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Today (May 5), District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis officially stated that San Diego will be tolerant of abuse of power. Since 2008, it has been an open secret that prosecutors will not go after the establishment for any kinds of economic crimes. But by stating today that her office will not proceed against Ron Saathoff, president of Firefighters Local 145, and one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes forces in local politics, Dumanis made it official. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court dismissed charges against five City officials for violating conflict-of-interest laws by voting to boost pension benefits. But the court said the case against Saathoff could proceed. Dumanis nixed it. And she made a preposterous statement: "The public awareness raised by this case lessens the likelihood that these types of events will occur again," she claimed. Even she knows full well that the handling of the Saathoff matter INCREASES the likelihood that these types of events will occur again. The door is now officially wide open -- to the favored few, of course.

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Comments

patflannery May 5, 2010 @ 2:02 p.m.

Government in San Diego county is really a crime syndicate. The New West is more lawless than the Old West. Back then most lawmen were honest. As for Bonnie .....

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 2:28 p.m.

Response to post #1: And no one knows it better, or says it better (www.blogofsandiego.com), than you do, Pat. Best, Don Bauder

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patflannery May 5, 2010 @ 2:44 p.m.

Said the master to the student. You were my mentor Don. I'm sure Bonnie and Lied would love to lock us in the pokey :)

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 2:47 p.m.

Response to post #3: As I recall, the City did boot you out of a meeting that you were trying to cover. Boss Tweed lives. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 5, 2010 @ 3:32 p.m.

Makes you wonder what that moron Dumanis is doing as the Peoples DA.

Vote her out of office.

At least Goldsmith has filed a lawsuit against the pension system to force the public employees to cover investment losses 50/50 with the City (yahoo!!) , and that loser firewhiner union mouthpiece Declerq said the clowncil needs to define what "substantially equal contributions between the city and employee" means. It means 50/50 to anyone with an IQ above 10.

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patflannery May 5, 2010 @ 3:33 p.m.

Yes, the "Voice of San Diego" wins awards - I get the boot. Seems fair to me. Four "Voice" journalists just got nominated for awards by the "San Diego County Taxpayers Association". I think I prefer the boot.

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JustWondering May 5, 2010 @ 3:52 p.m.

In the interest of accuracy, Saathoff is not President of the Firefighters Local 145. That position is held Frank DeClercq.

Yes, Ron Saathoff was the President of Local 145. He took the helm of the firefighters union in 1981, at age 31. The former fire captain took over what was once a part-time job and made it a full-time position. He has not held a position at the Local for some time.

Should our illustrious D.A. Bonnie Dumanis have "nixed" it. In my opinion, absolutely not. Saathoff AND the people of San Diego should have received their day(s) in court, with a judgement after hearing all the evidence. Sadly, without a trial, speculation will remain present, and speculators fodder to write about. A trial would have brought some closure no matter the outcome.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.

Response to post #5: Vote her out of office? Last I heard, she was running unopposed. Has something changed? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

Response to post #6: Every year, the taxpayers association gives "Golden Fleece" awards to communities that waste taxpayers' money. On at least two occasions (one after the association backed taxpayer subsidization of the ballpark) I suggested that the organization give the Golden Fleece prize to itself. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 4:57 p.m.

Response to post #7: Mea culpa on his position. As to the point on closure: suppose he would have lost at trial? Think of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth downtown. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 5, 2010 @ 6:33 p.m.

A trial would have brought some closure no matter the outcome.

A trial would have brought Saathoff 2-10 in the Pen.

I would not be surprised if there was some sort of kickback scheme in place with the DA and the FF union-ala Randy Cunningham style.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 8:01 p.m.

Response to post #11: Remember, he would have been tried before San Diego judges. You know what happened in federal court. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 5, 2010 @ 8:06 p.m.

I just don't get it-he was charged, they got the green light from the CA Supreme Court, and then they drop the charges after the green light was given.

Doesn't add up.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 8:11 p.m.

