure employees within ‘utility’ districts and another 4,660 six-figure staffers within California ‘water districts.’ President of the Public Utilities Commission Charles Mills made $550,008 and his laboratory chief, Thomas Jonathan, made $400,003.

The Municipal Utility District of Sacramento that employs 985 six-figure public employees including CEO Arlen Orchard ($440,646), Chief Financial Officer James Tracy ($304,879), Chief Power Supply and Grid Operator Paul Lau ($301,507), Chief Workforce and Technology Officer Gary King ($276,123) and the Chief Generation and Grid Assets Officer Frankie McDermott ($269,574).

California community colleges, serving the strivers – students eating ramen noodles and working two jobs – are absolutely crushing the public pay system: 13,086 community college employees earn more than $100,000, including 178 who made more than $200,000. One of those highly compensated administrators, Thomas Fallo, retired last year after community outrage regarding his $346,895 comp plan.

California, like many states, is in trouble when it comes to its pension system.

California has over 2.7 million public employees either active (2.1 million) or retired (600,000 receiving a pension check). Yet, there are only 18 million jobs. Therefore, roughly one of every six ‘paychecks’ goes to a government employee or retiree.

All Americans must think twice now before heeding the historic advice of Horace Greeley, “Go West Young Man.” The sheer size of California’s public pay system may one day collapse under its own weight.

Adam Andrzejewski is CEO of OpenTheBooks.com. See the compensation for all 2 million California public employees on your mobile device by downloading our app, Open The Books – free for Apple and Android, click here.

 

The California Gathering That Hatched Plan to Prosecute Skeptics of Climate Change

As a Californian I am proud to live in the State with the worst roads, a $1.5 trillion debt, a collapsing pension system with $1.4 trillion of unfunded liability, a school district that has a 54% real graduation rate (LAUSD) and 12 million people in poverty.  Add to that, we will become the leading State for rapes in the nation as soon as the rapists realize they will only serve a couple of years in prison, if caught, as long as the drug, knock out and pour alcohol down the throat of their victims.  The War on Women is now headquartered in California.

“Smith’s letters to the attorneys general refer to the meeting held in June 2012 in California and billed as a Workshop on Climate Accountability, Public Opinion, and Legal Strategies.

A total of 23 environmental activists, trial lawyers, and academics came together in the seaside San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla to devise a “strategy to fight industry in the courts” over climate change, the House committee chairman says in the letters.

Another goal of the meeting was to find ways to confront what attendees described as a “network of public relations firms and nonprofit front groups that have been actively sowing disinformation about global warming for years.”

According to a summary of the La Jolla gathering, the activists came up with the idea of using the federal law known as RICO—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—against the fossil fuel industry.”

California was the location of a criminal conspiracy against jobs, the environment and freedom—the use of government agents to kill the economy and the health and welfare of our citizens. This scam to use the courts to bankrupt individuals and corporations for the crime of creating jobs and security for millions of Americans was created in California—probably by the same people that created the War on Women and the property crime wave sweeping the State.

220px-Al_Gore

The California Gathering That Hatched Plan to Prosecute Skeptics of Climate Change

Kevin Mooney, Daily Signal,  12/28/16   

Just before joining climate change activist and former Vice President Al Gore for a press conference in New York City, seven state-level attorneys general huddled with a representative of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The political activist, Peter Frumhoff, called for them and other elected officials to move decisively against major corporations and institutions for “denying” climate change.

“Americans should be outraged by this abuse of governmental powers by the chief law enforcement officials of these states.”—@HvonSpakovsky

The seeds of that call to action in March were planted four years earlier at a gathering of environmental activists, trial lawyers, and academics across the country in San Diego.

The Daily Signal found this and other revealing bits of information among material produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against Virginia’s George Mason University, home to six academics who urged the Obama administration to prosecute individuals and organizations for not agreeing that man has caused climate change.

Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, demanded that 17 state attorneys general who call themselves “AGs United for Clean Energy” provide documents on interactions among their offices—and with various environmental organizations.

Such details obtained through the lawsuit “reveal the incestuous relationship between climate change activists and partisan state attorneys general,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. He added:

They are subverting our democratic system by using the courts to silence the opposition to their economically costly, unneeded policy solutions for an unproven scientific theory. Americans should be outraged by this abuse of governmental powers by the chief law enforcement officials of these states.

