Vanguardians Newsletter 11-21-10


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vanguard los angeles ca vol vi week of november 21 2010 accountability the government watchdog 818 243 1502 investigate analyze expose publicize bribery corruption fraud graft vanguardians purpose to inform educate motivate for involvement engagement advocacy your tax deductible contributions support the work we do please help i predict future happiness for americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them ­ thomas jefferson contents news tear up the check now we don t want reform cop cashes in for $80k document those leaves adams sez stop investigating public officials arrested 3 cops indicted cap da bennies layoffs hit muni employees bankruptcy on the horizon hide the books contracts go to friends cooley gels money from felon it s only tax grand jury in session firemen on trial no monitor for bell even judges do it 1 commentary barry allen shirking responsibility th 4 estate community meeting herbert molano build minds not buildings guest ­ prop 26 2 shout box sick of seeing drayman on tv6 out of touch commissars advisor comments 3 public records adi impact fees trader joe s 4 vanguardians 5 the insider new software old game lucky weaver 6 the denizens on the dais 7 stimulus 8 interview with jerry brown part 2 this just in glendale city lights affordable housing project on san fernando road is falling apart and a cover-up regarding the cut rebar on the platform support for the columns at the vassar project these are projects by adi advanced development and housing and their subsidiary pacific housing development more to follow maryland politician tells his wife to tear up the check and flush it down the toilet and stick the $90k in her underwear because the cops are at the front door all the while the fbi is listening in to the call read about it here grants pass or has some major problems ­ the citizens relying on the big bucks of special interests threw out the reformers and brought back the so called conservatives read about it here 1


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glendora police chief charles montoya took home at least $80,000 in vacation leave cash outs before retiring in dec 2009 according to city financial documents montoya cashed in 822 hours about 102 days of vacation hours he had saved since being hired in march 2003 until he was capped under a new contract in 2008 according to city documents montoya also cashed in 80 hours or more in vacation leave several times between 2008 and 2009 outside of the 822 hours read more monterey park the city council has authorized an audit of city finances to determine when monterey park began paying officials for unused vacation and sick leave the probe which could cost $10,000 also will determine if employee leaves were properly documented and deserved officials said timecards will be examined they said something has to be done councilman frank venti said we are hoping we can be the city that sets guidelines on the heels of a unanimous city council vote wednesday city staffers have been asked to create a proposal and identify prospective auditors in time for the nov 17 council meeting officials said the call for an audit comes after city officials learned several former city administrators cashed in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unused time off the city paid $484,000 in unused time off to former city manager chris jeffers when he resigned in 2007 and assumed his current position as the city manager of glendora according to documents and officials former police chief jones moy retired in 2009 and cashed in $372,000 in unused leave according to city documents read more bell ca shortly after taking office last year former bell police chief randy adams quashed an investigation by one of his sergeants into possible corruption involving city officials charges that became the subject of criminal probes by other agencies the since-retired officer said james corcoran who left bell after a later run-in with adams and filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the city in july said adams became irate after hearing his account of evidence that officials might have engaged in voter fraud unlawful vehicle seizures and the illegal selling of building permits during their august 2009 meeting adams grew more upset when corcoran said he had already shared the information with the los angeles county district attorney s office and the california secretary of state s office corcoran said read more of the la times story hempstead ny four former and current public officials in nassau county have been arrested on corruption charges district attorney kathleen rice announced the indictment of two former nassau county legislators one former north hempstead official and the current executive director of the town of north hempstead community development agency the charges follow a three-year investigation into the multimillion-dollar new cassel redevelopment project the investigation revealed multiple schemes including a large-scale bid-rigging and bribery scheme to steer the multi-million project to a selected developer as well as the theft of $150,000 of public funds according to rice click here for the story maryland three police officers six others charged in maryland in two indictments unsealed today a federal grand jury has indicted a total of nine defendants including three prince george`s county police officers seven defendants including two of the officers are charged