Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins
Various Authors 3:49 p.m., Dec. 3
I am a huge supporter of Teachers and Education, but the tax hike propositions that claim to help Teachers are just another shell game by special interests and politicians to ensure the state Legislators and their friends can continue to steal billions from taxpayers. Remember the tax hikes include a sales tax hike as well and there has been NO meaningful reform to ensure the following fraud listed below won't continue to happen.
1: HERCULES CALIFORNIA REDEVELOPMENT FRAUD -- This story was just released Thursday about the city of Hercules and 50 million dollars of redevelopment fraud. "State audits released Wednesday question tens of millions of dollars of expenditures by Hercules' former Redevelopment Agency and slam the city for a lack of internal and accounting controls.....
The audits, one looking at the Hercules Redevelopment Agency, the other one scrutinizing the city's internal controls, include responses by the city to each finding. Chiang's office identified nearly $50 million in questionable redevelopment expenditures during the audit period.
Oliva's tenure as city manager ran from April 2007 to January 2011; earlier, he had served as the city's affordable housing consultant and, briefly, as assistant city manager."
2: LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA -- Quarter-Billion-Dollar RICO Scam Alleged in L.A. Housing Developments by low income housing developer ADI
This story has really flown under the media radar, but the implications are enormous. For one, this can not be an isolated incident. This has to be the tip of an enormous iceberg.
"News that emerged from a divorce action led Los Angeles to sue Advanced Development Investment and others for $210 million, in a RICO complaint that alleges they defrauded the city for 17 years by overbilling for low-income housing projects, then secreted ill-gotten gains in India. Glendale filed a similar complaint, for another $33 million..... Los Angeles claims ADI, Ajit Development & Investment, Pacific Housing Diversified, and six people, including the companies' shareholders, officers, directors, agents and employees, profited from the RICO conspiracy for years, fraudulently getting money and loans from the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF), which includes state and federal money for development of affordable housing."
3: GLENDALE CALIFORNIA ; ADI tab is $37M and rising! This story came out a few days ago...
"After more than a year of forensic accounting,selling property and fielding legal claims, the man in charge of liquidating the assets of an affordable housing developer that allegedly defrauded Glendale, Los Angeles and other cities has amassed roughly $37 million, including $612,000 in gold"
4: CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS: State Parks hid $54 million dollars and conveniently feigned bankruptcy which allowed the legislature to pass bills privatizing State Parks and it allowed San Francisco to cede 23 acres of Candlestick State Park to Lennar homes for development.
"California state parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned and her second-in-command was fired Friday after officials discovered the department has been sitting on "hidden assets" totalling nearly $54 million."
5: CALIFORNIA REDEVELOPMENT -- Redevelopment was just reinstated by the Legislature with even less accountability than before and Brown may well sign the bills. that allow for tax hikes on "Infrastructure Improvement Districts" with out voter approval. These Districts only need to be approved by City Council. Thus the state will have free reign to hike taxes under the guise of "Infrastructure"...and one more thing....they changed the definition of infrastructure to include for-profit development.
"The just-concluded 2012 legislative session enacted a batch of bills re-creating it, or something very like it, albeit with new names, several of which are revised versions of "infrastructure financing districts."
"If Brown signs all of the pending IFD bills, including one carried by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, districts could be created without voter approval and would acquire an expanded list of allowable projects, including some inherited from the now-defunct redevelopment agencies."
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's Senate Bill 1156 allows local governments to create Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities aka redevelopment agencies with NO blight requirements! And an unelected board will determine whether a project is "sustainable". Thus redevelopment on steroids....
6: CALIFORNIA CAP AND TRADE IS EXEMPT FROM OPEN GOVERNMENT LAWS -- This is another story that has flown under the media radar with enormous consequences for California. The 50- 100 billion dollars raised from Cap and Trade will be spent in secret with no disclosure requirements.
Investigative journalist CalWatchdog reporter Katy Grimes recently broke the story that the California Air Resources Board – a government body that is suppose to be responsible for air quality – has quietly turned itself into a secretive Delaware LLC: "The little jewel, secretly placed into a trailer bill in the recently passed state budget, will allow the California Air Resources Board to conduct state business without any of that pesky transparency stuff,” she wrote.
The Legislature passed a trailer bill exempting Cap and Trade from open government laws. Thus the money can be spent however they want -- even on themselves.
Finally, ALL MONEY FROM TAX HIKES WILL GO TO PENSIONS NOT CLASSROOMS: "Most Californians would be surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share of the [Prop 30] tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to pensions instead of classrooms.But that would be no surprise to longtime observers of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which administers teacher pensions"
These are just a FEW reasons we should vote no on any tax hikes regardless of our income bracket. The state can not be trusted with anymore money no matter what the reason they give.