Democrats Announce All 2020 Candidates Will Forego Armed Security To Protest Gun Violence

I wish this was a true press release.  Every time I see a Democrat office holder screaming about taking away Second Amendments rights, I look to see how close tax paid body guards are standing near them.  If Sanders and his Socialist/Democrats colleagues running for President, were honest, they would live under the same conditions as they want us to live—as easy targets for terrorists and nuts.  Why should they be protected, but not us?

““We’ve talked to all possible candidates and everyone has agreed. Gun violence is a huge issue in our country, and guns are the problem. So whoever runs for president as a Democrat in 2020—be it Bernie, Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, and/or whoever else throws their hat in the ring—they will steadfastly refuse to employ security teams who carry scary firearms.”

Tyler further confirmed that if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, their first order of business will be to disarm the Secret Service.”

That would be honest—but, seriously, when was the last time a Socialist/Democrats was honest about their values and intentions?

gop vs dems

Democrats Announce All 2020 Candidates Will Forego Armed Security To Protest Gun Violence

 

Babylon Bee,  3/15/19

U.S.—Democratic National Committee spokesperson Michael Tyler announced Thursday that all candidates who run in the 2020 presidential election as Democrats will completely forego armed security for the entirety of their campaigns, in a clear and bold stance against gun violence in America.

“We’ve talked to all possible candidates and everyone has agreed. Gun violence is a huge issue in our country, and guns are the problem. So whoever runs for president as a Democrat in 2020—be it Bernie, Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, and/or whoever else throws their hat in the ring—they will steadfastly refuse to employ security teams who carry scary firearms.”

Tyler further confirmed that if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, their first order of business will be to disarm the Secret Service. Asked how the president would then be kept safe, Tyler revealed that they plan on introducing a gun-free zone encompassing a 500-yard radius around the president at all times.

“Problem solved,” he said.

 

An Analysis of the Recent Climate Change Hysteria–MUST READ/PASS ALONG

In the Cap and Trade Vote, to add 72 cents a gallon tax to gas, to kill jobs and to continue the canard of “climate change”, Republicans led by Chad Mayes joins Socialist Democrats to promote junk science and bad economics.  In a recent phone conversation with a leader of the Republican Party in California I was told, “Steve how can you deny “climate change (in an effort to promote the canard the GOP is promoting a “rebranding” of issues.  In the re-branding it mentions we need to note climate change is real.

No one is denying that climate change is real.  What I asked the GOP leader was this, ”why not explain that there is natural climate change and man made climate change—then discuss ways to limit or eliminate man made climate change?”  The answer was surprising—why does it matter, it is all climate change.  It matters because you can’t kill the economy and harm families—and the Earth—based on emotion and incomplete analysis.  We are better than that.

“They are taken in by the false claim that a minute amount of human-produced CO2 is effectively controlling the entire atmospheric system since 1950 and causing environmental collapse through global warming. They don’t know that there is an upper limit to the amount that CO2 can increase temperature. They don’t know that the average level of CO2 over the last 250 million years is 1200 ppm. They don’t know that every projection of temperature by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1990 was wrong. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, how did so few, fool so many, to such an extent, for so long?

You would think that after the mass deaths in Africa due to Rachel Carson, the money making frauds by Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore Republicans would be more careful with facts and science.  Please pass this article around—do not let the Republican Party become, like the Socialist/Democrat Party, another “Know Nothing Party.”  You saw what happened to them.

Go here to see about the corruption of the climate change movement, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/17/about-the-corruption-of-climate-science/

climate-strike-crazies-720x405

An Analysis of the Recent Climate Change Hysteria

Guest opinion by Dr. Tim Ball, Watts Up with That,  3/16/19

 

Most people were taken in by the false story of human-caused global warming. We can include all the students participating in the classroom walkout to demand governments stop climate change, organized by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Her goal is to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Apparently, she has no idea that the temperature was near or above that level for most of the last 10,000-years in a period known as the Holocene Optimum.

They are taken in by the false claim that a minute amount of human-produced CO2 is effectively controlling the entire atmospheric system since 1950 and causing environmental collapse through global warming. They don’t know that there is an upper limit to the amount that CO2 can increase temperature. They don’t know that the average level of CO2 over the last 250 million years is 1200 ppm. They don’t know that every projection of temperature by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1990 was wrong. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, how did so few, fool so many, to such an extent, for so long?

Similar situations occur throughout history of people fooling the world, although this is undoubtedly the largest in terms of its acceptance, impact, and cost. It is tempting to point the finger at the IPCC, but the speed with which the story took hold, spread, and deceived so many people requires better explanation. It likely won’t stop it occurring in the future because it speaks to the nature of human beings and our inordinate and pandemic fear that the sky might fall. However, we might stop the current insanity.

Global warming due to human activities was a subset of the wider moral panic created by the new and necessary paradigm of environmentalism. There are many parallels between the claims of human-caused global warming (AGW) and such events in history as the Salem witchcraft trials. In that case, the climate was probably to blame. However, it was never identified at the time and rarely mentioned by experts today. Instead, during a time of poor harvests and social hardship people were looking for something or someone to blame.  Now they believe unequivocally that humans are to blame for everything.

Between February 1652 and May 1693, they brought 200 people to trial on charges of witchcraft. The symptoms were identified first in two young women brought before a tribunal and accused of hearing voices, dancing frenetically to exhaustion, all the classic symptoms of witchcraft. The problem is that these are also the classic symptoms of Ergot fungus poisoning.  Conditions were ideal for the occurrence of high levels of Ergot poisoning at that time, just as they were for other periods of witch-hunting in Europe in the Middle Ages. Once people in authority formalize the moral panic through the formation of commissions of inquiry and other vehicles, the stampede is on. It takes on a life of its own that ignores facts, reason, and logic. In the Salem area they hanged 19 people, 15 women, and four men.

All this occurred in a society of Puritan’s, people taking their belief system to extremes. Today’s moral panic is occurring in an equally narrow belief system called environmentalism.

Sociologist Stanley Cohen identified the pattern of moral panic in a 1972 book titled, Folk Devils and Moral Panics. First, he identified the five stages of the panic as follows. I added in italics the names of the appropriate agent, agency, or factor as it relates to the moral panic of global warming.

  1. Something or someone is perceived and defined as a threat to social norms and the interests of the community or society at large.

The Club of Rome identified industrial development using resources at an unsustainable rate as the threat. They do this by burning fossil fuels and the by-product, CO2, is raising the global temperature to catastrophic levels.

  • News media and members of the community/society then depict the threat in simplistic symbolic ways that quickly become recognizable to the greater public.

