Michigan’s Secretary of State Fights to Keep Dead on Voter Rolls

In Michigan a court has ordered that dead people be taken off the voting rolls.  In California, which has a list of 440,000 that have died or moved out of State, continue on the rolls and get absentee ballots.  The State Party has a list of 64,000 people who were duplicated on the voting rolls—32,000 registered twice.

Yet, while in Michigan the dead are off the voting rolls, the California Republican Party seems to have the same philosophy as the California Democrat Party—‘THE DEAD HAVE A CONTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE.”  Until the CRP takes action it is wasting money on candidates—they are by their silence consenting to corrupt elections.  When the Chair Jessica Patterson says there is no vote fraud in California, she knows she is not telling the truth—and the people of California pay for her acceptance of vote fraud

“The Public Interest Legal Foundation had conducted a very detailed matching program to ensure the list it provided to Benson was accurate. As federal Judge Jane Beckering, an appointee of President Joe Biden, pointed out in her order, the legal foundation had compared the names of registered voters with the Social Security Administration’s Death Index and “matched full names, full dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and credit address history information.”

Yet Benson refused to take any action to verify this information and to remove those dead voters from the rolls. She was obligated to do so under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which according to Beckering, requires election officials to remove “registrants from the voter registration roll because of the death of the registrant or a change in the residence of the registrant.”

Michigan’s Secretary of State Fights to Keep Dead on Voter Rolls

Hans von Spakovsky, Daily Signal,   8/31/22     https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/08/30/why-wont-michigans-secretary-of-state-purge-dead-from-voter-rolls/?utm_source=TDS_Email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CapitolBell&mkt_tok=ODI0LU1IVC0zMDQAAAGGlFygo-j5gXAvyZ1kiRADuRS7JIa3WdzGOOSZjt34wp2Hhqyk7QDTriwOakfGYnxMDwtgnjmAewAGazHzUMIqx394fYUYJs9-rHKTr-iY_JjYBQ

Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a member of the board of the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

In an order that illustrates the bizarre views of controversial Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a federal court has turned down Benson’s motion to throw out a lawsuit filed against her for refusing to remove almost 26,000 dead voters from Michigan voters rolls. 

In mid-September 2020, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (of which I am a board member) sent Benson a list of all of the deceased registrants who remained on the state’s voter rolls less than two months before the presidential election.

Of those nearly 26,000 Michigan residents, 23,663 had been dead for at least five years, 17,479 had been dead for at least a decade and, astonishingly, 3,956 had been dead for at least two decades, yet they were still listed as registered voters in the state.

That shows just how inadequate Michigan’s procedures are for safeguarding the accuracy of its voter list. 

The Public Interest Legal Foundation had conducted a very detailed matching program to ensure the list it provided to Benson was accurate. As federal Judge Jane Beckering, an appointee of President Joe Biden, pointed out in her order, the legal foundation had compared the names of registered voters with the Social Security Administration’s Death Index and “matched full names, full dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and credit address history information.”

Yet Benson refused to take any action to verify this information and to remove those dead voters from the rolls. She was obligated to do so under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which according to Beckering, requires election officials to remove “registrants from the voter registration roll because of the death of the registrant or a change in the residence of the registrant.”

The law also requires transparency. Election officials must make available for public inspection and copying all records “concerning the implementation” of its voter registration activities and, in particular, its procedures for maintaining the accuracy of the lists, such as removing deceased voters. 

Yet when the Public Interest Legal Foundation  requested that Benson allow “public inspection or provide copies” of its records regarding the removal of dead voters, she responded that no such inspection would be allowed and no copies would be provided because her “offices were closed to the public due to the pandemic.” 

According to the judge, the legal foundation sent multiple letters to Benson trying to get those records before it finally was forced to file suit because Benson not only refused to comply with the law, but also refused to take any action to use the detailed information provided by the foundation to clean up the state’s voter rolls. 

Her only response was that Michigan already had a general program in place that makes “reasonable efforts” to removed deceased voters from the rolls.  She apparently doesn’t care that her “reasonable efforts” are obviously not working. 

Instead of simply settling the lawsuit and agreeing to finally remove the dead voters, Benson filed a motion to dismiss the case, while her spokeswoman called the lawsuit an attempt to “undermine American democracy.” 

Apparently, Michigan’s secretary of state thinks that trying to prevent someone from using a deceased voter’s registration to fraudulently vote “undermines” democracy.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. The voter registration list is an essential election integrity document because it tells election officials who is eligible to vote. Accurate voter rolls reduce the opportunity for fraud and give voters confidence in the honesty of their elections.

