Bring Hollywood Home Foundation Seeks Reform


 

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6-4-13_001 6-4-13_002 6-4-13_003 6-4-13_004 6-4-13_005

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Rape Camps in Syria–What will the World DO?


 

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Bosnian RapeIn 1992, SFV/NELA NOW organized a huge protest at the Westwood Federal Building that got massive press and drew support and participation from just about every feminist and human rights organization in town about the Bosnian Rape Camps being run by the Serb army. I THINK IT’S TIME FOR A NEW PROTEST ABOUT THE LACK OF THE WORLD’S ATTENTION TO WHAT’S GOING ON IN SYRIA:

Tracking a rumor: Is there a sugar factory in Syria being used as a rape house?

[Reprinted from:  http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/tracking-a-rumor-is-there-a-sugar-factory-in-syria-being-used-as-a-rape-hou#.UaTlYbkK2nc.twitter]

By Lauren Wolfe/Director — May 24, 2013

We were seated on a scratchy nylon mat with “UNHCR” written all over it. Children with the same beautiful, olive-complexioned face stared big-eyed at me from every corner of the furniture-less room, and their mother cried as she talked about the many massacres her family had fled in Homs five months previously. The woman, Maha, 37, couldn’t recount how many people she had seen killed but she knew the number of family members she saw dragged away at a checkpoint as they fled their Homs neighborhood, Deir Ba’alba: 10.

As she tried to recall some of the horrors she’d witnessed, Maha mentioned that there was a sugar factory in her town where government soldiers were taking girls to be raped and killed.

“They picked beautiful girls for generals and then gave them to the soldiers,” Maha said.

“How do you know this?” I asked her.

She knows people who worked in the factory and witnessed what was happening there, she said.

“Whoever leaves the village has to go through a checkpoint next to the factory,” Maha said. “They take the girls at the checkpoint. The girls get killed. They disappear.” She said she did not know how many girls had been abducted.

A refugee in Amman told the author about a sugar factory that is allegedly being used as a rape and torture center in Homs. But rumors have long swirled about a different sugar factory—in a different province—in which women and men are being held in Syria.

Syria RapeIn my many interviews with Syrian refugees, I’d heard about alleged apartments or construction sites used as impromptu rape and torture centers. But something about a sugar factory rang a particular bell. The media, and the United Nations investigating commission, have reported on a sugar factory used as a rape and torture center in a town called Jisr Al-Shugour, in Idlib province. This is the UN’s note on it from a September 2011 report:

“According to other witnesses, the sugar factory was used in that period [around June 8, 2011] as the headquarters for armed forces deployed from other areas, as well as for the interrogation, detention and torture of suspects. Several sources also reported that four girls were raped at that location, although the mission was unable to corroborate these accounts.”

The France-based TV channel Euronews reported in June 2011 that a man named Sadik told the outlet: “I saw what happened in Jisr-al-Shughour with my own eyes. They have turned a sugar factory into a prison. They are literally skinning the men alive and raping the women.”

And we have this report on our map from German news outlet Spiegel Online International in June 2012 and this one from Time magazine in June 2011 talking about the Jisr Al-Shughour sugar factory/rape house.

But Jisr Al-Shughour is not close to Homs. So what about this allegation from the refugee I met? Could there really be two sugar factories being used as torture/rape centers? Could there even be one? I decided to look into the Homs rumor a little more closely.

A Web search turned up a number of sugar factories in Syria, but news reports specifically seem to refer to three or four. There is one in Jisr Al-Shughour, and there appear to be two near the woman’s home in Deir Ba’alba.

The National Sugar Company is located 16 miles (25 kilometers) outside of Homs on the way to Damascus; it was reportedly shut down in 2011. It might also be known as the Jandar refinery. Then there’s the Middle East Sugar Refinery located 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of Homs, in the Hasia industrial zone, 55 miles (90 kilometers) from the coast, near Iraq. Maha had told me the factory was “close” to her house. Are either of these conceivably “close” to Deir Ba’alba?

I asked a Syrian colleague of mine if she thought either factory would qualify as “close” to this woman’s town.

“As for the way Syrians estimate distance and what is close or far for them, it always frustrated me,” my colleague said. “There are no rules. They can say about a place that it is ‘as close as the distance a stone you throw will reach’ but turns out to be far, and they can say you need a car and it turns out it is a very reasonable walking distance.”

Assuming one of these factories is close enough to be the factory Maha talked about, who was actually in charge of the area in December 2012? Was the town controlled by government soldiers at that time?

A search reveals that there were a number of government massacres in that period in Homs. Specifically in Deir Ba’alba, the London-based independent Syrian Human Rights Committee reported on a massacre on December 29, 2012: “Human rights activists have reported that the district of Deir Ba’alba in Homs has witnessed a horrific massacre in which more than 220 civilians have been killed, following an attack on the area by Syrian regime forces and its Shabiha [plainclothes militia] gangs.” That particular attack might be the one that caused Maha and her family to flee Syria. She described a massive shabiha knife attack on her town as happening “around New Year’s Eve.”

This Reuters story describes an army push into the same area of Homs that same day, and an ongoing struggle for rebels to maintain their control over pieces of Homs. Are either of the two Homs factories in those disputed areas? I’m still looking into who was controlling the specific surroundings in those months, which saw heavy fighting in the province.

