Eric Holder hired to “fight Trump” – San Fran Chronicle does not provide whole story

attorney-general-eric-holderWhen President Obama worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, the state of California did not hire a Washington attorney to fight for this legislation. As Obama was issuing the Dream Act, amnesty for illegal aliens, the state Legislature did not hire a Washington attorney to demand, at a $25,000 a month retainer, to use his office to overturn a vote of Congress for the amnesty. Sacramento has given the 38 million people of California some of the toughest, and least enforced, gun laws possible. The hacks of the Capitol were “so successful” that 1.3 million new guns were sold in the state in 2016.

Yet, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in an article on January 15, 2017, that the state of California, via the Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, has hired a Washington, D.C., attorney to “fight” for California:

“California lawmakers are bracing for a fight against soon-to-be President Trump and top officials in his administration who have said they will push for policy and legal changes that would threaten several of the state’s progressive laws.

From immigration to gun control to environmental protections, the state finds itself at odds with Trump, who will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday. One of the biggest tools the federal government has is control of the purse strings. California is expected to receive $105 billion in federal dollars in the upcoming fiscal year, which includes $78 billion for various health and human services. The new administration, and the Republican-controlled Congress, can reward — and punish — states with the way it distributes federal dollars.

To prepare for any battles, the Legislature has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.”

So, to get these “progressive policies” in the past, the California government used its 53 members of Congress, its two U.S. Senators, 80 Assembly members, 40 State Senators, the governor, the attorney general and the 1,600 attorneys in that office, along with the numerous state agencies.

Now that Donald Trump is to be the president, politicians in Sacramento, using tax dollars, have decided to hire a gun-runner, a former attorney general that authorized the sale of assault weapons to the Mexican drug cartels, to represent us in Washington. It is as if none of the thousands already being paid to do the job of representing us no longer exist. This has a smell of a political payoff rather than the hiring of an attorney.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, though a freshman, has figured it out and why this is wrong. “In a letter to the opinion unit of the state attorney general’s office, the Rocklin Republican and former deputy attorney general argued that hiring Holder as outside counsel violates Article VII of the California Constitution. Kiley said California courts have interpreted that section ‘as forbidding private contracting for services that are of a kind that persons selected through civil service could perform ‘adequately and competently’ ” – such as “assisting in defending California against federal actions,” a function of the attorney general.

“In light of these facts, I respectfully ask your legal opinion as to whether the 1,592 attorneys and legal staff at the State Attorney General’s Office can perform ‘adequately and competently’ the legal services for which Covington & Burling has been retained by the Legislature,'” Kiley wrote in a letter to the Attorney General’s Office.

Most headlines in the Times, Chronicle and Bee noted that Holder was hired “to fight” Donald Trump. Is that the role of the Legislature, to fight a president because they do not like him? Is that the proper use of tax dollars, when we have homeless, affordable housing, pension and a water crisis? The state of California has a close to a $2 billion planned deficit, yet the Democrats in the Legislature refuse to use current assets to hire an attorney with no credibility in a town with a Republican president, Congress and Senate? Even if this was a needed hire, the person hired is known as being ethically challenged. He lied to a court and got caught, using his office for political purposes.

From Techdirt, October 30, 2014:

“Holder was asked if there was a decision during his tenure that he regretted, and he brought up the Rosen story:

Holder: I think that — I think about the subpoena to the Fox reporter, Rosen. I think that I could have been a little more careful in looking at the language that was contained in the filing that we made with the court. He was labeled as a — as a co-conspirator. I mean, you had to do that as a result of the statute, but there are ways in which I think that could have been done differently, done better. And that’s one of the reasons why I thought the criticism that we received because of that — and the AP matter as well — was something that we had to act upon and why we put in place this review of our — the way in which we interact with the media.

Except, as Julian Sanchez points out, that’s completely bogus. Holder claiming they had to do that because of the statute is flat out opposites-ville. They had to do that because the statute doesn’t allow them to spy on journalists. The law was designed to stop the DOJ from spying on journalists, and so the only way to break that was to lie to the court. The law in question — 18 USC 793 is designed to only apply to the people actually committing the crime of leaking defense information — and not to reporters.”

Yes, not only did Holder lie to a court — he used his office to illegally spy on journalists.  Plus on other occasions he lied to Congress.

