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The DeVore-Spitzer Debate & the One Million Dollar OC Man

Posted By CotoBlogzz May 13, 2011

 

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – If you think gas prices are exorbitant, have you seen how much it takes to get a candidate elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors (OCBOS)? 

 

Looking at the open seat in the Orange County Third District as an investment, under what conditions would you buy stock at some 1000 price to earnings (P/E) ratio?  Consider that brand-centric companies usually command a 10-30 multiple, whereas financial-centric ones usually go for 1-5 times.  Now, Hot Market-Centric Companies Such as the ones listed below, did not get over a 500 times multiple:

 

Company                      PE             Market Cap

1.  AOL                         253            $109.4B

2. Yahoo                       311             $39.6B

3. Excite                       491             $7.3B

4. Amazon                    -119             $20.2B

 

 

Further, according to Forbes, Quarter Ending Date 2011/03 results for Apple Computer, show the following price to earnings ratios:

 

  • Current P/E Ratio = 16.7

  • P/E Ratio 1 Month Ago = 16.0

  • P/E Ratio 26 Weeks Ago = 20.3

  • P/E Ratio 52 Weeks Ago = 19.6

  • 12 Month Normalized P/E Ratio = 16.7

 

Then consider that just this week, a study by Millward Brown a global brands agency found that thanks to the iPhone and iPad Apple, is now worth $153 Billion

 

 

Chuck DeVore

Todd Spitzer

 

According to an email blast from  Third candidate Chuck DeVore, his likely opponent Todd Spitzer “….has a million dollars – money from government unions and special interests,” adding that “with a million dollars, my opponent’s consultant can pump out thousands and thousands of slick mailers attacking me with all kinds of false charges – I know, because my opponent’s consultant was the same consultant my defeated 2004 opponent “

 

So what is the  P/E ratio for the Third District?  Roughly close to infinity.   Why?  Because in this case the E is not  earnings, as much as it is entitlements.  That is, a taxpayer pays for the price and for the entitlement!

 

We have been trying to get Mr. DeVore and Mr. Spitzer to have a substantive debate on the issues the county of Orange faces, but to date Mr. Spitzer has been unresponsive and Mr. DeVore’s responses have lacked substance.  While we have suggested certain bold initiatives, Mr. DeVore has largely responded with reasons why the proposals are not doable – not with his own bold proposals:

 

A.  Audits – We are calling for an audit of the OCSD. 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, no county or state agency contacted so far has records of any audits performed.  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?  Mr. DeVore  says that “.. the county has the authority to order its own audits, and it should.”  The problem with such a response is analogous to having the fox audit the hen house.

 

 Stephen Connelly, OCSD’s  Executive Director of Independent Review for example, when asked about department accountability, he said “Accountability means different things to different people”. Further, Mr. Connely was aware of tools and or metrics used by management in the department to make sure there was some sort of accountability.  And a just-released-OCSD follow-up to a 2008 audit  criticizing the OCSD  for allowing out-of-control, “ because the department lacked sufficient rules and controls “ misses the mark:    The new audit credits new overtime rules with a  drop in overtime costs  of $21.6 million..  We have asked to county to clarify the rationale used to reach such conclusion, as the evidence indicates the reason is  "because the department lacked the proper management"

 

Then there is the issue of an outdated manual timecard system, which needs to be overhauled, and according to  Sheriff’s Executive Director Rick Dostal. A new system could save the county as much as $225,000 a year.  We are also asking the county to clarify.  After all, most reputable payroll processing services provide timecard systems for free.  Worse case, there are plenty of open source solutions at no cost to the county.

 

 

B.  BRCI -  We are asking Third candidates 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.  No real response from Mr. DeVore

 

On a related note, Mr. DeVore’s  email blast refers to “…an independent poll taken in March shows me beating my opponent, Todd Spitzer, by 39 percent to 25 percent.”   Our proprietary Poldex© Index, a measure of relative popularity in the county, places Mr. DeVore at a major disadvantage with only 15%

 

While it may be understandable that a substantive debate may be too early, given a one million dollar war chest that can be used for demagoguery, voters deserve better.  Particularly when the P/E ratio approximates infinity.

 

###

 

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Comments

BOTH USELESS

I'm sick of both of these guys and with good reasons, plural, too numerous to list here.  Every politician, now especially a Republican politician says whatever they think other constituents want to hear.  You nailed it Buzz, HE DID NOTHING. NADA. NOTHING. Which is what most of them do:  NOTHING.  They want the perks of the job, the limelight,

 

Meanwhile the constituents are left to fend for themselves, how is this any better than what Obama is doing:  NOTHING.

 

Both these men have had chance after chance TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their districts and they have been pedestrian in their attainment and marginal in their so-called successes (which really are no successes at all) .  We are sick and tired of promises. We need some damn ACTION.  Stop blaming the legislative gridlock, its a cop out. We want JOBS. We want to get rid of NAFTA. We want our local agriculture businesses to be given some breaks so we can buy and sell local produce.  We want reduction in utility rates.  We want lower taxes. And the list goes on.

 

It really doesn't matter what the list is, because once either of these two get in, they put their feet up on the desk just like all the rest of them and start collecting their paychecks. I CAN TELL YOU THIS:  NEITHER OF THEM HAVE ANSWERED MY TELEPHONE CALLS.  BOTH of them have palmed me and other callers off to stupid IQ-less "aids."  And we all know who the "aids" are, people who donated to the campaign, its THEIR KID.  Useless.

 

YES it is absolutely true, one must know a lobbyist to get close to either of these gentlemen, after all, they're just looking for a job aren't they.  WHERE ARE THE JOBS IN YOUR DISTRICT FOR THE REST OF US?.  

Boldness required

Tank

 

You seem to argue that this case is not about an increased dosage,  that is, more of the same, but about major surgery, as in boldness.   I have made a few proposals starting with being able to define success.  Seems like this goes to the heart of a substantive debate, otherwise is all about hot hair.  No?

 

Example of increased dosage- OCSD Re-Audit

 

 

Here is an example of  an increased dosage, AKA as much more of the same- the just-released-OCSD re-audit - A  follow-up to a 2008 audit  criticizing the OCSD  for allowing out-of-control, “ because the department lacked sufficient rules and controls “ misses the mark:    The new audit credits new overtime rules with a  drop in overtime costs  of $21.6 million..  Should it not be "because the department lacked the proper management"?- After all, if you cannot measure it,  how can you  manage it?

 

The report revealed employees working on days when they had scheduled time off, and working more than the allowable hours of overtime during a pay period, allowing  100 Sheriff’s employees to earn more than 50 percent of their base pay in overtime.  This goes to the core of corporate culture and whether or not there is a closed-loop-corrective action so these things do not even come up in the first place, with or without new and improved rules.  That is, instead of a reactionary approach, how about metrics so management and employees are held accountable?

 

 

Then there is the issue of an outdated manual timecard system which needs to be  overhauled at a and according to  Sheriff’s Executive Director Rick Dostal. A new system could save the county as much as $225,000 a year.  Vice Chairman John Moorlach said, “I guess what my mother said is true.  You have to spend a dime to save a quarter.”

 

Hey Dostal, ever heard of the cloud?  On the other hand, my mother told me: “before you spend a dime, think, particularly when it is NOT your dime"

 

 

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