Archive for April 6th, 2010

iePolitics: Some Judges Getting A Little Nervous?

Written by Administrator
April 6th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Why would anyone think that?  First we have California Attorney General Jerry Brown and San Bernardino County Mike Ramos and their conspiracy theory of extortion and bribery that, if correct, involves two Superior Court judges, the Court of Appeal, and a retired Supreme Court justice.  Then there is the recent revelation that Judge Duke Rouse, the judge hearing the Gutierrez and Erwin matters, has a close personal relationship with the attorney handling the sexual harassment claim against Mike Ramos.  He was also a former partner in the firm and may very well have a financial interest as well.

Throughout this corruption scandal we have seen several judges sign search/arrest warrants based solely on the evidence provided by a known liar who is facing criminal charges himself for falsifying information to the Grand Jury.  That doesn’t look a little suspicisous.

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One thing is certain. San Bernardino County’s budget problem is far more severe than anyone ever imagined. Especially the employee unions.

Looking at their websites and the information being provided to their members it appears everyone is about to be blind-sided by more bad news.

The county is clearly going to want the unions to cancel all negotiated wage and benefit increases. Yes, I said “cancel” not “defer”. A cancellation would have delayed any significant layoffs. Not anymore. Expect both.

As a matter of fact talk of “concessions” could rear its ugly head.

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Written by Administrator
April 6th, 2010 at 6:00 am

We hear that each passing day brings to light new problems within the county that had been covered up by former county administrative officer Mark Uffer, current assistant county administrative officer Dean Arabatzis, and county counsel Ruth Stringer.

We know that Stringer will be gone shortly and thought has it that Arabatzis is on his way out as well.

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California Watch
A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting
Money and Politics

California Watch Blog

April 6, 2010 | Lance Williams

In post-recession, post-stimulus-program America, we’ve gotten used to some frighteningly big numbers being thrown around in the discussion of public finance.

Nevertheless, it was difficult not to be alarmed at the bottom line in a study of California’s pension obligations conducted by Stanford graduate students and touted Monday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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10:31 PM PDT on Monday, April 5, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

State and local prosecutors may be closer to reaching an agreement with San Bernardino County over the release of documents in the Colonies Partners legal settlement.

San Bernardino County Assistant District Attorney James Hackleman and state Senior Assistant Attorney General Gary Schons met with County Counsel Ruth Stringer for 2½ hours on Monday, continuing a discussion begun last week.

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Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Created: 04/05/2010 06:13:07 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – A criminal case against Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Rex Gutierrez inched ever closer to trial Monday.

Lawyers in the case against Gutierrez appeared briefly in San Bernardino Superior Court to confirm a trial readiness hearing on Friday before Judge Duke Rouse. The trial is scheduled to start Monday but could still face a last-minute delay.

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/05/2010 06:06:00 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Progress was made Monday in negotiations between state and local prosecutors and County Counsel Ruth Stringer regarding the potential release of confidential information from the county’s settlement with Rancho Cucmonga-based Colonies Partners LP in 2006, officials said.

Discussions lasted for more than 2 1/2 hours, and while all parties left the table without a final resolution, various options to finalize the matter were identified, said Susan Mickey, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.

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Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/05/2010 08:34:16 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The City Council selected Third Ward Councilman Tobin Brinker as Mayor Pro Tem in a divided vote Monday after talks that included two other nominations and allegations of Brown Act violations.

The Mayor Pro Tem is responsible for chairing council meetings in the mayor’s absence and also gets to assign other council members to legislative, budget and other committees.

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Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/05/2010 05:44:28 PM PDT

Prosecutors have dismissed criminal charges against a 51-year-old medical marijuana patient, who lingered in county jail for months after being arrested for growing a dozen of the controversial plants.

Deputy District Attorney Rosa Clark announced the news Friday at an unscheduled hearing for Don Kevin Lawrence in San Bernardino Superior Court, the same day The Sun ran a story featuring Lawrence’s case.

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RivPE: 37th SD: Ad watch

By PE Politics
April 5, 2010 5:27 PM

The campaign committee created to push a part-time Legislature — Citizens for California Reform — has been running TV ads leading up to next week’s special election in the 37th Senate District. Donations from the state optometrists association and the unions representing firefighters and correctional officers have paid for the ads.

One of the commercials calls Assemblyman Bill Emmerson “just another tax-and-spend politician.”

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InlandPolitics: From the Don Kurth for Assembly campaign

April 5, 2010

CONTACT: Jessica Austin

Kurth Leads Fight Against Illegal Immigration; Published in Local Paper

Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dr. Don Kurth and the leading candidate for the 63rd Assembly District calls for immediate action against illegal immigration and calls for more border security in response to Arizona rancher murdered by an illegal immigrant.

Here is today’s editorial from the Daily Bulletin:

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RivPE: Senate candidates pledge access to calendars

By PE Politics
April 5, 2010 2:49 PM

The leading candidates in next week’s special election for Riverside County’s 37th Senate District promise that, if elected, they will make their calendars and schedules available to reporters.

Whether the state Senate will allow them to do so is another matter.

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On politics in the Golden State

[Updated] April 5, 2010 | 8:39 pm

Republicans hoping to keep the governor’s seat in party hands can breathe a sigh of relief: Meg Whitman is not running out of money.

Whitman, the billionaire ex-chief of EBay, donated another $20 million to her campaign for governor late Monday afternoon, bringing to $59 million the total she has contributed from her own pocketbook as she seeks to secure the Republican nomination, according to her spokeswoman, Sarah Pompei.

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By Jim Wasserman The Sacramento Bee
Published: Tuesday, Apr. 6, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

Relief appears imminent for thousands of Sacramento homeowners hit with state tax bills for mortgage debts forgiven in 2009.

State lawmakers said Monday they plan to cancel the state tax obligations with a vote Thursday.

Shannon Murphy, spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, said legislation will go before the Assembly Revenue and Tax Committee today and the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, and will receive a full vote Thursday.

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LATimes: A grim assessment of L.A.’s finances

City Controller Wendy Greuel declares an ‘urgent financial crisis’ and says the only way to continue paying bills in the short term is to begin draining the city’s already limited emergency reserve.

By Phil Willon and Maeve Reston

April 6, 2010

The city’s top financial official issued a grim assessment of the escalating budget crisis Monday, warning that Los Angeles could be unable to pay its bills in just over four weeks.

City Controller Wendy Greuel declared an “urgent financial crisis” and said the only way to continue paying bills in the short term was to begin to drain the city’s already limited emergency reserve.

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Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/05/2010 07:09:16 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Few were surprised when Davidson Elementary School landed on a list of the state’s worst five percent of public campuses last month.

Since being named a California Distinguished School in the late 1990s, Davidson’s test scores have been among the poorest in the San Bernardino city school system, which had more failing schools than every district in the state except Los Angeles.

For more than a decade, district and schools officials have thrown every potential solution they could muster at Davidson, from extra teaching aides and individualized attention, to new technology and data-tracking methods.

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