Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Contra Costa County government scandal: Third World R Us?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
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It's long been common in politics for one side to comment on how alleged wrongdoing is covered by the media if their side does it versus how it's covered if it's the other side doing it. But this tactic and/or genuinely aggrieved reaction is being fine-tuned as the years go along. The first time ...

LAO report: Dozens of school districts not honoring intent of state law

Sunday, January 25th, 2015
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The state Legislative Analyst's Office released a report last week on how 50 California school districts were dealing with the requirements of the 2013 Local Control Funding Formula law. That's Gov. Jerry Brown's ballyhooed reform measure that is meant to devote more school resources to helping indi...

Villaraigosa record has pluses for Senate bid — and landmines

Saturday, January 24th, 2015
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The signs are growing that state and national Democrats' attempts to clear the U.S. Senate field in 2016 for California Attorney General Kamala Harris aren't working. Several well-known Democrats are seriously considering challenging Harris, and at least a couple seem likely to run -- starting with ...

UC president appears to cave in fight with Gov. Brown

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
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Three months ago, University of California President Janet Napolitano triggered a fight with Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature when she persuaded the UC regents to commit to a five-year plan in which tuition was raised by 5 percent every year -- unless the state government provided mor...

Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
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The state government's practice of letting workers defy official state policy and pile up unused vacation days and cash them in upon retirement has been criticized on and off for years. California government watchdogs and journalists have outlined the budget problems this causes and noted other stat...

New category of CA employees tries to sandbag pension fixes

Monday, January 5th, 2015
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When elected officials participate even very indirectly in a process that improves their compensation, the public goes wild. It's powerful attack-ad fodder for candidates seeking to unseat such politicians. But when powerful bureaucrats engage in such in a maneuver -- even in much more direct fas...

Seniors join ‘new’ homeless

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

I'm gettin' up there in years myself -- 60 in June. So I'm sympathetic. The latest crisis to hit California is that its massively high cost of living is pushing seniors out onto the streets. Social Security checks, small pensions and food stamps might cut it in Michigan, but not in California. ...

CHP’s probe of CalFire yielded leads — unlike DA’s probe of CHP

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
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The reports that suggest the California Highway Patrol did a solid job in handling the investigation of a prostitution scandal at CalFire's training acadmy in Ione have a rich subtext. CHP gathered enough strong evidence that 16 CalFire employees were suspended and placed on administrative leave....

Thieves rip $800,000 in computers from San Jose State

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Can't blame this one on Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Thieves ripped off $800,000 of computer equipment from San Jose State. The Contra Costa Times reported: Without a central warehouse or reliable system for keeping track of the valuables arriving on campus, hundreds of wireless-access devices co...

CA govt. workers score top salaries

Friday, December 26th, 2014
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A new survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found that California government workers pull down among the highest compensation in the nation. Here's the map: Table 4 shows average earnings, for 2013, in California for a full-time state-and-local employee are $6,190. No other state even breaks the $...