Here’s What Ronald Reagan Did When College Kids Went Ape At UC-Berkeley

Ann Coulter was not allowed to speak at Berkeley—because the Chancellor does not believe in free speech—he is a totalitarians, getting paid with your money.  Milo had a riot preventing him to speak—and the same Chancellor did nothing to stop the riots or to expel the students and faculty involved.  Many years ago, under Gov. Reagan—the same totalitarian forces erupted—with different results.

“In an extremely controversial move, for which he never apologized, Reagan declared a state of emergency and sent in 2,200 National Guard troops. He enacted a curfew and banned public assembly for two weeks. The National Guard patrolled the streets of Berkeley, dispersing any crowd of four or more. It wasn’t pretty, but they restored order.

Someone in the crowd shouts that Reagan should have negotiated with the students. Reagan, with the incredulity of someone who understands that youth don’t run the world for a reason, says: “Negotiate? What is to negotiate? All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”

Reagan would not negotiate with criminals—at Cal today, the Administrators are the protectors of criminals—glad you paid your taxes?

Reagan

Here’s What Ronald Reagan Did When College Kids Went Ape At UC-Berkeley

As governor of California, Ronald Reagan had to deal with rioting at UC-Berkeley. He sure didn’t tell police to stand down, like officials have for recent protests of conservative speakers.

 

By Donna Carol Voss, The Federalist.  4/24/17

The University of California at Berkeley, the cradle of the free speech movement, just last week cancelled yet another conservative speaker. The college’s Young Republicans had invited Ann Coulter to speak on April 27. Campus officials cited “security concerns” as their reason for cancelling Coulter’s speech, but Coulter says it was all they had left after “imposing ridiculous demands” that hadn’t scared her away.

They demanded she speak off-campus; she acceded. They demanded she speak during the day when students are in class; she acceded. How mad are Berkeley officials that even though they cancelled her, she plans to speak on April 27 at Berkeley anyway? It’s almost like she has courage and a backbone.

Clearly, UC-Berkeley officials have neither, and this is not news. When the Young Republicans invited former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulis to speak in February, campus officials cancelled his speech a few hours before it was to start, also due to “security concerns.” They then hid behind their oak-paneled desks while violent protesters tore down metal barriers, broke windows, set fires, hurled rocks at police, attacked bystanders, and damaged a construction site.

Police were reportedly told to stand down and take no action against the violence. An attorney for the union representing UC-Berkeley police said, “When these rioters saw that there was no action taken against them, it emboldened them into acting more aggressively.” Indeed. When protesters were done demolishing the campus—to the tune of $100,000—they moved on to smash windows of local businesses.

What a Real Leader Does When Facing Petty Thugs

Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him? He would have put a stop to it all right quick. Reagan had made campus unrest at Berkeley one of his major campaign issues when he announced his candidacy for California governor in 1964:

[D]o we no longer think it necessary to teach self-respect, self-discipline, and respect for law and order? Will we allow a great university to be brought to its knees by a noisy dissident minority? Will we meet their neurotic vulgarities with vacillation and weakness? Or will we tell those entrusted with administering the university we expect them to enforce a code based on decency, common sense, and dedication to the high and noble purpose of that university?

Not unlike another wildly popular, yet wildly unpopular politician, Reagan was elected partly to restore law and order. A group of protestors put the governor to the test in 1969.

They had been using a vacant plot of land for protests against the Vietnam War and decided to block the university from developing it. The day in May 1969 when the university attempted to erect a fence around the plot of land is called “Bloody Thursday.” A rally called to protest the action drew thousands and soon turned into a riot. Reagan ordered the Berkeley police and California Highway Patrol to shut it down.

A campus publication tells what happened next: “[T]hree students suffered punctured lungs, another a shattered leg, 13 people were hospitalized with shotgun wounds, and one police officer was stabbed. James Rector, who was watching the riot from a rooftop, was shot by police gunfire; he died four days later.”

Then Reagan Doubled Down

In an extremely controversial move, for which he never apologized, Reagan declared a state of emergency and sent in 2,200 National Guard troops. He enacted a curfew and banned public assembly for two weeks. The National Guard patrolled the streets of Berkeley, dispersing any crowd of four or more. It wasn’t pretty, but they restored order.

There is a classic, should-be-in-the-Smithsonian clip of Reagan at a press conference after the fact with university administrators. He says: “Those people told you for days in advance that if the university sought to go ahead with that construction, they were going to physically destroy the university.”

Someone in the crowd shouts that Reagan should have negotiated with the students. Reagan, with the incredulity of someone who understands that youth don’t run the world for a reason, says: “Negotiate? What is to negotiate? All of it began the first time some of you who know better and are old enough to know better let young people think that they have the right to choose the laws they would obey as long as they were doing it in the name of social protest.”

To underscore the point, Reagan got up and walked out of the room. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

The university eventually caved to the People’s Park protesters, long after Reagan was out of office. They caved to the Yiannopoulis protesters in February. Now they’ve caved to the Coulter protesters. Cave, cave, cave, cave, cave. Every time they cave, they put another nail in the coffin of self-discipline, decency, common sense, and respect for law and order.

Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him?

 

UC Financial Incompetence Exposed: $156 Million Computer System Now Costs $504 Million

We know that Janet Napolitano HID $175 million is a secret fund—then demanded and got a tuition increase.  She STOLE $25 million meant for education, to be used to defend criminals up for deportation.  Now we find, the person that opened the borders to the drug cartels, criminals and terrorists as Homeland Secretary can not even administer an agency—and she was once the Governor of Arizona.