In her motion to dismiss, Benson made the meritless claim that the Public Interest Legal Foundation had not fulfilled the notice requirement of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires that election officials be given written notice of a potential violation of the law prior to a lawsuit being filed. 

Given the numerous letters that legal foundation had sent to Benson, which included a detailed list of the dead voters as well as a complete description of the methodology used to create the list, the court refused to dismiss the lawsuit. 

The judge held that the legal foundation had more than satisfied the notice requirement since it had not only “set forth the manner in which Secretary Benson has purportedly failed to comply with the NVRA’s list maintenance requirements,” but also “clearly communicated that it would commence litigation if the purported violation was not timely addressed.”

In fact, the National Voter Registration Act requires notice 90 days before you are allowed to file suit. The legal foundation had waited 411 days, giving Benson more than enough time to act. But instead of trying to fix the problem, Benson failed to do anything about it and continues to spend taxpayer dollars and resources on fighting the lawsuit and defending the state’s inadequate list-maintenance program.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the case. But it is an initial win for election integrity in Michigan since the case will go forward, and Benson will have to defend her refusal to comply with federal law.

It should be alarming to Michigan residents that their secretary of state is fighting to prevent the removal of deceased individuals who are still registered to vote. Maintaining accurate, clean voter rolls is an important part of her job, and election officials should not have to be sued to force them to fulfill such a basic job requirement.

Hopefully, this lawsuit will be successful in finally getting Benson to remove the nearly 26,000 deceased registrants who shouldn’t be on Michigan’s voter rolls.

In 2021, a similar lawsuit was filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation in Pennsylvania and ultimately the commonwealth agreed to settle the case and remove the deceased registrants from its voter rolls.  But as in Michigan, organizations like the legal foundation should not have to file a lawsuit to get a state to do what it should have been doing all along.

Michigan is a battleground state that often has very close elections. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by a little more than 11,000 votes. Local elections in Michigan are often decided by a handful of votes.

We should all be able to agree that we do not want deceased individuals on the voter rolls, providing the opportunity for someone to cast illegal ballots in their name.

That should not be a partisan issue. One illegal vote is too many.

The good news is that because of this court ruling, Michigan might be one step closer to fixing this problem, whether Benson wants to or not.

Chesa Boudin’s Recall Is In the National Spotlight. S.F. Voters Could Decide Much More Than His Fate

San Francisco voters mostly transfixed by local problems like theft and the drug crisis will make a national statement in deciding whether to keep or cast off District Attorney Chesa Boudin — either backing a young criminal justice reform movement or fueling a wave of backlash arguing that the changes he represents have gone too far.

That the attempted recall of Boudin is happening in a city with a reputation for being part of the same progressive vanguard has captivated observers across the nation. They’ll get a signal of public sentiment at an unsettled time, when pandemic anxieties and fears of rising crime have stalled some of the momentum spurred by Black Lives Matter activism and the police murder of George Floyd.

California is unique in that its laws make it easier to recall an elected official. But prosecutors pushing reforms designed to reduce incarceration in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and elsewhere are facing similar accusations that their policies are radical and dangerous. This countercurrent could gain momentum should the effort against Boudin succeed.

Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County, said Boudin’s recall would “100%” be a shot in the arm to their campaign to unseat Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, Boudin’s progressive predecessor before he moved south. San Francisco’s last recall, when voters removed three school board members, was “very telling,” Siddall said.

“When you have an elected official who refuses to do their job, you can’t just wait for the next election cycle,” he said. “Action has to be taken.”

Boudin and his supporters have sought to spotlight what they say is evidence of the larger forces converging in San Francisco, focusing on William Oberndorf, a Republican investor who has put more than $650,000 into the recall campaign and a political action committee supporting it. In a recent interview, Boudin referred to a “national reactionary playbook” that seeks to pump up fear of crime and associates progressive district attorneys with crime problems, even though a national surge in homicides during the pandemic has occurred in conservative and liberal counties alike.

Jessica Brand, a policy adviser who has worked on the campaigns of progressive prosecutors including Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and Kim Gardner in St. Louis, said San Francisco’s tense recall fight “is actually quite reflective of what has become a Republican strategy across the country. … If you cannot win by the rules, then you should try to make up the rules and win when nobody’s paying attention.”

Around the country, though, Democrats also have increasingly pushed back on aspects of criminal justice reform, including efforts to defund police departments, mindful of many Black, Latino and Asian American voters who worry they may be left even more vulnerable. In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed, who will appoint Boudin’s successor if he is ousted, pledged to be less “tolerant of all the bulls— that has destroyed our city.”

Regardless of their source, progressive prosecutors are fending off sustained attacks. In Illinois, proposed legislation would create a path to recall Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx — and no one else. A Pennsylvania bill would cap an elected district attorney’s time in office at two terms — but only in Philadelphia, where Krasner is the top prosecutor.

