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Posted: March 16-21, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

prop 98, june: MUST BE DEFEATED

Ballot measure would phase out rent control laws


lat, 1-28-08,0,61010,full.story


Having toiled in machine shops during World War II and worked for decades in other manual jobs, 84-year-old Mary Kubancik felt entitled to live out her years in a pleasant mobile home park in Sylmar.

Instead, the frail Kubancik is preparing to move out after 19 years. Her $919 monthly Social Security check won't cover her essentials and the $702 that her mobile home space will cost when the latest double-digit increase takes effect in April.

"I worked since I was 14 years old, and this is all I have," she said, tears vying with anger in her eyes. "I had to sell. And this was supposed to be my golden years."

Six rows away, Elisena Thompson, 86, doesn't worry about making ends meet, thanks to rent control rules that have kept her space at $385 a month. In a quirk of geography, the 186-unit Blue Star Mobile Home Park where both women live is partly in the city of Los Angeles, which has a rent control law, and partly in an unincorporated area, which has none.

In the spring, voters will decide whose interests prevail. More than 100 owners and operators of apartment buildings and mobile home parks spent nearly $2 million to put an initiative on the June 3 ballot to phase out California's rent control laws. About 1.2 million people statewide are covered by such laws.

Los Angeles, which has 626,600 rent-controlled residential units, could be affected more than any other city if the measure passes.

Big financial backers of the California Property Owners and Farmland Protection Act (prop 98) include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which gave $100,000 to the effort and lent the campaign $200,000; the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Issues PAC, which contributed $150,000; and the Apartment Owners Assn. Political Action Committee, which put in $100,000.

Among the donations is $50,000 from Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc., which owns 27 mobile home parks in California, and many more in other states. Equity Lifestyle's chairman is Sam Zell, chairman of Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times.

Proponents tout the measure as one that would limit government's use of eminent domain, preventing the taking of private property for private development. Although that is the first provision of the measure, it goes on to phase out rent control. Opponents have dubbed the measure the "Hidden Agenda Scheme," in part because rent control is not mentioned in the ballot title.

"Homeowners want true eminent domain protections but will not be duped into enacting harmful and deceptive provisions that have nothing to do with eminent domain, said Ken Willis, president of the League of California Homeowners.

His group and others last week qualified a separate initiative for the same June 3 ballot that would simply restrict eminent domain.

Meanwhile, another backer of the rent control measure is Sierra Corporate Management, which gave $35,000 to the campaign. It operates Blue Star, where the ballot measure is being watched with special interest. Passage of the measure would dash the hope of tenants there who want the city of Los Angeles to annex the part of the mobile home park that is outside the city boundary, extending rent control to all residents.

Thompson, sitting in her roomy, lime-green coach, said her elderly friends on the wrong side of the city-county boundary can no longer afford to live there.

"It breaks your heart," she said.

The measure says rent control laws enacted before Jan. 1, 2007, would remain in effect for tenants who were living in the controlled units as their principal residence. When the tenant leaves, rent control would be removed from that unit.

Los Angeles has rent control on all apartments built before 1995, and on mobile home parks whose operating permits were issued before Feb. 10, 1986.

Some 110 California cities and counties have adopted laws controlling rent for mobile home parks. Those cover about 230,400 people in about 153,145 mobile homes, according to industry officials. An additional 1 million people live in rent-controlled apartments in the state.

Generally, the laws allow landlords to raise rents by a limited amount -- in many jurisdictions by the amount of the consumer price index. Whenever a unit is vacated, the landlord can reset the rent at market level. But while the unit is occupied, rent increasesare subject to controls.

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Prop 98 Hidden Agenda for California June Primary Is Not So Far Beneath the Surface

Major Supporter Insults Tenants; Calls Elected Officials “Terrorists”

By Paul Hogarth


To learn about Proposition 98’s agenda, look no further than Dan Faller, President and Founder of the American Owner’s Association (AOA) – the largest landlord group in California. In a nine-page essay published in the association’s magazine, Faller complains heatedly about rent control, calls pro-tenant elected officials “terrorists” and “suicide bombers,” compares the effort to pass Prop 98 with World War II, says that renters “choose not to provide for themselves,” and – with rhetoric that channels George Bush – tells landlords: “you are either for us or against us in this fight for your freedom and property rights.”

