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The Trouble with Josh Newman

Posted by Brenda Higgins on October 20, 2017

 

Josh Newman is the California State Senator elected to the 29th district, which includes North Orange County, Fullerton to Yorba Linda and adjacent communities in San Bernardino county and Los Angeles County.

http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/downloads/meeting_handouts_082011/map_20110815_ap_sd_29_certified.pdf

Newman was elected in November 2016. The election of Newman created a super-majority of Democrats in Sacramento. His election was the closest one in the state and was the last one to be finalized and certified. This seat has been easily won and held by Republicans for many years.

SB1 is also known as the “Gas and Car Tax”. It increased the tax that Californians pay on a gallon of gas from $ 0.18 to $ 0.31, a $ 0.13 increase. The effort to recall Newman began shortly after that with San Diego activist, Carl DeMaio leading the effort.

A website was up during the time that the signatures were being gathered, as well as a Facebook page. “Stop the Gas Tax” was the mantra, the battle cry, the motto, the slogan emblazoned on the signs. The name of the website has now been changed, as has the name of the Facebook page. However the Facebook page has merely added “Recall Senator Newman” to its original title “Stop the Gas Tax. Now, it is hyphenated.
The first challenge to be mounted to the recall effort was litigation targeting the deception. The phrase that populated everything that came from the organization was “Stop the Gas Tax”. No mention of Newman. No mention of recall. Stop The Gas Tax.

Recalling Newman will not repeal the gas tax.

Further, Newman was not the “deciding vote”, as has been stated in some of the promotion of this effort.

https://ballotpedia.org/Verbatim_fact_check:_Was_Sen._Josh_Newman_the_deciding_vote_on_California%27s_gas_tax_increase%3F

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Newman, names as defendants, the Cal State Fullerton students who were gathering signatures, accusing them of misrepresenting the nature of the petition that they were having people sign. In discussing this with professionals who deal with these election law matters, they have insisted that this litigation is not going anywhere, as the description on the petition itself is the only relevant consideration in legally determining if signers have been mislead. It is hard to believe, that the signage, and name of the website and Facebook page don’t matter. Time will tell, that litigation is still pending. The legal issue may be resolved in the manner that the involved Republicans believe, but they seem to be a tad short sighted in assuming that voters do not care about being deliberately mislead.

In the meantime, the Democrats with their super majority and governor, have passed additional legislation, to delay the recall. The legislation would provide a 30 day grace period, for people to change their minds and ask that their signatures be removed from a petition. They passed the legislation in June, it was shortly thereafter blocked by an appeals court. A new bill, was then passed and quickly signed by the governor, would require that every single signature be verified, rather than just verifying a random sampling of the signatures. This of course delays and lengthens the time it potentially takes to get a special election on the calendar. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers have filed a petition in court to fight this new law. That litigation is also pending.

The score so far is this, California consumers will be paying 13 cents more for every gallon of gas, 20 cents on diesel fuel, starting November 1, 2017. California vehicle owners will be paying an additional $25 to $175 on vehicle registrations. That is just on the SB1 legislation that Republicans are blaming Senator Newman for.

It is estimated that these new taxes, on this legislation alone, will generate $52 billion over the next ten years, to be used for road improvements. I don’t think there is anyone who disputes that road and infrastructure is badly in need of attention in our state. However, the government in California has been notoriously untrustworthy in using allocated budget funds to repair and maintain our roads. This time, it seems they pinky promise or some other super-duper assurance that these funds, really will be used for roads.

The problem with hanging this albatross around the neck of Newman, is that watching all of the activity in Sacramento, it is impossible to fathom that an extra republican in the Senate would have made a difference. Nowhere in the propaganda accompanying this farce of a recall does it inform voters that there was a Republican who voted for this gas tax, and there was. That republican is not being targeted for recall. The fact checker (link is above) from Ballotpedia (Non-partisan source) says that the claim of Newman being the “deciding vote” is patently false. 27 Senators in the State Senate are Democrats. 27 Senators voted for the “Gas Tax” (SB1), the no votes were not tallied, and there were two Senators who did not vote. One of the affirming votes was from a Republican Senator.

