National Instant Criminal Background Check–a gaping loophole


 

NICSThe shooting at the Washington DC Naval Yard by Aaron Alexis has once again brought up the issues of background checks as a deterrent to criminals and the mentally ill getting their hands on firearms.  There is a huge loophole in the NICS–National Instant Criminal Background Check System–that gun control advocates and gun rights activists will probably agree there is a desperate need to fix.  The devil will be in the details, but the debate is urgent and needs to begin.

 

Title 28 CFR § 25.4 (CFR=Code of Federal Regulations)

Record source categories.

It is anticipated that most records in the NICS Index will be obtained from Federal agencies. It is also anticipated that a limited number of authorized state and local law enforcement agencies will voluntarily contribute records to the NICS Index. Information in the NCIC and III systems that will be searched during a background check has been or will be contributed voluntarily by Federal, state, local, and international criminal justice agencies. [Emphasis added]

 

So let’s consider the case of how you get overseas criminal records on convicted felons from nations that don’t consider their records to be public and keep them very close to the vest in dealing with the United States government?  It’s not like every nation in the world is completely truthful with us.

ScarfaceSo called Communist countries were very skillful in exporting their criminals and mental cases to the United States during the Cold War.  Some instances were rapid and dramatic like the Marielito Boatlift when Cuba cleaned out its prisons and mental asylums and sent thousands of its problems to the US to become our problems, as dramatically portrayed in Al Pacino’s Scarface.  Under its quota system for so-called Jewish refugees, the old Soviet Union made it a lot easier for criminals and the criminally insane to get into the United States than legitimate dissidents and gradually cleaned out many of its most despicable and heinous desperadoes and made them our problem.

Let’s look at some examples:

Getting out of the old Soviet Union was much easier--encouraged in fact--for criminals and mental cases than for real Jewish dissidents.

Getting out of the old Soviet Union was much easier–encouraged in fact–for criminals and mental cases than for real Jewish dissidents.

“Crazy Klenshteyn” ran a jewelry shop in the Fairfax area having immigrated as a so-called persecuted Jewish dissident from Odessa (now in the Ukraine, then part of the USSR) in the 80s.  According to his neighbors, he’d spent years in and out of mental institutions in the old country.  When they moved into an apartment in Fairfax he and his wife made  life a living hell for their neighbors:  he exposed himself to an old woman; his wife tried to toss boiling water at somebody!  When I accompanied an attorney to serve eviction papers on them, the wife took the papers and slapped the attorney in the face with them.  I displayed my handcuffs as a warning to her that if she didn’t calm down,  she’d face arrest and she later told the police that I’d twisted her arm behind her back and handcuffed her (luckily the police detective knew some of my police buddies and also knew  the reputation of the Klenshteyn family and agreed the charges were insane).  The night before they left the apartment following the judge’s eviction order, they hammered hundreds of nails into the wooden floor of their apartment to destroy it.

What really, really scared the Klenshteyn’s neighbors is that as a jewelry store owner his neighbors reported seeing him with a gun…but if he ever had needed a background check to buy one, do you think that the Soviet authorities would have ever admitted his mental or criminal record?  If they had, they’d be admitting to their whole scheme to export a huge part of their criminal problems to the United States back in the 80s.

Jerusalem Network criminal in custody in Israel

Jerusalem Network criminal in custody in Israel

Israel has been exporting many of its problems to the United States, whether by design or inadvertently, leading to the presence in the United States of serious cells of the Jerusalem Network of the Israeli Mafia.  One of the enforcers of the Jerusalem Network–let’s call him “Mr. DBB”–has a Nevada Concealed Weapons Permit and sports a handgun with him while he carries out unlicensed (and inherently illegal) “collections” for mobsters throughout Las Vegas.  According to reliable sources, Mr. DBB did time in an Israeli prison along with his co-defendant Gabriel Ben Harosh–another notorious Jerusalem Network degenerate–for crimes involving violence and extortion.  On one such Clark County, Nevada “collection” he came with Brett Gordon Pekrul…another real piece of work (like, check out his criminal record):

Pekrul Criminal_001Pekrul Criminal_002Pekrul Criminal_003Pekrul Criminal_004Pekrul Criminal_005Pekrul Criminal_006Pekrul Criminal_007Pekrul Criminal_008Pekrul Criminal_009Pekrul Criminal_010Pekrul Criminal_011Pekrul Criminal_012Pekrul Criminal_013Pekrul Criminal_014

 

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Indy Film Production fund for California


 

http://latinoweeklyreview.com/?p=132361

Sharon Jimenez & Bill Duke

Sharon Jimenez & Bill Duke

On Tuesday September 24, 2013 the Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF) will announce a private sector film production fund for independent ventures in California.  This is a major step towards bringing Hollywood home and providing the kind of decent well paying jobs that have been critical to the economy of Los Angeles and other communities throughout California.  The Latino Weekly Review article linked above contains the press conference details, noting that:

Gerald Wolf, Jack Mansour, Martin Guigui, Jerry Heller, Polo Munoz, Ed Madinya, Stephen Seidel, Dr. Juan Rodriguez Flores, Gary Visconti, Doreen Spicer Dannerly, Lydia Grant, Kristee Clark, Jan B. Tucker among other guests will announce their participation in the press conference.

Sharon Hardee Jimenez

Sharon Hardee Jimenez

At the request of the BHHF, I have invited the participation of Mayor Eric Garcetti and am awaiting his response.  He picked up the mantle of promoting the “bring Hollywood home” message from Kevin James who’d made the issue a prime focus of his primary campaign and promised appointment of a Film Czar for Los Angeles (who I hope will be Sharon Hardee Jimenez of BHHF, who has been endorsed for the post by San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles NOW and the California League of Latin American Citizens).

Speakers at the press conference will include Bill Duke [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Duke] and Edward James Olmos [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_James_Olmos].

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Aaron Alexis at first glance


 

The deceased alleged shooter at the Washington DC Navy Yard, 34 year old Aaron Alexis, raised my eyebrows because his last known address in Forth Worth, Texas was on “White Settlement Road,” but as a local historian points out:

 

White Settlement is blessed with many streets bearing names of people. Some of them are listed here. The oldest street in White Settlement is, of course, White Settlement Road. This original trail led from the fort to the “white settlement” about eight miles west into Indian territory. The area was called “white” because it was a settlement of “white” homesteaders, as opposed to other settlements in the vicinity that were composed of both white and Indian residents. As the Indian problems subsided and the settlement moved westward, the road followed. This was the only public road in White Settlement’s early history. 

http://www.wsmuseum.com/wsstreets.html

 

I hope it’s just a coincidence that Alexis lived on a street that makes one think of white supremacy….

Adrian Paul as "Highlander" Duncan McLeod

Adrian Paul as “Highlander” Duncan McLeod

More alarming though is the email address that one of the other people who lives or was living at Alexis’s house:  duncanmcleod@……..  Email addresses sometimes say something about the user’s mentality….I mean Duncan McLeod as in actor Adrian Paul’s “Highlander” character??????  Are you kidding me??????

Prior to living on White Settlement Road, Alexis had faced eviction proceedings at his former residence:

 

Court ID: TXTARM6 Court State: TX

Filing Date: 09/24/2010 Filing State: TX

 

Case Number: E00041704

 

Original Dept.: CV

 

Defendant:

 

AARON ALEXIS

 

Unlawful Detainer: Yes

 

2450 OAK HILL CIR #2023

 

FORT WORTH, TX 76109

 

Plaintiff: ORION AT OAK HILL

 

 

Eviction Record

 

Court ID: TXTARM6 Court State: TX

 

Filing Date: 10/08/2010 Filing State: TX

 

Case Number: JP0610E00041704

 

Original Dept.: CV

 

Defendant:

 

AARON ALEXIS

 

Unlawful Detainer: Yes

 

2450 OAK HILL CIR #2023

 

FORT WORTH, TX 76109

 

 

Plaintiff: ORION AT OAK HILL

Just so nobody goes off on a wild goose chase from that address, there’s a woman who’s first name happens to be Alexis who used to live at that address, but it’s a coincidence and not some weird alias that Aaron Alexis was using.

Alexis had been for two (2) years a Naval Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class.  This is a very short term of service for the reserves and implies that he was probably kicked out.  He previously been employed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.

Hip Hop Performer Aaron Alexis from Brooklyn??????

Hip Hop Performer Aaron Alexis from Brooklyn??????

Aaron Alexis is apparently originally from New York and maintained a Post Office box in Brooklyn, which brings up another coincidence:  there’s an African American hip-hop artist from Brooklyn by the same name.  He’s also lived in Marietta Georgia, Great Lakes Michigan, and Flushing, New York City as well as Brooklyn in New York State.  He’s got older and younger sisters last reported living in Brooklyn and may have a twin sister who as near as I can tell was born eight (8) days before him (long time to be in labor….) who lives in Staten Island.  He may have a younger brother living in the State of Washington, possibility near or with their parents.

 

 

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LA City Auditor Calling It Quits


 

First off, read my last blog on Los Angeles City Office of Financehttp://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/09/09/parkmaggedon-for-los-angeles/

Now, read what a former high level employee had to say about the chaos in that office when he retired and could no longer be disciplined or punished for expressing his viewpoint to management:

 Date: February 27, 2009  To: Fellow employees

 From: XXX XX

 Office of FinanceI wish to bid farewell to all of you with sadness. After 29 years of service to the City of Los Angeles, 28 years of which is dedicated to the Office of Finance-City Clerk Office, I have decided to retire effective today, a year earlier than I had planned. I am saddened because I felt like I am running away from my responsibility to you and all your struggles but I can no longer take the humiliation and insults from our current chiefs. I have gone through several chiefs before them and I have never felt this way.

 Anyhow, I just want to thank each and every one of you, especially those that I have worked with for the longest time, those who consoled me during hard times and those that worked directly under my supervision and friends. You have all been great no matter what the bosses say. I consider you all professionals and should be treated with dignity.

 

For those that are bitter because you believed we, your principals, did not work hard for you and went to the extent of accusing us without any “backbones” and do not know how to motivate people and went further and accused us as incompetent that we should be disciplined. That is uncalled for but I will consider that as your frustration for everything that happened without regards to your feelings but believe me, we stood by you, with you, and voiced our objections to matters that we believed have merits and reasoned out for you but we were not successful. More often than not, we are shut down because this or that is what XXX’s want and our Chief II has verbalized that he couldn’t say no to XXX. He also said that he has many more years to go before thinking retirement. Listening to these words makes you wonder, will we ever really get an unbiased support from our Chief as he often said? I cannot help but wonder whether there was a deal stricken after the not so popular incident that causes the rescinding of an unpopular appointment for senior tax auditors? I have no faith that reasons will ever prevail under this circumstance. I often wonder whether or not XXX really is the perpetuator of everything our chiefs are obsessed to accomplish?

 

Everybody knew what happened and the consequence after that. People found out through the Civil Service Commission web site and read the ruling. What’s puzzling in the mind of all of us is that, instead of reverting back to his old position, this person was given the top position as a reward? How can you figure that out? Is that the reason they often threatened us in return?