In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, asked lawmakers to hand over the power to prosecute homicides in St. Louis to the state attorney general, a move widely viewed as an attack on Gardner, the city’s first Black prosecutor. In Los Angeles, an effort to recall Gascón faces a July 6 deadline to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Unlike California, Illinois and Pennsylvania do not have recall mechanisms. “Obviously, that resentment among conservatives is there, they just can’t express it in the way that California does,” said John Pfaff, a criminologist at Fordham University in New York City. “Even among states that have the recall … what’s different in California is there’s a lot more of a culture of using it.”

Click here to read to read the full article in the SF Chronicle

Sacramento Mayor Wants Gavin Newsom to Spend $3 Billion on Crime Prevention After Mass Shooting

Sacramento’s mayor wants Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic leadership to spend $3 billion to prevent crime — a call to action that follows some of the worst violence in city history. Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Wednesday pushed for the funding not far from the scene of a mass shooting that killed six people early Sunday. Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, joined Steinberg and social justice advocates in urging financial support for victim services, re-entry programs, community organizations and mental health and addiction treatment.

The group sent a letter to Newsom, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, asking for investments they say get at the root cause of community violence. California is flush with a projected surplus of more than $30 billion ahead of May budget revisions. The crime prevention spending package Steinberg and others presented will be on the table along with other spending priorities Newsom could consider.

The spending package the mayor, legislators and advocates touted includes the following: $210 million for critical victim services $200 million to increase the capacity of community-based re-entry programs $200 million for a re-entry housing program $100 million in grant funding to go to cities and counties for community-based crime prevention $200 million to fund mental health treatment for people in the criminal justice system Steinberg said he wanted to be clear that his comments on Wednesday were meant to push violence prevention funding in general.

Click here to read the full article at Sacramento Bee

Newsom Mental Health Plan Needs Full Airing

Beginning in the 19th century and continuing well into the 20th, California maintained an extensive network of state mental hospitals to which people deemed to be dangers to themselves or others were committed, often for decades.

In the mid-20th century, however, the concept of involuntary commitments came under fire with critics saying that the hospitals were more like prisons than treatment centers, with their patients denied basic civil rights.

The upshot was legislation, signed by Ronald Reagan shortly after he became governor in 1967, with a declared goal to “end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of persons with mental health disorders.”

The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, named for Republican Assemblyman Frank Lanterman and Democratic Senators Nick Petris and Alan Short, set forth an elaborate process that would have to be followed for involuntary commitments, limiting them to the profoundly disabled.

Companion legislation was aimed at replacing the hospitals with community-based mental health programs. The package drew support from those who wanted to reduce the hefty costs of the hospitals, such as Reagan, and advocates for the rights of the mentally ill.

It never worked out as planned because successor governors and legislators didn’t provide enough financial support for local mental health services and the process for commitment essentially allowed the mentally ill to refuse treatment.

One by one, the state hospitals were closed, some converted to other uses, such as California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, and others razed.

In some measure — we’ll never know how much — what followed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act contributed to California’s explosion of homelessness, because many of those living on the streets of the state’s cities are severely mentally ill.

The debate over the situation has raged for years, pitting those who believe that forcing the mentally ill into treatment is a regrettable necessity against those who contend that involuntary commitments violate civil rights.

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

Why Are Progressives So Eager To Copy California’s Failed Policies?

It is not the Progressives in California that are leaving the State.  But Progressives in other States are jealous of the crime wave, lack of law enforcement in California, the homelessness, the failed schools and corruption of Sacramento.  They love environmental laws that kill jobs and housing.  So, they see the failures of California and want them for their State.

“Similar dysfunction plagued all of her previous offices, so why would we expect anything different as vice president? My theory: California’s Democrats rise to power in a one-party state, where internal party considerations matter more than policy credentials or basic competence, so they are out of their league playing at the national level.

California Democrats don’t understand that voters in Peoria or Phoenix don’t share the same obsessions as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles. So while California’s lawmakers will continue along their merry, progressive way, it’s obvious—and fortunate— that they lack the skills to impose those priorities on a politically diverse nation.”

Why Are Progressives So Eager To Copy California’s Failed Policies?

Californians might be voting with their feet, but there’s nowhere they can run and hide if the federal government embraces the same policies.

STEVEN GREENHUT, Reason,   2/18/22 

During my recent trip to Phoenix, locals rolled their eyes at all the Californians who are moving there—mostly middle-class residents who are so tired of our state’s chronic mismanagement that they’re willing to abandon the temperate coast for a parched desert. Note to Californians: It’s best to re-register your cars in other states as quickly as possible, to avoid glares from the locals.