Smith’s letters to the attorneys general refer to the meeting held in June 2012 in California and billed as a Workshop on Climate Accountability, Public Opinion, and Legal Strategies.

A total of 23 environmental activists, trial lawyers, and academics came together in the seaside San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla to devise a “strategy to fight industry in the courts” over climate change, the House committee chairman says in the letters.

Another goal of the meeting was to find ways to confront what attendees described as a “network of public relations firms and nonprofit front groups that have been actively sowing disinformation about global warming for years.”

According to a summary of the La Jolla gathering, the activists came up with the idea of using the federal law known as RICO—the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—against the fossil fuel industry.

Congress passed RICO in 1978 for the purpose of prosecuting mob crimes. In recent months, though, climate change activists have sought to use it against organizations, corporations, and scientists that aren’t convinced human activity is responsible for catastrophic climate change.

Early on in the workshop, Richard Ayres, a Washington lawyer who is a co-founder and trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, first mentioned the RICO tactic as a possible weapon against fossil fuel.

Ayres’ environmental organization is a well-endowed, tax-exempt advocacy group headquartered in New York City. Public records show it had financial assets of $268.1 million as of 2013.

Reached by telephone Tuesday by The Daily Signal, Ayres said the meeting “was a long time ago” and declined comment.

Other workshop attendees included Frumhoff, director of science and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who met with the attorneys general in New York in March, and Matthew Pawa, an environmental activist and trial attorney who founded the Global Warming Legal Action project.

The Big Tobacco Analogy 

A 36-page document, “Establishing Accountability for Climate Change Damages,” outlines the business of the workshop held June 14 and 15, 2012, in La Jolla.

Those attending took inspiration from successful litigation efforts directed against the tobacco industry in the 1990s. But, according to the summary, they acknowledged that a similar legal strategy against fossil fuel companies “would present a number of different obstacles and opportunities.”

By opportunities, they meant litigation. The summary notes “widespread agreement among workshop participants” that some form of “cancer analog” for global warming, such as rising sea levels, must be established.

Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard University who played a key role in organizing the workshop, is quoted in the workshop summary as saying: “When I talk to my students I always say tobacco causes lung cancer, esophageal cancer, mouth cancer. … My question is: What is the ‘cancer’ of climate change that we need to focus on?”

“The oil industry uses a lot of the same individuals and organizations as the tobacco industry” in “manipulation of science to defraud the public.”–@ProfGlantz

The documents on tobacco litigation are collected in a searchable, online repository called the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, the summary notes. Workshop attendee Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, runs the project.

In response to an email from The Daily Signal requesting comment, Glantz said he was “struck by the parallels” between the public relations tactics of the oil industry and the tobacco companies. He said:

The pattern of quietly financing public relations efforts and small ‘independent’ groups of scientists in order to confuse the public about the overwhelming scientific evidence linking human activities—including energy consumption using Exxon Mobil—while privately using high-quality, accurate science that recognizes global warming to make internal business decisions is precisely the behavior pattern that got the tobacco companies into so much trouble for defrauding the public. The oil industry also uses a lot of the same individuals and organizations as the tobacco industry. Such manipulation of science to defraud the public was a central element of the RICO case [against the tobacco industry].

Contrary to what some environmentalists tell the public, however, skeptics of man-made climate change argue that the analogy between tobacco use and climate change does not hold.

Theories linking human activity with global warming, they say, are in dispute.

In fact, hundreds of climate scientists from across the globe have contributed to reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which calls itself an “international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars, who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming.”

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change was set up as a rejoinder to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, also known as the IPCC, which has produced reports promoting the idea that human activity drives catastrophic climate change.

In contrast, the nongovernmental group of scientists finds no consensus, no basis for predictions of future climate conditions, and no case for forcing a transition away from fossil fuels.

The organization’s reports demonstrate that an increasing number of scientists say natural variability, not human activity, is the primary driver of warming and cooling trends. In 2008, it joined with the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank based in Illinois, to produce a report entitled “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”

Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University professor who helped organize the 2012 gathering, speaks at a World Economic Forum event in January 2015 in Switzerland. (Photo: Michael Buholzer/Swiss-Image/Newscom)

‘It’s All About the Money’

Four years after the meeting in La Jolla, Frumhoff gave a presentation in New York to the seven state attorneys general on the “imperative of taking action now on climate change” just before they held their March 29 press conference with Gore. That same morning, Pawa’s law office briefed the attorneys general on climate change litigation.