DemotionWe have always been threatened with disciplinary action or that our position would be taken away should we not do what we were dictated to say or write to you. One chief’s famous words were “my job or your job.” It goes without saying; we will be demoted first before they do. Simply, we’ll be reverted back to our former position. Isn’t that harassment? Often, he would even bring up the subject of our compensation. He would often say, “ this is why you are getting paid so much and you should do this or do that.” Can you imagine a person with his stature to even bring up the salary issue that has no relevance to issues being discussed and knowing that they get paid more themselves compared to ours? It’s really unnecessary and cruel, I think. They won’t listen to reasons because they focused more on the negative rather than the positive side of our jobs, like motivating you in a diplomatic way or a simple encouragement. We are constantly being judged rather than listened to. We are scolded more often than not. Can you imagine being scolded like a child? How would you feel? I cannot take it that is why I am retiring.

Just to give you a few examples. We have this project that was started during the time of XXXX and XXXXXXX. It was supposed to be a pilot project to determine the feasibility of using the list of AEA/AJE as an audit source. That took a year to complete and every month a report was prepared to show the result and at the end, when all the audits were finally completed, our Director said during our monthly meeting that we should continue and utilize the source AEA and may not continue with AJE due to less than desired recoveries. We thought that was it but it wasn’t.

Should employees be scolded like children?  Management at the Office of Finance thinks so....

Should employees be scolded like children? Management at the Office of Finance thinks so….

After the meeting with the executive management, we were called in to Mr. Cabrera’s office and guess what? He raised the piece of paper that showed the result of the pilot project and pointed in our face and started scolding us and saying “can anyone tell me about this or anyone explain to me about this? In my mind, what are you talking about? We were caught off guard; we don’t know what’s in his mind. I believed he expected us to read his mind. The Director’s words were that she believed the source is worth continuing and we heard her, but he started scolding us for unknown reasons. What’s wrong with just instructing us to continue using the same source and that should be it but he scolded us like kids before giving the same directive as our director? It’s like being judged without due process. Power?

Protest LetterVery recently the Senior Tax Auditors wrote a letter addressed to the Director. After we met with the executive management during our monthly meeting, we were called in again to a meeting in the office of XXXXXXX. Again, he started the meeting by raising the piece of paper, your letter and started scolding us for not doing something about your letter. As if we know what is in his mind? We told him we don’t have any knowledge of your letter but he was just incensed and blamed us for not acting on it. We responded that the letter was not addressed to us nor copied to us and if he wanted us to do something, he should have forwarded a copy to us. So you can see, how impossible to work under this circumstances. They pretty much rendered their judgment before listening to you. You are guilty until proven innocent. Isn’t that against the law? The scolding happens whether in person or over a conference call. When we tried to reason out, we were accused of not getting on board of what they are trying to accomplish. Accomplish what? Intimidate people? They even accused us of passing our responsibilities. I believed it’s the other way around.

 

 You know what happened during the thanksgiving party? The gathering needed to be approved and that there should be a time range and a warning that the lunch should only be from 11:30 to 12:30 and that any time in excess should be made up or the auditors should file for a vacation. At 12:30 our chief ordered one principal to go to the lunchroom and make sure that every auditor are out. What happen to the make up time? I believed its over blown and unnecessary. Now, we can no longer hold gatherings without their approval and even worse, if you do, it cannot be exclusionary. For a potluck, are you going to invite the whole division? They really have taken away people’s right to impromptu gatherings as a way of releasing stress and camaraderie among the staff. It is really sad. I just cannot agree of what they are trying to accomplish. In the past, people would love to provide lunch after passing their probation but now, we cannot do that without their approval with so many restrictions.

Management by dominance?

Management by dominance?

One more sample of their appetite for dominance was when I requested a vacation for two days, Dec. 24th and Dec. 31st. Our chief said I couldn’t take it because she implemented a policy that vacation will not be allowed if there is a “Continuum with our RDO and holidays” and yet they allowed XXXXXXXX to take the Dec. 31st and the next day was a holiday and the 2nd in Jan. is her RDO. The 24th that I requested falls a day before the holiday, 25th and the 26th was my RDO. Furthermore, the chief took Nov. 24, 25, 26 before the thanksgiving holiday herself which is 27th and 28th. How can you be so ridiculously insane that it only applies to us and not them? I thought of filing a grievance but I forgo because of my pending retirement. Imagine if we enforce her policy to the whole audit unit and can you imagine how many grievances would have been filed? Are we not entitled to take a vacation at a time that we need most and not on their choosing? Isn’t that the reason why we accumulate our vacation so that we can take it when we needed most and not at their disposal? After further request she relented to my request for the Dec. 24 but not the 31. Imagine the hardship of coming to work on Dec. 29, take a vacation on Dec. 30 and coming back again on Dec. 31. Isn’t that a cruel thing to do? It should not happen to anyone.

 Another incident happened to one principal who requested a three weeks vacation in November to be taken in January, the following year but this was denied, presumably because it overlaps with the chief’s vacation. That is very cruel because she has missed out on a promotional airfare that was to be taken otherwise loose it. That’s very hurting and very cruel and it should not go on like this. Again, it should not happen to anyone else. We saved our vacation time for the opportune time on our choosing and should not be theirs.

 

 That’s how crazy the situation is and is very unbearable. We were so often told that we are manager of this office and should make a decision concerning our operations but on the contrary, every decision we make is subject to their scrutiny and approvals. Every word we say is scrutinized and dictated from the top and we were asked to put our signature on every mail or e-mails to the staff and even cautioned that the correspondence is coming from us and not from them. How clever can you be?

I am truly sorry for you guys that were affected by the 1st quarter performance review. All the negative messages were not ours but dictated from the top. We wanted to consider all your efforts but we were ordered not to, or else. As I have mentioned earlier, many times we were threatened with disciplinary action or we could be reverted back to our former position if we don’t do or follow their orders. We were accused of not getting on board on what they are trying to accomplish but how can you get on board if there is disagreement on how to get there. We disagreed on so many matrixes (performance evaluation factors) that they wanted to impose but we can’t do anything without being threatened and scolded more often than not. We disagreed on the mix of audits based on number of class and locations, field time etc. One time I mentioned during our executive meeting that the true mix of audits should be based on different classification or industry, Sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. Within a fund/class there are different occupation or activities. Instead of being listened to, I got scolded.

 

So you see, my dear friends I felt like abandoning you but I have to take care of my health and sanity. To my associates, I wish I could stay to suffer with you but I have had enough of all the controlling, dictating, judging, and winning attitude of our powerful chiefs. It felt like they have to win and hate to loose instead of listening to reasons and work on a practical solutions.

 

 

Now we are even required to produce a weekly time analysis of our own. Detailing every minute of our existence. In other word, I felt like I have to justify my existence. We objected to this as a case of harassment due to unnecessary hardship and are giving us a hard time and also a definite case of discrimination because it was not imposed to other division’s Principal TCOs. I wonder what will come next. The reason we were given when we questioned the purpose or benefit for requiring us to provide our time analysis or actually daily activities was that they did not know what to respond to XXX when they were asked what the principals are doing. How can you believe that when they were principals themselves? They often tell us that we are doing a good job and they knew the hard work that we do everyday and yet they don’t know what to say in response to XXX? Was it XXX’s idea for us to submit our daily activities? I can only wonder.

 

 At a later meeting regarding the time analysis, we were told that it’s a way to develop us to be a good manager. That is more insulting, imagine it’s like telling we are no good that is why they needed to look over our shoulder and see what we are doing on a daily basis. May be to pacify us a little, we were told that it’s going to be temporary, for how long? Can’t help but wonder? Temporary permanent?

 

 Now they came up with two pages of what they termed PTA matrixes. Imagine, how many hours have they spent to come up with about 25 activity items that they came up to evaluate our performance. I am attaching it for your information and analysis if you may. Even worst, they requested and want us to give our comments and feedback on how we want them to evaluate our performances. How can they think that we have no brain and stupid enough to dig our own grave? Imagine how many hours they might have spent developing the minute details on what they want us to do our job and grade us item by item and points by points. If they had developed a plan for the betterment of the tax auditors and our operation, then, I would have gladly provided my comments and or feedbacks. Not in this case. Imagine, we if we have to detail all of the items in our time analysis so that they can scrutinize our activities everyday? This is really a case of mistrust and micro-management I think.

 

 

I read the response to your letter that was addressed to our director. In their response they said that they recognized the merits of your request for flex time in the field with each member of your crew. Instead of listening to you, you are still required to go out 24 minimum hours per quarter with each member of your crew to replace the 8-hours/mo minimums per month per crew member to allow you the flexibility to adjust your field time. My conclusion is that they think you are a bunch of stupid or dumb people to fall into this trap. What are they thinking?

 

 

I understood that the reason why you asked for flexibility is that different tax auditors, taking into consideration their experience, knowledge and length of services requires different degree of supervision and assistance in the field. Imagine, how many times would you have to go out with an auditor in a month just to meet the 8 hours when all they need is a simple direction and guidance that most often you are not required to stay and waste valuable time that can be spent with other crew member that needed your help the most. Aren’t they aware of the availability of communications by phone, landline and cell phones or even e-mails?

 

 

With or without the city’s current financial problems, the unnecessary mileage is a way of savings isn’t it? It’s hard enough to comply with the 8 hours minimum per tax auditor in a month and now they want you to spend 10, 12 or more hours to catch up with the 24 if you were not able to spend during your first or second month of any quarters? How can they be so ridiculous to think that these Senior Tax Auditors have no brain and stupid and can be easily manipulated? Remember; don’t ever accept that you are less than professionals. You have your education like them. I can not understand why the same chiefs who were seniors themselves during the time of our Chief, XXXXX XXXXXX, also objected to the same field time requirements of 20 to 25% and the reasons were that the field time has no bearing on the productions of the auditors and seniors alike. The seniors’ field time should be based on the needs of the auditors and not just to fill up your monthly time analyses.

 

 

Most auditors do not need their seniors to be with them most of the time and if there are any problems that need immediate solution, we have telephones to communicate with our auditors? I believe they couldn’t accept that and they thought that the only way to solve it is to go out in the field. I have a feeling that they are afraid to be branded as a loser. They are thinking it is a defeat for them. Everything it seems like they have to win instead of listening to reasons. Isn’t one performance evaluation criteria under the civil service was to discourage excessive supervision and encourage independence? A senior tax auditor can be very effective without the necessity of going out in the field. I think they cannot accept that because it’s what XXX wants? I wonder if they ever tried to explain this to XXX? Or, may be this is really their idea that they passed on to XXX that they have to sustain? I don’t think XXX is that unreasonable?

 

 

I am truly sorry to XXXXX XXX, who was given an unsatisfactory review (actually it was all written by our chief) because our top management’s insistence that we can only consider the crew’s production on a cut off date and disallowing audits that are completed at the end of the quarter but not yet billed and yet was not due to their fault. In their response to you regarding your Oct. 17, 2008 letter to the Director, they stated that the performance review is intended as a constructive feedback regarding individual performance. What happened to the constructive feedback when all they want us to focus is the negative side to justify the unsatisfactory performance? Much worst, the memo threatened the senior with corrective action, which is against my conscience because I knew for a fact that he was on tract when the unbilled items are recognized or taken into consideration. What justification can you demand from the senior when you knew for a fact that his crew has the necessary numbers, unfortunately not counted? This senior has contributed a lot during our early stages of LATAX. He developed this program so that auditors can utilize in the organization of their audit work papers. Yet, for one quarter, you make a judgment that this senior’s performance is unsatisfactory. I am really embarrassed. That goes with other tax auditors that were given such a warning.

