Apparently he hasn't be able to hide who he is from the United Teachers of Pasadena, either. The influential labor organization whose endorsement had become the centerpiece of Hueso's campaign has decided they no longer wish to be associated with this particular candidate, and instead has now rather unceremoniously dumped him. This from the Pasadena Star News (click here):
The city's teachers union has rescinded its endorsement of school board candidate Ruben Hueso, who said he learned about the action only when contacted by the media.
The United Teachers of Pasadena didn't specify why it's no longer backing Hueso, one of four candidates vying to represent Northwest Pasadena's District 3, an open seat.
"The United Teachers of Pasadena Executive Board unanimously recommended pulling the endorsement at an emergency Executive Board meeting last week," union president Alvin Nash said in a statement. "We did not make this decision lightly but after much thoughtful consideration. It was our collective decision that Mr. Hueso did not satisfy the UTP requirements for endorsement."
The Pasadena Weekly also has a story about Ruben Hueso's now vanished UTP endorsement up on their web page (click here). And while the teacher's union did not seem to care to share any of the juicy details of their unprecedented dropping of Hueso, at least officially, the P-Weekly did find someone there who had something to share:
No love lost: United Teachers of Pasadena rescinds endorsement of Board of Ed candidate Ruben Hueso - United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) has rescinded its endorsement of District 3 Board of Education candidate Ruben Hueso over questions regarding some of Hueso’s other supporters.
“There were some issues with his endorsements and campaign team,” UTP President Alvin Nash told the Weekly. Without being specific, Nash said Hueso had provided conflicting information on different forms regarding endorsements from individuals and organizations. Hueso, Nash said, was informed of the union’s impending action by phone message on Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — and was given until Monday night to respond, but did not.
“Communication broke down and he stopped returning our calls,” Nash said. “We gave him a deadline and he did not call back.”
When reached by phone Thursday, Hueso told the Weekly he did not know UTP had withdrawn its support. “They have my email, phone number and personal phone number,” Hueso said. “I have not received anything from them. I need to call them. For an organization like this to make this decision, I would say the least they could do is contact me.”
Nash said that when UTP officials contacted a number of people who Hueso said supported him, they were told that information was incorrect. He also said that the UTP board had problems with Hueso receiving endorsements from some unnamed school officials from outside the Pasadena Unified School District who were not aligned with pro-labor and pro-teacher groups.
After reading this piece you really have to start wondering if Hueso is even capable of telling a straight story. He apparently fibbed to the UTP about some of his campaign endorsements, and after having been informed of his growing problems with the union, refused to return their phone calls, later feigning complete surprise when they dumped him. Ruben appears to have misplaced his Scout's Honor.
And then there is this:
Hueso, who has a daughter in public school and another daughter who recently graduated from Pasadena High School, is also s endorsed by Assemblyman Chris Holden, Ed Honowitz, former Board of Education member Jackie Jacobs and Democrats of the Pasadena Foothills.
Obviously Hueso is the candidate of the corrupt Pasadena political establishment, and none of this should have been a surprise. These are people who will do or say anything to keep their grip on political power. There are also some growing questions about Hueso's campaign finances, specifically in regards to those who have been giving him substantial donations. We will be reporting on that soon.
Gil Aguirre reports on the SGVCOG's "Clean Beaches - Water Tax" so-called workshop
COG's water tax workshop was pretty well attended, I would guess about 60 brave souls ventured out to hear about the new Clean Beaches tax proposal. Most were local politicians, but a few members of the public seemed to show up as well. It was nice to see the public wasn’t turned away, but then again they weren’t really invited either.
Over the last couple of years I have grown accustomed to attending SGVCOG meetings and am always amazed how the COG can make simple issues complicated and complicated issues incomprehensible.
And their “workshop” on the proposed Los Angeles County Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure didn’t disappoint. Pretty simple proposal really – levy a tax on every single piece of real estate in Los Angeles County based on the potential water runoff caused by rain ... aka the rain tax.
Now I can usually spot a slick sales pitch and it was quickly clear that was exactly what was in store for those in attendance. The technique employed was the old two step method: first confuse and scare everyone, then introduce their salvation … this new tax proposal.