After the recall was well underway, California Cap and Trade legislation came up for vote. The Republican minority leader voted for the legislation, which will raise taxes on a gallon of California by about 63 cents. The Republican leader, also convinced 8 other Republicans to vote along with him. Neither the Republican leader, nor any of the legislators who voted with him are being targeted for recall.
So the real trouble with Newman, is that he is a democrat, in a seat the Republicans perceive to be at risk. The issue never was the gas tax. Had we elected a Republican in SD29, I can imagine based upon voting history and party behavior, we would be having a very different conversation about this gas tax. It would go something like, we really, really need to fix the roads and there is no other way but to implement this new tax. The newly elected Republican Senator would be making the lunch and coffee meeting rounds to explain how hard it is to be in the minority in Sacramento and why she had to vote for the tax. It is all about the constituents and I was looking out for you, for our roads.

Newman, at least voted in the way anyone and everyone anticipated him to vote and makes no apology therefore. The false flag does not change this and it is not a far stretch to know that the Republican who would have occupied that seat, likely would have voted the same way and make excuses for it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

So what did taxpayers get from CUSD’s financing of Former Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson’s Financial Conflict of Interest defense? Nothing! Part Two of Two.

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on August 28, 2017

In Part One we outlined how the taxpayers came to pay for Former CUSD Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson’s conflict of interest non-disclosure legal defense. In Part Two we find CUSD is blocking the public’s access to what the taxpayer dollars were spent for and a long list of serious unanswered questions.

Even More Taxpayer Education Dollars to The Olson Law Firm and the Blocked Entries of the Descriptions of Services

In December the Board authorized a $10,000 increase in the allowed cost for the Olson firm (for total legal fees of $25,000.00).  [12-6-16 More Money for Olson Authorization]. Then in February 2017 the FPPC closed its file.  The Olson firm did not submit another invoice to CUSD until April 30, 2017 for $937.50.  When CUSD finally disclosed this invoice in late July (after several requests by CPC) it contained the similar redactions as in the 10/31/16 invoice. [4-30-17 Olson Invoice]

As an attorney myself I understand and value the need for the attorney client communication privilege.  However in this case we have taxpayer funds being spent for the legal defense of a  financial disclosure filing which is normally privately funded by the politician themselves.  Therefore it would be proper for the taxpayers to know what they received for their money.  CUSD could waive the Attorney Client Privilege and give us un-redacted invoices.  But it has refused to do so.

Just What Did the Olson Firm Do For The Money?

With all of the Olson’s firm’s billing activity as of October 31, 2016 we would expect there to be letters and e-mails going back and forth between the Olson firm and the FPPC.

But in the responses to CPC by CUSD and the FPPC not one letter or e-mail was apparently exchanged between the Olson firm and the FPPC.  Not. One. Letter. Or. E-mail. Nothing!  And none between the FPPC and the Orbach or Werksman firms either. The FPPC advised me that if they had “phone notes” of any conversations with the Olson firm, those would have been turned over in response to our Public Records Act request.  None were disclosed.

Serious Questions Remain

So after obtaining everything in writing from CUSD (and the FPPC) that they would disclose, many serious questions remain:

Why are there be no written communications or telephone notes of conversations between the Olson law firm and the FPPC?

Why would the Olson firm not bill the District for the time put into the case between Nov. 1st and Feb. 28th until April 30, 2017?

Just what did this Olson firm do for the $16,274.50 taxpayer’s dollars it was paid?

Are there other matters the Olson firm is being paid taxpayer money for by CUSD?   There is an investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office into this same matter involving Ms. Hatton-Hodson.  That District Attorney investigation is not mentioned in the 9/26/16 Olson retainer agreement with CUSD.

