Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spa-Gate: Is Kathryn Barger the Worst LA County Board of Supervisors Candidate?

Stinker?
Mod: This one comes to us from the Tattler Los Angeles County Political Review Committee, headed up by the inimitable Deep Throat. That name is used because our correspondent actually works at the LACBOS, and wants you to know where Kathryn Barger is actually coming from. LA Barge is endemic to the entrenched corruption that has run LA County for decades, and part and parcel to many of the problems afflicting this part of the world. 

More of the same garbage will come our way in the LA County Fifth Supervisorial District if Kathryn Barger Liebrich (her legal name) snags her boss' chair this November. If you like real "experience" with your cheeseburger, she's been running Michael Antonovich's office for decades as his Chief Deputy, and has carried out his myriad bad policies that we're so fond of. Such as steering millions of dollars in grant money every possible Los Angeles County dirt patch and planting the Antonovich name on it. Not just all of those east county trails and parks, but the LACHSA Amphitheater, the Antelope Valley Courthouse, and a regional recreation area in Simi Valley. And it's not polite to turn the honor down. As a matter of fact, Kathryn will politically cut your throat if you try. In a heartbeat.

It would also mean a re-run of failed management and the oversight of corrupt practices that we have come to expect from that office. The LA County Sheriff's office (Lee Baca - resigned, Paul Tanaka - convicted in Federal Court of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice) has utterly failed. The County jails are out of control and are being investigated by the FBI.

Los Angeles Times: Two L.A. sheriff's deputies convicted of beating mentally ill inmate (link).

We've also had to deal with criminal activity in the LA County Assessor's office, the former LA County Assessor John Nougez is under indictment on corruption charges, an investigation that charged him with taking $185,000 in bribes from Arizona tax consultant Ramin Salari to reduce property values for Salari's clients. In addition, a former employee has alleged that ex- county assessor John Noguez asked him to lower the values of several properties over several years ending in 2011. This activity was offset by attempting to raise taxes in wealthy communities, and the Assessor's office was forced to reissue the tax billings at the much lower actual rate. This kind of corruption is/was endemic in the LA County region.

Culver City News: Former employee Arraigned Feb. 24 (link).

The out-of-control public sector salaries and pension spiking (read: CalPERS) is another symptom of the takeover and ruination of regional cities by LA County organizations. The model for which drove the tainted Measure UUT effort in Sierra MadreBarger Liebrich has the full support of the public safety unions because she promotes their huge salaries and platinum pensions with a vengeance. 

Los Angeles Times: Sheriff's, firefighter unions spend heavily on candidate in L.A. County supervisor's race (link).

She was instrumental in getting the local parcel tax measure to financially support the police department in San Marino, along with Lee Baca himself, as part of a committee of San Marino residents who feel that no expense should be spared on police/fire equipment, salaries and pensions. These, along with lots of unnecessary construction busy work to keep the county public union coffers full (the infamous "Make San Marino Better" list), fill out the dance card.

San Marino Tribune: Committee Formed to Support Renewal of Measures ‘U,’ ‘SA’ (link).

This old regime LA County network is bringing full pressure to bear with its insertion of long-time police officers into municipal positions. Done to better promote police/fire personnel and increases in their salaries. It started with the abrupt hiring of the San Marino police chief to be the City Manager a few years ago, and the resulting city staff/police/fire salaries and pension liabilities are ballooning out of control and creating a backlash in the community.

The City Council members who insisted on this arrangement were not re-elected, but the damage is done. Now we see two other cities, Alhambra and Gardena, that cited San Marino as a precedent to follow. Cities where cops were hired for that spot. Their police hires for City Manager happened rather suddenly as well, at the behest of this corrupt county political network which doesn't like to see outside hires who won't play the game.

Pasadena Star News: Why Alhambra chose its police chief to be its new city manager (link).

Barger-Liebrich is part and parcel of this systemic dysfunction, and has also learned how to skim the system. She even got caught  receiving a free union facial:

What Were They Thinking? (link) I bring up Gen. Boulanger because this fourth great question can now be asked of Kathryn Barger-Leibrich. She is the chief of staff for county Supervisor Mike Antonovich and the most prominent member of the Magnificent Seven - the seven staff members representing Supervisors Antonovich, Don Knabe and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, who spent an August weekend of health and beauty together at the Torrey Pines resort in La Jolla. 

What is so magnificent about getting a facial? Well, this particular facial was supposed to be free. The entire tab for the entire weekend for all seven was picked up by the Coalition of County Unions, which, just by happenstance, was holding a conference at Torrey Pines resort that weekend, and also just happened to be in negotiations with the county supervisors for new union contracts.

