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The DeVore-Spitzer Debate – Surgery, or Increased Dosage?

An interview of a different kind

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Let’s be clear :  Orange County in general and the Third District specifically are  fortunate to have Chuck DeVore and Todd Spitzer contend for a Third District Board of Supervisors seat in 2012.  We cannot recall a time when Orange County residents were asked to choose a supervisor from two as qualified as Mr. DeVore and Mr. Spitzer  Usually the selection criteria has come to the “devil you know,” or the “least worst.”  In this case, pick the cream from the cream.

Orange County cannot loose.  Orange County  will not loose, regardless of the outcome

Chuck DeVore

Todd Spitze

 

Both have answered the questions de rigueur, such as why are you running?  and what do you see as the most critical issues facing the county?  To date, the how has been largely missing

We often hear that politicians go to Washington to change things, and instead, it is they who are changed.  We also hear that power corrupts.  We rarely hear why this may be so.  To be clear, power is more seductive than any mind-altering drug available, and there is a pantheon of caught politicians to prove it, and others slippery enough to not have been caught  - yet

So, we would like to try a new spin-less type of interview.  This piece is not intended to promote one candidate over the other, as much as it is intended to as a trigger mechanism to kick start debate over substantive issues.  Because of certain reasons stated below, instead of trying to interview each candidate individually, we though that perhaps we would raise the issues, then have each side either respond, or not.  WARNING:  Be careful about what you do not say – what you do speaks louder than what you do say

For reference, we have been following both candidates for quite some time.  We have seen their views evolve and or adapt to the political reality.  For instance, not more than two years back the argument was that “earmarks is such a small percentage of the total budget we should not even discuss it…”  to now,  “read my lips, no more earmarks”

We consider Mr. DeVore and Mr. Sptizer. very similar in style and in substance – Almost like twins. 

Both typify the clean-cut All-Orange County image.  Both seem intelligent, both are driven, goal-oriented and uber-competitive. Both can be brash and prone to go on tangents.

It is widely known that politicians like to control their message and are usually reluctant to speak to the media for fear their comments may be taken out of context or twisted.  Yet during the 2010 elections, Mr. DeVore easily veered off message and focused instead on personal attacks.

Both have provided credence to the slogan, “It is so easy to donate to a candidate’s fund that a caveman can do it.  It takes a lobbyist to reach that candidate once he is elected.”  Take for instance the case of Joseph Morabito, a most successful Orange County entrepreneur, characterized as a  “disgruntled voter,” by Mr. Spitzer  some three years ago:

Buzz,  That would be me.  However, I would not say I was not disgruntled.  Instead, I was disgusted and mad as hell related to California government and the bloated bureaucracy up in Sacramento that is owned by all the interests groups in the state and for sale to the highest bidder.  In fact, our state politicians of both parties make prostitution look like an honorable profession by comparison.  Clearly, in trying to deal with Sacramento , it is easy to see why the state has a $15 billion deficit.  It might have a little to do with the 13,000 lawyers that are on the state payroll, along with all the legislative aides who accomplish nothing; but giving citizens the run around.  It really is sad; but we have the government we deserve because most people could care less unless their particular cheese is moved. 

You will note Spitzer’s big concern is that he has been term limited out of office.   He made a point of it in my discussions with him as an excuse for doing nothing.  In addition, all should know that Republicans in Sacramento have no power at all.  The Democrats steal tax money from Republican districts and provide to their constituents as a pay off in pork.  That is the reason we have toll roads in Orange County .  Our guys just don’t have the votes to bring home our bacon.  And, Schwarzenegger is a worthless, tax and spend RINO (Republican in name only).  He has worked with Democrats to borrow and bankrupt the state.   It really is a dirty, stinking mess.  Joseph Morabito

 

Perhaps an isolated instance you say, or even irrelevant?  In that case consider Mr. Spitzer’s   strong interest in a 2008 Trabuco High Schools “student-led” coalition who sued  Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service over invalidation of 690 AP exams, accusing the company of not adequately investigating allegations of cheating and improper proctoring on the May exams and demanding a "good faith" investigation.  We characterized Mr. Spitzer’s fight then as an attempt to defend the indefensible, particularly given the overwhelming evidence about cheating in the classroom.  On the other hand, a lobbying group can command a politician’s attention as opposed to a single “disgruntled homeowner.  

You may argue that the "caveman can do it, but it takes a lobbyists approach" to politics is just an artifact of the democratic  process, but it does not need to be so. Companies use mass customization technology for micro-targeting and enhanced customer satisfaction.  The same technology can be used by politicians post-election, to  communicate with and  address voters concerns efficiently and without having to resort to lobbyists. 