Getting back to the basic question here: Can there really be a sugar factory being used as a rape house in Syria? And can there actually be two?

The likelihood that there are two sugar factories being used in this way seems off. With the echo chamber that is the Internet and the rumor mill that churns propaganda surrounding Syria, I would be reluctant to say that both these allegations are real. But with the actual, documented torture and rape occurring in this war, I would be hesitant to discount that there is such a center where atrocities are being committed. We know such centers exist. And keeping track of the rumors gives us a base from which to investigate.

If such a rumor were proven to be true, it would open up an important question: Is someone in the Syrian government or army aware that this factory is (or was) being used as a rape house and, if so, did they order it into existence?

No one has yet proven that rape is systematic in Syria. By “systematic” I mean that someone in the government has orchestrated it. We just don’t have definitive proof whether the government, accused of multiple atrocities, has a hand in organizing any kind of rape site.

Bosnian Rape2Regardless of who may have organized an alleged site, it might help at this point to look to the lessons of Bosnia: In that conflict, a sports hall called Partizan, in Foca, served as a center for sexualized violence for a number of months in 1992. Women were routinely transported from the hall to be raped in soldiers’ apartments nearby. One told Newsday that soldiers had raped her about 150 times at Partizan. And while during the war there were warnings about the existence of the Partizan camp, the multiple reports went ignored.

One day, journalists and human rights investigators will be allowed into Syria. My hope is that by that time there will still be enough evidence, and survivors left to speak, to tell us what really happened.

(With research by Stephanie Chaban. For more on our work documenting sexualized violence in Syria, see this report on our findings at one year of crowdmapping and this story on how stigma is creating a wall of silence around this issue.)

UPDATE: A woman who says she lived in Homs for many years contacted me the day after this story went up and said she knows of a sugar factory about 3 miles (4.6 kilometers) from the center of Deir Ba’alba. Here it is on Google Maps. “It is very close to an air force intelligence building,” she said.

————————-

Saying “Never Again” accomplishes nothing unless you accompany words with action.  The world ignored the Holocaust against the Armenians and Hitler knew that he could get away with a Holocaust against the Jews.  The world ignored the pogroms and rapes perpetrated in Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenians and said tsk tsk while 800,000 Armenians were driven out of Azerbaijan….so Serbian fascists knew they could get away with setting up concentration and rape camps in Bosnian to deal with Muslims and Croats.

Are YOU going to let this happen in Syria?

Never Again

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LA Progressive Joins Same Page Coalition


 

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J.B. Tucker & Associates

News Release

 

P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433

 

Tel: 310.618.9596 Fax: 310.618.1950

 

Cell: 818.720.3719 pr@janbtucker.com

 

 

Criminal Justice Columnist, Counter Punch Magazine

 

Commentator, Black Talk Radio

 

Public relations guru”Los Angeles Times 1996

 

Former 1st Vice President, LA Newspaper Guild

 

Member, CWA Local 39521, Pacific Media Workers Guild

 

 

For Immediate Release: 5/29/13

 

For Information: Jan B. Tucker as above; Dick Price; Sharon Kyle

 

 

L.A. Progressive Joins Same Page Coalition

 

 

The well-respected on-line media L.A. Progressive has been unanimously voted into the Same Page/Misma Pagina (SPC) coalition by the existing member organizations, which include the San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of NOW (SFV/NELA NOW), National League of Latin American Citizens (NLLAC), California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), United For Education Coalition (UFE), Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF), Miss Revolutionaries, Todos Unidos, and California LULAC Institute (CLI). Founded and operated by Dick Price and Sharon Kyle, the L.A. Progressive has an international following and carries posts by such celebrated writers as Dr. Anthony Samad, Marcy Winograd, Cynthia Loo, Norman Solomon, Carl Bloice, Tom Hayden, and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto amongst others. Biographical information for Price and Kyle is available at http://www.laprogressive.com/who-are-dick-and-sharon/.

 

 

Endorsements by the SPC are considered important prizes in Los Angeles area elections. During the 2012 election cycle, both of SPC’s endorsees, Representative Brad Sherman and long-shot Steve Fox went on to win their races. Running 10% ahead in the polls, Sherman sent a last minute mailing to every Democratic and Independent registered woman in his district touting the SFV/NELA NOW endorsement and went on to beat his opponent, Rep. Howard Berman, by an astounding 20 points on election night. During the 2013 Los Angeles Municipal elections, all four of the major Mayoral candidates sought and were interviewed by SPC for endorsement. In the runoff, with the exception of SFV/NELA NOW which made a triple endorsement in the primary which became a runoff dual endorsement, all other SPC endorsing groups endorsed Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti for the runoff.

 

 

A 2006 professional poll commissioned by then-Assembly member and current frontrunner for Los Angeles City Council District 6 Cindy Montanez demonstrated that amongst San Fernando Valley endorsing organizations, the voters considered the SFV/NELA NOW endorsement to have the highest integrity. SPC attributes the credibility of their endorsements to their strict non-partisanship (member organizations have made past endorsements of Democrats, Republicans, independents, Greens, and Peace & Freedom Party candidates) and conflict of interest policies to insure that interested individuals cannot participate or must limit participation in specific races, even based upon a mere appearance of impropriety.