in the first indictment with conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right in a scheme involving the transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol the second indictment charges the third officer and another man with a drug and gun conspiracy read more san bernardino a proposal to cap vacation holiday and administrative accrual time for san bernardino county s non-union employees got unanimous approval tuesday by the board of supervisors it ends a long-standing practice of the county s allowing of exempt employees or those not represented by labor unions to bank administrative vacation and holiday time and let it roll over year after year i think it s a first step towards bringing the county in line with private sector standards and bringing exempt employees in line with rank-and-file employees who already have a cap on how much they can accrue said supervisor neil derry who proposed the ordinance click here for the rest of the story santa clara faced with multi-million dollar operating budget deficits for the foreseeable future and elections safely behind them santa clara s city council approved a last-resort layoff plan the layoffs will affect those employee unions that don t agree to the city s request to accept a 5.15 percent salary cut and forego a scheduled raise next month to put forward a layoff plan to the city is a heart-wrenching decision city manager jennifer sparacino told the city council at the nov 9 meeting sparacino herself has taken a voluntarily 10 percent pay cut but 2


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we ve exhausted every fiscally responsible alternative we ve asked our employees for concessions that is our last resort it s my sincere hope that not a single person will be laid off said mayor-elect jamie matthews a 20-year san jose city employee who prefaced his remarks by noting that his pay was cut 15 percent this year it s a simple mathematical equation it doesn t mean it s not a hard decision it is what it is click here for the whole story san diego with the city of san diego facing an ongoing structural deficit and no additional sources of revenue on the horizon there are renewed calls for city leaders to begin exploring the option of bankruptcy we ll hear arguments for and against san diego filing for municipal bankruptcy click for the rest of the story san diego the grand jury correctly says that such monkey business has been going on for some time the city has two problems the deficit is structural and the leadership has no will to do anything about it [former city attorney mike aguirre stresses two possibilities 1 that money meant for such functions as water and sewer is being used for paying what the city owes its pension fund and 2 that the administration hoped to get [tax money from prop d and channel it back that is the receipts from the prop d tax increase would be used to paper over the past deficits both of these suggestions are far more plausible than a computer glitch or any other excuse being offered by a desperate sanders administration the books on fiscal year 2010 were closed more than 5 months ago but a computer glitch will prevent a look at those books until june of 2011 citizens are supposed to believe the auditors will have to wait to look at the books but properly outside auditors should not be told when they can look at the books i have never heard of a situation in which auditors have to wait until it is convenient for us to have you in says aguirre city officials are delaying the beginning of the audit so they can still monkey with the books more [ed ­ several years ago former councilmember bob yousefian and present glendale councilmember frank quintero returned from a meeting in san diego quintero later said from the dais that glendale should be more like san diego was he prescient bell former bell city administrator robert rizzo improperly steered more than $700,000 in federal and state money to companies and at least one city hall insider without valid contracts competitive bids or even getting city council approval according to an audit released thursday by the state controller s office the audit is the third in a series of financial examinations that accuse current and former city officials of imposing illegal taxes on residents helping themselves to huge salaries without authorization and loaning hundreds of thousands of dollars to city hall staffers read more by clicking here la county da cooley took money from a felon friend of exiled police chief randy adams cooley was accepting the same kinds of contributions for his own campaign while he pursued casden and others who engaged in similar finance schemes he did not go after his own contributor gladwin gill gill is a pakistani immigrant who runs a small glendale-based home-health agency specializing in hospice care he is also a twice-convicted felon who is about to enter federal prison for campaign-finance fraud gill s scheme was essentially the same as archibald s gill reimbursed his relatives and employees for contributions to george w bush s re-election campaign in 2008 he pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of campaign-finance fraud and was sentenced to a year in prison gill gets out of prison in february 2011 but gill and many of those same phony contributors also gave to cooley s re-election effort in 2003 and 2004 cooley s office would be responsible for investigating phony contributions to a local campaign but the contributions to his own campaign were never investigated