Is the Orbach firm working for CUSD / Hatton-Hodson on the District Attorney’s investigation?  Why else would they hire the $750 per hour Werksman firm which advertises itself as “Tenacious. Proven. Criminal Trial Attorneys“?  The Werksman firm’s total invoicing (per the records CUSD disclosed) on this matter is $13,972.50 to date.  $2,175.00 for work done in March 2017 AFTER the FPPC closed its file in February 2017.

Why would the Olson law firm retained to assist the former trustee by the District not list Trustee Hatton-Hodson as the Client rather than the District? After all the District did not fail to file the Disclosure form correctly – Lynn Hatton-Hodson apparently failed to do this.  Why were there no written waivers of the obvious potential conflict of interest in the file disclosed to CPC?

What did the Orbach firm do for CUSD that the Olson firm was not already doing after the Board of Trustees hired Olson in late September 2016?

Here is the breakdown of the taxpayer dollars spent on lawyers in the Lynn Hatton-Hodson matter to date:

Olson              $16,274.50

Orbach           $11,728.00

Werksman     $13,972.50

Total              $41,975.00

Who Received What Benefits For The Public’s $41,975.00 Tax Dollars?

What did the taxpayers get for this expenditure of public funds?  Apparently absolutely nothing except dollars that could have been used in the class room are now in the possession of attorneys.  In fact, three sets of attorneys!

What did CUSD and the children it is supposed to service get for this expense?  Nothing.

What did former Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson receive? A free taxpayer funded legal defense before the FPPC (and maybe for the District Attorney’s investigation as well).

Perhaps the real question here is what did the other Trustees get for this expenditure of their constituents’ money!  Apparently the comfort of knowing that if in the future they are caught with their proverbial hands in the financial cookie jar they will have taxpayer dollars to defend their actions and mistakes as political candidates.

Craig Alexander is an attorney who represents requestors of information under the California Public Records Act. He is also volunteer General Counsel for the California Policy Center, Inc. a policy think tank that advocates for transparency in government. He is a former candidate for CUSD’s Board of Trustees. Craig can be reached at craig@craigalexanderlaw.com.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

So what did taxpayers get from CUSD’s financing of Former Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson’s Financial Conflict of Interest defense? Nothing! Part One of Two

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on August 24, 2017

Former CUSD Trustee Hatton-Hodson’s Undisclosed Financial Conflicts Of Interest And The FPPC

Last fall it was discovered that elected CUSD Trustee Lynn Hatton-Hodson had an undisclosed financial conflict of interest due to her ownership interest in a vendor to Capistrano Unified School District. She apparently did not disclose this conflict in her required filing with the County known as a Form 700 (Statement of Economic Interest). A citizen made a complaint to the FPPC (the Fair Political Practices Commission) about Ms. Hatton-Hodson’s failure to disclose the obvious conflict.

Normally the filling out and defending of a Form 700 is completely on the shoulders of the person who files it – whether a successful candidate for office like Ms. Hatton-Hudson or the losing candidate who is not elected to office.  In this case the CUSD Board of Trustees had an attorney opine that filling out a Form 700 was an official act of a Trustee and any challenge regarding the form entitles the Trustee to a taxpayer funded defense by attorneys who specialize in this field.

Trustee Hatton-Hodson’s Undisclosed Financial Conflicts of Interest and the FPPC

In September 2016, the Board of Trustees voted 6 to 0 (Ms. Hatton-Hodson did not vote) to retain the law firm of Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP of Sacramento to defend their colleague before the FPPC.  The Board of Trustees authorized the District to spend $15,000.00 of taxpayer money to defend her.

The Olson firm was specifically requested by Ms. Hatton-Hodson in a letter addressed to CUSD’s general counsel Mr. David Huff of the law firm of Orbach, Huff, Saurez & Henderson, LLP. [Hatton-Hodson ltr to Huff].  Interestingly the fee agreement between the Olson firm and the District identified the District as the Client not Ms. Hatton-Hodson. [9-28-16 Professional Services Agreement]. Yet they apparently defended Ms. Hatton-Hodson, not the District, before the FPPC.

Conflict of Interest – What Conflict of Interest!

