Frank: GOP Volunteers Make the Republican Party in California Possible

I have been involved in California politics since I walked my first precinct in 1960 for Nixon for President.  Headquarters were financed by local volunteers; and dozens came into the headquarters each day, even during the work week—that is when the Republican Women’s Federated provided the leadership for campaigns.

We did mailings, phone calls and walks from these facilities; all with volunteers.  We also had databases. No, not Excel or Access; these were not even in the picture. We had 4×6 index cards with the name, address and information on every voter listed. And we held them in a shoe box – LOL. Today, it is very different.

Volunteers take the lead from paid consultants, campaign managers, vendors and elected officials.  Strategy, fund raising demographic targeting is in the hands of folks hundreds of miles away, many of whom have never physically been in the District.  We now use paid walkers, robo call’s, paid call centers and social media technicians to manage our campaign.  And ‘Geo Mapping’ is very much the new targeting leader. As Bob Dylan write, “The times they are a-changing.” But have we forgotten the source of our most valued resource – The community, the volunteer and those candidates willing to step up to the plate and commit, their time, their money and their emotions, for you and for me.

steve on radio

GOP Volunteers Makes the Republican Party in California Possible

Stephen Frank, Editorial, California Political News and Views, 10/18/18

The first thing we ask a candidate for office is how much money can they raise?  The second question is who is your consultant/strategist?  If they cannot raise the money or do not have a quality consultant, you might rightly surmise that they are not a serious candidate.  But maybe we are asking the wrong questions?  Often times we look at money as being the most important factor and certainly this helps. But have we forgotten about the power of the community.  I personally have seen campaigns win, not because of money, but because of the engagement of the candidate with the very community they wish to represent.

So, should our first question to a candidate be: What level of engagement do you have with the community, and what does their support look like? Do you have a solid volunteer base and is there a level of political experience in that base that we can draw upon for leadership?  Is your volunteer base willing to be actively involved in GOTV activities such as, phone calling, walking precincts, putting out signs and holding events?

Should we ask these questions before we even talk about finances and who the candidate has as their consultant. Have we lost sight of the importance of the volunteer and the resources that can be provided from the very community we are representing. Is it these resources that will provide the margin of victory that comes from a deep passion for the candidate and which just can’t be bought with money.?

Some Examples:

Yuba City – Last week I spoke at the volunteer headquarters in Yuba City.  It is the only Republican headquarters in Sutter and Yuba Counties and is financed and organized by the local chapter of the California Impact Republicans.  A large HQ, lots of room, sings and material.  The only thing missing, or at least I couldn’t find them, was cold coffee, day old pizza and half eaten donuts.

Central Valley – Last weekend in the Central Valley, the California Republican Assembly, in conjunction with the Central Committees and candidates had a precinct walk.  Similar to the effort of volunteers clubs and the OC Central Committee super Saturday efforts.

Across The State – Independent Republican and conservative clubs throughout the State have held  training sessions  for local candidates.  While the official party is working hard on legislative and Statewide races, local volunteers are trying to elect city council and school board members.  This actually helps the legislative candidates by providing a grass roots base for campaigns.

College Republicans – The California College Republicans and the Young Republicans have been volunteering on a targeted basis for months, helping our endangered candidates.  The good news is that some of these young people will be future political leaders.

Republican Federated Woman – In Simi Valley and many other places, the Republican Women Fed take turns handling chores at local headquarters.  These are the same volunteers, in almost every County that have booths at County Fairs and provide the Party with the only organized voter registration drive.

Yes, money is important!  Of course, having good leadership in the form of consultants is important! But things are changing; have you noticed there are fewer consultants in California.  Some have retired,  some have sold their business and gone into government and I am observing many, who are in the planning stage to either retire or move to another State.  It is worth noting ,that this year in CA, not one political consultant come out of retirment to run a statewide race.

So where do the future consultants and political leaders come from?  They start by walking precincts, learning how campaigns are run, not from Sacramento, but from Anaheim, Chico and Clovis, from the ground up.  We need to praise and give training to our future leaders and campaign managers.

Recently, I met with a major fund raiser within the GOP.  During lunch we talked about how we got into the business of politics and the training we were given.  We were able to trace his “Lineage” back to a chain-smoking lady by the name of Valdez in the 1950’s.  For me, I got involved and originally trained by a man named Murray Chotiner – Grass roots!

In 1945 Murray was the State President of the California Republican Assembly.  In 1946 he ran the congressional campaign for a WWII Navy veteran against an incumbent Democrat.  In 1968 when I got back from serving in Viet Nam I went to the Nixon for President top campaign advisors, Murray Chotiner, to get a job.  He introduced me to Robert Finch, who hired me as Chair, Youth for Nixon in California. I replaced Dan Lungren who was going off to law school – so this is my lineage.

Just like Valdez and Murray, those of us that have been around for awhile need to be the mentors for our future leaders, and it starts with promoting and encouraging volunteers.   We need to guide them and give them opportunities to learn and to shine.  We need to teach them the importance of being involved at the ground level of politics as the Founders intended.  The foundation and future of our Party isn’t a $25,000 a month consultant—it is the person willing to walk precincts, to develop political machines in the community and for mentors to show our volunteers and future leaders the importance of participation at the ground level of politics, in the greatest Constitutional Republic the world has ever seen.

Let us celebrate the volunteers, the volunteer clubs and the candidates willing to represent our values and principles. And let us show them,  by coming alongside and mentoring them the be the future leaders of our Republican party.

 

Eber: Ignorance plus Fear Equals Power in CA politics

It seems the Democrats run campaigns using the slogan, “You never go broke under estimating the intelligence of the voter.”.  Notice they are claiming that if the gas tax is repealed, crime will crime.  Interesting th scare tactics have brought the Prop. 6 campaign to dead even—a few weeks ago before the Halloween ads appeared (scare everybody, make believe every day is October 321) Yes on 6 was upwards of 12 points down.

Then you have the union attempt to take over dialysis centers, because they could not negotiate a contract giving them control of private firms!

“Eventually I was given a tour of the center that appeared to conform to sterile conditions one would associate with doctor’s offices.  Making sure this observation was not an illusion; I went down on all fours trying to find evidence of cock roaches, splattered blood, or any other foreign substances that could impair patient care.

Nothing could be found.

Leaving the Dialysis Clinic I couldn’t help muttering to myself, “Where is the Wizard of Oz” when you really need him.  If there were any cock roaches or vampires associated with Proposition 8, they likely were employed by the PR firm who put together the commercials in favor of the ballot measure

This is how silly things have gotten during the election campaign in 2018.  It seems almost all the propositions are trying to use negativity to influence the electorate to vote in a certain way.  The formula for success in California politics outlined in novelist Eugene Burdick’s The Ninth Wave some fifty years ago “Ignorance plus fear equals power” is alive and well in the Golden State.

Like the Democrat Kavanaugh travesty, facts do not count—just make a charge, therefore, it is true.  That is the Democrat/Union playbook—will we fall for it again?

rt dialysis photo

Ignorance plus Fear Equals Power in CA politics By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views, 10/18/18

I’m not the brightest star in the galaxy.  In my world credibility is earned when the magic words “As seen on TV” or “It must be true” if it is on the internet, are spoken.  However, in rare instances I do my own personal investigations in search of the truth.

One case is the arguments for and against Proposition 8 on the November ballot, which attempts to have the State government regulate the profits of Kidney Dialysis Centers.  After viewing commercials on television which depicted these places to be unsanitary places infested by cock roaches .blood stains, and urine, one would think we were walking “The Streets of San Francisco.”

In addition there was this individual called “Big Dialysis” who oversees these kidney sweat shops. I wanted to learn “who is this masked man”

Enquiring minds had to know so I decided to make a short trip to a clinic near my office.  Although thinking about a getting tetanus shot booster and spraying myself with Raid prior to entering the premises I decided to take my chances and go in cold turkey into this place.

Opening the front door, the clinic looked like a medical facility.  The lady behind a glass window greeted me and asked if an appointment had been made.  She was a bit perplexed when I said “no” while asking with my best PC manners to speak with Ms. or Mr. “Big Dialysis” to receive their perspective on Prop 8.

Following this request I was asked to take a seat while a supervisor could be fetched.  Soon this person appeared and advised me no such person worked there. This did not surprise me as previous attempts to contact Big Oil, Tobacco, Pharma, and a host of others had met with similar failure. My quest to find a magician behind the curtain to blame for whatever ails me was once again foiled.

Eventually I was given a tour of the center that appeared to conform to sterile conditions one would associate with doctor’s offices.  Making sure this observation was not an illusion; I went down on all fours trying to find evidence of cock roaches, splattered blood, or any other foreign substances that could impair patient care.

Nothing could be found.

Leaving the Dialysis Clinic I couldn’t help muttering to myself, “Where is the Wizard of Oz” when you really need him.  If there were any cock roaches or vampires associated with Proposition 8, they likely were employed by the PR firm who put together the commercials in favor of the ballot measure

This is how silly things have gotten during the election campaign in 2018.  It seems almost all the propositions are trying to use negativity to influence the electorate to vote in a certain way.  The formula for success in California politics outlined in novelist Eugene Burdick’s The Ninth Wave some fifty years ago “Ignorance plus fear equals power” is alive and well in the Golden State.

Why then would signatures be gathered for a dumb ass ballot measure to regulate kidney dialysis centers?  Isn’t it up to the Medical Boards or even the legislature to perform this task?  Why are voters asked to take a position on issues they know absolutely nothing about?

Good question.

It sure seems odd to me that if we are to believe the pro Proposition 8 commercials, Terminix should be hired to eradicate the cock roach infestation and perhaps gas that Big Dialysis guy at the same time.

It turns out in this case that Proposition 8 is sponsored by a branch of the SIEU Labor Union as a means of bargaining a better contract for their workers.  Regardless of the merits of the proposition, (or if 3 out of 4 doctors oppose it), this is a subject that should be worked out by labor and management rather than being put before ignorant voters.

As might be expected Proposition 8 isn’t the only questionable proposal on the ballot that deals with competing special interests.  Proposition 11, which is sponsored by ambulance companies, requires their work crews to remain on call during meal and rest breaks.  It is being sold to voters as an attempt to speed up response time on emergency 911 calls.

In reality the ambulance companies, who derive most of their revenue from insurance companies and municipalities, are trying to increase their profits by creating make work scenarios.  Their ploy in advertisements is to mandate special training, which is already provided in most cases, to a naïve public.

These are similar tactics used by Veg-O-Matic Salesman selling products most people don’t need or Phil Swift trying to  convince us we require Flex-I-Tape to seal man made  leaks in motor boats when insomnia strikes  at 315am in the morning.

Despite how ridiculous Propositions such as 8 and 11 might sound, there are some legitimate issues on the ballot that voters should decide on.  This year in California the most contentious one is #6 which repeals the gas and vehicle registration taxes passed last year by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown.

Those who are in favor getting rid of these transportation taxes are saying

  • California’s existing sales, income, property, and other sources of taxation are among the highest in the country, putting more burden on residents with this non-progressive taxes, is unneeded and hurts poor people
  • If the public employee pensions deficits totally about 1 trillion dollars with CalPERS and CalSTERS were reduced, the State would not have to divert revenues away from road repair. Critics point out that 6 billion dollars Governor Brown loaned the CalPERS last year would fix a lot of pot holes.
  • There is plenty of waste within Caltrans where the cost of constructing new roads in is estimated to now be over $ 57,000 per mile (ninth in the Country). If expensive Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and the Money pit Bullet Train could reigned in, the new transportation taxes would be unnecessary

These arguments are being countered by an advertising campaign mostly sponsored by the Democratic Party and Labor unions which contend if Proposition 11 passes, thousands of road projects will be cancelled before they are completed.  Without the new taxes, opponents tell voters gridlock driving conditions will worsen along with the deteriorating conditions of highways

Such a “Chicken Little” approach is a time honored methodology to manipulate voters to support more government involvement in their life.  Whether it is cock roaches threatening Dialysis Clinics or loss of additional tax revenues to “Big Government”, we can count on the Hinny Penny’s of the world to spread fear in the electorate in order to have their way when ballots are counted

It is hard to argue against the success of the “Paranoia Patrol” school of politics.  It usually works.

Straw Art Melts Down Environmentalists—Need Quick Therapy—Call the EMT’s

Therapists are going to make a fortune in San Diego—the mere presence of a piece of art, depicting a straw, has sent the environmental community into a tizzy, meltdown and crying that art will kill the planet!

“More than 30 million people have watched a video of an adorable sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose. Marine biologists pull the straw out with a pair of pliers. It’s excruciating to watch.

The turtle has become the de-facto poster child of a popular environmental campaign: eliminating single-use plastic straws. A state bill signed into law this year and taking effect in January requires full-service restaurants to only give straws upon request.

The growing anti-straw movement’s latest target: a piece of public art proposed for a new water facility in San Diego.”

The hidden story is that the taxpayers financed this art work with almost one million dollars.  Why does San Diego have so many potholes?  Because it rather spend money on silliness—like a statue to a straw!

strawsculpture3

Public Art Proposal Was the Last Straw for Environmentalists

Environmental groups rallied to kill a proposed public sculpture planned for a water purification plant set to open in a few years because it depicted a giant straw.

Kinsee Morlan, Voice of San Diego,  10/16/18

Rendering courtesy of the city of San Diego

More than 30 million people have watched a video of an adorable sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose. Marine biologists pull the straw out with a pair of pliers. It’s excruciating to watch.

The turtle has become the de-facto poster child of a popular environmental campaign: eliminating single-use plastic straws. A state bill signed into law this year and taking effect in January requires full-service restaurants to only give straws upon request.

The growing anti-straw movement’s latest target: a piece of public art proposed for a new water facility in San Diego.

The city hired artist Christian Moeller to come up with a design for a $975,000 piece of public art at the North City Pure Water Facility, a water purification plant set to open in a few years. Public art is funded through a city policy requiring 2 percent of project costs to pay for new public art.

Moeller, a Los Angeles-based artist known for his large-scale, site-specific public artworks, presented his concept for the water facility art to the city’s public art committee earlier this year. His plan was to build a sculpture depicting two giant plastic straws stuck into the ground in front of the water facility.

Moeller didn’t respond to multiple requests for an interview.

Larry Herzog, a professor at San Diego State University and a member of the public art committee, said several members of the panel were not happy with the proposed design.

“I was immediately concerned about a striped straw that, to me, symbolizes everything that’s wrong with plastic and it polluting the ocean,” Herzog said.

The city also floated the straw sculpture idea to the public via an online survey. When local environmentalists saw it, they flipped out.

“Don’t let the city memorialize a monument to a product that endangers our natural world,” read one online campaign to stop the city from building the straw sculpture. “Erecting two intertwining, 78 ft. straws is wrong.”

Over 600 people signed the petition asking the city not to build the sculpture, according to the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the group that organized the online campaign.

Deborah Knight, director of the environmental group Friends of Rose Canyon and the activist who alerted the Sierra Club to the straw art, said when she saw the artist’s proposed design posted on the neighborhood app NextDoor, her jaw dropped.

“I was like, what is the arts commission thinking?” she said. “A nearly million-dollar plastic straw? Do they not have any concept? It was supposed to symbolize our relationship to water, but basically straws symbolize our relationship to plastic pollution.”

Knight also took issue with the proposed location of the expensive piece of public art.

“It’s not a good place to spend money on public art,” she said. “There’s no sidewalk. Zero foot traffic. Nobody walks there. There’s a few warehouses and that’s it. It’s just commuter traffic zooming by on a busy road. This is an absolutely foolish place to put a piece of public art. Put the public art where the public will see it.”

The city puts pricey public art pieces at city facilities that aren’t very accessible to the public because it says it has to — the funding anchors the art to the site. But a closer look by Voice of San Diego in 2016 revealed that the city might be overly cautious in its approach and that locating the art in nearby locations where the public might actually get to enjoy it could be within the rules after all. The city attorney issued an opinion on the matter after Councilman David Alvarez asked the office to look into it.

“Placing public art off-site may be permissible if there is a nexus between the artwork and providing water service, such as educating the public about water conservation, but water conservation cannot be used as a pretext for all projects whose purpose is to benefit the general public,” the opinion reads.

Still, the city is proceeding with plans to put public art at two new water facilities in coming years. Christine Jones, the interim director of the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture, which oversees the public art program, approved the design for a public artwork at a water facility in Oak Park even though the commission’s advisory board recommended not to approve the artwork, citing concerns about public accessibility.