or prosecuted read more california the stanford university research team that shocked sacramento this year by declaring that the state s three pension systems are more than $400 billion underfunded has struck again saying local government pension systems are nearly $200 billion short la county criminal grand jury has started on the city of bell subjects of interest are trading prison time for information breaking story pasadena the trial of three los angeles fire department firemen charged with assault with a deadly weapon began in pasadena on thursday the three firemen oliver arellano carlos rodriguez and fernando covarrubias are accused of beating a man in a parking lot on colorado boulevard following a 2009 laker game according to pasadena police department officials details here they pled guilty according to the pasadena star 3


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bell a los angeles superior court judge stopped short wednesday of appointing a special monitor to take financial control of scandal-battered bell but did ask the city and state atty gen jerry brown to each submit the names of three people who could step in and lead the city i don t want to lead anyone to believe we will appoint a monitor said judge robert o brien but i want to be prepared if we re going to do it city officials who had previous fought the idea of appointing a monitor said they are now comfortable with the concept but asked that the judge limit the monitor s access the next hearing is tuesday if you don t have [conditions then you re putting the city at risk said jamie casso the city s interim city attorney the city also asked that the state pay for the monitor georgia jack t camp jr a senior u.s district judge in the northern district of georgia admitted that he unlawfully possessed and used cocaine marijuana and roxycodone and that he gave an individual whom he knew had a prior felony drug conviction money to purchase those drugs camp also admitted that he unlawfully gave that individual a u.s district court laptop computer for her personal more samuel adams it does not require a majority to prevail but rather an irate tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people s minds vanguardians sponsor avoid tickets for driving while holding your cell add the latest electronics to your not so brand new car keep the electronics current adrian`s auto works can do it one of their technicians will come to your home or business and give you a free evaluation to update the electronics on your vehicle call brad at adrian`s auto works now 818 745 8524 make an appointment vanguard is published independently by vanguardians inc advocating for accountability­ our vision is to live in a community where all people can enjoy accountability integrity effectiveness and responsiveness from our government 1 commentary you may agree or disagree with the views below feel free to comment on them the commentaries do not necessarily reflect the position of vanguardians from the publisher sitting in the cat bird seat there are so many things happening in glendale that don t look good for the taxpayer who will ultimately have to foot the bill the city council is ultimately responsible for the decisions they have made even if staff hasn t been completely open with the council it is the duty of the council if not just prudent to independently verify information and costs after all as you can see from the charter section below the council has a duty to provide for the general welfare of the inhabitants does that mean the council needs to address the concerns of those who inhabit the geographic boundaries of the city or the financial needs of the 2000 city employees from recent revelations it appears that some if not all council members are looking out for their own interests first my best guess is that over $1,000,000 in cash and prizes went into the pockets and domiciles of city officials other money went into campaign funds some of which was repaid by the real contributor in violation of the political reform act of 1974 as amended aka `money laundering the present glendale council with the troika in place can move almost anything on the agenda if a 4 vote is needed the mayor would vote with the troika rather than lose his coveted postion at the mta weaver who has had his fat pulled out of the fire at least twice by cm starbird and once by a banquet hall manager is available to vote as he is directed th meanwhile the taxpayers who should be the recipients of the general welfare are the goats that pay the bills from the charter of the city of glendale sec 4 general powers of the council subject to the provisions and restrictions in this charter contained and the valid delegation by this charter of any 4


