19 Jun

Episode 9 – Turning Dirty Tricks for Higher Pay

The prostitutes are dirty. So dirty.

This episode is just chalk full of dirty tricks. In it we get into a pretty lengthy update on the recall in state senate district 29. There are dirty tricks afoot. We also get into the pay raises that our legislators and constitutional officers just received from a governor appointed committee. Then there’s the findings of the grand jury in the OCDA/OC Sheriff jailhouse informant scandal. Oh, did you know Rep. Ed Royce has a new challenger for his congressional seat? Well he does, and we delve into that. Finally, we get into the burgeoning ecological and health related nightmare that’s brewing in the Salton Sea.

Recall Update – Dirty Tricks


  • NBC 4 interview with Carl DeMaio on Sunday 6/18
    • Claims the assertion that Reform California and the signature gatherers are misleading voters about the nature of the recall is flat out wrong.
      • He says they’ve been upfront from the beginning in their strategy to recall Josh Newman to send a message to Sacramento that increasing taxes on working families without their consent is not ok.
      • He brings up the instance of the vice-chair of the OC Democratic party harassing him and other LGBT signature gatherers in Fullerton.
      • There is a pending lawsuit against the recall effort and Reform California claiming they are misleading voters about the nature of the signature gathering effort.
        • Talk about our feelings on the messaging of the recall effort.


  • NBC 4 interview with Josh Newman on Sunday 6/18
    • Counterpoint to Carl DeMaio’s interview.
      • Claims SB96 was not intended to save him.
        • Instead claims he’s had several hundred constituents call his office saying they wanted to know how to remove their names from the recall petition because they claim they were misled about what they were actually signing.
        • Also asserts the recall effort is misleading people about the petition.
        • Makes a point to say that the recall effort has professional signature gatherers who are paid per signature.
          • As if no other petition in the history of petitions has had professional signature gatherers.
      • When asked about confrontations counter-protestors are engaging in, Newman had this to say.
        • “Well, we do have people going to supermarkets to explain to people that the petition they’re signing is not to repeal the gas tax, it’s actually to repeal their state senator. Are they professionals? No. Are they from out of state? No. Have there been some heated interactions? Yes, and I think that’s unfortunate. But it starts with the broader question about the basis for this effort: Whether or not my vote was the thing that people were responding to or whether, as you mentioned earlier, whether it’s a pretext for a larger effort from Republicans throughout the state to target a member — in this case, me — to try and change the math in the state senate and to reverse an election that was held almost, what, 7 months ago.”
      • This whole process has been dirty on both sides.


  • Op-Ed by Jon Coupal of the HJTA on Saturday 6/17
    • Criticizes the legislature for passing SB96, effectively allowing for, in his estimation, a 2-6 months delay of any recall effort.
    • He also claims the language in the bill that requires the Department of Finance to produce a report on the cost of a recall could potentially delay a recall vote indefinitely.
      • “Here’s the kicker. The Department of Finance is part of the governor’s office and the bill does not require the governor’s office to prepare that analysis under any time limit. Gov. Brown, who has already come out against the recall, can simply delay that report indefinitely, which, in turn, would hold up certification of the recall effort and the ultimate election.”
        • Under this law, any governor who is against a recall, for whatever reason, could stall the recall vote simply by having his or her Department of Finance delay the analysis.
          • This may sound like dirty pool, but this is Sacramento. Dirty pool is par for the course.


  • Op-Ed by Steven Greenhut on Sunday 6/18
    • Claims Josh Newman is playing dirty when it comes to fighting the recall effort.
      • Newman’s people sent out a mailer with misleading and downright false information about Carl DeMaio, stating that DeMaio’s “political career ended when he was accused of sexually harassing numerous members of his staff and masturbating in front of a campaign aide.”
        • “DeMaio has denied these allegations. And as the Register’s Martin Wisckol wrote, the accusation was made by a former aide during DeMaio’s 2014 congressional race. “The district attorney investigated and found insufficient evidence to file charges against DeMaio,” he wrote. “The case also attracted the attention of the FBI, which turned its attention to the accuser, Todd Bosnich. … Bosnich was found guilty of obstruction of justice for fabricating anonymous threatening emails that had appeared to come from DeMaio.”
        • When asked about the tactics both his people and his surrogates are utilizing, Newman famously said that he is “not pleased to be part of this kind of politics,” but that he’s “playing a game by their rules.”
          • He has no moral standing anymore.