The artwork at both facilities will total about $1.3 million. There will be some public and private tours at the Pure Water facility once it’s built. But for art critic Robert Pincus, that’s not enough. He said the city should do anything it can to make the art as accessible as possible.

Pincus also said Moeller’s design, aside from disregarding the growing distaste for plastic straws, is just plain bad.

“I’m really just scratching my head, frankly, looking at this thing,” he said. “It’s like why? Can’t we do better than this?”

Moeller has officially scrapped his idea for the straw sculpture. City spokesman Scott Robinson

said Moeller is re-evaluating his conceptual approach to the project at this time.

 

 

 

SF to ban most of taxi fleet from SFO to help struggling cabbies

The streets of San Fran are crowded—no longer with taxi’s, but with Uber and Lyft cars.  So, how does the government help the taxi industry?  By limiting the number of cabs allowed, creating monopolies and killing off hundreds of drivers—all because of politics.

“The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.

The change was crafted with the intention of shuffling some taxi medallions back into San Francisco, instead of allowing large numbers to wait at SFO for one plum ride.
There are about 1,450 medallions in service today, according to the SFMTA, used across 4,800 active taxi drivers.

Among calls of “shame!” and “you should all go to hell!” as well as a stream of four-letter words, taxi drivers blasted the proposal for San Francisco to phase out about 260 decades-old taxi permits, called medallions, to help divert business to more struggling taxi drivers with more recent, more expensive medallions.

Socialist societies. Like San Fran use the power of government to make winenrs and losers—this is another example.  This is why you do not give government the power to control entry into business.  Let the free market make the decisions.  My guess is that the taxi drivers vote Democrat, assuring they are controlled by government.  They need an economic education, not a road map.

San Francisco, CA, USA

SF to ban most of taxi fleet from SFO to help struggling cabbies

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, SF Examiner,  10/16/18

 

The City walked back a controversial proposal to shrink the local taxi industry Tuesday night, but did approve restrictions on which taxis can pick up passengers at San Francisco International Airport.

The change was crafted with the intention of shuffling some taxi medallions back into San Francisco, instead of allowing large numbers to wait at SFO for one plum ride.
There are about 1,450 medallions in service today, according to the SFMTA, used across 4,800 active taxi drivers.

Among calls of “shame!” and “you should all go to hell!” as well as a stream of four-letter words, taxi drivers blasted the proposal for San Francisco to phase out about 260 decades-old taxi permits, called medallions, to help divert business to more struggling taxi drivers with more recent, more expensive medallions.

“They’ve killed the taxi industry,” said Yellow Cab driver Marcelo Fonseca just after the vote. He wasn’t alone in his critique.

Five members of the Board of Supervisors also penned an eleventh-hour letter objecting to the reforms, arguing for a more incremental approach.

Ultimately, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors dropped the proposal to phase out some taxi medallions, which taxi industry veterans said would put less cabs on the road. The board did however vote to approve other taxi reforms Tuesday night changing who can and cannot buy medallions, despite a verbal barrage from some 80 taxi drivers.

Only taxi drivers using the 560 or so medallions sold by the SFMTA after 2012 will have access to SFO. In arguing for the SFO ban, SFMTA staff said too many taxi drivers idle at the airports, wishing for one longer fare for a big payout, clog SFO when they could be roaming city streets. The taxi lot at SFO holds 427 cabs but is at capacity daily, according to the SFMTA. And taxi trips have dropped from 33 percent to 10 percent of all trips from SFO, according to Seth Morgan, a senior transportation planner at the airport.

“Overall, customer demand for taxis is down significantly,” he said, at the meeting.

Yet demand for Uber and Lyft at the airport is exploding, according to airport data. That dynamic has shaken the taxi industry, and during the two-hour long public comment period drivers packed City Hall to recount tales of bankruptcy and personal struggle.

“There was no business out there for me,” said ten-year cabbie Antonio Yon, during public comment. “I couldn’t pay my mortgage payment. They were about to take over the house. I was so sick, and getting lots of nasty calls from the bank.”

“I was very desperate,” he said, his voice nearly at a whisper. “I was about to commit suicide.”

Though the taxi reform was contested, it was also billed by the SFMTA Taxi Services head Kate Toran as a way to help drivers in need. Those who obtained taxi medallions for a low cost after new taxi regulations were enacted in the 1970s made more than $1.6 million over the decades. She argued that those 260 medallion holders need to be phased out of the industry so that more taxi drivers, who pay medallion holders for their use to legally drive, will instead seek out medallion holders who paid SFMTA $250,000 for them in 2012.

Essentially, Toran’s proposal would phase out long-time medallion holders to ensure the financial solvency of more recent medallion holders, who bought those permits just
as Uber and Lyft rose to prominent. That’s a historical accident that led to financial hardship for hundreds, she said.

The San Francisco Federal Credit Union also opposed the taxi reforms. The credit union is suing the SFMTA to the tune of $28 million for allegedly allowing taxi medallions to become worthless, even as the credit union offered loans to taxi drivers. A letter in opposition to the reforms sent by Supervisors Aaron Peskin, Sandra Fewer, Rafael Mandelman, Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen called for the SFMTA to oppose limiting taxi pickups at SFO, and phasing out older taxi medallions.

“I received a letter from five supervisors to oppose this proposals,” SFMTA director Art Torres told Toran. “Where do you stand on those issues?”

Toran said she disagreed.

“Maintaining a status quo does a disservice to our medallion holders,” Toran told Torres. “… My concern is the number of purchased medallions being foreclosed.”

The board decided not to approve phasing out medallions, though Toran and SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin argued it would help other medallion holders.

