Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Best People Give So You Can Pay More Utility Taxes

Mod: We managed to get our mitts on the campaign donor list for the Measure UUT ballot initiative, and it is quite the who's who of the frilliest folks in the Sierra Madre community. Leona Helmsley once declared that taxes are for the little people, and writing checks so that the hoi polloi can pay even more taxes is very much in style this season. This is also pretty much a roster of those who supported every bad idea to come down in town over the last 20 years or so, from the Downtown Specific Plan right up to some of today's less than brilliant moves. Like paying $100,000 a month in hopes Larry Giannone can find people willing to work for his vanishing Police Department. And honestly, do you really want to pay an additional 66% in UUT costs to support an SMPD that recently saw nearly half of its officers quit on this town, leaving it without adequate personnel to patrol the streets at night? So you know, this is an early list of donors. Another one hits at the end of this month. Today I'm posting a partial list, I did leave some folks out. But I think this will give you the flavor of what is going down. Enjoy!

Sierra Madre Police Association ... $2,000
D. Barton Doyle ... $100
Judy Webb-Martin ... $120
Patrick Holland ... $300
John and Marta Capoccia ... $250
Janice Nelson and Doug Hayes ... $250
Robert and Antoinette Buckner ... $200
Jacqueline Pergola ... $200
Charles and Karma Bell ... $150
John and Teri Buchanan ... $150
Edward and Amelia Garcia ... $150
Carol Canterbury ... $100
David Felt ... $150
Jeffrey Dapper ... $200
K. Goldstein Trust ... $100
Kurt and Jasmine Richter Trust $150

Mod: Thank all of them for so generously giving in order to make your taxes higher. Besides, if you can't afford a 10% UUT, what are you doing living here? No cake for you.

Pasadena Star News: Arcadia council candidate gets controversial $26K donation from local developer

Mod: The Pasadena Star News has now picked up on the Bulldozer Bob Harbicht/Ta-Jen Lee campaign donation scandal. For the entire PSN article click here.

ARCADIA: A local developer that has been trying to build on an Arcadia hillside for 15 years has spent $26,850 to support a City Council candidate’s campaign, according to campaign finance records.

Instead of donating directly to Harbicht’s campaign, Nevis Capital LLC, owned by Ta-Jen Lee, routed the money through the California Homeowners Association, a political action committee in Sacramento.

The PAC spent $15,000 on a mailer sent to voters this week asking Arcadians to “bullet vote,” or only cast one vote for Harbicht, even though there are two seats open. The PAC also spent $10,000 on online marketing for candidate, records show.

Open government advocate Gil Aguirre called using PACs for local politics a “new phenomenon” that obscures where campaign money may be coming from.

“That’s an incredible amount of money for a developer to be funneling to one candidate,” he said. “Obviously, the stakes are high in Arcadia.”

And the move has some residents concerned that Lee is trying to buy Harbicht’s vote on a future project. But Harbicht disagrees.

“I consider that an insult,” he said. “My vote isn’t for sale.”

Mod: Yes, Bulldozer's vote is not for sale. But that might be because it has already been bought.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

74 comments:

  1. Say it ain't so. :(March 26, 2016 at 5:43 AM

    You mean to tell me our super friendly police union is far and away the number one backer of a uut increase that will go straight into its coffers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of it as their going away present.

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    2. $2,000. Doesn't that pencil out to $200 a SMPA member?

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    3. Buckner with her $90000 pension gave $200. Whoopee!!!!

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    4. 10:43 - Actually, according to Transparent California, Mrs. Buckner has a total package of $116,033. I think it makes a lot of sense to outsource the library. We should not saddle ourselves with any more CalPers debt. All new employees should be placed on a 401K plan, just like the rest of us non-union employees.

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    5. 11:23 and there should be a way to restructure the existing pension debt. Mrs Buckner (as an example and there are thousands of others just in LA County) that don't deserve or didn't earn their pension - it's paid by taxpayers so examples like Mrs Buckner can retire at an early at an obscene pension and then can go out and earn another income while "lol" retired and it's at taxpayer expense

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    6. 11:23, so because you didn't have the ability or foresight to obtain a union job, no one should have a pension plan?

      Maybe your taxpayer-subsidized 401k plan should be eliminated because, after all, not all workers have 401k plans and thus are taxed on all their earnings, unlike you.

