August 2010 Archives

On the ground at the Restoring Honor rally in D.C.

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I should have gotten there earlier to get a better seat.

I figured starting the day only a mile-and-half away from the National Mall three hours before the event would be good enough to at least get me within naked eyesight of the podium, but I was wrong.

Columns of Beck supporters marched down the wide jogging paths on either side of the grass lawn between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, many with lawn chairs slung over their shoulders.

They filed past a small group of Media-Matters-sponsored Beck protesters with a poster of the conservative commentator, labeled "nightmare" juxtaposed against Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "dream."

The official entrance to Beck's Restoring Honor rally, a giant fundraiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, appeared on the east side of the Washington Monument, where SOWF volunteers collected donations for the children of fallen soldiers.

The Washington Monument sits at the top of a slope. Facing west, the Capitol Building is directly behind you, the Jefferson Memorial is visible to the left, the White House is visible to the right, and straight ahead, sloping gently downhill is the World War II Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, immortalized 47 years earlier by King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

Having toured the site the night before, I walked nearby the stage and examined the large posters--Frederick Douglass, an astronaut, and a chieftain I didn't recognize. Music was playing on the oversized speakers, and small crowds had already formed and dropped their lawn chairs on either side of the Reflecting Pool, 18 hours before the event. The podium stood empty, not on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as I expected, but several landings below it. I hiked up the steps to see the seated Lincoln Statue--the chamber was already full of people. At Lincoln's feet were about 20 members of the U.S. Navy in white uniforms, who received a thunderous applause from onlookers.

Reverence for the military was a theme at the nonpartisan Restoring Honor rally, headlined by Beck and Sarah Palin, who said she spoke not as a politician, but as the mother of a combat veteran.[continue reading]

Fun with biased media: In same article, AP reports Beck's rally "predominantly white" while mum that Sharpton's is mostly black

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In the opening paragraph of the Associated Press's widely distributed wire report on Glenn Beck's massive Restoring Honor rally, it noted the demographical makeup of those that showed up at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party champion Sarah Palin appealed Saturday to a vast, predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and honor Martin Luther King's message.

Although five of the first 12 paragraphs of the article mention Sharpton's much smaller rally, there is no mention that the crowd there was predominantly black.

The AP also didn't mention the degree of tribute Beck's event paid to minorities, while I did.

In fact, Beck was one of the few male, white speakers at the rally. Of the eleven other presenters, only two were white men--St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and Special Operations Warrior Foundation President Col. John Carney, Jr.

All three of the achievement medals Beck minted were given to minorities (albeit the third medal was accepted on behalf of philanthropist John Huntsman, who is white), in front of a banner of Frederick Douglass.

Naturally, the closing paragraph ends by stating that a person handed out fliers with Obama with a Hitler-style mustache. Possibly three hundred thousand people there with nothing controversial on their person, and the AP--one of the world's premier news agencies--decides to close on a note describing one person with an extreme message.

King's niece stands with Beck on anniversary of "I Have a Dream" speech

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If Glenn Beck is such a racist, why would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s niece attend a rally he organized on the anniversary of her uncle's most important speech?

Quite simply, because Alveda King has taken the time to speak to Beck to find out who he really is.

"I am attending this rally to help reclaim America," she told "Good Morning America's" Ron Claiborne today from Capitol Hill. "I'm joining Glenn to talk about faith, hope, charity, honor. Those are things that America needs to reclaim. Our children need to remember to love each other how to honor each other, their parents, God and their neighbors. I agree with Glenn on all of those principles. So that's why I'm here. For me it's principles over politics."

Were he a racist--as many on the Left contend--I doubt very much that King would join him in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, and she certainly wouldn't have said that her uncle would have attended were he alive.

In fact, Beck was one of the few male, white speakers at the rally. Of the eleven other presenters, only two were white men--St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and Special Operations Warrior Foundation President Col. John Carney, Jr.

All three of the achievement medals Beck minted were given to minorities (albeit the third medal was accepted on behalf of philanthropist John Huntsman, who is white), in front of a banner of Frederick Douglass.

The crowd didn't boo. They did just the opposite--they gave standing ovations to the King legacy. They sang Amazing Grace after hearing Beck tell the story of the slaveship captain-turned-abolitionist who wrote it.