Response to post #13: Of course it adds up. Anybody connected with the San Diego establishment has a free pass, no matter what the offense. Look what happened with Li Mandri/Mannino: the FBI and police did a thorough report and she looked the other way. There are other examples. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering May 5, 2010 @ 8:58 p.m.

Gotta agree with the puppeteer. The dismissal doesn't make sense. Or, maybe that was the plan along, file the charges, let it simmer for awhile, then let the Supremes' dismiss it.

But they did the unexpected and threw ol' Bonnie a curve ball by remanding one of the defendants back to her. If she went to trial, their theories would hold up so she was forced to dismiss against the one defendant who did the deed...

Like I posted earlier... fodder for all of us speculators....

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Don Bauder May 5, 2010 @ 10:05 p.m.

Response to post #15: What's puzzling is how long it will take San Diegans to realize that there are no prosecutors who will pursue white collar crime among establishment members, or the powerful. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 5, 2010 @ 10:29 p.m.

Gotta agree with the puppeteer

That is surfpuppeteer to you

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #17: Or you'll sue for misappropriation of intellectual property. Best, Don Bauder

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TeaDrinker May 6, 2010 @ 7:23 a.m.

San Diego governments--city, county and state--are Ponzi schemes actually, and those in power like judges, district attorneys, mayors, councilpeople, etc., will do everything they can to maintain the scheme until they "get theirs" and retire.

How can Sanders make a judgement about bankruptcy if he himself is drawing a pension that may be reduced if bankruptcy is filed? How can Dumanis and judges who rule on these issues, make a decision to let Saathoff and the "Gang of 5" go free, when they themselves benefit from their pension plans which are similarly underfunded? They all have one huge conflict of interest, but no one wants to talk about this conflict.

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DaveMagown May 6, 2010 @ 7:53 a.m.

So we see the District Attorney let the person on the pension board go, after he was part of the scheme by the City Council to steal the pension money from the employees. The real question in this mess is why does the City continue to hold the employees guilty for the actions of the City Council and the pension board.

The facts go like this - The Mayor and the City Council set up a pension board - Then they go to their board and tell them that they want to under fund the pensions they have agreed to pay their employees so they can blow the money on some other City schemes. The citizens of the City find out the City Council and th Mayor stole the money, so the Mayor and the City Council blame the pension board and the employees for making it possible for the City to steal their money.

Here's how that would go in normal daily life - A purse snatcher runs down the street and steals an elderly woman's purse. He gets caught and the police arrest the elderly woman for making it easy to steal her purse, then try to take her money away from her.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 8:21 a.m.

Response to post #19: You can ask the same question about judges. They get government pensions, too. Can you expect them to handle a pension reform case judiciously? This is more than a local question. It's being faced all around the world. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 8:27 a.m.

Response to post #20: But after the pension plan was plundered to finance other things such as the Republican Convention of 1996, the pension benefits were raised sharply as a sop to the unions.The City never could afford those increased benefits. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 6, 2010 @ 8:39 a.m.

. The real question in this mess is why does the City continue to hold the employees guilty for the actions of the City Council and the pension board.

No dave m, the real question is why do the gov employees think taxpayers should have to pay for RETRO active pension increases-increases that were never worked for or earned.

Here's how that would go in normal daily life - A city employee runs down the street and steals an elderly taxpayers wallet. He gets caught and the police arrest the elderly taxpayer for making it easy to steal their wallet, then try to take the taxpayers money away and give it to the city employee.

The fact is the gov employees are trying to rip off the taxpayers with a pension scheme they have AT MOST contributed only 5% towards-if that. Where in the real world can you contribute $150K and get a $3 million pension out of it-no where, that's where.

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JustWondering May 6, 2010 @ 9:04 a.m.

Oh BillyBobHenry/JohnnyVegas/Surfpuppy619 wasn't it enough that I agreed with you about the oddness of the dismissal of charges against Mr. Saathoff? Then you have to add that comment in #17 above and ruin it like you're some ol' big bad all knowing comment maker.