 

SPC is implementing two new procedures in conjunction with its endorsement process, which has previously included a joint candidate questionnaire (known as one of the most difficult in California because it is completely subjective and cannot be “scored”) and a face to face interview. For upcoming elections, SPC will add an optional on-record semi-formal press conference that candidates seeking the endorsement will be encouraged to participate in. All media will be invited, but an emphasis will be placed upon seeking participation from alternative and small media outlets, such as community newspapers, on-line publications, and ethnic/non-English language press.

 

 

Additionally, SPC is in the process of creating a chart to “hold incumbents feet to the fire” by comparing the promises and representations they made during the endorsement process to their performance in office. SPC will seek periodic face to face meetings with the soon to be incumbents to review their efforts to implement their promises and to help build public support for the reforms they have demanded.

 

 

To see the SPC’s existing candidate questionnaire and background documents, see http://www.sfvnow.org/blank.html.

 

 

-30-

 

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Power goes to two poles


 

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Bob Dylan once said that “Money doesn’t talk.  It swears.”  Just as true and as once again proven by Nancy Pearlman’s re-election victory for Los Angeles Community College Trustee is Saul Alinksy’s statement that “Power goes to two poles:  to those who’ve got the money and to those who’ve got the people.”

I wrote in a recent blog about how David Vela, the handpicked political hack candidate of the Los Angeles Democratic Party elites, had the money while Nancy Pearlman had to rely on the people for support [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/05/13/nancy-pearlman-is-our-community-college-trustee/].  This morning Nancy told me of how she was outspent by Vela by about $600,000 to her paltry $25,000.  Yet, here’s the final outcome from election night stats:

 

NANCY PEARLMAN                             DAVID VELA

 

183,578 57.18%                                       137,470 42.81%

In American politics, anything over a 10% victory margin is called a “landslide.”  With just over 14% more votes than Vela, Nancy won by a landslide and with the amount that the powers that be spent for Vela and against Pearlman, the powers that be should feel humiliated, because frankly, they never seem to learn.  In 2001, here’s how she won, beating another political hack, Joey Hill [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/11/21/selective-prosecution/]:

NANCY PEARLMAN                                   SAMUEL J. “JOEY” HILL

 

338,590 62.62%                                           202,079 37.38%

 

The first time Nancy won her seat in 2001, she was outspent 100-1:

4th Time Is the Charm in Race for Trustee, Los Angeles Times

June 07, 2001|ZANTO PEABODY and DUKE HELFAND

“The public kept telling me they wanted me there,” said Pearlman, who unsuccessfully ran for the office in 1995, 1997 and 1999. “I’ve learned from all my previous experiences, and my supporters helped me get to the voters we hadn’t reached before.”

Pearlman, a Green Party candidate who raised $1,000 for the campaign, stressed that she would be the independent voice on a seven-member board that she considers too swayed by staff and faculty unions.

“I know I’m going to have to work with people . . . I’ve criticized,” Pearlman said. “But I am not critical of them as individuals, only of some of the decisions they’ve made.”

Hill, an aide to state Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City), was incredulous at the election’s outcome.

“No one I know can think of any rational reason she would have gotten two out of three votes in June when she got only one in three in April,” Hill said. “I was more than a little surprised. I was shocked.”

Hill outspent Pearlman 100 to 1 in the race.

 

So, the liberal Democratic elites in Los Angeles just pissed away another $600,000 on somebody they thought was Goliath.  It never occurred to them that they were taking on David.

 

 

 

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Crack Babies-a Retro Report


 

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Kit Roane

Kit Roane

I first met reporter Kit Roane when he first worked for the Los Angeles Reader when he was doing hard hitting investigative journalism.  He later went on to the New York Times and U.S. News & World Report on overseas assignments and is now working out of New York City.  Here’s a message I got from him today:

This quick intrusion is so I can throw you a link to a video that I produced. It looks back at the “crack baby” epidemic of the 1980s and is one of several we are doing at Retro Report, a non-profit news documentary project that is infusing historical moments with fresh reporting and perspective. The videos are distributed on our own site as well as that of The New York Times. Take a look if you get a chance. There is also a link on the page somewhere where you can subscribe, or you can comment via Facebook. Feel free to pass it along.

Best regards, Kit

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Los Angeles Election Campaign Memes


 

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Latinas 4 Garcetti

Latinas For Garcetti

Cindy Montanez MemeNancy Pearlman MemeRon Galperin MemeCindy Montanez Meme 2

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Mike Feuer, Ron Galperin & Cindy Montanez for Los Angeles


 

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Mike Feuer for City Attorney

 

L to R:  Antonio Gonzalez, Mike Feuer

L to R: Antonio Gonzalez, Mike Feuer

Mike’s work for civic improvement and the protection of the powerless first came to my attention when he headed the non-profit Bet Tzedek (House of Justice) program in Los Angeles providing free legal representation for the elderly, poor, and disabled on issues ranging from health care, nursing home abuse, consumer fraud and slum housing. Very dear to my heart as my readers know from my past writings on the subject in this blog and in the L.A. Progressive, he established a legal program to assist those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. I knew of Mike’s work through my friend and attorney Laura Streimer, who headed Bet Tzedek’s San Fernando Valley operations at the time.

