Ready to Recall New Senator Newman?

Carl DeMaio out of San Diego has been pitching the idea of a recall for our new CA State Senator Josh Newman. Why Newman? Because Newman voted to increase our gas taxes for the dubious claim of fixing our roads. He barely won his seat and without him the State wouldn’t have a (D) Super-Majority with which to tax us into oblivion.

While it’s true that Mah Roads need fixing it is not true that the government needs to steal more money in order to accomplish this task. Sadly Newman, like nearly every (D) in Sacramento (I’m looking at your Quirk-Silva) thinks theft is the only way to combat incompetence and prior graft. The cycle will continue unabated until we get mad as hell and don’t take it anymore.

Will the recall succeed? Considering Newman barely won by a razor thin margin this last November it’s definitely possible that he could get the boot. While Newman’s district covers quite a bit of real estate it’s not as if this would be Fullerton’s first recall rodeo.

SD29. Hooked on spending.

For those that support the recall I’d recommend checking our DeMaio’s page HERE. While I’m inclined to give the boot to anybody who saddles the working class with such ridiculous taxes – I remember who our last recall gifted us in this fair town and substituting Newman for a Fitzgerald type would be no win for taxpayers. I’m also of the opinion that if we’re going to boot Newman for being a party stooge reaching for our wallets we should probably aim for a twofer and do the same to his colleague in the Assembly at the same time.

Budget Proposals Call for Elimination of City Positions

FFFF was just sent a few pages from the latest budget proposals, which the Fullerton City Council will soon vote on. The true costs of Fullerton’s pension debt are coming to bear, as the proposals call for the elimination for firefighters, police corporals, maintenance workers and security guard services.

These reductions will be necessary in order to offset significant increases in CalPERS pension payments for existing employees. Most of the budget is allocated to staffing, so city staff claims there are very few non-staffing cuts to be made.


From here, it will only get worse. CalPERS will continue to lower its discount rate, triggering higher bills for cities across the state. We are looking at many more reductions in services and increases in taxes and fees over the next few years.

I’d like to get out now.

Will our council have the guts to pull the trigger and start making severe cuts now? Or will they postpone action until insolvency becomes inevitable?

Newman Recall?

That didn’t take long. Radio host and former San Diego City Councilman Carl Demaio is starting a recall effort against Fullerton’s own state Senator Josh Newman. Here is Carl on the John and Ken show yesterday discussing Newman’s participation in the massive $5.2 billion California tax hike.

John and Ken reckon that Fullerton is a great place to kick off a rage-fueled recall effort. History says they’re right. It will be fun to see if Newman can be held accountable for his massive error.

The Rip Off

We have been asked by one of our Friends to publish the following post:

Now that our Legislature has passed the obscene Gas Tax, the usual liberal Democrat suspects have popped up to add their voices in high hosanna to the deed. Their script, as usual, is the old, tired mantra of affiliating more taxes with good government, as if the two things had more than a distant correlation. Generalities are the stock-in-trade of this crew. It’s too bad the opponents also tend to speak in generalities about the existing waste in government transportation planning and execution.

I’m going to talk about waste in government, too. But I am going to do it with specifics in near-future posts that will closely examine a “transportation” project that was planned entirely with earmarked transportation funds to demonstrate the crazy, almost obscene ways in which these funds were budgeted, and are being spent.

Does a single project represent a current state of affairs? Given the fact that the State and County governments are always “educating” us about their strict compliance with rules and regulations, and given the fact that the County Measure M extension, for instance, was sold with the idea of a rigorous auditing process complete with Oversight Committee, I am going to posit an affirmative answer to my question and challenge someone to prove me wrong. This should be easy if indeed I am wrong.

Held up by wishful thinking…

So what’s the project? Is it some distant, unknown pork boondoggle in some liberal, urban bastion? Ah, no. It is the ridiculously conceived, horrendously over budgeted and overstaffed, and seemingly bungled-out-of-the-gate elevator addition project at Fullerton’s own train station.

Fullerton Engineer

Newman & Quirk-Silva Help Families Prioritize Spending

By Making Sure They Have Less Money to Spend

There are few things harder than trying to prioritize your spending. This is easily evidenced by the new law which is slated to bring in “much needed” transportation funds to fix our ailing infrastructure and yet amazingly has close to the same price-tag as Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train to Nowhere. The train is currently slated to cost $68Billion while the new tax will bring in $52Billion over 10 years. If we stopped the Brown’s Folly we would be able to pay for our infrastructure but alas those whacked priorities in Sacramento.