None of this was part of the Chronicle story — other than California is angry with the results of the elections and does not like it that Trump appears to be willing to keep his campaign promises. And, the fact, California taxpayers have been forced to hire one of the least likely people in Washington to get past the receptionist. The San Francisco Chronicle has a responsibility to fully explain the story. By leaving out who Holder really is and his record, it denies the readers of being able to make a judgement that the decision was good or bad.

Is this a man you would want pleading your case in Washington starting January 20, 2017? It is not California vs. Trump. It is Sacramento vs. California. And the Democrats have a supermajority. What could you do with $25,000 a month?

Stephen Frank is editor of the California Political News and Views section of California Political Review. 

California Democrats Behaving Like Confederates

For fiscal conservatives and free market advocates, the national elections in 2008 and 2012 brought no small measure of disappointment. In its eight-year run, the Obama administration imposed a host of new taxes – including several as part of the failed “Affordable Care Act” – and, just as egregious, nearly doubling the national debt from $10 trillion to over $20 trillion.

Those who advocate for lower taxes, property rights and less burdensome regulation understood and begrudgingly accepted that “elections have consequences.” (As President Obama was known to brag.) So it is now with amusement – if not outright schadenfreude – we are watching progressives across the nation, and especially here in California, melt down in shock and disbelief.

Particularly frustrating for progressives is their growing realization that many of the policies and actions of the last eight years that they jammed down the throats of conservatives and center right citizens from “fly-over” country are now coming back to haunt them. For example, former Democrat Senator Harry Reid from Nevada changed longstanding Senate rules regarding how many votes it would take to stop the filibuster of a presidential appointee. Progressives imposed that rule to pack the United States Court of Appeal for District of Columbia Circuit, a powerful court because it reviews most legal challenges over federal regulations. The “Reid Rule” will now be used by the Trump administration to fill his cabinet quickly over the objections and efforts to obstruct by Democrats and, more importantly, to seat a replacement on the U.S. Supreme Court for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Another example of their being hoisted on their own petard was discussed recently by California political analyst Tony Quinn who noted that the federal courts struck down most of Arizona’s efforts to enforce border security. The U.S. Supreme Court noted that, in the area of immigration, federal laws pre-empt conflicting and even complimentary state laws. That throws into doubt any efforts by California and other left-leaning states to enforce any so-called “sanctuary” policies.

confederate-flagBut all this hasn’t stopped California’s top Democratic leadership from posturing (mostly for the cameras) about how they will “stand up” to the federal government to protect “California’s values,” whatever that means. Apparently, Gov. Brown and newly elected legislative leaders have mistaken Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento with Fort Sumter in South Carolina which heard the first shots fired in the Civil War. They need to be reminded that things didn’t work out so well for the Confederacy back then and if, by taking on the federal government, they think they will get a better outcome, they’re probably wrong.

The latest evidence that Democratic leadership has lost its moorings with reality is the hiring of Eric Holder, the disgraced and corrupt former U.S. Attorney General in order to “push back” against both the Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Congress. (Holder advocated for international criminal Mark Rich, and was admittedly running guns to Mexico as part of the “Fast and Furious” scandal).

The hiring of Holder is an insult to all California taxpayers. First, California has a multitude of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. (all at taxpayer expense) to represent the actual interests of the state. Second, the action was clearly a provocation intended to generate a response from Washington. But California should be careful what it wishes for. The Congress of the United States has the power of the purse and California would do well to work collaboratively with those upon whom they rely for billions of federal dollars.

Near the close of the Civil War, President Lincoln gave his famous second inaugural address in which he implored Americans to show “malice toward none, with charity for all.” Let us hope that the petulant, foolish posturing of California’s political leadership receive as much grace from the federal government in the coming years.

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

This piece was originally published by HJTA.org

Senator Moorlach Cautions Majority Party on the Costs of the Holder Hire

attorney-general-eric-holderSACRAMENTO – Senator John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, provided the following statement regarding the legislative Democrats’ decision to hire former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as their next line of defense against the incoming Trump Administration.

“If the majority party continues to poke President-elect Trump with a short stick, then they better be prepared with a Plan B. And, as far as I can tell, there is no alternative plan should these combative moves not be received well by the incoming Trump Administration.

“We cannot and must not jeopardize Federal funding to our state, counties and cities. They cannot afford it, especially with increasing pensions costs at the door.”