The UN created the IPCC that produced the false science using their computer models that isolated CO2 as the cause of global warming.

They then deliberately distorted their findings by the creation of a Summary for Policymakers.

  • Widespread public concern is aroused by the way news media portrays the symbolic representation of the threat.

The IPCC produced the hockey stick graph that rewrote temperature history. It showed no temperature change for 600-years (the handle) followed by a dramatic increase after 1880 (the blade). As Ross McKitrick said, the hockey stick became the poster-child for global warming.

  • Authorities and policymakers respond to the threat, be it real or perceived, with new laws or policies.

Millions of dollars were directed to alternate energies, even though a cursory look shows they cannot replace fossil fuels. Meaningful cost/benefit analyses were never done.

In most countries, no activity occurs without first receiving unnecessary environmental and climate approval.

Most countries created environmental laws that restricted energy use and development in a variety of ways.

They exploited guilt by creation of the concept of a carbon footprint; a vague and meaningless measure but visible on the landscape.

  • The moral panic and actions by those in power that follows it results in social change within the community.

Energy companies that provided the basis for development that improved the quality of life for everyone on the planet became the focus of attack, including lawsuits.

The car that gave millions freedom, mobility, and wider options became evil on wheels.

Cohen then identified “five key sets of actors: involved.”

  • The threat that incites the moral panic, which Cohen referred to as “folk devils”;

The folk devil is CO2 coming from those evil planet-destroying industries driven by their selfish, self-serving, profit motive.

  • Enforcers of rules or laws, like institutional authority figures, police, or armed forces;

The biggest was UN Agenda 21 created through the bureaucrats of national weather offices. They even built in a Principle (15) that allows them to act even if there is no evidence.

“In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

We don’t need evidence. If we decide it is a threat, then it is a threat.

  • The news media, which breaks the news about the threat and continues to report on it, thereby setting the agenda for how it is discussed, and attaching visual symbolic images to it;

The media is the great selector and amplifier of the global warming false story. Every day, they take a normal weather or climate event and say or imply it is abnormal. An emaciated polar bear was just one example of a visual symbolic image.

The media are the gossis in the global village.

  • Politicians, who respond to the threat, and sometimes fan the flames of the panic;

Senator Timothy Wirth, an originator of the public panic said back in 1993 that

“We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

Al Gore, from the pulpit of the White House, used the best storyteller in the world, Hollywood, to create the best piece of propaganda ever produced – An Inconvenient Truth. Now, there is the more hysterical claim from the UN itself that there are 12 years left.

  1. And the public, who develop focused concern about the threat and demand action in response to it.

Demand for action from a variety of groups across the world hasn’t produced the economy destroying total social control environmentalists sought. Now they are using the children in the ultimate form of child abuse. It is sickening to consider the use of children in the Salem witch hunts. It was two children who started the accusations but as one author notes,

“Puritan belief suggested that children were among the most likely to become servants of the Devil. They were easy to influence and take advantage of. In some cases, their environment made these children susceptible to thinking that they were evil sinners, which made it likely that their confessions were heartfelt.”

Some people will argue that we live in different times and such moral panic cannot occur today. Many will add, this is especially true in modern western society. It is true, there is no burning of witches, but the ostracization from the society of those that the mob identifies are deniers is only one step away. What you cannot deny is that the world was taken in by a patently false story and overwhelmed by exploitation of fear and guilt that we, the people, are destroying the planet because of our greed and ignorance. If you don’t believe it, listen to the children, whose future you are putting in jeopardy.

A cynical definition of a Puritan is a person who is afraid that somewhere somebody is having a good time. Environmentalists are the new green Puritans. Is this why the attendees at the Second Continental Congress, the authors of the Declaration of Independence, identified the Pursuit of Happiness as an inalienable right – or were they just having a laugh.

Anthony: To get an idea of just how “off the rails” these people are, have a look at this CNN thread on the topic:

https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/global-climate-strike-students-protest-climate-inaction-intl/index.html

 

ACLU Considers MURDER of Bambi Larsen “Compassionate” Since Crime Committed by Illegal Alien

Bambi Larsen was a 59 year old woman—she lived a good life.  A NINE Times attempted to be deported illegal alien, out of jail on bond for drug dealing, killed her.  The ACLU is upset that the Bay Area city of Union City was not compassionate enough to protect criminals from foreign countries—illegal aliens—from Federal laws and Federal law enforcement.  I have done a Google search and have not found a press release from the ACLU complaining that the Bambi murderer was “not compassionate.

“Union City police shared the personal information of its residents to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite city officials declaring the city is a “compassionate city” for immigrants, according to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California.

ICE agents were able to access information from the Union City Police Department through its vendor, Vigilant Solutions, according to the ACLU.

How many people did the Union City police save vs. how many people have the policies and work of the  ACLU killed?  Why do Leftists love criminals and hate the victims?  Next time you met an ACLU donor or staffer ask that question.

ICE 2

 

ACLU: Union City shared info with ICE, despite being a ‘Compassionate City’

Steven Tavares, East Bay Citizen,  3/14/19

 

Union City police shared the personal information of its residents to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite city officials declaring the city is a “compassionate city” for immigrants, according to emails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California.

ICE agents were able to access information from the Union City Police Department through its vendor, Vigilant Solutions, according to the ACLU.

The alleged sharing of personal data with ICE agents, could put Union City in violation of California’s sanctuary state law passed last year. In a statement, the ACLU called for cities to immediately cease sharing information with ICE.

But Union City officials say, while the city has a contract with Vigilant Solutions, it does not own Automated License-Plate Readers, which are typically mounted on police cars and traffic lights. Union City Police use Vigilant Solution’s database to track license plate information during criminal investigations, the city said in a statement Wednesday.

Vigilant Solution’s database is a treasure trove of information for not just local police, but ICE, containing roughly 5 billion data points, which can swell by up to 200 million new license plate scans each month.

Union City Councilmember Jaime Patiño said the ACLU’s assessment is incorrect. “If there’s something going on, I’d like to know, but the report is misleading. I hope it’s an oversight. I think it could be more honest.”

As a member of the Union City Human Relations Commission, Patiño co-authored the “Compassionate City” resolution approved by the Union City Council in June 2017.

The ACLU and other media reports labeled Union City a sanctuary city, but like some Alameda County cities they chose the term “compassionate city” instead of the perhaps more divisive “sanctuary city” phrase. For example, among Union City’s neighbors, Fremont is also a “compassionate city,” while Hayward is a sanctuary city.

Anxiety within Union City’s large minority communities has been prevalent for some time. During the most recent city elections, suspicions of whether Union City Police coordinate with ICE was rampant, sometimes dominating significant portions of City Council candidate forums.