 

 

How can you make a judgment of an individual’s performance after only 1 quarter? How can anyone know that you are not meeting your goal at the end of the fiscal year after only a month or a quarter? We are not prophets and have no power to predict the future. There is really no justification to do that without recognizing other factors that affected the performance goal. How can you make a fair evaluation when you are not allowed to recognize all the factors that affected the performances during the whole period, instead of any cut off date? This is what I can’t live with knowing that it is wrong, unjustifiable, cruel, and insensitive. Instead of motivating auditors, we get the ire of the tax auditors that resulted in bitterness and resentment, which is very hard to repair.

 

 

It’s really very hard to repair any damage that this action can do when I know for a fact that XXXXXX’s crew have completed enough audits but the management decided not to count due to the cut off date. Remember, the goal was for the fiscal year and not a monthly or quarterly goal. We should give you a constructive feedback on where you stand and needs to be done and not threaten you with corrective action and give you an unsatisfactory performance when it is known that you have the audits to support your efforts. It’s so frustrating that we cannot do what is right without being castigated. We are referred to as managers of these operating units but we are like puppets with strings attached to every part of our bodies.

 

 

You all know what happened next? Tax auditors that were affected filed grievances and they have to deal with this and it’s ongoing. People are filing for worker’s comp. Isn’t this a case of frustration and dissatisfaction with our management who want to develop us to be a good manager? Imagine the case of XXXXXX. This auditor was ready to retire but she was forced to move to the office audit on her last month without consideration for her physical impediment. Again, the reason given was, its what XXX wants. From what I remember, XXX made a suggestion and we reasoned out that it will not help her because she have to use her bad hand more so than just staying and try to complete her audit inventory. When the auditor failed to get their consent to stay in field audit the auditor filed for worker’s compensation and she had to withdraw her service retirement application to avail of the benefits. We could have gotten a replacement auditor already to help our production but what is happening? We are down by one body. Good manager?

 

 

We are now on the second quarter review. There are a few tax auditors that according to the crystal reports may lack sufficient number of audits based on averaging. Again, we have two quarters to go to try to meet our goal of 55. The principal(s) again have to write a memo according to their wishes and had been submitted to the chiefs for their scrutiny & approval. However, it has not come back to this writing. I believe it’s still in the hands of the personnel division. What’s holed up? I am not sure but hopefully grievances can be avoided. I like to close my message with a little friendly advice to you my friends.

 

 

"Uncontrollable tirades"

“Uncontrollable tirades”

Somewhere at the beginning of this message, I mentioned that you are professionals and I truly consider you as such. However, please refrain from excessive demonstration of your gripes with loud noises. You are only embarrassing yourselves and at the same time put your principals at an awkward position or even embarrassed them because of your seemingly uncontrollable tirades. Your tirades and repeated loud comments become annoying instead of getting empathy from your peers. I believe you should write to top management of what you dislike and not the seemingly unending loud noises of your gripes against the management. If you care for the people under you, please do something peacefully and not to incite other people by continually portraying the negatives and telling bad things instead of motivating them. I believe these people could make their own decision without you telling and inciting them. If you have a personal gripe, you don’t have the right to incite other people to advance your agenda. You may think you are helping them but in reality, you are ruining their career. That’s not professional, I think. They can see and feel for themselves and know what is good and beneficial for them. Remember, we are working for the City and not for a particular person. You have a responsibility to give back a fair return for the City’s investment on you.

 

 

I am retiring with sadness and believe me my heart bleeds for all of you. I wish our top management would learn to listen to you rather than be judging and give you guidance rather than dictating.

 

 

Sincerely, XXX

 

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ParkMaggedon for Los Angeles?


 

 

For background on the following open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti, first see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/08/28/public-records-request-to-la-office-of-finance/

Dear Eric:

 

Mayor - Elect Eric Garcetti at press conference

Mayor – Elect Eric Garcetti at press conference

First, excuse the familiarity of this letter’s opening salutation as I would normally address you properly as Honorable Mayor Garcetti, but in the spirit of transparency that I believe that you will instill in your administration of Los Angeles, and because in that same spirit I am issuing this letter openly to the public it is important that readers know up front that I endorsed you in the runoff election and that we have come to know each other over the last year. Likewise I campaigned for you, wrote and published blogs supporting your candidacy, and solicited my friends and supporters to vote for and assist your campaign in any way possible.

 

 

Jan B. Tucker & Angel Luevano @ Garcetti Press Conference

Jan B. Tucker & Angel Luevano @ Garcetti Press Conference

As I have recently cc’d you, members of your staff, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and City Controller Ron Galperin a California Public Records Act request directed to the Office of Finance I want to clarify my public policy concerns that may not be obvious or apparent from its text. During endorsement interviews with both you and City Controller Ron Galperin earlier this year I specifically raised issues that arise from the past conduct of the Office of Finance based upon my direct experience as a licensed investigator and consultant to several different small-medium parking lot operators in the Los Angeles area. Based upon a recent meeting I attended (August 27, 2013) in City Hall Room 152b, I have gained some significant new insights into the inner working and thinking within the Office of Finance that you should be aware of in your management of the City of Los Angeles and in the formulation of public policy moving forward in governance.

 

 

At the outset it is important that these issues be considered by people at the top of the organization because they are best in a position to “see the forest from the trees.” It is likely that personnel, including management in the Office of Finance, have higher education in such fields as accounting, finance, and business administration, as opposed to public administration and/or political science or some other social science. Therefore the application of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and one of the Impossibility Theorems (concerning the impossibility of certainty since you can’t know the effect of that which you don’t know) is not likely to have ever entered into the self-analysis or internal critiques of how the Office of Finance operates. This initial analysis also makes the supposition that overt corruption is not involved or does not necessarily need to be involved for the questionable behavior to have occurred. That said I do not and can not rule out overt corruption being involved due to what I learned in recent years from a whistle blower within the Office of Finance.

 

 

Clientitis

 

 

One of my areas of specialization in graduate school was International Relations and “Clientitis” is a terminology primarily used in that field. However there are analogous attitudes amongst regulatory bureaucrats in public administration within the United States and I would expect, in any national, regional or municipal bureaucracy anywhere in the world. As Wikipedia defines it:

 

 

Clientitis (also called clientism[1][2] or localitis[3][4][5]) is the tendency of resident in-country staff of an organization to regard the officials and people of the host country as “clients”. This condition can be found in business or government. The term clientitis is somewhat similar to the phrases “gone native” or “going native”.

 

 

A hypothetical example of clientitis would be an American Foreign Service Officer (FSO), serving overseas at a U.S. Embassy, who drifts into a mode of routinely and automatically defending the actions of the host country government. In such an example, the officer has come to view the officials and government workers of the host country government as the persons he is serving. Former USUN Ambassador John Bolton has used this term repeatedly to describe the mindset within the culture of the US State Department.[6]

 

 

An example from business would be a representative for a company living in another nation, representing that company to the host nation and other institutions in that country. A business representative suffering clientitis would defend the host country government and operating environment as if those were his employers.[7] [For original with citations, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clientitis]

 

 

Virtually every profession or industry has its own advocacy organizations, frequently known as “501(c)(6)” non-profits. As explained in IRS regulations:

 

 

Reg. 1.501(c)(6)-l defines a business league as an association of persons having a common business interest, whose purpose is to promote the common business interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit. Its activities are directed to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business rather than the performance of particular services for individual persons.

 

 

LobbyistsI am reasonably well versed in the role of advocacy, both before regulatory boards and legislative bodies. I served an unprecedented seven (7) terms as Chair of the Board of the 501(c)(6) California Association of Licensed Investigators, the world’s largest private detective organization. Prior to me, nobody in the history of the organization was ever elected to more than three terms as either chair or president. As the world’s largest private eye group, we are sought out internationally by regulatory and legislative bodies seeking to begin their own initial regulatory schemes or to improve existing ones.

 

 

Regulatory clientitis occurs when the regulatory authorities come to think of the organization of a profession that they regulate as valued customers, as in a business setting, to the exclusion of non-members who are treated differently or less well as individuals. It is of course to the advantage of the professional organization, its officers and directors, and its legislative advocate (lobbyist) to have this occur, but in the theory of government that we practice in America our fundamental constitutional belief in due process of law and equal protection of the law cautions against regulators adopting clientitis as a general practice.

 

 

Ed Cabrera, Assistant Director, Los Angeles City Office of Finance

Ed Cabrera, Assistant Director, Los Angeles City Office of Finance

It is intuitively obvious from the statements made at the August 27, 2013 meeting in City Hall 152b that Assistant Director of the Office of Finance Ed Cabrera suffers from a serious case of clientitis. I noted in my August 28, 2013 California Public Records Act (CPRA) request to Cabrera a series of statements he had made and following is my hypothesis for which I have sought corroborating evidence pursuant to the CPRA:

 

 

Ed Cabrera’s claims

My hypothesis and/or questions

  1. The meeting was an “attempt to provide education and outreach”

  2. The Office of Finance did “outreach” to parking lot operators to invite them to the August 27, 2013 meeting

  3. That you and/or the Office of Finance went through Gregory J. “Greg” Spiker of KSA, a firm which represents the Parking Association of California and the Los Angeles Parking Association as a lobbyist registered with the City Ethics Commission for purposes of inviting people to the August 27th meeting

  4. That you stated “I don’t know many of you. You’re here because you want to get it right”

  5. That you stated “I’d like to thank Greg for reaching out to you”

If it was a legitimate attempt at outreach to the industry as a whole, then why were companies who don’t happen to be clients of lobbyist Gregory J. Spiker not invited?

Cabrera didn’t known many of the people there because they weren’t Spiker’s clients and only showed up because a whistle blower leaked the existence of the meeting to them just a couple of days before. Thanking Spiker for reaching out to those people shows Cabrera’s clueless.

  1. You [Ed Cabrera] made a reference to “each operator registered with the Office of Finance” in connection with parking lot ownership or operation

  2. That “administration of tax should be fair and consistent across the board” referring to Parking Occupancy Taxes (POT)

If the meeting really was an effort at outreach why weren’t all registered parking lot operators notified?

If you invite only a registered lobbyist’s clients to a meeting to educate people on their legal obligations and not “each operator registered with the Office of Finance” how can you say with a straight face that your “administration of tax should be fair and consistent across the board?

1. That you told a person at the meeting asking a question “I would prefer that you run them [questions] through Greg”

2. That you stated “After Greg and I discuss it we can come to some agreement”

These comments speak for themselves as examples of pure, unadulterated regulatory clientitis!

Why should companies have to belong to an association to deal with a government regulator? This is not a rhetorical question; it is a serious philosophical one which segues into the next issue…do we live in the United States of America, EEUU, or do we live in the United Mexican States?