 

Emails Show Law Firm Pitched San Francisco on Idea of Suing Energy Producers

This is how the law currently works.  Greedy, hungry, bill paying attorneys find a government to use as a “plaintiff” in a lawsuit.  Then they go to court, get a settlement and move on to the next victim of the system.  San Fran is part of this corrupt effort.

“One of the major firms behind a handful of the ongoing climate lawsuits brought by governments against energy companies proactively pitched the idea to the city of San Francisco, according to emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon via open records laws.

According to two former Republican attorneys general, the revelations highlight an entrepreneurial relationship that they say illustrates a concerning trend of contingency litigation which could expand government’s prosecutorial powers.

These lawsuits originated in July of 2017 with smaller governments in California, such as the City of Imperial Beach and San Mateo County, and have sought to use public nuisance laws to force the major oil producers like Exxon and BP to create remediation funds that would defray the government’s costs for damages associated with climate change.”

Why have people stopped trusting or respecting government or the courts?  This is another example of the abuse of the families of California and the United States.

lawsuit

Emails Show Law Firm Pitched San Francisco on Idea of Suing Energy Producers

Former AGs worry about spread of contingency cases with governments

BY: Todd Shepherd, Washington Free Beacon,  10/17/18
One of the major firms behind a handful of the ongoing climate lawsuits brought by governments against energy companies proactively pitched the idea to the city of San Francisco, according to emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon via open records laws.

According to two former Republican attorneys general, the revelations highlight an entrepreneurial relationship that they say illustrates a concerning trend of contingency litigation which could expand government’s prosecutorial powers.

These lawsuits originated in July of 2017 with smaller governments in California, such as the City of Imperial Beach and San Mateo County, and have sought to use public nuisance laws to force the major oil producers like Exxon and BP to create remediation funds that would defray the government’s costs for damages associated with climate change.

The lawsuits gained more traction and attention when the bay-area cities of San Francisco and Oakland announced their own actions against the energy producers two months later.

Although the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (referred to as Hagens Berman) would eventually handle representation for the San Francisco lawsuit, emails from July of 2017 show an attorney from the firm Sher Edling making the pitch to take the issue to court.

“Tyrone—nice to electronically meet you,” wrote named partner Matt Edling to the City of San Francisco’s senior advisor on the environment, Tyrone Jue.

“The links below describe the lawsuits we recently filed on behalf of Marin and San Mateo County as well as the city of Imperial Beach. My partner, Vic Sher and I would love to chat with you about the cases and the work we are doing,” Edling wrote.

Jue emailed back two days later.

“Thanks for your work and for reaching out to us,” Jue replied. “I’m wondering if you might have time to chat later today or maybe on Monday about this.”

About two weeks after the initial emails, Edling emailed Jue again, touting a story in the New York Times that highlighted the San Mateo and Imperial Beach lawsuits.

“Thought you might appreciate this—our case in today’s NY Times,” Edling wrote.

The Times story quoted Edling’s aforementioned partner, Victor Sher, saying, “Filing these cases has led to a lot of interest in other communities,” although the emails uncovered by the Free Beacon suggest the cases created a springboard the attorneys could use to approach other governments.

Neither Sher Edling attorneys nor officials with the San Francisco mayor’s office responded to requests for comment.

All of the climate lawsuits filed are contingency fee cases, meaning the government attorneys technically are supervising the work of the attorneys from Hagens Berman or Sher Edling. However, the private attorneys in those firms are responsible for the bulk of the work, and they only get paid if they are successful in winning a judgment against the energy companies.

Forbes reported that in Oakland’s case, Hagens Berman stands to harvest 23.5 percent of any net “recovery.”

Sher Edling, meanwhile, is handling contingency fee cases in Rhode Island, Baltimore, and the California governments already mentioned.

Dan Lungren, a former California attorney general, says because the governments are still putting their imprimatur on the lawsuit, it brings extra weight and importance to which the public should give serious consideration.

“One of the big arguments for contingency fee practices in the United States as opposed to, for instance, England, is that this basically levels the playing field,” Lungren told the Free Beacon. “That is, poor people, who could not otherwise afford lawyers, are able to get into court because the contingency fee contract system works. I don’t think that applies when you’re talking about public entities.”

“As someone who believes in small government—reasonably small government—I think this is an expansion of government with a reach that is not often looked at,” he added, while emphasizing that his words only represented his own views, and shouldn’t be construed to represent the views of any associate or client of his.

Three smaller governments in Colorado are also suing energy producers with complaints that closely mirror those from California, a move which was assigned significant import by the New York Times.

“Until recently, communities suing fossil fuel companies over the costs of climate change have been located on the coasts: cities and counties in California, and New York City,” the Times reported in April of this year. “But now, the litigation has jumped inland.”

Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who prior to serving in the George W. Bush administration had also been attorney general in Colorado, echoed Lungren’s comments.

“I saw firsthand as an Attorney General involved in the national tobacco litigation and settlement in the 1990’s that contingent fee arrangements can get out of hand,” Norton told the Free Beacon in an email. “Public-agency litigation should be about seeking justice and representing the public interest. When contingent fee attorneys are controlling the litigation, they often put their individual interests ahead of the public interest.  They seek large damages, so they can collect a large percentage for themselves.”

“Climate change is a complex issue that requires thoughtful public policy. A patchwork of lawsuits pushed by profit-seeking law firms is not the best tool for formulating national policy,” she concluded.

Thus far, the courts appear to agree.

Federal Judge William Alsup dismissed dismissed the San Francisco and Oakland cases in June, saying, “the problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.”

The cities are currently appealing Alsup’s decision.

“I want to make it clear, I’m not against contingency fee practice in the private sector,” Lungren added later in his conversation with the Free Beacon.