Beck is following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, much to the irritation of the "real" heirs to the King legacy--Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the latter of whom held a counter-rally commemorating the anniversary of King's speech.

But Jackson and Sharpton aren't exactly the messengers of peace and dignity. Jackson is a professional shakedown artist that exploits race to extract reparations from corporations. The reverend admitted to having a love child in 2001, and called Jews "hymies." Sharpton, for his part, referred to Jews as "diamond merchants" at a funeral with signs that read, "Hitler didn't do the job." Shortly after, 20 black men murdered a 29-year-old Jewish man.

Does that sound like men carrying on King's tradition? Beck isn't a perfect messenger himself, as he freely admits. A self-proclaimed formerly suicidal alcoholic, Beck said he reformed himself after he found God.

While Jackson and Sharpton demonize Beck, Alveda King is standing by the conservative commentator and taking lumps of her own.

She's now vilified for her pro-life and anti-gay-marriage positions, even though her opinions on those issues coincide with the majority of the black community.

The source of the anger is the Left's failure to get their heads around the fact that Beck is doing a better job of striving toward King's dream than the so-called leaders of the Civil Rights movement. They've bought into their own narrative that any white person who discusses race must automatically be a racist. White people are scared to death of being so branded, so the race-card players are shocked when someone like Beck, who speaks frankly about race, memorializes King's legacy and leads his fans to follow in his footsteps.

This is a bad thing? I suggest the Left opens their eyes as Alveda King has.

Beck Appeals to Heaven at Restoring Honor Rally in D.C.

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In the summer of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his immortal "I Have a Dream" speech to hundreds of thousands of people gathered peacefully at the Lincoln Memorial--on the home turf of an often oppressive and hostile establishment--to bring attention to the Civil Rights Movement.

On the exact day 47 years later, a large crowd of conservatives descended upon the same location to proclaim peace and unity in the same spirit.

When King thundered, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," toward the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill beyond, he was speaking out against a political structure that actively prevented blacks in the United States from realizing the full extent of their God-given freedom. Heavily invoking religion, Dr. King urged for unity between people of all faiths.

On Saturday, 240 holy men of all faiths--along with a crowd that stood shoulder-to-shoulder, hundreds of feet wide, all the way down the reflecting pool and up the hill to the Washington Monument--joined Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and people who witnessed King's original speech, to appeal to America to turn to faith, hope, and charity to put the country back on the path its Founders intended it to follow.

Maligned by the Left as a hijacking of King's legacy, the Restoring Honor rally of August 28thexemplified the virtues King extolled--a reverence for America and God, and an unwavering confidence that He will provide justice for the afflicted. One of the keynote speakers was Alveda King, the niece of the late Civil Rights legend. She said her uncle would have attended Beck's rally were he alive because of the message it embodies. [continue reading]

Housing sales plunge--let them

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The real estate market is the ultimate example of the maladies that government can cause with its intrusion into free markets.

We all know the story by now. The Bush Administration fought off the tech stock bubble collapse by keeping interest rates low. Coupled with lax lending standards and a government desire to increase home ownership among groups that have traditionally been unable to own homes, the real estate bubble was inflated.

Unsustainable markets don't stay hot forever--despite what you heard at the peak of the bubble--and it too popped, nearly took the whole economy with it, and swept Obama into office.

Up to that point, blame Bush, Greenspan, and Bernanke. Obama deserves credit for the events after that.

To keep the real estate market from returning to sanity (because that would cost votes) Obama unveiled tax credits for purchasing houses, kept interest rates obscenely low, and bailed out lenders.

The tax credit was so successful that demand drove housing prices higher than the credit was worth, but that didn't stop many people from buying homes. In Ventura County, your average starter home will run you $400,000, up from the low $300,000's right at the initial collapse.

Now, sales are down 27 percent nationwide and 8 percent in Ventura County as the credits have expired. In the last two years, more people have been suckered into buying homes they soon will be underwater on. [continue reading]

Star keeping an eye on local government

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The chief benefit of the press in American society is to keep an eye on the government. While it's nice to know the weather, calendar of events, and crime report, the truly important work that journalists do is keeping public officials honest. The Ventura County Star, in two series of articles, has demonstrated that it is dedicated to the higher purpose of acting as a government watchdog.

