Will Laura Richardson’s luck follow Arturo Danaire Frazier?


 

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Laura Richardson upon hearing of House Ethics Disciplinary decision

Representative Laura Richardson would be out of luck if she didn’t have bad luck….and as they say, bad luck comes in threes.

First she comes under scrutiny over a foreclosure on her Sacramento home.  She’d received a Washington Mutual loan in excess of $535,000 with no down payment:  http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/19/local/la-me-richardson-20101019

Next, she gets reapportioned into a district where she has to run against another Democratic member of the House, Janice Hahn.

Finally, she gets nailed by the House of Representatives on ethics charges and is personally fined $10,000 in the middle of her campaign to retain her seat against Janice Hahn:  http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/02/news/la-pn-house-disciplines-rep-laura-richardson-for-ethical-misconduct-20120802

Arturo Danaire Frazier getting down on the dance floor

So now it looks like one of her aides has the same kind of luck.  34 year old Arturo Danaire Frazier of Compton and former Compton City Council aide is rumored to be in the running for Compton City Council.  Here are a couple of the skeletons in his closet that he’ll have to contend with.  Vehicle Code violation definitions:

14601.1. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason other than those listed in Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.

 14601.5. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person’s driving privilege is suspended or revoked pursuant to Section 13353, 13353.1, or 13353.2 and that person has knowledge of the suspension or revocation.

12500. (a) A person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person then holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code, except those persons who are expressly exempted under this code.

23109(c) A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on a highway, and a person shall not aid or abet in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on any highway.

23152. (a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

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Election Night 2012


 

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Last night was an outstanding night for me.

First, I’m breathing a big sigh of relief that Mitt Romney is not the President of the United States.  I didn’t vote for President Obama; I voted for Roseanne Barr on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket for a lot of reasons, both positive for Roseanne and negative for Obama.  That said, Mitt Romney has proven himself to be so incompetent that he’d probably get us into a war through sheer stupidity.

Payback is a Bitch

(L) Jan B. Tucker, (R) Rep. Brad Sherman

Second, Brad Sherman appears to have beaten the hell out of Howard Berman in the 30th Congressional District.  Note that I really don’t like to use the “B” word as above, but it is an old saying with meaning that’s apropos to the situation.  As of 2:00 a.m. these are the results so far in the 30th:

Candidate Party Votes Percent
BRAD SHERMAN DEM  43,047 59.95
HOWARD L BERMAN DEM  28,753 40.05

Registration 384,493
Precincts Reporting 103
Total Precincts 376
% Precincts Reporting 27.39

My family lived in Sicily (according to my DNA) from the year 70 until they were expelled by the Spanish Inquisition (Sicily was then part of Spain) in 1492.  The Sicilian proverb about revenge is of course, “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” as found in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.  My maternal grandmother was from Gorodieshe in the Ukraine, where the proverb is, “Revenge gives you a warm feeling inside.”  So I was happy to have a part in dishing it up cold to Howard Berman and it gave me a warm feeling inside.

As I wrote in this blog on October 18:

It’s no secret that the policy wonk for years behind Democratic Party gerrymandering schemes in California has been Howard Berman’s brother Michael and at this point, let me make the same conflict of interest disclosure publicly that I made for the Same Page/Misma Pagina interview committee.  In 1978 my candidate (Peace & Freedom Party) for State Assembly in the Northeast San Fernando Valley got 4% of the vote and the Democrat lost by 2%.  In 1980, I ran against ranking California Congressman James Corman who that year alone had voted for the MX Missile, the Neutron Bomb, and Draft Registration (all of which his Republican opponent opposed, as did I).  Additionally, the only candidate in the race supporting the NAACP-ACLU “Together for Integrated Education” program was me.  I polled almost three times as many votes as Corman needed to win, and the Berman brothers were majorly pissed because it completely upset the apple cart for their reapportionment (read gerrymandering) plan for the State of California.  As far as I know, this was the only time in California history that a third party had achieved “balance of power” status in two back to back elections in the same geographical area with the ability to knock off incumbents.

Michael Berman came up with plan A and plan B for reapportionment.  Normally, political parties get thrown off the ballot in America for not getting enough votes.  In authoritarian countries, like the old Soviet Union, Burma, and Nazi Germany, parties get thrown off the ballot because they actually have support.  Michael Berman’s plan A was throw the Peace & Freedom Party off the ballot with what Democratic Party hacks publicly called “the Jan Tucker bill” so that they could cut district lines with 1,500 vote Democratic Party margins, or else they  had to use plan B in which they failed to kick PFP off the ballot and instead had to cut districts with 3,000 vote Democratic Party margins.

Howard Berman and his “gang of four” in the Assembly shoved the bill through that house with threats and coercion.  There were several hold out Democrats defying the “caucus vote,” including Larry Kapiloff, Ken Meade, Sam Farr, Tom Hannigan, Mike Roos and even former Assembly Speaker Leo McCarthy.  When you vote against an official “caucus” position, you can be stripped of all of your committee assignments, so it’s not something one does lightly and then only out of absolute conscience.  Berman was one vote short for the bill, so he went over to Tom Hannigan and threatened him with loss of his committee assignments and twisted his arm into becoming the 41st vote for the bill.

There are many reasons and many states where we depend on the Voting Rights Act, like the San Fernando Valley where it’s supposed to protect us from the Berman Brothers.

We killed the bill in the State Senate where it never came up for a vote.  We pointed out that in the entire 20th Century up till that point, no African American, Asian American, Mexican American, or Native American had wound up on the general election ballot in the four (4) California counties that have prior Voting Rights Act convictions–unless they were running on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket.  If the bill passed and we won a Voting Rights Act conviction, that fifth conviction would have put California under the “pre-approval” process like the old thirteen (13) former Confederate States.

If I ever felt any guilt for knocking off Jim Corman in 1980 it was only because I opened up his seat for Howard Berman.  Now by helping to take him out of Congress (I’ve been getting furious emails and calls from his campaign and supporters since Saturday when an endorsement letter under my signature went out to many of the district voters in support of Brad Sherman) this little bit of history has come full circle.