 

 

While a member of the State Assembly, Mike authored many long overdue bills and saw them through the legislative process into law, including election-day voter registration with the right to cast a provisional ballot, the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act (known as “Civil Gideon” for Gideon vs Wainwright, extending the RIGHT to a lawyer from criminal to the civil arena for certain key areas of human rights), and the Homeowners Bill of Rights, expanding the rights of those facing foreclosure at the hands of unscrupulous lenders. On LGBTI rights, his website points out that:

 

 

Mike is also a longstanding advocate of equal rights for all people. He is a co-author of legislation to establish marriage equality in California and wrote the law assuring same-sex couples won’t be impoverished when one spouse enters a nursing home. As a pro bono attorney he drafted a letter-brief in a California Supreme Court case establishing key adoption rights of same-sex couples and as a legislator led efforts in both houses to file a friend-of-the-court brief urging the state Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8.

 

 

By contrast, Carmen Trutanich is up to his eyeballs in continuing a scandalous prosecution begun under his predecessor, Rocky Delgadillo, which I deal with at length in my blog posting at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/05/12/eric-garcetti-for-mayor/

 

 

Ron Galperin for City Controller

 

 

L to R:  Cynthia Conover, Ron Galperin, Sherry Lear, Linda Pruett, Dele Ailemen, Jan B. Tucker

L to R: Cynthia Conover, Ron Galperin, Sherry Lear, Linda Pruett, Dele Ailemen, Jan B. Tucker

Segue from my last point about why I’m backing Mike Feuer for City Controller, the scandalous prosecution I refer to in my 5/12/2013 blog posting about the Mayoral race. We need somebody in the City Controller’s office who really understands what goes on in Los Angeles City fiscal policy and administration. As the person who chaired the Commission On Revenue Efficiency (CORE), Ron knows this subject better than anybody in Los Angeles. I’ve listened to hours of testimony before CORE and Ron is skillful and adept at getting to the bottom of what’s wrong with the procedures of various city departments and knows how to use the tools of the Controllers Office to improve their efficiency.

 

 

Cindy Montanez for City Council, District 6

 

 

L to R:  Sherry Lear, Cindy Montanez, Renata Sdao, Jan B. Tucker, Dele Ailemen, Linda Pruett, Cynthia Conover

L to R: Sherry Lear, Cindy Montanez, Renata Sdao, Jan B. Tucker, Dele Ailemen, Linda Pruett, Cynthia Conover

During the 2002-2003 legislative session, I wrote and Cindy introduced AB 1617 which has gone on to form the basis for nationally endorsed principles of how to put teeth into laws by which employers must prevent, investigate, and resolve workplace harassment and discrimination. This background is extremely critical when considering the serious issues I’ve raised in this blog before about rampant discrimination—especially against African American employees, in at least three city departments. It also comes into play with questions I’ve raised about city hall quid pro quo sexual harassment, with women having to pay to play with their bodies to sleep their way into promotions.

 

 

Although it didn’t pass, AB 1617’s basic principles are extremely important to our Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition, all of whose organizational members were unanimous in their endorsement of Cindy for City Council. The AB 1617 principles are one of four (4) basic documents which must be reviewed and commented on by all candidates seeking to get our endorsement.

 

 

An “Oh by the Way” on the Mayoral Race

Some interesting financial contributions have come Wendy’s way in her mayoral election bid:

Herbert “Bert” Boeckmann, owner of Galpin Ford.  Here’s an excerpt about Boeckmann from the Los Angeles Weekly:

From LA Weekly:

Herbert Boeckmann II, who owns Galpin Motors, one of the biggest businesses in the Valley, has bankrolled Valley VOTE tactics behind the scenes, contributing $25,000 of his own money and $20,000 from his car dealership. He’s also the most unabashedly ideological and conservative of the secessionists, a former California vice- chairman of right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson‘s 1988 presidential campaign, and a contributor to the Christian Coalition.
”Boeckmann views L.A. as captured by liberals, so if he separates off the Valley, he can have a right-wing paradise,“ where he’s a major player, says Mark Siegel, a Valley resident. L.A. attorney and civic activist Connie Rice wonders about the financial incentives that drive someone like Boeckmann. ”As a businessman, his power would be enormously magnified. He could own half that new City Council,“ she says.  [Emphasis added]

 

My mother was a waitress and a member at times of Local 11 of HERE (Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees, the local headed by Maria Elena Durazo, now Secretary Treasurer of the LA County Federation of Labor).  In fact, my mother had a reputation as the Deli waitress in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley who told the best dirty jokes (I heard this from more than one of her customers who asked if I was related to her).  Plus I’ve had a number of restaurants over the years as clients, so with that knowledge of the industry under my belt, I’m just kind of skeptical as to how a waitress at Ports O’Call Restaurant in San Pedro, Michelle Nataly Gomez, is able to come up with $1,000 to contribute to Wendy.  My inquiring mind wants to know.  Who knows?  Maybe she’s a part owner of the restaurant even though she listed her occupation on campaign reporting forms as waitress??????

