Posted by Charles Hart on May 6, 2012
Tonight the Santa Ana City Council is going to, more than likely, vote to remove a restriction on campaign contributions and loans and the effect they play on how our Councilmembers vote.
California Government Code and the Political Reform Act, along with Santa Ana Charter, require that elected officials abstain from voting on any matter where the official received a campaign contribution of more than $250 in the 12 months immediately preceding a vote. In November 1996, Ordinance NS 2034 was adopted by the City Council which imposed an additional restriction prohibiting a Councilmember from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions or loans of more than $250 for a period of three months following a vote.
The current sitting Santa Ana City Council has been plagued with controversy over Councilmembers voting on matters for which they have received campaign contributions. Back in 2010, Councilmembers Sal Tinajero and Michele Martinez received several thousand dollars in campaign contributions from companies with a financial stake in a land project called the Station District. Without their votes the council did not have the votes to approve the project. The contributions came both before and after the vote.
This was in direct violation of the state and city laws discussed above, and when exposed, the Councilmembers returned the contributions, but the vote had already been cast. The legally correct thing to do would have been to undue the vote and sanction or fine the Councilmembers that illegally voted, but our City Council claimed it was too late to undue the contractual commitments made. A contract illegally entered into is void, and that is what should have occurred, but our Council once again failed to do the right thing.
Tonight our City Council is going to try and make things right by simply making the law that makes what they do illegal, go away. So if we stop saying that robbery is illegal then it’s okay for us to rob and be robbed – right?
Wrong! A rose by any other name is still a rose; and the practice of putting your vote out for sale is wrong. Santa Ana City Councilmembers are very arrogant in the positions of authority that they have been elected to and have repeatedly said “Hey, if you don’t like it – vote me out.” Well, I agree with that statement and I urge the Santa Ana Voters to do just that this November.
Posted in Santa Ana | Tagged: Campaign Contributions, Michele Martinez, Santa Ana City Council | 26 Comments »
Posted by Charles Hart on March 13, 2012
In the winter 2012 issue of Santa Ana Green, a quarterly newsletter of the City of Santa Ana, the article “City of Santa Ana Moves Forward with Climate Action Plan” made the front page. The article proudly informs us that at the November 7, 2011 City Council Meeting, our Council unanimously approved an agreement with International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Local Governments for Sustainability to develop a Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Climate Action Plan. Our Executive Director of Public Works, Raul Godinez II said that Santa Ana has taken a leadership role by being part of the Kyoto Protocol. You all remember the Kyoto Protocol that came from the 2007 United Nations Earth Conference that attempted to hamstring the United States and other developed industrial nations while allowing nations such as China and India to continue their development virtually unfettered.
This is such a terrible plan that even our liberal congress rejected it. Unfortunately the money behind the green movement has been successful in going around our federal government and striking deals with our state and local governments. In 2007, Santa Ana’s Mayor Miguel Pulido signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which urges federal and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet the Kyoto Protocol target of a 7% reduction in emissions to below 1990 levels.
One of the first steps to the plan that our City Council agreed to is to identify and account for the sources of emission in Santa Ana from government buildings and facilities, as well as community wide. The plan is to identify and measure emissions from electricity, natural gas, water, waste and transportation. The City then plans to “Target improvements.” Of course this will be at the owner’s expense. In other words reduce your emissions or be fined or run out of Santa Ana. This Community Action Plan (CAP) claims it will produce positive benefits for the community such as improved air quality, reduced energy bills and traffic congestion. In fact our Council is studying ways and implementing the construction of more apartments in already congested areas near downtown without expanding our streets and parking, with the intent to pressure people out of their cars and into mass transit (our Mayor also serves on the Orange County Transit Authority). The City also supports “smart meters” that measure electronic emissions an allow remote shut downs if you exceed what the government determines to be a “fair amount”. If you go online to the United Nations website and read the Kyoto Protocol and Agenda 21 you will see just how invasive the “green movement” is upon our individual liberties.
Our City Council (including the RINO that claims to be a business friendly Republican – Carlos Bustamante) has committed $55,855 to participate in this CAP. That may not sound like much to government. But when our City has mismanaged money so badly that we have been forced to surrender our 128 year old Fire Department to the County Fire Authority, and has cut the number of Code Enforcement officers and incurred $25 million dollars in deficits, the $55,855 seems huge.
The only “green” our City needs to be pursuing today is the color of money. We need to bring businesses back into Santa Ana by NOT CAPPING their ability to produce revenue for our hometown.
Your fellow Patriot,
Charles Hart for Santa Ana City Council 2012
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