Seeing Old Friends & Comrades

John Alford & Jess

Next, I was delighted to see several members of of San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles NOW at Brad Sherman’s victory party, including Dan McCrory, Patricia Nazario, and Heather Martin.  Also ran into Sherman aides Aubrey Farkas, John Alford and Scott Abrams.

But completely unexpected and long overdue was running into former Assembly Member (and hopefully soon to be Los Angeles City Council Member) Cindy Montanez.

(L) Jan B. Tucker, (R) Cindy Montanez

In the 2002-3 legislative term, I drafted and Cindy introduced AB 1617 in an attempt to put teeth into the laws against workplace harassment and discrimination by amending the Fair Employment & Housing Act.  Although business groups kept it from passing, its principles went on to be adopted nationally by civil rights organizations as a model.  It’s one of my proudest achievements.

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered!

(L) Isadore Hall, (R) Jan B. Tucker

Finally, I rounded out the night at the California Legislative Black Caucus victory party in Culver City which had been thrown by Isadore Hall, re-elected tonight in the 64th Assembly District with 100% of the vote.  Isadore is a great friend, an effective representative of his community (based in Compton), and a proven leader.  But the evening missed out being absolutely perfect.

Just as I sit down and change my Blackberry battery, who sits down at the table right next to mine?  Stevie Wonder!  Here I’m in the middle of re-booting the phone so I can’t get a photo of him!  Damn!  But his performance of Signed, Sealed, Delivered:  I’m Yours made up for it.  Isadore had called Stevie’s people and told them to get his a…over to the Culver City Studios for the official Obama Victory Party and sure enough, Stevie was signed, sealed and delivered to the studio to highlight the night’s entertainment.

At the end I was reminded of election night 2008 which I also spent at Isadore’s first election victory party for the State Assembly and Barack Obama’s election as our first black president.  Compton was the place to be that night as Virginia and North Carolina in the old South went for Obama, and then to see the crowd’s ecstasy when he was declared elected.  Like 2008, this crowd was jubilant as Obama’s re-election was Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

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Republican Definitions of Rape


 

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People died & suffered for your right to vote


 

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When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press

Women throughout the world had to fight, literally as well as figuratively, for the right to vote.  This photo album portrays what some American suffragists went through:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3895839116228.2143743.1286600320&type=3

For the crime of picketing the White House in support of women’s right to vote, jailers hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

Viola Liuzzo, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman died during the 1960’s civil rights movement for the right to vote.

Viola Liuzzo with her family

Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo (April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965) was the wife of a Teamsters Union Business Agent from Michigan.  She was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church and the NAACP.  She was killed by an FBI informant.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an NAACP Field Secretary and was murdered by Byron De La Beckwith of the White Citizens Council (the overground front for the KKK) in Jackson Mississippi.  Evers, a veteran, was shot in the back.  He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Two Jews and an African American: Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner

James Earl “J.E.” Chaney (May 30, 1943 – June 21, 1964), Andrew Goodman (November 23, 1943, – June 21, 1964), and Michael Henry Schwerner (November 6, 1939 – June 21, 1964) were Congress On Racial Equality (CORE) workers murdered by the KKK in Mississippi.  Before they themselves were murdered, they had been investigating the burning of Mt. Zion Methodist Church, which had been a site for a CORE Freedom School. The congregants had been beaten in the wake of Schwerner and Chaney’s voter registration rallies for CORE.  Sheriff’s Deputy Cecil Price had been accused by parishioners of stopping their caravan, and forcing the deacons to kneel in the headlights of their own cars, while they were beaten with rifle butts.

DO NOT DISHONOR THESE HEROIC PEOPLE TODAY BY NOT VOTING.

 

 

 

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Banning Shakespeare in Arizona


 

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Posted at the request of mi jefe, mi maestro, mi Tlamatini, Rudy Acuna:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shakespeare Burns.jpg

Title:  Outlawing Shakespeare: The Battle for the Tucson Mind

http://www.thenonprofitnetwork.org/videopage.php?id=73

TO:  All MEDIA OUTLETS

RE:  Documentary Release

http://www.thenonprofitnetwork.org/videopage.php?id=73

Outlawing Shakespeare: The Battle for the Tucson Mind is a documentary that focuses on the elimination of the Mexican American Studies program within the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. Under a federal de-segregation decree, Mexican American Studies was created and was successful at improving academic achievement. The documentary explores Arizona Attorney Tom Horne’s crusade as he and other state officials claim the program in Tucson is attempting to convince students to secede from the United States by creating “Aztlan.” Baffling students, parents and teachers, Outlawing Shakespeare explores why this tactic is being utilized.

The documentary explores how Arizona officials have outlawed books and authors such as renowned British author William Shakespeare because Tucson officials believe he is too controversial.

Is there a rebellion in Tucson or are officials worried about an impending Latino majority in Arizona? The documentary explores how Arizona politics has become focused on race and adults blaming youth and using intimidation to force students, teachers and parents not to speak out.

Passed in 2010, HB-2281 outlaws any curriculum focused on overthrowing the US government and focused on one ethnic group. This legislation is the only legislation ever to focus on the concept of “Aztlan” by a sitting attorney general of any state.

Watch the documentary, it is interesting.

http://www.thenonprofitnetwork.org/videopage.php?id=73

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Jackie Lacey for District Attorney


 

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Jackie Lacey, candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney

The first woman to run for California Attorney General and Los Angeles County District Attorney is my good friend and mentor Marguerite “Marge” Buckley.  Having been involved with those pioneering campaigns, I’m glad to see that Jackie Lacey is likely to become Los Angeles County’s first woman elected District Attorney, not to mention the first African American.  There are four main issues as to why I voted for her over Alan Jackson.

First and easiest, she’s got all the right endorsements from people, organizations, and politicians that I respect and  trust, like Congressman Brad Sherman, former Senator Sheila Kuehl, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Civil Rights lawyer Connie Rice, the late Willis Edwards of the NAACP, forrmer Los Angeles Sheriffs Crime Lab Chief Barry A.J. Fisher, the Stonewall Democratic Club, and many others.  Of course, nobody’s perfect so I’m not happy that Richard Loa — an apostate former Marxist Leninist turned Mitt Romney Republican — is listed as her endorser.  C’est la Vie.