Then there’s an old friend I haven’t seen since the 90s, James “Jim” Mangia, who ran for Lieutenant Governor on the Reform Party ticket in 1998 after a stint with the New Alliance Party–previously the so-called “Newmanite” faction of the Peace & Freedom Party.  Jim, who serves on the State of California’s Workforce Investment Board, contributed $1,300.00 to Wendy listing his occupation as “West Hollywood Reform Party.”  For more on the Newmanites (who in 2000 got behind right-wing and anti-semite Pat Buchanan’s Presidential campaign) see http://www.rickross.com/reference/new_alliance/new_alliance5.html

Finally, the strangest fundraising operation out there for Wendy may be solicitations I’ve heard about by Mousa Namvar, brother of Ezri Namvar.  I know the Namvar family and regardless of my views about them, I can’t imagine why Wendy would have anybody with that surname out soliciting funds, especially in the Jewish community, where their name is at the moment quite controversial.  Ezri is in federal custody serving time at Taft Correctional Institution.  Here are some excerpts from a Los Angeles Weekly article about what has been described as the Bernie Madoff of Beverly Hills:

 

His acquisitions included hotels: the Hotel Angeleno, the downtown Marriott, the Cal Neva Resort in Lake Tahoe. He bought office buildings, including the Wilshire Bundy building. His company, Namco Capital Group, occupied the entire 14th floor there, with a commanding view of West L.A. He also bought apartment buildings, vacant land in rural areas, an equestrian center and a pistachio farm.

 

 

Namvar’s most formidable and dogged opponent has been Abraham Assil, a wealthy real estate investor who had parked $6 million with Namvar. When Assil heard the rumors of difficulty, he went to see Namvar.

 

 

“He played with my head,” Assil says. “He sent me looking for a needle in a haystack.”

 

 

Assil says Namvar promised to secure his loan with an interest in a penthouse in Israel. So Assil went to Israel to check it out. He says he later found out the penthouse was already being used as collateral for someone else. Assil says he concluded that Namvar had been transferring assets to his relatives and friends.

 

 

Suitcase full of cashHe is still following the money with grim determination. He believes “suitcases full of cash” went to Israel. Some may be in Turkey.

 

 

Ezri Namvar Is the New Bernie Madoff and the Most Reviled Man in Town (And he speaks for the first time)   By Gene Maddaus Thursday, Jul 21 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE IRS: Damned if they do


 

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DamnedUndoubtedly my readers have heard the old idiom, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”  This is the dilemma that the Internal Revenue finds itself in with congressional investigations, a criminal investigation launched by Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Barack Obama’s press conference.  The basic assumption that utilizing politically sensitive names as a criteria to scrutinize an application for 501(c)(4) status ignores the crime wave of affinity fraud that targets legitimate and honest people who are the targets of criminals posing as “conservatives” or “patriots.”

Lawrene OdonnellAs I was researching and had actually begun writing this blog, Lawrence O’Donnell started his “Last Word” show on MSNBC talking about how the IRS didn’t do anything wrong and called the controversy (along with Benghazi attacks on the White House) as “faux scandals.”  While O’Donnell is attributing the problem to the IRS having taken a wrong turn in interpretation of the law during the Eisenhower administration, I am marveling at how the press is missing a perfectly rational basis for what the motivation of IRS employees is when scrutinizing organizations based upon the policy language in their names.  Even the IRS Inspector General has rushed to judgment on this point.  IRS Acting Deputy Inspector General Michael McKenney’s 54 page report contains the following:

 

The mission of the IRS is to provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. According to IRS Policy Statement 1-1, IRS employees accomplish this mission by being impartial and handling tax matters in a manner that will promote public confidence. However, the criteria developed by the Determinations Unit gives the appearance that the IRS is not impartial in conducting its mission. The criteria focused narrowly on the names and policy positions of organizations instead of tax-exempt laws and Treasury Regulations. Criteria for selecting applications for the team of specialists should focus on the activities of the organizations and whether they fulfill the requirements of the law. Using the names or policy positions of organizations is not an appropriate basis for identifying applications for review by the team of specialists.

 

Patriot FlagsMcKenney is wrong.  Scrutinizing words like “Patriot” and “Tea Party” are legitimate investigative filters to protect true conservative patriots and true conservative and legitimate “Tea Party” adherents from well known patterns of affinity fraud.  If they didn’t properly scrutinize groups like this and honest and well-meaning conservative activists got ripped off by con-men then sure enough, the IRS would be damned because it didn’t.

A Canadian Security Administrators group warns people in one of its bulletins about scams that target anti-tax organizations.

Canadian Securities Administrators

 

Protecting Your Finances: HOW TO AVOID INVESTMENT FRAUDS AND SCAMS

 

 

A scam organizer will often take advantage of anti-tax or anti-government sentiments held by potential investors. The promoter will offer the ability to avoid paying tax and may offer to keep your money outside of Canada where the government won’t be able to touch it. The scheme will usually offer very attractive rates of return – as high as 2% per week, or up to 300% per year. Many times, you will be told to keep the opportunity a secret and not disclose the information to anyone – especially lawyers, accountants, bankers, or representatives of the government.