The above statement was sent out in a press release from the office of state Sen. John Moorlach.

Police Face New Rules When Seizing Money From Drug Suspects

As reported by the Orange County Register:

Local police are scrambling to fill the financial hole left in their drug-fighting resources by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to stop allowing them to take cash and property from suspected dealers without warrants or convictions.

Holder’s decision is limited to federal asset forfeiture rules. And for regional task forces that include federal agents – such as the Orange County Regional Narcotics Suppression Program – there may be no change. Local police departments increasingly might use state forfeiture programs that offer more protection for defendants.

Holder said in his announcement last week he was attempting to safeguard civil liberties. …

Read the full story here

DOJ’s Operation Choke Point strangles businesses

A Justice Department fraud prevention program came under fire Thursday for allegedly morphing into actively pressuring banks to deny financial services to businesses for political reasons.

Operation Choke Point functions as a partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.eric holder attorney general

The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline doing business with so-called “high risk” industries which line up squarely against the political leanings of the current administration. These businesses include ammunition sales, payday loans, pornography, fireworks companies, and others—24 industries in total, as listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

“Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services…to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them,” said William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC.

Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the legality of DOJ overreach. Letters have poured in from company owners in support of these suspicions, noting startling cases where the DOJ reportedly has directly strong-armed banks into dropping clients not engaging in fraud.

Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte revealed that one of the more egregious examples sent in to the committee was a meeting between the DOJ and a bank regarding the continued provision of financial services to a payday loan company.

The DOJ official reportedly told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it should have a place in our financial system. And if you don’t agree, there will be an immediate, unplanned audit of your entire bank.”

The Justice Department has now served over 50 subpoenas on banks, and Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus expressed considerable concern that dragging banks into a long and expensive process is just an underhanded way of encouraging banks to drop clients as an easy-out.

“Subpoenas are expensive to comply with and can bring unwanted scrutiny. The natural reaction from a financial institution might be to sever relations with the merchant and be done with it,” Bachus said Thursday in a hearing at the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.

Missouri Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer brought forward the End Operation Choke Point Act Tuesday to curb the DOJ’s activities in this area. The act would provide financial institutions with safe harbor to serve customers engaged in legal activities, so as to cut out politically motivated attacks on businesses deemed undesirable by the Justice Department.

This article originally appeared on the Daily Caller.

 

Eric Holder has a gun problem

From The Hill:

As the chief law enforcement officer Attorney General Eric Holder came out swinging in the first months of the Obama administration as he pushed to reinstate the assault weapons ban, pointing to the rising levels of violence in Mexico and increased presence of U.S. guns south of the border.

But nearly two years later assault weapons can still be bought and Holder has found himself at the center of a quagmire involving a botched gun-tracking operation that sent thousands of high-powered firearms to Mexico in the hands of known or suspected straw buyers for drug cartels.

Amid a plethora of Republican calls for Holder’s resignation, Democrats have silently indicated their support for the attorney general. Instead of taking him to task for Operation Fast and Furious, Democratic lawmakers have tried to draw attention to what they describe as the country’s weak network of gun laws.

(Read Full Article)

NRA President Calls for Holder’s Resignation

From Front Porch Politics:

National Rifle Association President David Keene told The Daily Caller on Thursday that he and the NRA think Attorney General Eric Holder should resign immediately. Keene joins 34 members of Congress calling for Holder’s immediate resignation.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre had made a call for the nation’s top law enforcement official to step down over Fast and Furious as far back as April of this year. Keene told TheDC all the new evidence that continues coming shows Holder committed “perjury” before the House Judiciary Committee on May 3 and that the American people no longer trust him at attorney general.

(Read Full Article)

Democratic lawmakers say Fast and Furious proof of need for harsher gun laws

From Hot Air:

Right on cue, Democratic lawmakers have begun to say the DOJ’s lethal and irresponsible Fast and Furious program underscores the need for stricter gun control laws:

“This hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein at a recent Senate Judiciary hearing while discussing Fast and Furious.

“And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”

The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have introduced a dedicated firearms trafficking statute, but it has stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Republicans rightly have pushed back against this narrative. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) put it best when he said simply, “I get it, I’d want to change the subject too if I were them. I’m happy to have a conversation about broader gun laws, but we’re going to do it after Fast and Furious.”

(Read Full Article)