Archive for March 11th, 2010

As federal stimulus dollars start to run out, layoff announcements by local governments abound.

The stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama was nothing more than a band-aid to delay the inevitable.

Government, the largest employer in the nation is beginning the painful process of downsizing. A downsizing never-seen-before by this generation.

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InlandPolitics has learned Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) Director Patrick Petre has ordered an inquiry to determine the source of leaks which has led to the disclosure of management and quality of care deficiencies plaguing the facility.

Stories appearing on iepolitics.com, the San Bernardino County Sentinel newspaper and this blog appear to have raised serious concerns with hospital management.

Instead of giving direction to address the medical care problems, the order has been given to find the whistle-blowers.

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Grand Terrace attorney Frank Guzman has become the second candidate seeking to unseat San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.

Guzman, who has been highly critical of Ramos’ personal and professional conduct and its effect on the image of the District Attorney’s office took out nominating papers yesterday.

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RivPE: Unemployment rate hits record high

10:08 PM PST on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By JACK KATZANEK
The Press-Enterprise

Inland Southern California’s job base continues to absorb body blows, as January’s unemployment soared to an all-time high of 15 percent, a state report released Wednesday found.

Two years of recession has cost Riverside and San Bernardino counties more than 160,000 jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported. That means that there are no longer jobs for roughly one in eight Inland residents who had been working before 2008 started.

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RivPE: Inland tribes rank among biggest spenders

By PE Politics
March 10, 2010 2:09 PM

Some Inland tribes with casinos are among the state’s top political spenders since 2000, according to a new report from the state’s campaign-finance watchdog.

The Fair Political Practices Commission study found that 15 entities altogether spent more than $1 billion on campaigns and Capitol lobbying.

Topping the list was the California Teachers Association ($211,849,298), California State Council of Service Employees ($107,487,272) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($104,912,997).

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RivPE: Benoit cleared in campaign complaint

Benoit

By PE Politics
March 10, 2010 3:44 PM

The state Fair Political Practices Commission has closed its investigation into allegations that former Inland legislator John Benoit violated campaign-finance laws.

The complaint alleged that Benoit, now a Riverside County supervisor, avoided campaign contribution limits, failed to itemize subvendor payments, illegally moved money between committees and used campaign money for personal use.

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Joy Juedes, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/10/2010 09:40:45 PM PST

MENTONE – Third District Supervisor Neil Derry fielded questions about Redlands again at the Mentone Area Community Association meeting on Tuesday night.

Derry began by saying he recently moved to Redlands.

“So we’re local now – just down the street from you, actually,” he said.

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SBSun: Jim Miller resigns from Grand Terrace council

Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/10/2010 06:37:39 PM PST

GRAND TERRACE – Councilman Jim Miller, who has been charged a single felony count for an alleged conflict-of-interest violation, has resigned.

Miller’s letter to City Hall stated his resignation became effective Wednesday.

“It has been my extreme pleasure serving the community that I love, and it is in that spirit, given the recent turmoil, that I step down from the council,” Miller wrote.

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11:08 PM PST on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By LESLIE BERKMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Foreclosure activity in Inland Southern California and the nation declined in February, compared to a year earlier, which may reflect the efforts of government and banks to prevent a new avalanche of repossessed houses from flooding the market and depressing home prices.

The metropolitan statistical area composed of Riverside and San Bernardino counties last month continued to be a foreclosure hotbed, ranking fourth in the nation. It had one foreclosure related filing–including notices of defaults, trustee sales and bank repossessions–for every 133 households.

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10:00 PM PST on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

More layoffs are on the agenda for a special school board meeting at 2:30 p.m. today in the first-floor conference room of the Riverside Unified School District offices at 3380 14th St.

The board will consider two resolutions, one to send preliminary layoff notices to 12 teacher-librarians at middle and high schools, and the other to lay off 18 adult school teachers for next year.

To read entire story, click here.

RivPE: Governor appoints Bill Leonard to administration post

10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

By JIM MILLER
Sacramento Bureau

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed longtime Inland lawmaker Bill Leonard on Tuesday as secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency.

Leonard, a Republican member of the Board of Equalization since 2002, resigned Tuesday morning.

He becomes the latest Inland politician in recent weeks given administration posts as Schwarzenegger finishes his term.

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DailyBulletin: Fontana schools prepare for sizable layoffs

District tries to narrow focus amid $30 million budget deficit

Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Created: 03/10/2010 09:40:54 PM PST

FONTANA – The school district, which has been beset with a record $30 million deficit, passed sweeping layoffs and program cuts last week as part of a massive budget overhaul.

“All of the recommendations I would make to the board are painful and difficult, but it has to be done based on the governor’s current proposed budget,” said Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks.

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SFChronicle: Meg Whitman can manage but can she govern?

Meg Whitman

Debra J. Saunders

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It took me five months to get my first interview with former eBay CEO and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman. When I did, it was after a press event where the news reporters were not allowed to ask questions. Swell.

Her supersize campaign has been rolling her out like an Easter egg. She has been in a shell – for which she has paid handsomely. She has contributed nearly $40 million to her campaign, yet she told me she and her husband, Griff Harsh IV, fly coach, “because it’s cheaper.”

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Steve Poizner

Some say the GOP governor candidate’s strategy has given his rival too big an edge.

By Michael Rothfeld

March 10, 2010 | 5:59 p.m.

Reporting from Sacramento – Steve Poizner was in his first year as state insurance commissioner in 2007 when his name began to surface as a likely candidate to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor.

There was no other Republican on the horizon with Poizner’s potentially winning attributes: a personal fortune and a reputation (in the past, at least) as a political moderate. Soon he began scooping up endorsements from local officials across the state. And then Meg Whitman came along.

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Brown

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

State employee unions are lining up behind Jerry Brown for governor.

A quick tally of donations to the Democrat’s campaign shows that four state labor groups have given about $50,000 so far combined, even though he’s had no real opposition in the run-up to the June primary.

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By Denis C. Theriault

dtheriault@mercurynews.com
Posted: 03/10/2010 05:36:47 PM PST
Updated: 03/10/2010 10:21:42 PM PST

SACRAMENTO — Despite another month of good news for California’s slowly recovering tax revenues, finance officials are preparing to delay hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to the state’s trial courts, community colleges and universities.

The deferrals, approved in a special legislative session last month, are part of an ongoing effort to keep the state’s checking account safely in the black. Officials are poised to pull the trigger on at least some of the deferrals, even after the State Controller’s Office on Wednesday reported that tax revenues for the 2009-10 fiscal year are now nearly $2 billion over budgeted estimates.

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From chauffeurs to charities to parties, the five-member board hands out money from its discretionary accounts with little oversight.

By Garrett Therolf

March 10, 2010 | 5:40 p.m.

As Los Angeles County supervisors prepare to carve deeply into everything from public safety to social services, they also are spending millions in taxpayer dollars to burnish their public images, pay for chauffeurs, hold parties for friends and lobbyists and support pet projects.

Each supervisor receives $3.4 million a year to spend as he or she sees fit, without any public vote or scrutiny.

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