But while the exodus continues—and California’s falling population and outmigration figures reinforce the anecdotal stories—progressives still dream of replicating the state’s political experiment at the national level. Californians might be voting with their feet, but there’s nowhere they can run and hide if the federal government embraces the same policies.

After the Biden administration took power, many Americans expressed these concerns. After all, Vice President Kamala Harris, is a product of the Bay Area Democratic political machine. Biden tapped another former California attorney general and member of Congress, Xavier Becerra, to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—a particularly important agency given the pandemic.

Other Californians rose to high-level positions, too. These include a team of economic officials with longtime California ties, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), Small Business Administration head Isabel Casillas Guzman (a veteran of the Gray Davis and Gavin Newsom administrations), and a host of lesser-known officials.

And San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi remains the speaker of the house, where California-style policies (such as its ban on independent contracting) receive a sympathetic hearing. As we know, California’s Democratic leaders seem more interested in using California—it’s the world’s fifth-largest economy, don’t you know?—as a template for national policy.

Their recent fratricide over single-payer healthcare is one recent example. The Legislature proposed ending every private health plan and replacing it with a DMV-style bureaucracy called CalCare. Its companion measure, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11, would have asked California voters to raise their taxes by $12,250 per household.

In reality, neither bill had any serious chance of becoming law. The effort was about making a symbolic point—largely for a national audience. But with Harris and Becerra in key national posts, progressives hoped such policies could be imposed from the top down.

Yet fears of the Californication of America are overblown after watching the administration’s ongoing struggles. “White House officials have grown so frustrated with top health official Xavier Becerra as the pandemic rages on that they have openly mused about who might be better in the job,” The Washington Post reported last month.

Biden officials are frustrated at conflicting messaging from Becerra’s office, as the pandemic continues and the administration pays a political price for its mishandling of related health policy. By the way, a government agency that can’t even get its “messaging “right on one single health issue might not be the best place to centralize all healthcare decisions, but I digress.

The administration jumped into damage-control mode, as Latino groups complained about criticism of Biden’s highest-ranking Latino official. But no Californian should be surprised at Becerra’s inability to inspire confidence in the federal response to the virus’ latest variant, or anything else. He had virtually no healthcare experience, but that was only part of the problem.

More significantly, Becerra was a disaster as attorney general. After the U.S. Senate approved Becerra as the nation’s healthcare czar, this Editorial Board recounted the “ongoing mess” he left at the California Department of Justice—comparing the imagery to “an action movie protagonist barely escaping from a building that he detonated behind him.”

I lack the word count to detail the myriad Becerra scandals and management failures, but the courts repeatedly slammed him for disregarding the state’s police-accountability laws and mismanaging our gun-registration system. The newspaper editorial found a recurring theme: “basic incompetence.” Who is shocked that he took that skill set to the federal level?

Harris’ office has likewise echoed explosion scenes from Die Hard 2. White House damage control over Becerra echoes its approach to Harris in December after news reports pointed to infighting, intrigue, and dysfunction. The White House reassured the nation that the vice president is a valuable partner, but it sounded like the administration was limiting Harris to tasks where she could do little damage.

Similar dysfunction plagued all of her previous offices, so why would we expect anything different as vice president? My theory: California’s Democrats rise to power in a one-party state, where internal party considerations matter more than policy credentials or basic competence, so they are out of their league playing at the national level.

California Democrats don’t understand that voters in Peoria or Phoenix don’t share the same obsessions as those in San Francisco or Los Angeles. So while California’s lawmakers will continue along their merry, progressive way, it’s obvious—and fortunate— that they lack the skills to impose those priorities on a politically diverse nation.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

‘It’s So Unfair’: Major Delays at State Labor Agency Leave Many Wage Theft Victims Unpaid

Gavin Newsom allowed $31 billion to be stolen from EDD by criminals in prison.  He has allowed tens of billions in education funds to be lost—and a massive crime wave statewide—and government is merely watching the victims bleed. Now we find Newsom and the Democrats have no problem watching workers lose their money and government not doing anything to protect them.

“Thousands of California workers whose employers collectively owe them millions of dollars in unpaid wages are at risk of never seeing the money they earned, as the state watchdog agency investigating wage-theft cases is failing to resolve them in a timely way, according to labor enforcement experts and worker advocates.

Many of the businesses in question were cited by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for systematically dodging labor laws, after investigators conducted lengthy reviews, including payroll record audits and interviews with employees.

Sacramento refuses to protect workers, students, families and society.  And for this Newsom wants to spend over $280 billion to harm the people of California.