 

 

Corporatism vs Pluralism

 

 

A 2005 College Board Briefing Paper: Mexico by Caroline Beer of the University of Vermont echoed some of my own learning from CSU Northridge where I studied communitarian philosophy—stemming from the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas–as an undergraduate student of Dr. Larry Litwin and Professor Blase Bonpane (I was also later to become Blase’s graduate assistant). I also extensively studied corporatist governance in connection with my term paper on Mexico for a graduate seminar on Authoritarianism conducted by Dr. Kit Machado. Caroline Beer notes the three well-known sectors of the longtime Mexican governing party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional or “PRI:” National Peasant Confederation (Confederación Nacional Campesina—CNC), the Confederation of Mexican Workers (Confederación de Trabajadores Mexicanos—CTM) and the middle class or petit bourgeois sector, National Confederation of Popular Organizations (Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Populares-CNOP).

 

 

CommunitarianismWhile these groups were within the structure of the ruling party, the PRI, many discussions of communitarian or corporatist politics in Mexico miss a critical point. Even when you are both theoretically and actually outside the ruling party, i.e. by being grande bourgeoisie it does not mean that you are excluded from negotiating with the government, but in a corporatist or communitarian system you must do so through an organization representing your class interests as opposed to your individual interests. In Mexico, there were two major capitalist organizations that the PRI government dealt with, negotiating with those organizations as outsiders. If you attempted to deal with the government as an individual or as a business, de facto you were not going to get the time of day.

 

 

The theory behind corporatism, of which there are right, middle, and left varieties (the right wing version being known as “fascism”) is that, as enunciated by Italian fascists:

 

 

Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would, theoretically, represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of labour contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social classes. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism]

 

 

In general communitarian theories of the role of government, social classes have rights and you exercise your personal rights through your class, whereas in Anglo-American pluralist theories of government, you have individual rights by being a human being that the government must accord you along with your right to associate and your right to refrain from association. The middle of the road manifestation of communitarian philosophy is usually represented by so-called “Christian Democratic” political parties, while left wing communitarianism may be exemplified by the organization of Cuba, even though the governing Communist Party purports to be ostensibly Marxist. That Salvador Allende’s vision for the transformation of Chilean society was so manifestly communitarian (even though ostensibly Marxist), the left wing of the Christian Democrats split off forming the Popular Unitary Action Movement or MAPU (Spanish: Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitario) which became part of the Unidad Popular as part of the coalition that elected Allende president.

 

 

Whether communitarian or pluralist doctrine are inferior or superior to one another is a question of values and outcomes. Not every institution in the United States of America (EEUU) is pluralist. The entire theory underlying the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) and the National Labor Relations Board is plainly communitarian in nature, while purportedly protecting the pluralist notion that people have a right not to associate collectively if they so choose.

 

 

With that framework from which to analyze the Los Angeles Office of Finance, whether it thinks it is operating this way or not, the Office of Finance has a de facto practice that is corporatist and non-pluralist in nature and both by its deeds and its words operates more like the traditional authoritarian government of Mexico than of the ostensibly pluralist United States of America. “Words may show a man’s wit, actions his meaning.” ― Benjamin Franklin. In the case of Ed Cabrera both his deeds and his words demonstrate that the Office of Finance only goes through a registered lobbyist for a certain set of companies that pay their lobbyist for consultation of any sort on how to regulate the parking industry. The clients of that lobbyist exercise the de facto use of City Hall rooms to hold meetings in that are intended to be private and limited to them and them only. The lobbyist benefits by being legitimized in his appearance of having power by the words of Ed Cabrera referring to that particular lobbyist’s role in the formulation of regulatory and legislative policy and by his access to the use of a City Hall meeting room for his clients. That the Office of Finance fails to inform or include the rest of those whom it regulates sends a signal to the non-clients that if they want something from City Hall and the Office of Finance, they’d better join the association and pay fees to its lobbyist.

 

 

By my values, this is wrong.

 

 

The Existing de facto Governance Model is Incompetent

 

 

If nothing else, the existing practices and procedures promote corruption within the parking industry and within City Hall. This has been going on for decades if not for time immemorial in Los Angeles.

 

 

Mayor Tom Bradley

Mayor Tom Bradley

When Tom Bradley was Mayor, a scandal broke out concerning the management of the LAX parking lots in which numerous low level employees, almost all of them Thai immigrants, were arrested and charged with felony embezzlement. I was consulted as defense investigator by two different defense lawyers, Arthur Azdair and Lou Bernstein, neither of whom knew each other but yet both told an identical tale. Their clients insisted that the real culprits were the managers of the company that employed them and that just to get and keep their jobs they had to kick up percentages of the embezzlement take which went all the way up the corporate ladder.

 

 

Both Arthur and Lou’s clients offered to roll over in exchange for a plea bargain. The Deputy District Attorneys prosecuting the case refused. Both Arthur and Lou were told point blank by a very pissed off District Attorney Investigator that the District Attorney’s office refusal of any plea deals for these underlings was because if they started the ball rolling and went up the ladder, “it would lead straight into City Hall.”

 

 

Miguel Contreras2When Miguel Contreras was a member of the Airport Commission and this same company tried a comeback bid to get back its old contracts at LAX, I provided him with my case file and gave him a list of questions to ask the managers appearing before the commission. The questions I formulated were designed to lead to who in City Hall had been on the take to cover this little fiasco up. When Miguel got to the third question on my list that company abruptly pulled out of the bidding process. I can’t imagine why.

 

 

Rockard "Rocky" Delgadillo

Rockard “Rocky” Delgadillo

Then there is the little story I’ve written about in the past concerning campaign contributions that coincided with the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against Grant Parking, one of the many parking companies owned by the Ullman family. On March 8, 2006, City Attorney Rockard “Rocky” Delgadillo, the City Attorneys Office and a private law firm retained by the Community Redevelopment Agency file suit against a whole bunch of companies and organizations–including Grant Parking owned by the Ullman family–in an eminent domain case On March 15, 2006, Richard Ullman contributes $5,600 to “Californians for Rocky” — Delgadillo’s campaign committee for his 2006 Primary run for Attorney General On March 16, 2006, two things happen: the lawsuit is dismissed only against Grant Parking and Cathryn Ullman makes an additional $5,600 contribution to Californians for Rocky. Enough said, come to your own conclusions…..

 

 

Five Star ParkingThen there’s Five Star Parking, a company originally formed to take over management of County of Los Angeles owned parking lots which had employed County workers under SEIU contract. The company was formed as a dba of three different competing parking lot companies, amounting to what was arguably a conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of anti-trust laws. The net result: wages and working conditions went down for the employees over night while parking fees escalated.

 

 

At some point Five Star Parking became a suspended corporation, but that did not stop it from operating. Under the tutelage of its law firm, the company transferred its assets as though it had a right to do so as a suspended corporation (which it clearly did not) and started operating first under one fictitious business name statement filed with Los Angeles County and then another. Both of the dba filings factually contradicted each other and both were filed by the same law firm. Did anybody in the City of Los Angeles—which became well aware of these facts during litigation—do anything about this state of affairs? Of course not.

 

 

If the Office of Finance and other city regulatory agencies bothered to engage on a periodic basis with all parking lot operators—a practice in effect prior to Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration that was altered for who knows what reason—they might actually hear through the proverbial grapevine what’s actually happening in the industry and be able to fight corruption before it gets out of hand. However, when people are in authority in the City who feel themselves to be unaccountable to anybody, that isn’t a practice that’s likely to be implemented. In one of my investigations, I uncovered extortionate activity by another private investigator and the head of a certain Jewish/Israeli crime family of Hungarian Jewish descent, of which I have publicly written:

 

 

In connection with the City of Los Angeles’ prosecution of [two of my clients] J.B. Tucker & Associates sent two (2) letters to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, neither of which he has bothered to respond to (including but not limited to violating the California Public Records Act time deadline). The second letter, dated May 11, 2007, asks Mayor Villaraigosa to explain a campaign contribution he received from a certain very notorious convicted felon (made before the man’s felony conviction). In my letter, I posed the issues as:

 

 

“If you know why xxxxxxxx made this contribution, I would like you to explain it. If you don’t but know (or can find out) what persons from your campaign staff might have information regarding this contribution I would like to interview them regarding it.

 

 

I am also asking that (1) you disclose to me whether you ever used xxxx’s services for “opposition research,” (2) if you used him for “reverse research,” (i.e., investigating yourself in order to anticipate what a political opponent might find out), (3) whether xxxxxxxxx’s payment was by check or some other instrument that would enable him to ascertain the bank account number in which it was deposited (in the event that you were the target of one of his investigations), and (4) you make yourself available for an interview regarding this matter.”

 

 

For some strange reason I never got a response from Antonio….draw your own conclusion.

 

 

Workers in Little Boxes

 

 

Folk singer Malvena Reynolds wrote and sang in part in her seminal song, Little Boxes, that:

 

 

And the people in the houses

 

All went to the university,

 

Where they were put in boxes

 

And they came out all the same,

 

And there’s doctors and lawyers,

 

And business executives,

 

And they’re all made out of ticky tacky

 

And they all look just the same.

 

 

Malvena Reynolds

Malvena Reynolds

Malvena’s acolyte, Los Angeles Folk singer Joanna Cazden updated the concept in More Little Boxes when she sang that “Andy they’re grey ones and they’re grey ones and they’re grey ones and they’re grey ones and they’re all on Wilshire Blvd and they all look just the same.”

 

 

Eric: do you want to preside over an administration of obedient proles who see themselves as cogs in a wheel, sitting in their little cubicles without innovative thoughts and afraid of their managers or do you want to lead an active and engaged workforce that is self-critical and respected by the people it regulates in the public interest?

 

 

If City regulatory authorities didn’t have tunnel vision and if they were interested in peering outside their little boxes they might have actually thwarted a case of espionage and treason against the United States simply by doing their job to regulate the parking industry. Some years ago, I detected it in what should have been a routine investigation, contacted the FBI Anti-Terrorist Division which in turn handed me over to Counter-Intelligence for the follow up. More details I cannot go into here, in public, but suffice it to say following September 11, 2001 there was much lip service paid that every single public servant needed to be the eyes and ears on the watch to keep America safe. Some people actually take that seriously. It doesn’t matter whether one is a dog catcher, a mail carrier, or even a parking lot regulatory official; if I can stumble onto a case of espionage and treason just by a routine investigation in the Los Angeles parking lot industry, so can the Office of Finance. If that is, they actually cared to take into consideration all the stakeholders in the industry and not just those represented by a single lobbyist.

 

 

U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles

U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles

This is not some theoretical exercise. It is well known that Al Qaeda has twice planned to take out the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles; and in case you are not personally aware of it, the Al Qaeda linked cell taken down in Spain some years ago were caught with surveillance photos of San Francisco Bay Area bridges and the Los Angeles U.S. Bank Tower. Whether it is the Office of Finance or the investigative staff of the Police Commission, their vigilance might have earlier detected a player in the parking industry engaged in potential terrorist activity before I had to stumble upon it.