When it comes to Lacey’s opponent, Alan Jackson, I’m downright horrified that he sports the endorsement of former Superior Court Judge William Pounders. The proverb “Birds of a feather flock together” has been around at least since 1545 when William Turner published his critique of the papacy entitled The Rescuing of Romish Fox where he wrote, “Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.” In essence it means that people of the same ilk hang out and coalesce with each other.

Pounders was the perennial head until he retired of the judge’s committee which oversees the appointment panel of Los Angeles County court appointed criminal defense investigators.  Pounders personally threatened retaliation against members of the Los Angeles County Criminal Defense Investigators Association (LACCDIA) if they attempted to act as a union for collective bargaining and representation of their members’ interests.  This was in spite of the fact that any objective reading of the panel rules and the actual procedures of the office which approves or disapproves payments for their work are clearly in violation of IRS Publication 15a criteria.  By Publication 15a standards, appointed defense investigators are plainly common law employees who should be protected by the Public Employees Relations Act with the right to unionize and bargain collectively.

Former Judge William Pounders

Furthermore, by keeping up the pretense that court appointed investigators–who do essentially the same job as Public Defender and Alternate Public Defender Investigators who are union represented by the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS)– should be defined as “independent contractors,” Pounders insured that they would have to pay to make use of data bases of companies that he owned stock in, according to his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest filings.  Alan Jackson has pledged to crack down on public corruption:  I wonder if he might start by re-examining his own supporter’s actions when he was judge?

Alan Jackson

Next, I have a real problem with the way that gang prosecutions take place in Los Angeles County.  Alan Jackson touts his credentials as gang prosecutor.  To illustrate some of the problems with gang prosecution and its reliance on so-called law enforcement experts to prove gang affiliation, here is an excerpt from a declaration I recently executed concerning the prosecution of an alleged member of the Mara Salvatrucha organization:

5. Based upon the testimony of the People’s expert witnesses, I believe that their methodology, expertise, and the conclusions that they have drawn from the evidence they testified to reviewing are subject to scrutiny and attack based upon criteria which the Justice Alex Kozinski laid out in the 9th Circuit laid out in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 43 F.3d 1311 (9th Cir. 1995), i.e.:

(a) Has the technique been tested in actual field conditions (and not just in a laboratory)?

(b) Has the technique been subject to peer review and publication?

(c) What is the known or potential rate of error?

(d) Do standards exist for the control of the technique’s operation?

(e) Has the technique been generally accepted within the relevant scientific community? [this test was earlier the only relevant criterion under Frye]

6. Examples of where law enforcement gang expertise deviate from a normal scientific inquiry environment include:

(a) Problems with peer review–Active duty law enforcement peer review and training organizations tend to be insular in nature and separate themselves, for both legitimate and potentially illegitimate reasons, from the larger communities of expert and scientific communities which are inherently necessary for full and free scientific discussion. For example, the California Gang Investigators Association (CGIA) does not permit membership for non-active duty law enforcement personnel. A more stark and illustrative example is within the forensic computer examiners field, where rival organizations for certification of computer examiners (CFCE, Certified Forensic Computer Examiner) exist, some of which admit only law enforcement personnel to membership and others which incorporate amongst their members any CFCE. The limitation of membership in professional organizations to law enforcement personnel and the exclusion of non-law enforcement academics, researchers and private sector experts whether engaged in defense or prosecution work or both creates an inherent bias that runs counter to the normal scientific concern for methodology which minimizes the problems posed by both the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Mathematical Impossibility Theorem (See attachment, The Relationship of Epistemology & Logic to Private Investigation, incorporated herein by reference).

(b) Acceptance by the relevant scientific community—because the law enforcement oriented peer organizations limit their membership to active duty law enforcement, by definition they do not subject their exchange of knowledge to the relevant academic and scientific scrutiny that normal expertise and science invites. In the case of gang expertise, bodies of knowledge taught in colleges and universities that are of inherent value include but are not limited to criminology, sociology, and various ethnic studies interdisciplinary programs and departments.

(c) Standards of Control—In theory, law enforcement disciplinary procedures, e.g., “internal affairs” departments, exist to prevent perjury and other offense against public justice, but they lack the knowledge to judge and dispute so-called expert testimony in which subjective conclusions must be second guessed. Within the professional associations of law enforcement gang investigators, there is no effective discipline or control to prevent deviation from scientific standards in the larger bodies of knowledge in criminology, sociology and other disciplines since those organizations inherently exclude outside influences.

7. In addition to interviewing the People’s witnesses in connection with the above delineated methodological problems with their opinions and conclusions, I have specific problems with the knowledge which they lacked or which they claimed to be true which render their opinions to be invalid and unsound as those terms are formally used in logic.

8. During the preliminary hearing, neither of the People’s experts had ever heard of the term “consafos” or the use of the symbol “c/s” in connection with gang graffiti. By itself, this indicates that they have little if any knowledge of gangs outside of what law enforcement has taught them to believe and that their knowledge is restricted to the minimum necessary to promote prosecutors’ crime theories. This lack of knowledge is indicative of a lack of interest in the history of gangs, the culture of gangs, an ignorance of the implications of the use of “consafos” for the existence of “veterano” leadership of particular gangs in particular geographical areas, and an ignorance of the source of animosity between rival gangs that could and would be likely to lead to violence. Whether their knowledge in light to this failing inherently calls into question if it is appropriate to even call them experts, let alone to admit their testimony.

9. The People’s experts’ testimony concerning the culture and propensities of Mara Salvatrucha runs counter to knowledge which is or ought to be intuitively obvious to anybody who speaks on a regular or even intermittent basis to people who come into contact with MS-13 members and/or who live in neighborhoods affected by MS-13. Their testimony, at best, tended to obfuscate that which is intuitively obvious, especially in light of the United States Treasury Department’s subsequent designation of MS-13 as an international criminal gang organization.

L-Jan B. Tucker; R-Valerie Lynne Monroe at press conference in front of Criminal Courts Building announcing filing of the California Three Strikes Project initiative in 2000

Finally, Jackie Lacy supports Proposition 36 and Alan Jackson opposes it.  Proposition 36 isn’t exactly what I’d like to see.  It’s not as simple and direct as limiting the application of the “Three Strikes” law to serious and violent felonies only–as the California Three Strikes Project initiative proposed in 2000 (co-authored by myself and my then-significant other, Attorney Valerie Monroe, and coordinated by the mother of my Godson, Malinda Rosell), but it’s a big step in the right direction and the best we’re going to get.