‘It‘s So Unfair’: Major Delays at State Labor Agency Leave Many Wage Theft Victims Unpaid

Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED,   1/31/22 

Thousands of California workers whose employers collectively owe them millions of dollars in unpaid wages are at risk of never seeing the money they earned, as the state watchdog agency investigating wage-theft cases is failing to resolve them in a timely way, according to labor enforcement experts and worker advocates.

Many of the businesses in question were cited by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office for systematically dodging labor laws, after investigators conducted lengthy reviews, including payroll record audits and interviews with employees.

Employers have the right to appeal those citations — which typically come with hefty fines — and most do, said worker attorneys. The next step is a hearing at the Labor Commissioner’s Office. But the agency, whose mission is to combat wage theft, can take years to schedule those hearings, delaying restitution for workers, most of whom are in lower-wage industries.

‘This is exactly the opposite of what the government is supposed to be doing. Government should be stepping in and policing these employers that are ripping people off, and it’s not happening. And it’s causing real pain.’State Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose

The longer the cases drag on, the harder it is for workers to collect what’s owed them, advocates said. The backlog has only worsened during the pandemic.

State Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, said the delays at the agency, also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, are “unacceptable.”

“This is exactly the opposite of what the government is supposed to be doing,” said Cortese, who chairs the state Senate Labor, Employment and Retirement Committee. “Government should be stepping in and policing these employers that are ripping people off, and it’s not happening. And it’s causing real pain.”

For workers living paycheck to paycheck, that pain is palpable.

Sonia Crisostomo, a 47-year-old single mother, worked as a prep cook and cashier at a San Francisco Burger King franchise from 2016 to 2019. But her boss consistently shorted her paychecks, and she is now owed more than $38,000, according to a June 2020 citation issued by state investigators.

If she had received at least some of that money in a timely manner, it could have saved her family from losing their apartment, she said. Instead, when her next job, cleaning offices, ended during the pandemic, Crisostomo was unable to make rent. She and her children moved into the crowded home of a relative and relied on food banks to eat, she said.

“I was left with nothing,” said Crisostomo, who said she’s not eligible for unemployment benefits. “It was really hard. … With at least some of that money, we wouldn’t have had so many limitations. I wouldn’t have left my apartment, I wouldn’t have gotten into debt with rent, with bills.”

Crisostomo’s former employer, Golden Gate Restaurant Group Inc., was found liable for a total of nearly $2 million for failing to pay more than 230 of its employees minimum wage, overtime or meal and rest breaks at several of the Burger King restaurants it operated in the city.

None of the wronged employees has collected a cent from that citation, because — 19 months later — the state Labor Commissioner’s Office has not yet scheduled a hearing on the company’s appeal, said attorneys representing workers. Until that happens, the case cannot move forward, unless the employer chooses to settle.

“It’s so unfair that the state is not trying to speed this up,” said Crisostomo, an immigrant from El Salvador, speaking in Spanish. “They should be more strict with this type of employer and pressure them to follow the law. If it’s true that workers have rights, the state should enforce them.”

Neither Monu Singh, Golden Gate Restaurant Group’s CEO and president, nor Sanjay Ahuja, its secretary at the time of the investigation, returned KQED’s requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the company has taken advantage of the delay to shield its assets, which doesn’t bode well for the cheated employees, said Alexx Campbell, who is representing workers in the case.

“The company that did this to them has been starting to move assets around and to shut down restaurants in San Francisco and is potentially making moves to avoid payment altogether,” said Campbell, an attorney with the nonprofit group Legal Aid at Work.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office declined several interview requests, and would not comment on hearing delays for this case or others investigated by its Bureau of Field Enforcement (BOFE), the branch of the agency that handles pay violations affecting multiple employees at a single company.

However, in 2019, agency officials acknowledged that delays were hurting workers. They said changes in the law had given them new tools to combat wage theft but made the process take longer. And they asked the Legislature for a budget increase to hire more staff for its Wage Claim Adjudication (WCA) unit, whose officers handle appeals of both big BOFE citations and wage claims brought by individual workers — the latter of which totaled more than 32,000 in 2018.

In the budget request, officials wrote that, by law, those individual hearings are supposed to take place within 120 days of the date of the complaint. But the average wait time for individuals was nearly 400 days in 2018, and administrators projected that it would grow to 572 days — 19 months — by 2020.

“With the WCA drowning in stale wage claims awaiting hearing, all the while receiving more new claims each year, the WCA unit is in desperate need of Deputies and Hearing Officers to address burgeoning processing times and ensure cheated workers are receiving justice in a reasonable amount of time,” wrote Carlos Torres, assistant chief of the WCA unit.

After the pandemic hit, the backlog got significantly worse, as the agency temporarily halted in-person proceedings and struggled to conduct business remotely, advocates said.

