Here’s a really fun post I did about 20 months ago making sure people knew that it wasn’t just a spendthrift Democrat who blew over a grand at a fancy hotel at a useless League of Cities meeting. Turns out the RINOs Bankhead and Jones did, too. The way they see it, it’s their money, not yours.
– The Desert Rat
Okay, like I said the other day, I’m a fair guy. Fullerton Mayor Don Bankhead attended that fall of 2008 League of Cities Meeting in Long Beach right along side Pam Keller. Like Keller, Bankhead also put in for a double occupancy room for three nights. Here’s the smoking gun.
Over $1100 for a swank hotel room barely 25 miles from Bankhead’s house. And this during the vast economic melt-down of late 2008. Bad judgment? Sure, to you or me. But not to a guy who has likely spent twenty years going to these schmoozefests on our dime.
A juicy side-irony is the fact that this is the same piece o’ manpower that Doc Jones seems to think is the right guy to lead Fullerton through tough economic times. Which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the dimwit Jones. Hell, Jones was at the no-tell hotel, too!
Well, anyway, Don Bankhead, like Pam Keller, is up for re-election this year, if in fact he decides to run, which of course he will. So you can bet the desert acreage that both of them are going to be targets because of their willingness – no, eagerness – to waste, public money.
Today the ever-increasingly pathetic OC Register ran an editorial trumpeting the creation of something called the Association of California Cities, a homespun effort to replace the California League of Cities. The Register wants us to believe that anything that replaces the League is a good thing. To which I respond: not so fast.
Here’s a quote from the article, the first couple of paragraphs dutifully and immediately passed along verbatim by Red County repuglican flunky Matthew J. Cunningham:
Orange County cities often have stood for sensible, taxpayer-friendly municipal reform in a state where fiscal sanity is the exception rather than the rule. So, while we applaud the 21 O.C. cities that left the League of California Cities (and its Orange County division) and started their own Association of California Cities Orange County, we also want to ask, “What took you so long?”
We’ve long had a beef with the Sacramento-based League, which is essentially a taxpayer-funded (dues come from city coffers) lobbying organization that tilts toward big government. Currently, the League is battling Gov. Jerry Brown’s sensible plan to close down the state’s 425 redevelopment agencies – those fiscally profligate entities that abuse eminent domain and dole out corporate welfare to companies that build development projects hatched in City Hall.
I can’t remember any OC cities that “stood for sensible, taxpayer friendly municipal reform…” so that’s a load of manure right there. But notice the anti-Redevelopment hook there at the end of the second paragraph. Cunningham obviously did. But he didn’t bother passing along the very next tidbit from the editorial:
Certainly, one finds support for redevelopment among Orange County officials, including some whose cities have fled the League…
Well Jesus H.Crisco, that’s the understatement of the freaking year! Is there a single municipality in OC that isn’t addicted to Redevelopment like a low grade junkie is to black tar heroin?
The Rag pathetically goes on to cite as some sort of local OC accomplishment the totally discredited Anaheim “Freedom Friendly” policy of “upzoning” property, a conspiracy that put dozens of businesses out of business, hundreds of workers out of work, that was engineered to produce vast profits for Kurt Pringle’s clients, and that has left the Anaheim city scape cratered, dark and dismal. The editorialists who are employed by The Register may think we can’t tell the difference, but boy are they wrong.
Of course you can check out the leadership of the new Association. It doesn’t inspire any sort of confidence. In the roster we find a sad collection of small town political hacks, bag men (and women), and poseurs whose only true resentment of the League is likely based on the fact that it precludes them from cashing in on anything. Oh, yeah we know the sort: the brain dead, yet greedy city council members who make up the boards of things like the OCTA, the Vector Control District, and the Sanitation District: just the perfect sort of drones who can be manipulated to direct “policy” in the direction of the Pringles, Dick Ackermans and John Lewises of the oh, so conservative Orange County.
Cunningham claims the inaugural dinner was the scene of near euphoria. Eu-effing-phoria. For him and people like him who cash in on government largess there was probably every reason to feel giddy.
The real question is why should we poor plantation hands substitute one collection of overseers for another?
According to commenter Art Brown the plaintive Redevelopment wail signed by Mayor HeeHaw on behalf of all of us was actually scribed by the League of Cities and sent out as a boilerplate template for the incompetent locals who, presumably, couldn’t be trusted to mount their own intellectual and philosophical defense of Redevelopment (think: “we neeeed the muh-nie!”)
Of course there is space at the end of the missive to insert one’s community’s dubious Redevelopment accomplishments. And Fullerton did.
Mr. Brown’s claim certainly has the ring of truth to it. It reminds me of a gang of dope addicts defending their habit.
As to the letter itself, observe the following:
The claims that Redevelopment is a job creator and some sort of economic engine is, of course, utter nonsense. It is indeed a massive boon to subsidized corporations and Redevelopment master planners, consultants and bond salesmen. Redevelopment is simply a zero-sum revenue diversion scheme whose manifest failures are immediately forgotten. The funniest part of the letter may be the way one bent branch of government uses the screw-ups of another (SB 375 and AB 32) to justify itself.
Then there is the hilarious claim that Redevelopment is really poverty-stricken, once the bond holders are paid off!
You would think a letter honestly outlining the effects of Redevelopment in Fullerton would have described just a few of the disastrous quagmires that Redevelopment and it organizers have gotten us into: boondoggles amply illustrated in these pages. But no. No Harbor/Commonwealth; no SRO; no Poisoned Park; no endless succession of useless downtown master plans; no attempt to relocate a McDonald’s 200 feet. Wait. Come to think of it they did: cited as an accomplishment is the idiotic Richman housing project!
Affordable housing. Where poor people are cleared out and replaced by less poor people. And this was never one of the rationales for Redevelopment. The housing set-aside was created to protect the poor from dislocation due to the great Urban Renewal mega projects of the 1950s and 60s.
Well, there you have it. An intellectually and morally bereft letter signed by a clown who cannot grasp anything more complicated than a fried chicken.
In the fall of 2008 Pam Keller attended the California League of Cities Annual Meeting, a useless agglomeration of bureaucrats and bureaucrat lovin’ electeds who like to micromanage everybody’s life while we pay for it.
The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, a luxury hotel, exactly 26.1 miles from Fullerton. The distance is so vast that Pam decided to stay at the hotel for three nights and amassed a bill of $1236.10. Check out the payment vouchers, the hotel invoice, and even a handwritten request for nine buck’s reimbursement for parking, here.
Seems Pam also took along a guest, and, among other treats, they may have availed themselves of a trip to the LB Aquarium that was included in the deal.
Even if we disregard the questionable usefulness of attending one of these taxpayer funded boondoggles, what on earth was the need for Keller to stay at a hotel whose drive-time distance Mapquest lists at a mere 28 minutes?
And I have to wonder how all of Keller’s lefty knee-jerk supporters could possibly countenance this sort of profligacy of public money. $1,200 could be used collaboratively to feed a lot of homeless people, right?
Now to be perfectly fair (I am a very fair person), Fullerton’s two RINOs, Don Bankhead and Dick Jones also attended this conference and also racked up big bills. At least Jones went alone.
Friends, this is likely not the only Keller taxpayer-funded junket and rest assured, we will be providing examples of others in the very near future if we find them.