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The Grantville Action Group, a group fighting redevelopment and eminent domain abuses, has lost a suit against the city, its redevelopment agency and the county. The Grantville group, which has long argued that its area is not blighted, filed a suit in superior court stating that $31.36 million of Grantville redevelopment funds were illegally transferred to the Centre City Redevelopment Project Area, and then transferred to the County for use on its administration building. The plaintiffs argued that Centre City was merely a middleman to complete a transaction that would otherwise not have been permitted if the money had not been transferred directly from Granville. The attorney general's office had earlier ruled that this transfer was "technically permissible." Judge Joan Lewis agreed and ruled against Grantville Action Group on all counts. Lewis ruled that the entire plan to use Grantville money for the County Administration Building is legal. The final judgment is supposed to be entered in 30 days. The Grantville group will have 60 days to appeal.

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Comments

a2zresource Dec. 23, 2010 @ 2:53 p.m.

If the funding transfer from Grantville to County's administration building in CCDC's project area is affirmed on final judgment, then it appears that CCDC ought to be responsible for the transfer of City of San Diego general fund revenues as tax increment funds diverted from public safety and needed infrastructure repaits into Convention Center redevelopment debt servicing.

If CCDC can't afford the merely $9.2 million annual payment for that Convention Center debt servicing, then there is no way that there can be hundreds of millions in CCDC coverage of a new NFL stadium downtown any time soon.

It's either that, or I am in serious need of a math tutor who can make sense of CCDC financing and is also not clueless about Health & Safety Code municipal redevelopment law...

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Fred Williams Dec. 23, 2010 @ 11:11 p.m.

Here's yet more proof of the real purpose of CCDC.

It's a money laundering operation.

Using CCDC, the wealthy and well-connected can move cash around without public oversight. In this case, they took more than $31 from Grantville, before any redevelopment occurred, and by passing it through CCDC circumvented the very specific state law that prevents redevelopment money from being spent on beautification of County Administration Buildings.

Judge Lewis refuses to take off her blinders. Choosing to pass on one after another "technically legal" transaction, she deliberately ignores the context of the suit. Having read her ruling, it's clear she has no interest in justice, only in keeping her cushy job. I've never seen such judicial cowardice.

If any other entity engaged in this kind of money laundering to circumvent the law, it would be a RICO prosecution. Judge Lewis is deliberately blind to this.

This case ought to be appealed. So far, Dr. Peterson and the Grantville Action Group has galvanized over 200 supporters to give $60,000 to support this lawsuit.

On the other side stand full time government lawyers, a taxpayer-paid team against a small plea for common-sense and justice.

www.grantvilleactiongroup.com

No matter how the perjurers at CCDC spin this, they know that GAG has already changed the state law to make sure they cannot rape another community in the same way. Repealing this decision won't cost as much as the original lawsuit.

Will enough San Diegans support, with either their time or money, this fight for justice?

How about you, A2Z? Give Dr. Peterson a call, see if you can help with their website, doing legislative research, planning outreach...we all know, this is a fight worth getting into.

Best,

Fred

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Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 3:14 p.m.

I can't argue with what you say. Basically, the judge in this case, Joan Lewis, ruled that "the government may string together a series of seemingly legal transactions to create one large-scale illegal transaction," says the Grantville Action Group. The whole thing was a disgrace. The action group should appeal. This is another victory for the downtown establishment's theft of money from the neighborhoods. The decision is not a surprise, coming from Judge Lewis. But it should be fought further. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 4:47 p.m.

This ruling marks a sad day for San Diego's Redevelopment because unless Grantville appeals and wins, all future ReDev. money MAY be diverted away from what the "intent" of the law was supposed to provide, namely reducing Blight!

Np wonder folks are now "less" trusting of Gov't...

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Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 8:34 p.m.

Already CCDC is stealing money from the schools and the county, among others, diverting redevelopment funds downtown. This is in direct contradiction of redevelopment law, which is intended to create affordable housing and eliminate blight. You are correct: Lewis's horrendous decision makes CCDC thievery easier. Best, Don Bauder

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM Dec. 23, 2010 @ 5:02 p.m.

