Archive for December 4th, 2009

iePolitics Commentary: Stringer and Boxer, certified losers

bad legal advice

By Michael Kane
December 4, 2009

County Counsel Ruth Stringer and Public Defender Doreen Boxer were certified by Superior Court Judge Chris Warner as losers yesterday.

Yup, the Judge threw out of court the lawsuit that Stringer the ‘Incompetent” and Boxer filed against the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association.

Seems these two excuses for lawyers thought they could get a court to agree with them that the Association couldn’t represent their public defender members when Boxer tries to torment them.

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Published: Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 16A

If someone gives a California state official a $1,000 gift, the official is legally obligated to report it. If the same gift is given to the official’s spouse or children, the reporting obligation vanishes.

The loophole this leaves for someone trying to influence legislation, or policy, is obvious. And the California Fair Political Practices Commission is moving to close it by making officials’ relatives follow the same rules on gifts as the officials themselves.

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By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

These are very uncertain and contentious times in California. The state’s economic and political turmoil has spawned a flood of potentially far-reaching ballot measures for the 2010 elections, ranging from calling a constitutional convention to overturning the ban on same-sex marriages.

Thirty-seven initiatives have already been cleared for signature-gathering and at last count 44 more were awaiting official title language. Not all will make the ballot; many are virtual duplicates of others and some are just shots in the dark with no chance of qualifying. It’s not inconceivable, however, that voters will face a couple of dozen measures with serious political and financial backing next year, harkening back to the 1980s and 1990s, when the initiative trade was thriving.

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Sun Editorial: Lawmakers to share pain

Posted: 12/03/2009 06:53:58 PM PST

State legislators and statewide elected officials will see their pay reduced 18 percent starting Monday.

Does that sadden you?

Didn’t think so.

The delicious irony is that lawmakers had the nerve – with the state suffering a $21 billion-and-growing deficit after state services have been slashed, employees furloughed, education devastated and college students pounded by fee hikes – to protest that a pay cut for themselves scheduled to take effect after the November 2010 election would be illegal.

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DailyBulletin Editorial: Recruiting for CAO good move

Posted: 12/03/2009 06:52:59 PM PST

We’re glad to see the Board of Supervisors has decided to recruit for a new county administrative officer.

The board on Tuesday directed staff to post the opening and seek candidates from throughout Southern California, saying that they would review applications as they came in beginning Dec. 15.

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PressEnterprise Editorial: Gift gambit

10:00 PM PST on Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

Limiting the freebies special interests can hand to public officials matters little if those same gifts can go instead to officials’ family members. So the state’s political watchdog agency should tighten the rules on gifts to politicians’ families, to close a sizable loophole in regulations meant to deter influence peddling and insider dealing.

The Fair Political Practices Commission plans to discuss revising the rules covering gifts to relatives on Dec. 10. Currently, the state’s ethics rules limit public officials from receiving more than $420 in gifts annually from any one interest group. And officials have to file public reports listing what they received.

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A San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge today dismissed a lawsuit brought by Public Defender Doreen Boxer and County Counsel Ruth Stringer against the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association.

Boxer and Stringer filed suit in an effort to stop Deputy District Attorneys from acting as union representatives in discipline matters involving Deputy Public Defenders.

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