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powers to any person officer board or committee which delegation of power if any shall control the council shall have the power in the name of the city to do and perform all acts and things appropriate to a municipal corporation and the general welfare of its inhabitants [ed ­ emphasis added and which are not specifically forbidden by the constitution of the state or which now or hereafter it would be competent for this charter specifically to enumerate no enumeration or specific statement herein of any particular powers shall be held to be exclusive of or a limitation of the foregoing general grant of powers as a proud member of the 4 estate vanguard takes its responsibility seriously we separate facts from opinions and we state the source of information recently i was asked by an l a times reporter why as a competitive journalist i was willing to share information i told the reporter that i was doing it for the benefit of the community a times affiliate reporter asked me to share information and i offered some suggestions after explaining that i was concerned about the integrity of the media that reporter worked for i suggested a couple of items and have seen that there has been no follow through it appears that vanguard is the only local media that provides facts the voters and stake holders need and is taking the next step by hosting a community meeting that is designed to disseminate thoe facts th meanwhile i thought it would interesting to share an explanation of the 4 estate the fourth estate is the public press referred to as a collective and encompassing photographers journalists radio and television broadcasters among others many people generally agree that the fourth estate has immense political and social power thanks to the fact that the press can be used to shape societies while imparting news of note and commentary of interest because the fourth estate is recognized as such an important body our nation and state have laws which protect the rights of the press ensuring that citizens have access to reporting on matters of interest and of note because of the importance of journalism in society most members of the fourth estate abide by certain professional and personal ethics many journalists attempt to cultivate an air of neutrality focusing on reporting of the issues as they are so that people can judge the facts for themselves while others focus on offering commentary and analysis from the perspective of a particular position journalists are careful as a whole to protect the integrity of the press protecting sources verifying information before publication and using a variety of other techniques to convey a trustworthy appearance to the public encouraging people to th put their faith in the press to read more about the 4 estate click here barry allen th glendale community meeting in response to the number of calls we have been getting regarding the state of glendale vanguardians board will hold a community meeting on friday november 25th for interested stakeholders find out what is going on and what you can do to help rsvp for location suggested donation to cover expenses is $5 please rsvp by hitting reply and put meeting in the subject line give us your name phone and email address along with the number attending or call barry allen at 818 243 1502 agenda tentative date 11-26 1 ­ adi ­ affordable housing a how vanguardians became involved b complicity i management ii city employees iii council members c current state of investigation d agencies involved 2 ­ new horizons a b c d complicity warning signs protection money issue 3 ­ retired chief adams 4 water transfers 5 ­ smart meters 6 ­ getting involved 7 defamation 5


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the penalty good men and women pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men plato most people want the benefits of an accountable government but are afraid to work for accountability or to support those that do often because they fear retaliation or are the beneficiaries of the largesse or corruption of government till debt and ignorance do us part building with brick and mortar for an un-fabulous educational opportunity with great fanfare the glendale unified school district`s chief business and financial officer declared the great opportunity to pile on more debt hurry hurry interest rates are low and the opportunity is here to put the taxpayers and property owners into further debt after all it`s for the kids building with brick and mortar will create great minds or will it what you can`t find in the glendale news-press article about this initiative is information on the amount of debt that has already been stacked on the glendale-area property owners in the last ten years you can`t find the information on how effective our educational policies have been how much is the public debt obligation of the typical glendale family today what is the true retention rate for high school students how much has the debt burden grown per family this past decade what percentage of graduating glendale high school seniors get accepted at the university of california most of us can appreciate how much nicer it would be while learning new skills in a comfortable environment we could also agree that is nicer to live in a modern four-thousand square foot house but a big mortgage and nice surroundings won`t necessarily give us a better quality of life what should be the objective of the new school construction going to school into a nicer school building and having the same drop-out rates is like buying that large house and living with domestic strife a larger house does not guarantee domestic harmony and a newer school building does not guarantee a better education that`s why we must ask the right questions and demand outcomes-based policies a few months ago at a gusd board meeting about a dozen teachers and administrators were given special recognition for achieving master`s and doctorate degrees in education one by one they came to the podium summarizing their thesis and promoting an outcomes-based educational approach they all seem to be in agreement ­ it s the outcomes that matter the outcome that america needs is a truly educated population we need to produce high school graduates