 

 

On February 26, 1993, the terrorists who detonated the truck bomb in the underground parking lot of the North Wing of the World Trade Center were unable to get the truck parked close enough to a corner of the building, screwing up their logistical plan. What if the parking lot operator was in on that plot (and incidentally, the FBI could have prevented it had they taken one of my former colleagues seriously when he gave them dossiers on five of the people they wound up arresting for the crimes, warning the FBI that they were planning to bomb something).

 

 

The City of Los Angeles has a stake in dealing fairly and openly with all of its parking lot operators in the interest of public safety as it does with many other occupations. Allowing the Office of Finance to limit its outreach to a single lobbyist and his clients does not comport with such an important public policy goal.

 

 

The Alternative: ParkMaggedon

 

 

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved….”–Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 27.

 

 

In the modern world, Machiavelli’s advice is well taken by collective classes of people as well as the government and certainly by individuals.

 

 

Gregory J. Spiker, registered lobbyist

Gregory J. Spiker, registered lobbyist

In light of the ordinance that was passed and effectively hidden under the previous Mayoral administration from the entire Los Angeles parking lot industry, with the exception of Ken Spiker & Associates clients’ and with the admitted participation of KSA in the formulative process of the ordinance requiring surety bonds to guarantee the payment of taxes held in trust by parking lot operators, the non-clients of KSA have felt very little love from the City of Los Angeles and may have to resort to exercising their collective power. As Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Indians cautioned, “If our people fight one tribe at a time, they will be cut off like the fingers from a hand. But if we join together, we make a powerful fist.”

 

 

HuelgaFrankly, several of the operators with significant market share in downtown Los Angeles are discussing a action of perfectly legal civil disobedience, i.e., una huelga general, a small business general strike. To bring Los Angeles to a standstill, they do not even need the cooperation of the Los Angeles Parking Association members, KSA’s clients. As far as many non-members are concerned the ordinance was sold to as a bill of goods to the Office of Finance by KSA in the interests of the association’s members and very carefully designed to force smaller operators out of business. As noted, this will not be the first time that governmental authorities in Los Angeles have stood by idly or even collaborated as they did with Five Star Parking’s conspiracy in restraint of trade.

 

 

Aside from the fact that calling a general strike is in the financial and political interests of the smaller operators, to many of them it is a matter of dignity. All of the small and medium operators I deal with happen to be immigrants and their workforces are universally immigrants. I cannot actually disagree with the perception they have that what the Office of Finance has done to them by giving favorable treatment to KSA’s clients is in no small way attributable to national origin discrimination and other distinctions of social-subgroups.

 

 

ParkMaggedon for Los Angeles?

ParkMaggedon for Los Angeles?

One of the simplest tactics to pull off during civil disobedience against the Vietnam War was the “Park-In,” which we might in contemporary terms call a ParkMaggedon. You buy four running vehicles from junk yards. You drive them in tandem on four lanes of a freeway, slowing down and finally stopping in tandem at rush hour. You get out of the vehicles, take the keys, lock the cars and walk away. However, a contemporary ParkMaggedon launched by parking lot operators requires nothing unlawful…..

 

 

Imagine what happens if one or two or three companies with say 50-60 parking lots in Downtown Los Angeles shut down for a day. Imagine if that figure goes up to four, five or six companies.

 

 

Imagine the traffic jams….the traffic chaos. Imagine lawyers, judges, and litigants trying to get to court. Imagine municipal employees trying to get to work at City Hall. Imagine all the downtown businesses trying to receive their deliveries on time. Imagine chaos.

 

 

Please consider this carefully. Parking lot operators who are not members of Los Angeles and/or the California Parking Association are ready and willing and desirous of meeting with you and/or your staff to discuss the immediate and long term problems within the parking industry in an effort to prevent a general strike against the proposed bonding ordinance. Feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience to effectuate such a meeting.

 

 

Respectfully yours, Jan B. Tucker

 

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Public Records Request to LA Office of Finance


 

Lobbyist Gregory J. Spicer at 8-27-13 meeting of the Office of Finance

Lobbyist Gregory J. Spicer at 8-27-13 meeting of the Office of Finance

Yesterday, August 27, 2013, at an apparently private meeting called by the Los Angeles City Office of Finance (OOF) that was in fact advertised only to clients of registered lobbying firm Ken Spiker & Associates and which only became known to non-clients in the parking industry through a whistle blower/leaker, Assistant Director of the OOF Ed Cabrera expressly stated that if I asked any questions he would refuse to answer them and forbade my photographer, Donna Dymally, from continuing to take photos.  Attorney Roger Jon Diamond pointed out to Ed Cabrera that this practice was more conducive to government in Pyongyang, North Korea than in the so-called free society we are supposed to enjoy in Los Angeles.  Cabrera also refused to state whether or not the meeting was subject to the Brown Open Meeting Act…..

L to R:  Cynthia Conover, Patricia Nazario, Jan B. Tucker, Renata Sdao, Eric M. Garcetti, Dele Ailemen, Linda Pruett, Sherry Lear

L to R: Cynthia Conover, Patricia Nazario, Jan B. Tucker, Renata Sdao, Eric M. Garcetti, Dele Ailemen, Linda Pruett, Sherry Lear

Eric Garcetti, who I endorsed in the Mayoral election along with the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition  organizations I participate in, promised transparency and accountability in city government.  I wait with baited breath to see what he has to say about a city department carrying on private meetings to which only the clients of a lobbying firm are invited and which other business people who are not clients of the lobbyist have to crash into like a private party.  This “party” was so private that it was held in room 152b at City Hall, a room without functioning air conditioning and without enough seating.  They had to open the windows which in turn caused people in the back to be unable to hear the speakers (they had no microphones or P.A. system) due to the traffic noise from Spring Street.  Of course, since the Office of Finance selected an auditing firm for parking lot tax audits that was itself a tax scofflaw (suspended by tax authorities in its home state of Texas and in Florida and which conveniently didn’t bother to register with tax authorities or government agencies in California) I don’t have any confidence in the Office of Finance to even organize a meeting properly…..

Below is my first salvo to breathe some transparency into the lungs of Los Angeles democracy:

August 28, 2013

 

 

Ed Cabrera, Assistant Director, Los Angeles City Office of Finance

Ed Cabrera, Assistant Director, Los Angeles City Office of Finance

Ed Cabrera, Assistant Director Office of Finance City of Los Angeles 200 N Spring Street Rm. 201 Los Angeles CA 90012

 

 

Dear Mr. Cabrera:

 

 

The following request is made pursuant to the California Public Records Act and the decisions in KNSD Channels 7/39 v. Superior Court (Vasquez) (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1200, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 595 [No. D029949. Fourth Dist., Div. One. May 13, 1998.], Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (M.P.R.) (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 367, 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 69 [No. D029986. Fourth Dist., Div. One. Apr 20, 1998.], and Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court (Adams) (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 106, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 841 [No. D016546. Fourth Dist., Div. One. May 7, 1992.] which govern the common law and constitutional right to public access to government and judicial records. As to any judicial records I am seeking, the legislature enacted Section 77206(f) of the Government Code to require judicial rules must “ensur[e] [120 Cal.App.4th 293] that, upon written request, the trial courts provide, in a timely manner, information relating to the administration of the courts, including financial information and other information that affects the wages, hours, and working conditions of trial court employees.” (§ 77206, subd. (f).) as held in Orange County Employees Assn., Inc. v. Superior Court (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 287, 15 CR 3rd 201.

 

 

These laws and decisions preceded the enactment of SCA 1 (Proposition 59) which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters in November 2004. SCA 1 amended Article I, Section 3 of the California Constitution by providing that “The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny” and that ”A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.”

 

 

In the case of Sutter’s Place Inc. v. Superior Court (City of San Jose) (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 1370, 75 CR 3rd 9, the court held that “”Implicit in the democratic process is the notion that government should be accountable for its actions. In order to verify accountability, individuals must have access to government files. Such access permits checks against the arbitrary exercise of official power and secrecy in the political process” (CBS, Inc. v. Block (1986) 42 Cal.3d 646, 651.) and that:

 

 

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.), enacted by the Legislature in 1968, provides for this access via a scheme to inspect public records maintained by state and local agencies. (Gilbert v. City of San Jose (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 606, 610.) The CPRA replaced a hodgepodge of statutes and court decisions relating to disclosure of public records and was conceived broadly to require full agency disclosure unless information is statutorily exempted. (Los Angeles Unified School Dist. v. Superior Court (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 759, 765 (Los Angeles Unified).)

 

 

“With the passage of Proposition 59 effective November 3, 2004, the people’s right of access to information in public settings now has state constitutional stature, grounding the presumption of openness in civil court proceedings with state constitutional roots.” (Savaglio v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 588, 597 (Savaglio); see also Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training v. Superior Court (2007) 2007 DJDAR 13089, 13090 [ "As a result of an initiative measure adopted by the voters in 2004, this principle now is enshrined in the state Constitution"] (Commission); International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers v. Superior Court (2007) 2007 DJDAR 13105, 13106 [same] (International Federation); BRV, Inc. v. Superior Court (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 742, 750 [Proposition 59 "enshrined in our state Constitution the public's right to access records of public agencies"] (BRV); Los Angeles Unified, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th at p. 765 [same].)

 

 

Vallejos v. California Highway Patrol (1979) 89 Cal.App.3d 781, 152 Cal.Rptr. 846 held after initial periods of confidentiality, some records ultimately become public records:

 

 

“The filing of a document imports that it is thereby placed in the custody of a public official to be preserved by him for public use. Because for a season its value is best conserved by maintaining its confidential character by excluding public gaze, it becomes no less a public record. (People v. Tomalty, 14 Cal.App. 224, 232 [111 P. 513]; Cox v. Tyrone Power Enterprises, Inc., 49 Cal.App.2d 383, 395 [121 P.2d 829].) (People v. Pearson (1952) 111 Cal.App.2d 9, 30 [244 P.2d 35].)

 

 

Therefore, if you contend that any record I am seeking is temporarily but not permanently unavailable, please identify the precise or approximate date when you believe that this record will or may become publicly available and/or the circumstances which must exist for it to become publicly available.

 

 

In the event that you intend to object to release of these records because you believe that the request is somehow related to litigation, unless the records requested were expressly prepared for counsel, attorney-client privilege does not apply. Additionally, the fact that litigation exists or might come into play is fundamentally irrelevant to the California Public Records Act. See City of Hemet v. Superior Court (Press-Enterprise Co.) (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 1411, 44 Cal.Rptr.2d 532.