The California Policy Center, Inc. sent Public Records Act requests to CUSD and the FPPC after the FPPC closed its file in this matter in late February 2017.

Most of the time a contract between a client and an attorney firm is required under Business and Professions Code section 6148.  CUSD disclosed to CPC the agreement between itself and the Olson firm. Again, oddly, this agreement identifies the District not Trustee Hatton-Hodson as the Client of the firm.  The FPPC complaint was the sole scope of work listed for the Olson firm.

In addition, an attorney is not allowed to represent clients with conflicting interests. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3-310.  The attorney may represent two clients where the conflict of interest between them is only a potential one.  But the attorney should obtain a written Waiver of the Potential Conflict of Interest.  Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3-310 (c).

A potential conflict of interest is something that is very foreseeable in this situation and where the interests if the District and Ms. Hatton-Hodson could become adverse requiring the attorney to withdraw from the representation at any time.  However when we received the documents from CUSD, while the 9/26/17 Agreement was produced, no signed off letters or notices to either the District or Ms. Hatton-Hodson of the Potential Conflict of Interest for the Olson firm were disclosed.  Thus it appears no written waiver was obtained even though one Trustee apparently understood this and brought it to the attention to the Superintendent. [9-26-16 E-mail].

Public Records Act requests by CPC to CUSD and the FPPC – Surprise: Three Law Firms for One Matter!

When CPC sought records under the Public Records Act the requests included attorney fee invoices related to the FPPC matter from CUSD.  In documents disclosed by CUSD we received invoices from not one but three law firms.  Importantly there was one invoice from the Olson firm dated October 31, 2016 for just over $15,000 – the entire amount authorized by the Board of Trustees just one half of one month earlier. [10-31-16 Olson Invoice].

But there were two other firms sending CUSD invoices for this matter: The Orbach firm apparently to give legal advice that the Board could spend taxpayer funds to defend Trustee Hatton-Hodson and presumably to watch over the Olson firm.  Also billing on this matter was the law firm of Werksman, Jackson, Hathaway & Quinn acting as an expert to the Orbach firm.  The hourly rate for the Werksman firm’s senior partner is $750 per hour!  [Werksman Invoices]. All three law firm’s invoices were heavily redacted (blocked out) so that we could not read what these law firms did for Ms. Hatton-Hodson’s defense.  We asked CUSD to give us un-redacted versions of these invoices and it refused.

In Part Two of Two – More Public Money for Attorneys, And for What?  Plus Serious Questions Remain from this Episode. 

Craig Alexander is an attorney who represents requestors of information under the California Public Records Act. He is also volunteer General Counsel for the California Policy Center, Inc. a policy think tank that advocates for transparency in government. He is a former candidate for CUSD’s Board of Trustees. Craig can be reached at craig@craigalexanderlaw.com.

Posted in Capistrano Unified School District, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Live from OC GOP Central Committee on Stopping the Gas Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 10, 2017

wpid-ocgop-logo-1_400x400.jpg

We are live from the special meeting of the OC GOP Central Committee where the OC GOP is considering the Endorsements Committee’s unanimous recommendation to officially endorse the effort of Assemblyman Travis Allen’s proposed ballot initiative to repeal the gas tax.

Due to the late release of title and summary less than one hour before the Central Committee meeting by the office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), the committee does not have the text of the title and summary, so your blogger reads the title and summary of the measure.

The committee jeers portions of the title and summary due to biased language written by the office of the Attorney General.

Committee Member Scott Peotter moves and Committee Member Tim Whitacre seconds to endorse the measure.

There is no debate.

OC GOP UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSES ASSEMBLYMAN TRAVIS ALLEN’S MEASURE TO REPEAL THE GAS TAX.

After a few quick announcements, the special meeting adjourns after 22 minutes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee on Stopping the Gas Tax

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 28, 2017

We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee where they are considering a recommendation of the gas tax repeal measure proposed by Assemblyman Travis Allen.

Endorsements Committee Members present are Chair Peggy Huang and Members Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand are present. Members on the phone are Laurie Davies and Tyler Diep. 