We'd need all of Don Bauder's the fingers and toes just to begin counting the number of times you've been 100% wrong in 2,535 comments as Surfpuppy619. Or the thousands of comments you posted as JohnnyVegas or BillyBob Henry.

If we used all of Don's fingers and toes, he'd have nothing to type with. Thankfully, voice recognition software has improved so we'd still get his columns.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 10:24 a.m.

Response to post #23: Yes, City employees -- particularly those in safety -- have a deal. City Attorney Goldsmith -- the last person I thought would tackle this subject -- is trying to do something about it. Bully for him. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 10:31 a.m.

Response to post #24: Trouble is, my voice is cracking with age, too. The software might not work. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell May 6, 2010 @ 9:05 p.m.

The city is going to have to pay out millions in back pay now that the officials have been cleared of wrongdoing. The city may even have to rehire them. This isn't going to be cheap.

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Burwell May 6, 2010 @ 9:13 p.m.

Response to post #23: Yes, City employees -- particularly those in safety -- have a deal. City Attorney Goldsmith -- the last person I thought would tackle this subject -- is trying to do something about it. Bully for him. Best, Don Bauder

=========

I've always believed that Goldsmith intends to turn on the Mayor at some point, in order to establish a political base so he can run for higher office. Goldsmith should distance himself from Mayor Sanders while there's still time. After the city files bankruptcy any politican associated in the public mind with Sanders is going to be a "Typhoid Mary" of politics. Sanders is a political pariah.

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 9:20 p.m.

Response to post #27: The whole thing has been expensive. And nothing has been accomplished, other than conveying the message that those with power have a Get Out of Jail Free card. But we already knew that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 6, 2010 @ 9:22 p.m.

Response to post #28: If you're right, Goldsmith is smarter than I gave him credit for being. Yes, the mayor will be a Typhoid Mary. Call him Typhoid Mayor. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 6, 2010 @ 9:34 p.m.

Oh BillyBobHenry/JohnnyVegas/Surfpuppy619 wasn't it enough that I agreed with you about the oddness of the dismissal of charges against Mr. Saathoff? Then you have to add that comment in #17 above and ruin it like you're some ol' big bad all knowing comment maker.

By JustWondering

I see I made a trough feeder meltdown..... again!

Yipeee.......!!!!!!

You're still just a GED cop that hit the gov employment fraud/scam/lottery. Nothing more. Certainly not b/c you have any brain power or real world skills.

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uncleleo May 6, 2010 @ 11:17 p.m.

The thing that is most troubling about Dumanis and her corruption is that there are two dead girls in North County and we have no reason to believe that John Albert Gardner III is nothing more than a patsy.

Corruption chases perversion. We have two dead redheaded teenage girls and they want us to believe that this guy living out of his truck masterminded this? Please. Did he also carefully plan out the media coverage that systematically smeared him? Show me the evidence.

A good place to start would be Omaha, NE. John DeCamp wrote a book titled: The Franklin Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska

We are dealing with some sick sick people here. It all ties together at the top levels.

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Russ Lewis May 7, 2010 @ 12:53 a.m.

There's a word for when you can't stand someone with less education earning more money than you: envy.

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JustWondering May 7, 2010 @ 7:49 a.m.

Yes it's true...I suppose BillyBobHenry/JohnnyVegas/Surfpuppy619 is as envious as one can be. That envy, his obsession with the compensation of workers, consumes many hours of his days over the last few years.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 7:51 a.m.

Response to post #31: You guys (assuming you are both males) have to put on boxing gloves and get in the ring. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 7:54 a.m.

Response to post #32: Yours is a most bizarre interpretation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 7:56 a.m.

Response to post #33: Of course, money isn't life's only motivation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 7:57 a.m.

Response to post #34: SP has to defend himself here. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 7, 2010 @ 8:55 a.m.

Yes it's true...I suppose BillyBobHenry/JohnnyVegas/Surfpuppy619 is as envious as one can be. That envy, his obsession with the compensation of workers, consumes many hours of his days over the last few years.