KQED tracked several large cases that have languished without a hearing, including:

  •  
    • A $4.5 million citation against Cheesecake Factory Restaurants Inc. and contractors in San Diego and Orange counties for underpaying 559 janitorial workers. The fines were issued in June 2018, but 3 1/2 years later, a hearing has not yet been held, according to the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, a janitorial industry watchdog group.
  • A $12 million citation against RDV Construction Inc. in the Los Angeles area for withholding wages from more than a 1,000 workers. The fines were issued in February 2019, but no hearing has yet occurred nearly three years later, according to the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee, a group that helped tip the state to the violations.

These cases represent just a few of the 6,831 violations BOFE cited in fiscal years 2017-2019, according to its enforcement reports to the Legislature. The proposed fines totaled more than $228 million, but only about 12% of that amount was collected in those years.

As cases drag on, businesses can close or go bankrupt, while witnesses move away or give up on the case, complicating efforts to get restitution for workers, said Patrick Mulligan, who directs San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Mulligan’s office cited Golden Gate Restaurant Group, the Burger King franchisee, after its own investigation found the company violated a city health care ordinance. The company settled in September 2020, agreeing to pay employees more than $803,000 over the course of 10 years, of which about $150,000 has been collected, he said.

Noting the long payment plan, Mulligan acknowledged the agreement was not “everything the workers deserved,” but said at least it’s money they can put in their pockets.

Workers demand a Burger King franchisee pay wages owed to them, on Oct. 25, 2019. The company operating the franchise, Golden Gate Restaurant Group Inc. was cited by the state Labor Commissioner’s Office for multiple violations, including failing to pay workers minimum wage and overtime. (Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED)

“For us, ultimately, our goal of establishing a strong atmosphere of labor enforcement means timely and responsive enforcement actions,” he said. “And then on the other side, it limits the amount of hardship for workers if the matter gets resolved as expeditiously as possible.”

Torres, at the state Labor Commissioner’s WCA unit, recognized that delays give unscrupulous employers an “increased opportunity to further evade the responsibility of unpaid wages.”

“Low-wage workers may be in situations where they are forced to give up in the process … that may result in a paper judgment that leaves little promise of collectability after so much time has passed by,” wrote Torres in his 2019 budget request for more staffers.

The unit, which was initially established to give workers a no-cost, quick alternative to suing an employer in state court, has just 64 hearing officer positions, according to state Department of Finance records.

“They have way more cases than one person should be assigned,” said Renee Amador, legal director with the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund. “We have the Labor Commissioner’s Office who is passionate about enforcing the law. But if they don’t have the people that can do so, they’re [only] going to be able to do so much.”

In 2020, the Legislature approved funding to increase the unit by 63 positions, including 14 new hearing officers, by mid-2024. And the agency has since hired more staff. But it’s unclear whether that has resulted in shorter processing times.

Sen. Cortese said the agency remains inefficient, and plans to hold committee hearings on the delays in coming months.

“This has been the case over the years at the Labor Commissioner’s. This is not a new problem,” Cortese said. “And that usually means the entire culture of the operation needs to be addressed and revisited and restructured.”

Texas election audit identifies nearly 12,000 foreigners suspected of registering to vote

Texas:  224,585 deceased residents were removed from voters rolls after audit

How do you tell the difference between an honest election and a crooked one?  Compare California to Texas.  The former Golden State has 440,000 dead people and those that moved out of State STILL on the voting rolls and the California Republican Party has done nothing to end this corruption.  Texas had 224,585 dead people on their voting rolls and took them off.  The Texas Republican Party did not have to do anything—since they have an honest State government.  Only, Texas is also checking about 12,000 people, not citizens that are registered to vote.  The California Secretary of State is REFUSING to audit the voting rolls to get illegal aliens off!

“An audit of Texas voter rolls identified nearly 12,000 non-citizens suspected of illegally registering to vote and nearly 600 cases in which ballots may have been cast in the name of a dead resident or by a voter who may also have voted in another state.

Texas Secretary of State John Scott released the findings of the first phase of his audit on the last day of 2021, announcing 224,585 deceased residents were removed from state voters rolls as a result of the review.”

California elections are run like a Banana Republic.  Maybe we could get the United Nations to come in and monitor our elections?  LOL

Texas election audit identifies nearly 12,000 foreigners suspected of registering to vote

John Solomon, Juts the News, 1/1/22  

Suspected non-citizen voters have been referred to counties for investigation, and more than 2,000 have already been removed from rolls, Texas Secretary of State John Scott reports.