“The highly touted UCPath system for payroll and personnel was supposed to cost $156 million and save $100 million a year. As UC mouthpiece Ricardo Vazquez told reporters, the cost will now be a whopping $504 million, including a $26 million contingency in the final year of the project’s budget. Vazquez blames additional expenses on “additional staff,” so apparently the regular crew was not up to the task. So far, the university has spent $327 million but the UCPath project remains, count ‘em, four years behind schedule. As with government in general, things always cost more and take longer than the package that officials pitch to the public.

She needs to be fired.  For corruption, yup.  For incompetence, yes, for abusing students, yes, for using tax dollars to protect criminals from foreign countries, yup.  Napolitano is the poster child for the Democrat Party—corrupt, incompetent and hates this country.

Photo courtesy The National Guard, flickr.

Photo courtesy The National Guard, flickr.

UC Computer Caper Triples Costs for Taxpayers

Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley, Mygovcosts.org,   4/20/17

In recent years the University of California has been hiking tuition, and when students at UC Davis held a peaceful protest, campus police pepper sprayed them. The ensuing $1 million settlement was mostly waste, with attorneys and consultants cashing in on every hand. In response to funding cuts, the bloated UC bureaucracy began to enroll more nonresident students who pay higher tuition, as the state auditor noted, disadvantaging the California students for whom the UC system was primarily created to serve. Taxpayers should note that UC bosses are now indulging more waste on a very costly computer system.

The highly touted UCPath system for payroll and personnel was supposed to cost $156 million and save $100 million a year. As UC mouthpiece Ricardo Vazquez told reporters, the cost will now be a whopping $504 million, including a $26 million contingency in the final year of the project’s budget. Vazquez blames additional expenses on “additional staff,” so apparently the regular crew was not up to the task. So far, the university has spent $327 million but the UCPath project remains, count ‘em, four years behind schedule. As with government in general, things always cost more and take longer than the package that officials pitch to the public.

If taxpayers wonder whom to hold accountable, they might consider UC chancellor Janet Napolitano. The former Arizona governor and Department of Homeland Security boss has been acting like the U.S. Secretary of State, travelling abroad and making grandiose political pronouncements. On the other hand, Napolitano is a politician, not an educator, and a poor choice for the UC post in the first place. Taxpayers might also note that on Napolitano’s watch free speech and civility are not exactly thriving on UC campuses, particularly Berkeley, home of the Free Speech Movement. At the University of California, taxpayers and students alike don’t get what they pay for.

College Activists: Searching For Truth Makes You A Racist

At Pomona College, unless you are willing to “admit” you are a racist—you are a racist—per a number of black students at the college.  In fact, these are the racists, they hate white people.  Imagine trying to hire them and you are white—will they tell you that you must hire them or that is proof you are a racist?

“Further, the three authors of the letter—freshmen Dray Denson, Avery Jonas, and sophomore Shanaya Stephenson—explain that “the Truth” is a concept rooted in racism.

“The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain,” the students wrote. “This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples” (emphasis added).

Notice the list of social justice buzzwords: white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, and capitalism. I’m surprised they didn’t include authoritarianism and Donald Trump.”

Racism and bigotry is open and approved at Pomona College—if not, these students would be thrown out for supporting the theories of the Klan in Tan—whites are racist and must be put in the back of the bus and never heard from.  Academic freedom?  Only for the racists at Pomona.

UCLA

College Activists: Searching For Truth Makes You A Racist

Do you believe there’s an objective truth? Well, you’re a white supremacist then, at least according to a small number of black Pomona College students.

By Ashe Schow, The Federalist,  4/18/17

Do you believe there’s an objective truth? Well, you’re a white supremacist then, at least according to a small number of black Pomona College students.

In a letter that strings together words the students no doubt learned in their Blank-Studies classes in what almost appears to be social justice Mad Libs (the word “marginalized” appears seven times in the one-page document), the students claim inviting a speaker critical of Black Lives Matter and supportive of police amounts to oppression.

Further, the three authors of the letter—freshmen Dray Denson, Avery Jonas, and sophomore Shanaya Stephenson—explain that “the Truth” is a concept rooted in racism.

“The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain,” the students wrote. “This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples” (emphasis added).

Notice the list of social justice buzzwords: white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, and capitalism. I’m surprised they didn’t include authoritarianism and Donald Trump.

The letter is a response to an email sent by Pomona College president David Oxtoby, who on April 7 criticized those who protested the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald. Mac Donald was invited to speak by the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College, Pomona’s sister school, about her book, “The War on Cops.” Some students called her a “notorious white supremacist fascist,” and proceeded to chant “Black Lives Matter” while banging on the windows of the building where Mac Donald was scheduled to speak.

Disagreeing With Me Makes You a White Supremacist

Oxtoby wrote in his email to students that Pomona opposes “preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker.” He further stated that Pomona’s “mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.”

Denson, Jonas and Stephenson took offense to Oxtoby’s defense of the truth.

“The idea that the search for this truth involves entertaining Heather Mac Donald’s hate speech is illogical,” the students wrote. “If engaged, Heather Mac Donald would not be debating on mere difference of opinion, but the right of Black people to exist. Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live.”

Where do they get the idea that Mac Donald doesn’t think black people have the right to exist? Defending good cops and criticizing the bad tactics of a politically correct group (that not all black people have decided to join) doesn’t mean she believes black people don’t have a right to exist. Also, again notice the string of social-justice-warrior buzzwords to describe Mac Donald.

