Waste, Fraud and Abuse

NEW: New evidence of Gov. Brown’s utter disinterest in pension reform

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Later today, the governing board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is expected to pass rules giving state employees 99 ways to spike their "pensionable pay." Gov. Jerry Brown only objected to one of the 99 bonuses. This is the same governor who billed his 2012 pension reform l...

LAUSD system does not compute

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
HAL 9000 computer

You'd think a state that's still by far the center of the global computer industry could produce government computer systems that work right. They don't. From the Daily News: Ditching Los Angeles Unified’s new computer system, school counselors in the district found themselves reverting to the sa...

Feds abdicate on own rules for CA bullet train $

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
mercy.bake

The Obama administration has given the state $3.5 billion in funds for its bullet train project. But the 2009 stimulus funds that were the source of most of the federal bequest came with lots of strings attached, as is common with federal grants. Those rules were formally published in the Federal...

Scam exposed: UTLA wants $ for troubled students to fund 17.6% raise

Friday, August 8th, 2014
LCFF-logo-179x179

When Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Local Control Funding Formula for state schools into law in the summer of 2013, it was billed as the biggest education reform in California in decades. The premise of the law -- and the mainstream media coverage of the law -- was that this advanced Brown's goal of ge...

State peddles idea that bullet train contractors are investors

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
vinci.2

On Jan. 11, 2010, the Legislative Analyst's Office issued a report on the latest iteration of the business plan for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. It contained a game-changing conclusion -- a predictable conclusion but still a crucial one. Here's what I wrote in a Union-Tribune editorial ...

Port of San Diego turns permit process into profit center

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

The Port of San Diego is breaking crazy new ground. The agency -- which has 500-plus employees and a $97 million annual budget to oversee maritime cargo and cruise ship facilities in a coastal area covering San Diego and four smaller cities -- has turned the permitting process into a way to pad ...

Profiting from stem-cell public-private partnership

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
CIRM

While governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger loved to tout "public-private partnerships"; another phrase for which is "crony capitalism." One such partnership he backed was Proposition 71 back in 2004, which allocated $3 billion to fund stem-cell research. Except that, with interest, the payback amount ...

Uber nabs Apple exec

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
google car

On July 4 on our site, James Poulos wrote about Uber and other ride-sharing companies' battles with some existing taxi companies over insurance. Steven Greenhut also wrote about it in the U-T San Diego. However that turns out, Uber almost certainly is the future for a simple reason: Digital te...

Arnold still driving Hummer

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Schwarzenegger bentley

Despite its motto, "Advancing Policy, Not Politics" -- as if the two could be separated -- the USC Schwarzenegger Institute still promotes the former governor's policies on global warming/climate change. A recent press release reads: Arnold Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on President Obama’s Pla...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Taken at face value, the pension reforms touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and 2012 were genuinely far-reaching for a California Democrat, even one as allegedly independent as Brown. But from the 2014 perspective, two of the key provisions previously sought by the gov have not only gone nowhere; th...