Since the Bell public employee compensation scandal erupted, the Star made information requests for salary and benefits information for officials in Ventura County cities, revealing that some individuals cost taxpayers over $300,000 annually, and is doggedly investigating Ojai, which provided a vague response to the request.

The Star made its public records request to each of the 10 cities in the county on Aug. 2. All cities complied for council members, except for Ojai, which provided the $5,700 base pay of the elected officials but just general benefits information with no exact figures. The Star also is reviewing the total compensation packages of the cities' top management.

On Saturday, the Star reported a wide disparity in pay between several cities in the county.

Council members in Thousand Oaks, a city of about 130,000 residents, are paid $21,000 a year but also can receive full health benefits and retirement, pushing their total compensation up to $51,650 annually, city records show.

By contrast, council members in Fillmore, a rural community of about 15,600, can earn up to $2,250 annually in monthly stipends but get no city benefits. And Ventura's City Council members earn less than $10,000 annually for a coastal community of 108,000.

In Oxnard, city leaders are reeling from an FBI raid that closed City Hall ten days ago, having to do with possible misappropriation of funds related to large public works projects. Over the summer, the Star reported on the failure of the public works director, Ken Ortega, to disclose gifts he received from consultants doing business with the city. Two days later, he resigned.

Ortega resigned in June after admitting that he failed to disclose gifts he received from companies doing business with the city, including some working on the water project known as GREAT, the Groundwater Recovery Enhancement and Treatment program. At the time, he said that the disclosure had nothing to do with his resignation, which he attributed to his increasingly difficult relationship with City Manager Ed Sotelo. He argued that he was being singled out for things that other city officials had done or failed to report.

The feds and the DA certainly seem to agree with Ortega's assertion that he's not the only one.

Mirroring the timing of a raid the week before at City Hall, investigators showed up late Friday afternoon with search warrants at Herrera's home and those of City Manager Ed Sotelo and Assistant City Manager Karen Burnham.

There will be plenty more stories on the public employee compensation and city of Oxnard tracks in the weeks and months ahead.

The Star could serve as a model in its role of watchdog that the national media would do well to follow in light of an increasingly out-of-control federal government.

Study concludes risky lending is solution to problem caused by risky lending

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Contradictions don't exist by definition. If a contradiction is reached in any given analysis, one must check the premises that led to that conclusion for in it lay an error.

On Tuesday, the Center for Responsible Lending released a report that "paints a picture of the foreclosure crisis in California, examines the who, the where, and the why of foreclosures in the Golden State and discusses what we should do to prevent as many avoidable foreclosures as possible."

The study was the subject of a subsequent Ventura County Star article entitled "Foreclosure crisis not driven by luxury home purchases." It states:

Largely because they were more likely to receive high-rate loans, the study found that Latino and African-American homeowners were much more likely to incur foreclosures than non-Hispanic whites.

Latinos experienced foreclosure rates 2.3 times that of non-Hispanic whites, the study found, and almost half (48 percent) of all Californians who have lost their homes to foreclosure have been Latinos.


Apologies--that's just a tic I've picked up from my progressive friends whenever someone mentions anything that has to do with race. I have to keep telling myself that it's not racist to report facts.

Half the state's foreclosures were from Latinos. That fits in with the stated government policy to encourage home ownership among minorities, a decision "that contributed to an escalation of subprime lending that is roiling the U.S. economy," according to the Washington Post.

In 2004, as regulators warned that subprime lenders were saddling borrowers with mortgages they could not afford, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helped fuel more of that risky lending.

Eager to put more low-income and minority families into their own homes, the agency required that two government-chartered mortgage finance firms purchase far more "affordable" loans made to these borrowers.

The Center for Responsible Lending--notice that it's NOT called the Center for Responsible Borrowing, but more on this later--came to this conclusion in its report:

As the nation begins to address a potential restructuring of the entire housing finance system, it is crucial to focus on the need for access to credit for communities of color and lower-income communities.

The Star article ends by noting that the report lauds the new financial reform act signed by President Obama earlier this summer.