By JustWondering

Yes, as compared to the GED cop who spends many hours sitting on his butt ripping off taxpayers........oh, I love it when the GED Boys can't handle the truth.....don't worry GED Boy, the end is near, and that scam/fraud pension is going to get a haircut!

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SurfPuppy619 May 7, 2010 @ 8:56 a.m.

You guys (assuming you are both males) have to put on boxing gloves and get in the ring.

LOL...JW would be running the opposite direction faster the Road Runner!

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SurfPuppy619 May 7, 2010 @ 9:06 a.m.

There's a word for when you can't stand someone with less education earning more money than you: envy.

By russl

Hey look, the local cop/firewhiner apologist/hero worshipper is back positing!

I am surprised you're not coming up with butter comments than this one (very week)-like why these GED gov employees are comped $200K per year for jobs that attracts literally thousands of applicants whenever they open up???????????

Speak up, we wont to hear your great wizdom and insight on this issue (and also how we can pay for it) oh mighty gov employee worshipper!

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 9:21 a.m.

Response to posts #39-41: Now is a good time to have another donnybrook on this topic. It's back in the news. Remember when we had 1300 comments on this question? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 7, 2010 @ 9:34 a.m.

JW is a cut and run type of guy.........

I would like to meet you though Don, next time you make it out to San Diego.

The SDReader should have a social pow wow for all the writers, like a BBQ or luncheon, and allow them to meet the people who follow the site and post the comments. Who knows, maybe even JW would go for that.

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JustWondering May 7, 2010 @ 11:13 a.m.

While I don't see myself as the RoadRunner I thank you for the compliment!

We all know your arguments and comments are mail ordered from the "Acme Rocket Company", and you received your degree in law came from it's sister company the "Acme School of Law".

Like "Wile E. Coyote" the comments you post over and over to to trap the "Roadrunner" end up exploding in your face, or fall off a cliff. All while I and others post facts supported by logic and documentation there to counter your endless drivel.

Try as you will BillyBob/JohnnyV/Surpuppeteer you'll never catch this RoadRunner. Cause you're just too slow on the uptake, and this Roadrunner has you outsmarted each time.

So as the Roadrunner says to Wile E. Coyote as he leaves him in the dust once again....

MmmEEPP-MmmEEPPP

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JustWondering May 7, 2010 @ 11:14 a.m.

Now Don ....quick chuckling .... I know you like that one!

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 11:28 a.m.

Response to post #43: I don't know the identities of those who post, with the exception of a couple of them who have told me by email that they do. I think it would be better if I did not know them. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 11:31 a.m.

Response to posts #44 and 45: Yes, very clever invective. Can SP top that? Stay tuned. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 7, 2010 @ 1:36 p.m.

So as the Roadrunner says to Wile E. Coyote as he leaves him in the dust once again....

MmmEEPP-MmmEEPPP

Now Don ....quick chuckling .... I know you like that one!

Well, at least the MmmEEPP-MmmEEPPP part was funny!

And RR was [is] one of my favorite cartoons as a kid.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 7:15 p.m.

Response to post #48: I think I was no longer a kid when that one came along. I can only vaguely remember it. Best, Don Bauder

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DaveMagown May 7, 2010 @ 8:59 p.m.

Response to 22 and 23 plus many other comments. City employees were offered a pension program they accepted. The City stole their money, and failed to invest it to cover the pension benefits. The City now blames the employees for the problem. If the pension program could not be funded, it should not have been set up by the city. It's still not the fault of the employees. Corruption in the City at every level has caused this and continued this. As for the dollar amounts involved, you are a bit off. City employees have to work for a long time to earn the pension, just like anyone else. Is the pension better than in the private sector? Usually. Can they begin to collect earlier than in the private sector? Usually. Are there reasons they get to collect earlier? Yes - many. Police Officers, Firemen, and many other City Workers do hard physical labor. Their ability to do that job does not last as long as most positions in the private sector, and is the same reason that 20 years is a career in the military.