“So many people in Union City have a fear that ICE is coming,” said Harris Mojadedi, a member of the Union City Planning Commission. The city has a large number of minority communities, including Latinos, Sikhs, Afghans, Filipinos, and South Asians, among others.

“The city needs to do more to assuage those fears,” said Mojadedi. “We shouldn’t be sharing information with ICE, especially after we vowed to be a compassionate city that respects the live of all Union City residents, whether they are undocumented or not.”

Worries over new reports of Vigilant Solution’s ties to ICE and the sharing of personal information led the Alameda City Council in February 2018 to scuttle plans to enter into a contract for 13 license-plate readers.

College Admissions Scam vs. Free College Scam

What is the difference between a two bit actress bribing USC $500,000 to get her two daughters into the schools and a hedge fund manager spending $10 million to give to the USC endowment fund to get his sons into UCLA?  Or what is worse, the use by Socialist Democrats to give “free” college to kids with “D”D averages to get into government colleges?—thus buying the votes of the parents and the functionally illiterates government school graduates?

The difference is easy—the actress and hedge fund guy are using their own money, while the Socialist/Democrats are using YOUR tax dollars to buy votes and elections.  All three are wrong—but to steal money from millions of middle class and poor families to buy elections, that is totalitarianism?

“Instead, some young adults end up going to a college because the ‘industry’ drives them there and easy loans will allow them the funds to do so.  They end up with a questionable degree and a mound of debt.  No responsible adult stopped them to question “Do you understand what you are doing here and does this investment make sense for your future?   Do you realize the amount of debt you are taking on?”  That is why we have so many college-educated bartenders with a useless degree in some random major on the road to nowhere with bills as far as the eye can see.

You hear about “Big Pharma” or “Big Tech” or “Big Oil,” but you never hear about “Big Education.”  Those other industries never drove a group of customers into over a trillion dollars in debt.  Those other industries aren’t protected by a government that deems them non-profit while they pile billions of dollars into ‘endowments’ that are barely used to reduce the cost to their customers.  Try to do something about that and you will feel the wrath of Big Education that will come down on you like a load of bricks.  “

Bernie Sanders

College Admissions Scam vs. Free College Scam

 

Bruce Bialosky, Townhall,  3/17/19

Tell the truth.  After the initial shock of hearing that a group of affluent parents paid massive sums to get their progeny into elite colleges, were you really surprised this happened?  It had to happen.  It was destined to happen.  College as a whole has become a scam.

All that was needed for this to happen was a guy like Rick Singer, the Bernie Madoff of college admissions.  You look at his website and it is written all over it.  “You need more than a school-appointed college counselor to help your son or daughter unlock the door to academic, social, personal and career success.” The website goes on to tell how you can separate your child from the others.  Singer just figured why should he be playing for $3,000 fees when he could use his talent and connections to prey on desperate parents with loose morals to extract millions from them.  There were plenty of felonious individuals at major colleges who were sick of seeing fellow coaches rake in millions from the “major” sports (football and basketball programs) while they lived on Subway.

It was a near perfect crime.  Who would have thought that parents would want to pay bundles of cash just for the right to pay even more than the outrageous fees being charged by these schools for the mediocre education they are delivering.  Everyone involved had an interest in keeping the scheme going to hide the lie that these opulent folks had dumb-as-a-rock offspring.   Unfortunately for them, there is always one blabbermouth and this one came out of the blue in an unrelated case.

Don’t believe the lie that the children did not participate in this.  They knew.   They may not have known how much their parents paid, but they knew they were gaming the system.  What a terrible example for your children.  Just think what these young people are going to use as a moral compass moving forward.

There are a lot of people tarnished here.  One can see a person of lesser means feeling cheated out of a rightful spot rowing for a college.  A huge aspect that is overlooked is all the people of means who properly raised their kids to work hard and play by the rules in an attempt to get into one of these elite colleges and to make something of themselves.   To point the finger at people like that and say they take advantage when only a score of people decided to go another route makes no sense.

What likewise makes no sense is the perverse emphasis on getting your child into the ‘right’ college.   This affliction is what provided the opportunity for Singer in the first place.  Kids are often driven to get into a college when that is not the right school for them educationally or psychologically.  They enter a class as a “small fish in a big pond” instead of taking a different route and being a big fish in a smaller pond.  I have said this for years:  There are over 5,000 colleges in the United States and one can get a fine education at them all with proper effort and (self) direction.

What makes little sense is that the children of these parents, for the most part, needed college the least.  Some could go into their parent’s business.  Others already have like Lori Loughlin’s.  This proves how perverse the entire process has become.

Instead, some young adults end up going to a college because the ‘industry’ drives them there and easy loans will allow them the funds to do so.  They end up with a questionable degree and a mound of debt.  No responsible adult stopped them to question “Do you understand what you are doing here and does this investment make sense for your future?   Do you realize the amount of debt you are taking on?”  That is why we have so many college-educated bartenders with a useless degree in some random major on the road to nowhere with bills as far as the eye can see.

You hear about “Big Pharma” or “Big Tech” or “Big Oil,” but you never hear about “Big Education.”  Those other industries never drove a group of customers into over a trillion dollars in debt.  Those other industries aren’t protected by a government that deems them non-profit while they pile billions of dollars into ‘endowments’ that are barely used to reduce the cost to their customers.  Try to do something about that and you will feel the wrath of Big Education that will come down on you like a load of bricks.

Big Education now has some politicians running around the country telling Americans that their government should pay 100% for everyone to get a college education.  We already underwrite this scam with billions of tax dollars either spent or lost by the lie that these schools are non-profit.  You are not non-profit when your employees are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and your administrators millions of dollars.

We are moving toward the biggest scam of all – “free college.”  Of course, we all know nothing is free and this one is particularly expensive.   Forty percent of students don’t finish college now.  What percentage will that become when they don’t have to pay a dime to go.  More people will be drawn into the scam that college is the way to a better future when today it is more an indoctrination than an education.  Two and one-half million well-paid manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in the next five years while more young Americans will be drawn into the scam of Big Education.

No, it is not surprising to have a group of morally-depraved individuals soaked in by a charlatan like Rick Singer on the promise that their little darlings will get into the “right” school.  We have been fed this load of malarkey for so long it was bound to happen.  Don’t let Uncle Bernie make it worse by making government pay for all of it.

If you think college is expensive now, wait until it is “free.”  Then this scam will really explode in cost when no one pays.