And herein lays our contradiction. The Center for Responsible Lending set out to discuss "what we should do prevent as many avoidable foreclosures as possible." Its policy recommendation is to "focus on the need for access to credit for communities of color and lower-income communities."

To quote the Washington Post again, "Eager to put more low-income and minority families into their own homes, the agency required that two government-chartered mortgage finance firms purchase far more 'affordable' loans made to these borrowers."

In short, the Center for Responsible Lending recommended as the solution to the problem the very thing that led to the problem in the first place! How could an objective organization propose such a self-defeating recommendation?  

Don't forget to check your premises.

Who is the Center for Responsible Lending, exactly? The Star article merely identifies it as a nonprofit organization. A reader might assume it's merely a group of concerned people advocating responsible lending--certainly a laudable goal in and of itself.

However, a quick visit to its website reveals that it's funded in part by the Open Society Institute. And who is that you might ask? I'll give you a hint--its website is

Two clicks! That's all it took to get from this report to George Soros, the Uncle Moneybags of the progressive movement.

This is by no means an isolated incident. It's how progressive opinions are laundered to become fact. A Soros groups funds money to agenda-driven think-tanks. The tanks churn out official-sounding studies. They issue press releases that the mainstream media blindly picks up and reports as hard, scientific fact.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Meanwhile, readers have no idea they're being taken to the cleaners unless journalists make a more concerted effort to put organizations, people, and stories into proper context.

Unions protest governor's furloughs at movie theaters

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's brief cameo in The Expendables was enough to spur about 20 public employee union members to show up at local movie theaters and protest the latest round of furloughs.

According to the Star, one protester complained that "people have the perception that state workers are overpaid, with fat, bloated pensions."

Yes! We in the private sector don't have defined benefit plans, and we can't retire at 55 with 90 percent of our salaries. I'm sorry that we find this unfair.

You do realize that it's also unfair that the taxpayers have to pick up the bill for your salary, medical, dental, and retirement benefits, and then have to listen to you complain about taking some unpaid days off when all we want to do is enjoy a movie?

Having to sit through The Expendables is punishment enough.

Watchdog media wakes up from long nap

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Good morning, mainstream media watchdogs!

It's so nice to see you again, sleepyheads! We've missed you oh these many years. Your role in American society--to keep an eye on the powerful, particularly the government--is so vitally important that I can't tell you how happy I am to see you again.

You see, while you were taking a rest, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, L.A. Times, etc., it seems that the government got just a little bit out of control. Nothing big--except we had a major economic meltdown caused by the government that nearly destroyed the country. Unfortunately--while you were away--that same federal government decided to pump trillions of dollars it didn't have into propping up the same failed quasi-socialist system. We also decided to elect a man president that nobody knew anything about (except that he looked great on magazine covers)--and he...well...he's a little bit of a radical. But we didn't know that because you weren't around to investigate it (although Fox News and talk radio made a valiant effort to do your job for you).

And in California, public employee pensions are bankrupting the state, yet we had the most difficult time laying off those workers even while jobs were lost by the hundreds of thousands in the private sector. Year after year we fail to pass a budget and are perpetually in a $20 billion hole. You in the media must have been sleeping soundly to not get outraged about that.

But you did wake up in time for the Bell scandal. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see the Los Angeles Times step up to the plate and do some real honest-to-God journalism and serve the public for once.

And look what happened. The corrupt politicians are running for cover. Salary structures across the state are now under scrutiny. Other newspapers are turning an eye to their communities to investigate similar stories. Doesn't that feel much better than keeping us updated on Lindsey Lohan?

Don't tell me that the public isn't interested in this watchdog stuff. I know you in the mainstream media are bleary eyed from your long snooze, so you may not noticed that Fox News is destroying you in the ratings because they cover stories you won't. There are dozens of Pulitzer Prizes just waiting for journalists who dare to lift up the rocks in Washington or Sacramento. 

That would take some hard work, yes. And intellectual honesty, because you'd be investigating people--corrupt as they are--that you largely agree with. That's uncomfortable, and probably tiring.

So I hope you stay awake, stand at your post again, and act as the people's watchdog once more, and redeem your entire profession while you still can.