We cannot dismiss Faller as just another right-wing kook, for his organization has already contributed $325,000 to the “Yes on 98” cause – and the AOA has plans to raise even more money in the coming weeks. And with voter turnout in June expected to be very low, Faller's fringe beliefs might actually become public policy in California – if we don't act now.

While proponents want voters to think it’s about eminent domain reform, Prop 98 is the most dangerous right-wing initiative to hit the California ballot in years. It would abolish rent control, gut the most basic tenant protections, repeal sensible environmental laws and endanger public water projects. Another measure, Proposition 99, would reform eminent domain – which Faller opposes because it would “only protect owner-occupied homes.” In other words, the Prop 98 forces don’t really care about the middle-class homeowner who fears eminent domain. They just want to repeal all regulations of private property.

Urging his fellow landlords to fight this “war” on the “terrorists,” Faller says the solution is to hit them with the “big bomb”: Proposition 98, which would invalidate all these existing laws and then some. “Help to permanently take away their weapons that allow unfair eminent domain and rent control,” he writes before asking for campaign contributions. “This is certainly one war that we all believe in and can hold our heads high as we fight to win! You are either for us or against us in this fight for your freedom and property rights.”

Was Faller joking when he called pro-tenant elected officials “suicide bombers,” accused tenants of being lazy, and compared the fight to pass Prop 98 with fighting the Axis powers in World War II? Apparently not. “Please take every word of this article more seriously,” he wrote in the preface, “than any other article you have ever read in this publication.” That should give us all pause about how dangerous Prop 98 really is ...

(Paul Hogarth is the Managing Editor of Beyond Chron, an alternative online daily newspaper)


What's Really Going on Here??

The real argument

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008

The real argument behind rent control law is simple: who regulates markets?

The advocates of rent control say that government regulates markets, while the developers say that they regulate markets. To get at this problem from a different angle, I am going to focus for a moment on the status of rental contracts, and for that matter, all contracts in our country.

Contracts, which are fundamental to market stability, are regulated by the government according to the constitution. Besides regulating contracts, the constitution gives congress the power to regulate interstate commerece. As virtually every product made in the US today involves contracted interstate movement of products and services, this is a considerable grant of power.

The banking and credit card companies have expended millions of dollars of bribes on congress to influence the regulation of contracts. The result is that congress has passed numerous laws weakening contracts in favor of the landlord and lender, at the expence of the tenant and borrower.

The best example of this trend are credit card and tenancy contracts. Our bribed politicians in congress have made it legal for both credit card companies and landlords to aribitrairly raise rates and rents. Our bribed congress has created laws for contracts that allow leanders and landlords to modify the financial terms of the originally contracted agreement at will.

Let's look at this a bit closer. When a leander or landlord sets the terms of the contract, it can be assumed that they have accounted for all necessary expences, and have included the margin of profit the market will bear. This process establishes the fixed expences to make the loan or rent the property, and the contract reflects these conditions.

Until the market rates go up the next day, allowing the leander and landlord to make greater profits. But, as we see from the paragraph above, the landlord and leander is already making a reasonable return on their investment. But the power of greed and bribery has made it possible for leander and landlord to arbitrairly break the contract, and demand more interest or more rent. This is nothing more than the manipulation of law and contracts to service greed.

Congress has set rules of contract that reflect the interests of their biggest bribers rather than the welfare of our citizens, or the sancitity of contracts. Today, contracts are flexable, and are arbitrairly changed by the corporate interests when it suits their profits.

This is an excellent example of how political bribery has broken both the democratic and constitutional protections of our citizens. The result of allowing bribed politicians to make our economic policies has not only ripped off our citizens, but have done serious damage to the economy as well. Our politicians have sacrificed our democratic rights as well as our wealth to enrich their bribers.