Your blogger missed the opening statement due to traffic.

Central Committee Member Tim Whitacre speaks in support of Assemblyman Travis Allen’s effort to repeal the gas tax since the GOP should support tax repeals and Allen is a member of the Orange County delegation.

Endorsements Committee Member Leroy Mills asks about the possibility of endorsing multiple tax repeal measures.

Emmanuel Patrascu on behalf of the tax repeal ballot measure argues that there is nothing wrong with endorsing all gas tax repeal measures.

Endorsements Committee Member Gene Hernandez argues this is the only repeal measure that exists.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang notes that they are not precluded from doing so, but they have not done so historically in candidate races.

Endorsements Committee Member Erik Weigand asks about the ballot measure’s fundraising plan.

Mike Johnson on behalf of the gas tax repeal ballot measure says the campaign plans to raise $1,000,000 to qualify the measure.

Weigand asks what signature gathering firm will be hired for the ballot measure.

Johnson names various well known signature gathering firms.

The committee asks about the language of the measure.

Patrascu goes into a lengthy explanation about the various sections added and repealed.

Yours truly wearing his Central Committee hat jumps in and explains that SB 1 (the gas tax) adds various sections and repeals various sections, and that the tax repeal measure simply reverses SB 1.

Weigand asks if the ballot measure committee money can be transferred to Allen’s gubernatorial campaign money.

Patrascu and Johnson state many such transfer would be illegal. They also note that the ballot measure committee is named according to state law.

Weigand moves and Hernandez seconds to recommend endorsing the gas tax repeal measure.

Central Committee Member Thomas Gordon speaks in favor of the motion noting the gas tax repeal is a “no-brainer” because it goes to core Republican principles.

The committee approves 6-0 to recommend the full Central Committee endorse the gas tax repeal measure at its July 10 meeting.

ENDORSEMENT OF GAS TAX REPEAL BALLOT MEASURE RECOMMENDED UNANIMOUSLY TO FULL CENTRAL COMMITTEE.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

SB1 and a Ruse for a Recall

Posted by Brenda Higgins on May 9, 2017

In April the California legislature passed, and the Governor signed a new gas tax that adds 12 cents per gallon to gas purchased in California. This legislation passed the state Senate with 27 votes. This was the minimum number of votes needed to pass a new tax. Senators voted along party lines, except for Republican Senator Anthony Canella.

A recall effort is now underway, to recall a Senator who voted for the tax, but it is not the one Republican Senator. The recall effort targets freshman Senator Josh Newman. Last fall, Josh was only a second time candidate but a first time elected. The initiators of the recall have indicated that they targeted Senator Newman merely because he was vulnerable. His election went into eleventh hour counting and was what they have termed a “slim margin”.

Without getting to the substance or merit of the tax, there is no ethical or behavioral allegations that Senator Newman has acted unbecoming his office or outside the scope of his authority, the only issue appears to be, that he seems “vulnerable.”

Once again, the recall procedure is being abused to effect political gamesmanship at the expense of the citizens of California. If only conservatives could focus on fiscal responsibility that they claim to espouse.
There is no indication of whom they intend to replace Senator Newman in the event that the recall gets off the ground. Their short memories and lack of insight have lead to this place. Much like Hillary Clinton and her tone deaf blame game without any personal responsibility, the conservatives in California fail to acknowledge that the Republicans-in-Name-Only, and demographic gamesmanship, caused voters to substantively seek out, anyone else.
Yet at least one of those failed candidates from 2016 is already being rebooted for a Supervisor race.

If conservatives are to ever have a voice in California again, they need a Monday morning quarterback meeting, at a minimum. The OCGOP Chairman laughing off Democrat promises to bring all their forces to bear on the congressional races is also an ominous sign. The coming election cycle never goes well for a losing party who fails to learn any lessons.
The thing that is clear is that none of this recall effort has anything to do with Senator Josh Newman. He is a convenient scapegoat. The scapegoat for a GOP that is disconnected and avoiding doing the real work, whose bench is a mile wide and an inch deep. The time would be far better spent taking seriously the challenges to our congressional seats.