Chris Horner, a lawyer and senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian and free-market think tank based in Washington, late last year filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against George Mason University that produced email records highlighting coordination among environmental activists and the 17 state attorneys general.

As reported previously by The Daily  Signal, 20 academics from across the country who specialize in climate change, including the six from George Mason University, signed a letter dated Sept. 1, 2015, asking the Obama administration to consider pursuing a federal racketeering investigation against “the fossil fuel industry and their supporters.”

They addressed the letter to President Barack Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The “RICO 20,” as the academics came to be known, argued that “corporations and other organizations … knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

The writers credited Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., for proposing use of the racketeering law against such climate skeptics. But in reality, the idea originated with the La Jolla workshop more than three years earlier.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists has a long history of left-wing activism.”—@Ron_Arnold

The Union of Concerned Scientists played a critical role in organizing the 2012 meeting, notes Ron Arnold, executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, a conservative educational group.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists has a long history of left-wing activism,” Arnold said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “It was informally founded but not incorporated in 1969 as an anti-Vietnam War protest group by students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

The organization, which incorporated in 1973, had assets of $46.5 million as of 2014.

The 2012 meeting on climate change was simply an extension of the scientists’ involvement in “numerous far-left causes,” Arnold said:

When you take a hard look at this workshop, you will find it really has nothing to do with global warming. Instead, it’s all about the money, it’s all about big legal settlements.

A Threat to Free Speech

The coalition called AGs United for Clean Energy, also dubbed the “Green 20,” made its official debut during the press conference with Gore. All the original members are Democrats except Claude E. Walker of the Virgin Islands, an independent.

The stated objective of the coalition of attorneys general is to “defend climate change progress made under President Obama.”

To this end, some of the prosecutors subpoenaed documents, communications, and research aimed at acquiring the work material of more than 100 academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and individual scientists, according to Smith’s House committee.

In his correspondence with the state officials, the Texas congressman expressed concern that their tactics undermined free speech and stifled meaningful scientific debate at the expense of the public interest, which, he noted, government attorneys should work to uphold.

Smith also sent letters to eight environmental activist groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, asking for “documents related to the groups’ coordinated efforts to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, scientists, and scholars of their First Amendment rights and their ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey continue to press ahead with investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp. But not everyone else in the coalition seems to be on board with the tactics congressional critics view as a violation of free speech.

In fact, not every prosecutor who initially identified himself or herself with the coalition in March appears to be part of it today. The Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit also known as E&E Legal, recently released a batch of emails suggesting the “Green 20” was beginning to fray around the edges.

Delaware’s attorney general, Matthew Denn, has withdrawn from the coalition. The attorneys general of Virginia, Vermont, and Iowa—Mark Herring, William Sorrell, and Tom Miller—all expressed reservations in one form or another.

Walker, the Virgin Islands attorney general, decided to withdraw his subpoena against the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the libertarian think tank in Washington.

Walker had asked for CEI to turn over its work on climate change over the past decade. In turn, CEI asked the District of Columbia Superior Court to fine Walker for violating its First Amendment rights under the District’s law against bullying lawsuits, as well as for attorneys’ fees and other sanctions.

Resisting Congressional Subpoenas

E&E Legal describes itself as devoted to strategic litigation, policy research, and public education. Chaim Mandelbaum, a Virginia lawyer representing the organization, told The Daily Signal that he suspects that the negative media attention on the relationship between the state attorneys general and green pressure groups prompted some of the elected officials to rethink their position.

Continued congressional scrutiny has backed the “Green 20” into a defensive position, Mandelbaum said.

Smith issued subpoenas to New York’s Schneiderman, Massachusetts’ Healey, and the eight environmental groups: the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Climate Accountability Institute, Rockefeller Family Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Pawa Law Group, Greenpeace, the Climate Reality Project, and 350.org.

So far, all have resisted the congressional subpoenas.

“From the moment man-made global warming was elevated to a problem requiring ‘urgent’ action, the political class has used the issue to increase its power and wealth.” —@NationalCenter’s Bonner Cohen

E&E Legal is pursuing Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin as well as Schneiderman over their use of a “secrecy pact” describing how they intended to silence climate change skeptics and conceal their actions from the public.

