March 22, 2012 archive

Mar 22 2012

Today is the First Pre-Election Campaign Receipts and Expenditure Deadline for the California June Primary Election

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Scott Lay of Around the Capitol and the Nooner reminds us all.

Today is the first pre-election filing deadline for state candidates, where contributions and expenditures from January 1 through March 17 must be reported. The next federal deadline is April 15, for the period January 1 through March 31.  Since we’re already in the 24-hr required reporting cycle for state candidates of and contributions over $1,000, don’t expect any huge surprises in terms of cash.

You can watch the stream of reports coming in on the Secretary of State’s website. I will do the filing period update for ElectionTrack around 6pm and 9pm, which will feed the contributions, expenditures and cash on hand figures for candidates on the AroundTheCapitol district pages.

The deadline, however, does not apply to the tax and other ballot measures that will potentially be on the November ballot. So, we won’t find out how much of the governor’s $3.7 million raised for the tax measure was spent on the original measure until April 30.

I will be camped out tonight or early tomorrow AM to see what is happening in AD-38 (Patricia McKeon Vs. Scott Wilk et. al.). The report should be revealing, especially if McKeon has, as I suspect, raised a disproportionate amount of money due to her husband’s defense contractor connections in the Congress.

Almost important will be CA-24 Congressional seat but we will have to wait a few more weeks for the federal reports.

Scott does a great job with his sites and they are not even his primary job!

Stay tuned…..

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Mar 22 2012

AD-38: New Study Finds Patricia McKeon Continuing to Enjoy the Fruits of Husband Rep Buck McKeon’s Campaign Account

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Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia, a candidate for California Assembly with House Speaker Boehner

Remember my previous post on how Patricia McKeon enriched herself with the help of her husband, Rep. Buck McKeon? The chart I included in the post were figures from 2001-2006.

Here is the chart again:

Now, there is a new report out that covers the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

A new study by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) of House members found 248 examples of members using their positions to enrich relatives or themselves, and almost all of it apparently was done legally. Some of those cited in the study, entitled a “Family Affair,’ are well known lawmakers, including Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a Republican  presidential candidate, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

“This report shows lawmakers still haven’t learned it is wrong to trade on their positions as elected leaders to benefit themselves and their families,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Conduct like this reinforces the widely held view that members of Congress are more interested in enriching themselves than in public service.”


Here are the specifics regarding Patricia McKeon:

  • Ms. McKeon is the treasurer for Buck McKeon for Congress, and the highest-paid employee on the campaign’s payroll.8
  • During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. McKeon’s campaign committee paid Ms. McKeon $119,674 in salary.9
  • During the 2008 election cycle, Rep. McKeon’s campaign committee reimbursed Ms. McKeon $4,379 for office supplies, transportation and meals.10
  • During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. McKeon’s campaign committee paid Ms. Mckeon $118,764 in salary.11
  • During the 2010 election cycle, Rep. McKeon’s campaign committee reimbursed Ms. McKeon $2,441 for campaign travel and meals.12

Let’s see that is a total since 2001 of over $500,000 that Patricia McKeon has received from her Congressman husband’s campaign account.

All of this is legal, but are Rep. McKeon and Assembly candidate Patricia McKeon interested in public service or enriching themselves?

This will be something that candidates in the 38th District California Assembly race will have to ask Patricia – if she ever shows up to debate.

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Mar 22 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: March 22, 2012

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Elysian Park, California before the Los Angeles Marathon

Good morning!

I have taken a few days off recuperating from Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon.

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

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s here.

On to today’s California headlines:

New ACLU report on costly realignment – counties ignoring cheaper, better alternatives

California may be dismantling its prison-industrial complex, but it’s quickly replacing it with a jail-industrial complex, a new report released late Tuesday warns.