Instead we get, gamesmanship, at the expense of the voter. As long as conservatives continue to behave as though the voters are stupid, they will continue to be subject to a supermajority in Sacramento and will be the cause of a shift in the balance of power in DC.

Recalls are expensive and an extraordinary measure to be used in extreme circumstances of wrongdoing.  The public will not be fooled by this, but the ‘brand’ that the county central committee has lamented about preserving, will certainly be damaged, yet again.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

March 2, 2017 – A Very Important Day for Californians

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 18, 2017

While not getting front page news status – on March 2, 2017 two very important decisions were handed down by the Courts affecting Californian’s right to obtain documents from their government.

Two California courts on a single day broadened the public’s access to government documents via a California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) request.

In one case (City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith)), the California Supreme Court unanimously declared on March 2 that public officials’ e-mails and texts are in fact public documents, even when they are sent over personal devices.

In a related case on that same day, a state appeals court in Los Angeles declared that the public is allowed to seek “discovery” in lawsuits filed by requestors of public documents to enforce their rights in Court under the CPRA statute.

Both cases are widely seen as a victory for transparency, and a reaffirmation of the state’s Watergate-era California Public Records Act.

To read the rest of my post on this go to this link: One One Day in Two Decisions…

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Speaking Truth To Power – Teacher Union Power

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on March 12, 2017

In Sunday’s OC Register  (Unions to Blame) is a powerful opinion piece by Cecilia Iglesias, one of the five Trustees for the Santa Ana Unified School District.  Recently the Board of Trustees voted 4 to 1 (with Trustee Iglesias as the sole dissenting vote) to send layoff notices to 287 teachers.  Why?  As Trustee Iglesias points out, the District has had declining enrollment since 2002 and is continued to have this for years to come.  What did the teachers’ union and their paid for board majority do in response to this situation: raise teacher pay and ignore basic mathematics.  Over the last four years teacher pay in SAUSD has risen over 16% while the projected enrollment figures continued to slide.

Remember – schools receive their money from the state (and the federal) government based on enrollment.  So even using Common Core math could not save the teachers’ union and their paid for Trustees from fiscal reality – they don’t have enough money to pay all of their teachers (and other staff too) at the current levels.  So they voted to lay off 287 teachers (the actual figure may be less come this fall – but still a significant number).  What will happen from this lay off?

First there will be fewer teachers to staff the classrooms.  Result: pack the children into more crowded classrooms putting more pressure and responsibility on those teachers that remain.  So for example a class with 25 students will grow in size to 30 or 35 students with one teacher.  And which teachers will be laid off?  The union contract with the school has a “last in, first out” clause – meaning the younger teachers will lose their jobs while older ones keep theirs.  And there is absolutely no ability for the District, under this contract, to take into account a teacher’s performance (or lack thereof) in choosing which teachers to lay off.

So who wins in this situation?  Obviously union bosses who keep their positions. Older teachers who may be great teachers but there is still no way to judge if all of them are the best performers or not.  The four union elected (paid for) Trustees who owe their seats to unions who underwrote their election efforts.

Do parents and students win – Not by any reasonable measure.  In fact it can be correctly argued that the District and the union are balancing the books on the backs of the children.  The teachers who are laid off?  The only way they “win” in this situation is if they find a job in another District that has Trustees that look out after students and parents more than teacher union bosses.  Only if that District cares more about teacher performance than seniority.  I wish all those teachers who are laid off well and that they find better replacement employment quickly.

How will the parents win in this situation?  Very simple – put better Trustees on the board to join Ms. Iglesias to form a pro-student, parent and teacher majority that returns the focus of the District to the best education possible rather than catering to the desires of union bosses.