 

California Democrat Spending Up/Government Tax Revenues Down—Perfect Storm for Recession

State tax revenues are down dramatically—income tax revenues are down by over 50%.  Productive people are leaving the State.  Successful businesses, like Parsons, are leaving the State.  Replacements?  Street vendors, the poor and illegal aliens.  At the same time Guv Newsom wants to raise spending by 13%.  School districts are going bankrupt, counties forced to cut law enforcement and cities are trimming library hours and street repairs.   CalPERS is forcing numerous cities to raise taxes and cut basic services.  Union agreements are killing the classroom—forcing L.A., for example, to raise parcel taxes by a minimum of $800 a year—how many will be forced to sell and leave in that collapsing city?

“In the weeks since Newsom released his budget, we’ve seen several indications that California’s economy, which has been booming for the better part of a decade and generating many billions of extra dollars in state revenue, may, in fact, be slowing.

There’s been a marked slowdown in the state’s once-red-hot housing market, for example, and while unemployment remains at historic low levels—just 4.2 percent in January—job creation also seems to be slowing, in part because employers are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.

As it solicited bids for a new bond issue recently, the treasurer’s office listed 12 “economic and budget risks” facing the state, including a “threat of recession,” uncertain international trade policies and the budget’s ever-increasing reliance on income taxes from a handful of wealthy Californians and their investment earnings.”

The GOP now has a good chance of winning in California in 2020—not because of its brilliance but because of the economic disaster we are facing.  Can the Republicans explain the policy differences enough to get the vote?

California Capitol Money

Slowing economy could hit state budget

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  3/17/19

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget proposal, unveiled two months ago, took a surprisingly conservative approach, given his promises of high-dollar spending during his campaign for the governorship.

While he proposed token appropriations to expand health insurance for the poor and pre-kindergarten care and education, his 2019-20 budget would devote most of the state’s hefty surpluses to reserves, one-time expenditures and paying down debt.

It was, in brief, just the sort of cautious budget that outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown would have presented, along with his annual warning that recession may be just around the corner.

Newsom said his goal was “a structurally balanced budget over the next four years.” But the budget’s own economic forecast sees “slowing growth” and warns that “risks are rising.”

In the weeks since Newsom released his budget, we’ve seen several indications that California’s economy, which has been booming for the better part of a decade and generating many billions of extra dollars in state revenue, may, in fact, be slowing.

There’s been a marked slowdown in the state’s once-red-hot housing market, for example, and while unemployment remains at historic low levels—just 4.2 percent in January—job creation also seems to be slowing, in part because employers are having difficulty finding enough qualified workers.

As it solicited bids for a new bond issue recently, the treasurer’s office listed 12 “economic and budget risks” facing the state, including a “threat of recession,” uncertain international trade policies and the budget’s ever-increasing reliance on income taxes from a handful of wealthy Californians and their investment earnings.

When Brown began his second stint as governor in 2011, personal income taxes provided 53 percent of the state’s general-fund revenue. But as Newsom succeeds Brown, income taxes account for 71 percent. And half of them are paid by just 1 percent of the state’s taxpayers, thanks not only to overall economic gains but also to higher tax rates on the wealthy, which Brown championed.

The proportion of taxes coming from capital gains—a major income source for the one-percenters—has doubled from 4.8 percent to 9.7 percent.

Despite his advocacy for those tax increases, Brown repeatedly warned that relying so much on high-income taxpayers creates higher levels of revenue volatility that bite hard during economic downturns.

During the Great Recession, California saw its general-fund revenue drop by about 20 percent, with most of that decline stemming from reductions in taxable income among the state’s wealthiest residents.

Is California beginning to feel that bite again?

State Controller Betty Yee reported this month that two-thirds through the 2018-19 fiscal year, revenue is running several billion dollars under assumptions because of lower-than-expected income-tax payments.

It could reflect a slowing economy, a sharp drop in the stock market late last year and/or high-income taxpayers adjusting to changes in federal tax law, particularly a $10,000 limit on deductions for state and local taxes.

The latter is an incentive for those with income flexibility, such as the ability to defer capital gains, to minimize their state tax exposure.

All of these indicators could be just temporary blips or the harbinger of a downward trend that could undermine Newsom’s hopes of having a balanced budget throughout his first term.

Tellingly, the Legislature’s budget office advises lawmakers in a recent budget overview that “building more reserves than proposed by the governor would be prudent.”

However, Newsom’s fellow Democrats in the Legislature would like to save less and spend more, particularly on expensive entitlements such as health care and early childhood education.

 

UC-Berkeley said she sexually assaulted a male student. She’ll be deported unless a judge intervenes.

What is the question here?  Why are we even in need of a discussion?  The facts are simple.  A UC Berkeley student, a female, sexually assaulted a male student.  Now, under our immigration laws, she is about to be deported.  But, the University is now under investigation—by stopping and suspending the female that sexually assaulted a male.  The world has turned upset down when enforcing the rules becomes a crime.

““Jane Doe” has an April 1 deadline to renew her H-1B visa, for which she needs a diploma. She has already completed all of the coursework to graduate, and the “sole effect” of her suspension is to “delay receipt of [her] diploma” until May 22, 2020, according to the suit.

She’s asking the Alameda County Superior Court to force the university to lift her sanction and halt her suspension so she can receive her diploma and remain in the U.S. while the lawsuit continues. This “immediate interim relief” is not “against the public interest,” the relevant legal standard.”

Let her go back to her home country and wait—not stay in the United States.  Why does she want this?  So, like millions of other illegal aliens she can disappear into the shadows, change her name and abuse our nation.

Sather Gate, UC Berkeley

UC-Berkeley said she sexually assaulted a male student. She’ll be deported unless a judge intervenes.

Ethan Berman, The College Fix,  3/15/19

Refused to let her bring a translator

The University of California-Berkeley is facing a Title IX due-process lawsuit from an unusual plaintiff: a female foreign national facing deportation.

The student is seeking to reverse a two-year suspension she received after two ex-boyfriends accused her of sexual assault.

“Jane Doe” has an April 1 deadline to renew her H-1B visa, for which she needs a diploma. She has already completed all of the coursework to graduate, and the “sole effect” of her suspension is to “delay receipt of [her] diploma” until May 22, 2020, according to the suit.

She’s asking the Alameda County Superior Court to force the university to lift her sanction and halt her suspension so she can receive her diploma and remain in the U.S. while the lawsuit continues. This “immediate interim relief” is not “against the public interest,” the relevant legal standard.

Doe claims the university’s investigation was “marred by demonstrable bias” against her: It opened a second investigation without anyone filing a complaint. UC-Berkeley also imposed “undue burdens” that included blocking her translator and not taking into account her health issues.