Enter Josh Newman (D. 29th State Senate District) & Sharon Quirk-Silva (D. Assembly District 65) to save us from the grief of budgets and the balancing acts that follow. They both surely read the study that claims that poverty taxes the brain and are thus worried about the poorest amongst us. What better way to make sure the poor can make fewer bad decisions than by pricing them out of those very decisions?

Please Sir, may I have my State back?

This is an act of benevolence on the part of our elected betters. Nay! An act of sheer mercy. We tried shaming you out of going to McDonald’s so now we’ll just increase prices so you can no longer afford it.

Of course this new tax increase has led to a flurry of interest and even the call for recalls. However we would all be remiss if we didn’t give credit where credit is due. We should acknowledge that Newman & Quirk-Silva, along with their (D) allies such as Senator Anthony Canella, have finally found a way to try to balance the budget on the backs of everybody as opposed to simply taxing “The Rich™” or “The 1%™”.

The rich will certainly be hurt by Newman and Quirk-Silva’s $100/year tax on zero emission cars that doesn’t go into affect until 2020 (with the gas taxes going into effect this coming November and the increase in the vehicle license fees next year). However even if the zero emission fees were immediate the $100/year isn’t so bad owing to the heavily subsidized nature of Teslas & other zero emission car sales in the first place. It could take up to 70 years before the rich will have paid back that subsidy $100 at a time.

No, this new tax is first and foremost a tax on the poor. After all of these years of saying that people need to pay their “fair share” of taxes the (D)s finally approved a bill that further socks it to the poor in a way they can’t escape. While quite a bit of ink has and will be spilled on both inflation-adjusted taxes which include the increase of $0.12/gallon on fuel and $38/year in registration fees less ink has been spilled on the $0.20/gallon diesel excise tax increase or the $0.04 increase in the sales tax on diesel fuel.

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The Bearer of New Taxes Adds Insult to Injury

The Tax Bear Cometh

The same day that Senator Josh Newman (D. 29th State Senate District) voted to further rob us at both the gas pump and DMV he claimed support for CA Assembly Bill 5. This bill would let California Voters decide, in June of 2018, if the legislature can use our stolen money to do anything but fix our failing infrastructure. Our failing infrastructure that should already be funded and fixed by our current gas taxes.

To his credit he wants to put a toothless California Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to make sure that our new CalPERS transportation taxes aren’t misspent. It’s too bad he didn’t care if we voters got a say on the issue of these taxes in the first place.

This bill was introduced in March of 2015 and has sat in committee as a non-urgent matter since that time. This means that it was proper urgent that Newman, Quirk-Silva and the rest of the Democrat-Controlled legislature to tax us into oblivion NOW NOW NOW but not so important that the money they steal from us via ever higher taxes actually gets used for their intended purposes.

Inactive and Unimportant.

Assembly Bill 5 is a perfect example of how everybody in Sacramento does things in entirely the wrong order. It would have been smart and prudent for the Assembly/Senate to put a bill on Gray Davis’ Jerry Brown’s desk to limit how money is spent for the intended purposes and then put the NEW TAXES on the ballot and not the other way around. Sadly we don’t get a choice in how much they rob you, just a choice in how they pretend to spend the ill-gotten goods.

That this sort of measure is even needed and yet ignored until politically convenient shows you all you need to know about the priorities of our electeds such as Josh Newman & Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Fullerton Parking – State ADU Edition

You! I need your gas taxes & vehicle license fees… so stop driving.

Tomorrow the planning commission is going to be dealing with more parking issues. Or shall I say they’re going to be talking about something they have no control over because the State already stepped on them.

Back on 27 September 2016 Governor Moonbean signed SB 1069 into law. SB 1069 deals with “Additional Dwelling Units” or in the common vernacular “back houses”. You know the units as they’re the ones that get added behind a house so a homeowner can rent their second/third/fifth property to two groups of people as opposed to one. Charitably they’re known as “Granny Units” and uncharitably as “‘Mommy why is the creepy man staring at me all the time’ Units”.

The merits or pitfalls of these units notwithstanding, as we now legally have to allow for them all over town, this particular piece of legislation includes the following nugget:

Cities must waive parking requirements for ADUs that are entirely contained within existing structures, or that are within one-half mile of public transit, one block of a car-share vehicle, or in a historic district.

Within one-half mile of public transit. Okay, so let’s put that into context. Here’s a map of Fullerton to which I’ve added the major bus lines of OCTA in blue.