 

 

If you choose to participate in an investment scheme that you know is illegal (i.e. income tax evasion), it is very likely that you may lose all the money you invest. In such cases, there is little or nothing that securities regulators can do to help you recover your money. An illegal $5000 investment to save $700 in taxes may actually end up costing you $5000. [Emphasis added]

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/protect_your_finances.pdf

 

Here are some relevant tidbits from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The Lawless Ones: The Resurgence of the Sovereign Citizen Movement

 

An Anti-Defamation League Special Report, August 9, 2010

 

I. Introduction

 

In the summer of 2010, Americans have witnessed a wave of anti-government sentiment sweeping the country. In the mainstream, this has manifested itself in ways ranging from the spread of anti-incumbent electoral trends to the growth of anti-government movements such as the Tea Party movement.

 

On the fringes of American society, the growth of anti-government sentiment has helped spawn the proliferation of extreme anti-government conspiracy theories and the resurgence of anti-government extremist groups and movements, most noticeably the militia movement, which has grown from 50 groups or so in 2008 to nearly 200 in 2010.

………

People who are angry at government, especially government regulation. Some people develop intense antipathy toward government rules and regulations, from property codes to tax laws. Every unsuccessful encounter with the government simply makes them angrier. Consequently, when they encounter the sovereign citizen movement, with its alleged ways to get around laws and regulations, as well as tools of retaliation against government officials, they find the movement very attractive.

Con artists and people who want “something for nothing.” The sovereign citizen movement is full of theories that promise people quick riches or other seemingly magical benefits, from being able to eliminate a mortgage to be able to hide one’s income in a series of trusts and make it immune to government scrutiny. As a result, the movement appeals powerfully to people who are always seeking a quick buck or something for nothing. It also appeals to con artists and confidence men and women who can use the movement’s theories to create schemes to attract money from the greedy or the innocent alike.

……..

Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2010: Former Minneapolis police officer Douglas Earl Leiter received a 10 year sentence for his role as the leader of a sovereign citizen/tax protest group called Common Law Venue, which taught people how to use bogus trusts to evade taxes.

Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2010: Jan Lindsey, a retired FBI agent from Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty to a felony count of tax evasion for evading $109,000 in personal income taxes. Lindsey was one of four sovereign citizens and tax protesters arrested by the FBI in May 2009 following a three-year investigation into money laundering, tax evasion, and illegal weapons

Nampa, Idaho, February 2010: Fred Covey was convicted for having filed bogus UCC liens against two IRS employees, claiming that they owed him more than $166 million; he had also filed similar liens against the Secretary of the Treasury and against Idaho State Tax Commission employees.

Colebrookdale Township, Pennsylvania, July 2008: The Pennsylvania Department of State ruled fraudulent a $450 million lien placed by sovereign citizen Ira Huntington of Colebrookdale Township against a local official and her husband.

Sanford, Florida, 2008: Sovereign citizens Joel and Donna Brinkle allegedly filed liens on the property of four local officials, in addition to previous liens filed against people ranging from a tow truck company to former president Bill Clinton.

Dane County, Wisconsin, February 2008: Sovereign citizen Bryan D. Hoel was sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted for criminal slander. Hoel had filed a $600,000 bogus lien against a state revenue department investigator who was investigating a state tax case against Hoel. Hoel claimed that his name was trademarked and that the investigator “violated” the trademark by using his name without his permission. Wisconsin has the oldest bogus lien law in the country, as public officials had been repeatedly victimized in the past by members of the Posse Comitatus.

http://archive.adl.org/learn/sovereign_movement/sovereign_citizens_movement_report.pdf

On April 8, 2008 the U.S. Department of Justice announced a nationwide crackdown on bogus investment schemes that preyed on anti-taxers.  In just one example cited:

The Oregon suit names Eugene “Gino” Casternovia of Ashland, Ore., and three other individuals. According to the Oregon complaint the defendants operate two businesses in Medford, Ore., Southern Oregon Resource Center Educational Services (SORCE) and Castlenuevo Inc., that work with PQI to promote tax scams involving the use of sham entities to help customers conceal their assets. The defendants also allegedly promote a “disenfranchisement” scam, falsely telling customers that the federal income tax system is voluntary and that customers can opt out of their federal income tax obligations by revoking their Social Security numbers.

“The size and sheer brazenness of the tax defier activities alleged in these complaints are staggering,” said Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Tax defiers sometimes claim to be ‘patriots,’ but those who push bogus tax schemes are nothing more than con artists, and those who pay for these schemes are buying nothing but trouble.”  [Emphasis added]

http://www.justice.gov/tax/txdv08278.htm

George M. CohanThis is not an ideological issue for me.  I have frequently written in these pages criticizing left-wing poverty pimps as criminals and thieves.  My concern is that my conservative friends be just as protected as others from thieves that would prey on them and well-meaning people who are the obvious targets for the dishonest and the degenerate.  As vaudevillian George M. Cohan once warned, “Many a bum show has been saved by the flag.