Doe’s lawsuit takes issue with several procedural decisions the school made, including delaying the investigation despite her need to renew her visa. UC-Berkeley also used a “single investigator” model in which one figure acts as investigator, prosecutor and tribunal.

That investigation model was banned across California under an appeals court ruling against the University of Southern California in January. The court also said a “live hearing where parties may cross-examine each other” is necessary for a fair trial.

An executive member of the Associated Students of the University of California told The College Fix the administration was implementing the ruling.

Suzanne Taylor, Title IX coordinator for the UC system, “has done a fantastic job of keeping students looped in as changes are made following the USC lawsuit,” Nuha Khalfay, ASUC external affairs vice president, wrote in an email.

Khalfay also noted that she and Taylor “are constantly in conversation with [the] UC administration to ensure cooperation on this issue.”

Doe’s lawsuit contends that these new practices should have been applied to her original university hearing, and not instead used to delay her requests for appeal.

Khalfay earlier told The Daily Californian, regarding the Jane Doe case: “It takes a lot for someone to be found guilty through the university process, and I will always believe survivors.”

Opened second investigation without a complainant

Doe received her suspension following two investigations into her former relationships, which took more than 18 months to complete, according to the suit.

She dated “James Coe” starting December 2016 before the two broke up the following February. She then dated “John Roe” toward the end of the 2016-17 school year. Both were classmates. She had sex with Roe but their “relationship began to suffer” in May after Doe learned he was “seeing other women.”

The next month, Doe stayed the night at Roe’s apartment because she had forgotten the key to her own residence. The suit claims the two had an argument, then Doe slept on Roe’s couch and left in the morning, officially ending their relationship.

Roe initially claimed that Doe had visited his apartment uninvited, slept on his couch without permission, and was “knocking on his door throughout the night.” Later he admitted that he had actually invited Doe to stay the night, according to the suit.

Roe filed a complaint against Doe on July 25, accusing her of sexually assaulting him in April. He asked Coe – Doe’s previous boyfriend – to be one of his witnesses during the investigation. The university opened another investigation against Doe after Coe testified, even though Coe “did not request such an investigation,” which showed it was biased against her.

Doe received an interim suspension in August that allowed her to continue classes but limited her access to school-related activities.

The principal Title IX investigator for the Office of the President “failed to follow up with certain investigative leads” and “declined to ask many of the investigative questions” that Doe submitted, the suit claims. Chris Carrubba-Katz also imposed “arbitrary restrictions” on Doe’s ability to review collected evidence.

Carrubba-Katz released the reports on Feb. 27, 2018, without holding an evidentiary hearing. The investigator found Doe committed “sexual harassment, stalking and violation of a no contact directive” against Roe, and violated a non-sexual harassment code. For Coe, Carrubba-Katz said Doe committed sexual harassment, stalking and dating violence, and recommended that the Center for Student Conduct consider whether Doe also violated weapons and stalking provisions.

Doe requested a meeting with the center’s Ben Fils to “lodge her objections” with Carrubba-Katz’s reports, but requested extensions due to midterms, a “death in the family” and “acute health issues” that resulted in hospitalization.

Though Doe had only begun speaking English a year and a half before coming to the United States, the university refused to let her chosen translator accompany her to the meeting with Fils, according to the suit.

The university’s objection was that the translator was “also an attorney,” but it was not relying on “any written policy” to ban the translator on those grounds. Doe instead had to rely on a friend “proficient” in her language to translate for her.

(The copy of the lawsuit made available to The Fix redacts any mention of ethnicity, language, or country of origin in regard to Doe or her accusers.)

Her meeting with Fils, a week after her release from the hospital, led to a finding for which she had never been charged. The case manager and conduct coordinator not only upheld Carrubba-Katz’s findings but found Doe guilty of “violating a no-contact directive” in July.

Doe is not the only student to publicly question the methods of Carrubba-Katz, who remains principal Title IX investigator.

Last fall, UC-Santa Barbara’s graduate student representative on the systemwide Title IX Student Advisory Board accused Carrabba-Katz of trying to water down a student-designed survey of student experiences in the Title IX system.

Carrubba-Katz wanted survey designers to “put a positive spin” on the results and “emphasize the strengths of the investigative process,” Jennifer Selvidge wrote in her resignation letter, obtained by The Daily Nexus. The Title IX investigator also allegedly warned against allowing anonymous responses because it would create “overly negative” results.

Selvidge called on both Carrubba-Katz and Taylor, the systemwide Title IX coordinator, to resign their positions “for their lack of respect for academic scholarship.”

One finding overturned, but same sanctions inexplicably upheld

Doe appealed both cases in May 2018 but the university flagrantly violated its promises to complete appeals within 60 days and the entire investigative process within 120 days, according to Doe.

The investigations were “marred by procedural errors” that affected the outcome, Fils’ decision was “unreasonable based on the evidence,” the investigator was “unaware of new, mitigating evidence,” and the sanctions were “disproportionate to the findings,” Doe said in her appeal.

Hearing officer Barbara Dalton rejected most of her arguments “from the outset,” instead permitting “limited arguments” on some procedural and unreasonableness issues and “a single piece of new mitigating evidence.”

Dalton held hearings on Nov. 28 and Dec. 7, the first for Coe and second for Roe. Her decisions on Jan. 28 came “192 business days (and 281 calendar days) after Fils issued his Case Outcome Letters,” according to Doe.

The hearing officer upheld Fils’ findings in the Roe case but reversed him in the Coe case, finding that Doe had not sexually harassed him. Inexplicably, Dalton upheld the full sanctions against Doe.

On Feb. 1 she appealed the Coe decision – the only one she could – in order to overturn the sanctions, but the university again violated its promised time window of 10 days. Assistant Vice Chancellor Anne Jones told Doe on Feb. 15 that “[d]ue to recent changes in case law, the review of your appeal will take additional time.”

Jones also told Doe that the university would render a decision on March 30, just two days before Doe’s deadline to apply for her visa. Not even this was set in stone.

Four days later, the university informed Doe that it was pausing her appeal due to “recent legal developments,” the most recent of which was six weeks earlier. Until the revisions to its Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Student Adjudication Framework are complete, the chancellor won’t consider her appeal.

‘Extreme delays’ violate contractual obligations to student

Doe’s suit cites these “extreme delays in conducting the disciplinary process” as violations of the university’s contract with her, with dire effects for her life in America.

If she doesn’t submit her visa renewal, Doe will be “forced to leave the country,” which will cause her to lose her job and “ability to support herself and her family.” She’ll also lose her access to healthcare which she requires for her health condition. (The suit doesn’t specify whether the university provides her healthcare.)