Fortunately, for you fans of responsible redevelopment, the Grantville Action Group inspired, and worked with, State Senator Christine Kehoe on SB 93, which became law this year. SB 93 prevents the theft of tax increment—Grantville-style—from other project areas throughout the state. If TI is to be transferred out of a redevelopment project area in the future, it must go to an adjacent community only, and the project must be shown to be a benefit to the project area. Also, SB 93 prevents government entities from conducting secret, TI-transferring negotiations and settlement agreements, like we suffered in Grantville. So, despite the recent legal setback, the Grantville Action Group achieved one of its goals going in—reform redevelopment and make sure what happened to us will not happen elsewhere. www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com />

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Founder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 7:16 p.m.

Well, then at least some good has come out of this, but I also see this as covering the City's tracks as both Kehoe and Atkins have been very active in changing the way that MAD's (Maintenance Assessment Districts) and ReDev. Project Areas "work"...

Atkins for example completely revamped the Board of the NP LLMD (Lighting and Landscape Maintenance District, an earlier form of the NP-MAD), installing her hand picked Board members, which have since changed the bylaws and now "run" the MAD quite differently than before!

Senator Kehoe has also created legislation that allows MAD's to spend money outside of their boundaries, if it is on adjacent Property!

Back to basics, if the MAD Boards are not fairly representative of the area that they manage, then all sorts of Political Interpretations and or Governing changes can redirect the money to "pet" projects instead of spending the money fairly throughout the entire District that pays into these MAD's and or ReDev. Area's!

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Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 8:39 p.m.

These are more unwise -- if not corrupt -- moves that permit money to be steered where real estate developers want it to end up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 8:36 p.m.

You are correct. You and your Grantville group fathered that legislation. However, CCDC has been flipping the bird at redevelopment law for decades. Why should it start following the law now? Best, Don Bauder

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notgreedy Dec. 23, 2010 @ 8:27 p.m.

For those who don't know, the underlying facts resulted from the government threatening to take (and thus, degrading) private property and giving it to other private cronies - in this case, the cronies of Jim Madaffer. This will make it very difficult for you to drive on Mission Gorge Road near Interstate 8 since there is no real plan to handle the increased traffic of lots of new condos and other buildings.

Government officials, including judges, in San Diego should be required to take meaningful ethics classes that explain how peer pressure works. Judges are paid by the State as are the employees for the government who come before them.
Perhaps these classes would have prevented this disgraceful and unfair ruling at the time Christine Kehoe helped pass the disgraceful eminent domain law in California that allowed private property to be taken by the government and GIVEN TO OTHER PRIVATE CRONIES OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. This could happen to you.

Because San Diego is a military town, many government officials are part of the old-boy's-club, which members go out of their way to support each other. They and some of their relatives get preference points to beat out qualified job applicants. Commonly, job candidates are selected at interview upon the reference or being known by the decision maker. Thus, we end up with prejudiced, unqualified, and gutless sheep.

All government officials in San Diego, except the most ignorant, are aware of the old-boy's-club and sure don't want to cross it. After all, its expensive here and losing a job would not only cost income, but make it more difficult to get another job. These government officials were sometimes appointed by people who got lots of donations from the exploitation industry. So we end up with even more people who support big business and lack of planning for the future, such as Grantville "redevelopment."

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Don Bauder Dec. 23, 2010 @ 8:42 p.m.

Early in this controversy's days, a big development plan had establishment backing. Grantville residents complained of traffic woes. That wasn't the exact genesis, but it played a role. San Diego, thy name is cronyism! Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams Dec. 23, 2010 @ 10:56 p.m.

The genesis was the well-recognized traffic problems that plague the area.

Originally, a plan to improve traffic is what the residents wanted.

Now the plan, approved by "stake holders" who are beneficiaries of government redevelopment cash, is to put in thousands of new apartment units...and NOT improve the traffic problems but make them worse.

You can find all this information through the Grantville Action Group, which has performed a vital role in fighting for government openness. If you try to get information from the City, County, or the notorious CCDC, good luck...

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 7:05 a.m.

Good point, Fred. The Grantville Action Group has a very good website, www.grantvilleactiongroup.com. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 10:36 a.m.

RE: "many government officials are part of the old-boy's-club, which members go out of their way to support each other", in fact there is also an Old-Girls-Club, but I'm not sure what the politically correct term for it is...

We have become like a Third World Town where BOTH who you know and how much dough will determine wether you can stay or have to go!