who can perform beyond the basic requirements of writing a cohesive sentence solving a simple algebraic equation finding afghanistan on the map or remembering who followed teddy roosevelt as president we need graduates who have the ability to reason and who`ve developed their creative skills to their maximum potential if past bond issues are any indication newer school buildings don`t seem to be taking us in that direction if the messages we saw on television during the last political campaign are any indication we seem to have dumbed down our communication to the public so much that even the most outrageous claims are often not challenged effectively by most news organizations let alone the common voter new school buildings continue the educational concepts established a century ago groups of twenty to thirty students are herded into a classroom where they all study the same material at the same time at the same pace irrespective of capability or interest we created structures modeled after the assembly line concept where raw materials are passed on from one work-station to the next a teacher waits at her station for her new batch of students every hour to give her fifty-minute session of tell and memorize then the students are pushed off into the next work-station ready or not 6


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this is the 21 century we have the electronic means to adapt education to the ability of each student we have learned that human intelligence is varied that some people have special strengths that allow them to become artists and architects while others demonstrate different pre-dispositions psychologists and neuroscientists have demonstrated that some people are more predisposed to analytical and mathematical abilities than others we have students whose musical ability and predilection to the performing arts were identified when they were very young yet despite the body of knowledge on multiple intelligences we continue on the path of assembly-line education build the three-thousand-student school create the thirty-student classroom hire unimaginative teachers then continue to lose ground to china india korea singapore and europe in graduating the most capable minds going into more public debt is bad enough going into debt for the wrong reasons is worse going into debt with no expectations of measurable outcomes is a disgrace our educational system needs an overhaul we can no longer put up new buildings and pretend that a nice visual will suffice to keep the voters content gusd board members can continue to be re-elected on these brick and mortar symbols of effectiveness but if america is to reverse forty years of declining educational outcomes we need to bridge ourselves past the drop-out abyss to their credit the gusd is making the right moves at crescenta valley high school they`ve committed to incorporating critical thinking into their four-year curriculum i applaud them for that initiative a few years ago they also added a special self-paced curriculum for about 120 high school students at facilities across pacific-edison school i know that there are creative and dedicated teachers and staff members who know that the gusd must change and adapt new ways to resolve long-standing challenges i hope to live long enough to find a new crop of critical thinkers graduate from our high schools leave for the finest colleges then come back and lead government out of the quagmire of incompetence we find at the local state and national levels there is no better close-up example of that need than at the glendale city council should we go into more debt for more brick and mortar the gusd has not made a compelling case for it we have not informed the public on their true debt obligation piled on by the city government county government state government and the federal government we need a new bond that we as a community won`t let any more students fail to graduate that we will teach children how to think and reason that we will help create the conditions where critical thinkers and creative minds thrive then we can release them to the potential we`ve all expected of our american future herbert molano click here glendale today st prop 26 is latest limit on local revenues excerpts the heart of prop 26 is its definition of tax as used in this article tax means any levy charge or exaction of any kind imposed by a local government except the following seven exceptions to this sweeping definition are all that remain of local governments power to impose fees without voter approval the first of these covers fees imposed for a specific benefit conferred or privilege granted directly to the payor that is not provided to those not charged and which does not exceed the reasonable costs to the local government of conferring the benefit or granting the privilege this should cover fees associated with planning and police permits franchises parking passes and the like provided that those fees are limited to cost of the permit program and the benefit or privilege is not provided to those not charged if taken literally this means that no one can be charged for a benefit or privilege if anyone gets it for free thus prohibiting free passes for senior citizens and lower-income households it certainly prohibits discounts or free passes if the cost of services to those charged less than the full price is recovered from fees imposed on others ­ i.e the measure prohibits crosssubsidies among fee payors by which some pay more than the cost of service so others may pay less or nothing it seems likely that discounts are permissible if funded from non-fee revenues because the language of the exception is those not charged rather than those not charged in full less clear is whether free passes can be subsidized with non-fee revenues while still allowing the city to impose a fee on others next are fees imposed for a specific government service or product provided directly to the payor that is not provided to those not charged and which does not exceed the reasonable costs to 7