      You disagree? Of course you do--it benefits YOU!

      Delete
  2. What time do you think that Pasadena lawyer Davis will post that the 67% uut hike has nothing to do with SMPD because after the election the mayor will develop a spine and get rid of them anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That $100,000 a month makes this getting a spine process very expensive.

      Delete
  3. In the end it turned out to be just the usual suspects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. utility company lawyer, building industry lobbyist

      real estate salespeople

      yeah, there's no agenda with the YES vote

      Delete
    2. They're just working the suckers. And judging by the purple signs there are a few of them around.

      Delete
  4. Big Bad Bart Doyle put up a whopping $100. People of lessor income put up that much, that's Bart for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The leadership he has provided this town is worth millions. Especially in water bond debt.

      Delete
    2. ironic that Doyle, Hayes and Buchanan were part of this mess from the beginning, knew what was happening and did nothing and now they are preaching to us

      Buchanan is the Councilmember who called the city emergency meetings when we had the pipes burst and at the same time was trying to bankroll himself a new library at the tune of 7 million dollars and piggyback the UUT

      face it, that group reads like a "who's NOT" in Sierra Madre

      didn't take long for Judy Webb Martin to revert back to her realtor claws did it?

      Delete
    3. Doyle paid 10 times that $100 contrib when he wrote a check to the CA FPPC for a $1,000 fine - conflict of interest - after he voted as a City Council member to underground the utilities on Baldwin that in front of his house.

      Conflict of interest much, Bart?

      Delete
  5. Wake up Sierra Madre. Vote No on UUT and write in BARRY GOLD don't waste a vote in Capoccia and Harabedian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry believes in a 9% UTT, so you should vote Yes on the UUT, then put forward a new petition demanding a 9% one.

      Delete
    2. Barry is wrong. He's lived here for 4 years and wants to tell us what he thinks?

      What he should be thinking is that the UUT was voted down twice and he's coming in as a new resident with his ideas.

      The more I hear about Barry and his old notions of being right, I think we can control the two John because they know nobody trusts them.

      Mr. Gold needs to understand that his opinion means absolutely nothing, he would be elected to do the will of the people, otherwise we've got another Gene Goss on our hands

      After Buchanan, Mosca and then Noah Green, I'm sort of leery of someone who moves into town, starts getting involved with local politics and mostly has predetermined notions of what needs to be happening.

      Mr. Gold, deal with the pension debt, the library and then if we need a UUT then maybe I'll listen but for only living here 4 years, you don't know squat.

      Delete
    3. The 10% UUT does not have a sunset.

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    4. You don't need to live in a house for 20 years to know that it is burning down.

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    5. Dont forget to fill in the bubble.

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    6. Oh dear, looks like 9:36 is off his MEDS again.

      Delete
    7. It's Saturday. 9:36's experiments with Meds are just getting started.

      Delete
  6. Over the past three years, 24 percent of CHA's funding has come from public employee unions. Union money is off limits to GOP candidates wanting the county party's endorsement but can slip through due to secondary committees. This is particularly true of the Orange County Employees Association, which accounted for 81 percent of funding for a PAC called California Citizens for Fair Government. CCFG made up 14 percent of CHA's budget and combined giving from all public employee unions accounted for 24 percent of CHA's budget.
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/cha-523438-pac-county.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. PAC and LLC in California are nothing more than 'backroom dealer Associations' where money from unknown sources legal an illegal flowed like the good old days of a 'tweed ring' http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacfaq.php

    ReplyDelete
  8. An additional source concerning LLC is found here: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/03/llc-gifts-are-making-up-a-bigger-share-of-super-pacs-fundraising-hauls/

    ReplyDelete
  9. We are in a vicious cycle. We pay the public employees higher and higher salaries. This enables them to pay their union dues. The union dues are then used to advocate for higher and higher taxes which means more money in the City's coffers which can be used for still higher salaries and on it goes. The bottom line is that the citizens/taxpayers are essentially funding the whole vicious cycle that is being used against them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's a legal ponzi scheme

      the question is, how to derail it and force those who retired in their 50's at full salaries to get their rear ends back to work and change their pension plans to self funded instead of taxpayer funded

      it's a rip off and we have a Council that won't deal with the issues but want us to tax ourselves more to pay for the pension debt