What a coincidence! At the same time the unions are in contract negotiations with the supervisors, these same unions, out of the goodness of their hearts, feel the need to provide a getaway weekend in La Jolla for seven members of the supervisors' staffs. Who would have thunk that would ever happen? 

Of course, there are laws that govern such bribes, I mean gifts. The gifts have to be reported. That makes them public record and taxable. Ouch. 

Fortunately, the unions generously offered to allow the Magnificent Seven to serve on panel discussions at their conference, which would make their rooms and meals - the really expensive part of the weekend - nontaxable. What a bunch of philanthropists these union folks are, using their members' dues to provide such generous bribes, er, gifts, for a bunch of deserving political functionaries. 

Barger-Leibrich defended her free facial in La Jolla. She said, ``The unions represent our work force ... and it's important that we understand their needs and concerns.'' Hmm. I wonder if she ever thought of attending any of the contract negotiations where she probably would have gotten a pretty good idea about union needs and concerns without having to drive all the way to La Jolla. But then, her skin wouldn't have felt so silky afterward. 

Barger-Leibrich reimbursed the unions for her weekend - after she got caught - but by then it was too late. The Magnificent Seven were public knowledge. And that is bad because someday Barger-Leibrich may want to run for public office, perhaps even one of the seats on the county Board of Supervisors. Her job has often been a platform for wannabe candidates. But I fear her future candidacy may be drowned out by the chants of ``Spa-gate, Spa-gate, Spa-gate,'' and the taunting jeer, ``Get a facial, get a tan, get a bribe wherever you can.''

So now that the San Gabriel Valley is quickly becoming the local model for a police state, what's next? Are local cities doomed to simply feed the wildly ballooning CalPERS retirement system and its pension-spiking? Just let Kathryn Barger Liebrich take this corruption to its logical conclusion countywide.

What could possibly go wrong?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. La Barge is endorsed by Councilmember Arizmendi. Is Truitt in on this one?

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    1. No, it's Bill Carrick. She's supported with tremendous amounts of public union money and those who want to see the 710 Tunnel completed.
      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-barger-independent-expenditure-20160516-snap-story.html

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  2. http://www.kathrynbarger.com/endorsements

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  3. Build the 710 Kool-Aid maker & former Alhambra mayor Barbara Messina endorsed Barger. Does Barger support the 710 Tunnel?

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    1. Hmm. Babs would not support anyone who doesn't love the Alhambra "hole to nowhere."

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    2. Wow. That's the same Barbara Messina that paid a $14,000 FPPC fine in 2010.

      http://www.alhambrasource.org/news/alhambra-councilwoman-messina-pay-14000-violating-political-reform-act

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    3. It's well known that Antonovich's office is the push behind the 710 tunnel project, all the way up to the legislature. Antonovich is slotted to become the CEO of the High Desert Corridor when he's out of office (doubtful that he'll be able to win the state senate seat he's chasing, especially at his age - 76). That's the cargo transit corridor that Metro is trying to build out on the 710/210, using cheap, polluting trucks to wall off and choke the freeways built with public dollars.

      That should all go to the inland ports via rail (Alameda Corridor), but then the cargo would actually have to pay its way instead of destroying public infrastructure and creating massive pollution. That's why LA has the worst air quality in the nation.

      So that's why Antonovich is running to grab a seat in the State Legislature, it's all about consolidating power via the ports of LA and San Pedro. To hell with the public and the residents.

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    4. Antonovich leaves his underling in charge of his old job and then goes to Sacramento to continue his good work up there. Democracy is a splendid thing.

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  4. Looks like Peter Admunson is on the list. Time for tar and feathers.

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    1. So did Congreesswoman Napolitano. It seems parties don't matter in this race. Or maybe there is a new political party called "The First Responders Party?" Hopefully they leave their Winnebagos at home when doing so.

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    2. So did John Kennedy of Pasadena City Council. Surprised he endorsed a Republican.

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    3. There are always deals to be made. Sad that he'd kick in with a tunnel supporter, though.

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  5. I actually called Kathryn Bargars campaign office and spoke to her campaign manager. The reason I called is that I'm getting 4-page color flyers about her almost every day and they are all paid for by various public employee unions. I asked the question whether if she is elected, whether she will be on the other side of the bargaining table in salary, benefit and pensions negotiations with these very same unions that are spending so lavishly on her campaign. They could not or would not answer that question. This exemplifies the corruption of the entire system. The unions are trying to handpick the very people who will be negotiating their salaries, benefits and pensions. Is it any wonder that cities and counties are going bankrupt and the public sector salaries, benefits and pensions are spiraling out of control? I will never vote for her for this reason. She's in bed with the unions and will do their bidding once in office. Thanks to the Tattler for calling attention to the corruption. What does it mean for us? We're paying for all this. We have to work longer and retire later so that the public employees can retire as young as 50 with 6-figure or more pensions with cost of living increasing for the rest of their lives and lavish medical benefits. Lesson: Don't vote for any candidate that is supported by the unions or the "associations".