“It can be abused, but it has achieved access to the courtroom by those who otherwise wouldn’t have it. I don’t find that to be the case with municipalities or the State of California. No one needs to tell them where the courtrooms are. They have found them by themselves since the state was created.”

 

Claremont McKenna College appearance by controversial Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia canceled

The Democrats re-nominated an Assemblywoman who is under investigation for sexual harassment.  But, the radical Claremont McKenna College has cancelled her appearance on campus.  That is good news—at least one campus will keep Bill Clinton, Tony Cardenas, Keith Ellison and the rest of the double standard crew—like Al Franken—from the campus.

“In an email Monday, a spokeswoman for Claremont McKenna did not elaborate on why or when the event had been canceled but a spokeswoman for the assemblywoman said Tuesday that Garcia had a health emergency.

The appearance, part of a free speakers series in which CMC “aims to ignite thoughtful conversations about politics and more during its fall program,” was still advertised on the college’s website Monday.

Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) was accused earlier this year of drunkenly groping a former legislative staffer at a Sacramento softball game in 2014. Garcia was seen as an ally of the #MeToo movement, decrying a culture of sexual harassment by powerful men in California government. She has denied the accusations.

But the standard of the Democrats Party is that making a charge is the same as being found guilty—so by the standards of the California Democrat Party, Garcia is guilty and needs to be sent home, not sent to Sacramento.  If it wasn’t for double standards, the Democrats would have no standards.

Bill Clinton

Claremont McKenna College appearance by controversial Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia canceled

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 10/15/18

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s talk at Claremont McKenna College, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, has been canceled.

In an email Monday, a spokeswoman for Claremont McKenna did not elaborate on why or when the event had been canceled but a spokeswoman for the assemblywoman said Tuesday that Garcia had a health emergency.

The appearance, part of a free speakers series in which CMC “aims to ignite thoughtful conversations about politics and more during its fall program,” was still advertised on the college’s website Monday.

Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) was accused earlier this year of drunkenly groping a former legislative staffer at a Sacramento softball game in 2014. Garcia was seen as an ally of the #MeToo movement, decrying a culture of sexual harassment by powerful men in California government. She has denied the accusations.

Screen shot of Claremont McKenna College’s website advertising the event Tuesday.

Last month, it was announced that the investigation on Garcia had been reopened.

Tuesday’s scheduled talk, which was titled “Educate, Empower, and Engage” — also Garcia’s slogan on her official website — made no mention of the controversy surrounding the politician.

Garcia is running for election to a fourth term representing the 58th Assembly District. She led the June 5 primary voting with a tepid 28.6 percent to advance to the Nov. 6 general election against Mike Simpfenderfer, who received 26.7 percent.

According to the promotional material associated with her appearance, Garcia received bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, a master’s degree and a secondary teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University — both part of the Claremont Consortium for which CMC is also a member — and is currently a doctoral candidate at USC.

 

Major Roads in Los Angeles Area Rank Third Worst in U.S.

For those of us in the Los Angeles area, this is not news.  We have the third worst roads in the whole of the United States.  The only surprise is that we are not number one.  The study claims that only 60% of our roads are in bad shape.  For those of us that d a lot of traveling, it is closer to 100%.

“Bumpy roads, uneven pavement and pot holes cost drivers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim areas more than $900 a year in repairs, maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear, accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, a nonprofit transportation group reported Wednesday.

The report from the Washington D.C.-based TRIP ranked the top 20 large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest share of pavement in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating costs as a result of poorly maintained roads.

The report showed nearly 60 percent of the freeways and roads used most by drivers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region are in poor condition, ranking third in the nation behind only the San Francisco-Oakland area (71 percent of roads in poor condition) and San Jose (64 percent).”

This is what happens when you take gas tax money to subsidize environmental projects, buses, trains and the choo choo to nowhere.  We have the money to fix the roads—but instead government diverts it for special interest purposes.  We have earned the worst road in America label.  Defeat Prop. 6 and you will get the full First Place ribbon.

los-angeles-freeways

Major Roads in Los Angeles Area Rank Third Worst in U.S.

Posted by Contributing Editor, MyNewsLA,  10/17/18

Bumpy roads, uneven pavement and pot holes cost drivers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim areas more than $900 a year in repairs, maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear, accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, a nonprofit transportation group reported Wednesday.

The report from the Washington D.C.-based TRIP ranked the top 20 large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest share of pavement in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating costs as a result of poorly maintained roads.

The report showed nearly 60 percent of the freeways and roads used most by drivers in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region are in poor condition, ranking third in the nation behind only the San Francisco-Oakland area (71 percent of roads in poor condition) and San Jose (64 percent).

While drivers in our area are paying more than $900 in increased vehicle operating costs, drivers in the Bay Area endure the highest increase at $1,049 a year and drivers in San Jose pay $983 a year. That compares to drivers in Providence, Rhode Island, which came in 20th in the survey, who pay $724 in increased vehicle operating costs.

The report large replicates a report issued by TRIP Aug. 15 that also found drivers paid on average about $300 annually for vehicle repairs from traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor.

TRIP also stated that an investment in transportation strengthens the economy, supporting the equivalent of 4 million full-time jobs across all sectors of the nation’s economy. “Approximately 63 million full-time jobs in the U.S. in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of America’s transportation infrastructure network,” the report said.

“Highways are vitally important to continued economic development in the United States,” it added. “As the economy expands, creating more jobs and increasing consumer confidence, the demand for consumer and business products grows. In turn, manufacturers ship greater quantities of goods to market to meet this demand, a process that adds to truck traffic on the nation’s highways and major arterial roads.”