      Delete
    2. Last year our city council chose to steal reserves instead of making cuts in hopes the UUT would pass. VOTE NO NO NO

      Delete
  10. The challenge we have with every tax hike is one of "concentrated benefit". We have created a system whereby the recipients of the concentrated benefit are the public employee unions. If a tax is passed, this small group stands to gain a whole lot: higher salaries, increased benefits, higher pensions and lower retirement ages. They are a relatively small group but they have a huge financial gain when a tax passes and thus are consequently highly motivated to get the tax passed. On the other hand, you have the vast number of citizens/taxpayers who have the burden of paying the tax. Because the tax obligation is disbursed over a wide number of people, the amount of tax burden on each person is relatively small so they have less motivation to agitate against it then the public employee unions who stand to gain a windfall if the tax passes. So when they tell us that the UUT only means about $20 per month or so in additional taxes, how motivated in that person going to be to agitate against it. However, the union member who stands to gain a 10% salary increase and a lavish pension when they retire at the ripe old age of 50 is highly motivated to hang onto that lifestyle and even increase it. That disparity in motivation is what makes it hard to compete with the unions in these tax fights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make it easy on yourself. Vote NO on any tax hike or measure as long as the public sector has a pension system that defrauds taxpayers

      if Calpers is so great, why isn't it used in the private sector?

      Delete
    2. If CalPERS was in the private sector, the managers would be in prison for a Ponzi scheme.

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    3. Because it's the California PUBLIC Employees' Retirement System.

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    4. Great post, 8:48. However, I took a look at my UUT bills, and they are well over $50 per month, which translates to $600 per year. I live in a modest home with only two people in the household. Maybe the Realtor, Judy Webb Martin, can afford an increase, but we can't. And as for Mr. Holland, it appears that he retired after 30 years at 50, and is collecting a $198,167 until he dies. This is insanity!!

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    5. 11:13, it sounds like you can afford it considering that over $50 per month in UUT amounts to over $625 per month in utility charges. Maybe you should turn the lights off once in a while.

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    6. Better to just leave the lights on and vote NO on Measure UUT.

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    7. Yeah, 2:54, leave it to future generations to clean up the mess caused by your excesses.

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    8. That moment is now, 3:10. And we're expected to clean up that mess with no explanations at all from the city about how things got this way. Instead we get a lot of BS about the Library and the Mt Wilson Trail Race. I don't know how it is with you, but the worst way to get money out of me is to lie. The city is lying.

      Delete
  11. The same old bunch of names. I am so not surprised.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. meet the new yahoos, same as the old yahoos

      realtors, pffffffff

      never listen to straight commission salespeople for a unbiased opinion

      or a utility company lawyer

      or a building lobbyist

      Delete
  12. 8:48AM You said it all!

    ReplyDelete
  13. So where did the other thousands of dollars come from. The must have been hundreds of donations less than $100. Somethings stinks in Denmark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, 10:35.
      The yes side has spent a lot.

      Delete
    2. 10:35A I was thinking the same thing.

      Delete
  14. It's hard to calculate just how much damage Bart Doyle has done to Sierra Madre. One of the leaders of the Civility Party, along with Buchanan, Doyle the Building Industry attorney brought destruction to the hillsides and destruction to our financial well being. If he's for something, run as fast as you can the other way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interest Only Water Bonds Bart. The Bank of New York loves him.

      Delete
  15. It seems that the entire UUT hullabaloo involves one group trying to get indirectly what they could not, cannot, and perhaps may not get directly.

    Let's say you want to get rid of the SMPD and switch to the LASD. You certainly have a good argument considering the respective costs.

    But so far you have not succeeded via the democratic process; viz, your democratically elected city council officials have not voted to make the change.

    What to do, what to do? Aha, take a page out of the Grover Norquist playbook and try to choke the government to get indirectly what you couldn't get directly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately our elected representatives did not honor the promises they made when running for office. As an example, 60% of the City Council ran as opponents to utility tax increases. Yet now they're out campaigning for utility tax increases. So yes, we have been forced to attempt nontraditional solutions to Sierra Madre's immense debt problems. Under the awful circumstances we have no choice.

      Delete
    2. 11:19, you wanna talk about Grover Norquist, you go to CNN.com where national politics lives. We ain't got time for your nonsense.