Mac Donald wasn’t the only target of the students’ ire. They also wanted the school to “take action” against the Claremont Independent, a right-leaning campus publication. The three students, along with nearly a dozen others, signed their names to the letter, then said if the Independent publishes those names and they “receive threats and hate mail,” then Pomona should “take legal action against members of the Claremont Independent involved with the editing and publication process as well as disciplinary action, such as expulsion on the grounds of endangering the wellbeing of others.”

Get that? They signed their names, but if they receive any backlash for their actions they want other students expelled and sued. How progressive.

Mac Donald Responds: ‘A Major Embarassment’

In a statement to The Federalist, Mac Donald called the letter “a major embarrassment to the Pomona and Claremont faculty.” She cited instances of poor writing and grammar, but lambasted the content as well.

“The students appear to argue that the ideal of free speech is based on a mystifying and oppressive concept of unitary truth, and that such a concept solidifies white supremacy … [yet] They are fully confident that they possess the truth about me and about their oppressed plight at Pomona and Claremont,” Mac Donald said.

Mac Donald also defended her work, saying the students have misread it.

“My entire argument about the necessity of proactive policing is based on the value of black lives,” she said. “I have decried the loss of black life to drive-by shootings and other forms of street violence. I have argued that the fact that blacks die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined is a civil rights abomination. And I have tried to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding residents of high-crime areas who are desperate for more police protection so that they can enjoy the same freedom from fear as people in more wealthy areas take for granted.”

Do What We Want Or Else We’ll Say You’re Racists

The students have also demanded that Oxtoby respond to them by Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. and send a revised email by Thursday, “apologizing for the previous patronizing statement, enforcing that Pomona College does not tolerate hate speech and speech that projects violence onto the bodies of its marginalized students and oppressed peoples, especially Black students who straddle the intersection of marginalized identities, and explaining the steps the institution will take and the resources it will allocate to protect the aforementioned students.”

So. Many. Buzzwords.

The social justice warrior problem on college campuses appears to be escalating. The protests are becoming more violent, and the demands are becoming more absurd. Just last week, the editorial staff of the Wellesley College student newspaper wrote: “If people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.”

The phrase “hate speech” has lost all meaning on campuses, as it now refers simply to speech liberal students don’t agree with. They claim it is bigoted, dangerous, and “violent,” making it acceptable—in their minds—to respond with physical violence.

I’d honestly believe this letter was a hoax, like that ridiculous article on the Huffington Post demanding we take away all white men’s voting rights, which was taken down because the author was fake—except you can actually find these students in the campus directory.

Ashe Schow is a senior contributor to the Federalist and senior political columnist for the New York Observer. She also contributes to a weekly segment on the Enough Already podcast. She has previously worked for Watchdog.org, the Washington Examiner and the Heritage Foundation.

Business-Friendly States Are Growing at the Expense of Those that Tax and Spend

Want good paying jobs, a great lifestyle and sensible rules and taxes—go to a Free State.  That is a State with low or no income taxes, the 28 States that do not force workers to pay bribes to work.  The States where criminals are caught and turned over to the proper authorities.  Want quality education?  LAUSD has a 54% graduation rate.  Chicago Mayor claims his city is safe for illegal aliens—but does not tell them of the almost 1,000 people killed in the city last year.  Safe?  For no one.

“After all, Americans have shown that they are willing to “vote with their feet” for better economic opportunities even if it means leaving their home state. The top-ten states in the 2017 rankings have gained more than 3.75 million residents in the past decade. The bottom-ten states, meanwhile, have lost more than 3.78 million residents over the same period. In addition to experiencing a mass exodus of residents, states with oppressively high tax rates such as New York, Illinois, and California have lost vast economic opportunities and vast amounts of wealth. Job growth over the last ten years was nearly three times higher in the top ten states than it was in the bottom ten.

When state governments enact bad policy, individuals and corporations react rationally, working less, investing less, or moving to a more business-friendly state altogether. Growth-oriented states routinely prioritize core services in their budgets while minimizing the tax burden on residents. Poorly ranked states in the Index consistently stifle growth with higher taxes and increased regulation.”

No one with a straight face can say California is a free State.  Do you?

Laffer1

Business-Friendly States Are Growing at the Expense of Those that Tax and Spend

by Jonathan Williams, National Review,  4/22/17

The tenth annual Rich State, Poor State rankings show just how far low taxes and reduced regulation can carry a state. The tenth edition of the Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index has just been released, and once again, Utah was found to have the best economic outlook of any state in the nation. The rankings are based on 15 equally-weighted economic policy variables, including tax rates, labor policy, and regulatory climate. They continue to show that states valuing economic freedom and competitiveness outperform states adhering to the tax-and-spend model, with state economic policies having a substantial effect on where businesses and individuals choose to set up shop.

 

Taxes matter for economic competitiveness. People and businesses often seek out lower tax burdens across state lines. Rich States, Poor States data shows states that keep taxes low, avoid job-killing over-regulation, and follow prudent budget practices consistently and significantly outperform their highly taxed, over-regulated counterparts. Shown below are the top- and bottom-ten states in terms of economic outlook for 2017.

 

Over the past decade, two states have made the top ten in the rankings every single year: Utah and Wyoming. In fact, after enacting tax cuts, a flat tax, and pension reforms, Utah has earned the top spot in all ten editions of Rich States, Poor States — a truly impressive accomplishment. On the other side of the spectrum, New York and Vermont have managed to land in the bottom ten each of the past ten years. 2017.