At least OCTA doesn’t go near the nicer houses.

Using the Google Maps Distance Tool I can say that 1/2 mile would mean that Fullerton cannot require additional parking for ADUs anywhere approximately South of North Court. Likewise no new parking requirements would be allowed 1/2 mile East or West of Euclid or State College for ADUs. I’d worry about the neighborhood by CSUF but with CollegeTown coming back (courtesy of Japanese Chat Girls) that’s the least of their worries.

I loathe writing about roads and parking, truly I do yet unfortunately our elected betters seem to not understand human nature and thus the issues constantly come up.

This no required parking if within a half-mile of public transit is because allegedly the low-income take public transit unlike those who write these stupid laws. The poor take so much public transit that we subsidize the snot out of buses, streetcars, trolleys and hubs such as ARTIC. The poor love their public transit so much that we keep having to exempt streets from overnight parking in the lower-income apartments thanks to their under-parked nature. Why if only the folks in those low-income apartments could find parking for all of the public transit that they love to take we wouldn’t need to exempt so many streets.

Add this newest parking issue to the quiver of arrows that will be used to kill the overnight parking ban. As an aside I wonder how many new AirBnB rentals will be built here in Fullerton thanks to this “affordable housing” bill.

While We Were Away. Another Story You Didn’t Read About In “Back The Badge”

Once upon a time, the Fullerton Police Department employed a detective by the name of Ron Bair.

FFFF had some fun with this idiot, here.

A real moron, right? FFFF questioned whether this “detective” could find his own ass in the dark. Unfortunately, Inspector Clouseau was not just an annoying, half-bright stumblebum. He was also the the sort of degenerate who would involve himself in a sexual relationship with a woman in a domestic/child custody dispute in which he had become a witness. That thought alone makes me cringe. Was it sexual extortion? The whole thing was completely piggish.

Naturally, the whole misconduct was swept under the rug by law enforcement, but the civil suit cost the taxpayers of Fullerton plenty in 2015 – $550,000 to be precise.

When you read that article did you enjoy the part where Chief Danny Galahad blames the woman for her “poor choices?”

“I understand your frustration with former officer Ron Bair, but you have blamed him for your situation, the judge, and now three additional members of our department,” Hughes told Castaneda. “You may also want to consider the poor choices you have made to contribute to your current situation.”

You have to admire the balls it takes to offer moral admonishment to the victim of one of your employees and the subsequent law enforcement cover-up. He doesn’t bother to mention that his stand-up officer was conveniently retired in 2013 (see page 35).

For some reason that reminds me of former Chief “Patdown” Pat McKinley casually blaming Albert Rincon sexual assault victims for not being  like the women who attended his stupid “She Bear” book signings.

 

All citizens are equal, but some citizens are more equal than others (Part 1)

I have a thought experiment for those of you who work in the private sector.
Let’s suppose you are accused of some misdeed by your employer. It could something minor like rudeness to a customer, or something potentially criminal such as embezzlement, assault or even potentially murder or manslaughter.

Hypothetically

Let’s further suppose your employer comes to you and asks you about certain accusations. What do you suppose would happen if you refused to answer any questions about that incident unless you had an attorney present? And if you did speak to speak to your employer what are the chances they would agree to not use your statement against you in a criminal action? Could you refuse a polygraph test under any circumstance? And could you insist your employer never disclose the results of their investigation upon pain of criminal prosecution?

The answer in the private sector is clear cut: while you have constitutional rights in criminal proceedings (including the right to have an attorney present and against self incrimination) if you refuse to cooperate with an employer you can be fired on the spot.

Not so for many of our public employees. Thanks to the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights (Government Code §3300-3311) many of the rights afforded to all of us in criminal prosecutions are also afforded to officers in administrative actions. For example, pursuant to Government Code §3303(f), statements made under duress, coercion “or threats of punitive action” are inadmissible in civil proceedings as well as criminal. Thanks to the decision in Lybarger v. City of Los Angeles (1985) 40 Cal.3d 822, an officer can be disciplined for refusing to answer questions in an administrative hearing, but only if they are first told that the statements cannot be used against him in any criminal matter. An officer also has a right to have council present during any administrative proceedings relating to their conduct. And if there is a violation of any of these or other rights, there is no requirement to exhaust administrative remedies first (like the rest of us have to); the officer can immediately sue in Superior Court.