 

 

Context Upon Which This Request is Based

 

 

On August 27, 2013 you (Ed Cabrera) conducted a meeting in Room 152b of Los Angeles City Hall at which you made the following representations:

 

 

  1. The meeting was an “attempt to provide education and outreach;”

  2. You made a reference to “each operator registered with the Office of Finance” in connection with parking lot ownership or operation;

  3. The Office of Finance did “outreach” to parking lot operators to invite them to the August 27, 2013 meeting;

  4. That people employed by the City of Los Angeles would “lose their jobs” if they disclosed confidential information as defined in the Municipal Code and California law (and while you did not specifically specify, I am presuming that you were referring to violations of the California Information Practices Act) and that the City of Los Angeles takes confidentiality rules “very seriously;”

  5. That “administration of tax should be fair and consistent across the board” referring to Parking Occupancy Taxes (POT);

  6. That you and/or the Office of Finance went through Gregory J. “Greg” Spiker of KSA, a firm which represents the Parking Association of California and the Los Angeles Parking Association as a lobbyist registered with the City Ethics Commission for purposes of inviting people to the August 27th meeting;

  7. That you indicated to the attendees that “Greg [Gregory J. Spiker] and I will have an ongoing dialogue” concerning issues raised at the meeting by attendees [regardless of whether they were or were not clients of Spiker or members of organizations he represents as a lobbyist];

  8. That the efforts of the Office of Finance concerning formulation and implementation of the POT surety bonding requirement are intended to create a “level playing field” for all operators and that to justify this statement you used the example of the difference between an honest operator and an operator who was pocketing 50% of cash revenue;

  9. That you stated “I don’t know many of you. You’re here because you want to get it right;”

  10. That you told a person at the meeting asking a question “I would prefer that you run them [questions] through Greg;”

  11. That you stated “After Greg and I discuss it we can come to some agreement;”

  12. That you stated “I’d like to thank Greg for reaching out to you;”

  13. That you repeatedly spoke the word spelled “surety” without dissolving the “s” and the “u” into a “shu” as though it was a vowel diphthong even after hearing Bradley Moe and others pronounce the word correctly;

 

 

I am therefore requesting copies of all writings as defined in California Government Code Section 6252(f) and California Evidence Code Section 250, constituting:

 

 

  1. All writings including but not limited to emails, memos, letters, and other communications demonstrating that the Office of Finance did not limit its “outreach” efforts for the August 27, 2013 meeting to clients or members of clients of Ken Spiker & Associates, Inc.;

  2. All rules, regulations, guidelines, policies and procedures concerning whether Los Angeles City employees are allowed to give preferential treatment to clients of lobbyists registered with the City Ethics Commission;

  3. All writings including but not limited to emails, memos, letters, and other communications demonstrating that the Office of Finance did not limit its “outreach” efforts for anything related to the POT in connection with the inquiries of the Commission on Revenue Enhancement (CORE) to clients or members of clients of Ken Spiker & Associates, Inc.;

  4. All writings including but not limited to emails, memos, letters, and other communications demonstrating that the Office of Finance did not limit its “outreach” efforts for formulation of Ordinance No. 182283 to clients or members of clients of Ken Spiker & Associates, Inc.;

  5. All writings demonstrating that any employee of the City of Los Angeles has ever lost their job after violating the Information Practices Act and/or any city information confidentiality ordinance1;

  6. All writings demonstrating any planning to provide equal educational and or informative opportunities to parking lot operators who are not clients of KSA so that the POT tax and bonding requirements are administered on a level playing field;

  7. All writings including but not limited to notes, memorandums, emails, letters or other communications documenting and/or referencing every communication the Office of Finance has engaged in with KSA and/or any employee or agent of KSA concerning POT within the preceding five (5) year period;

  8. A copy of the attendance sheet for the August 27, 2013 meeting.

 

 

Under Section 6253 of the Government Code you have ten (10) days to comply with this request.

 

 

If you believe that I am not entitled to the records I am requesting, you must justify your refusal within (ten) 10 days in writing under Section 6255 of the Government Code. You may only refuse to give me these records if there is an express law prohibiting you from giving them to me. In the case of California State University, Fresno Assn., Inc. v. Superior Court (McClatchy Co.) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 810, 108 Cal.Rptr.2d 870 [No. F037383. Fifth Dist. Jul. 16, 2001.] the court held that “The burden of proof is on the proponent of nondisclosure, who must demonstrate a ‘clear overbalance’ on the side of confidentiality. [Citations.] The purpose of the requesting party in seeking disclosure cannot be considered…. It is also irrelevant that the requesting party is a newspaper or other form of media, because it is well established that the media has no greater right of access to public records than the general public….”

 

 

This letter constitutes a formal demand to maintain evidence as it currently exists. If you destroy, lose, misplace, damage or otherwise make these items unavailable prior to the time that a court order or subpoena duces tecum can be obtained, you may be subject to a variety of sanctions (see Willard vs. Caterpillar, Inc. [1995] 40 Cal.App.4th 892. Williams v. Russ (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1215 held that:

 

 

Spoliation of evidence means the destruction or significant alteration of evidence or the failure to preserve evidence for another’s use in pending or future litigation. (Willard v. Caterpillar, Inc. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 892, 907, overruled on other grounds in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1, 18, fn. 4 (Cedars-Sinai.).) Such conduct is condemned because it “can destroy fairness and justice, for it increases the risk of an erroneous decision on the merits of the underlying cause of action. Destroying evidence can also increase the costs of litigation as parties attempt to reconstruct the destroyed evidence or to develop other evidence, which may be less accessible, less persuasive, or both.” (Cedars-Sinai, supra, at p. 8.) While there is no tort cause of action for the intentional destruction of evidence after litigation has commenced, it is a misuse of the discovery process that is subject to a broad range of punishment, including monetary, issue, evidentiary, and terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2023.010, subd. (d), 2023.030, subds. (a)-(d); Cedars-Sinai , at p. 12.) A terminating sanction is appropriate in the first instance without a violation of prior court orders in egregious cases of intentional spoliation of evidence. (R.S. Creative, Inc. v. Creative Cotton, Ltd. (1999) 75 Cal.App.4th 486, 497.)

 

 

Such behavior may also be criminal, under California Penal Code Section 135, which states:

 

 

Every person who, knowing that any book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, is about to be produced in evidence upon any trial, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized by law, willfully destroys or conceals the same, with intent thereby to prevent it from being produced, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

 

 

If any data is maintained in digital format, I strongly advise you to hire a forensic computer examiner who is qualified to clone any hard drive on which the data I am requesting currently exists if you do not intend to produce it without a court order, so that the data will be preserved intact and in an admissible format.

 

 

If you fail to comply with this request, I have a legal right to bring suit to force you to comply under Section 6259 of the Government Code and if I prevail, it is mandatory that the court award me reasonable attorney fees and costs.

 

 

Respectfully Yours, Jan B. Tucker

 

 

cc: Eric M. Garcetti, Mayor; Ana Guerrero, Mayoral COS; Ron Galperin, City Controller; Mike Feuer, City Attorney; Roger Jon Diamond, Esq.; Steven M. Finger, Editor/Publisher Los Angeles Free Press; Jeffrey St. Clair, Editor/Publisher CounterPunch Magazine; parking lot operators.

1Just for your edification it is perfectly possible for a neo-Nazi employed by the City of Los Angeles to get caught violating the Information Practices Act by providing my home address from DMV data bases to the White Aryan Resistance and the Ku Klux Klan and be rewarded for his behavior. He received a 14 day suspension and was subsequently promoted to LAPD division adjutant.

Addition to posting:  September 7, 2013:

CPRA extension response_001

CPRA extension response_002CPRA extension response_003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicano Moratorium 2013!


 

 

National Chicano Moratorium: 43 Years Later

 

 

Courtesy of LosAngelesFreePress.com  Editor/Publisher, Steven M. Finger

Courtesy of LosAngelesFreePress.com Editor/Publisher, Steven M. Finger

Rolling the calendar back to August 29, 1970, 30,000 people in East Los Angeles marched to what was then Laguna Park, 3864 Whittier Blvd protesting the Vietnam War and racism. In stories that were well researched and covered by the Los Angeles Free Press in the aftermath, the Los Angeles Sheriffs made an unprovoked attack on the thousands of peaceful demonstrators, men, women and children; old and young; civilians and anti-war veterans. Some fought back. People grabbed children, knocked on doors of people living near the melee begging them to take in the youngsters for safety’s sake. Others ran for their lives. The deputies, demonstrating that they were completely out of control and incompetent, threw tear gas grenades into the wind, an act not only dumb but filmed and later shown by LAPD in training classes about what not to do.

 http://losangelesfreepress.com/national-chicano-moratorium-43-years-later/

 

In the wake of this fiasco, Brown Beret Lyn Ward and demonstrator Angel Diaz lay dead, killed by the deputies. At a later demonstration the next year, Sephardic Jew Gustav Montag would join these martyrs in death, likewise, shot to death by the Sheriffs Deputies.

 

 

IMG_1788The biggest and still unresolved issue is the death of L.A. Times Reporter Ruben Salazar who took refuge farther up Whittier Blvd at what was then the Silver Dollar bar. Unlike tear gas grenades which are tossed by hand outside of buildings (you don’t throw them into buildings like the home that former LAPD officer Chris Dorner was burned alive in, because they heat up to hundreds of degrees in order to burn the hand of somebody who tries to throw them back), ten inch tear gas projectiles are for use to fire into buildings in the case of a hostage-barricaded situation only. Law enforcement officers are trained to fire the projectiles at a downward angle so that if you accidentally hit a human being with them, it will be more likely to hit them in the lower extremities rather than the torso or head.

 

 

Ruben Salazar was hit in the head with the projectile. Getting hit in the head with such a projectile will essentially, blow your head off in the proverbial sense of the phrase. Was the projectile properly used? First of all, there was no hostage situation in the building so there was no legitimate reason to fire it. If it had been properly fired at a downward projectile, Ruben Salazar would not have been hit in the head with it.

 

 

The Commemoration

 

 

Courtesy, LosAngelesFreePress.com

Courtesy, LosAngelesFreePress.com

Every year for 43 years these events have been commemorated and emulated by the National Chicano Moratorium Committee (NCMC) along with promotion of the issues of the day. Today, American wars in Afghanistan and throughout the world replace the war in Southeast Asia as issues of concern. Racism still abounds. As just one example that has people wondering whether anything has changed in Los Angeles, the theme of this years NCMC commemoration was “Education for Liberation, Not Assimilation.” Along with this theme NCMC commemorated the life of Sal Castro who died earlier this year after his distinguished career in education, most notably supporting the East Los Angeles high school walkouts. An October 11, 1968 Los Angeles Freep article was headlined “Education, Not Eradication,” began “Sal Castro won his teaching job back at Lincoln High School because the new militant Mexican American movement here demanded it and fought for it….”

 

 

Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc leading the march

Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc leading the march

As in earlier commemorations and at the August 29, 1970 event, there were cultural performances. Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc danced during the march from Belvedere Park (literally over four miles!) and then led off the ceremony with a traditional dance.

Native American/feminist singer-songwriter Relf Alison Star reminded many of Buffie Sainte Marie

Native American/feminist singer-songwriter Relf Alison Star reminded many of Buffie Sainte Marie

Son Jarocho (Veracruz style music) band Son Real delighted the crowd with several traditional Son Jarocho numbers and later, Native American Singer-Songwriter Relf Alison Star performed her original music ending with a piece she wrote about violence against the LGBTI community in rural California….and that was the perfect segue for speakers from the Latino Equality Alliance, Eddie Martinez and Ari Gutierrez, which leads to a discussion of the controversy surrounding this year’s commemoration.