This will continue to be the case until we stop allowing bribery to determine who runs our government. The dems and repugs are both throughly bribed corporate parties that will continue to serve the interests and agenda of their corporate and special interest bribers until we outlaw bribery. Until then, this shameful spectacle of political bribery and corruption will continue to disgrace both parties and our government.

Until we restore our democracy the peace, wealth, welfare and rights of our citizens will continue to be attacked by corrupted politicians determined to give their corporate sponsors their last few cents of profit by making our people suffer.

These are the same criminals who have destroyed our schools. These are the same criminals who have destroyed our middle class. These are the same people who feed the corporations billions of our tax dollars, sacrificing our health and welfare for corporate bribes. These are the same people who live in 1st world luxury while lording over an impoverished 3rd world foreign labor force.

These people are our local, state, and national legislators, put in office and suported by billions in corporate bribes. Their failure to protect our democratic form, our individual rights, and our wealth marks these people as traitors. Their failures to restrain themselves within the framework of our democratic values and the rules of our constitution have run our economy, our infrastructue, our environment, and our government into the ground.

Stopping bribery from determining the outcome of our elections will stop the bleeding, but it will not heal the wounds these traitors have inflicted on our country.

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Also See:

The California Page


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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

California coalition backs tax hikes over budget cuts

By Judy Lin -

Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, March 8, 2008


Rather than point the state budget ax at each other, a broad spectrum of interest groups has joined forces in a battle to press Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to raise taxes.

Groups representing nearly every state general fund service – education, labor, public safety, environment, health care and social services – have formed an alliance to oppose the governor's proposal for 10 percent across-the-board cuts.

Coalition members say it's too early to identify specific taxes they would support. They have established committees to focus on lobbying efforts in and out of Sacramento. If they're not successful in the Legislature, the effort could lead to a ballot initiative.

"Everybody realizes they can't do it alone; that's what's bringing everyone together," said Mike Herald, a lobbyist for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. "I think that's why we're going to be strong."

For his part, the governor's recent rhetoric signals more acceptance of increasing revenues.

"I will not raise taxes on the people of California, because they are already paying enough taxes," he said in January when he proposed his budget. Last week, he said "we should go after those tax loopholes" to provide more revenue.

And Friday, he went a step further, mentioning the sales tax. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, he said, "has talked about tax increases, about the sales tax, tax loopholes, all of those things ought to be on the table."

Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, continued to oppose tax increases based on what they perceive as government's inability to control spending. General fund spending has increased more than 32 percent in five years.

Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting across all agencies and departments as California grapples with an estimated $8 billion deficit through June 2009.

Although elected officials approved a series of cuts, borrowing and accounting maneuvers back in February, leaders face more difficult decisions ahead, such as whether to cut school funding, reduce Medi-Cal benefits, close parks and release prisoners early.

Coalition members are trying to prevent those proposals from becoming reality by launching grass-roots campaigns to drum up public support for taxes. A number of rallies have been organized throughout the state.

California Teachers Association President David Sanchez has warned that the governor's proposal would be "equivalent to laying off about 107,000 teachers, or increasing the number of students in every classroom by up to 35 percent" in K-12 schools.

Coalition members warn that cuts also would result in higher college tuition rates, hamper medical access for the poor and decrease fire protection during wildfire season.

Members of the coalition say they hope to energize a number of grass-roots efforts that have already sprung up to fight school cuts, park closures and medical service reductions.

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What's Really Going on Here??

We've been Robbed

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 16, 2008

The problem is not just in the future, as the press and politicians would like us to believe. The real problem is coming at us from the past. You see, we've been robbed.

Like the story of the king with no clothes, our schools, hospitals, retirements, and about every service has already been stripped naked to energize the profits of our corporate elite. Our schools and social institutions had failed long before this predictable budget crisis was even a sparkle in fabian nunez's eye.