 

_______________________________

Reader’s comment:

Excellent article.  Thank you for assisting me pro bono in representing Irving Guevara, a 16-year-old certified as an adult, being wrongly prosecuted as a gang member for attempted murder, and facing 80 years in state prison.  (See People v. Guevara BA398061)
I sincerely appreciate your continuing to hammer LAPD’s gang “experts” and their questionable qualifications.
It was a huge waste of the taxpayers’ money for the prosecutor to approve 12 hours preparation time for one of their gang experts to testify at Irving’s preliminary hearing, especially considering the expert was incompetent in so many areas.
Why did the DA have to put on two gang experts over two sessions of the preliminary hearing?
David R. Yardley
   Attorney for
 Irving Guevara

A Minor

 

 

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Roseanne Barr & the LGBTI Community


 

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Roseanne Barr @ at function for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (founded by former Gay Liberation Front, Peace & Freedom Party member, and Stonewall Democratic Club founder Morris Kight)

A controversy has broken out over Roseanne Barr’s discussion of issues involving transgendered people and it has turned into a game of “telephone” over the internet. Some of the people chiming in on the discussion don’t even understand the correct terminology, using concepts like “transwomen” or casting about to create words when they already exist in the movement (I used to attend meetings of the Transgender Round Table in Los Angeles, where I got educated about the issues facing the community; not to mention that I have personal MTF friends). The correct terms are the acronyms, MTF (Male To Female) and FTM (Female To Male).

Here is the issue that sparked the controversy:  http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/transgender-student-womens-locker-room-raises-uproar-221516308–abc-news-topstories.html The issue:  is it appropriate for a pre-operation transsexual to be in a locker room where their male genitalia is visible to women who don’t want to see it?

 The discussion has degenerated with a lot of misinformation being bandied about on the issue, so people should first of all look at what she is saying about the issue, because even people trying to explain or defend her position don’t seem to have looked at what she, herself, is saying:

http://www.roseanneworld.com/blog/2012/10/some-glbtq-activists-are-complaining-about-my-campaign/

I have more than average experience at combating discrimination on the basis of gender orientation, i.e., Transgender issues. As a private investigator, I have worked on:

  •  An insurance discrimination case involving bad-faith failure to pay a death claim on a transvestite who listed herself as female
  • The gang rape of a transsexual (MTF) intentionally placed in a male-only cell by a Wackenhut security guard at a privatized San Diego County jail in violation of policy

  • The harassment of and physical attack on an L.A. County Mental Health worker (MTF) by her co-workers after a fellow employee illegally accessed her medical file and out-ed her at work.

 My work on these kinds of issues and cases has convinced me over and over again of the need to both criminalize intentional workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation. We must also legislate the Model Policy on Workplace Harassment which I authored and which was nationally adopted as policy by the League of United Latin American Citizens and which is the policy of the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition that includes the California League of Latin American Citizens (of which I am state director). That policy was originated by SFV/NELA NOW and introduced by then-Assembly Member Cindy Montanez in the 2002-3 California legislative term as AB 1617.

 The most basic problem with this discussion is that it is taking place amongst people that may know an MTF or FTM (by the way, when I used to hang out in the drag scene at places like the Queen Mary – in Studio City not Long Beach – while working cases and because I like the scene socially, about 20 – 30 years ago the correct slang term was a “change” for people in the process or after the process of a gender reassignment surgery) here or there but who’ve never actually done anything specifically for gender orientation equality and rights. I’m actually going to ask my MTF friends what they think about the issue before I spout off any more about it and before people mouth off about Roseanne, they ought to do so as well. As an “oh by the way,” Roseanne was The Advocate “Person of the Year” in 1994 because of all the great work she’s done for the LGBTI movement, so those of you who haven’t done as much as she has should think twice before they throw stones.

 For more: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/09/26/roseanne-barr-for-president/

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My California Ballot Thoughts


 

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A lot of people depend on me for recommendations on how to vote.  I’m not necessarily comfortable with that role but the way I make my recommendations generally gives you an idea of how and why I choose my candidates and positions.  Education should concentrate on teaching people how to think about things–such as teaching formal logic–not what they should believe.  That goes for public educational institutions and those who engage in political education as well.

L-Roseanne Barr; R-Jan B. Tucker: This is what feminists look like

PRESIDENT — If there was any realistic possibility that Romney could win in California I’d have to think about this, but I’ve voted my conscience for Roseanne Barr on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket.  There isn’t a red-cent’s worth of difference between the Peace & Freedom Party, the Green Party, the Freedom Socialist Party, the Party of Socialist Liberation, and the Socialist Party USA in how they’d govern if they actually got their candidates elected, which they won’t.  There are however some specific reasons I’m voting for Roseanne.

Roseanne Barr supports Freedom for Ramsey Muniz

Roseanne is not some rich dilettante, she’s been down in the trenches of social and political activism — Before becoming rich and famous she was with the Big Mama Rag feminist collective in Denver and worked with Corky Gonzales’ El Partido de La Raza Unida (LRUP) organization there.  Because of her experience, she became the first celebrity and the only Presidential candidate to have endorsed freedom for Chicano Political Prisoner Ramsey Muniz, former Texas LRUP gubernatorial candidate who’s serving life in prison over a fairly obvious frame-up [see http://www.freeramsey.com].

Roseanne is not just a “motorcycle mama” — she knows the civil rights issues of bikers

Roseanne is also familiar with specific civil liberties issues that are near and dear to my heart:  I have a Class M1 endorsement on my California Driver License.  Bikers will understand what I’m talking about and because I’ve done criminal defense work over the years for bikers, I appreciate the fact that Roseanne is a Harley rider and knows the issues faced by “1 percenters” in the biker world (not talking about economic class here).