Local Story – CA Lawmakers and Jerry Brown Are Given a Pay Raise


  • Our legislators and governor were given a 3% raise by a citizen’s panel.
    • This is slightly less than the raise given to rank and file government workers.
    • The governor’s pay goes up to $195,803 and legislators’ pay will go up to $107,238, with $183 per diem while they’re in session.
      • $13,064,363 and $21,963 per day for the legislators’ per diem allocation.
        • That doesn’t include staff salaries. 33 pages of staff salaries for just the assembly alone.
    • The commission (appointed by the governor) also gave 3% raises to 11 other constitutional officers, including the attorney general, lieutenant governor, and treasurer.
      • The commission admits that legislator and constitutional officer salaries in California are greater than they are in most states.
        • In fact, our legislators are the highest paid in the country and make about $21,000 more than the next highest state (Pennsylvania).
        • Finding out how many days they are in session any given year is no easy task, so finding out how much they are paid in per diem pay is difficult. The California constitution is a little vague on the subject.
    • The governor and legislature also granted a 4% raise to the state’s largest public employee union (SEIU).
  • All of this after they vote to raise our taxes by $5.2 billion annually.


Local Story – OC District Attorney and Sheriff NOT GUILTY


  • An OC grand jury found that there was no systematic “cheating” with jailhouse informants.
    • They did assert that there were isolated problems, but that they didn’t indicate widespread activity.
      • “Although the use of in-custody informants does occur, it is generally organic in nature, case specific and does not represent a conspiracy between the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County District Attorney’s office.”
      • The jury foreman said the real issue was “a few rogue deputies who got carried away with being crime fighters.”
        • The grand jury claims they took up the case because of an “erosion of public trust” that had generated a “witch hunt.”
      • Though the jury did not single out the top brass in either department, they did say that a lot of the problems stemmed from “laxness in supervision” in both departments.
        • “It is clear to the (grand jury) that had individuals charged with supervising prosecutors been more aware of how those prosecutors were conducting business, their high caseload and shoddy record-keeping habits, this entire episode could have been avoided,” the report said.
        • This reminds me (Sean) of the explanation by James Comey of the misdeeds done by Hillary Clinton.
      •  “It is clear to the (grand jury) that had individuals charged with supervising prosecutors been more aware of how those prosecutors were conducting business, their high caseload and shoddy record-keeping habits, this entire episode could have been avoided,” the report said.
      • — Per the OC Grand Jury Website which hasn’t been updated since redevelopment agencies were abolished — The grand jury is mandated by law to inquire into the conditions and management of public jails.
      • When interviewing the jury after the decision, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders said they were troubled by the lack of an “official” informant program.
        • “When you hide evidence in jails, you usually don’t create an official program,” he said.  “So the fact that the grand jury thought you needed one of those or you don’t have a jailhouse informant program is troubling.”
      • He also didn’t think they actually studied any of the information in the case.
        • “When I sat down with them it was a shocking moment where I realized that they had not studied any of it. I’m bringing up cases, I’m bringing up names, I’m bringing up the informant index – and I’m being met with blank stares.”


Local Story – Ed Royce Gets Some Competition


  • Phil Janowicz, a former chemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who now runs an education consulting firm, is a first-time candidate. He’ll start his campaign Tuesday.
    • “People have become disgusted by the current state of our politics in Washington, D.C. Partisanship and gridlock, never-ending conflict, and promises to ‘drain the swamp’ that are broken as quickly as they are made,” he said in a statement. “Our country and our communities deserve better.”
    • This is part of the Democrats’ campaign to unseat several Orange County Republicans, because of how many districts voted in the 2016 presidential election.
      • This throws a wrench in the campaign of Mai Tran from Fountain Valley, who sought to carpetbag her way into Royce’s congressional seat.
    • Janowicz is already trying to tie Royce to Trump, accusing Royce of voting “in lock-step with Trump 96% of the time,” seemingly referring to the score the website FiveThirtyEight has assigned members of Congress based on how often they vote in line with Trump’s positions.
      • This will be difficult. Royce has been in congress for 20+ years and is the chairman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee.
        • The Republicans will throw tons of money at this election.

California – The Salton Sea is Drying Up


  • The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, which has been shrinking for years. It will begin to shrink much more quickly at the end of this year.
    • Because of a water transfer deal, more water from the Colorado River will be diverted to San Diego and the Coachella Valley.
      • In 2003, California promised to start dealing with the issue of the lake shrinking.
        • So far, lawmakers have done little to nothing.
  • In 10 years, around 60,000 acres of lakebed will be exposed.
    • This increases the salinity of the lake, killing the birds and fish that call the lake home.
    • This also exposes toxic dust to the air, which gets kicked up and blown around the surrounding areas.
      • The asthma rates for Imperial County (where the Salton Sea is located) is double that of the rest of California.
  • This isn’t the only instance of water transfer deals causing lakes to dry up, exposing carcinogenic particles.

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