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aardvark Dec. 23, 2010 @ 11 p.m.

Unfortunately, the argument by GAG never had a chance; it made too much sense.

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 7:08 a.m.

The Grantville Action Group clearly pointed out how government was playing a shell game. Judge Lewis was not going to let anybody thwart government corruption, which is woven into the San Diego fabric. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 10:37 a.m.

Any word on an appeal, and if it does get appealed how far might it go before GAG gets a chance of overturning the Judge Lewis decision?

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Brian_T_Peterson_DVM Dec. 24, 2010 @ 11:28 a.m.

We are currently considering an appeal. In rereading the “tentative” verdict, however, it seems that there is one outstanding issue that Judge Lewis did not address sufficiently. Our attorney is currently researching this. We have until the end of the month to raise this issue with the court, or not, before this becomes the final verdict. www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 12:18 p.m.

Good luck, Brian. But you know what happens to San Diegans who try to thwart the city's deeply-inculcated corruption. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m.

The final decision comes in about 30 days and the GAG has 60 days to file an appeal. I hope it appeals and the case goes before intelligent judges. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 24, 2010 @ 3:42 p.m.

"...and the case goes before intelligent judges. "

That is asking so much!!!

The sad sorry state of our judiciary today would make our founding fathers roll over in their graves.

It is all politics with the judges idiology and the amount of bias they will give to the government being the turning factors.

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 7:47 p.m.

At the U.S. Supreme Court level, it's as much a matter of simply being pro-business as being ideologically conservative. The NY Times had a good story on that a week or so ago. The Roberts court is a disgrace, but the Chamber of Commerce love it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2010 @ 12:38 p.m.

At the U.S. Supreme Court level, it's as much a matter of simply being pro-business as being ideologically conservative.

No, I disagree- it is the conservative ideology that rules the day-Big Business and gov are certainly who they protect, but it is not limited to those two.

I point to the recent Prop 8 trial in San Francisco, where Judge Walker had given the A-OK to televise the trial, and if there was EVER a case to televise it was Prop 8. The Prop 8 supporters went to the 9th Circuit to stop it-they lost-they then appealed to the SCOTUS, who for the ONLY TIME I HAVE EVER HEARD OF, intervened into a pending case at the trial level and over ruled the 9th and the trial judge, blocking the television coverage of the case.

Now, I am sure there are a few instances of this happening at some other time in the history of our 235 year old country-but I do not know of a single one, out of literally millions of cases filed every year.

That would NEVER have happened if the petitioners were anyone other than relgious organizations and groups. Never. Ever. Not in a million years.

Ideology is what makes law today-not a fair, reasonable interpretation of the law from the Constitution.

Our foundig fathers would roll over in their graves if they saw what our country has become- essentially a banana republic.

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Founder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 3:42 p.m.

  • Real Zeal Appeal -*

What a great Somewhat late

Big Christmas present For each resident

Saving US lots of big dough For all of San Diego

That would be a great start for the New Year Then just think of how much we would all cheer

So all the best with your special appeal It is about time folks learn not to steal

*From: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/np-star/2010/aug/26/rhyme-a-day/#c80100

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 7:49 p.m.

The day that stealing disappears is the day that lust disappears. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 3:44 p.m.

On a sweatshirt I saw worn in a SD Costco:

A Good Lawyer knows the Law,

A Great Lawyer knows the Judge!

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2010 @ 12:30 p.m.

A Good Lawyer knows the Law,

A Great Lawyer knows the Judge!

=====================

LOL..the funniest part of this is that is was once, and I am sure still is, totally, 100% TRUE in San Diego.

Ask attorney Pat Frega and San Diego Superior Court Judges Adams, Malkus and Greer, who all ended up in the Joint.

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Don Bauder Dec. 29, 2010 @ 1:59 p.m.

I have always feared that the Frega/Adams/Malkus/Greer affair was only the tip of the iceberg. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 29, 2010 @ 10:14 p.m.

Frega went to work for Bill Lerach after Frega was disbarred, as a "law clerk", and we know what happened to Lerach. Funny how these incestuous relationships all seem to tie in together.....I wonder who Learch will get to "law clerk" for????

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Don Bauder Dec. 24, 2010 @ 7:51 p.m.

....and massages the judge. Best, Don Bauder

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