During the campaign, I personally spoke with Jill Stein, Steve Durham, Peta Lindsey, and Alejandro Mendoza (Stewart Alexander’s running mate) about how application of Article 21 procedures under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo should be brought to play in resolution of immigration and other issues between the United States and Mexico.  Not one of them has gotten back to me on the question as they’d promised.  Now, I recognize that all of them are busy, but I did ask each of them in person.  I also know just how busy Roseanne is so I haven’t even brought the issue up with her, but I look forward to doing so after the election, as well as with the PFP groups in other states (the leadership of the California PFP will not give me the time of day on the issue simply because I have something to do with it).

In 1994 Dianne Feinstein got caught red-handed pirating two different union labels, and Kam Kuwata, her campaign manager, tried to cover the whole affair up

UNITED STATES SENATE–hold your nose and vote for Dianne Feinstein.  Aside from the fact that as Mayor of San Francisco she vetoed same-sex partnership benefits for municipal employees, in 1994 I personally caught her campaign pirating both Allied Printing Trades and Graphic Communications International Union printing labels on a statewide fundraising mailing.  Kam Kuwata, her campaign manager, tried to get Dave Sickler, then head of Region 9 of the AFL-CIO to “call Tucker off” of exposing this publicly.  When he explained to Dave what they’d done (used a Texas scab printing plant to export jobs from California while she’d been ranting and raving a couple of years earlier that so-called “illegal aliens” were taking jobs from California) Dave to his great credit told him that if anything, he’d unleash me on the issue.

That said, Feinstein is the best choice given that the state has implemented top-two and gotten rid of third party candidates out of our partisan elections.

Brad Sherman with Same Page Coalition members

30th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTBrad Sherman and I’m enthusiastic about this pick.  See my reasons at:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/13/same-page-coalition-endorses-brad-sherman-steve-fox-dan-mccrory/ and at:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/18/sherman-vs-berman-in-the-30th-district/

36th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT–Steve Fox and I’m equally enthusiastic about my old college buddy’s candidacy (see my above 10-13-12 blog).

39th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT–Richard Alarcon, another old college buddy.  I’m disappointed that neither Richard nor his opponent Raul Bocanegra submitted responses to the Same Page/Misma Pagina coalition questionnaire.  I have friends supporting both sides on this race.  One important point is that while I think that the District Attorney’s prosecution of Larry “Nativo” Lopez for registering at an address he didn’t live at was NOT politically motivated (it was initiated by the Secretary of State’s office), I DO believe that the prosecution of Richard Alarcon is not just political but ridiculous and a waste of time and money.  Richard has a great record in office.

The Propositions

30 and 38–See my blog at http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/29/proposition-30-important-opinions/ and then make your own decision on how to vote on 30 and 38 regarding taxes

31–If you trust your local government officials to handle your tax dollars wisely and honestly then vote for this.  If you don’t, vote against it.

32NOT!  Definitely freaking NO!  This is a Trojan horse to prevent unions from protecting their members politically.  That’s really all there is to it.  Rather than taking the controversial step of restricting who can contribute and how much in politics, which is highly controversial and of dubious constitutionality, real reform would entail putting a floor under candidates to ensure that their legitimate messages get out to the public rather than trying to find a constitutional way to put a ceiling over contributions.  

For example:  (a) abolish filing fees to run for public office and make all candidates, rich or poor, get the current “nomination signature” requirement to get on the ballot; (b) abolish fees to put any campaign statement in the ballot pamphlet, especially for judicial and statewide candidates and insure a minimum statement for every candidate running for office as a service to the voters; (c)  amend the Corporations Code to prohibit non-profit media corporations (radio and television) from restricting debates to Democrats and Republicans and create a California equivalent rule to keep non-profit status that would re-instate the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Opportunity rule as interpreted by former FCC Chair Nicholas Johnson.

33–No recommendation.  This will help some consumers and hurt some consumers.

34–Yes, even though abolishing the Death Penalty is against my own economic interests.  Death Penalty cases have different rules for appointment of counsel and defense investigators that are better than the way it’s done for all other cases in Los Angeles County.  The legislature should take some of the money it will save by getting rid of the death penalty, if this proposition passes, to standardize and improve wages and working conditions for court appointed investigators, including but not limited to permitting collective bargaining rights.

35–Yes.  There are a lot of reforms that need to take place to deal with human trafficking and frankly, I’m not sure (to figure it out I have to go line by line through the legislation) if this will take care of the problem, but people who pimp or pander with adults do not have to register as sex offenders, a very serious omission in state law, whereas people who get convicted of misdemeanor pissing in public do.  Go figure.  Read the resolution I authored (which the Peace & Freedom Party has not allowed a vote on) at:  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/07/09/konversations-with-kevin-5/

36–Yes.  This is not as simple and direct as limiting the application of the “Three Strikes” law to serious and violent felonies only–as the California Three Strikes Project initiative proposed in 2000 (co-authored by myself and my then-significant other, Attorney Valerie Monroe, and coordinated by the mother of my Godson, Malinda Rosell), but it’s a big step in the right direction and the best we’re going to get.

37–Yes.  More information is better than less.

38–See above with #30.

Unitary Tax–Proposition 39 wouldn’t have been necessary if the voters had selected me rather than either of the major party candidates in 1978

39–Yes.  This wouldn’t even be an issue if California had not done what the Democratic and Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor in 1978 (I was the only candidate that opposed repeal)  teamed up to campaign for, repeal of the “Unitary Tax.”  See http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/02/15/obama-puts-unitary-tax-in-spotlight/

40–Yes.

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Konversations with Kevin #7


 

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Kevin D. Akin, State Chair of the California Peace & Freedom Party; liar and prevaricator

This is to elaborate on a particular point made by Kevin D. Akin as portrayed in my piece, Konversations with Kevin #6 [http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/10/25/koversations-with-kevin-6/].  In his recent email about me (Jan B. Tucker), he made the statement:

In fact, he appears to have been raised by parents who, despite having Jewish ancestors, did not participate in any way in any Jewish activities. He knows nothing of any religion, including the ones he sometimes claims to be in.

I do know a few things about lying and deception.  While working undercover as a private investigator I have to use pretexts, false identities for safety’s sake, and all kinds of subterfuges when dealing with everybody from terrorists to organized crime figures to deadbeat dads I’m trying to track down to enforce child support orders.  I’ve also been trained and tested on detection of deception.  In a blind test conducted by the late Dr. Maureen O’Sullivan of the University of San Francisco, I scored a very rare 8 out of 9 correct in determinations of truth or deception.