See all those SUVs and luxury McMansions? See all those Nunezes feasting like a pig at the trough of luxury? That's where the money that should have maintained our schools, roads and retirement money was spent. See all those uneducated people flooding the streets?

That's what political corruption does to a society.

The breakdown of our social and natural infrastructures has already occured, and the politicians and their corporate sponsors are to blame. But we must get beyond blame, by using our wisdom and principals to fix the root problem.

The corporate politicians have become dangerous. Their 30 year drive to double our population has succeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have stripped our state (and our country) of its middle-class. They have swept aside our democracy. They have stolen all of our money, and had a 30 year party while our social instutions have been burning to the ground.

This was a fairly simple process. It was the same process the robber barons used to kill our farmer democracy: they flooded the country with obedient peasants, drove wages down and prices up, and pocketed every penny of profit, leaving not a cent to pay for the education, medicine, and incarceration of their new foreign laboring class. They drained the middle-class of its social institutions to subsidize their profits.

That was ok with the corporations. Their plan is to drive education, medicine, and prisons into bankruptcy, and then privitize them and profit heavily. Don't expect the dems to do a damn thing about it: they are as deeply in the pockets of the corporations as are the republicans. The dems have adopted the republican mantras of free trade and deregulation, passing the repugs as the top recipients of corporate bribery.

Without any real political representation in congress or the california legislature, it was left to the expiring american middle-class to sacrifice the tattered remnants of their social institutions to subsidize the crimigrant labor force that has replaced them. And now the cookie jar is empty, and broken.

And predictably the dems are now talking about responsibility and taxes, after they defered both for the benefit of their corporate bribes. The dems have held power in california during this whole economic expansion, and are the architects of the destruction of our social services. We've got to look elsewhere than the democrats who drove us to this crisis for a solution.

Maybe we can sell china all of our superflours SUVs and McMansions that our broken yuppie class wasted all of our money on. Maybe we can sell china our worthless mortgage securities. Even better, let's have a new immigration! let's offer anyone in the world that is willing to pay three or four millions of dollars the "right" to buy citizenship.

Hell, our corporate government gives citizenship away to poor peasants who swear to work cheaper than decency, obey the boss, obey our illegal corporate government, and consume. No english? No problem! Six Kids? No Problem! Our corporate government will make the middle-class subsidize everything.

Obedience and Consumption are the foreigners tickets to a better way of life in corporate america, even if you can't get an education, medicine, retirement, decent wages, or respect.

We can get a higher price for our selling our country's soveregnity and welfare down the river than that.

If not, we are screwed. Our schools and medical systems have already failed. And our social services will continue to fail until we change our growth policy from one based on stripping our lower and middle-classes, and our environment, of their wealth and beauty to push all of our nation's resources into the mouths of the corporate whores.

Until we actually take action to stop our politicians from feeding their corporate sponsor's insatable desire for irresponsible profits, they both will continue to prosper at the expence of our peoples' health, education, and general welfare.

Until the coalition mentioned in the article above realises this, they will fail to even maintain our already broken level of social services.

This will not change until we stop the corporations from robbing us of our democracy. That will not happen until we strip the politicians of their corporate bribes, and end the robbery of our nation's rights and resources and at its source: our elections.

A corporate government will not educate or medicate our kids, no matter how much the coalitions cries. Only a government elected by the people will educate and medicate our society. Only a government elected by the people is legitimate.

Until we restore our political legitimacy-our democracy-coalitions to save our services will be like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound in our body politic. Before putting a bandaid on this problem it would serve us well to remove the bullet.

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 4, 2nd article, “Special Interests and Politicians Play, Our Education System Melts Away"


Corruption Updates 41, 1st article, “Study: Schools need billions"


budget crisis links

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

The giving is easy in state Capitol, 2007 list shows

By Jim Sanders

bee, 3-4-08

Don't tell Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger it's better to give than receive.