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the local government of providing the service or product this exception will cover utility fees not subject to prop 218 park and recreation fees that are not admission or equipment rental fees which are governed by the fourth exception discussed below transit fees emergency response fees and a wide range of other government fees we believe this exception will apply to such inter-governmental charges as booking fees property tax administration fees etc next are fees imposed for the reasonable regulatory costs to a local government for issuing licenses and permits performing investigations inspections and audits and the administrative enforcement and adjudication thereof this exception will cover a wide range of local government regulatory fees such as building permit fees fire inspection fees weed abatement assessments alarm permit fees and the like the fourth exemption is for fees imposed for entrance to or use of local government property or the purchase rental or lease of local government property notably this exception does not require the city to limit fees for use of its property to cost nor is this exception limited to real property if the city makes personal property available for purchase or rental it can charge whatever the market will bear among the fees that will be protected by this exception are franchise fees for which rights to use rights of-way or other government property are provided like cable gas electric and pipeline franchises and park and recreation entrance fees and equipment rental fees but not fees for services enforcement context late payment fees interest charges and any other monetary charge imposed by the city as a result of a violation of law defining the last term broadly the sixth exemption is for fees imposed as a condition of property development in general most planning and building fees will fall within this exemption or one of the first three exceptions listed above finally prop 26 has no application to assessments and property related fees subject to prop 218 this will include retail but not wholesale fees for government water sewer and trash services in light of this what can we determine is plainly a tax requiring voter approval as a result of prop 26 for now this list is short it includes mainly the kinds of fees authorized by the sinclair paint case like the state`s fee on lead-containing products the alcohol impacts fees some local governments have imposed to address nuisance behaviors near alcohol vendors and some air pollution district fees it also appears to prevent increases in the fish game fees imposed on local governments to fund fees like classes the fifth exception is for [a fine penalty or other monetary charge imposed as a result of a violation of law this exception will include parking fines administrative penalties imposed in the code review of ceqa may also require rethinking of some 1989 act non-property-based business improvement districts to separate services to the public from services to the assessed businesses what to do now initially we recommend local governments do the following · don`t adopt a new fee or increase an existing fee without legal advice · review existing fees to better understand the impacts of the measure and begin to plan to deal with its consequences · consider segregating unrestricted fee revenue from revenues newly restricted by this measure to ensure that your agency can comply with the spending restrictions of the measure without imposing restrictions on funds that would otherwise be discretionary · consider whether some fee obligations can be 8


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established by agreement rather than by legislation such as a solid waste contractor agreement rather than a solid waste hauling franchise adopted by ordinance michael g colantuono copyright © 2010 colantuono levin pc with permission take action ­ get involved ­ be informed ­ share vanguard ­ volunteer 2shout box ed ­ letters published do not necessarily express the opinion of vanguardians vanguard news service the organization or barry allen names are used only when requested initials are used as there are people believe it or not who are concerned with retaliation or have issues before a legislative body letters will be published that are signed and are not hate oriented who do i contact at gtv6 regarding the number of times john drayman was on last weekend kd [ed brian halloran i think his title is assistant broadcast manager you can email him if you want at he`s usually in the control room and it`s easier to reach him this way than by telephone i watched the joint meeting of the tpc and the planning commission it was quite surprising to me that the commissioners had little in the way of intelligent questions had little or no knowledge of the city blamed developers had no future vision it was apparent that many were appointed as political patronage not their knowledge of the commission to which they