The New Conservatism amnesia
Mr. Moomjean is furious because Republicans were forced to accept miniscule tax increases. (“A New Conservatism: Part 2,” Right Persuasion, 01/10/) Americans are “getting their paychecks ripped to shreds”? Hardly! Ever since President Obama’s stimulus, 95 percent of Americans have been paying record low taxes. “The rise of the tea party at a time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is hard to understand.” (Brookings Institution).
He cries crocodile tears over national debt. When Obama took office, 70 percent of the entire debt in this nation’s history had been run up by Reagan and the two Bushes. Yes: 70 percent; of the lot; in 20 years. Where were the conservative purists during this lurid Roman orgy of fiscal irresponsibility, pray tell?
Obama’s debt increases are from: pulling the economy out of its nose-dive, reduced taxes from reduced economic activity, saving Detroit, two insane wars, and tax giveaways for the wealthy. This is hardly “four years of tax and spend.” This was cleaning up the mess left by Republican policies.
Moomjean is silent on the $250 billion each year in federal goodies for Exxon, coal and drug companies alone. The recent fiscal cliff bill added yet more pork. Perhaps in his next screed on conservative purity, Mr. Moomjean could expound on the virtues of socialism for the rich.
Standing with Ojai FLOW
I’ve just read a press release from the San Lorenzo Valley Water District about a retirement party for Fred McPherson, who happens to be the brother of Ojai FLOW’s Pat McPherson. The announcement credits Fred for his participation on the Board of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District when it acquired the Felton water system from California-American Water in 2008.
Pat McPherson, a marketing specialist and community volunteer, has no doubt received good insights from his brother about that successful acquisition, insights now helping him to co-lead the efforts of Ojai FLOW (Friends of Locally Owned Water) to buy the Golden State Water operations here in Ojai.
Along with many others who are forced to pay the inflated Golden State rates, I support Ojai FLOW and the well-qualified people heading up the group’s efforts. Richard Hajas, who wrote the excellent Ojai FLOW feasibility study, is a water expert, having worked for Casitas and served as general manager of another municipal water district in southern Ventura County. Stan Greene was the head of the Citizens to Preserve the Ojai, is on the Board of the Ojai Valley Sanitary District, and knows the ins and out of government agencies. Bob Daddi is a local insurance agent who was one of the driving forces that got the Ojai Skate Park built. Dale Hanson has been a longtime board member of the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors and knows the business community. Lou Torres is a local CPA and has been the chief financial officer for Rotary West’s nonprofit organization, and Ryan Blatz is an attorney who grew up here in Ojai, knows where to get information and is gifted at presenting it.
I’m grateful to the Ojai FLOW steering committee and all the informed citizens of Ojai for standing up to buy Golden State. I trust my neighbors to have my interests in mind more than do the distant Golden State Water Company executives or their front organization, the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. I look forward to Casitas giving the go-ahead for us ratepayers to vote YES on a bond to buy and upgrade the Golden State system in Ojai. The bond (payable only by us former GSW ratepayers) will pay for itself in the savings derived from our much lower Casitas water rates.
Boeing’s true motives revealed
I loved the story by Michael Collins (“‘Greenwashing Rockedyne,’” Feature, 1/17) exposing the true motives of Boeing and its plan to change its image and rewrite the history of its environmental crimes. Michael is a true hero for his persistence in reporting with immense detail, which makes the true corporate crimes easy to understand. We have enough honest people involved and alive and we will fight this.
Boeing’s unethical practices
This is a shocking article (‘“Greenwashing’ Rockedyne,” Feature, 1/17) which I will certainly pass along to all my friends. It is tragic enough to learn not too long ago that I have raised my children near the site of partial nuclear meltdown, but to learn that instead of doing the right thing, Boeing is fighting cleaning up toxics is disturbing to the core. The nuclear and chemical contamination may be trickling down in streams where children play, in the soil where people grow food nearby, and in the air when the Santa Ana winds blow. This is so incredibly unethical and tragic for the thousands of families affected by the contamination. Thank you Michael Collins for reporting on this hugely important subject. I would like to see many more articles on this.
An insider’s perspective of Oxnard City Hall
Good comments in your article. (“There’s a new mayor in town,” News, 1/17)
Can you imagine how difficult it was to work in that environment? When I uncovered problems such as amounts on the BLT bill that were not supported in the contract, I was told to let Karen Burnham review all the BLT invoices. When I found that the staff was not following the High Tide and Green Grass golf course contract as approved by the (Oxnard) Council, Sotelo told me to keep out of this matter. When a developer did not want to pay for the cost of state-required infrastructure deposits … I was fired.
Because I am and was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, I am obligated to tell the truth about financial matters; so when I was asked by the mayor pro tem to talk to the press, I was obligated to tell the truth about the fact that the Oxnard golf course was receiving subsidies from the city in order to cover its costs.
When the city’s auditors told me during the first two weeks of joining Oxnard that the city’s general fund was not a “going concern” because it had more than $8 million in losses and less than $3 million, in reserves I had that audit pulled. I worked for four weeks with the auditors to find that the budgeting staff had allowed money to remain in completed CIP funds long after the CIP projects were completed so that staff could use the money as they wanted without bringing it back for Council approval. I made the required changes and transferred $7 million back into the general fund, which allowed the auditors to change their position and not report Oxnard to the state controller. Executive staff, other than City Manager P. Hernandez, did not like what I did, for obvious reasons.
All this and more was presented in Federal District Court. However, the city continues to refuse to comply with the terms of my settlement agreement. Hmmm.
Linda and I wish each of you the very best during your terms as our elected officials.