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    1. Daily flyers filled with bromides and idiot-speak are the mark of a Martin Truitt run campaign. Of course, Martin spent around $700,000 on the Rusnak campaign and we needed up with Chris "Pay to Play" Holden. So go figure.

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    2. Uh. No. Mitchell Englander (aka Barney Fife) is the worst candidate ever.

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    3. The competition is fierce.

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    4. In California, why are the candidates' qualifications always a race to the bottom?

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    5. Didn't Englander get slapped by a judge when he tried to misrepresent himself on the ballot? Imagine what he'll do to all of us if he gets elected. It would require a far more graphic (and adult) description than "facial."

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    6. 6:20 you are correct. One should always look at what a candidate does and with whom they associate. To look at their party registration, in this case, a Republican, is totally useless. With Prop 14 and the ability to declare one's "party" when registering, there are a lot of folks claiming to be the party they are not. Remember: judge by what one does, not what they say.

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    7. Money is almost always more influential than a party affiliation. I don't see many turning down certain kinds of cash just because they happen to belong to a certain political party.

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  6. It was nice of the union to give her a facial.

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    1. The facial didn't help much.

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    2. I'm gonna start calling her Lie-brick. When you combine Liebrich and facial in the same sentence it starts to sound downright dirty!

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  7. So we don't want the sheriff in town, is that what your saying? Frankly I think they are far better trained than our local keystones.

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    1. The LA County Sheriff's Deputies are staffed and trained to patrol 24 hours a day. SMPD, well, they only work when it's light out. Saves a ton of money on flashlight batteries.

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    2. They are well rested.

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  8. Some wonder what the phrase 'old guard' really means well is this article you have read all about the perks that are given to those 'old guard' who keep the status quo in place and take a little bite more for themselves as well.

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  9. Is she married and what does her significant other do for work and what is her salary?

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    1. She's married to Eric Liebrich, who retired some years ago as a Deputy in the Sheriff's department after 32 years in the department. He was part of the court Services Security Operations, an elite group within the sheriff's department responsible for judicial pretection. He was assigned to high-profile court cases inclusive of litigants such as O.J. Simpson, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears.

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  10. Her budget runneth over as does my recycling can with her rubbish!

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  11. Antonovich was instrumentally in firing Barry Wallerstein - head of the SCAQMD ... for that anyone affiliated with him in any way shape or form will never see my vote ... ever.

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    1. Dirty air and the cancer tunnel. Can we start naming toxic waste sites and landfills after him?

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  12. Yes, according to this article, it was "payment in kind" to his buddies in the oil industry to pave the way for more if he gets into the Senate.

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/government-and-politics/20160304/south-coast-air-quality-district-board-ousts-longtime-executive-officer

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  13. Isn't Antonovich the guy responsible for cutting down all of those old growth oak trees in Arcadia?

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  14. What concerns me more than anything is this takeover of our cities by the police unions - by fiat. The residents have no say in this. And once the police are in power, then power corrupts: "With little public debate, often in almost total secrecy, increasing numbers of police departments are wielding technology to empower themselves rather than the communities they protect and serve. At a time when trust in law enforcement is dangerously low, police departments should be embracing technology’s democratizing potential rather than its ability to give them almost superhuman powers at the expense of the public trust."

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176142/tomgram%3A_harwood_and_stanley%2C_policing_the_dystopia/#more

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  15. This is all done in the name of safety and security. It is a trend that got worse in the aftermath of 9/11. Fearful Americans are giving up their constitutionals rights in order to be "safe". If one argues against this, one gets immediately suspect - of protecting terrorists or criminals. Remember that slogan "Fear nothing but fear itself!"

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  16. Yes, that was Winston Churchill, who saved England's butt and then they voted him out of office.

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    1. Wrong, it was the United States of America that saved the butts of England and the rest of Western Europe. See what BIG government can do with massive deficit spending!

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  17. Hey if Barger is all we got, that is a step up from those trolls Solis and Kuehl. Plus, Barger likes facials.

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  18. How did Barger-Leibrich get this Chief of Staff plumb job back in the day? It pays extremely well

    https://payday.cironline.org/salary/4873515/

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    1. She was young and blond.