SGVCOG Vice President Mary Ann Lutz kicked things off by describing the compliance process required by each city under the Federal Clean Water Act. She explained the permit process and characterized how burdensome and costly the requirements can be. These regulations and the permit are created and administered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, however Lutz failed to mention that she helped create these very regulations and the permit requirements while she sat on this Board for some 8 years. (I understand she was removed from the Board recently, something about the law saying you can’t hold incompatible offices I think)
Now Lutz is a lot of things, but a great orator may not be one of them. Think of Nancy Walsh running a two hour meeting and you start to get a vision of how painful this part of the workshop quickly became.
After describing how complicated the compliance process can be, Lutz went on and on about the potential fines each City might face for non-compliance. $10,000 per violation per day was hammered home to the local officials in attendance. My favorite was when we all heard that if 5 McDonalds bags were discovered in the City run off canal, that could result in a $50,000 fine. When the crowd was sufficiently scared about how they were going to comply with these burdensome and costly regulations, it became time for the big gun from Los Angeles County to take over.
A well spoken gent by the name of Russ Bryden from the Los Angeles County Flood Control District took over. I didn’t get his exact title, but it sure sounded important. He began by letting everyone know that he wasn’t there to advocate in favor of the measure, but was there to educate and inform. So it was hardly a surprise that he then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening advocating for the Measure!
Russ also let everyone know that the forward thinkers (his term not mine) over at the County had determined that the answer to the compliance issues was to create a regional solution, as this is just too tough of an issue for the cities to handle on their own. He even used the MTA and COG as glowing examples of how regional agencies were the answer to all our problems.
There was a slide show with charts and bright lights. And Russ waived a handful of papers around which apparently contained lots of important statistics and information upon which he relied. But in the end it boiled down to just two key points:
First, the proposed tax measure would create 9 new regional agencies similar to our very own COG. These newly created agencies would be called WAG’s, for Watershed Authority Groups, and each would be comprised of appointed, not directly elected, bureaucrats charged with deciding how best to spend the new found cash raised by the tax. There would also be a Stakeholder Advisory Board and Oversight Board created, which would again be comprised of appointed hangers on.
Russ took great pains to let us know that these groups would protect us from any potential malfeasance on the part of the WAGs, he just forgot to mention that they really won’t have any power or authority beyond making recommendations. These Boards will operate much like the Citizen Oversight Board does for the PUSD Bond program. Something that turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for those serving on them.
More importantly, the measure would also create a much coveted revenue stream. This "revenue stream" (which is government speak for new taxes of course) would impose a billion dollars in new taxes on property owners over the next 5 years alone. The County would get $100 million of that money for “administering” the program, while the WAGs would get the lions share to spend as they see fit. Some of the tax money would go back to each City to spend on their own projects and in the case of Sierra Madre that would be about $150,000 a year.
Russ also wanted to make it very clear that the program would charge property owners a fee, not a tax. He pointed out that sure the fee would be listed on your yearly property tax bill and collected by the Assessor, but it isn’t a tax. Now I am a simple guy, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck. Although the distinction may have consequences for property owners when it comes time to try and deduct these costs from their annual income taxes.
A couple of other points came out such as the measure having a yearly cost of living increase built right in. In other words, the tax can go up each and every year with no further approval from voters needed. As well, the measure has no sunset clause, which means the tax can be collected on a permanent basis.
Lastly Russ Bryden explained that the confusion over the measure, and the fact that only property owners would be required to pay the new tax, was due to the evil requirements contained in Prop 218. Passed by an overwhelming majority of voters back in 1996, Prop 218 requires that those being affected by the tax be given the right to vote on the proposal. In this case, that would be the property owners. Of course prior to the adoption of Prop 218, the taxing agency could simply approve the new tax and we had little to say about it.
That pretty much sums up the evening. The County wants to charge us $Billions in new taxes and create a myriad of new agencies filled with un-elected bureaucrats, all to deal with the pesky rain that happens every now and again.
And for you movies fans out there, think of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. I have no doubt that if the County guys should ever find themselves out of a job they do possess the needed skills to peddle swampland property to elderly retired folks.