 

This year, several states earned their best all time rankings in Rich States, Poor States. After enacting right-to-work legislation and aggressively cutting tax rates, Indiana, which sat at 24th as recently as 2012, claimed the second-best economic outlook in the nation this year. Texas and New Hampshire both also saw significant improvement in the 2017 rankings, earning their best marks to date. By examining state-by-state migration trends, it is easy to see which states are enacting pro-growth policies.

 

After all, Americans have shown that they are willing to “vote with their feet” for better economic opportunities even if it means leaving their home state. The top-ten states in the 2017 rankings have gained more than 3.75 million residents in the past decade. The bottom-ten states, meanwhile, have lost more than 3.78 million residents over the same period. In addition to experiencing a mass exodus of residents, states with oppressively high tax rates such as New York, Illinois, and California have lost vast economic opportunities and vast amounts of wealth. Job growth over the last ten years was nearly three times higher in the top ten states than it was in the bottom ten.

 

When state governments enact bad policy, individuals and corporations react rationally, working less, investing less, or moving to a more business-friendly state altogether. Growth-oriented states routinely prioritize core services in their budgets while minimizing the tax burden on residents. Poorly ranked states in the Index consistently stifle growth with higher taxes and increased regulation.

 

Of course, tax and fiscal policies are not the only predictors of economic growth. Demographics, climate, natural resources, and other geographic amenities remain important factors in state economic growth as well. But even adjusting for these other factors, states that embrace sound economic policies vastly outperform those that don’t.

 

Coastal California may enjoy a better climate in its ten-day forecast than Texas for much of the year, but economic growth and migration patterns strongly suggest that the Lone Star State has a brighter future than the Golden State. While free markets and low taxes enable resources to flow in a productive manner to meet the demands of consumers, markets distorted by government through cronyism, taxes, and regulation create lower output and stifle investment. In Rich States, Poor States, the 50 “laboratories of democracy” give us clear examples of this every year. Freedom works, and the Index proves it.

Maxine Waters Slated to Pay Daughter Another $108K From Campaign Funds

How corrupt is the bigoted friend of Fidel Castro?  Maxine Waters has no Republican opposition wins most of the votes, but makes sure her daughter gets paid $650,000 to run a campaign operation a high school senior (even one from LAUSD) could run for $15 an hour.  This is how Waters, who used her influence as a leading Democrat in Congress to get the Feds to bail out her husbands failing bank, to the tune of $15 million.

“Karen Waters, the daughter of Rep. Waters, collected nearly $650,000 to date for running the operation for her mother’s campaign.

Karen is in charge of a “slate mailer” operation for Citizens for Waters, Rep. Waters’ federal campaign committee. Slate mailers, or endorsement mailers, involve a candidate or political group paying for the endorsement of another politician.

A candidate pays Citizens for Waters from their own political committees for her endorsement. If a candidate that she endorses does not directly pay her campaign committee, they must credit their own committee with in-kind contributions from Waters.”

Water is just your run of the mill political scam artist—her donors get what they deserve—ridicule and bigotry.  If you like totalitarianism and racism, you will love Maxine.

Congressional Black Caucus Holds Press Conference On Stimulus Bill

Maxine Waters Slated to Pay Daughter Another $108K From Campaign Funds

Karen Waters already collected nearly $650,000 to run the operation

BY: Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon,  4/23/17
Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) is slated to pay her daughter another $108,000 for running a lucrative campaign operation that pulls in hundreds of thousands of dollars each election cycle, FEC filings show.

Karen Waters, the daughter of Rep. Waters, collected nearly $650,000 to date for running the operation for her mother’s campaign.

Karen is in charge of a “slate mailer” operation for Citizens for Waters, Rep. Waters’ federal campaign committee. Slate mailers, or endorsement mailers, involve a candidate or political group paying for the endorsement of another politician.

A candidate pays Citizens for Waters from their own political committees for her endorsement. If a candidate that she endorses does not directly pay her campaign committee, they must credit their own committee with in-kind contributions from Waters.

The mailers are sent to nearly 200,000 residents in South Central Los Angeles, an area where Waters holds considerable clout. The mailers contain an “official sample ballot” and brief quotes from Waters about the candidates and measures that she supports.

During the 2016 election cycle, Waters’ campaign committee hauled in nearly $300,000 from more than 20 payments for slate mailer endorsements.

Kamala Harris, the former Democratic attorney general of California who last November won a seat in the U.S. Senate, gave Citizens for Waters $30,000 to appear on the endorsement mailers this past election cycle. Harris previously paid Waters’ campaign committee $28,000 in 2010 to appear on the mailers as she was running for attorney general.

The Democratic State Central Committee of California and Yes on Measure M, a group that pushed for an interconnected transportation system in Los Angeles, which was ultimately approved with 70 percent of the vote, each paid Citizens for Waters $35,000 to appear on the mailers.

A number of judges and California ballot measures additionally paid to appear on the slate mailers.

Karen Waters collected $65,287 throughout the 2016 cycle to run the slate mailer operation. Karen, along with her firm Progressive Connections, has received nearly $650,000 in payments from Citizens for Waters since 2006.

Waters’ most recent filings to the Federal Election Commission show that an outstanding balance of $108,952.15 is owed to Karen Waters. When Karen is paid the money that she is owed, she will have pocketed around $750,000 for running the mailers for the campaign since 2006.