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    2. Her father, Richards Barger was a lawyer (USC Law School 1953) and the Insurance Commissioner under Ronald Reagan; he passed away in January of this year. He was extremely active in California Industry meetings, with an emphasis in the formation, merger and acquisition of insurance companies, according to the website for Hinshaw & Culberston LLP, where he served as a partner emeritus. He's a previous President for The Michael D. Antonovich Charitable Foundation. The family has been extremely active in San Marino and its local civic groups for over 60 years.

      https://www.corporationwiki.com/California/San-Marino/thomas-p-sullivan/40677268.aspx

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  19. Mr Moderator
    I know this is off topic, but I've learned how many Arcadia govt officials are provided free autos and gas to commute to/from work. If they don't want the free car, then they can receive $300 + per month subsidy for a their vehicle expense. Yes, it's true. I wonder if the fine Sierra Madre city staff has similar perks?

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    1. I know some of them have city cars.

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  20. Not sure about this, but I think the Planning Commission just gave a green light to a day care in an R1 zone that will serve 14 kids. Another home business in a neighborhood.

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  21. Kathleen Barger goes back and forth when using her name for political purposes. Daddy Barger got Mike Antonovich to bring his daughter on as an intern in her office when she wasn't very successful in getting a paying job out of college working in the private sector. Ironically, once hired,she never left the cushy County job. How Republican--when you can make it in the private sector, work for elected officials in government!!!
    Over the years her lack of qualifications and basic inertia was rewarded when she was finally appointed to be Antonovich's Chief Deputy, even though her predecessor did not recommend her for the job. It is well known that she is an managerial disaster inside that office. Outside the downtown office, know one in the District knows her. Over her 30 year career with LA County and District 5 staff and as a resident of San Marino, she has never volunteered to served for any not for profit or community based organization. She is totally out of touch with the people of the District and if it wasn't for Antonovich's arm twisting to support her and his money, she would not be a candidate. Now she wants to convince the public she is dedicated to serving the people of District 5.
    Kathleen Barger is a trust fund baby born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She is now the beneficiary of a of another and trust fund--a huge public employee pension. After 30 years of working for the LA County in Mike Antonovich's office as political appointee and with an outrageous salary, she will receive the same benefits as a LA County public employee, taking in over $150,000 a year or more in LA County retirement funds, plus free health insurance for life. When you add that to her husband's LA County Public Safety retirement benefits, the Barger-Liebrich household will be bringing in more than $300,000 annually in LA County retirement benefits. And this is who we want to represent us on the County Board of Supervisors---you got to be joking!

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    1. That figures. Antonovich is an old man with memory problems now. All he wants to do is get his flunkies in position to push the 710 Tunnel through for the port traffic. So he's running for state senate to do that? What a joke.

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  22. Crooked katheryn

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  23. Looks like the only way to stop the public union takeover of the local cities and LA County is to vote for the Democrat, Darrell Park

    http://electdarrellpark.com/index.php/endorsements/endorsements2

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  24. For the fourth straight year, Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News, Publisher Brian Hews and staff garnered five Los Angeles Press Club finalist nominations to be awarded at the 58th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards, June 26, 2016 at the Millennium Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles.

    HMG-CN won six Press Club Awards in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

    In 2012, HMG-CN won 1st place in the Investigative Series category for its exclusive expose on Assessor John Noguez in what turned out to be the “biggest financial scandal in Los Angeles history,” according to then-Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley.

    As a result of the series, Noguez was arrested on bribery and corruption charges and is awaiting trial.

    A number of other arrests were made, including Tax Agent Ramin Salari and Mark McNiel one of Noguez’ deputies.

    Noguez was charged with 30 felony counts, including four counts of accepting bribes; five counts of perjury; two counts of conspiracy; and 19 counts of misappropriation by a public officer. The complaint alleges the fraud and embezzlement exceeded $500,000.

    If convicted as charged, Noguez faces up to 38 years in state prison.

    Salari was charged with 59 felony counts, including 24 counts of bribing an executive officer; two counts of conspiracy; 19 counts of misappropriation; seven counts of embezzlement; and seven counts of grand theft.

    If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in state prison.

    McNeil was charged with 20 felony counts, including one count of conspiracy and 19 counts of misappropriation by a public officer.

    If convicted, he faces up to 29 years in state prison.

    Wholesale institutional changes were also made at the Assessor’s office to eradicate future abuses of the system.

    The series also garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination for HMG-CN.

    http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2016/05/26/hews-media-group-community-news-garners-five-los-angeles-press-club-nominations/

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