By John Solomon, Just the News,  1/1/22 https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/texas-election-audit-identifies-nearly-12000-foreigners-suspected

An audit of Texas voter rolls identified nearly 12,000 non-citizens suspected of illegally registering to vote and nearly 600 cases in which ballots may have been cast in the name of a dead resident or by a voter who may also have voted in another state.

Texas Secretary of State John Scott released the findings of the first phase of his audit on the last day of 2021, announcing 224,585 deceased residents were removed from state voters rolls as a result of the review

Statewide, a total of 11,737 potential non-U.S. citizens were identified as being registered to cast ballots, with the lion’s share located in the counties around Texas two largest cities of Houston and Dallas. It is illegal for foreigners to vote in Texas elections.

You can read the full report here.

File

TexasElectionAuditPhase1Report.pdf

Last month Scott described why his office launched its first-of-a-kind audit of elections.

“What we’re trying to do make sure there is a little more confidence in the system, in the election integrity,” Scott told a local TV interviewer. “And I think this is one of the hopes of the audit is, to show folks it is very safe. It is secure. Your vote does count when you cast it.

“And where we find issues, we’re going to address those issues,” he added.

Scott’s report Friday criticized some counties for not acting quick enough to investigate the non-citizen status of voters, saying several counties missed a deadline that will now delay their investigations until spring of 2022.

“While several counties took action promptly to work their potential non-U.S. citizen matches, others did not begin investigating or send notices of examination until mid to late November of 2021,” Scott’s report said.

“As a result, the 30-day window in which the registrant could provide proof of U.S. citizenship fell after the federally-required NVRA moratorium on voter registration cancellations had begun,” it added. “This means that many potential non-U.S. citizens identified through the agreed-upon process would have until, at the latest, May 25, 2022 to respond to a notice of examination before their voter registration is cancelled.”

So far 2,327 of the 11,737 suspected non-citizen registrations have been canceled – more than half in Dallas alone – and the Secretary of State office is now investigating whether those canceled voters illegally cast ballots in prior elections, Scott’s report said.

The audit also found several other small irregularities, including:

  • 509 potential cross-state duplicate votes were cast in the November 2020 General Election, meaning voters may have cast a ballot in both Texas and another state
  • 67 potential votes were cast in November 2020 in the name of deceased people and are under investigation.
  • A sampling of four counties found three had discrepancies between the votes tallied by machines and those later checked by hand. Those discrepancies are due to be further investigated in the second phase of the audit.

New LAUSD Superintendent Paid MORE than President of United States to Run Failed Government Schools

LAUSD is well known to be the garbage pit of education.  Racism, bigotry and perversions are taught in the schools.  Everyone will graduate, even the illiterates under the new policies of no D or F grades.  An LAUSD diploma is as valuable as Charmin toilet paper.

“The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved an employment contract for its next superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.

The four-year contract will have a base salary of $440,000 per year.

The President of the United States is paid $400,000 a year.  Any wonder no one cares about the classroom, the educrats have become grifters, just looking for the money and the benefits. Oh and this new guy comes from Florida—obviously not very smart about money.  To begin with he will pay 13% of his salary to government—in Florida there is no income tax.  Then the cost of living in the highest in the nation—and unlike Florida we do not have a legislature, we have a dictatorial Governor who rules via Executive Orders and mandates.  While smart, thoughtful people are fleeing California, this educrats is moving to L.A.—proof enough he is not smart enough to run this failed government education indoctrination center.

LAUSD Approves Employment Contract With New Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

By CBSLA Staff, 12/14/21   

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved an employment contract for its next superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.

The four-year contract will have a base salary of $440,000 per year.

The 57-year-old Carvalho, who has served as the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2008, was selected by the LAUSD board last week.

Carvalho has been the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2008. It is the fourth-largest school district in the nation, while LAUSD is the second-largest.

In a news conference last week announcing his departure from Miami-Dade, Carvalho described himself as a “poor kid from Portugal” whose first jobs in the U.S. were as a dishwasher and day laborer, and who at times was homeless. Carvalho immigrated to the U.S. after high school. He attended college and then started his teaching career as a science teacher in Miami-Dade County.

“I’m one who believes, that the energy, fuel of our democracy lies with public education,” Carvalho said. “If we do right by our schools and our children, we protect democracy. That is what I will carry to Los Angeles, a community that faces the very same challenges we face, and continue to face.”

LAUSD has been without a permanent superintendent since Austin Beutner officially stepped down in June. Beutner served in the position beginning in May of 2018 and guided LAUSD through the first 16 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Megan K. Reilly has since served as the interim superintendent.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Imagine NO oil drilling in California.  Imagine NO refineries in California.  Imagine NO gas stations in California.  Imagine NO cars that use gas allowed in California.  Think this will end climate change?  Or will it bring about a Depression that no amount of tax dollars can stop?  Is this how we kill employment, tax revenues and hope in California?  Is this how the Democrats get the middle class to leave California?