The group said a significant boost in funding is needed to improve roadway conditions. It cited a U.S. Department of Transportation semi-annual report that found the nation’s current $41 billion annual investment in maintaining roads and highways should be increased by 33 percent to $61 billion dollars a year.

TRIP issued the following recommendations for increasing the smoothness of urban roads in order to reduce additional vehicle operating costs:

— Implement and adequately fund a pavement preservation program that postpones the need for significant rehabilitation by performing initial maintenance and preservation on road surfaces while they are still in good condition.

— Consider using pavement materials and designs that will provide a longer-lasting surface when critical routes are constructed or reconstructed.

 

Dallas tech company merges with Silicon Valley player, retains Texas as HQ

Another firm is leaving California.  In this case the headquarters of the firm is being moved to Texas—of course.  Watch as they eventually close the Silicon Valley offices—too expensive, taxes too high, high cost of housing—move to Dallas and really live.

“A local tech company is merging with a Silicon Valley player – and the headquarters will stay in North Texas.

Dallas-based Anblicks and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cappius are teaming up in a merger that will bring together two companies that help clients with technology improvements with services around analytics, the cloud and integrations, among other things, according to a statement.”

By moving to Texas the workers make an extra 13%–without costing the company a dime—that is the cost of taxes.  Oh, the cost of a gallon of gas in Dallas is close to $1.50 LESS than in San Jose!  Why wait, move now.

Laffer1

Dallas tech company merges with Silicon Valley player, retains Texas as HQ

By Brian Womack,, Dallas Business Journal, 10/12/18

A local tech company is merging with a Silicon Valley player – and the headquarters will stay in North Texas.

Dallas-based Anblicks and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cappius are teaming up in a merger that will bring together two companies that help clients with technology improvements with services around analytics, the cloud and integrations, among other things, according to a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The combined company will operate under the Anblicks brand.

Kumar Kanakamedala, chief executive officer of Anblicks, will keep the title, while Cappius CEO Amit Babaria will be global head of sales.

The headquarters will be in Dallas with “significant sales and development offices” in California and New Jersey, along with Canada and India.

The companies have more than 400 technology professionals and over 100 data analysts and data science experts.

Anblicks was founded in Texas in 2004 and has served more than 300 customers. Customers include high-profile names like Toyota, Panasonic and Macy’s.

“We are better equipped to help companies transform digitally much faster and at an economical cost,” Kanakamedala said in the statement, commenting on the merger.

Anblicks, in addition to analytics, offers a bevy of technology services that include everything from back-office applications to artificial intelligence.

Cappius also offers a wide-ranging set of services around technology such as mobile, big-data systems and data science.

“Anblicks has an outstanding track record of serving its global customers,” Babaria said in the statement.

“We are on a compelling journey and the time is right for us to merge and serve global markets with our state-of-the-art advanced analytics products and solutions.”

 

Sand: Red teachers/Blue unions

Teachers are used and abused by the unions.  While 40% or more of teachers, are Republicans, 99% of the forced dues money is given to Democrats.  Unions are threatening strikes, while teachers want to teach and work with parents.

“Three months later, my prediction has been confirmed numerous times. The National Education Association has made 289 endorsements for the U.S. House of Representatives this year, and just 10 were Republicans. And, as Mike Antonucci writes, to get an NEA endorsement, a Republican must satisfy certain specific criteria – running against another Republican, be an incumbent, have a big advantage in voter registration, et al.

The Golden State is even more one-sided. The California Teachers Association has released its voter guide for the November 6th general election, and every candidate for statewide office that the union took a position on – governor, attorney general, treasurer, etc. – is a Democrat. In the State Assembly, CTA endorsed 57 candidates, only one of whom was a Republican. In the State Senate, it was 12 Dems and not one Republican.  For Congress – 43 D and one R. (They were forced to pick Paul Cook in CD 8; he is running against Tim Donnelly, also a Republican, but who is to the right of Cook.)”

The big question is that now that we have the Janus decision will teachers end paying dues to an organization that is working against them, the students and community.  Another great article by my good friend Larry Sand.

larry sand

Red teachers/Blue unions

By Larry Sand, California Policy Center, 10/16/18
How long will conservative teachers dutifully fund the teacher unions’ leftist political agenda?

As I wrote in July, following the Janus decision, teachers unions had two roads to travel. They could become more politically ecumenical as a way to attract teachers who were no longer required to join, or they could continue to do business as usual. At the time I concluded that there would be no change in their modus operandi.

Three months later, my prediction has been confirmed numerous times. The National Education Association has made 289 endorsements for the U.S. House of Representatives this year, and just 10 were Republicans. And, as Mike Antonucci writes, to get an NEA endorsement, a Republican must satisfy certain specific criteria – running against another Republican, be an incumbent, have a big advantage in voter registration, et al.

The Golden State is even more one-sided. The California Teachers Association has released its voter guide for the November 6th general election, and every candidate for statewide office that the union took a position on – governor, attorney general, treasurer, etc. – is a Democrat. In the State Assembly, CTA endorsed 57 candidates, only one of whom was a Republican. In the State Senate, it was 12 Dems and not one Republican.  For Congress – 43 D and one R. (They were forced to pick Paul Cook in CD 8; he is running against Tim Donnelly, also a Republican, but who is to the right of Cook.)

CTA has also indicated that it would spend up to $10 million on several initiatives on the November ballot. And of course, the propositions they support go against Republican principles. For example, Prop 5 would  allow homeowners age 55 and older to sell their current homes, purchase a replacement property anywhere in the state and transfer the property tax assessment from the home they sold to the home they bought. But CTA dismisses the prop as a “big tax break for the wealthy.” (To be sure, CTA is quite the expert on tax breaks – the union brings in about $185 million a year and doesn’t pay a centavo in taxes on that income.)