Doe’s other legal claims are similar to those in typical due-process lawsuits over Title IX proceedings.

The university provided neither “an in-person evidentiary hearing” nor a process for Doe to “cross-examine diverse witnesses” before a neutral fact-finder. It failed to give “adequate notice of the allegations against Doe,” also in violation of its policies.

Its findings were “materially incomplete” because of its failure to “follow up with certain witnesses or on certain theories,” and due to its “omission of highly relevant testimony that contained exculpatory evidence,” Doe argued.

The suit’s allegation that the university “undercut her ability to defend herself by unduly and arbitrarily restricting the manner [in which] she translated proceedings” is similar to suits that allege universities failed to provide reasonable accommodations to students with special needs.

An accused student with a learning disability and “word retrieval” problems accused Drake University of failing to accommodate his needs in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act. Though the university is facing trial in that case, the ADA claim was thrown out.

Look Ma, No Cashier! How Will Functional Illiterates With Diploma’s Get Jobs?

Thanks to technology, LAUSD “graduates” may not have jobs.  Remember, this is the district where over 50% of those given a diploma have a “D” average.  They are functionally illiterate.  This is one of the driving forces behind fast food places and nice restaurants using technology to take orders, ask for refills, and pay bills—the food folks can’t do easy math and with the minimum wage forced by government, not worth the extra pay.

“Computer scientist Aamir A. Farooqui plans to open a 1800 square feet, fully-automated convenience store, similar to those Amazon has launched in larger urban areas, called Amazon Go.

Amazon just announced they will open a third cashierless store in San Francisco this year with young people a typical shopper.

Based in Sacramento Farooqui says his new concept store is the first of its kind in the Central Valley, and he hopes to duplicate it elsewhere.

Image the local convenience store, the 7-11 or Circle K without workers.  Look at the money saved—the lives saved due to lack of personnel during robberies, etc.  Money saved, lives saved—no worries about covering for employees that do not show up.

mcdonalds

Look Ma, No Cashier!

-Sierra2TheSeam  3/8/19

Computer scientist Aamir A. Farooqui plans to open a 1800 square feet, fully-automated convenience store, similar to those Amazon has launched in larger urban areas, called Amazon Go.

Amazon just announced they will open a third cashierless store in San Francisco this year with young people a typical shopper.

Based in Sacramento Farooqui says his new concept store is the first of its kind in the Central Valley, and he hopes to duplicate it elsewhere.

An automated convenience store is a typical convenience store that operates without a cashier, and instead relies on computers and robotics. Amazon calls it”just walk out” shopping.

The new Visalia store will be built at 707 S Bridge St, in the middle of the city, a neighborhood of modest homes, right next to a second hand store. Mr Farooqui bought the vacant parcel last year.Not the fanciest part of town, it may be the perfect spot to test the idea that there is demand for this kind of shopping experience.

The developer is seeking a conditional-use permit from the city for the new store.

Farooqui says “In our model we will be using new type of vending machines equipped with WiFi and cameras. People can buy merchandise using cash (after converting to gift cards), credit or debit cards or  through a mobile app. At the store opening, we plan to give away 100 free gift cards to our first customers.“

These kinds of stores have taken off in Europe where they go by the names of SmartMart and RoboMart. Farooqui says he has yet to choose a name for the Visalia outlet he hopes to open as soon as possible.

Not having on-site employees will allow the business to save money although it may take shoppers a little time to get used to a new routine using digital technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores.

“Our goal is simply to reduce the cost of running a store for small businesses and at the same time offer 24-hour convenient service to the local community.”

While the new Visalia store wont be big job producer they will need people to stock the shelves.

Higher minimum wage rates in California and elsewhere could be helping this trend accelerate although grocers are always trying to cut employee expenses. Walmart recently announced they will get rid of ‘greeters’ at their store entrances. There are almost 5 million grocery clerk jobs in the US.

A recent description of shopping at an Amazon Go is described this way.”You simply walk in, grab what you need, and go. Amazon bills your credit card as you pass through the turnstile on your way out. Moments later, an app in your phone provides a receipt detailing what you’ve bought, what you paid, and even how long you spent inside.”

Grocery stores are automating the shopping experience led by Walmart and Sam’s Club. The Visalia Walmart is installing more automated check-out devices and Sam’s Club want to allow shoppers to scan products by holding their smartphones over a product, without having to find and capture a barcode on the package.

Microsoft is said to be developing technology that can track what shoppers add to their carts.

Meanwhile Target is changing item pickup service at the stores with Pickup Towers, where the in-store process is automated.

California to Become Like Hawaii—Politically–ONE PARTY Only

In Sacramento, there are ten Republicans, out of 40 Senators.  The Assembly has 19 GOP’ers, out of 80 members.  Capitol Republicans are trying hard to reverse this—but the Party has not had a voter registration program in six years and are planning to “rebrand the Party—not as Republican (in the coming weeks the full story on that).

We are quickly turning into Hawaii and its Republican Party—fighting over little things with no relevance.  The Hawaii GOP fights over power of control of a Party—that does not exist ecpet at conventions and internal meetings.  California is turning into the Hawaii GOP.

“But in recent years, the lack of vigorous, two-party competition has led to a culture of complacency among politicians and apathy among voters. Hawai‘i once had some of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation, but today the Aloha State consistently ranks dead last among the 50 states. In the 2016 presidential election, only 43 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot—a rate that was seven percentage points lower than West Virginia, the 49th-worst state.

As voters have disengaged, they have also become critical and distrustful of state government. One poll taken before the primary election this summer by the University of Hawai‘i’s Public Policy Center, which I direct, gave the Hawai‘i State Legislature a 21 percent approval rating. What is more troubling, only 30 percent of respondents thought they could trust Hawai‘i’s state government to do what is in the public’s interest most of the time.

As much as the Democrats are gaming the election process with corruption at the ballot box, expect voter turnout being suppressed in a One Party State of California.

Hawaii

Why Single-Party Domination of Hawai‘i Politics Is Harmful to the Aloha State

The Democrats’ Near-Monopoly Makes Voters Tune Out, Sidesteps Urgent Policy Questions, and Places Factional Infighting Above Shared Ideals

By Colin Moore, Zocalo Public Square,  10/30/18

Most Americans have become accustomed to the bitter divide between Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Yet closely fought competition between the parties is the exception rather than the rule in many state capitals. In 34 states, a single party controls both houses of the state’s legislature and holds the governorship. In 1992, this state government trifecta existed in only 16.

No state is more dominated by a single political party than Hawai‘i. Today, there are no Republicans in Hawai‘i’s state senate and there are only five Republicans out of 51 members in the house. And Hawai‘i’s beleaguered GOP appears poised to lose yet another seat after November’s election.

