February 9, 2012 archive

Feb 09 2012

AD-38 Video: Rep Buck McKeon Doesn’t Want to Answer Questions About Defense Contractors Contributing to His Wife Patricia McKeon’s Assembly Campaign

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This Republic Report videographer obviously got NOWHERE with Rep. Buck McKeon and the reports that Defense Contractor Lobbyists are bankrolling his wife’s campaign for the California Assembly.

Somehow I think that Patricia is going to have to answer the questions herself, when she debates the other candidates.

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Feb 09 2012

AD-38: Patricia McKeon to Address Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party

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Patricia McKeon

Patricia McKeon, a candidate for the 38th Assembly district will be speaking to the Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party group next Wednesday at 6 PM.

The event is free and will held at The First Street Restaurant, 2025 First St, Simi Valley.

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Feb 09 2012

Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: February 9, 2012

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U.S. President Barack Obama gives details of the $26 billion deal to settle charges of widespread mortgage fraud by some of the nation’s largest banks in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, February 9, 2012. Pictured (L-R) are Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Attorney General Eric Holder,Obama, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Indiana Attorney General Gregory Zoeller and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

These are my links for February 9th from 15:10 to 15:18:

  • Obama administration reaffirms support for California high-speed rail

    “Despite a series of a cautionary reports by outside agencies and groups, the Obama administration is reaffirming its commitment to California’s $98.5-billion bullet train project.

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood traveled the state this week and met privately with Gov. Jerry Brown Thursday to discuss the embattled project, issuing a statement of support through the governor’s office.

    “Over the past week, I have traveled all over the Golden State and have found a strong base of support for the California High-Speed Rail project, from workers who will build it, manufacturers that will supply the trains to run on it and businesses that will benefit from using it,” LaHood said. “The Obama Administration is committed to High-Speed Rail because it is good for the economy and the nation. I look forward to working with Governor Brown to make this project as successful as possible.”

    For the White House, California appears to be the lone subscriber to the president’s vision for high-speed rail. Facing budget deficits and sluggish growth, Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin have all scrapped their proposals.”

  • Carmen Trutanich will run for L.A. district attorney

    “Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich announced Thursday he will run for district attorney, ending months of speculation.

    “I love my job as City Attorney, but I can’t do my job to protect residents — nor can our local police and sheriffs — without a crime fighting partner in the DA’s office,” Trutanich said in a statement.

    Trutanich collected nearly $1 million in donations last year, amassing a campaign war chest that dwarfs those of the declared candidates. Five prosecutors with the district attorney’s office — including Alan Jackson, Bobby Grace, Jacquelyn Lacey, Danette Meyers and Mario Trujillo — are also vying to replace retiring Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.”

  • How the housing settlement might affect you

    “The legal settlement reached Thursday among five big banks, the federal government and 49 states won’t fix the housing market, but it should help two categories of homeowners who are plentiful in California.

    The $25 billion settlement has provisions aimed at people who are behind in their payments and under threat of foreclosure and for those who have kept up with their payments but whose homes are worth less than they owe.

    People in the first category – those behind in their payments – will be eligible to have the principal they owe on their loans reduced, making it easier for them to catch up and remain current.

    People in the second category will be eligible to refinance their loans even though they might not be able to meet the usual loan-to-value ratios required by banks.

    It is these people who have probably been the most frustrated by the collapse of the market. They are generally employed, have good credit, and have kept paying on their loans even as many others have simply walked away from their homes and their loans and handed the bank the keys.

    For their trouble, though, these folks have been told they cannot refinance to take advantage of historically low interest rates because their new loans would still be for more than their homes are worth, or at least too big to provide the 20 percent cushion banks typically require between the value of the loan and the value of the home.

    It’s not yet clear how many of these people will be allowed to refinance, and exactly what the rules governing the process will be. All of that will be hammered out over the next six to nine months as the settlement is implemented.

    The settlement covers loans owned and serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.”

  • Mortgage, foreclosure deal could help homeowners, housing market

    “In unveiling a landmark $25-billion settlement of investigations of foreclosure abuses, federal and state officials said Thursday they were holding the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers accountable for the problems while also providing help to up to 2 million homeowners affected by the collapse of the housing market.

    “This isn’t just about punishing banks for their irresponsible behavior,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said at a Washington news conference. “It’s also about requiring them to help the people they harmed by funding efforts to help homeowners stay in their homes.”

    The deal between federal officials, attorneys general from California and 48 other states, and the five servicers — Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase Co., Wells Fargo Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. — was completed after more than a year of negotiations to settle investigations into foreclosure improprieties, such as robo-signing.

    “Today we pick up another piece of the wreckage caused by the foreclosure crisis,” said Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan.

    The settlement sets new national standards for mortgage servicing, to be overseen by an independent monitor, that officials said would end the frustrating runarounds by consumers who try to get their mortgages modified or make other changes.”

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Feb 09 2012

AD-38: Note to Political Operatives – A Woman Scorned

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Speaker Boehner, Patricia McKeon and Rep. Buck McKeon

The entire Flap between Rep. Buck McKeon, his wife, Patrica McKeon, a candidate for California Assembly District 38, Scott Wilk – also a candidate for California Assembly and his wife, Vanessa Wilk is here.

But , now that national paper Roll Call is covering the matter.

Consider this an HOH public service announcement. Political operatives, beware. When you bring folks’ spouses into the mix, things get unpredictable.