CTA’s smaller sibling, the California Federation of Teachers, is no better. At his state-of-the-union address in 2016, CFT President Josh Pechthalt declared, “We must deny Republicans the White House. The next president may appoint more than one Supreme Court justice.” (You didn’t; he did.) In 2018’s address he blathered on about the Trump administration’s policies showing “all the signs of early 1930s Nazi Germany.” He proceeded to endorse uber-liberal Gavin Newsom for governor, insisted that Obamacare didn’t go far enough, declared his devotion to a single payer healthcare system, and asserted that the Democrats retaking the House of Representatives is key to winning the White House in 2020.

So with 100,000 or so right-of-center teachers in the Golden State, and no more forced union dues, how can this continue to happen? The answer is that the union elite can get away with their one-way political spending because right-of-center teachers have shown little if any dissent.

Worth noting is that of the $1,100 or so annual union dues California teachers pay, at least a third goes to politics, which include independent expenditures, lobbying, ballot initiatives, rallies, etc. But much union politicking, however, is not counted as political spending. For example, the current California Educator, a magazine sent bimonthly to members, has a page devoted to political endorsements, but the advocacy in the periodical is not considered political spending.

A few years back, the Manhattan Institute’s Daniel DiSalvo suggested that, as a way to become more responsive to its members, the unions should formalize their political decision-making “by holding referenda to gauge their members’ policy preferences more precisely” and the results should be made public. But this will never materialize until right-of-center teachers step up to the plate and demand better political bang for their buck. Until that happens, the unions will continue to use these passive teachers as ATMs to fund their pet leftist projects. While the Janus decision was a victory for liberty, if one refuses to shed his chains, all the Supreme Court decisions in the world won’t mean a damned thing.

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 inform

 

 

 

 

20 years—Another Lawsuit to Stop Building 19,000 Homes

All the permits have been issued, ground has been broken, they are ready to build  It only took twenty years of frivolous lawsuits, abuse of government regulations, picketing, yelling and lies, but a project to build 19,000 homes, create almost 20,000 jobs, bring new schools, roads and business to a barren area—and yet another lawsuit is filed.  It is like the smear job of Dianne Feinstein after the Judiciary hearings had ended. These folks just want to make it impossible to build and live in California.

“A conservation group sued Los Angeles County on Tuesday seeking emails, text messages and other documents exchanged with the developer behind a 12,000-acre planned community on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the county and its regional planning department for not releasing key environmental documents on the Centennial development, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Developer Tejon Ranch says the planned community will bring 19,333 homes to the region and meet a demand for more housing. Environmental advocates say the project’s footprint on the ecosystem will drastically alter the remote region about 60 miles north of LA with increased daily traffic and pollution.

How many trees have been lost due to the filing of phony lawsuits?  How much carbon has been added to our climate due to folks picketing, yelling, filing lawsuits and going to hearings?  How many attorney and “experts” have been ultra rich fighting the 19,000 homes being built?  Global warming is caused by those claiming to fight it.  It is time to build—sue the environmentalists for the added costs.

tejon ranch

LA County Sued for Records on Desert Housing Project

NATHAN SOLIS, Courthousenews,  10/18/18

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A conservation group sued Los Angeles County on Tuesday seeking emails, text messages and other documents exchanged with the developer behind a 12,000-acre planned community on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the county and its regional planning department for not releasing key environmental documents on the Centennial development, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Developer Tejon Ranch says the planned community will bring 19,333 homes to the region and meet a demand for more housing. Environmental advocates say the project’s footprint on the ecosystem will drastically alter the remote region about 60 miles north of LA with increased daily traffic and pollution.

This past summer, the developer received approval from the LA County Department of Regional Planning board. The project has yet to receive final approval from the LACounty Board of Supervisors, but as the project has been in development for several years it is nearing its home stretch.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the county’s report on the project’s environmental impact favors the developer. The group wants to see all exchanges between the developer, the county and consultants.

In a statement, the center’s attorney J.P. Rose said, “County residents have a right to an informed, transparent review process for land-use decisions that will harm our environment and quality of life.”

The environmental impact report prepared for the Centennial development by county staff “was clearly designed to support Tejon’s proposal,” according to the center, and all other options that could have reduced the project’s footprint called for at least 19,000 units and the development of at least 6,000 acres.

“Likewise, the EIR and supporting materials contain clearly erroneous claims promoted by Tejon or its attorneys designed to downplay Centennial’s enormous environmental impacts,” the group says in its lawsuit.

The county’s report said California’s cap-and-trade scheme would offset 96 percent of the project’s greenhouse gas emissions, which the conservationists say is false.

This past June, the group requested all communications for the project under the California Public Records Act. County officials initially directed the group to a public website for the project’s specific plan and later provided another link to 2,760 pages of additional information that were only “marginally related” to the records request, according to the lawsuit.

The group says the request is timely and they’re entitled a court order to produce the records.

Developer Tejon Ranch is one of the largest private landowners in California. The land for the proposed community is near Interstate 5 in northern Los Angeles County on the developer’s 270,000-acre property.

Almost 20 years ago, the developer agreed to conserve 90 percent of their property as undeveloped, according to the Los Angeles Times. Several environmental groups signed onto that agreement, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, but the Center for Biological Diversity did not.

Environmentalists say the project is an example of urban sprawl and would destroy thousands of acres native grassland and wildflower habitat.

During the public meeting this past August, county officials questioned if the developer would have adequate resources to combat wildfires. The developers said they would need to build fire roads and fire stations.

The county did not respond to an email seeking comment by press time.