The clincher however, is that both  Mr. DeVore and Mr. Spitzer's  have government experience, both claim it as a benefit, but if not handled properly, it can be a big albatross.  The benefit is that both know how the system works..  A skeptic will argue that both have been nourishing a broken system, both have  developed tunnel vision and hence both are now part of the problem, and not the solution. A form of self-bounded rationality, if you will

Take for instance the annexation issue discussion  between OC LAFCO, the OCBOS, RSM and other elected and or appointed local officials.  When an agreement was not promptly reached, it was blamed on miscommunication.  Sergio’s response?  Hire a communication’s consultant at taxpayers expense!  How about instead a Trump approach:   Do  your job,  or you are fired!

Not convincing enough? Try the  2005 Wall Street Journal study, which examined how malpractice insurance premiums for anesthesiologists have decreased over the past 20 years because they have focused on improving patient safety rather than legislation that would pay the darn insurance premiums and keep doing the same thing, over and over again.  No different from how California has been governed for the last 20 years or so.  Increase parasitic bureaucracies and increase taxes.

Or, take  for instance freshman  Congressman Allen West’s H.R. 1246 bill which unanimously passed  the House of Representatives.   H.R. 1246- which will cut the Department of Defense printing and reproduction budget by 10 percent passed by unanimous vote of 393 to 0.  “H.R. 1246 helps us keep our promise to the American public that we will cut wasteful government spending and spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently.” West said.  That is, the Colonel, has accomplished what the Democrats and the Republicans in Washington DC have dialed to do. 

During the 2010 mid-term  election, Mr. DeVore ran on a strict fiscal conservative platform, fighting to the last second.  A month earlier however, the CotoBuzz Journal had called the election for the California Women:  Hutchens, Fiorina, Whitman and Walters.  The point is that although it is a good idea to fight to the end, it may be a good idea to be realistic and walk the talk.  As soon as the elections results were announced, Mr. DeVore sends a money bomb asking for donations to retire a campaign debt.  Do you see the irony?

Also,  during the 2010 elections we asked Mr. DeVore  what he would do about CA’s Triple Threat:  1)  Unions, 2) Lobbyists and 3) Bureaucracies.  He did provide a response about public unions but otherwise offered no substantive response.  Now, the latest fad amongst local political junkies is what to do to about RDAs  We posit that the RDA argument is simply the tip of the iceberg.  While most, including RDAs, LAFCO, EEOC, CLRC, SEC, EPA and so on ad nauseam- ,  if not all bureaucracies are well intentioned, their intrinsic parasitic nature soon take over soon, the benefits are soon overshadowed.   California's Triple Threat:  1) Unions 2) Parasitic bureaucracies and 3)  Lobbyists have a symbiotic relationship that in order to stop requires major intervention.  Dealing with one is sort of like treating cancer with pain killers.  While the pain may temporarily go away, the cancer quickly spreads and kills the patient.

For instance, we have been advocating a bureaucracy realignment and closure initiative, not unlike the military base closure initiative.  We posit that you can eliminate and or merge 80% of California's bureaucracies and not miss a beat.  This is somewhat analogous to what we had been proposing for GM for the last 20 years, and guess what happened to GM and what it ended doing with all its parasitic brands?

Questions for Mr. Spitzer and Mr. DeVore

With the supplied antecedents, the following open questions are for Mr. DeVore and Mr. Spitzer.  While it would be ideal if both camps responded directly to this forum, it is not required, nor expected.  

1.  Success:  How do you define success for your next OCBOS term?  In other words, voting Yes to support your initiatives, or No to defeat the initiatives counter to your principles is necessary, but if you fail, then it does not much matter. Almost analogous to the President voting Present when he was in the legislature,  to avoid making the tough decisions.

2.  Experience:  Given your political experience, seems like you have decided to be a career politician, not unlike Governor Brown, and given our assertion that power is more seductive than any mind altering drug, what can you do to stay grounded and responsive to Joe the homeowner?

3.  Boldness –    Experience in many cases is a very powerful creativity buster as described above. Additionally consider the politicians who are currently dominating the national debate such as  Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Governor Chris Christie and others,  relatively inexperienced in their news posts.  Now consider Governor Brown’s proposals to resuscitate California’s economy..

The Orange County Board  of Supervisors had a golden opportunity to show boldness in the appointment to replaced disgraced Sheriff Carona, instead, it went to safe route.

 A.  Audits:  What bold initiatives can you advance?  For example, we have been trying to follow the money contracted cities pay to the county for sheriff services but continue to encounter obstacles.  The county apparently does not have the necessary tools.  The state is supposed to conduct audits to make sure everything is in the up and up.  However, the California Department of Justice and the Chief of Public Affairs of the California State Auditor's Office have confirmed  that no audits of the sheriffs department have been conducted in Los Angeles, San Diego and or Orange County, at least over the last ten years. Will you be willing to sponsor a request the  Joint Legislative Audit Committee schedules an audit of the  Orange County Sheriff’s department.  Not necessarily because there is something wrong, but because if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.  Further, law enforcement officials and Governor Brown are asking for a tax increase.  Does it make sense to have a tax increase when we cannot trace how the public safety dollar is being managed?