Peace activists protest nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversary

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Sixty-five years ago, the world's first atomic bomb was detonated. It was quickly followed by a second (the last one to be used in a military setting).

The two bombs ended the most destructive war the world had ever seen. Yet every year, a percentage of the population looks upon the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as a horrific chapter in human history.

The truth is that President Harry Truman saved lives by deciding to destroy those cities instead of the only alternative--invasion.

An invasion of the island of Japan was estimated to result in a million Allied casualties and tens of millions of Japanese casualties.

About 200,000 Japanese died from the atomic bombings.

Despite the fact that the bombs saved lives in the end, and subsequent nuclear buildup by the United States has led to no major wars in 50 years, peace activists still call for an end to nuclear weapons, like the ones at the recent demonstration in Ventura.

While the possession of nukes are a stabilizing influence in the world, the price we pay is living under the threat of total annihilation. I agree with the activists that I'd rather not have to do that. But the nukes aren't going anywhere, and the worst thing you can do is advocate for the abolition of them in your own country.

Union worker not happy with councilman's position on compensation reform

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Earlier this week Ventura City Councilman Neal Andrews penned an opinion piece about the scandal in Bell and the problem with public employee over-compensation.

A 33-year public employee responded in an editorial of his own, writing that Andrews "tarnished" public employees.

He insults all hard-working municipal employees when he suggests that the corruption of top officials in the city of Bell is even remotely associated with the struggles of public sector union members to maintain livable wages and modest pensions.

OK, "livable wages" is a total BS phrase, as if the author is going to starve to death if he gets a 7 percent pay cut. He may have to give up some comforts, but his wage not being livable? Come on. But it gets worse from here.

But, the salaries and benefits of Ventura employees are already below the labor market, and Andrews knows this.

Wait a minute...the labor market (in this sense) is pretty much defined as what other cities are paying for the same work, correct? But the author JUST SAID that overcompensation in cities like Bell is not relevant. It almost sounds like the author wants to take into consideration what other cities are paying employees when it benefits him, and conveniently ignoring that when it doesn't!

What is often overlooked in all the political posturing is that the recent increases in pension costs are not the result of benefit increases. They are the fallout of the market crash of 2008-09 from which the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and other public pension funds are still recovering.

Andrews should be advocating stricter regulations of Wall Street financial institutions that damaged our economy rather than scape-goating public employees, who, like the vast majority of American workers, are struggling to make ends meet.

Like the vast majority of American workers? The vast majority of American workers do not have cushy defined benefit retirement plans. For you private sector workers that don't know what that is, defined benefit means that the taxpayers chip into the pension fund to make up for any loss in market value of their retirement investments. Does that sound like YOUR 401K?

No, that's only for spoiled public employees, not "the vast majority of American workers."

The councilman is confused. On the one hand, he states that "elected officials have a duty to the taxpayer to assure that what we pay is consistent with the labor market." But, he then proceeds to rail against "the error of leaders who argue that public agencies must offer pay equal to other cities to stay competitive." Which is it?

It's not Councilman Andrews that is confused. He says that elected officials have a duty to the taxpayer to pay public employees a wage that is consistent with the PRIVATE sector, not what other cities pay.

Of course, the author is a chapter president of SEIU, so maybe he has to say these things. I doubt by bringing his gripes to the public he'll engender much sympathy from regular Joe private sector workers. He certainly won't from this one.

Any opposition to Prop 8 ruling should be based in law

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Whether or not we think gay marriage is good public policy, we must form our opinion on Judge Vaughn Walker's decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional on the law. It's insufficient to say only that gay marriage devalues traditional marriage, and point to the troubling social consequences experienced by countries that have legalized it. While I agree with that sentiment, it's irrelevant considering that this is a legal matter. After all, we're strict constructionists, aren't we?

Therefore we should root any disagreements we have with Judge Walker's decision in legal analysis. The Heritage Foundation released this statement in response to the ruling:

Judge Walker's ruling today similarly abrogates the rule of law. Marriage has enjoyed unique status because unions of husband and wife are, in fact, unique, and because they uniquely serve the common good in ways that same-sex combinations simply cannot. We are confident the Supreme Court will reject Judge Walker's view that the people of California cannot protect the meaning of marriage in their state constitution.

