Pacific Strategies – My Lunch With Greenhut


This tidbit harvested from the Pacific Strategies billings to Rob Reiner’s OC Children and Families Commission was way too good to pass up.

Here we see Mr. Conservative Pundit Matthew Cunningham hard at work setting up and then eating lunch with former OC Register editorial writer Steve Greenhut back in 2008. Looks like Executive Director Micahel Ruane went along. Maybe Cunningham acted as interpreter between the libertarian Greenhut and the social services bureaucrat Ruane. I guess that’s what they call a business lunch.

I wonder if the suffocating welfare statists persuaded Greenhut of the need for their commission.

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  1. #1 by Johnny Donut on May 17, 2010

    Perhaps Cunninham was trying to broker a deal for some positive spin from the right wing media. Greenhut probably didn’t fall for it, but who knows.

  2. #2 by nobody on May 17, 2010

    In 2008, a month before this lunch, Greenhut called for the Children and Families Commissions to be shut down – http://orangepunch.freedomblogging.com/2008/07/09/shut-down-the-childrenfamilies-commissions/

    Cunningham probably sold the board on his ability to coerce Greenhut from his hard stance.

    I don’t know if Greenhut went along with the plan, but it looks like somebody got paid for the effort.

    • #3 by Joe Sipowicz on May 17, 2010

      nobody, thanks for the tip. I’m going to do a post on that article – plus its one and only comment.

  3. #4 by gerbil jerbal on May 17, 2010

    Matt Cunningham outed sex-abuse victims.

  4. #5 by Steven Greenhut on May 17, 2010

    I had lunch with Matt and Mike Ruane at Mimi’s in Tustin. It’s standard fare for edit writers to meet with flaks who are trying to spin things. I do it all the time — fo all sorts of folks of all political persuasions. Matt and the commission were opposed to the bill at the time that would send the money to the general fund — they were making a “the money’s there, so we should spend it locally” argument. That’s what I remember.

  5. #6 by Steven Greenhut on May 17, 2010

    BTW, $1,300 for lunch and prep is absurd. We really should shut down these agencies, which are just ways for consultants to enrich themselves.

  6. #7 by Steven Greenhut on May 17, 2010

    The Register editorial, which I believe I wrote (it’s hard to remember who writes unsigned edits years later!) on August 3, was titled “Snuff out tobacco tax.” We didn’t write anything after that because our position did not change. Here it is:
    Adecade ago Californians were persuaded to vote to impose a tax on a minority of their neighbors to raise billions of dollars to provide services for children ages 5 and younger. It was a bad idea then, and since has proven even worse in practice.

    The voting majority was told that they held the high moral ground by imposing an additional tax on people who buy tobacco, people who, incidentally, already often are forced by law to leave the building to smoke their perfectly legal cigarettes. If the First 5 California Children and Families Commission further punishes people who do something entirely legal, at least it’s for the children, was the explanation.

    It turns out, unsurprisingly, that the children are being served by doling out grants for things like the “Potrero Hill Toddler Play Group,” which featured lectures on positive discipline and potty training, art projects, a field trip, an Easter egg hunt and a “toddler dance party.” Your tax money at work.

    Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell has defended Orange County’s chapter of this Nanny State, tax-devouring octopus that operates in all 58 California counties under the leadership of 58 local commissions, and one statewide commission.

    On one hand, such an onerous tax to fund such an unnecessary and easily exploited Nanny State intrusion is somewhat mitigated by being under local control. As evils go, that’s preferable to another state agency doling out cash that used to belong to smokers.

    Now we have another proposal that may be an improvement on the First 5 status quo. Or not. We’re not quite sure whether the trade-off suggested by state Sen. Dave Cox would improve the situation substantively. Mr. Cox wants to glom onto about $2 billion the First 5 folks haven’t spent yet on nonsense like the grant that paid for a dozen women in San Francisco to engage in a project on gardening and healthy eating so their kids will learn that food doesn’t originate in a grocery store.

    The 58 local commissions have accumulated “fund balances” (aka surpluses) of $2.4 billion, including $151 million in Orange County, $187 million in San Diego County and $860 million in Los Angeles County.