B.  The Triple constraint:  Are you willing to consider an Orange County  bureau realignment and closure initiative, whereby 80% of the bureaucracies should either close or merge – initiative patterned after the military closure initiative.  If successful, the notion can be a prototype that can be exported to other counties and the nation.

Conclusion:  Again, we are thrilled to have two most qualified candidates.  The question is how to solve problems:  Do we continue to do the same thing and just increase the dosage, or do we have bold initiatives?

 

RELATED STORIES

 

DeVore on ANDRES BOCELI - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA- Candidate Obama rightfully demanded that  words must mean something.  President Obamaregularly parses words not unlike the infamous "it all depends on what is is".  Politicians regularly use the terms accountability and transparency, but when pressed as to what they are ready to do, they deflect, deny or ignore, perhaps even lie - that is, the political game of DIDL.

California's Triple Threat - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA  We assert that the sucking sound you hear are all the jobs California is losing to Nevada, Texas and Utah, in large measure do to what we refer to as California's Triple Threat:   1) Public sector organized labor 2) un-elected, un-checked parasitic bureaucracies and 3)  lobbyists. 

Economic Freedom and the Triple Constraint - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The Heritage Foundation & The Wall Street Journal compared 183 countries across ten specific freedoms such as trade freedom, business freedom, property rights, investment freedom and others, to come up with the so called The Link Between Economic Opportunity and Prosperity: The 2009 Index of Economic Freedom.  Such index ranked  Hong Kong at the top, while the United States was relegated to the number six slot

A view of Senator Obama Using a  Disgruntled Homeowner Prism During a recent blogging exchange with Assemblyman Todd Spitzer , he referred to a particular constituent as a disgruntled member of a homeowners association.  Now, we have heard the term disgruntled employee regularly in employer-employee spats and usually in whistle blowing scenarios.  We have also hear the term disgruntled resident in the context of an argument between representatives of a homeowners’ association and the resident itself.  Never from a politician to characterize a constituent.

A Winning the Future Moment, or Simply:  WTF? - Rancho Santa Margarita,  CA – President Obama has ditched the car in the ditch metaphor and the Hope & Change slogan in lieu of taking the engine off of an airplane metaphor  and Winning the Future slogan .  Critics say that the new metaphor does not work, since the airplane is heading to China to mortgage future generations of American, when the airplane has no fuel, while Governor  Sarah Palin characterizes the new slogan as “What Were They Thinking”  (WWTT) or in the vernacular:  WTF?

The 2010 Union Voting Guide - Use at your Own Peril  - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - There is a lot of truth in the old adage that "we should not judge a book by its cover." But what if we have access to the Cover, the Table of Contents and the Appendix? Can we get a good idea as to the contents of the book? In other words, using another adage "tell me who you associate with and I will tell you who you are?" and applying the latter to political elections, if we know the candidate's supporters, we should be able to have a good idea about how that candidate will govern. Take for instance Van Jones, Reverend Wright, the National Representative of the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan, the Reverend Al Sharpton,  terrorist William Charles " Bill" Ayers and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel all supporters of candidate Obama.  Should this not have been a good indicator, largely ignored, of the contents of the now Presidential Book?

 

THE FORUM: Vote "Yes" for 23; support jobs

The California Air Resources Board acknowledges that "no direct public health impacts" are expected from Prop 23. The proposition delays control of greenhouse gas emissions, implicated in global warming. It delays implementation of AB 32 (the global warming solution), which penalizes sources of emissions, especially refineries and fossil fuel power sources.

 

The 2010 Union Voting Guide - Use at your Own Peril
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - There is a lot of truth in the old adage that "we should not judge a book by its cover." But what if we have access to the Cover, the Table of Contents and the Appendix? Can we get a good idea as to the contents of the book? In other words, using another adage "tell me who you associate with and I will tell you who you are?" and applying the latter to political elections, if we know the candidate's supporters, we should be able to have a good idea about how that candidate will govern. Take for instance Van Jones, Reverend Wright, the National Representative of the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, terrorist William Charles " Bill" Ayers and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel all supporters of candidate Obama. Should this not have been a good indicator, largely ignored, of the contents of the now Presidential Book?

 

 

2010 California Propositions Voters Guide
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - While heuristics indicate that a NO vote in any California's direct special interest democracy is a wise move, following the money may be even better. Below is a list of the 2010 California propositions, their main supporters and our recommendations, including a brief rationale.

 

   


 

 


 

 

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