Karen ran the operation from a state committee called LA Vote prior to the 2006 cycle. The FEC issued an advisory opinion in 2004 that allowed Waters to run the operation from her federal campaign committee.

Waters’ office did not return a request for comment on the payments by press time.

 

Corruption—Los Angeles Style/Just a Few Million Dollars at a Time

Years ago a lumber yard was having a problem—someone was stealing from them.  Every day a security agent would check the folks leaving, including checking items in the wheel barrows.  Never found anything—until two weeks later they realized it was the wheel barrows that were being stolen.  In the same way the thieves in Los Angeles government are not stealing one billion dollars at a time, just a few million.

“But this deal is accompanied by an unpleasant aroma because of the controversial “investment” in 2013 of $7.5 million in the Discovery Cube by Sanitation and the Department of Water and Power and the failure of the Board members to analyze the economics and efficiency of this $3 million transaction.

The Discovery Cube has a spotted history.

In 2003, then City Council President Alex Padilla (now California’s Secretary of State) hatched an ill-conceived plan to move the Children’s Museum to the Hansen Dam complex, an out of the way location 22 miles north of City Hall.  By 2013, the City’s mismanagement resulted in a $22 million “architectural eyesore” that needed an additional $21 million to design and build the exhibits. And if the City failed to open the museum, it would be on the hook to repay $18 million to other governmental entities.

Just a little program, among hundreds, who would notice or care.  This is why L.A. is running a deficit and the politicians get rich.  Limit the taxes and you limit the thefts.  What do you think, can you steal a wheel barrow without being caught?

Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti, Flickr.

Pet Project Alert: LA Ponies Up Millions for Discovery Cube Deal

Jack Humphreville, City Watch LA,  4/24/17

LA WATCHDOG–On Monday, April 17, the Board of Public Works approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Sanitation and Discovery Cube Los Angeles to “develop, promote, and assist with Sanitation’s educational events and programs for a term of three years at a cost not to exceed $3 million.”  This includes increasing the awareness of the City’s environmental programs and services and promoting environmental stewardship for the next generation of Angelenos.

But this deal is accompanied by an unpleasant aroma because of the controversial “investment” in 2013 of $7.5 million in the Discovery Cube by Sanitation and the Department of Water and Power and the failure of the Board members to analyze the economics and efficiency of this $3 million transaction.

The Discovery Cube has a spotted history.

In 2003, then City Council President Alex Padilla (now California’s Secretary of State) hatched an ill-conceived plan to move the Children’s Museum to the Hansen Dam complex, an out of the way location 22 miles north of City Hall.  By 2013, the City’s mismanagement resulted in a $22 million “architectural eyesore” that needed an additional $21 million to design and build the exhibits. And if the City failed to open the museum, it would be on the hook to repay $18 million to other governmental entities.

As part of its reorganization plan, the City entered into a long-term management contract with Discovery Cube Orange County, a successful operator of a strategically located science oriented museum in Santa Ana.

The City Council also decided to hit up Sanitation for $3.6 million by raiding the Sewer and Solid Waste Recovery funds that are financed by the fees that are part of our DWP bill. In addition, DWP and its Ratepayers were fleeced for $3.9 million, for a total of $7.5 million.

While the City Council justified the heist of our money by saying that our children would benefit from this “world-class education center” and environmentally oriented museum, this investment was the responsibility of the Department of Recreation and Parks and the City’s General Fund, not the DWP and Sanitation Ratepayers.

Of course, in their haste to approve this new contract, none of this history was discussed by the Board members when it approved this $3 million contract that once again involved the inappropriate use of our money.

Nor did the Board members discuss the services to be performed under this open-ended contract that did not have a specific work plan or a specific list of projects.  But more to the point, they did not examine the capabilities of the Discovery Cube and its ability to deliver cost effective services to Sanitation, especially when compared to other advertising mediums or venues.

Nor did the Board members consider the financial condition of the Discovery Cube and whether it is generating enough cash to cover its $5.4 million operating budget.  More than likely, the museum is not hitting its financial projections and is running short of cash.  This places the City in an awkward position which is why the Mayor and the City Council are putting the arm on Sanitation and its Ratepayers to fund the operational shortfall of this poorly located facility.

But once again, this financial obligation belongs with Rec & Parks and the General Fund, not the Sanitation Ratepayers.

The Mayor, the City Council, and the Board of Public Works will not have second thoughts about sticking it to Sanitation’s Ratepayers.  But this will confirm why we cannot trust them to be responsible stewards of our money.

But this is nothing. Just wait until we see the games they are playing with the Budget.  Hearings begin on Wednesday at 1 PM at City Hall.  Bring your hip boots.

 

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. 

Commentary: The California Teachers Association has a whole lot of money to burn: Here’s how it spends it

If you want to teach in almost any government school in California (except for the Clovis district) you either pay a bribe to a union or you do not teach in California government schools.  No bribe, no work.  Then the money is not used to protect your pension—in fact the unions are doing all they can to destroy CalSTRS—by refusing to demand reforms for a pension system that is collapsing—in three years 19% of a teachers paycheck, plus money from the State and the District will go to CalSTRS—just to keep the checks flowing.

“That means California teachers will pay CTA $677 for the next school year, a $21 increase. The union also expects to have an additional 2,300 members, bringing CTA to a total of $195.3 million in revenue.