 

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Nancy Pearlman is our Community College Trustee


 

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I titled this blog posting the way I did because Nancy Pearlman takes her title of Trustee very seriously.  Wikipedia begins defining “Trustee” as:

Trustee (or the holding of a Trusteeship) is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility for the benefit of another.[1] Although the strictest sense of the term is the holder of property on behalf of a beneficiary,[1] the more expansive sense encompasses persons who serve, for example, on the Board of Trustees for an institution that operates for the benefit of the general public[Emphasis added]

Jan B. Tucker & Nancy Pearlman

Jan B. Tucker & Nancy Pearlman

Unlike her opponent, David Vela, Nancy has never held another political office than Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees nor was she ever employed as a political staffer (those of us with degrees in Political Science frequently refer to professional staffers as “hacks,” as opposed to “flacks,” which are the professional Public Relations people who used to be legitimate journalists now serving as paid and hired guns; that said, it’s perfectly reasonable to utilize the same terms for me at times in different roles I’ve assumed over the years).  Yet, she has a lifetime of political activism under her belt that make her one of the most qualified political leaders I have ever met.

Should Progressives Support Nancy on her record and on the issues?  Hell Yes!  Following is a series of great questions posed online by Green Party member Thomas Scott Tucker (no relation that I know of) and my response:

To Greens in Los Angeles,

Should Greens support Nancy Pearlman, now seeking re-election for a fourth term on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)?

According to a recent message from Mike Feinstein:

Nancy was originally elected in 2001, when a Green.”

Those words suggest that Pearlman has left the Green Party. Is she now a member of the Democratic Party, or some other party? Pardon my ignorance, but since we are discussing possible donations and endorsements on a Green email list we ought to have the facts spelled out.

In a memo from Pearlman dated April 7, 2013, she wrote:

I am an independent voice who will stand up to unreasonable labor and
corporate demands.”

Presumably the unreasonable corporate demands would include the corporate undermining of Social Security, which seems to be part of an ongoing “Grand Bargain” between Democrats and Republicans. But I am curious to know what Pearlman regards as the “unreasonable” demands from labor. I hope she spells them out, soon, explicitly, and in public.

We must also consider this message from Bob Johnson:

“No where can I find her defending our Green Party platform which bolsters our Boycott Divestment and Sanction of the right-wing
regime of apartheid Israel. If she does, can someone point this out?”

If Pearlman is no longer a Green Party member, then of course she would not feel obliged to support the Green Party national program. But Johnson’s question is a good one all the same, since her positions on Palestine and Israel should be spelled out directly to Green Party members before Greens consider giving her any endorsement.

All quotes are from messages added below for reference.

Peace and solidarity, Scott Tucker

My response:

1.  The unreasonable demands of labor amount to her vote on a single issue on the board, giving her a 98% COPE rating.  In that vote, she chose environmental considerations over what labor wanted.  In spite of the fact that AFL-CIO policy requires her to be endorsed as an incumbent with a 95% or better COPE rating–a rule cited by the California Federation of Teachers in opposing Hilda Solis for Congress and in support of then Congressman Matty Martinez–the AFT College Guild and SEIU teamed up to orchestrate the endorsement of a crony of Miguel Santiago who is a Democratic Party team player.

2.  For those who doubt Nancy Pearlman’s environmental credentials, she (and I) were members of the “Fanatic Fifty” of the People’s Lobby who got the Clean Environment on the ballot for the June 1972 ballot at a time when PL was considered the tip of the javelin for the green movement.

3.  If anybody wants to guess at how long Pearlman has been a feminist activist, one example alone is that she was the person who sued in 1972 for the right of women to register as “Ms” (in 1972) and secured the right of women to keep their own name when marrying in California instead of adopting their husband’s names.

4.  If anybody has any doubt about Nancy’s commitment to Palestinian rights, she attended my Passover Seder of the Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS) on March 30, 2013.  Read very carefully the Passover Haggadah and what it says about the relations between Jews, Arabs & Palestinians:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/03/04/passover-reversion-ceremony-3-30-13/

L to R:  Linda Pruett, Hilda Solis, Jan B. Tucker

L to R: Linda Pruett, Hilda Solis, Jan B. Tucker

Let me flesh out my above commentary on a couple of points.  Read my commentary about how Hilda Solis became a member of the House of Representatives, a crucial step on her way to becoming U.S. Secretary of Labor……over a tooth and nail fight led by none other than the American Federation of Teachers representatives in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2008/12/20/for-hilda-solis-i-was-at-the-right-place-right-time/

The AFT and its local are well aware of the rules.  Their representatives invoked the rules against Hilda Solis and in favor of NAFTA supporter Matty Martinez.  Now they ignore their own rules against Nancy Pearlman and for David Vela; why?  Especially why in light of the fact that one of David Vela’s public campaign pledges was to vote on the Board of Trustees for lower student fees (a completely incompetent pledge since he apparently doesn’t know that the Board doesn’t set those fees, the legislature does)?

Been there, done that

I’ve been around the block a few times.  I know where all the bodies are buried in town because I was either on the burial detail or else I had it under surveillance.  In the labor movement I’ve been on the front lines, in no man’s land, and behind enemy lines in battles against labor’s enemies and against the enemies of union democracy within the movement.  I served as First Vice President of Newspaper Guild Local 69 under Presidents Gary North and Joe Segura.  I was the investigator for years for Graphic Communications International Union District Council 2, the Southern California Allied Printing Trades Council and many other unions.