The state’s prison population has plummeted — by 22,440 inmates, or about 15 percent — since October, according to the report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. That’s when the state responded to a court order to reduce overcrowding by adopting realignment, which shifts responsibility to counties for imprisoning and rehabilitating nonviolent felons.

But now, according to the ACLU, the state is funneling billions of dollars to counties, much of it for building or expanding jails, instead of for cheaper alternatives called for in the realignment law — including electronic monitoring, drug treatment and vocational training. The report is the first comprehensive critique of realignment since the massive plan was adopted six months ago.

“The state says locking people up hasn’t worked,” said Allen Hopper, police practices director of the ACLU of Northern California. “But on the other hand, it turns over billions to maintain the status quo,” he said.

Beginning in 2007, the state has awarded about $1.2 billion to 22 counties for jail construction, including $602 million early this month to 11 counties for the expansion or construction of jails. The state also gave counties about $400 million this fiscal year to spend on whatever mix of incarceration, supervision and programs they choose.

The report contends counties could easily reduce their jail populations and save money without endangering public safety, principally by releasing more inmates awaiting trial on their own recognizance or under supervision. About 71 percent of the inmates languishing in California’s jails are awaiting trial and haven’t been convicted of any offense.

Dan Walters: Big voting change in California communities is a big risk

A decade-old California law and 2010 census data are having a potentially explosive effect on how governing boards of local governments, especially cities, are elected.

While all counties and larger cities and school districts have long elected their governing boards from single-member districts, smaller jurisdictions have usually used “at-large” elections in which members are elected by all voters.

It’s long been a bone of civic and political contention, with members of non-white ethnic groups complaining that at-large elections deny them opportunities to place members of their communities in positions of civic power.

Throughout the state, the issue has often been joined via local ballot measures to switch to district voting, with some successful and some not.

Home slump isn’t going away in California

The wreckage of California’s real estate crash is still washing up on the shoreline.

California, Florida and Illinois accounted for more than a third of the nation’s 1.6 million housing units classified as shadow inventory in January, according to CoreLogic, a Santa Ana-based mortgage-tracking company.

CoreLogic defines shadow inventory as properties with 90 days-plus delinquencies, foreclosures or those that are lender-owned.

On a year-over-year basis, CoreLogic said Wednesday that U.S. shadow inventory was down from January 2011, when it stood at 1.8 million units, or eight months’ supply.

This year’s January total, which CoreLogic equated to six months’ supply, virtually matched that reported in October last year.

CoreLogic said shadow inventory growth has been offset by the roughly equal flow of distressed sales – short and lender-owned.

“Almost half of the shadow inventory is not yet in the foreclosure process,” said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist. “Shadow inventory also remains concentrated in states impacted by sharp price declines and states with long foreclosure timelines.”

By definition, that includes California. And as a byproduct, the Sacramento region.

‘The potential to turn California politics on its head’

There’s a very long way to go between here and there, but as the campaign season gets under way, Supervisor Linda Parks of Thousand Oaks has a very good chance of making history this year as independent running for Congress. Which is another way of saying that she could actually win.

That conclusion is based on a poll conducted by Parks’ campaign team of Gorton Blair Biggs International, headed by former Pete Wilson strategist George Gorton, whose storied career in political consulting includes a tie-in with Watergate as a youth-vote adviser to President Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign (he paid someone to spy on anti-war protesters) and a major role in helping to elect Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Federation (the film “Spinning Boris” was based on that, with Jeff Goldblum playing the role of Gorton).

Parks’ team yesterday shared with me a polling memo in the 26th Congressional District. Although short on details of the actual poll, the memo makes three things clear: Parks is now running in a strong second place in the primary, none of the four Democratic candidates is particularly well known, and that the Thousand Oaks supervisor has a statistically significant lead in a hypothetical November matchup against Republican Tony Strickland.

Enjoy your morning!

Here is Dan Walter’s on the Irony of Politics and Initiative Signature Gathering:

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Mar 22 2012

Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-03-22

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