What to do with all this money? A good chunk of it is disbursed into various political funds, including a new proposed assessment.

Each member contributes $36 to CTA’s Initiative Fund, which is used to support or oppose statewide ballot measures. That amounts to about $9.6 million, but unused dollars roll over, and the Initiative Fund currently has $13.8 million in it.

Another $20 of each member’s dues goes to the union’s Advocacy Fund, whose nebulous purpose is to “promote policies to improve and fight back attacks on public education.” Culling from dues raises $5.33 million, with $12 million currently in the fund.

An additional $19 goes to CTA’s Association for Better Citizenship political action committee. This is money donated directly to political candidates and parties, although a good portion also funds the PAC’s administration and day-to-day operations. Unlike federal law, California allows the union to deduct PAC money from a teacher’s paycheck along with dues. This deduction raises $3.1 million. CTA’s PAC currently has about $545,000 available.”

This is just a few of the scam used by unions to keep teachers in line—and legislators voting as demanded.  Feel free as a teacher—nope, you are owned by a union.  Sad for a professional to be a slave.

brochure04_MyCTA

Commentary: The California Teachers Association has a whole lot of money to burn: Here’s how it spends it

By Mike Antonucci, Los Angeles School Report,  4/19/17

The California Teachers Association is not only on the opposite coast from the New York State United Teachers, it is on the opposite side of the financial ledger.

While NYSUT battles budget deficits and cumbersome staff pension debt, CTA has loads of cash, consistent budget surpluses, net assets of more than $300 million, and a pliant state legislature that helps it get most of what it wants.

The picture isn’t entirely rosy. Gov. Jerry Brown, while friendly to the union, is more of a maverick than CTA prefers, and the union’s staff pension fund needs additional money. But there are plenty of dollars to go around.

With still more on the way, according to CTA’s proposed budget for the 2017–18 fiscal year. The union’s dues level increases by “the statewide percentage change in average classroom teacher salary, exclusive of step and column increases, within California public schools totaled over a three (3) year period, divided by three (3).” So, for example, if the average teacher salary increased by a cumulative 9 percent over the previous three years, dues would increase 3 percent.

That means California teachers will pay CTA $677 for the next school year, a $21 increase. The union also expects to have an additional 2,300 members, bringing CTA to a total of $195.3 million in revenue.

What to do with all this money? A good chunk of it is disbursed into various political funds, including a new proposed assessment.

Each member contributes $36 to CTA’s Initiative Fund, which is used to support or oppose statewide ballot measures. That amounts to about $9.6 million, but unused dollars roll over, and the Initiative Fund currently has $13.8 million in it.

Another $20 of each member’s dues goes to the union’s Advocacy Fund, whose nebulous purpose is to “promote policies to improve and fight back attacks on public education.” Culling from dues raises $5.33 million, with $12 million currently in the fund.

An additional $19 goes to CTA’s Association for Better Citizenship political action committee. This is money donated directly to political candidates and parties, although a good portion also funds the PAC’s administration and day-to-day operations. Unlike federal law, California allows the union to deduct PAC money from a teacher’s paycheck along with dues. This deduction raises $3.1 million. CTA’s PAC currently has about $545,000 available.

Another $16 goes to the union’s Media Fund. Though not strictly a political arm, the Media Fund pays for positive-image ads that generally precede a political campaign. This ad ran just prior to CTA’s campaign to pass Proposition 55, which extended the highest income tax brackets to pay for additional public education funding.

Finally, CTA had added one more political fund. Each member will now contribute $5 to the union’s Independent Expenditures Committee, which funds indirect spending on political candidates that may not be coordinated with the candidate or a political party.

CTA created the new assessment because it did not have a separate revenue stream for independent expenditures and was funding them through the transfer of PAC money. Now it will have about $1.33 million a year for that purpose.

Of course, CTA makes many other political expenditures — lobbying, for example — that are paid for through its general fund.

The sheer size of its budget, along with the hospitable political environment, makes it likely that even if existential disaster hits the rest of America’s teachers unions, the California Teachers Association will be the last domino to fall.

Democrats LOVE Taxes—AB 1356 Raises Taxes to be Wasted on Failed Schools

Sacramento Democrat, so far this year, have bills to increases taxes by over $155 billion—not a typo.  We will go broke meeting the Democrat demands—they good news is that freeway traffic jams will end—you will not afford a car under President Brown—or you will get smart and leave the State.

“This bill would, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, 2019, impose an additional tax of 1% on income that exceeds $1,000,000, as provided. The bill would deposit the revenues derived from this tax into the Higher Education Assistance Fund, a continuously appropriated fund established by this bill, for the purposes of funding student financial assistance for tuition and fees required of specified students enrolled at the University of California, the California State University, and California community colleges. the California Community Colleges.

The tax dollars would be spent on campuses where free speech no longer exists, differing views are met with bullying and the few professors that believe in science and the Constitution are about to be fired think Fink at UCLA for example.  Your added taxes will go to the unions, special interests and the violence allowing Administrators—is it time to go to move to a Free State—for self protection?

taxes

AB-1356 Higher Education Assistance Fund: personal income taxes: additional tax.(2017-2018)

 Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman Members Eggman, Bonta, and Weber
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, and Nazarian Jones-Sawyer, Nazarian, Quirk, and Mark Stone)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)    04/07/2017

Bottom of Form

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1356
Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman Members Eggman, Bonta, and Weber
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, and Nazarian Jones-Sawyer, Nazarian, Quirk, and Mark Stone)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)
February 17, 2017

An act to add Part 71 (commencing with Section 102000) to Division 14 of Title 3 of the Education Code, and to add Section 17043.5 to the Revenue and Taxation Code, relating to higher education, and making an appropriation therefor.