Schwarzenegger reported 90 gifts totaling nearly $14,000 – including about $2,500 in cigar products and $1,500 in liquor – in annual disclosure statements filed Monday with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, in comparison, reported receiving about $9,100 in gifts, including a $3,240 Christmas gift card from 39 aides who chipped in $25 to $100 apiece.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata reported a much smaller gift total, $1,062. His most expensive item was a $249 convention hotel stay bankrolled by Consumer Attorneys of California.

State law allows politicians to receive gifts totaling up to $390 annually from a single source.


Not all politicians accept gifts, however.

"In what other job in America do people get gifts just for having the job?" said Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "I think there's a real problem when people consider their job a perpetual birthday party."

Núñez's gifts included a $350 ticket from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to attend Hollywood's Oscar awards ceremony. He received more than $1,600 in sports- related tickets or gifts, and about $250 in wine, records show.

Besides gifts, Núñez received $15,702 from the World Economic Forum to attend its gathering last year in Davos, Switzerland, and $4,142 from the William C. Velasquez Institute to help subsidize Núñez's trip to France to study high-speed rail, records show.

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FPPC chairman proposes closing travel gift loophole

By Kevin Yamamura -

bee, March 4, 2008


Fair Political Practices Commission chairman Ross Johnson proposed a rule Monday to prevent elected officials from hiding lavish trips financed by companies and nonprofits by routing the money through their government employers.

Johnson's regulation would require state and local leaders to accept travel gifts directly and claim them annually on their gift statements, enabling the public to see who paid for all their trips.

Elected officials are allowed to accept unlimited travel gifts if related to a legislative or governmental purpose. Many leaders, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have used public agencies as the recipient without claiming the gifts on their personal disclosure records, making it more difficult to determine the extent of such contributions.

"We don't want to see these (agencies) used as a means of disguising or concealing gifts," said Johnson, a former longtime GOP state legislator. "We want gifts to be treated in such a way that it's clear when a personal benefit is conferred on an elected official or high-ranking official."

To pay for his trade missions, the Republican governor has relied heavily on the California State Protocol Foundation, a nonprofit organized by the California Chamber of Commerce. In December, he released documents describing the foundation's travel gifts to his office, though he has not disclosed them on his personal Statements of Economic Interest.

The documents – kept internally and more difficult to access than SEIs – show Schwarzenegger received Protocol Foundation gifts last year that included $214,487 to pay for round-trip airfare on his private jet from the United States to the United Kingdom and France and $108,000 to pay for airfare to Canada.

Under Johnson's proposed FPPC regulation, unelected public employees would also face new restrictions on travel gifts. They would be required to provide full disclosure of the source of the money and how it was spent, either to the FPPC or on a local government Web site. They also could not receive gifts that exceed spending limits that government officials must adhere to when using public money for travel.

Although the governor frequently stays in five-star hotels and provides posh accommodations for his aides, funded by the Protocol Foundation, the FPPC rule could force his staff to stay in hotels that meet the state's more modest spending limits. The rule also would crack down on cases such as one discovered by The Bee in which California Highway Patrol chiefs traveled to the European headquarters of Eurocopter and BMW in 2002.

"I don't think that some high-ranking bureaucrat in a state agency ought to be able to take a trip and wind up staying at a five-star hotel," Johnson said.

The FPPC will discuss his proposal March 13 and formally vote on the matter one or two months later, said spokesman Roman Porter.

FPPC to require more disclosure


Published 12:00 am PST Friday, February 15, 2008


The Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously Thursday to require additional disclosure of politicians' shopping, dining and out-of-state travel bankrolled by campaign funds.

The new regulations, effective July 1, apply to purchases of $100 or more. They are designed to help the public decide whether such expenditures serve a legitimate political, governmental or legislative interest.

Politicians who purchase gifts for a group of people must disclose the name of each recipient receiving an item worth $25 or more.

For meals or out-of-state expenditures, politicians must disclose details ranging from the travel destination to the number of people participating – and whether a member of the politician's family came along.

What's Really Going on Here??