With that background, training, education, and experience (private investigator since March 1979) I long ago formulated Tucker’s first rule of prevarication:  don’t lie when the truth is easily ascertainable!

Kevin D. Akin has clearly violated that rule in the above quotation from his widely circulated email.  He also violated the principle of California Penal Code Section 125, which states:  An unqualified statement of that which one does not know to be true is equivalent to a statement of that which one knows to be false.”

More to the point, since Kevin’s statement is about the ethnic and religious affiliations of my parents and my knowledge of religion, and because Kevin converted to Judaism which inherently implies that he actually believes in the metaphysical existence of god as per the Old Testament as well as in god’s purported commandments, then Kevin must either know less about the Ninth Commandment than I do, or else he is just a hypocrite who professes to be a Jew while flouting the Ten Commandments.  The Ninth Commandment prohibits the bearing of false witness.

Moreover, lying is proscribed by Judaism:

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.  Proverbs 6:16–19

Now before I begin my rendition of why Kevin doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground about my family’s history and my own knowledge of Judaism, let me draw a comparison to Shakespeare’s  The Life and Death of Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II, lest I be accused of plagiarizing the concept without attribution:

Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

You all did see that on the Lupercal

I thrice presented him a kingly crown,

Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And, sure, he is an honourable man.

Kevin says that my parents “did not participate in any way in any Jewish activities.”

My father was a member and officer of the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order.  I can understand why Kevin, as an apostate ex-Communist Party member and adviser/speech writer for Stewart Alexander of the Socialist Party might not consider the JPFO to be Jewish, since the JPFO was formed as the pro-Communist Party faction out of the The Workmens Circle/Arbeter Ring (the original social democratic Jewish movement of the Yiddishist tradition).

Growing up, our family always had Hannukah and Passover ceremonies, because these holidays emphasize struggles against slavery and for national liberation sympatico with my parents’ left-wing ideology.  I attended Kinderschul and Mittelschul, where we studied Yiddish, Yiddish literature in translations such as the writings of Isaac Lieb Peretz and Sholom Aleichem.  I watched Luther Adler–reputedly through Jacob Adler a distant cousin on my mother’s side–perform in Fiddler on the Roof at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  I sang in Yiddish and performed a solo one year at the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center of Rozhinkes mit Mandlen at a community Passover seder.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

Because I wanted a more extensive Jewish education, I got myself into the Rambam Torah Institute, an Orthodox Yeshiva, on full scholarship, studying Hebrew, Aramaic, Talmud and Torah along with secular studies.  I was elected to student council and because I believed in practicing the Jewish precepts of freedom and equality, I wound up out of the academy after supporting the student body president’s motion in student council to go on strike for co-ed (non-sex-segregated) classes and an 8 hour day.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

Moshe stops the beating of a Levite and smites an Egyptian overseer

My certificate of circumcision accorded me the name of (translated from Hebrew) “Blessed hand of Moses, son of Happy Samuel.”  My father’s Hebrew name was “Happy Samuel.”  “Hand of Moses” was the name of my Great, Great grandfather, a Ukrainian Rabbi of five brothers, all Rabbis.  The “Blessed Hand of Moses” as a name confers a great onus upon me, as it refers to Moses’ role in stopping the beating of a Hebrew slave.  That incident is described in Exodus 2:11-12 and in the New Testament, Acts 7:24.  In some translations it has been written as Moses smiting an Egyptian overseer who was beating a Hebrew slave of Moses’ own Tribe of Levi, with one blow.  I am named for the Blessed Hand of Moses that he used to kill the Egyptian overseer.

The Midrash Rabbah gives one traditional edification on this incident:

In the section of Talmud called Midrash Rabbah, the rabbis argue that what Moses saw wasn’t merely the absence of witnesses. Rabbi Yehudah said, “[Moses] saw there was no one who would be zealous for the Holy Blessed One [ie, no one else who would do God’s work] and so he [Moses] killed him [the overseer].” Later in that same passage, we read that the Sages said, “[Moses] saw that there was no hope that righteous persons would arise from him [the overseer] or his descendents until the end of generations.” The Sages then go on to explain that Moses had a chat with the angels, who agreed with him, and gave him license to kill the overseer.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

At one time I was a member of the American Israeli Civil Liberties Coalition which was dedicated to promoting a secular Israel with complete separation of church and state and full equality for all citizens of Israel, not just Jewish citizens.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

I have been involved in litigating actions that have involved the Los Angeles Bet Din, the religious court which operates with the authority of the Rabbinate of Israel, which in turn has authority over Jewish family law matters in Israel.  For example, a divorce which begins in the Israeli family law system (controlled by the various “official” religions of Israel) can be continued and completed in the Bet Din for the entire Western region of the United States.  This whole situation frankly disgusts me as an American.  I wonder what Kevin’s view on this state of affairs is.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

Every year I hold a combined Passover seder and “Reversion” ceremony for my Sephardic brothers and sisters, the Anusim descendants of the forcibly converted ones, who were not as lucky as my Sicilian Jewish ancestors to be able to pay the exit tax to leave Spanish territory on July 31, 1492 under the Edict of Expulsion.  Many of my Chicano/Mexicano/Latino friends have gone through the “Reversion” ceremony.  Over 500 years ago the Sephardic Rabbis concluded that forced conversions of Jews were inherently invalid so that to rejoin The Tribe so to speak, a forcibly converted Jew or their descendant “reverts” to get back in rather than “converts” the way that Kevin did to become a Jew.

Incidentally, it has been traditionally forbidden for Jews to proselytize since the days of Roman domination.  I believe that this is probably because the Jews who wound up writing the history of the time consider the Herod family to have sold us out to the Romans (if that is a correct interpretation, we sure got a great deal out of it from Caesar but that is another whole peripheral story).  The Herod family were Edomites (reputedly the descendants of Jacob’s elder brother Esau, who had been kin and traditional allies of the Jews) who’d been conquered and forcibly converted by the later Maccabee dynasty.  Therefore it seems the Rabbinate forbade any attempts at conversion of Gentiles and laid down the law that even if they come to you seeking conversion, a Rabbi must thrice attempt to talk a Gentile out of conversion during the process (ergo, Kevin must have really, really, really wanted to be a good Jew and believe in god and all the other tribal mythology to get in).