 

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

 

AB 1356, as amended, Eggman. Higher Education Assistance Fund: personal income taxes: additional tax.

The Personal Income Tax Law imposes taxes based upon taxable income at specified rates.

This bill would, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, 2019, impose an additional tax of 1% on income that exceeds $1,000,000, as provided. The bill would deposit the revenues derived from this tax into the Higher Education Assistance Fund, a continuously appropriated fund established by this bill, for the purposes of funding student financial assistance for tuition and fees required of specified students enrolled at the University of California, the California State University, and California community colleges. the California Community Colleges.

This bill would become operative only if ACA ____ 13 of the 2016–17 2017–18 Regular Session is approved by the voters. voters and becomes operative.

Digest Key

Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO

Bill Text

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

 

SECTION 1.

Part 71 (commencing with Section 102000) is added to Division 14 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:

PART 71. Higher Education Assistance Fund

102000.

(a) The Higher Education Assistance Fund is hereby created in the State Treasury to receive all revenues, net of refunds, derived from the tax imposed under Section 17043.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, moneys in the fund are hereby continuously appropriated to the Controller without regard to fiscal years for allocation for the funding of student financial assistance for tuition and fees required of in-state, undergraduate students enrolled at the University of California, the California State University, and California community colleges. the California Community Colleges.

(b) Nothing in the establishment of this fund shall be construed to modify the obligation of schools and universities to provide student financial assistance.

(c) Nothing in this act section shall be construed to modify or reduce the existing authority or responsibility of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office or the Student Aid Commission.

(d) The funding established pursuant to this act section shall be utilized to expand student financial assistance. These funds shall not be used to supplant existing state or federal funds utilized to provide student financial assistance.

SEC. 2.

Section 17043.5 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

17043.5.

(a) For each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2018, 2019, in addition to any other taxes imposed by this part, a tax shall be imposed at the rate of 1 percent on that portion of a taxpayer’s taxable income in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000).

(b) For purposes of applying Part 10.2 (commencing with Section 18401) of Division 2, the tax imposed under this section shall be treated as if imposed under Section 17041.

(c) The following shall not apply to the tax imposed by this section:

(1) The provisions of Section 17039, relating to the allowance of credits.

(2) The provisions of Section 17041, relating to filing status and recomputation of the income tax brackets.

(3) The provisions of Section 17045, relating to joint returns.

SEC. 3.

The provisions of this act shall only become operative if Assembly Constitutional Amendment ____ 13 of the 2016–17 2017–18 Regular Session is approved by the voters. voters and becomes operative.

Can Public Workers Get Pension Benefits Without Actually Working? California Supreme Court Will Decide

California is a very pleasant place to work—especially if you work for government.  You can actually in many agencies pay a small fee and make it look like you worked an extra FIVE years—and get pension credit for it.  Could this be one of the reasons CalPRS and CalSTRS are collapsing—phony credits can be bought?  Now this is in the courts and maybe sanity can be returned to the system.  But, I doubt it.

“It’s a pension spiking technique known as “airtime purchases,” and this week the California Supreme Court agreed to review a key ruling from last year that said the state was allowed to curtail the practice and only pay pension benefits for time actually worked. A union representing state firefighters initially sued to block that reform and is now appealing the December ruling from the state’s First Appellate District Court.”

What a concept, only being given retirement pay based on working—not buying of credits.  Only in California.  This is like in the Civil War when instead of being drafted you could hire someone to take your place.  A scam then, a scam now.

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Can Public Workers Get Pension Benefits Without Actually Working? California Supreme Court Will Decide

California Supreme Court accepts appeal to lower court ruling that stopped workers from padding their pensions by an extra five years of service time.

Eric Boehm, Reason,  4/18/17

Instead of working additional years to qualify for a higher pension, some public employees in California simply can buy those better benefits.

It’s a pension spiking technique known as “airtime purchases,” and this week the California Supreme Court agreed to review a key ruling from last year that said the state was allowed to curtail the practice and only pay pension benefits for time actually worked. A union representing state firefighters initially sued to block that reform and is now appealing the December ruling from the state’s First Appellate District Court.

It’s the second major public pension case to make its way to California’s highest court this year. Both are hugely important for governments and taxpayers in California, which has some of the nation’s worst pension debt, and could be bellwethers for other states dealing with similar problems.

Here’s how airtime purchases work. In California, like in most other cities and states where defined benefit pensions are offered to public employees, a worker’s pension is based on a formula that takes into account the worker’s final salary (sometimes an average of his or her salary over the last five years or so) and the amount of time working in the public sector. Play around with either of those two numbers and an employee can end up with a larger pension than the rules suggest he or she should.

Usually, when you read stories about workers “spiking” pensions to get higher payouts, it’s because they have artificially increased the first figure—usually because of provisions in union contracts that allow workers to cash in unused vacation or sick days, or by bosses sharply increasing workers’ salaries in the final few years before retirement. Airtime purchases allow public employees to inflate the second figure as well, increasing their time on the job (for pension purposes) without actually putting in the time on the job. In short, it allows an employee to work until age 60, for example, but retire with a pension based on a formula that assumes he or she worked until age 65.

It’s all legal, of course, but that doesn’t mean that it makes good financial sense for governments or the taxpayers who end up having to cover those inflated pension costs.