      Delete
    3. I think 11:19 probably watches too much cable news already.

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    4. 11:30: Once they saw what that could and could not do in office, especially with stagnant or decreasing revenues, they grew up.

      12:14 can't process analogies.

      Delete
    5. 12:14 must be very, very busy and thus very, very important not to have the time to read one clause in one sentence of a comment. Thankfully, 12:14 freed up his busy schedule, finding the time to peck out a comment expressing his displeasure at the audacity of commenter who greatly inconvenienced him.

      Delete
    6. 12:33. Nah, they just sold out to the municipal employee unions.

      Delete
  16. Why and whom did you leave out? I won't read the list until you post all of it, with no alterations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear. Our lives will all come to an end if you don't read it.

      Delete
  17. CalPERS is like having kids that never leave home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and spend more and more on your credit card each year

      Delete
    2. Children who do not leave home or live very close by or return home after being away sounds exactly the way things should be and historically were. But it's all about you, isn't it 11:36?

      Delete
    3. 12:30 - CalPERS is like having children who never left home. You end up supporting them for life.

      Delete
  18. I just had some YES UUT people come to my door. They were very nice but I had to inform them that I am voting NO. These people are more organize this time around. I'm starting to get worried about these yes people. I told them if it passes I'm going to change the address on my bills to try and get around the tax increase. They said some people already had and that was another reason that the tax had to go up....UUGGGGG.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is nice to see that co po co hss donated $250 to pay for four color advertising to promoting taxing ALL SierraMsdre residents more money. Co p o co should be removed as a city council member. By law. You are required to be nutural. Evidentially you failed to pass the ethics test co po co.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes giving to your political party or candidate is so un American. Oh wait no it's not

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the question here is the appropriateness of an elected official who is supposed to represent the will of the people giving money to what has over the last few years been a distinct minority. Then again, when has Capoccia ever honored his obligations to the voters? He apparently takes emails counts more seriously than actual resident votes, and has flipped on ever promise he made in 2012.

      Delete
  21. So yesterday the question was whether No on UUT was the only true Sierra Madrean fight, and today there's a list showing Sierra Madre citizens paying for Yes on UUT? And on the other side, there's a list showing outsiders paying for No on UUT. Alright. Got it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What outsiders, dingbat?

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    2. 3:30, I've been here longer than most, and I am voting no on the UUT. Hope you will to, when you sober up.

      Delete
    3. What outsiders are paying for No On UUT?

      Delete
  22. John and Marta Capoccia ... $250

    ?

    wouldn't that be some type of ethical conflict for a sitting Councilman to contribute to advertise the UUT? isn't he supposed to be unbiased?

    is it legal?

    says allot with the company of former Councilmembers he associates with - the same ones that caused this mess to begin with

    smh

    ReplyDelete
  23. Did the PD all the sheriff helicopter out yesterday? All I heard was there was a water main leak on Sierra Madre Blv.d If so, how much did that cost? If it wasn't the water main, what was it?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Look at the well educated idiots handing out money for a yes on the UUT. It starts with the co po cos and then moves on to the police union. It's all about calpers unfunded pension which only benefits the city hall employees. Go get a real job no is the only box you need to bubble in

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so glad that you've moved out of our wonderful little city. Since you've moved out, why do you think you can contribute to this conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because I enjoy doing it, Amy. I lived in Sierra Madre for 15 years and I have a lot of friends there. As I do in Arcadia, Pasadena and the other towns this blog covers. 3,000 to 5,000 people read The Tattler every day, and now I am supposed to stop writing it because you have stamped your little feet? It is obvious that you are more concerned about silencing the people you don't agree with, anyway. Folks who are empowered by this blog. What makes you think you have the right to tell people what they can and cannot do, or read? Certainly it doesn't come from anything you know, have accomplished, or deserve. Personally I think your pique is just typical small town animus to anyone who isn't like you. Who doesn't belong to your small circle of identically thinking friends, or is content to live in so vast an intellectual vacuum. If you don't like this blog go read something else. I certainly don't want you here.

      Delete
  26. http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Farcadiasbest.com%2F2016%2F04%2Farcadia-election-oh-my-my%2F&h=SAQF2Xp4-&s=1

    ReplyDelete