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

Finally, let’s do a comparison of Kevin’s basic Jewish precepts and those that I adhere to.

You can find my beliefs at:  http://janbtucker.com/jews/2011/08/24/announcing-jewish-existentialist-world-society/

At the risk of making an argumentum ad hominem circumstantial, as a Jew who converted he likely espouses the so-called “Ten Commandments,” whereas I formulated with suggestions from adherents to the Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS) the Ten Principles for Humanity:

Humans created the concept of god. (Footnote: Friedrich Nietsche) You shall have no other gods before me.
Assuming arguendo that God created humans, humans have the right to judge God’s acts and omissions as portrayed in texts that God engaged in everything from genocide to infanticide. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Racism is a sin; there is no race but the human race. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain
Sexism is a sin; and yes, that includes discrimination on the basis of gender orientation or sexual orientation. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Ageism is a sin, and applies equally to the young and the old. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Intolerance of any kind directed arbitrarily against any group of people is a sin. You shall not murder.
All living things and things in creation should be accorded respect. You shall not commit adultery.
Creativity is a way that human beings can express their desire for immortality. (Footnote: Emperor Nezahualcoyotl of Texcoco; Hannah Arendt) You shall not steal.
The more knowledge and education you have the better, but the more you learn you should realize that you know only a fraction of the knowledge that exists in the Universe; that realization should make you humble, not haughty. (Footnote: Dr. Philip C. Wall) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
We believe that every man, woman and child on the face of the Planet Earth has a right to the highest, the best, the most beautiful life that human wisdom, knowledge, and technology can produce. (Footnote: Eldredge Cleaver) You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

But Kevin Akin says that I have no Jewish roots and no knowledge of Judaism, and Kevin is an honorable and truthful man.

Or is he?

Well Kevin, there it is.  Stick that in your shofar and blow it!

 

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Proposition 30-Important Opinions


 

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From our sponsors:  some of the best rehabs are in California;  http://www.rehabs.com/local/california/

Proposition 30: Important Opinions

California NOW (National Organization for Women) on Prop 30–

 The main argument that proponents of Prop 30 are making is that if it is not passed, mandatory trigger cuts will go into effect, destroying public education because there will be no money to fund schools. So why wouldn’t we be on board telling our members that they MUST vote YES?

Well, to begin with, the trigger cuts are NOT mandatory and funding for schools – particularly community colleges, Cal states and the UC system – will still be there even if Prop 30 doesn’t pass. The first pot of money comes from Prop 39 (polling is off the charts and will pass). The other is Prop 38 which not only gives more money to k-12 and early education but actually delivers more funding to the General Fund than Prop 30.

 There is too much at stake to pretend that Prop 30 is just about school funding and closing the budget gap. The truth is – Proposition 30 is about constitutionalizing the 2011 Public Safety Realignment. That means the $6.2 billion allocated for the 2011 Public Safety Realignment will be permanently allocated leaving a $6.2 billion budget hole when the taxes expire. The Public Safety Realignment is bad policy. A prison relocation program that permanently removes the $6.2 billion from the general fund and equally, if not more importantly, authorizes between $7-20 billion in local prison construction bonds that state tax payers will be forced to pay if counties and cities cannot.

Proposition 30 is a doubling down on the school-to-prison pipeline, with potentially generations of children lost while the Corrections Corporation of America profits (a funder of Prop 30). Cities and Counties over the past year have been opting to borrow money to build new jails. That debt is paid for by generating income from housing prisoners. The 2011 Public Safety Realignment sets up economic incentives to increase the number of prisoners – that means increasing prison spending rather than reducing prison spending.

It is true that if Prop 30 passes, the $6 billion taken from the general fund for the 2011 Public Safety Realignment will be “returned” to public schools, community colleges and universities. Taking the money originally was a way of holding hostage education funding to force women to vote YES on prop 30. As the Legislative Accounting Office has shown, after the tax increases end, there will be a $ 6 billion hole in the General Fund.

Prop 38 not only provides $136.9 billion for k-12 and early education compared to $17 billion under Prop 30 but Prop 38 provides $27.4 billion to the State Budget compared to $22.5 billion under Prop. 30. In addition, Prop 38 does not add the $7-20 plus billion in bond debt for unnecessary prison construction that are authorized by the 2011 Public Safety Realignment.

When you work as closely as we do in Sacramento, you learn very quickly that money plays an important role in outcomes. The healthcare industry has invested almost $3 million in this initiative with the prison industry kicking in $400,000 and the beverage industry giving over $1 million.

 For more on CA NOW’s Recommendations: http://www.canow.org/e107_files/downloads/2012%20Activist%20Newsletter.pdf

Sheila Kuehl

Sheila Kuehl on Proposition 30

Reprinted from the L.A. Progressive

This is the first in a series of essays analyzing the Propositions appearing on California’s November ballot. This essay describes Proposition 30, which amends the state Constitution to temporarily increase (or restore, if your memory goes back to the first half of this year) the state sales tax, increase state income tax for those earning more than $250,000 a year, bar the use of any of the new funds for administrative costs (but allow local school boards to decide how to spend their share) and guarantee a portion of the new revenue for “public safety services”. These will go to cover the increased costs caused by “realignment” of the incarceration of low-level, non-violent offenders to the counties, along with new duties related to parolees and substance abuse treatment. The essay also sets out the budget cuts that will automatically ensue should the measure fail.

 The next essay will set forth the provisions and impact of the “other” tax measure, Prop 38, in order to allow a comparison with Prop 30. Further essays will analyze what might happen if both prop 30 and Prop 38 should get more than 50% of the vote, along with analyses of the rest of the peopositions.<

Why Does This Tax Measure Require A Vote of the People?