In related developments, E&E Legal joined several New York citizens groups in an effort to shake loose records detailing any coordination between the New York attorney general and Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist and major donor to the Democratic Party.

Most recently, E&E Legal filed an open records suit against Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, asking for “portions of correspondence with and about ringleader New York AG Eric Schneiderman’s office.” The suit also seeks information from Herring about “outside advisers.”

A federal judge in Texas ordered Healey to appear Dec. 13 in a Dallas court to answer questions about her investigation of Exxon Mobil. But the day before, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade canceled his order, which Healey had vowed to resist.

Kinkeade instead gave Healey and lawyers for Exxon Mobil until Jan. 4 to submit briefs on why or why not the deposition should take place in Texas, the Boston Herald reported.

“We see a substantial amount of collusion going on,” E&E Legal’s Mandelbaum told The Daily Signal, citing meetings between the state attorneys general and the Union of Concerned Scientists prior to the press conference with Gore.

Mandelbaum also said calendar entries indicate Pawa, the trial lawyer who founded Global Warming Legal Action, met with the attorneys general and gave them information suggesting Exxon Mobil has concealed facts about climate change. Mandelbaum said:

There’s a lot of evidence showing these outside groups are presenting the [attorneys general] with information that says Exxon Mobil is hiding information, when there is no evidence that this is true. It’s clear these outside [environmental] groups have been driving this agenda and trying to get the attorneys general to take some kind of action. We are talking about extremely open-ended investigations that are political and not really legal.

‘Alarmists Have Never Succeeded’

Bonner Cohen, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, told The Daily Signal that he sees vast differences between what occurred with the tobacco industry years ago and the scientific realities of climate change—what activists used to call global warming.

“The 1963 surgeon general’s report linking cigarette smoking to a higher risk of lung cancer was a scientific finding, plain and simple, one which has withstood the test of time,” Cohen said, adding:

Unlike ‘climate change,’ originally labeled ‘global warming,’ the surgeon general’s report was never a part of a larger political agenda. From the moment man-made global warming was elevated to a problem requiring ‘urgent’ action at a well-orchestrated Senate hearing in 1988, the political class in the U.S. and elsewhere has used the issue to increase its power and wealth.

Yet despite numerous international conferences, congressional hearings, untold billions of taxpayer dollars spent on climate ‘research,’ the blatant manipulation of data, and a vast PR campaign, alarmists have never succeeded in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between man-made greenhouse gases and a warming of the planet.

Cohen continued:

Such a relationship was established—and never seriously disputed—regarding the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Alarmists have tacitly acknowledged this by claiming that the ‘science is settled on climate change.’ It isn’t, and they know it, but they want to snuff out all debate on the subject so we can get on to the important business of eliminating fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy. The ultimate goal is to have a self-appointed mandarin class of transnational bureaucrats dictate how energy is to be rationed globally. This is a far cry from warning people about the dangers of smoking.

The Daily Signal repeatedly sought comment from Oreskes by phone and email, but she has not responded.

The summary of the 2012 workshop proceedings makes it clear she was among key organizers. For example, Page 2 says:

The workshop was conceived by Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego [since removed to Harvard University], Peter C. Frumhoff and Angela Ledford Anderson of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute, and Lewis M. Branscomb of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Richard Heede, co-founder and director of the Climate Accountability Institute, briefs reporters in Manila on his research on carbon dioxide emissions on May 13, 2015. (Photo: Kyodo/Newscom)

Oreskes also is a co-founder of the Climate Accountability Institute, where she and Frumhoff serve on an advisory board. The tax-exempt organization, incorporated in 2011 in Snowmass, Colorado, reported assets of $31,579 as of 2014.

The Daily Signal sought comment from spokesmen for the Union of Concerned Scientists by phone and email, but the organization has not responded. Heede, a co-founder and director of the Climate Accountability Institute, was reached briefly by telephone but declined to comment.

Branscomb, professor emeritus of public policy and corporate management at Harvard and research associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, declined comment. Neither Frumhoff nor Anderson, director of the climate and energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, could be reached for comment.

In June, Oreskes delivered testimony before a panel of the Congressional Democratic Progressive Caucus, a group of the most liberal lawmakers in Congress, underscoring the Harvard professor’s leading role in the campaign of the attorneys general targeting skeptics of man-made climate change.