How to bribe a politician: Give them Gifts!

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 16, 2008

There appear to be three main forms of bribery in california's legislature: open cash bribes, luxury gifts and travel, and plush jobs in the corporate elite after serving their interests in political office.

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 24, 6th article on the page, Assembly members who bribe fellow Dems get choice assignments

Corruption Updates 29, 1st article on the page, Nunez, ASSEMBLY STEALS LIKE CORPORATIONS

Nunez Lives Like a King on Corporate Bribes, lat, October 5, 2007

Nunez Pretends to be "Middle-Class" while living in luxury at public and private troughs, lat, October 7, 2007

Nunez and Perata Living Large on the Massive Bribes of the Special Interests, bee, October 9, 2007

Nunez Brags that his Bribes Pay his for Luxury rather than the State: but he still collects his per diem while whoring for the corporations, bee, October 13, 2007


Arnie is so bribed

nunez is so bribed

Democrats are corporate whores, Links


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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


Migden sues FPPC on spending

The state senator wants the agency to let her use previous contributions.

By Aurelio Rojas -

Published 12:00 am PST Wednesday, March 5, 2008


In an unusual move, state Sen. Carole Migden is suing the state's political watchdog agency, which has ruled she can't spend $647,000 in political contributions she raised before being elected to the Senate.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, drew a tart rejoinder from Ross Johnson, chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

"Migden wants to bully the FPPC and distract our staff from their investigation into her campaigns," Johnson said Tuesday in a prepared statement. "We intend to enforce the law."

Johnson maintains Migden has already spent nearly $400,000 to which she is not legally entitled.

James Harrison, an attorney for Migden, denied the senator – who is facing a hotly contested primary election in June – is trying to "bully" the FPPC.

Harrison said the San Francisco Democrat only wants the FPPC to treat her as it did Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, who was allowed to use $100,000 she raised before her election to the Senate.

"Nor do I think it's bullying for us to ask (the FPPC) to follow the Constitution," said Harrison, who contends state law governing surplus funds is unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

The FPPC allowed Corbett to spend the money after she blamed an accounting mistake and provided a 13-page letter making her case. Migden, a former member of the Assembly and State Board of Equalization, never asked for the FPPC's permission.

State law requires elected officials to spend money they raised in office before leaving that office. Those who do not can donate the surplus money to nonprofits or political parties but cannot use it to campaign for another office.

In her suit against the FPPC and Johnson, Migden contends the $647,000 in question "could well make the difference" in her fight to retain her Senate seat.

The disagreement stems from a complaint filed last November by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who is running for Migden's Senate seat.

He accused her of charging $397,000 in political expenses without disclosing who was initially paid and for what, as required by campaign finance laws. He also objected to the transfer of funds between her campaign committees.

Migden's campaign committee reports, dating back to 2000, included 30 instances in which credit card bills ranging from $219 to $236,431 were listed but lacked itemization, according to published reports. Her attorney said the mistakes stemmed from the use of volunteer bookkeepers who were not familiar with all of the state requirements for campaign finance reporting.

Migden has previously been fined a total of $110,600 by the FPPC for violations, including twice in 2006.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Is she drunk, drugged, or stupid?

Migden is all that, and a power hungry corrupted super ego

(otherwise know as a california legislator)

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 16, 2008

Migden has crawled into the refuge of political scoundrels: the notion that bribery is free speech.

Imagine the size of the ego that puts itself not only before public safety, as migden did when she used her state vechicle to go on a bumber car destruction derby, but is willing to twist our right of free speech into a cover for accepting political bribery.

I wonder what she promised the CHP to avoid a drug test after her series of drunk-like accidents?

Migden did not just accept political bribes, normal for our corrupted politicians, but illegally transfered them to her current campaign to stay in office. Who bribed her? Nobody knows. But that doesn't bother migden, as she knows who she is beholden to, even if the voters don't: midgen fights for the right of free speech to hide secret contributors to candidates in elections they can't even vote in.