That’s why pension reforms signed in 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown included a provision allowing local governments to ban airtime purchases. “Pensions are intended to provide retirement stability for time actually worked,” Brown said at the time.

Cal Fire Local 2881, the union representing firefighters across the state, sued over the new rules, arguing that the state constitution prohibited any reduction in pension promises. In December, the state’s First Appellate District Court said the state was within its authority to curtail the bonus pension benefit. “While plaintiffs may believe they have been disadvantaged by these amendments, the law is quite clear that they are entitled only to a ‘reasonable’ pension, not one providing fixed or definite benefits immune from modification or elimination by the governing body,” the appeals court ruled.

That ruling—along with the First Appellate District Court’s ruling in another pension case, in which the court said Marin County, California, was allowed to stop workers from cashing-in unused vacation days, sick days, and other benefits in exchange for a larger pension payout—dealt what could be a serious blow to the so-called “California Rule.As Steve Greenhut wrote in Reason shortly after the August ruling in the appeals court, the so-called California Rule isn’t really a rule, but “a precedent derived from a variety of rulings that date back to 1955. Ultimately, it says that once a legislative body (city council, board of supervisors, the state Legislature) grants a pension-benefit increase, that increase is indeed immutable; it can never be rolled back.”

In short: under the California Rule (a version of which exists in more than a dozen states), governments are obligated to come up with the money to pay their pension promises, no matter what other services have to be reduced or what taxes must be raised.

When it comes to airtime purchases, public sector unions argue that the additional cost created by allowing this bonus benefit is covered by the extra money kicked-in by workers who purchase it. Yes, workers do “purchase” the extra time, so they are fronting some of the cost, but if it was not a net benefit for them (and thus a net cost for governments and taxpayers), they would not be doing it and certainly would not be asking the state Supreme Court to allow them to keep doing it.

LA Mayor’s New Budget: River of Red Ink Despite $1.9 Billion More Revenue

If you like deficits, you love being a Los Angeles Democrat.  There is never a lack of deficits in this former great city, now trying hard to be a world class Third World City.  Homelessness and affordable housing crisis due to protection of criminals from foreign countries.  Government schools with a 54% graduation rate—and half of those with a D AVERAGE.  80% of LAUSD graduates need remedial classes just ot enter a community college.

“However, based on the City’s General Fund Budget Outlook, our Back to Basics City is having a difficult time living within its means as the cumulative budget deficit over the next four years is expected to be almost $300 million despite a $675 million increase in revenues.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the last full year of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s second term, the City is projecting a surplus of $10 million, a pittance considering that over his nine years in office, revenues are expected to increase by $1.9 billion, or 42%.

This modest surplus of $10 million is pure fiction.  It does reflect the real world.

Smart money—and people—are leaving the City.  They do not want to be left holding the bag and the deficit.  This is why the middle class is gone, the schools are segregated and the roads the worst in the nation!  Love deficits—Los Angeles is the place to be.

ShakingHandsWithMoney

LA Mayor’s New Budget: River of Red Ink Despite $1.9 Billion More Revenue

Jack Humphreville, LA City Watch,  4/20/17

LA WATCHDOG–We are still ploughing through the more than 1,800 pages of budget material that was dropped on us this afternoon, trying to figure out what games the City is playing to finance this year’s budget deficit and how it proposes to close the $245 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017.

However, based on the City’s General Fund Budget Outlook, our Back to Basics City is having a difficult time living within its means as the cumulative budget deficit over the next four years is expected to be almost $300 million despite a $675 million increase in revenues.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the last full year of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s second term, the City is projecting a surplus of $10 million, a pittance considering that over his nine years in office, revenues are expected to increase by $1.9 billion, or 42%.

This modest surplus of $10 million is pure fiction.  It does reflect the real world.

The Budget Outlook does not take into consideration any new labor contracts for the police, firefighters, and civilian workers.  This will cost the City at least $200 million a year more than projected.

The annual required contribution to the City’s two underfunded pension plans are understated as it is unlikely that the return on invested assets will meet the assumed rate of return of 7.5%, an overly optimistic rate per investment professionals such as Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway fame and fortune.

The City may also follow the example of CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System), the country’s largest pension plan, by lowering its investment rate assumption. This would add hundreds of millions to the annual required contribution.

The City is also not addressing the deferred maintenance on its streets, sidewalks, parks, trees, building and facilities, and the rest of its deteriorating infrastructure. The deferred maintenance ticket has been estimated to be north of $10 billion a year.

If the City were to have a comprehensive plan to repair and maintain our streets and sidewalks, it would require at least another $100 to $200 million a year.

The City also needs to strengthen the Reserve Fund to an amount equal to 10% of General Fund revenues, a level recommended by the City Administrative Officer.  The $100 million Budget Stabilization Fund would also be included in the rainy-day fund calculation.  This will require an investment of $250 million over the next five years.

This additional investment in the Reserve Fund will benefit from the issuance of $60 million of Judgment Obligation Bonds, a done deal given the City’s desperate need for cash.

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that “our work will not be measured by what we do for ourselves today.  It will be remembered for what we leave behind for our children and grandchildren.”

Despite all the fine rhetoric and lofty goals, we are doing a “disservice” to the next generations of Angelenos as we will leave them with a broken system and tens of billions in liabilities that will devour their future as they will pay for the sins of the past.

Back to Basics means that the City of Los Angeles must learn to Live Within Its Means.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.