Posted in Santa Ana Unified School District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Freedom Foundation Hires Sam Han as California Director

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on January 27, 2017

As initially reported by our media partner OC Daily, the press release below came over the wire earlier this week from the Freedom Foundation announcing their hiring of Sam Han, who recently finished a term on the Fullerton Planning Commission and who was also formerly District Director to Assemblyman Don Wagner (until Wagner termed out of the Legislature and became Mayor of Irvine)…

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – The Freedom Foundation announced today that Sam Han has joined its leadership team to guide the organization’s latest expansion to California.

Han will serve as California director, ensuring local and state governments are accountable to the voters rather than public-sector unions. Specifically, he will work to free government employees from union tyranny and provide guidance to legislators and citizens on ways to combat union influence.

“We’re pleased that Sam decided to join our team. He has the skills necessary to quickly advance our mission in California,” said Tom McCabe, Freedom Foundation CEO.

As a California native, Han has been involved in local, state and federal races and previously worked for the California State Legislature as a district director.

He is a graduate of UC San Diego and holds a business certificate from the Harvard Business School.

The Freedom Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit think and action tank with offices in Washington, Oregon and California.

Founded in 1991 by Bob Williams and Lynn Harsh as the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the Oregon today is a national leader in winning the fight for freedom at the state and local level.
The Freedom Foundation is working to reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on government. There is no path to expanded freedom, opportunity or prosperity until collective bargaining is transparent, government employees have a choice to join an employee’s union or not, and taxpayer’s money is prohibited from being unwillingly used to influence the political system. The Freedom Foundation has the will and skill to take on those who attack freedom.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Pay to Play – Turns Out To Be A Very Good Return On Investment

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on December 7, 2016

A few weeks ago, just prior to the election, I posted about California Policy Center’s study of some local Orange County school bond tax measures and who is financing the yes campaigns (Pay to Play in School Bond Measures in the OC).   Of the 10 school bond tax measures on the ballot in Orange County, 8 passed.  Only 2 failed.  That means the organizations (architectural, engineering and construction firms that build projects for the Districts) and the attorneys who support those efforts will be awash in bond tax money as they get contracts from these local districts.

But Orange County is not unique in voters giving mismanaged school boards bail outs in the form of bond tax measures. Californian’s have just voted overwhelmingly to place themselves, their children and grandchildren in debt for many years to come.  The amount: approximately $5 Billion additional taxes per year.  All. Voter. Approved.

In California Policy Center’s Union Watch web site’s latest article Californians Approve $5.0 Billion per Year in New Taxes, Ed Ring notes that:

“With only a couple of measures still too close to call (TCTC), as can be seen, 94% of the 193 proposed local bonds passed, and 71% of the proposed local taxes passed. Two years ago, 81% of the local bond proposals passed, and 68% of the local tax proposals passed.”

I am sure on election day in the offices of these yes on bond tax measure supporters (as well as on Wall Street for bond issuers) the champaign bottles were being uncorked to celebrate the passage of billions of dollars in bond tax measures.  They will reap the benefits in the form of millions of dollars of contracts from their small $1,000 and $1o,000 yes campaign investments for many years to come – all at the expense of the citizens who will be paying these bond taxes for 30 or 40 years to come.

Mr. Ring goes on to note that this is a house of cards and financial reality will set in when market corrections eventually occur.

“Despite the increase in consumer confidence since the surprising victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election, the stock and asset bubble that has been engineered through thirty years of expanding credit and lowering rates of interest is going to pop.”

When that happens who will be left holding the bag of debt?  Naturally the taxpayers who must foot the bill for this debt spending spree.  The school board politicians who passed these taxes?  Since they will have moved on by that time, probably not.  The bond issuers / holders?  Only if the school board is not able to pay its debts and files Chapter 9 bankruptcy – that is what happened to most of the bond issuers / holders in the City of Stockton bankruptcy.  They received much less than 100 cents on the dollar owed them. I have no sympathy for them.

But the entities that financed the yes campaigns – the architects, engineers and attorneys who made huge profits from these projects?  Nope – they will be happily counting their profits from their multimillion dollar contracts for these projects.  All from their small yes campaign investments.

Not a bad return on your investment!

I commend this article to you and suggest you subscribe to Union Watch’s e-mail list.

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