L to R: Jerry Brown, Angel Luevano, Jan B. Tucker

When Governor Brown took office, he erroneously believed he was dealing with the same California Republican party with whom he had worked out so many things in the past. Instead, he was strung along just long enough for the temporary taxes put into place by Gov. Schwarzenegger, which were simply supposed to be extended, to expire. Left with no alternative, the Governor put his version, a continuation of the Schwarzenegger tax increases, out for signature. At the same time, a proposed initiative, cheerfully dubbed the Millionaire’s Tax, was circulating and the two seemed destined to do some harm to each other, especially since the provisions of the Millionaire’s Tax were polling better. As Sen. Russell B. Long once put it, “Don’t tax him and don’t tax me, tax that guy behind the tree.” That would be the rich, and the 99% seemed very willing to do it.

 But the Governor’s signature collection budget was high, so the proponents of the Millionaire’s tax decided to flex their good polling muscles and voila! Out of mutual interest, a hybrid was born: Prop. 30. The new initiative adopted the small sales tax increase in the Governor’s plan, but adopted the establishment (really restoration) of three new tax brackets for upper-income earners.

 The Sales Tax

 California state sales tax rates differ, depending on where you live. This is because, local governments, special districts, and others have the ability to add to the basic state sales tax through a vote of the populace. The average state sales tax rate is just over 8%. A portion of that goes to the state, and the rest to local government. In 2010-11, the state share of the total sales tax collected in the state was around $27 billion dollars.

 The sales tax revenues are extremely important to local governments. When Gov. Schwarzenegger gleefully Terminated the Vehicle License Fee, and with the limits placed by Prop 13 on property tax, the sales tax came to be the greatest source of revenue for local government. Having gutted local governments’ ability to collect Vehicle License Fees, Arnold finally agreed to raise the state sales tax by one quarter of a cent for every dollar of goods purchased. The tax was temporary, and expired earlier this year. Should Prop 30 pass, we would, in essence, be paying the same sales tax we were paying before the end of June. Under Prop 30, the one quarter cent sales tax would last for only four years, and then expire.

 The Personal Income Tax (PIT)

 Currently, the top marginal personal income tax rate in California is 9.3% and is paid by all earners with incomes of anything over $48,000 or by joint filers earning $96,000 or more. Under Reagan and other Governors before him, there were higher marginal tax brackets for higher earners, all of which have since been eliminated.

 As you know, in a progressive system of taxation, such as ours, different levels of income pay increased taxes as the income increases. These are called marginal rates. Right now, we all now pay 1% (state income tax) on our first $7300 of income, 2% on the next $7300-17,000, 4% on 17-27,000, 6% on 27-38,000, 8% on 38-48,000 and 9.3% on amounts over that.

 This proposition would increase the marginal taxes for individuals earning more than $250,000 or couples earning more than $500,000 in the aggregate (shown ahead in parentheses): so that the new marginal rates would be 10.3% for earnings above 250,000 but below $300,000 ($500-600,000); 11.3% for 300-500,000 (600,000 to one million) and 12.3% on amounts over 500,000 (one million). These new taxes actually affect only the 1$ of Californians who gross more than $250,000 a year. Like the sales tax increase, these new brackets would be temporary, but, whereas the sales tax increase expires after four years, the new tax brackets would be in place for seven.

The 2012-13 California Budget

 As passed at the end of June of this year, the California general fund budget already includes the amounts to be raised by Prop 30. In that budget, K-12 education was relatively unscathed and higher education was not cut as deeply as it had been in the past. Built into the budget, however, were a series of “trigger” cuts which automatically go into effect should Prop 30 fail to pass. The cuts would be relatively instantaneous (and have to be applied all in the last half of the 2012-13 budget) and would diminish K-12 and community colleges by a whopping 5.35 billion dollars, UC by 250 million, CSU by 250 million, and various other law enforcement, safety, and developmental disability services by a total of 99 million.

 All in all, if Prop 30 passes, it is expected to provide about $6.6 billion dollars to the schools. Under Prop 98, education funding (K-12 and community colleges) increases when there are increases in state revenue, on a formulaic basis.

 The realignment to the counties of responsibility for the incarceration of low-level, non-violent offenders, supervision of parolees and provision of substance abuse treatment services has begun. It is funded currently but there is no guaranteed source of funding for the counties in the future. The 2011-12 state budget provided a transfer of monies to pay for the realigned services but funding was only guaranteed through last June, with a proposed transfer of six billion dollars a year from state to counties to pay for the programs. This is to be accomplished by shifting an additional portion of sales tax which usually goes to the state to the counties. Prop 30 embeds language in the Constitution requiring the state to continuously provide the tax revenues that had been redirected in 2011 to local governments going forward.

 Other Provisions in Prop 30

 Language in Prop 30 provides that local governments may not be required by the state to implement state laws that increase local costs to administer the programs transferred by realignment in 2011, unless the state provides additional money.

 In addition, the state must pay any increased costs that result from court actions or federal statutes related to these transferred services.

 So What’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

 The approach adopted by this measure is like holding a gun to your head and shouting “Stop me before I hurt somebody!” The budget is in place and the gun is pointed squarely at education, and the public safety services tied to realignment. Without the influx of revenue provided by the increased temporary taxes, there is insufficient money to hold education or the counties harmless.

 It seems very clear that education was chosen as the main hostage most likely to succeed because people prefer putting money into schools rather than into the social safety net that provides health care and welfare to low income, seniors, children and families. Cuts to those social services programs, bloody as they were, will remain even if the Proposition passes. However, with the trigger cuts built into an already-adopted and signed budget, education across the board takes a heavy blow if it fails.

 Opponents claim that there is nothing holding the state to keep its promise to put the new revenue into the schools and into the counties. As to the schools, when state general fund revenue increases, Prop 98 allocations also increase, so a portion of the money would definitely go to the schools. Similarly, realignment monies will have to go to the counties if Prop 30 becomes part of the Constitution.

 You can find the list of supporters and opponents online. The League of Women Voters, the California Teachers’ Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association signed the ballot argument in favor, as well as the rebuttal to opponents. The Small Business Action Committee, the National Federation of Independent Business/California and the Sacramento Taxpayers Association signed the ballot argument against. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers’ Association, the California State Board of Education and the Los Angeles County Board of Education signed the rebuttal to the proponents’ arguments.

 Sheila Kuehl, SheilKuehl.org

– See more at: http://www.laprogressive.com/prop-30/#sthash.g7SSu5GE.dpuf

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