On Tuesday, HOH reported that an internal memo, circulated to Rep. Buck McKeon’s senior staff, laid out the office’s strategy for addressing the California Republican’s involvement in the latest Countrywide mortgage scandal.

McKeon is one of four Members referred to the House Ethics Committee to discern whether Countrywide provided preferential treatment to influential lawmakers through an exclusive loan program.

The memo included a reference to a California state Assembly race that pits a former McKeon aide, Scott Wilk, against McKeon’s wife, Patricia.

According to the memo, McKeon’s strategy should include “thorough background checks into the relationships between Wilk, [Wilk’s political consultant, Jason Cable] Roe, and their recent shady political connections.”

After reading the item, Scott Wilk’s wife, Vanessa, leapt to her husband’s defense, sending a furious email to McKeon.

Although everyone seems to be focusing on the sleezy tactics, Congressman McKeon is using to bolster his wife, Patricia’s, Assembly campaign, there remains the issue of Countrywide and Rep.McKeon’s involvement with preferential loans, presumably for himself and his wife.

I wonder if the National Republican Congressional Committee is going to have a chat with the Congressman and tell him to mind his own campaign – one which because of his ethics problems – may prove more difficult than one thinks.

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Feb 09 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 9, 2012

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Golf in La Quinta, California

The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.

California Governor Jerry Brown on the other hand is hitting the road – literally.

Gov. Jerry Brown will be making an appearance tonight as electric-car maker Tesla Motors unveils a new vehicle in Los Angeles County — its Model X.

California’s clean-car makers are among the state’s economic bright spots. And as The Bee’s Rick Daysog reported last month, the California Air Resources Board has voted unanimously to tighten emissions standards by mandating that one in every seven cars sold in the state in the year 2025 be an ultra-low- or zero-emission vehicle.

Brown is expected to speak around 8 p.m. at the premiere, held at Tesla’s Los Angeles Design Studio in Hawthorne.

The Model X is a luxury SUV crossover, according to an article posted Wednesday by Investor’s Business Daily, which says Tesla has been teaming up with Toyota and Daimler, with Toyota using a Tesla power train in an electric RAV4, and Daimler putting Tesla-designed battery systems in some of its vehicles.

On to today’s California headlines:

Women most vulnerable to poverty in retirement

California is the state with the highest number of seniors living below federal poverty levels, and half of all California workers will spend their final years in poverty if nothing changes with our retirement system.

But women are particularly at risk for economic hardship because they generally live longer and earn less than men over the course of their lives.

These sobering statistics come from a recent study of retirement in the state from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

“Retirement security is really is a gendered issue,” said Nari Rhee, one of the co-authors of the study.

Diana Madoshi, for instance, started working when she was 17 years old. “I put myself through school and I became an RN raising a family,” Madoshi said.

But when her teenage daughter developed diabetes, she stopped working full time at Seton Medical Center in Daly City.

“It was more important for me to be home,” said Madoshi. She continued to work, but only part time as a substitute nurse in the area.

As a result, she lost the years she had vested in her pension plan and didn’t have access to any employer sponsored retirement plan.

Then she was diagnosed with Lupus and went on disability (SSI) in 1994. Now, aged 66, she depends entirely on Social Security and is only able to meet her monthly bills because she lives in a subsidized senior housing complex in Rocklin.

Economy toughest on young adults, study finds

As the nation climbs slowly out of the Great Recession, young adults appear to be having the toughest time of any age group gaining a foothold in the recovering economy. Those difficulties, in turn, are shaping their decisions about careers, schooling, marriage and parenthood, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Pew Research Center, released Thursday, examines the effects of the recession on the lives and attitudes of young Americans ages 18 to 34.

“The economy may be improving, but in spite of the recent decline in unemployment, young people are still really struggling,” said Kim Parker, associate director of Pew’s Social and Demographic Trends Project and a coauthor of the study.

The tough times are forcing changes in young adults’ daily lives and in their longer-term plans.

Nearly half say that in recent years they’ve taken a job they didn’t really want, to pay the bills. More than a third have gone back to school because of the poor economy. About a third have postponed either their plans to get married or have a child, and one in four say they have moved back in with their parents after living independently. And fewer than half of young people who are now employed say they have the education and training necessary to get ahead in their jobs.

With government economic data showing a record gap in employment levels between the young and all working-age adults, the Pew survey found that 41% of Americans believe that young adults have been hit harder by the recession than other age groups, while 29% said middle-aged adults have had the toughest time, and 24% said those 65 and older have had the worst of it.

LA County OKs $1,000 Fine For Throwing Football, Frisbee On Beaches

When you head down to the beach for a little fun this summer, county officials want you to leave the pigskin at home.

The Board of Supervisors this week agreed to raise fines to up to $1,000 for anyone who throws a football or a Frisbee on any beach in Los Angeles County.

In passing the 37-page ordinance on Tuesday, officials sought to outline responsibilities for law enforcement and other public agencies while also providing clarification on beach-goer activities that could potentially disrupt or even injure the public.

The updated rules now prohibit “any person to cast, toss, throw, kick or roll” any object other than a beach ball or volleyball “upon or over any beach” between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Exceptions allow for ball-throwing in predesignated areas, when a person obtains a permit, or playing water polo “in or over the Pacific Ocean”.

However, during the winter off-season, the new rules will be relaxed.

Enjoy your morning!

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