Thank god we have such strong advocates of free speech like migden to protect our constitutional right to bribe politicians. I don't know what I would do without her in office, but it would be a pleasure to find out.

Despite the forgiving laws that people like migden crafted to allow and protect political bribery, migden wants more. Note that migden did not first contest the decision against her in court. Instead, she defied the law and the FPPC, and just went and broke the law. What arrogance and disrespect for the laws she was elected and sworn to uphold.

It is clear that migden puts herself above the law. I say that the voters should give migden more time off. A term or two our of office to cool her overheated ego would be good for california and good for midgen's superiority complex.

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Also See:

Migden rear-ends car in Solano County, bee, 5-19-08

Migden's wild drive: 911 calls reveal fear, danger, bee, 8-11-07


Search the Corruption Database under



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5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


Independent campaign spending highlighted

FPPC questions effectiveness of election contribution limits.

By Judy Lin -

Published 12:00 am PST Friday, February 15, 2008


The state's campaign finance watch group says independent expenditure committees have given more than $88 million since 2000 to candidates for state offices, raising questions about whether campaign contribution limits have done anything to curtail money in politics.

Fair Political Practices Commission Chairman Ross Johnson says he'd like to find better ways for the public to track spending because it's not always clear who controls the independent committees.

Johnson says even if committees don't coordinate with candidates, candidates can see who's helping them.

In 2000, voters approved limits on contributions to candidate campaigns under Proposition 34. Since then, the commission found, independent committees have pumped millions into state races on behalf of candidates.

For example, in 2000, independent expenditure committees gave $376,000 to legislative races. Six years later, that figure had jumped to $23.5 million.

For statewide candidates, committees gave $526,000 in 2002, but $29.5 million by 2006.

Here's a list of the top committees that have given to candidates for state office from 2000 through 2006:

• Californians for a Better Government, a Coalition of Firefighters, Police, Deputy Sheriffs, Teachers, Home Builders and Developers, $9,855,582 (Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis and related entity AKT Investments, California Teachers Association, other unions)

• Alliance for a Better California, Educators, Firefighters, School Employees, Health Care Givers and Labor Organizations, $5,245,109 (California Teachers Association, CCPOA, other unions)

• First Americans for a Better California Independent Expenditure Committee, $4,256,754 (two casino-owning Indian tribes)

• JOBS PAC – an Independent Expenditure Committee Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, $3,900,501 (state Chamber of Commerce, corporations, industry associations)

• California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) Independent Expenditure Committee, $3,536,698 (correctional officers union)

• Morongo Band of Mission Indians Native American Rights PAC, $3,378,853 (casino-owning Indian tribe)

• Strengthening Our Lives Through Education, Community Action and Civic Participation, A Coalition of Labor Organizations Candidate PAC, $3,306,944 (California State Council of Service Employees, Service Employees International Union)

• Team 2006, Sponsored by California Sovereign Indian Nations, $3,093,391 (five casino-owning Indian tribes)

• Alliance for Progress and Education, an Alliance of Professionals, Employers and Small Business, $2,953,948 (dentists, insurance companies, developers)

• Working Californians, $2,637,860 (unions for teachers, service employees, electricians and police officers, among others)


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March 16, 2008

Our initiative will eliminate all contributions from non voters in california elections, and limit party contributions to 30% of the contributions collected from the local voters.

The next problem is more sticky. How do you preserve free speech and prevent bribery?

Under our initiative, the independent committees will be prohibited from contributing to individual candidates, but they will be allowed to contribute within present limits to political parties. The 30% limit on party contributions will stop the parties from acting as a distribution point for special interest and corporate bribery. Problem solved.

Once we stop the special interests from directly bribing our politicians, the next problem will be to maintain them within the limits of their free speech and assembly rights. This will be a constant problem, but will not be as dangerous as the situation is now, as the special interests have captured the heart of our democratic elections, and have bribed every politician in our nation.