Just one more note - almost all Police Officers have at least a bachelors degree, with a very large number of masters degrees and Phd's. Even more surprising is the number of them whose degrees are in engineering and other areas, with additional study in law and criminal justice. The number who simply have a GED is small, but a person with a GED who can meet the mental, physical, and psychological requirements to be a police officer should be a proud group, because they managed to beat the odds stacked against them and advance to a position they can be proud of.

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Burwell May 7, 2010 @ 9:15 p.m.

Just one more note - almost all Police Officers have at least a bachelors degree, with a very large number of masters degrees and Phd's. Even more surprising is the number of them whose degrees are in engineering and other areas, with additional study in law and criminal justice.

There are currently three Nobel laureates serving as reserve officers with the San Diego Police Department.

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Brady21Francesca May 7, 2010 @ 10:45 p.m.

It is cool that people are able to receive the loan and that opens up new chances.

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 10:57 p.m.

Response to post #50: Remember, though, that after the City stole the workers' money, the employees persuaded the council to grant benefits that cannot be paid now. Many people give the same arguments you do, but there is one argument that trumps them: there is no money to pay those benefits short of neglecting all the other obligations of government. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 10:58 p.m.

Response to post #51: We don't want any deaths. We want a rousing debate. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 11 p.m.

Response to post #52: I believe it's five Nobel laureates, but who's counting? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 7, 2010 @ 11:02 p.m.

Response to post #53: Am I missing something? What loan are we talking about? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 8, 2010 @ 6 p.m.

Are there reasons they get to collect earlier? Yes - many. Police Officers, Firemen, and many other City Workers do hard physical labor. Their ability to do that job does not last as long as most positions in the private sector, and is the same reason that 20 years is a career in the military.

Wow Dave, you laidout so many gov whoppers that I can't respond to all of them, so I will respond to this one since it is right up there with the whopper that police and firewhiners die at age 57 (so they deserve $5 million pensions). BTW, for the record, the mortality rate for cop/ff is 81-86.

1) do you have any studies are other evidence to support your wild claim that cop and FF "do hard physical labor" (unless you're claiming that cooking, BBQing, shopping, sleeping and report writing is "hard physical labor").

The fact is both jobs entail almost NO physical labor. The vast majority of a cops time is sitting in a car responding to various calls and even more time is spent sitting in the car and writing reports. 50% of a cops time, or more, is spent writing reports-that is not what most people refer to as "physical labor".

FF is even less physical than that. The construction trades are 100 tiems more physical and 100 times more dangerous. They don't get to "retire" at age 50 making more than when they worked.

2) a large part of the pensions were given (as in gifted) retroactively, so the notion that you earned that pension is false. YOUR union betrayed you by going along with an underfunding scheme in exchange for a huge increase in benefits-the way I see it is that the union is more at fault than the fraudstirs that offered that deal-because the unions had a DUTY to make sure the fund was solvent. They breached that duty by allowing the underfunding of the fund.

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SurfPuppy619 May 8, 2010 @ 6:03 p.m.

Just one more note - almost all Police Officers have at least a bachelors degree, with a very large number of masters degrees and Phd's.

By DaveMagown

And the whoppers just keep on coming!

80%+ of ALL cops, especially in large metro PD's, have just a GED or HS diploma at hire.

The notion that "almost all Police Officers have at least a bachelors degree, with a very large number of masters degrees and Phd's" is the joke of the century.

Do you seriously think the public would believe something so ridiculous????

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Don Bauder May 8, 2010 @ 10:11 p.m.

Response to post #58: Some police and fire personnel do face dangers on a regular basis. But they are more than compensated for it. And their early retirements are NOT justified. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 8, 2010 @ 10:13 p.m.

Response to post #59: I had trouble swallowing that one, too. I would like to see some proof of that. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 12, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

"Dumanis Gives the Green Light to Corruption"

and she does not offer neither consolement or vasoline to ease the pain

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Don Bauder May 12, 2010 @ 5:54 p.m.

Response to post #62: She doesn't inflict pain on anyone in the favorite few -- no matter what the crime. Best, Don Bauder

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