 

 

Homophobes, Racists and Anti-Semites Boycott the NCMC

 NOTE:  this is an addendum based upon criticism I received, some positive and some negative and some ridiculous about this posting.  First let me be perfectly clear that I AM NOT A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NATIONAL CHICANO MORATORIUM COMMITTEE, just in case somebody was under that impression.  I speak for myself unless otherwise expressly stated.

Second, it was pointed out to me that this was not the first time that NCMC had included LGBTI participation and/or speakers in its program.  That is a perfectly reasonable correction that needs to be made.

A third criticism was that my allegations that Libertad Ayala was to blame for certain behavior at the 2012 Moratorium was misplaced, I categorically reject.  This is the contention of one individual who has now changed his story at least twice about the facts of the matter and who has never claimed to have spoken to any of the relevant witnesses.  I have an eidetic memory of the events in question; I believe that the individual’s memory of the events is at best, faulty.

This year a rump group of the La Raza Unida Party (LRUP), headed by perennial leader (since 1988 without any apparent elections) Xenaro Ayala of San Fernando and a splinter group calling itself the “National Brown Berets” (NBB) led by Randy Gamez (who has been publicly criticized by the Colorado Brown Berets for having done time for trying to stab his former wife to death) announced a boycott of the NCMC immediately after the NCMC voted to amend its principles to strengthen its commitment to LGBTI equality and to invite representatives of the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) and TransLatina to speak at this year’s commemoration. A La Raza Unida Party member, Arthur Fuentes, inadvertently outed the organization’s homophobia with an organizationally un-repudiated posting on their Facebook Page:

 

 

I do NOT know exactly what the Situation(s) are that are Causing this Division? But my own Personal Experiences, in the Past, had to do with Opposing the Joto/Queer Agenda that has Infected the NACCS Body, like HIV/AIDS, for awhile. I was a Mechista in my Jr. College/Univeristy Years @ the University of Tx-@ San Antonio during those years. As a Young Chicano, I learned about all the Great History from El Plan de Santa Barbara to the Chicano Moratorium established in the early 70′s. Aside from that, I find the forcing of Adoption of the Gay Agenda on La Raza as Disgusting & Offensive. In my Opinion, being born into a Race/Ethnic Grupo & Being Subsequently Discriminated Against on the Basis of Race is Wrong & One Thing, but Equating a Lifestyle to being a Minority is also Wrong! It is Somewhat a Slap to the Civil Rights Movement as Well! I support the Boycott & feel a Sense of Repemption as Well!

 

 

I confess to the accusation that I am a Jewish man.  I even presided as Rabbi of the Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS) at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of these four quadruplets earlier this year

I confess to the accusation that I am a Jewish man. I even presided as Rabbi of the Jewish Existentialist World Society (JEWS) at the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of these four quadruplets earlier this year

This statement, along with a statement by Randy Gamez denouncing this writer’s (Jan B. Tucker) role in the NCMC as being suspect because amongst other things this writer is “…a Jewish man….” was brought to the attention of 2012 Justice Party Vice Presidential candidate and current Green Party California gubernatorial candidate Luis J. Rodriguez, who allowed the use of his Tia Chucha’s community center for the boycotting organizations’ counter-commemoration. Rodriguez, supported by Peace & Freedom Party endorsed gubernatorial candidate Cindy Sheehan, emphatically denied that LRUP and Gamez were either homophobic or anti-semitic.

 

 

"Aztlan Flag" is the internet moniker of Ernesto Ayala, son of Xenaro Ayala and brother of Libertad Ayala

“Aztlan Flag” is the internet moniker of Ernesto Ayala, son of Xenaro Ayala and brother of Libertad Ayala

However, LRUP and Gamez (aka Chimalli Cuetlachli) are notorious in other completely unrelated circles for their discriminatory and harassing behavior. Eddie Martinez – meeting NCMC people for the very first time and discussing the boycott – pointed out that somebody using the internet Moniker “Aztlan Flag” had been harassing LEA for years with internet postings they considered to be homophobic, misogynistic, racist, and anti-semitic. It just turns out that “Aztlan Flag” happens to be Ernesto Ayala, LRUP and NBB member and son of Xenaro Ayala. Ernesto, like Randy Gamez, has an arrest for domestic violence to his credit (discredit?). Ernesto also has been criticized publicly—and has never denied—for doing overtly racist “Amos ‘n Andy” routines in the presence of Xenaro and other family members and friends, as though this was not going to be offensive to somebody like this writer (who Ernesto knows to have an African American godson).

 

 

Mixed Motives

 

 

In discrimination law there is the concept of the “mixed motive” for harassment, retaliation, and adverse job actions against employees. Sometimes haters despise people for various reasons, such as their race, their sexual orientation, and/or the fact that the object of their hatred is a whistle blower as examples. In the case of LRUP it is likely that they have other motives than their overt homophobia and racism for boycotting the NCMC. Incidentally, Xenaro’s racism is so overt and his impulse control so weak that he periodically, in violation of the NCMC principles of unity, would rant and rave about “blond-blue eyed” people in the presence of the sole gabacho in the room (this writer) who happened to be blond and blue eyed.

 

 

Inquiring minds want to know why Xenaro Ayala lied about meeting Ramsey Muniz and why his organization has adopted the same position as the U.S. government, i.e., that political prisoner Ramsey Muniz should remain in prison

Inquiring minds want to know why Xenaro Ayala lied about meeting Ramsey Muniz and why his organization has adopted the same position as the U.S. government, i.e., that political prisoner Ramsey Muniz should remain in prison

Prior to the LRUP and NBB announcing their boycott of NCMC, they had also stopped attending meetings of the planning committee. The last meeting they attended was their opportunity—at which they made no denial whatsoever–to respond to charges that amongst other things, Libertad Ayala, had retaliated as MC of the 2012 commemoration against speakers from organizations LRUP didn’t like by truncating their time from six minutes to two minutes without authorization and without advance warning. Another charge they could have responded to was the very serious allegation that in 2010, Xenaro Ayala blocked having a speaker on behalf of Chicano Political Prisoner Ramsey Muniz by falsely claiming that he’d met with Muniz in prison in Texas and decided from Muniz’s answers to his questions that Muniz was in fact guilty. In point of fact, Muniz has never met Xenaro and Xenaro did not deny making this story up to justify his position against Muniz, a potential rival for the mantle of leadership of LRUP. In 1972 Muniz ran for Governor of Texas and received the highest vote for any statewide LRUP candidate in the history of the organization, after which the federal government framed, jailed, and stripped Muniz of his lawyer’s license.

 

 

Tempest in a Teapot

 

 

The so-called boycott appears to have been a tempest in a teapot. It seems to have fizzled and been largely ignored. Not only was it mostly ignored, the boycott itself turns out to have been boycotted! According to a reliable source within the Aztec Danzante community, every single Danzante group in the San Fernando Valley was asked by LRUP to participate in their boycott program at Tia Chucha and every single group approached refused! That adds insult to injury to their efforts.

 

 

Moving Forward

 

 

NCMC has once again been invigorated and national organizations are moving forward to expand NCMC participation and activities throughout the United States. People or groups who are interested in forming NCMC regions can contact  NCMC Chair Jaime Cruz at jcruzor1@aol.com.

Latino Equality Alliance Weighs In On Our Struggle

To Jan B. Tucker and the Chicano Moratorium Committee:

Thank you so much for the invitation to the Latino Equality Alliance be a part of this important civil rights commemoration and speak on behalf of our LGBT communities’ struggle for social justice. We appreciate your keeping the invitation open even after the boycott threat from detractors for including us.
First, it was inspiring to meet so many leaders from our Latino community who have been on the front lines of social justice since the Chicano Moratorium 43 years ago and subsequent equity advocacy efforts for race, women, students, immigrants, the incarcerated, victims of social oppression, etc. It’s an honor to meet these leaders, hear their stories and to know they still have the fight in them!
Secondly, it was inspiring to hear about the important social justice issues fellow community leaders are working on now.  Truly, theirs are heroic efforts that are making a difference in the lives of so many.
Yet, from their stories, we realize there is so much yet to address in terms of equal opportunities and quality of life for our Chicano brothers and Chicana sisters and other communities of color.
Specifically, the experience of having so many of our men incarcerated and the unending pain of family separation, economic despair and missed opportunity for betterment through education and creation of good paying jobs in our own communities.
And, the inadequacies of the U.S. immigration policy and process, the lack of accountability by nations from which immigrants “escape” economic dysfunction and persecution, and the “head in the sand” approach to border security that allows countless deaths of migrants who wish nothing more than to reunite with loved ones who are already in the U.S. working in the shadow economy.
As such, it feels at once humbling and empowering to include the social justice struggles of our LGBT community in equal footing with those of race, gender and economic opportunity.
As Eddie Martinez, co-founder of the Latino Equality Alliance,  noted in his speech yesterday, our struggle for LGBT social justice has been about a lot more than marriage equality:
The experience of the California Prop. 8 campaign, which took away rights from Lesbian and Gay couples, made clear the racial divides in our LGBT Movement and its lack of investment in our people of color communities.
As LGBT Chicanos/as, we took to the streets, we held our own national press conferences, and press our cause in the court of public opinion and at the tables of political power. These are all small victories for LGBT and racial justice but the job is not done.
This summer we saw California’s Prop 8 overturned and marriage rights restored.  Further, Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act DOMA was also overturned and now married same sex couples have equal access to  hundreds of legal rights including social security, health, and immigration. These are added victories to the dismantling of the military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
But, the job is not done — in our communities of color, we continue to see a dearth of services for LGBT youth and their families. Specialized services by LGBT organizations are inaccessible due to disconnects that are cultural, economic and geographic. And limited investment by public and private funders, which has a history of throwing “band aid” money to communities of color to address the negative outcomes of the above mentioned disconnects. e.g., HIV/AIDs, homelessness, drug abuse, etc.
However, disposition of such medical, mental and social services is not the sole responsibility of LGBT organizations. Community based organizations (CBO’s) service organizations in our own communities also exhibit disconnects when it comes to being educated, inclusive and proactive in serving LGBT members of our community, hence perpetuating the negative outcomes of homophobia and transphobia.
Advocacy of these policy issues continues to fuel the Latino Equality Alliance. Our focus now is on developing a regional approach to building the strength of our young LGBT Latino/a leaders as a way of changing the narrative of the LGBT experience. Our premiss is that empowered LGBT youth will reject being victims of domestic (bullying at home) and peer violence (bullying at school) and have the support, tools and resources to make things better now for themselves, their peers and future generations.
That is why including our LGBT voice to be heard on the stage of the Chicano Moratorium commemoration for the first time is an important victory for our Latino and LGBT communities.  I know it meant a lot to us as organizers, but it was equally impactful for members of our community who recognized the rainbow flag and called out their support.
Eddie Martinez (L) with Brown Beret supporter of LGBTI equality

Eddie Martinez (L) with Brown Beret supporter of LGBTI equality

An especially, poignant experience was to have a young man approach us at the Chicano Moratorium rally wearing his Brown Beret uniform. He told us how excited he was to see us there with the “gay” flag.  We invited him to join us on stage to hold the flag during our LGBT speech. He explained that since he was in uniform he would have to ask his troop leadership for permission. He came back with news that his Brown Beret troop took a vote, and they voted, “Yes”!