I agree with the sentiment, but nowhere do I see in the statement where Walker's ruling was incorrect in a legal sense. [continue reading]

Movement seeking to bypass Electoral College gains momentum

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With a stroke of his pen, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick committed his state to a new way of electing presidents Wednesday.

For over two hundred years, we've elected presidents not by who carries the most individual voters, but by who carries the most states. The distinction is subtle but decisive. For example, Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 but lost the presidency--the fourth time that's happened in our country's history.

Partly spurred by that decade-old disappointment, activists are urging states to bypass the Constitutionally mandated Electoral College in favor of a more--well, democratic approach. While it sounds good in theory--the man or woman who has the preference of the greatest number of individuals should lead them--it has some far-reaching ramifications if realized.

The movement

National Popular Vote, Inc. is spearheading the effort to convince states like Massachusetts to adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would commit all a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate that has the most votes nationwide.

Currently, states are assigned a number of electors that equal the quantity of Congressional representatives and senators. In most states, the electors cast their votes for the top-vote-getter in the state. National Popular Vote wants to shift those electors' votes to the national winner--so even if a candidate carries, say California, but his opponent gets more votes in the country overall, all of California's electoral votes would go to the opponent.

Why even bother with Electoral College if we're just going to automatically give the votes to the top national vote getter? It's because of that perpetually pesky document, the Constitution. Article II, Section I mandated the system, and the only way to get rid of it is to pass an amendment, a notoriously difficult process.

Consequently, National Popular Vote, Inc., unable to abolish the system, sought out to bypass it by convincing state legislatures to enact a law to force the hand of its electors. [continue reading]

Foy slammed for mentioning pension reform

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You would think that in light of the fact that cities in Ventura County are hard-hit by the Bell scandal the public employees would give a guy a break for mentioning pension reform.

Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy was lambasted Tuesday for his proposal to submit future public pension increases (except COLA adjustments) to the voters. Not only did the proposal fail to even get seconded, Foy was subjected to a hail of criticism.

A public employee union attorney said the bill was poorly written and that Foy was derelict in his duty if he couldn't make decisions on his own. A senior county planner echoed that sentiment, saying that Foy abdicated his responsibilities as an elected official.

Just so that I understand correctly: seeking the voters' input is an abdication of an official's responsibility? Keeping the voters in mind IS their responsibility!

Another public employee said that Foy's proposal does nothing to address the "real" problems in Ventura County, as if the supervisor hallucinated that the pension fund costs the county $2.5 billion.

Supervisor Steve Bennett was kind enough to make a PowerPoint presentation highlighting all the reasons why Foy's proposal is unworkable.

Of course, the public beatdown of Supervisor Foy is the exact reason why we have out of control pensions in the first place--people are intimidated from even bringing it up. A simple 4-1 vote would have sufficed, but instead Foy had to be punished first.

Meanwhile, the county, state, and the country are pushed even closer to fiscal disaster.

Union member: letting voters decide pensions is waste of taxpayer money

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If Supervisor Peter Foy had his way, voters would have to approve any pension increase for county employees. According to one union member, having a say in the out-of-control pension system is a "waste":

"The voters voted for him to make this decision, and now he's going to put it back on the voters," she said. "I think it's a waste of taxpayer money."

That sounds like something the officials of Bell would say to a proposal to let the public decide if they should get a salary increase. Does the union member think that putting that on the ballot would lose Bell money? Hardly.

A major problem of pensions is that they are constructed as defined benefit pensions rather than defined contributions. If a pension is supposed to earn 8 percent annually, for example, and the stock market tanks, the taxpayer is on the hook for that 8 percent increase.

Does that sound like your pension, oh you of the private sector? That system is bleeding our government dry of public funds. 

While I'm not convinced that voters won't fall under the same union spell that's placed California on the verge of bankruptcy (e.g. fattening education workers' wallets to "help our kids"), it's a step in the right direction.

With Simi and Ventura seemingly stuck with paying partially for the retirement of the Bell officials, that experience hopefully will spur local interest in general pension reform proposals like that of Supervisor Foy's.
This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.
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