If we are more wise than greedy, we will force the independent committees to act within their speech and assembly rights, and punish them severely if they attempt to corrupt our elections. If they transform free speech into bribery, we must put them in prison for a minimum of five years.

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 22, 6th article, “MONEY WINS IN ALMOST EVERY POLITICAL RACE”


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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Migden must pay $350,000

FPPC levies record fine as she heads into tough election

By Aurelio Rojas -

Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, March 21, 2008


State Sen. Carole Migden will pay a record $350,000 fine for campaign spending violations under an agreement approved Thursday by California's political watchdog agency.

The 89 violations that resulted in the largest fine ever by the Fair Political Practices Commission included personal use of campaign funds and inaccurate disclosure of cash payments and receipts between 2003 and 2007.

Migden's public image has taken a beating since she was cited last year by the California Highway Patrol and fined $710 after a wild ride on Interstate 80 in which her state-issued SUV rear-ended another vehicle.

Thursday's agreement, which the FPPC board approved 4-1, is the latest development in the stormy relationship between Migden and the agency. In 2002, she was fined $16,000 for not filing timely contribution reports.

Migden also is suing the commission over whether she can use $647,000 in an old campaign account dating back to her 2000 Assembly re-election battle.

In a prepared statement, commission Chairman Ross Johnson said, "Sen. Migden's track record has shown her complete disdain for the Political Reform Act."

During the FPPC's months-long investigation, the agency determined Migden illegally transferred approximately $1 million of surplus campaign funds and had already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The senator was told to stop using the money but instead sued the FPPC in an effort to gain access to $647,000 of the money she had not spent.

The federal lawsuit will be heard April 1 in Sacramento. The FPPC is withholding details of the $16,000 in campaign donations Migden spent on personal use, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

"We will now focus our attention on that lawsuit and Sen. Migden's numerous other serious and deceitful violations of California law," Johnson said.

Leno was unavailable for comment. But Tom Higgins, his campaign manager, called on Migden to disclose how she spent the $16,000. "Voters expect those who make laws to live by those laws," Higgins said.

Commissioner Robert Leidigh cast the only vote against the fine, saying he objected to an arrangement that gives Migden up to a year to pay the remaining $250,000.

The FPPC probe was prompted by Leno, who questioned Migden's compliance with campaign finance laws. The feud in San Francisco between the two incumbents has created an opening for Nation, who represented Marin County in the Assembly.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-to-1 in the Senate district. That means whoever wins the primary is a shoo-in to represent the district, which includes half of San Francisco, all of Marin County, and Rohnert Park and Petaluma in Sonoma County.

Graeme Boushey, an assistant professor of political science at San Francisco State University, said Migden's "big hope is voter fatigue and low turnout."

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What's Really Going on Here??

I call her "Pigden"

See Migden article above


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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


Schwarzenegger seeks $67 million boost for private-prison operator

By Andy Furillo -

Published 2:00 am PDT Sunday, March 9, 2008


New receiver: Fixing California prison medical care will cost plenty

By Andy Furillo -


Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, March 6, 2008


"Health care has been a decades-long underinvestment" in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's program, J. Clark Kelso said Wednesday in his first public speech since he was appointed to his job six weeks ago. "As receiver, I'm going to catch up."

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., March, 2008

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Also See:


State prisons in 'tailspin,' panel says, lat, 1-26-07

State appeals prison ruling; Governor fights to move inmates out of state and uphold his emergency powers, bee, 4-6-07

Court to consider capping prisons, bee, 5-28-07

Ruling could spring inmates early, bee, 6-27-07

Search the Corruption Database under




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Today's Headlines


1] Screw the Poor: prop 98 ends rent control in california

2] California budget coalition: If they can't find the problem, they won't find the solution

3] Bribery by luxury: fancy gifts and fancy trips are sucked up by political leadership

4] Migden raises a constitutional question: Are political bribes transferable between election campaigns?

5] Private bribery, not the voters, running california elections

6] Migden busted for corruption, fined 350,000

7] California prison disgrace continues

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