Here’s to small social justice victories! While, we may not be able to resolve all inequalities in our community at once or ever, we can solve those that count on a personal level and make an important difference to those around us.
Jan, Happy Birthday! and thank you!!!
¡Qué Viva La Raza!
¡Qué Viva La Justicia!

Thanks,

Ari Gutierrez, Co-Chair
Latino Equality Alliance

 

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Chicano Moratorium speakers-entertainers 8-24-13


 

 

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: 8/21/13

For Information: Jaime Cruz 323.687.0963 Jan Tucker (as above)

43rd Annual Chicano Moratorium Commemoration

 Speakers for August 24, 2013

The 43rd commemoration of the August 29, 1970 National Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War will take place with an August 24th East Los Angeles march from Belvedere Park and rally at Salazar Park—the locale named for crusading Chicano reporter Ruben Salazar who was killed when a sheriff’s deputy fired a tear gas projectile through his head. The event also is a memoir to the 30,000 people who took to the streets in what was then the largest anti-war demonstration ever seen in Los Angeles, the killings of members of the Brown Berets and of a Sephardic Jew at anti-war demonstrations in 1970 and 71.

 

The event masters of ceremony are Pablo Aceves of Union del Barrio and independent journalist/film maker Patricia Nazario. Speakers include NCMC Chair Jaime Cruz, Seferino Garcia speaking on police abuse in Anaheim, attorney William “Bill” Shibley son of Sleepy Lagoon Trial defense attorney George Shibley, Martha Equivel-California Families Against Solitary Confinement, Hank Jones-Black Panthers, Kathy Esptia-Prison Project, Jan Tucker-California League of Latin American Citizens and author of the Model Ordinance for Civilian Oversight of Police Misconduct, Lori Gonzalez-National Brown Berets de Aztlan (NBBA), Aloni Bonilla-victim of police brutality, attorney Guillermo Suarez speaking on political prisoner Ramsey Muniz, Enrique Morones-Border Angels, Irene Mena-NBBA, Maria Juarez (NBBA), speakers from the East Los Angeles Brown Berets (ELABB) and  Brown Berets National Organization (BBNO), Bobby Verdugo, Sergio Garcia and a speaker from ELA Mecha discussing educational issues, David Rico-National Commander NBBA, Ross Romero-Chicanos Unidos, Ari Gutierrez-Latino Equality Alliance, Bamby Salcedo-Trans Latina, anti-war speaker Marco Amador, and Tomas Zuniga-Garinagu Empowerment Movement.

 

Entertainment and cultural performances will be made by Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc, Native American folk singer Relf Alison Star, and poets Max Cedillo and David Romero.

 -30-

 

 

 

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Film Czar for Los Angeles


 

SFV/NELA NOW meets on 8/17/13 and votes to endorse Sharon Hardee Jimenez to be LA Film Czar

SFV/NELA NOW meets on 8/17/13 and votes to endorse Sharon Hardee Jimenez to be LA Film Czar

On Saturday August 17, 2013, the Board of San Fernando Valley Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women voted to unanimously endorse Sharon Hardee Jimenez of the Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF) to be appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to be Los Angeles City Film Czar.  Today we are mailing this letter to Garcetti to express our position on this critical appointment:

 

San Fernando Valley – Northeast Los Angeles Chapter

 

P.O. Box 7141 Van Nuys CA 91409-7141 (818) 539-5910 info@sfvnow.org

 

The Valley’s Voice for Choice”

 

 

August 20, 2013

 

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti Los Angeles City Hall 200 N Spring Street Los Angeles CA 90012

 

 

Honorable Mayor Garcetti:

 

 

 

Susan B. Anthony taught social movements that:

 

 

 

“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences…”

 

 

 

Sharon Jimenez with Grand-daughter Lily:  we are more committed to the next generation than to the next election

Sharon Jimenez with Grand-daughter Lily: we are more committed to the next generation than to the next election

Sharon Hardee Jimenez is a woman who is “….willing to be anything or nothing….” to accomplish our shared goal of bringing Hollywood home under circumstances that guarantee family friendly, unionized jobs at prevailing wages, and under working conditions that pro-actively guard against discrimination and sexual harassment amongst other problems within the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. That is why SFV/NELA NOW unanimously voted to endorse her to you for appointment as Los Angeles Film Czar.

 

 

Our position is that the LA Film Czar should minimally have a research and advocacy role that goes beyond the scope of just bringing production back to Hollywood. This office should also root out and prevent – by being a bully pulpit if nothing else – the systemic abuses that Hollywood moguls, corporatists and conglomerates have failed to address for decades. These abuses include:

 

 

  • Sexual harassment, such as the proverbial casting couch

  • Racial discrimination

  • Blacklisting

  • Corruption as exemplified by the conviction of Anthony Pellicano intertwined with many Hollywood figures in his career which was facilitated and protected by elements of Los Angeles City government.

 

 

Casting CouchOur Chapter has been following and pro-actively addressing sexual harassment in Hollywood for literally decades. As just one example, approximately one year after the infamous Clarence Thomas – Anita Hill hearings highlighted sexual harassment throughout the nation, Hollywood put on a “show” of what it was supposedly doing to address sexual harassment in the industry. A combined conference of corporate and union representatives was attended by Pat Jones and Jan B. Tucker of our chapter and the farce witnessed and documented. A couple of highlights for illustration of this debacle:

 

 

  • The Screen Actors Guild provided a secretary in its office (who later became a member of SFV/NELA NOW) a script to read on a panel at the conference about what SAG was supposedly doing to protect its members from sexual harassment about fifteen minutes before the panel started. According to this person, the entire script was a figment of somebody’s imagination and had obviously been written by a propagandist as opposed to somebody familiar with SAG’s actual track record on the issue.

  • The heads of Human Resources for both MCA and Universal, serving on a panel that included then head of the California Womens Law Center Sheila Kuehl, both openly stated without even evidencing a hint of embarrassment, that their policy was to teach women to cope with sexual harassment because it was too disruptive to the workplace to discipline or transfer the perpetrators. An investigation conducted by Jan B. Tucker for SFV/NELA NOW member and Attorney Ron Martinetti demonstrated that the perpetrator against his client, also a chapter member, had been sued for the same behavior three times in the past at MCA Universal by three different women.

 

 

White OnlyHollywood solutions to racial discrimination have been equally absurd, reprehensible and sick. For example, to “encourage” Latinos to become screenwriters, the industry worked out a deal with the Writers Guild of America to enable Latinos to be paid one half (½) of union scale, as though they were only half human beings. Sort of like African American slaves being defined by the Constitution as 3/5 of a person.

 

 

The notorious history of Hollywood blacklisting continues to this day and now is meted out against activists with the Bring Hollywood Home Foundation because of their political activities to expose the public policy abuses that lead to Hollywood outsourcing. These actions are arguably misdemeanors in violation of Section 1101, 1102, and 1103 of the California Labor Code.

 

 

It is possible that where there’s smoke that there isn’t actually fire. But when you see smoke in a forest, it’s a no brainer that you check out the source of the smoke. The corrupt practices of Hollywood insiders in conjunction with the prosecution of Anthony Pellicano were delved into by the United States Department of Justice, but the public only saw the tip of the iceberg into this aspect of that criminal case. There is much behind the scene that is of direct interest to the City of Los Angeles:

 

 

  • The LAPD withheld information from the FBI and the prosecutors concerning prior disciplinary action taken against one of Pellicano’s co-defendants, Mark Arneson that was directly relevant to Arneson’s violations of the Information Practices Act which victimized multiple women

  • Other LAPD officers were intimately involved in events surrounding another Pellicano co-defendant (who was adversarial to Pellicano)

  • Your predecessor as Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, holds the singular distinction of being the only politician known to have ever received a campaign contribution from Anthony Pellicano and Villaraigosa failed and refused to respond to requests that he explain the contribution and/or to even deny knowledge of it.

 

 

In conclusion, we reiterate our strong support for Sharon Hardee Jimenez to be appointed Film Czar with a mandate to root out these systemic Hollywood practices as well as to bring jobs back to Los Angeles.

 

 

Sisterhood is Powerful, Linda Pruett, Cynthia Conover, Jan B. Tucker, Co-Presidents, SFV/NELA Chapter National Organization for Women

 

 

 

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Emily’s List of Trials & Tribulations


 

 

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L-Eugene Martensen, R-Emily Gibson (father/daughter) staffing NOW/CALLAC table at County Federation of Labor, Labor Day Rally

Two years ago, Emily Gibson, then ten years old, was in the custody of her mother and step-father in the Antelope Valley, when she was prosecuted in juvenile court for assaulting a school police officer. At the time, she was placed on juvenile probation, but nobody bothered to inform her father, in spite of the fact that he had joint legal custody of Emily. Neither the County District Attorney, the County Probation Department, and certainly not her mother/step-father (who once physically attacked the father in public) said word one about the child’s legal problems to him.

 

Emily Gibson 002

 

Fast forward: April 19, 2013, there was some sort of violence between Emily and her mother, so abruptly, without any explanation or notice offered, the Probation Department informs Emily’s father that he will be taking actual physical custody of her. This letter was the first time anybody bothered to let her father know that she had been on juvenile probation for a couple of years.

 

Emily Gibson 001

 

Her father, who lives in the San Pedro area, immediately got Emily, now 12 years old, enrolled in a local school. He got her involved in extracurricular activities, such as a trip to Catalina Island. He immediately began requesting that she receive “Wrap Around” services from the County – designed to assist families to keep their children on the straight and narrow path. Not even Emily’s public defender requested these services for her and had Emily’s father not demanded them, the court would not have granted them to be provided.

 

 

 

BureaucracyJust because a court orders services to be provided to a juvenile (or an adult or anybody else) doesn’t mean that they will actually receive them. Emily’s father kept asking and asking and asking for the services to start….for three months. Finally in desperation, he requested similar services from the Los Angeles Unified School District but when the Masada Homes, a Gardena Community Mental Health Center was ready to enroll Emily for virtually identical services to Los Angeles County “WrapAround,” Emily’s probation officer put a halt to the process and directed the family to wait until WrapAround began.

 

 

 

School to Prison Pipeline3What turns “WrapAround” into what seems like “Warped Around” is that by the time the process was ready to begin, Emily was already out of control again. She told her probation officer that she was using drugs and without bothering to verify with a drug test as to whether or not it was true, the probation officer violated Emily’s probation and abruptly had her taken into custody on August 7, 2013.

 

 

Prisoner without a nameThere is this concept in America that nobody should be held incommunicado. There should be no prisoners without names nor cells without numbers…..but as Guantanamo has proven to us it is entirely possible when somebody is in United States custody. While that process might be arguable when it comes to dealing with alleged “unlawful combatants” in war or out and out terrorists, that’s one thing. When it comes to dealing with a 12 year old girl, one might think that her father would be able to ascertain what’s going on with her and where she is, but nobody in the County has seen fit to answer his basic questions about what sentence she has received for her supposed probation violation, where she’s being held, and when if ever she’s going to be released or even available for visitation. Nothing. Nada.

 

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