    Mr. Cox says those millions of dollars can be used instead to help plug the state’s general-fund budget deficit. To accomplish this, Mr. Cox needs his legislative colleagues to put a measure on the statewide ballot for voters to reallocate First 5 money, which might free up funds to pay for state health care programs.

    That strikes us as a halfway good idea. But if California voters are to be asked to recast the First 5 operation, there’s no reason to stop half way. If this matter goes to the ballot, voters ought to be allowed to undo the mess they created in 1998 by abolishing the absurd program, and eliminating its obnoxious tax.Thatwould be the high moral ground.

  7. #8 by PACIFIC STRATEGIES' TYPEWRITER on May 17, 2010

    Date: 5/17/2010
    3.25 Hours
    $650.00
    -Read FFFF attack on First 5 and Matthew Cunningham
    -Read old Greenhut attack on First 5
    -Read new Greenhut attack on First 5
    -Email another apology to Campell and Hewitt for the mess I made
    -Check Facebook page
    -Contemplate future employement opportunities

    Please remit payment to Suite C.

  8. #9 by Steven Greenhut on May 17, 2010

    FYI. What does one have to do to prepare to have lunch with me?

    • #10 by ttaM on May 17, 2010

      Iron a shirt, shave, tie my shoes, change my underwear, find the missing sock that matches the one I have on, look up restaurant address online, change underwear, clean suit C, put on shoes, change underwear, take off shoes, put pants on, put matching sock on, put shirt on, put shoes on, brush big front two teeth, use Flowbee for a fresh trim, find my car keys, flush toilette in suite C, change underwear, borrow $20 from wife’s purse, drive to gas station, return home for directions on Map Quest, drive to restaurant…

    • #11 by Joe Sipowicz on May 17, 2010

      Steve, you are obviously a very scary guy.

  9. #12 by Mark Dobrilovic on May 17, 2010

    I hope he picked up the tab!

  10. #13 by Steven Greenhut on May 17, 2010

    I buy my own lunch, thank you!

  11. #14 by van get it da artiste on May 17, 2010

    the tobacco tax described by steven greenhut is just a smokescreen to redistribute wealth from persons who earned it to dubious people who call themselves commissions or strategies. Reality has a beautiful way of inserting itself into the machinations of fools who love to spend other people’s money. Today’s reality is those persons who used to have wealth to redistribute are now broke due to corrupt Wall Street.

  12. #15 by Wayne on May 17, 2010

    Yo –

    A First 5 Commissioner goes public with First 5 problems:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/16/2752196/another-view-first-5-needs-to.html

  13. #16 by Max on May 17, 2010

    Here’s an idea:

    What about the governor borrowing the $2.4 billion in reserve and issue bonds for repayment to the First 5 Commissions – that would solve a lot of problems – they certainly are not doing anything with it.

  14. #17 by Michelle Quinn on April 14, 2011

    All this talk….Everyone is missing the point! Prop 10 was supposed to emplement a program to give EVERY family, without income requirements the chance to send their children to a pre-school, and also it was suppose to implement programs to prevent mothers from smoking. Instead it became a big scam off aiding the poor of orange country (of course that being illegal immigrants) and a big fat zero for non-smoking programs. Bill Campbell made this program his pet program to aid the his friends, allies and his favorite needy resident of Orange Country in Santa Ana!

    Most if not all these program are in Santa Ana and of course UCI regents of a few completely stupid program’s like HABLA!
    Also Dr. Maria Minon who state on the board of Latina Access does not forget them, does she!!!!

  15. #18 by Michelle Quinn on April 14, 2011

    Sorry for the typos! This subject just really gets my goat. So many of my working friends pay thousands in childcare, if your illegal and hispanic its all a free ride!

  16. #19 by Ruben on April 14, 2011

    Michelle – perhaps check out the most recent blog post on this topic: Reason Rips First Five – it gives lots of links to other First 5 stories.

    I empathize with your point of view. There’s just something structurally wrong with First 5.

  17. #20 by Michelle Quinn on April 14, 2011

    I have always seen myself as a complete indepent. I look very much like a liberal….hippie type:)

    Our government is corrupt and we need to fix it! I did not leave my family, friends and life to come to a f&*C *& up country and watch as it goes down the drain. I am here to fight and fight I will. In all good time:)

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