were appointed hb comments from editorial advisors on this issue it looks like a great issue to me i have no questions at all about anything therein the ongoing interview with brown is fascinating that apparently there is such widespread corruption throughout so many local governments is disheartening js 3 public information just the facts impact fees assessed to affordable housing projects developed by adi metropolitan city lights ­ $0 metro loma ­ $0 glendale city lights ­ $978,180 collected vassar city lights ­ $1,026,072 assessed not yet collected the cog added in the impact fees so they could be paid by hud using taxpayer dollars trader joe`s property was purchased by cog in 2002 at a price of $1,850,000 and leased to trader joe`s for $220,000 all truths are easy to understand once they have been discovered the point is to discover them galileo galilei home page of open government in glendale california agendas for the city of glendale ca click to view the agenda city council housing authority redevelopment agency meetings at city hall ch are in the council chambers 2 floor at 613 e broadway meetings at the municipal services bldg msb are in room 105 at 633 e broadway meetings at the perkins bldg pb are in the conference room at 141 n glendale ave phone numbers are in area code 818 unless noted otherwise nd monday november 22 no meetings scheduled tuesday november 23 housing authority 2:30 pm ch 548-2060 redevelopment agency 2:30 pm ch 548-2005 joint meeting ­re:business friendly principles ­ 2:30 ch 548-4844 city council 6:00 pm ch 548-4844 wednesday november 24 no meetings scheduled thursday november 25 and friday november 26 thanksgiving holiday ­ no meetings scheduled city offices are closed 9


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4 vanguardians people from all over la county are asking for vanguard and vanguardians training we are expanding our coverage of la county activities to accommodate the needs of the community vanguard opens its shout box to glendale news press gnp letter writers whose letters regarding city government issues questions and criticisms are not being published by the gnp vanguard editor pauline field received approval from the editorial advisory board to make this opportunity available to all stakeholders your employee association doesn t support you don t support then instead send your union dues to vanguardians as allowed by the meyers-milias-brown act for local public employee organizations vanguard is following these lawsuits the 5 gpd officers rodriguez gillespie hayn hunter mendoza ovasapyan the cases cited are from the randy adams regime and continue under chief depompa vanguardians needs your continuing financial support please make checks payable to vanguardians mail to pob 11202 glendale ca 91226 your contributions are tax deductible you will receive a receipt for income tax purposes the ralph m brown act mandates legislative bodies to provide each person an opportunity to speak and requires that agendas are posted and meetings are open the california public records act pra is the tool to get information about the operations of government the political reform act of 1974 allows public access to the financial reports of public officials to follow the money trail from special interests to the policy maker to become more involved in your community to learn how to use these important tools you can call 818 243 1502 5 the insider is written by city employees that care about the way the city is run as they are concerned about looks like the council is going to rubber stamp throwing another pile of money into the csi computer system on tuesday selection of the system is the gift that keeps on giving at least to edgesoft expect the system to be outdated and replaced as soon as they get it running which may be a while retaliation their identities are secret vanguard provides them the opportunity to have this forum the comments are their own 6 the denizens on the dais weaver is lucky that he was fined by the fppc had it been the us department of justice who used the following law he would have paid a fine and be cooling his heels in prison united states code annotated title 18 crimes and criminal procedure part i crimes chapter 95 racketeering § 1956 laundering of monetary instruments a 1 whoever knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds 10


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of specified unlawful activity a i with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity or ii with intent to engage in conduct constituting a violation of section 7201 or 7206 of the internal revenue code of 1986 or b knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part i to conceal or disguise the nature the location the source the ownership or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity or ii to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state or federal law shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction whichever is greater or imprisonment for not more than twenty years or both you can t win an argument with a moron an idiot or a political bigot kraft when did it begin weaver 1997 quintero 2001 najarian 2005 drayman 2007 friedman 2009 the lie-o-meter moves from week to week showing the official telling the most outrageous lies drayman and weaver terms end in april 2011 7 stimuli for sale 12 year old california c corporation vanguardians thinktank has evaluated several ideas to stimulate growth one with appeal to car and rv dealers another that would appeal to free standing buildings in commercial zones for diy auto repairs yet another that would provide early warning of brush fires in remote locales contact barry allen 818 243 1502 regarding stimulus 8 interview with governor-elect jerry brown part ii more next week skeptic we`re all familiar with the flowchart in our high school civics book how a bill becomes a law now tell us how it really works brown the way it really works is that a lobbyist for some interest group a trucking interest sanitation interest a union a bank or a savings and loan will go to a legislator if they`re in the game they`ll know which legislator to go to and they`ll get a bill introduced the interest group and its lobbyists will provide the language of the bill to the legislator in california the legislator will then have it written into the proper legislative language by the legislative council a set of central staffers that serve the entire legislature the bill then gets a number and is ready to be reviewed by the various interest groups there were also public interest groups such as environmentalists civil libertarians and consumer advocates that push bills and their bills are reviewed and often opposed by corporate groups that don`t want their business constrained but the real discussion goes on behind closed doors it involves the contest of economic pressures and political forces the public hearings are mostly for show they serve to get publicity and to make the interest groups feel good 11


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skeptic how much of what we see of our legislatures on cspan and public access tv stations is for real and how much is professional wrestling brown well it`s professional wrestling in the sense that a lot of hearings take place just so the lobbyists can bring in their clients it allows them to make a record to put on a show and to set out a marker so their boss will think they`re doing their job if it`s a broad-based organization they can send out a newsletter with a picture of all their experts testifying before congress it`s all kept in the massive congressional record the whole thing is about making news and looking good but the real work goes on privately at the staff level particularly and sometimes among the more experienced legislators but the key thing the legislators want to know is what do the interest groups think there are hundreds of these key interest groups and they have to be satisfied the word that we heard at the state capitol in sacramento ca was the legislator is the horse and you have to deal with the jockey the jockey is the interest group that`s where the power is the necessary deals are cut and they`re based on how they will get their guy elected what will please the people in his or her district usually the powerful people that`s not to say that a people`s group can`t have an impact it can but by and large bills like the recent telecommunications bill are almost solely determined by the competing forces now some people will say well it`s at&t versus the baby bells versus the cable companies and that`s democracy no it`s competition among elite unrepresentative power groups to carve up the public power of america for their own interest that is not democratic in any sense skeptic if i`m a legislator why should i go along with these interests brown because they provide the money for your campaigns the corporations can also define the business climate or how it`s perceived they are the powers-that-be and if you become their enemy you`re viewed as an odd ball as ineffective you don`t get re-elected the pacs [political action committees provide an enormous sum of money when the democrats were in power 50 of their money came from pacs pacs deal with laws that`s why they give money to influence legislation if you`re not part of that game you`re not there and since you are there you`re part of the game there are no exceptions skeptic what about the first law of politics to wit if you can`t eat their food drink their booze screw their women take their money and then vote against them you`ve got no business being here brown that quote came from former california assembly speaker jesse unruh aka big daddy it`s another example of the way that politicians deceive themselves as well as their constituents if in fact they do deceive themselves the fact of the matter is that if day in and day out you take special interest money you do what they want now on any given bill if there`s heat if there`s public scrutiny you`re not going to be obvious about having been bought off you have to keep that covered but in fact you are bought off the entire system is bought off by the institutional bias created by special interest campaign spending more next week email to subscribe to the weekly news on issues that impact you vanguardians encourage and support advocacy involvement and engagement with government vanguard is intended for personal use by recipient and forwarding without change to recipient s personal email list vanguardians is a 501c3 educational non-profit corporation contributions are tax deductible vanguardians does not use commercial fundraisers to ensure you receive vanguard please add our email addresses and to your address book or internet service provider safe list annual subscription for email $50 by us mail $75 newsstand $2 per issue to unsubscribe reply with the word unsubscribe in the subject line copyrighted materials used with permission ©2010 12



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