Arnold, the Center for Defense of Freedom vice president, said:

The testimony from Oreskes revealed that Schneiderman had been conducting his inquisition against Exxon Mobil long before reports surfaced alleging the company hid information related to global warming. Ironically, Exxon Mobil sent the [New York] attorney general mountains of material and showed that all its science had been published in peer review journals, thus had been available to the public all the time. That didn’t stop Schneiderman, who was obviously operating a political crusade, not a criminal investigation.

Donors behind the 2012 workshop on climate change accountability also were acknowledged on Page 2 of the summary: “This workshop was made possible by the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and the Martin Johnson House at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.”

The Johnson House, where the activists gathered, is an oceanfront cottage used by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a department of University of California, San Diego.

The assets propelling the three named foundations amount to more than half a billion dollars—$608.5 million—according to tax documents for 2013: $89.3 million for the Rasmussen Foundation; $125.1 million for the Gilmore Foundation; and $394.1 million for the Grantham Foundation.

“Combined with the assets behind the many funders of all the workshop’s participants, the financial clout represented here is many billions of influential dollars,” Arnold said.

‘Your Source Has It Wrong’

Arnold questioned the motivations of the workshop organizers, in particular Glantz, co-author of the 2012 book “Bad Acts: The Racketeering Case Against the Tobacco Industry,” and Oreskes, whose 2011 book “Merchants of Doubt” he called a “fossil fuel smear.” Arnold said:

[Oreskes] knew of the huge payoff from the tobacco case settlement [in 1998] that gave University of California professor Stanton Glantz his own institute within the university, the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Glantz was a participant in the La Jolla meeting, [and] talked about his involvement in the tobacco cases.

Subsequently, Oreskes was a participant in New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s RICO campaign where she informed the coalition members of the content of her book and her book’s research into the tobacco cases.

The Daily Signal specified Arnold’s remarks about her in seeking comment from Oreske, but the Harvard professor has not responded.

Glantz did offer a rejoinder to Arnold, saying in an email to The Daily Signal that he didn’t have “formal involvement in the tobacco cases” and was not a witness. He said he did “from time to time provide information and answer questions from some of the lawyers.”

“So, your source has it wrong,” he told The Daily Signal, “which is not surprising since ‘climate skeptics’ either don’t understand or ignore the science on global warming.”

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

98% of California Cities have LESS Crime Than San Fran

San Fran loves criminals.  So much so, it is spending tax dollars to give attorneys to criminals in their city that violate Federal law.  This is a city where the homeless control the streets, the sidewalks are as dirty as those in a Third World country—and the people accept it.  When they voted overwhelmingly in 2014 for Prop. 47 they thought they were helping the criminals find a better way—and they did.

Now the criminals can steal up to $950 worth of property and not be charged with a felony or a serious crime.  Wait till the rapists realize that if they knock out their victim or drug them, they only get two years in jail for a “non-violent” crime, per Prop. 57.  The folks in San Fran want to be victims and the criminals are giving them their election day wish.

One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 14. Within California, more than 98% of the communities have a lower crime rate than San Francisco.”

Thought you should know that before you visit the crime capitol of California.  Remember, you still have your Second Amendment rights—and every other town in the State has great restaurants without the criminals.  Maybe you should be forced to sign a crime waiver if your visit San Fran—so the city is not liable for you becoming a victim.

Police car

Crime rates for San Francisco, CA

Neighborhood Scout, 12/28/16

San Francisco crime rates

Population 864,816

About San Francisco crime rates

With a crime rate of 70 per one thousand residents, San Francisco has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 14. Within California, more than 98% of the communities have a lower crime rate than San Francisco.

Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city’s crime rate with those of similarly sized communities – a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 864,816, San Francisco has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether San Francisco does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as San Francisco.

The crime data that NeighborhoodScout used for this analysis are the seven offenses from the uniform crime reports, collected by the FBI from 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, and include both violent and property crimes, combined.

Now let us turn to take a look at how San Francisco does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in San Francisco.

For San Francisco, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in San Francisco is one in 127.

In addition, NeighborhoodScout found that a lot of the crime that takes place in San Francisco is property crime. Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In San Francisco, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 16, which is a rate of 62 per one thousand population.

Importantly, we found that San Francisco has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to our analysis of FBI crime data. This is compared to communities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest. In fact, your chance of getting your car stolen if you live in San Francisco is one in 124.