The combination of the protections in POBAR and the Supreme Court decision in Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (39 Cal.4th 1272) have combined to essentially make our public safety employees above the law. Copley guarantees that any complaints against officers that are handled through the police department will be investigated at the sole discretion of that department, since the public is typically not told how the department ruled or why. Or even whether they looked into the matter at all. Remember, Chief Dan Hughes once admitted that many complaints against officers were simply tossed into the wastepaper basket, since there was no ramification for the department for doing so.

“After careful deliberation, we have concluded that no evidence exists to warrant disciplinary action. At least, not anymore.”

This does not mean that there are no good officers in Fullerton, but it does mean that there are no meaningful external check on the conduct of officers that are a problem, so long as the conduct is not so shocking it winds up becoming a national story. And even then, the protections afforded by POBAR makes firing for even the most shocking crime difficult. See for example Kenton Hampton, who is still employed by the Fullerton Police Department (and pulling in $175,958.90 in total pay and benefits as of 2015, according to Transparent California) despite his involvement in the beating death of Kelly Thomas and the beating/ false imprisonment of Veth Mam (video here) and the fact that even Joseph Wolfe may actually be reinstated despite his role in Thomas’s death.

Since we cannot rely on transparency (state law prohibits it), and we cannot rely on officers within the department to come forward (don’t forget, Copley makes disclosure of internal personnel records a criminal offense, and as Paul Irish has recently learned, even mild, non-specific criticism of department policy can get you in more trouble with your employer than standing around doing nothing while your fellow officers beat a man to death), I concluded several years ago that an effective independent Civilian Oversight Commission was the best method of placing some check on our public employees. Rather than simply advocate for the civilian oversight, those of us who were advocating it decided to prepare their own proposed ordinance, which Matt Leslie has been hosting on his Fullerton Rag blog ever since (it can be found here, although the transfer does appear to have altered the subsections in a way that makes it a bit confusing).

The specifics of and the benefits of the proposed ordinance, and the means in which this City Council could implement it, will be discussed in Part 2.

Repugs Blow Wad on Ling²

Back for more
Back for more abuse…

A while back we shared the musing of one Matthew J. Cunningham, a repuglican ink-dribbler, who falsely blamed Bruce Whitaker for the embarrassing showing put up by repuglican Larry Bennett in Fullerton’s 2016 council election. See, Whitaker is not popular among the “everything must go” repug’ crowd who see government not as too big, but as just not having enough teats.

Better get it while you can...
Better get it while you can…

So here, forthwith, I present another one of this sorry individual’s political ejaculations. This post was supposed to be a wrap-up of the State Senate District 29 election, a district that includes all of Fullerton. Repuglicans loved them some Ling Ling Chang. And why not? Her candidacy was the creation of the noxious Ed Roski bag man, Bob Huff, the perpetual cheerleader for the failed California Redevelopment swindle.

Back to the actual post: see if you detect the wave of wishful thinking intruding upon the shallow lagoon of this flunky’s intelligence:

After yesterday’s OC Registrar of Voters update, it’s highly likely Democrat Josh Newman’s unlikely political journey has come to an end – and it’s time to start addressing Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang as Senator.

SOS sd29 tally 11-16

29,746 ballots have been counted in the last two days, and Newman is not only failing to close the gap – he is falling further behind. At this stage of the game, if you aren’t gaining ground, you’re losing ground because the universe of uncounted ballots is only getting smaller – meaning the percentage the second-place candidate has to capture keeps getting bigger.

Congratulations to Ling Ling Chang, who once again has emerged victorious from a bitter and hugely expensive election battle.

Of course anyone who follows election counts knows very well that the post-election day provisional ballots always lean heavily Democrat in Orange County. They also know that the late VBM ballots likely go Republican – and these were obviously the first post-election ballots counted.

looking for the exit...
Looking for the exit…

A few weeks of sporadic ballot counting have passed, and the final tally has Fullerton’s Josh Newman, State Senator-elect, winning by 2500 votes. He was sworn in today as the State Senator form the 29th District.

Hello, Newman
Hello, Newman

I feel constrained to point out that this “battle” was “hugely expensive” only because of the $6,000,000 pumped into it by the Statewide ‘repugs and their running dogs to smear Newman, who appears to be a thoughtful and decent guy. Is there any need to also point out that Cunningham’s rancid Dave Gilliard-owned blog also participated in that shameful smear effort?

Friends, we may accurately call Ling Ling Chang many things: nakedly ambitious, serial liar, empty suit, air head, puppet, soon-to-be unemployed; but one thing we can’t call her is Senator.