“In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.”

While Newsom is killing off the oil industry, using a limitation of water, refusing to build water storage facilities and ending the use of needed pesticides, the Democrats are killing the agriculture industry.  Finally, the other big industry, tourism, is being killed by the abusive COVID regulations and the defunding/demeaning of police.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Kerry Jackson, Pacific Research Institute, 11/17/21   

Care to guess the last time the governor’s office issued a new fracking permit? It was February.

Now that’s a meaningless fact without context, so let’s put it perspective: Even though “Newsom endorsed an end to fracking” while running for governor in 2018, says California political legend Dan Walters, his administration early on increased the flow of fracking permits.

But then Newsom later “came under heavy pressure to match his words with action,” Walters continues.

By November 2019, Newsom had set ​a moratorium on fracking projects. Before permits would be issued, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers would review plans to ensure they met regulatory requirements. Yet it wasn’t terribly long before “the state issued 48 new permits for hydraulic fracturing,” according to the Associated Press.

Then the recall collar got tight in April. The governor’s response was to ban new fracking anywhere in the state by 2024. Even though he previously said he didn’t think he had the authority to prohibit the process and asked the Legislature to do it for him. And even though a legislative attempt never made it out of committee.

So can we expect in a frackless California?

Energy analyst and author Michael Shellenberger says Newsom’s fracking prohibition is simply “​​bonkers.” Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Bakersfield Democrat, called it “an abuse of power” that will “put the lives, economy and well-being of thousands of California families in jeopardy.” Western States Petroleum Association President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd says it’s an “arbitrary” action that will impose “big impacts on Californians.”

Both the Western States Petroleum Association and the board of supervisors in oil-rich Kern County, which produces roughly two-thirds of the crude that California doesn’t import – making the county the seventh highest oil-producing region in the U.S. – have sued the governor over his order. It’s an existential matter for each party.

In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.

Maybe the oddest part of any California energy story is the fact that officials and activists seem to have no reservations about importing what they consider “dirty” energy from other states. That reliance is only going to grow as long as Sacramento is at war with fossil fuels.

What Can We Expect in a Frackless California? Economic Devastation, More Energy Imports.

Care to guess the last time the governor’s office issued a new fracking permit? It was February.

Now that’s a meaningless fact without context, so let’s put it perspective: Even though “Newsom endorsed an end to fracking” while running for governor in 2018, says California political legend Dan Walters, his administration early on increased the flow of fracking permits.

But then Newsom later “came under heavy pressure to match his words with action,” Walters continues.

By November 2019, Newsom had set ​a moratorium on fracking projects. Before permits would be issued, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers would review plans to ensure they met regulatory requirements. Yet it wasn’t terribly long before “the state issued 48 new permits for hydraulic fracturing,” according to the Associated Press.

Then the recall collar got tight in April. The governor’s response was to ban new fracking anywhere in the state by 2024. Even though he previously said he didn’t think he had the authority to prohibit the process and asked the Legislature to do it for him. And even though a legislative attempt never made it out of committee.

So can we expect in a frackless California?

Energy analyst and author Michael Shellenberger says Newsom’s fracking prohibition is simply “​​bonkers.” Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Bakersfield Democrat, called it “an abuse of power” that will “put the lives, economy and well-being of thousands of California families in jeopardy.” Western States Petroleum Association President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd says it’s an “arbitrary” action that will impose “big impacts on Californians.”

Both the Western States Petroleum Association and the board of supervisors in oil-rich Kern County, which produces roughly two-thirds of the crude that California doesn’t import – making the county the seventh highest oil-producing region in the U.S. – have sued the governor over his order. It’s an existential matter for each party.

In “The Killing of Kern County,” Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute, usefully explains for the many in Sacramento who are missing the point that oil (and agriculture) are the foundations holding up the county’s economy. Despite what’s at stake, Kotkin believes Newsom is more “interested in flattening the area’s aspirations” than unlocking its potential, which the governor once pledged to do.

Regulators, for instance, turned down 21 fracking applications in Kern County in a single month over the summer. With one of every seven workers in the county either employed by or reliant on the oil industry, the denial of so many jobs is not an insignificant blow to the economy.

The energy producers of the WSPA are also at risk. Court rulings in Newsom’s favor make the next step – the complete shutdown of oil production across the state – much easier to take.

Maybe the oddest part of any California energy story is the fact that officials and activists seem to have no reservations about importing what they consider “dirty” energy from other states. That reliance is only going to grow as long as Sacramento is at war with fossil fuels.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute