It’s hard to know which is worse: The lies and deceptions of our corrupt politicians or the bungling incompetence of the bureaucrats who carry out their policies.
Look at the nonsense in Sacramento in the last days of another disastrous legislative session where nothing was achieved of any significance for the 35 million people of the once proud Golden State who are enduring some of the nation’s worst unemployment in no small part because of suicidal policies that drove away the businesses that create the jobs and squandered the public wealth while letting the infrastructure age and deteriorate.
Despite the ideological differences between the know-nothings and the know-it-alls, the Legislature did muster the votes to bar local communities from banning circumcision while criminalizing the sale or possession of shark fins.
Now it’s on to the really important matter of eliminating the state’s complex environmental protections — the CEQA blamed for so long for creating an unhealthy business climate — solely so that Anschutz Entertainment Group can build a football stadium in downtown LA and sports venues in Sacramento and Santa Clara can move forward in creating lowly-paid part-time service jobs without the annoyance complying with the same laws everybody has to.
Always willing to say or do anything in order to get its way — including spending a million bucks on lobbying and millions more buying friends and fabricating stories for public consumption that have nothing to do with private reality — AEG’s latest creation to skirt environmental law protections is that a domed
74,000 seat air-conditioned stadium lined inside and out with digital
signage and brilliant lighting will be “carbon neutral.”
Dakota Smith in the Daily News puts the lie to AEG’s specious argument by delving into what “carbon neutrality” means, which is next to nothing for LA’s dirty air, and what AEG means by it, which is mainly based on the claim that Farmers Field will bring more of its fans to the game than any other stadium in America. Apparently, AEG’s Tim Leiweke never noticed nearly everyone, even the rich, take the subway to Yankee Stadium and the El to Wrigley Field.
neutrality, in general, is an elusive goal,” said Ted Bardacke, senior
associate at Global Green USA, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that
advises on green building and greenhouse emissions. “It can mean many
things to many folks. To call it (Farmers Field) carbon neutral is a parsing of the term that I don’t think is appropriate, Call it trip neutral, call it offsetting of trip emissions.”
Similarly, David Carter, a sports business professor at the University of Southern California, believes the promise of carbon neutrality based on use of public transit is a “marketing pitch, business development, public relations document, and a legal document” all rolled into one …
“They will offer some balance of public transportation. Not because the fans are always going to take it, but because these team owners want to work with their respective city, so to as appear as though they are continuing to help the problem.”Legislative leaders John Perez and Darrell Steinberg appear to be so pleased with AEG’s lie they are ready to push through the exemption for Northern California as well to get the votes they need.
LA County Supervisors have their own deceitful game going with regards to drawing up new districts.
The plan put forward by thei 10-member was unacceptable to the board so they are fighting over three different plans: Knabe’s that preserves the current boundaries, gerrymandered as they are for the benefit of the incumbents, and two by Molina and Ridley-Thomas that create a new Latino district by connect Pacoima to Downey in one district for Latinos and Agoura Hills and Long Beach for a white district.
Nothing like racial gerrymandering to engender hope that the next generation of supervisors will be devoted to public service and not self-service like the current one.
Since none of these three plans is likely to get the four votes needed for adoption, the question of drawing up new districts will go to the other three county election officials — District Attorney Steve Cooley, Sheriff Lee Baca and Assessor John Noguez.
Ironically, Baca is a Latino elected by voters who showed race isn’t what counts and Noguez is Latino and gay, which shows race and sexual orientation aren’t what the majority of voters are considering and suggests the preoccupations with divisive issues of so many people in high office are out of step with the tolerant values of the electorate.
If your own sensibility can handle further irony, there is the bungling incompetence of Noguez’s office and the State Board of Equalization which have allowed the world’s largest beermaker, Belgium’s InBev, to pay a lousy $18,000 a year since it bought Anheuser-Busch in 2008 for $52 billion on three million square feet of land and the Budweiser brewery in Van Nuys.
That works out to a penny a square foot instead of a minimum of 44 cents a square foot or $1.3 million the company should be paying to the county since the property should have been reassessed at the time of the sale, Alana Samuels reports in the LA Times..
Noguez, who actually claims he has a staff member checking newspapers for property sales, blamed the company for not notifying his office of the highly publicized change of ownership. “We might need someone monitoring the TV news as well as the Internet,” he offered feebly.
Then, he back-tracked from that silly explanation to blaming the Board of Equalization and the complexity of the laws and regulations he was elected to enforce — an argument that appears to have some validity because of numerous loopholes in the law and the failure of government officials to do their jobs.
“Counties are losing millions of dollars on these loopholes, there’s no
question,” San Francisco County Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting said.
Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Assn., estimated the state could raise $2 billion if officials did their jobs properly and closed the loopholes.
“The whole system makes so little sense, but if you’re going to actually
have the system right, you have to have extensive paperwork and
reporting requirements,” he said. “It’s an absurd way to run a tax