Miguel ContrerasI was a close confidante of Miguel Contreras when he was Secretary-Treasurer of the County Federation of Labor.  I used to do very special clandestine investigations for him and the County Fed just like I did for other unions.  I was alone with him in his office when he got a fax (originated by another friend of mine, a high ranking Democratic politician) about the formation of a “Business Democrats” group, upon which Miguel exclaimed:  “The Democratic Party is a piece of shit, but we’re going to take it over and at least then, it will be our piece of shit.”

Miguel’s point was that the labor movement was tired of being the tail being wagged by the Democratic Party dog.  From his perspective it should be the other way around.

So I don’t think I’m quite the dullest tool in the shed when it comes to finding out stuff in both the labor movement and in the Democratic Party and I can be relatively objective about stuff in the Democratic Party because I’m not now and have never been a Democrat and it’s usually a battle between different Democratic Party factions where I’ve got friends in both (or all) competing camps.  From everything I’ve been told, most of which has not been “for attribution” even though it’s been “on record” here is how it shakes out.

Nancy Pearlman isn’t part of the right political or social circles

I hope that my loyal readers trust my integrity on this because while most of what I’ve been told has been “on record” even if “not for attribution,” some has been told to me “off record” and for very good reasons.  Ergo I’m not even going to explain what I mean by Nancy not being in the right “social circles” and even if those things had been revealed “on record,” I don’t even know that I’d make it public.  The people I would have been talking about had I done so will likely know exactly what I’m talking about and guys, I just consider what you’re doing to be out of line.

As far as her not being in the right “political circles,” first, it’s true that she hasn’t always been a Democrat.  Just like me, who remains in a third party (even though the leadership of my own party quite literally wants me executed).  Nancy, unlike me, has arrived at being a Democrat and if the Democratic Party is as big a tent as it claims to be, the party should be welcoming her.  If they don’t, then Democrats should stop telling me that I’d be welcome and stop telling me to get out of that crazy old Peace & Freedom Party that I belong to.  In the past two elections, the AFT College Guild did endorse Nancy and now all of a sudden, after repeatedly telling her that they had no problem with performance, they go renegade on her.

The next point is that whereas Miguel Contreras had set in motion his goal of having labor take over the Democratic Party in Los Angeles, the labor movement’s attempt to scuttle Nancy’s re-election bid has a lot to do with the push-back of Democratic Party hacks and flacks against that takeover.  Instead of being labor wagging the Democratic Party as its tail, this is a case of Democratic Party hacks wagging labor as its tail to justify getting another hack into office at the expense of a dedicated, competent, and brilliant public servant.

How the Democrats wagged Labor’s tail

An example of how Party hacks got Labor hacks to do their bidding was revealed in a leaked November 30, 2012 internal email from SEIU Local 99 leadership to its staffers.  For context, Local 99 has always had notorious “issues” of corruption and mondo bizarro behavior.  A former local president was indicted along with a sitting Los Angeles City Council member and sent to federal prison.  When I was First Vice President of Newspaper Guild Local 69, our local (and I was directly involved) represented the staff of Local 99 against it’s own management.  Some stuff the feds never even learned (if I recall, it was FBI special agent Sam Mayrose that took down the major crooks; I later was on the other side of Sam in the Golay-Rutterschmidt murder trial):  (a) the son of a certain Local 99 official was heroin addicted and kept no-show employee-buddies of his on the local’s payroll who kicked back 50% of their checks to him in cash; later he burgled the office stealing all of the local’s computers and the petty cash fund; (b) one former Local 99 staffer–still on SEIU’s payroll in another local–was so crazy she once chased the student body president of an LAUSD campus around a room with a scissors trying to stab her.

The November 30, 2012 internal email indicated that the staffers should turn out “solid members” which is thinly veiled code for those who are willing to follow the leadership line on who to endorse at an endorsement “town hall” forum.  The leadership had already decided who they wanted to endorse — David Vela for Community College Board Office 6 — and they needed people likely to rubber-stamp their choices to show up.  The email warned that they were to keep the leadership’s decisions on who to orchestrate the endorsement of “confidential” while euphemistically referring to them as “recommendations.”

Listen to Nancy for yourself to see just how incredibly qualified and knowledgeable she is about the issues….

L to R:  Nancy Pearlman, Pasadena School Board Member Ramon Miramontes, LA Mission College Valedictorian Diego Ramirez (at his graduation party)

L to R: Nancy Pearlman, Pasadena School Board Member Ramon Miramontes, LA Mission College Valedictorian Diego Ramirez (at his graduation party)

Political Analyst and Community Advocate Pedro Baez along with Co-Host Michelle Richardson on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, will conduct an exclusive in studio interview with LA Community College Board of Trustee’s candidate Nancy Pearlman on a special edition of “These Times w/Michelle & Pedro” at 9:00 AM PST, Noon EST, on KTYM Radio (1460 AM) and streamed globally on ktym.com.

 

Ms.Pearlman will discuss the education crisis facing the colleges today, student access and success, and other problems facing the colleges.

 

“The Los Angeles Community Colleges have under gone draconian cuts,” says Baez, “Candidate Pearlman will explain why the colleges need a grass roots approach to these problems and her remedy to fix them,” says Richardson.

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My C.V. as of 5-13-13


 

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