Why This Blog?

The aim of this blog is to fit into the blogosphere like the bracingly tart taste of yogurt fits between the boringly bland and the unspeakably vile.

All comments will be answered if their author provides contact info.


I have no sponsoring group(s) or agencies, and I owe no allegiance to any candidate or group.

(C) Copyright 2012 DenRita Enterprises

Friday, October 5, 2012

Follow the Money 

Let’s explore the Costa Mesa campaigns by following the money – that’s usually a good way to see how power flows. Unfortunately, the detailed expenditure lists aren't published yet, and Political Action Committees have exemptions and loopholes to hide a lot of shenanigans.

But, sometimes we can deduce where the money is flowing by looking at similar situations where the funding information is more complete, and comparing what we see to local situations.

How about Statewide

Let’s start with an article in the Wall Street Journal by Allysia Finley on 3 Oct. She says (and the WSJ has far more resources than I, so her research is more believable than my guesses):

The best shot that California taxpayers have to take back their state from Big Labor is slipping away—and fast. Three new polls show that support is sinking for Proposition 32, the so-called paycheck protection ballot initiative that would bar unions (and corporations) from withholding money from workers' paychecks to finance their political spending. The reason? Unions have smothered the initiative with globs of cash that they've drawn from workers' paychecks.

Organized labor is “smothering the initiative” with globs of cash?

And here

If so, what would we expect to happen in Costa Mesa where a charter proposes the same restrictions on unions’ free access to their workers’ paychecks? Why the cash would be likely to flow here, too, wouldn't it? Just like it is gushing into several other cities that are trying to build this protection into law.

Get union help if you oppose the Charter

Opposing our Charter will get candidates lots of union support – in newsletters, sponsored meetings, manpower to walk the precincts, and such. Will it get them “globs of cash, too?” Probably not – but it may result in the local branch of the AFL-CIO printing and mailing candidate brochures and flyers – at no cost to the candidate. They've done it before – and it worked – the candidate is still on the Council.

Advice from an expert

Kevin Dayton (a CEO, and a charter city expert from Sacramento) said that voters need to seriously consider approving the charter city proposals. “If you support lower taxes, reasonable regulation, fiscal responsibility, limited government, local control and more freedom from corrupt urban legislators, vote yes on the charters.” Then, tongue in cheek, he added, “If you believe citizens are not yet giving enough of their money to the government, vote no on the charter.”

Dayton doesn't have access to Big Labors’ “globs of money” to support Costa Mesa’s Charter, he can just offer experience and logic to help us decide. We’ll see how that competes with the money – and the screaming and protesting by the three Labor-endorsed candidates -- as the election gets closer.

What if my friends do it

How about money flow when a candidate maintains opposite stances on the same question? Candidates Genis, Weitzberg, and Stephens have repeated louder and louder that “NO BID CONTRACTS ARE WRONG! That’s a key point in their opposition to the Charter – the union-opposed Charter.

But, they support, and receive support in return, from incumbent candidates for the Sanitary Board who have vigorously blocked any bidding on their trash contract, which they've had, and renewed and renewed, since 1944. How can this be?

Maybe it's different globs

The globs that support the incumbent candidates may just be coming from different sources. 

Following the money can be confusing when there are multiple sources supporting differing positions on a philosophical question. The money isn't used to influence philosophy, though; it’s used to protect particular jobs.

Good or bad

So, which is it? No bid contracts are bad – or good? Apparently they’re good when your side uses them and a terrible danger that the Charter presents to Costa Mesa -- at the same time.

Except. . .

Except that “No Bid” isn't defined in the Charter; it’s a term used as a Straw Man argument. It’s used to “prove” that "No Bid is bad," so the Charter must be bad. Never mind that it’s undefined in the Charter.

And except that the term is used in purchasing departments to divide contracts into formal and informal processing systems. And except that the Council members are forbidden by law from influencing the processing of contracts, anyway – both now and under the Charter.

The term makes for an easy straw man argument, though.

Two defend their stance

Two of the candidates, Weitzberg and Stephens, excuse their stance, (because) “this particular (no bid contract) is a special case.” That’s an excuse made famous in Chicago’s most-corrupt days. Is there money involved? Who knows?

But look at your mailers and TV ads and then Google the sponsors. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised whose money is paying for opposition to the Charter. Or maybe not.

And one doesn't attract any attention

The third “vote no” candidate, Genis, hasn't explained her support of opposing ethical considerations as far as I know right now. It looks like she’s the “gray man” in this election. A “gray man” tries to slip into office by not taking a stance, just collecting enough votes by not being opposed or confronted but having a vaguely familiar name.

Globs to raise fear, little spatters to support rational voting

There probably are globs of cash flowing into Costa Mesa to raise fears about the charter, similar to what Finley described statewide. Read the bottom of the mailers in your mailbox: and Google the PAC’s that are providing the funds.

Follow the money.

We’ll work some more on what the Charter actually says in another blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment