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The Senate Finance Committee yesterday (May 12) released a five-page document describing how San Diegan Alan Bersin, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, tried to explain his confessed mistakes in his hiring of household help. Bersin, who was given a recess appointment to the job on March 27, was hardly convincing. He spoke to committee staff members in August of last year and again in March of this year. He also answered questions in writing at other times. The issues revolved around Form I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification, which is required to document that each new employee is authorized to work in the U.S.

In August of last year, Bersin told the staff he had an I-9 for his nanny. Later, he was asked in writing about this response and said, "I misspoke and apologize for any misunderstanding." Bersin has employed ten household workers since 1993. "Mr. Bersin did not timely and completely prepare and maintain Forms I-9 for any of the ten household employees he employed, as required by law," stated the committee's report of yesterday. (One of the forms was filled out on time by an employment agency, but the employee did not sign it.) "It appears that the nominee [Bersin] was not familiar with the form I-9 requirements to establish that an employee was legally authorized to work in the United States," said the committee. However, in March, Bersin did say that he was familiar with I-9 because it had come up when he was U.S. attorney in San Diego. Bersin's wife, Lisa Foster, said "it did not occur to her to obtain I-9's," according to the committee.

The committee asked Bersin why he had identified only three employees since 2006 when there had been six. Bersin then said three of them may have been independent contractors not requiring an I-9, rather than employees. However, Bersin conceded, he had not filed amended tax returns to treat those individuals as independent contractors.

Said the committee, "The nominee was asked why he had not disclosed to the committee that he had changed the classification of the individuals from employee to independent contractor. He responded that 'I should have done that.'" It seems that Bersin, a lawyer who was former U.S. attorney, and is already the border czar and supposedly should have an understanding of I-9s and other border-related formalities, took advice from a lawyer on the matter, and now regrets it.

Bersin will get a grilling today from the Senate Finance Committee.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 May 13, 2010 @ 1:16 p.m.

I just read this in the LA TImes. Pretty funny.

Also, Bersin is looking very very OLD, father time caught up with him Bigtime!

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dcnow/2010/05/border-chief-scolded-for-not-following-hiring-law.html

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David Dodd May 13, 2010 @ 1:58 p.m.

How embarrassing. A Border Czar claiming ignorance concerning I-9. Bersin's "subcontractor" claim may also be considered a violation. The law demands that "reasonable care" be taken to ensure that all subcontractors use labor that is legally eligible to work, and the basis of whether reasonable care was taken often revolves around whether the employer properly maintains their own I-9 records.

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SurfPuppy619 May 13, 2010 @ 2:02 p.m.

And if Bersin wasn't the most politically connected Yahoo on the planet charges may have even been filed against him-like they would have been against everyday Joe.......

But the day connected Yahoo's like Bersin are held accountable is the day pigs fly.

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CuddleFish May 13, 2010 @ 2:49 p.m.

No kidding, SurfPuppy. Not only should Bersin be ousted from his position, he should be held to account in a court of law for these crimes.

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 4:32 p.m.

Response to pot #1: I'll have an update to this from today's hearing after I answer these posts. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 4:36 p.m.

Response to post #2: As I read the report by the committee, Bersin hired a lawyer who came up with the subcontractor thesis. But Bersin didn't cover the bases, like amending his income tax forms to incorporate this thesis. He says he is sorry he listened to the advice. Bersin is himself a lawyer, supposedly an expert in border activities, and a former U.S. attorney who should know right from wrong. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 4:38 p.m.

Response to post #3: Although she would not seem to have jurisdiction in this case, it's a perfect one for Bonnie Dumanis: she would turn her head very, very quickly. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 4:39 p.m.

Response to post #4: Bersin held accountable in San Diego? Or nationally? Come now. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 4:47 p.m.

SENATE FINANCE CHAIRMAN SAYS BERSIN'S TESTIMONY IS "INCREDIBLE." Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, (D.-Mont.) said today that he can't quite believe Alan Bersin's explanation that he did not realize he had to complete employment-verification forms for ten domestic workers. "I just find it incredible that you didn't know about the I-9 requirement," Baucus told Bersin. "That just doesn't pass the credibility test."

The Reader's sleuth, Matt Potter, has followed Bersin's machinations for years -- recently penning a superb cover story on Bersin's border businesses. And Potter is not surprised by this imbroglio. Thanks to Matt for providing me with this item and the earlier one I ran several weeks ago. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 13, 2010 @ 5:06 p.m.

Bersin hired a lawyer who came up with the subcontractor thesis. ...He says he is sorry he listened to the advice

This was the exact same defense David Malcolm used when he was a member of the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners with that Duke power plant-the attorney gave him the wrong advice (but Malcolm was still convicted of felony conflict-of-interest laws while working as a $20,000-a-month consultant to Duke).

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CuddleFish May 13, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Gosh, dya think Obama gasp made a mistake????

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Grasca May 13, 2010 @ 6:31 p.m.

Bersin's wife is a judge who comes from a wealthy San Diego family. Between Bersin and Foster you would think these two attorneys might not have needed outside council ? The day Bonnie D. goes after someone with the Bersin/Foster's social status is the day the SD Reader should provide free ice cream for all of us.

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CuddleFish May 13, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

LOLol!! Not holding out my bowl and waiting for pistachio!!

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Grasca May 13, 2010 @ 6:59 p.m.

The SD Reader will spare no expense - hot fudge and real whipped cream, hold the bananas. I guess if the Bersin/Foster family traveled to Sheriff Joe's domain in Arizona, only the nanny might be arrested ? I would love to see what these rich ones paid their hired help and would bet a year's supply of margaritas (SD Reader paying of course) that the salary was way below the minimum.

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 7:22 p.m.

Response to post #10: Yeah, Malcolm was convicted, but he got a wrist slap. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 7:24 p.m.

Response to post #11: If so, it's not the first mistake Obama has made. Look at his more important appointments: Emanuel, Geithner, Summers. Ugh. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.

Response to post #12: I will tell Editor and Publisher Jim Holman that he will never have to worry about handing out free ice cream to everyone in town. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 7:30 p.m.

Response to post #13: The Reader is based in Little Italy, so pistachio would be our ice cream of choice. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 13, 2010 @ 7:32 p.m.

Response to post #14: First we were handing out ice cream. Now you have escalated to margaritas. What's next? BMWs? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 13, 2010 @ 7:46 p.m.

If so, it's not the first mistake Obama has made. Look at..... Geithner

The biggest mistake Obama has made is a toss up between Geitner and this clown;

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CuddleFish May 13, 2010 @ 7:51 p.m.

There's a solution to mistakes. Correcting them begins with admitting you were wrong.

Oh, wait ...

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Visduh May 13, 2010 @ 8:46 p.m.

Pistachio? Little Italy would demand spumoni.

But what I find incredible is that Baucus of all people is criticizing Bersin. What's even more incredible is that a quote from Baucus was coherent and understandable. Baucus' performance during the Obamacare debate, as one of the chief cheerleaders, was sickening. NOW he cares about an Obama appointee and is taking him to task? Wonders never cease.

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Grasca May 13, 2010 @ 11:54 p.m.

Is "misspoke" the new attorney lingo for what some would term a "lie?" Keeping with the SD Reader Food and Drink Awards for Busting Bersin I suggest a complementary dinner at a 5 star restaurant in San Diego - if one exists. The ice cream and margaritas seemed like sure things in our fair city. Suggestions for the 5 star experience on Mr. Holman would be welcomed. No cheap out rewards involving Floatotopias are allowed.

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CuddleFish May 14, 2010 @ 1:50 a.m.

LOLOL!!! Ya killing me, Grasca, ya killing me!! :)

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 7:39 a.m.

Response to post #20: One blogger or columnist simply listed Bernanke statements, such as the subprime problem is over. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 7:41 a.m.

Response to post #21: After the airing of the Lewinsky matter, Bill Clinton confessed to a group of Southern ministers, "I have sinned." But it was too late. And he probably sinned again. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 7:44 a.m.

Response to post #22: Before I made that post, I googled "Italian" and "pistachio" and found some recipes. But you're quite right: I was probably thinking of spumoni. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 7:47 a.m.

Response to post #23: Yes, I think "misspoke" really means "lied." As to feting San Diegans, you will have to deal directly with Jim Holman. I don't make such decisions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 7:48 a.m.

Response to post #24: Don't expire on us, CuddleFish. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 7:51 a.m.

Somehow the Bersin Nannygate situation reminds me of attorney Patrick Frega and his special relationship with 3 well known jurists in San Diego. All four of the eventually accused and found guilty knew better and hid behind their positions of power and privilege for a very long time until justice was served. Oh yes and each was an attorney duly licensed to practice in the State of California.

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 7:58 a.m.

Magna cum laude doesn't get you much in terms of legal brain power these days. And he is reportedly bilingual in Spanish.

See his online bio below -

"In 1968, Mr. Bersin received his A.B. in government from Harvard University (magna cum laude). He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and awarded post-graduate scholarships by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Football Hall of Fame. While at Harvard, Mr. Bersin was selected as a member of the All-Ivy, All-New England and All-East Football Teams and was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1995. From 1969 to 1971, Mr. Bersin attended Balliol College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1974, he received his J.D. degree from the Yale Law School. Mr. Bersin was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honorary) by the University of San Diego in 1994, by California Western School of Law in 1996, and by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2000. He is fluent in Spanish.

Mr. Bersin was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended public schools in New York City. He is married to Judge Lisa Foster and is the father of three daughters: Alissa, Madeleine and Amalia Rose."

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Burwell May 14, 2010 @ 8:27 a.m.

Bersin has been over educated to the point of imbecility.

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Visduh May 14, 2010 @ 8:41 a.m.

That bio of Bersin's also reveals that he avoided the draft by being a professional student during the Vietnam War.

For those who might have missed it, the front page top story in the U-T today was Bersin's grilling by the Senate Finance Committee and its chair, Baucus. The more blistering quotes from Baucus were missing from the story, which gave Bersin's mouthpiece (oops, attorney) plenty of space. Then, on the editorial page, there is a piece that says Bersin showed himself to be "tone deaf', whatever that meant. But, undaunted, the U-T plows on to say that he's right on guest workers. The implication is that he should be confirmed anyway. Has that paper no shame? No, that paper has no shame when it comes to its sacred cows in the local establishment.

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CuddleFish May 14, 2010 @ 8:42 a.m.

He's a pretty tough, not to say ruthless, guy. In my dealings with him when he was Superintendent, he would listen really well, identify problems quickly, do what was needed to get what was needed. He believed in what he was doing, supported and promoted those who got on board with the Blueprint, crushed those who wouldn't. Smart as he was, I don't think he ever grasped the situation with bilingual education here.

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 9:59 a.m.

Response to post #30: I will never forget a case I covered some time ago. A San Diego lawyer (also married to a judge) had fallen for the Nigerian scam. He had plundered his clients' accounts to keep feeding the Nigerian crooks who obviously had completely conned him, but he was in denial. The clients sued. The lawyer went into bankruptcy. Then he stopped showing up in bankruptcy court. The BK judge put out a bench warrant for him. But the marshals said they wouldn't pick him up because it wasn't a criminal case. One of the lawyers representing the fleeced clients said, "If he weren't a lawyer, he would be in front of this court." Best, Don Bauder

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paul May 14, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

Grasca said: "The SD Reader will spare no expense - hot fudge and real whipped cream, hold the bananas."

No bananas? What is wrong with you? (sigh, ... deep breath) I guess we can agree to disagree.... accept it is people with anti-American views like you that are ruining this country!

(completely kidding, of course, except for the part about the bananas, anti-American views and the country being ruined).

;)

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:01 a.m.

Response to post #31: Goodness! His credentials are almost as good as those of former Mayor Dick Murphy! Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:06 a.m.

Response to post #32: See my response to post #31 above. Best, Don Bauder

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paul May 14, 2010 @ 10:09 a.m.

Don't forget that Bersin's wife is not just a lawyer, but a Superior Court judge.

The US Attorney specially charged with "coordinating law enforcement on the border between the U.S. and Mexico" up until 1998 (according to wiki) and now nominated be the border Czar, combined with a Superior Court judge don't understand I-9 reporting requirements.

Yeah, nothing fishy there.

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 10:14 a.m.

Maybe Bersin will withdraw his name from nomination if the right people encourage this move ? I recall that he had about 12 schools principals removed from their school sites with no warning. A lawsuit followed. Ruthless and well connected are 2 words that spring to mind when Bersin's name pops up again. He seems to be qualified to hold any job. And able to interview all of those nannies in Spanish.

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 10:18 a.m.

Bananas might be considered Un American in some circles if they are grown abroad and picked by foreigners. I was trying to be politically correct. I think there are bananas (organic) grown in Santa Barbara so SD Reader has options.

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:28 a.m.

Response to post #39: It's like that famous remark, "Only the little people pay taxes." To paraphrase: "Only the little people have to fill out these forms." Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 10:34 a.m.

Could the "queen of mean" (aka Leona Helmsley) and Bersin share DNA? She was once quoted as snarling “only little people pay taxes.” There seems to be a family resemblance.

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:39 a.m.

Response to post #40: Even if he is disqualified for this job, they will give him another one. That's been the history. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

Response to post #41: Santa Barbara real estate is too high, even in this downswirl, for bananas to be economically grown there very long. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:44 a.m.

Response to post #42: There was a lot of politics involved in that principals case. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 10:46 a.m.

Response to post #44: Come to think of it, there is a resemblance, particularly in the mouth. Best, Don Bauder

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paul May 14, 2010 @ 11:14 a.m.

Grasca,

The big banana nursery was in La Conchita (between Ventura and Santa Barabara). I used to stop there for samples and to buy a tree or two. The nursery closed about ten years ago, and then La Conchita was almost completely wiped off the map by mudslides.

Many bananas grow well enough in San Diego. I tried last year, but the bananas got so heavy that before they were ripe the tree blew over.

Don, the key to Santa Barbara real estate is to make sure you bought it at least forty-five years ago. It is wonderful to visit my parents, but the house I grew up in is now way out of my price range.

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 12:03 p.m.

"BERSIN UNLIKELY TO RECEIVE SENATE CONFIRMATION," SAYS PUBLICATION SPECIALIZING IN HOMELAND SECURITY. Homeland Security Today, a publication devoted to homeland security matters, said today (May 14) that Alan Bersin is not likely to receive support from leaders of the Senate Finance Committee when his nomination for a full term comes up at the end of next year. Bersin is in office now because of a recess appointment granted him by President Obama. At yesterday's hearing, "Sen. Max Baucus (D.-Mont.) repeatedly slammed Bersin for his failure to obtain federal I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for ten domestic employees at his home in California over the past 20 years," said the publication. Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa) also hammered Bersin at the hearing. Thanks again to the Reader's Matt Potter for coming up with these stories from publications. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard May 14, 2010 @ 12:16 p.m.

Allan Bersin directed a farce at SD unified that did not amuse this town, but the farcical mock outrage over neglected paperwork in these hearings really gets me laughing. Senators belong to a class of rich abusers of domestic help, if they don't hire undocumented workers themselves, they take drinks from their serving tray without comment when they socialize.

If Mr. Bersin filed W2 and paid all taxes and overtime, and obeyed labor laws, he should get a pass on forms designed to assure compliance with these laws. Real labor law breaking is blatant in this town. Those men curbside at 6 AM are not having a party.

We can oppose Mr. Bersin for scandalously bad leadership without hypocrisy. We have REAL grievances, spread the word.

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CuddleFish May 14, 2010 @ 12:27 p.m.

Well, look, Psycholizard, they got Capone on tax evasion.

Totally agree with you, by the way. In a perfect world Bersin wouldn't have to be junked on a technicality. For that matter, in a perfect world, Bersin wouldn't keep failing upwards. The Senate will play their little game of faux outrage and hand him his hat. The best we can hope is that some citizens will understand there were much better reasons he shouldn't have the post.

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 12:29 p.m.

The scary part will be the next job which Bersin qualifies for because of all his magna cum skills. If he were Catholic, I might think Bishop or Archbishop pending the dissolution of his marriage. I have it on no good authority that he and Leona are cousins many times removed. Both enjoy American grown bananas brought to them by servants. Leona, of course, is in the past tense.

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SurfPuppy619 May 14, 2010 @ 12:34 p.m.

Patrick Frega and his special relationship with 3 well known jurists in San Diego.

I remember when Frega sued Sam Spital for malpractice, and in closing arguments he pulled out a HUGE sword and started swinging it around the court room calling it the "sword of justice"!!!!!!!!

The judge and jurors peed their pants with that stunt.....

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SurfPuppy619 May 14, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

Bersin has been over educated to the point of imbecility.

By Burwell

You're being too kind B

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SurfPuppy619 May 14, 2010 @ 12:40 p.m.

The implication is that he should be confirmed anyway.

Hmmm......Kimba Woods had the same problem when trying to become US AG-and it didn't seem to work out for her, and I doubt it will work out the way Bersin is hoping...

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 12:43 p.m.

Another good jurist story is about one of Frega's jurist pals and his judge wife.

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paul May 14, 2010 @ 12:55 p.m.

Grasca said: "Both enjoy American grown bananas brought to them by servants"

Thank God they are American grown, and not some Marxist bananas.

I wonder if his patriotic All-American bananas were grown in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Samoa or Guam? Maybe even from a little farm in Guantanamo?

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 1:05 p.m.

I hope my favorite Chiquita bananas have papers for legal food immigration.

http://www.chiquitabananas.com/Banana-Information/find-banana-farm-map.aspx

I suspect Bersin would not check his bananas for legal status. A banana expert attorney could also give him bad advice which would justify any questionable decisions on Mr. Bersin's part.

I think we live in a Banana Republic and not America's Finest City when it comes to little dictators and their ways. Strong mayor and all that jazz.

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CuddleFish May 14, 2010 @ 1:10 p.m.

By God, Grasca, if I swung the other way, you'd be my girl! :P

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 1:21 p.m.

The heart of the Bersin matter is well stated by Baucus.

"To credibly enforce the law you first must follow the law," Baucus said.

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 1:22 p.m.

Obeying the substance of the law is a new one for me. Does this work with expired meters if you put some money in the slot ?

"I believe the substance of the immigration law was observed," he said. Bersin added he has spent 20 years in public service and prides himself on his reputation for truthfulness and candor.

Gagging.

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SurfPuppy619 May 14, 2010 @ 2:11 p.m.

Bersin added he has spent 20 years ON the public DOLE, unable to make a buck in the private sector, and prides himself on his reputation for truthfulness and candor.

Fixed!

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Burwell May 14, 2010 @ 2:24 p.m.

It seems unfair that Bersin is being allowed to skate on what appears to be his willful failure to obtain I-9s from his servants. The bakery store owner in Pacific Beach was indicted for doing exactly the same thing Bersin did, and is facing financial ruin and a lengthy jail term. I feel that Bersin and his wife should be investigated and charged with felonies. He should not be able use his political connections and the power of the Ratner fortune to escape responsibility for his crimes. The presiding judge of the Superior Court should suspend his wife from hearing cases without delay. He should also be suspended from his government position.

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 2:57 p.m.

Response to post #51: The I-9 incidents don't both me so much as the lawyerlike attempt to say that they weren't filed in some cases because the workers were independent contractors. A blatant dodge -- typical of lawyers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 2:59 p.m.

Response to post #49: Bananas grow in San Diego? That's new to me. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3 p.m.

Response to post #52: Matt Potter's recent Reader cover story on Bersin gave many reasons he shouldn't have the job. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:02 p.m.

Response to post #53: I'm sure he would enjoy being addressed as "Your Holiness." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:05 p.m.

Response to post #54: I am not aware of the sword-swinging incident. Classic. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:06 p.m.

Response to post #55: You're denigrating a star football player. That isn't done in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 3:06 p.m.

68 You are one funny guy. Those clerical robes seem to hide a multitude of sins. Perhaps it could have been a good fit for person who obeys the "substance of the law."

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:08 p.m.

Response to post #56: The two AG candidates that Bill Clinton threw under the bus over this issue were peanuts compared to Bersin's oversight (or whatever it was). Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:10 p.m.

Response to poste #57: Yes, that was another classic San Diego yarn. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:11 p.m.

Response to post #58: Probably in a banana republic run by a U.S. conglomerate. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:13 p.m.

Response to post #59: Agreed. Strong mayor = banana republic. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:15 p.m.

Response to post #60: I don't get it. Wrong generation. Best,, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:16 p.m.

Response to post #61: Lawmakers having to follow the law? Heresy! Best, Don Bauder

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Grasca May 14, 2010 @ 3:16 p.m.

This article details the Ratner fortune and provides a guide map to Bersin's wealth by marriage. It is a good read from the SD Reader. Entree into the closed circles of power come to those who have the sense to marry well. No special IRS filing are required - just an iron clad prenup.

Obama taps Alan Bersin to oversee the border By Matt Potter | Published Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:21 p.m.

Response to post #62: "Truthfulness and candor" -- and redundancy. Best, Don Bauder

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

Response to post #63: Fixed like that dog in the photo is fixed? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

Response to post #64: Dream on. This is San Diego. Would you hand the job to Bonnie Dumanis? I will never forget the New Yorker cartoon of many years ago. A judge is peering down at an obviously down-and-out, very poor fellow -- a tatterdemalion. Says the judge: "Crime doesn't pay at your level." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 3:30 p.m.

Response to post #78: It was an excellent cover story by Matt. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 14, 2010 @ 4:52 p.m.

Fixed like that dog in the photo is fixed? Best, Don Bauder

Please do not ever mention the words "fixed" and "dog" in the same sentence again.

That gives me chills running all the way down to my tail!

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Don Bauder May 14, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Response to post #83: Listen, I had to go through the fixing of two male dogs and four male cats. I suffered. My wife says it's sexist: I should have suffered equally when our female dogs and cats were spayed. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 15, 2010 @ 9:05 a.m.

To head back toward the topic, this stuff about employees being independent contractors is the oldest and phoniest ruse in the book. A person comes to your home or place of business and works under close supervision for an indefinite period if time, yet is a contractor who is "independent". Gimme a break!

But it's done all the time. And it is nothing very new, either. In the 70's, in Texas with its lax law enforcement, there were factories there that had no employees on the production floor. The people were all "independent contractors", even if they were on an assembly line! No payroll taxes collected or paid, no workers comp purchased, no earnings reported to the IRS. Total "honor" system. So the contractors didn't pay their own self-employment tax, and now that they need their Social Security don't have any--or have very little--because they have no payroll history to support it. Yeah, they were beating the system, or so they thought, along with the abusive employer, and now they are beaten. Real smart, guys!

If I were ready to cut Bersin some slack on this matter, that came to a screeching halt when I read "independent contractor."

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Don Bauder May 15, 2010 @ 9:26 a.m.

Response to post #85: You are correct. "Independent contractor" is a scam. There are brokerage houses who use the ruse: their brokers are "independent contractors." The IRS should tighten up hard on this one. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 15, 2010 @ 4:21 p.m.

Yeah, they were beating the system, or so they thought, along with the abusive employer, and now they are beaten. Real smart, guys!

The Independant Ccontractor is mainly a scam for the employer, not the employee. The employer can get around the workers comp and SS taxes, while ther employee ony gets around the SS tax, which they would get back in the end in the form od SS at age 66 or 67. The benefits of an IC from taxes flow 90% to the employer, not the employee- who would be a fool to go IC when they are not IC, or have a choice.

As for brokerage houses, I'm not sure if they are true IC's. In real estate we were all IC's, but we were truly IC's. We came to work when we wanted, we went to client meetings when we wanted, we made our own business plan and we implemented it, we left when we wanted, we were essentially a mini business within a business.

That is the key the IRS will look at when making the call on IC's-was the person doing THEIR own work according to THEIR own rules. If not then the IC won't apply-and I know we went over this very issue sometime within th epast few years on one fo these blog entries.........

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David Dodd May 15, 2010 @ 7:02 p.m.

IC's are often necessary, I've contracted them in places I've worked for several times. Internal temporary build-outs, installation of machinery, electrical expansion, and so on, it makes no sense to hire a crew only to lay them off a few weeks later. Smart companies that hire IC's make them sign paperwork that holds them responsible for I-9 status, worker's comp., and so on, and holds them liable for any subcontrators they use.

There's a right way to do it, a stupid way to do it, and there's people like Berson who try to use it as an excuse.

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Burwell May 15, 2010 @ 9:35 p.m.

IC's are often necessary, I've contracted them in places I've worked for several times. Internal temporary build-outs, installation of machinery, electrical expansion, and so on, it makes no sense to hire a crew only to lay them off a few weeks later.

In California a contractor in the building industry cannot legally hire an IC unless the IC has a contractor's license. Contractors must treat unlicensed laborers as employees and pay all required employment taxes.

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Don Bauder May 15, 2010 @ 9:42 p.m.

Response to post #87: Yes, from what I have learned, the IC concept is better for the employer. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 15, 2010 @ 9:45 p.m.

Response to post #88: Yes, if the person is REALLY an independent contractor, there is nothing wrong with it. In Bersin's case, it certainly appeared he just used IC to try to explain his mistake (or deliberate dodge). Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 15, 2010 @ 9:46 p.m.

Response to post #89: Good information. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd May 15, 2010 @ 10:53 p.m.

In California a contractor in the building industry cannot legally hire an IC unless the IC has a contractor's license. Contractors must treat unlicensed laborers as employees and pay all required employment taxes.

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

Absolutely true, presuming that the IC is also licensed. I also know for a fact that some don't comply with this requirement. My comment was more related to, let's say, you have a widget company with more factory space than you're using, and you expand. You hire an IC. Some work of the IC goes to their subcontractrs. Your widget company holds the responsibility of ensuring - at least by way of documentation of the IC's signature of compliance - that the I-9 situation of the IC is in compliance. Part of that documentation includes assurance that the IC also only contracts subs that ensure I-9 compliance. This is generally done in the contract, unless, you know, people tend not to be so thorough or perhaps not so careful.

My point (relating to the story) is that Bersin is entirely at risk for not having an IC stipulate that he/she/they are I-9 compliant, in writing. Where violations are more penalized often depends on the record of the person (Bersin in this case) keeping I-9 documentation on their own employees. I'm certain that Bersin will not face any charges. Unfortunately.

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Burwell May 15, 2010 @ 11:54 p.m.

Where violations are more penalized often depends on the record of the person (Bersin in this case) keeping I-9 documentation on their own employees. I'm certain that Bersin will not face any charges. Unfortunately.

The owners of the French Bakey in Pacific Beach were indicted for hiring workers with invalid I-9s. Bersin's situation is far worse, he did not even bother to fill out I-9s for his servants or pay the taxes the law said he owed. Bersin and his wife should either be indicted, or the charges against the French Bakery owners should be dropped. This is a fundamental issue of justice.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/apr/21/Popular-restaurant-hit-with-immigration-charges/

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David Dodd May 16, 2010 @ 12:55 a.m.

@ #94, I entirely agree. In the case of the French Bakery, I'm not sure of the specifics (didn't see the I-9's, nor the documents). I have always photocopied my employee's documents and attached them to the company's copy of the I-9. While it isn't a requirement, and while I don't know if the French Bakery did that, it would have been in their, and in anyone's, best interest. Employees could present passable forged documentation or else documentation that isn't their own - sometimes it is too difficult to tell. If the employer has photocopies of the documents, then most likely (unless it's obvious), they wouldn't even be prosecuted.

For anyone following this thread and is interested, this is an I-9:

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

It's one of the most simple government forms I've ever seen.

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Don Bauder May 16, 2010 @ 6:20 a.m.

Response to post #93: If the committee were doing its job, it would interview those whom Bersin listed as ICs. If there have been violations, Bersin should face the same treatment as other Americans do when they fake IC status for a worker. But I agree with you: it ain't gonna happen. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 16, 2010 @ 6:25 a.m.

Response to post #94: Agree, but America has two sets of laws: one for the average citizen and one for the privileged. Remember how John Moores got off after dumping $650 million of Peregrine Systems stock, while lesser officials went to prison when dumping $3 million or less worth? That was a classic example. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 16, 2010 @ 6:28 a.m.

Response to post #95: Let's watch this adventure and see how government tries to bury the Bersin case. Already, mainstream media in San Diego are just ignoring it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 May 16, 2010 @ 10:42 a.m.

If there have been violations, Bersin should face the same treatment as other Americans...

By dbauder

hehehehe...come on Don, it is way too early in the morning to make me laugh.

Give me at least until noon.

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Don Bauder May 16, 2010 @ 12:53 p.m.

Response to post #99: It's after noon now. Start giggling. Write your Congressional representative and say that Bersin won't be treated as other citizens get treated. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 17, 2010 @ 1:37 p.m.

I still stick to the theory that he has the goods on a lot of his buddies, and gets promoted rather than spilling the beans.

any chance getting him tested for Dementia yet?

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Don Bauder May 17, 2010 @ 3:27 p.m.

Response to post #101: Your theory is a sound one. Most of the senators probably hire illegals. Bersin might be able to figure which senators couldn't pass the sniff test. So they will bury the issue. Best, Don Bauder

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