This is nothing new. The Democratic Party has more or less governed Hawai‘i since 1954. That was the year when labor leaders and returning Asian-American veterans of World War II overthrew the ruling oligarchy of sugar planters.

Although individual Republican candidates—including two Republican governors—occasionally have found success by emphasizing their independence from the reigning Democrats, the nationalization of American politics is making that strategy less tenable, and not just in Hawai‘i. Republican and Democratic parties in each state are increasingly unable to distinguish themselves from the national parties in Washington. And in a diverse state like Hawai‘i, with the second-highest rate of union membership in the nation, the Republican Party’s shift to the right has made it nearly impossible for the local party to win state-wide elections.

So what happens to a state when there’s no opposition party?

One sobering answer: not nearly as much as most voters would hope. For many Democrats, especially liberals, the dominance of Hawai‘i’s Democrats might seem like a cause for celebration—things could get done. And, yes, the Aloha State has an enviable progressive record on many policy issues. It became the first state to legalize abortion in 1970. Just four years later, it adopted an innovative health care law that requires most employers to provide health insurance.

But in recent years, the lack of vigorous, two-party competition has led to a culture of complacency among politicians and apathy among voters. Hawai‘i once had some of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation, but today the Aloha State consistently ranks dead last among the 50 states. In the 2016 presidential election, only 43 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot—a rate that was seven percentage points lower than West Virginia, the 49th-worst state.

As voters have disengaged, they have also become critical and distrustful of state government. One poll taken before the primary election this summer by the University of Hawai‘i’s Public Policy Center, which I direct, gave the Hawai‘i State Legislature a 21 percent approval rating. What is more troubling, only 30 percent of respondents thought they could trust Hawai‘i’s state government to do what is in the public’s interest most of the time.

Hawai‘i once had some of the highest voter turnout rates in the nation, but today the Aloha State consistently ranks dead last among the 50 states.

Part of the problem is that voters are rarely presented with a choice between different policy agendas or governing philosophies—even in major statewide races. In the most recent gubernatorial primary, the two candidates, incumbent Gov. David Ige and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa, spent much of the election bickering over small policy differences and forwarding vague arguments about their superior leadership abilities. The lack of public debate often becomes even more acute during the general election. Indeed, Democrats are so confident they will win in November that Governor Ige, who won the primary, has agreed to only two televised debates with his Republican challenger.

With the decline of the Republican Party, the two-party system has been replaced by Hawai‘i’s unique brand of factionalized politics. Unlike political parties, these factions are held together through personal relationships and the legislative favors doled out by powerful committee chairs, rather than shared ideology or policy preferences. Today, the state legislature is run by shifting coalitions of Democrats that go by obscure names like the “Chess Club,” for legislators who consider themselves policy wonks, or the “Opihi”—the Hawaiian word for local saltwater limpets that cling to rocks, thus designating how faction members stick together, no matter the issue.

This has led to a political process that is almost entirely opaque. Without an opposition party to force public debate, even seasoned political observers struggle to understand why some bills are passed and others fail. The problem is compounded by the legislature’s frequent use of tactics such as “gut and replace,” where bills that have moved through the review process are stripped of their original language and replaced with entirely different bills at the last moment.

Finally, the dominance of a single party means that many urgent public policy challenges remain unaddressed. Although incumbents are solicitous about the welfare of reliable Democratic voters such as the members of public-sector unions, they pay scant attention to the problems faced by increasingly disaffected young voters and working families. Unlike many other left-leaning states, Hawai‘i still has no publicly-funded pre-kindergarten education or paid family leave for working families. Its general excise tax is very regressive because it indiscriminately affects all consumers, placing one of the highest tafx burdens on low-income families in the nation.

How to bring back the light of transparency and the pressure of competition to Hawai‘i politics? There are no easy solutions, but publicly funded elections and institutional reforms like California’s “top-two” primary or European-style multi-member legislative districts might provide opportunities for more people to get involved and for more voices to be heard.

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, Hawai‘i’s experience suggests how detrimental one-party rule can be for voter engagement and policy responsiveness. No democracy can remain healthy for long without a loyal opposition.

 

CA Assemblywoman Friedman’s Fur Ban: ‘There is No Need For Fur in the 21st Century’

The issue is not “to fur or not to fur”.  Instead the question is how far can government go to control our every move and economic decision?

“The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens. Former President Ronald Reagan understood this and had another take on it: “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) is authoring AB 44, which would prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur in California. “Today there are a variety of humane alternatives, both in terms of faux fur that is virtually indistinguishable from real fur, and alternative textiles that are just as warm or fashionable,” Friedman says. “There is no need for fur in the 21st century and no place for it in a sustainable future.”

If Friedman does not want to buy or wear fur—that is her right and decision.  But to use government to punish Americans for freedom?  That is called totalitarianism.  As a Socialist/Democrat Laura Friedman hates free choice and economic freedom.  It can not be allowed.  Did you see the dress she wore on the floor of the Assembly last week?  It was ugly as sin—now we need to outlaw that style dress.  On what grounds?  Easy.  On the grounds of “eye pollution”.  Why not?

Instead of taking ignorance seriously, we need to make fun of the immature posing as adults.

500px-Capitol_Building_MG_1600_Sans_watermark

 

CA Assemblywoman Friedman’s Fur Ban: ‘There is No Need For Fur in the 21st Century’

California lawmakers are better at banning than governing

By Katy Grimes,, California Globe,  3/16/19

 

The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens. Former President Ronald Reagan understood this and had another take on it: “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) is authoring AB 44, which would prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur in California. “Today there are a variety of humane alternatives, both in terms of faux fur that is virtually indistinguishable from real fur, and alternative textiles that are just as warm or fashionable,” Friedman says. “There is no need for fur in the 21st century and no place for it in a sustainable future.”

Yet California state and local governments put limits on human activities frequently. Examples are California’s plastic straw ban, banning plastic shopping bags, the foie gras ban, and in  Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles and West Hollywood, fur sales are banned. Now, state lawmakers want a statewide ban of fur sales.

“Those in opposition argue that the fur industry is regulated, and a ban may encourage a black market that will worsen conditions for animals,” bill analysis reports. “They maintain that banning the sale of fur products will result in a loss in sales and tax revenue. The opposition states that this bill reduces individual rights, and will encourage a slippery slope that may result in leather, wool, or meat product bans in the future.”

Assemblywoman Friedman’s bill, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, and Animal Hope in Legislation, would make California the first state in the country to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in the state.

This is a curious ban, supported by the author’s revulsion of the idea of killing animals for their fur. “…there are still thousands of animals every year that are viciously maimed and murdered for only their fur,” Friedman said in a press statement. “This practice is not only entirely outdated and unnecessary, it’s completely out of line with our state’s values.”

However, there are recent discoveries that faux fur may not be a viable substitute for the real thing, especially since they are finding plastic microfibre pollution in water, caused in part by the use of synthetic fabrics, the Truth About Fur reported. “Articles by DrapersABC, and Refinery 29, find fake fur is mostly made out of synthetic materials and it sheds which can be an environmental concern.”

Friedman lives in balmy Southern California where average temperatures hover in the 70’s and 80’s. But in Northern California in El Dorado, Placer, Lassen, Siskiyou, Trinity, Plumas and Shasta Counties, there is 50 feet of snow in the higher elevations and temperatures are in the mid-teens. People up in the North part of the state use animals for all kinds of purposes, including warmth. “We wear many types of animal products in order to protect ourselves from the elements,” the Truth About Fur says. “Fashion may not be essential, but clothing is.”

There are sensible cases to be made of bans on the sale of things harmful to people. But fur isn’t dangerous to the anyone – other than to perhaps trigger allergies in some wearers. If fur is banned, why not ban leather which is also animal skin and requires the killing of animals to use? Is a ban on cow, pig and poultry meat next? Where do these bans stop? Is it cruel to sheer sheep? Is California also headed for “meatless Mondays” because some lawmakers don’t eat meat?

I’m willing to bet Assemblywoman Friedman and her colleagues who support this bill wear leather shoes and belts, carry leather purses, wallets, portfolios and briefcases, drive cars with leather seats, and some wear goat-skin gloves. Is this cruel?

Fur is an important and successful business. About half the furs produced in North America are now farm-raised. Worldwide, the figure is closer to 85 percent.

Is Assemblywoman Friedman trying to harm the fur business and the California retailers who carry fur products?

“Californians love their animals and wildlife. Skinning animals or farming fur for fashion or other accessories is contrary to those values, and I believe it’s no longer necessary in a 21st century society,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). “It’s clear Californians want us to lead on this issue and that is what we are doing with AB 44.”

“When anti-fur cultists are outside fur stores, attacking small businesses, spitting on Indigenous and Canadian heritage, and claiming to be animal saviors, they are dressed head to toe in synthetic clothing that will never biodegrade, and will pollute habitats and kill animals en masse for millennia,” the Truth About Fur said.

 

Will FPPC Finally Sue LAUSD, and YOUR City Government for STEALING From Taxpayers

Every election has a bond measure, tax increase or tax extension promoted by government.  While you have to find nickels and dimes to fight this theft of your money, government does not have such a problem.  Instead they use your taxes to promote “informational” campaigns and to promotes a doomsday scenario if the tax does not pass—your child will be ignorant, bridges will crumble, no water for the people of California.

“When Yuba County’s Board of Supervisors asked its voters to hike sales taxes last year, it wasn’t alone.

Hundreds of California’s local governments, cities and counties primarily, were doing so, promising voters that the new revenues would be used to enhance popular services, such as parks, police and fire protection.

Yuba officials also were not alone in failing to mention that much of the new revenue would be used to pay fast-rising costs of pensions for their employees. And, emulating what was happening elsewhere, county officialdom urged passage of the measure under the guise of “education,” with those opposed to the new tax alleging that taxpayer funds were used for the campaign.

Now the FPPC is going after the theft.  We need to go one step further—file criminal complaints against those that stole the money for illegal use.  Put a school Superintendent, a member of the Board of Supervisors, a county or city official in jail and the stealing stops.  It is criminal—treat it that way.

ShakingHandsWithMoney

A crackdown on misusing public funds for campaigns?

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  3/3/19

When Yuba County’s Board of Supervisors asked its voters to hike sales taxes last year, it wasn’t alone.

Hundreds of California’s local governments, cities and counties primarily, were doing so, promising voters that the new revenues would be used to enhance popular services, such as parks, police and fire protection.

Yuba officials also were not alone in failing to mention that much of the new revenue would be used to pay fast-rising costs of pensions for their employees. And, emulating what was happening elsewhere, county officialdom urged passage of the measure under the guise of “education,” with those opposed to the new tax alleging that taxpayer funds were used for the campaign.

After Measure K was approved by a narrow margin, the opponents complained about what they saw as misuse of public funds to the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

That was not unusual, either. A recent FPPC staff report said that since 2015, when local tax measures began proliferating, the agency has received 34 complaints about taxpayer funds being used for campaigns to raise taxes.

In addition, sponsors of a 2018 ballot measure to overturn California’s new gas taxes have complained that officials used tax money to oppose it. Voters rejected the measure, keeping the new taxes on the books.

State law very clearly and specifically makes misuse of taxpayer funds for political purposes illegal, but the FPPC has no power to enforce the law. That’s up to local prosecutors and the state Department of Justice, but as the FPPC report concluded, “The Enforcement Division is not aware of any actions brought by state or local prosecutors related to those cases.”

In other words, using public funds may be illegal, but those who do it have virtually no chance of being prosecuted.

All of that is frustrating to both those who file complaints with the FPPC and members of the commission, especially since Alice Germond became its chairwoman. “There has been plenty of it, but they choose not to bring charges,” FPPC member Brian Hatch said of county prosecutors when the commission took up the issue last month.

Under Germond, the commission has taken a roundabout path toward cracking down on the misuse of public funds. It has been investigating agencies, including Yuba County, for potential violations of the law it can enforce, which requires those making political contributions to file reports with the FPPC.

The agency has already cited the Bay Area Rapid Transit District for violating that law, sending a warning to other agencies that surreptitiously use public funds for political purposes. It’s also moved against Los Angeles County for not reporting public funds it used to campaign for a tax measure, sparking a lawsuit by the California State Association of Counties to challenge the FPPC’s authority.

Potentially, the FPPC crackdown puts agencies in a legal vise.

If they insist that they aren’t misusing the funds, they risk being fined by the FPPC. But if they file campaign contribution reports, they will be admitting to the misuse and putting themselves in jeopardy of being prosecuted.

However, the FPPC isn’t stopping there.

“We want the opportunity to take action when public money is misused,” Germond said. “Californians expect our tax dollars to be used appropriately and when that is not the case, I want to be able to send a strong message on behalf of our citizens. And I want to set a clear precedent that such behavior is unacceptable.”

Last month, by a 4-0 vote, it approved a request to the Legislature to amend state law and allow the FPPC to prosecute misuse cases that local and state prosecutors are shunning.