Thursday, October 19, 2017

If You Want To Believe That Only Republicans Are Corrupt, This Is The Wrong Post For You


I lost count years ago about the number of arguments I've had with lo-info Dems who freak out when DWT turns into an unfriendly environment for Blue Dogs, New Dems and others from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. I've been hearing the belly-aching for years and I tend to just ignore it entirely now. But I had a call this morning from someone who said she generally agrees with my perspective but in light of the existential danger posed by Señor Trumpanzee, maybe I should change my tone for 13 months. Not gonna happen.

She was trying to get me to lay off the worst Democrat in the House, Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), who Schumer hand-picked to run for the very winnable Arizona Senate seat. Background: Sinema's a real dirtbag who I've known personally for years. She has no core values whatsoever and as much relationship with morals and integrity as Trump  does-- no more no less, complete narcissist. On top of that, Progressive Punch hasn't just rated her an "F," they've scored her voting record as the very worst for a Democrat-- worse than Henry Cuellar's (Bush's favorite Democrat) and worse than Collin Peterson, who no one even counts as a Democrat at all. When Ryan and McCarthy want to call one of their toxic pieces of legislation "bipartisan," they call Sinema. She's always there for them, often more than some of their own members!

And, if that wasn't enough, she's also one of the most blatantly corrupt members of either party. A member of the biggest single fount of congressional corruption-- the House Financial Services Committee-- she votes against consumers and working families and with Wall Street more regularly than almost any of the other, mostly horrible, members. Since getting into Congress in 2012, she's taken $2,129,639 in bribes from the Finance Sector, more than any Arizona Democrat in history. Last cycle, while her committee was eviscerating Dodd-Frank, she accepted $1,003,940 in bankster bribes, more than any Democrat in the House other than Wall Street's go-to crook, Joe Crowley ($1,064,673). And so far this year, she's taken more in Wall Street bribes than any Democrat in the House ($471,096). Even the crooked Republican chairman of the Financial Services Committees, Jeb Hensarling (TX), notorious Wall Street bribe-taker has only gotten $475,358. She's even managed to outstrip Crowley, who's "only" sucked up $402,295 so far.

Why would any progressive want this garbage in the Senate? But let's move away from Sinema, who I didn't even plan on mentioning in this post which is really about a much less well-known bucket of Democratic slime, Ref Rodriguez, L.A.'s school board president. A little context from the L.A. Times about what happens when you allow corrupt conservative garbage to slip into public office, whining that they're "better than a Republican." On Wednesday, Rodriguez was "charged with three felony counts of conspiracy, perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument, the result of a months-long investigation by local authorities into donations to his successful first-time run for office in 2015."

And his district includes my neighborhhood, which has virtually no Republicans but often falls prey to hustlers who disguise themselves as Democrats, like Rodriguez. He gave more than $24,000 to his own campaign, while illegally representing that the donations had been made by more than two dozen other contributors (who he slipped the cash to). And the best part of this: he's a charter school whore who is trying to destroy the teachers unions and the public school system. He immediately played the "immigrant family card." Sounds like something Trump would say: "As the product of an immigrant family, nobody has more respect for the integrity of the American justice system than I do."
The allegations come at a high point in Rodriguez’s political career. Elected board president in July, he currently presides over the first L.A. school board majority dominated by members who were, like him, elected with major financial support from charter school advocates.

...The case against Rodriguez grew out of an investigation by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which focused on donations to his 2015 campaign. The commission accused Rodriguez of “campaign money laundering” and referred its findings to the district attorney’s office.

The criminal complaint says that in late 2014, shortly after he filed to run for office, Rodriguez cashed out a $26,000 business investment. He gave a check in that amount to his cousin, who was a campaign volunteer, along with instructions on what to do with the money, the complaint says.

The cousin, Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez, 45, is suspected of depositing the money into a bank account under the names of Rodriguez’s parents. Then, the complaint says, the candidate’s mother signed 16 checks, making them out to friends and family members who were listed as donors to her son’s campaign.

According to the complaint, Melendrez delivered those checks as well as cash reimbursements to people who had made contributions.

Melendrez ultimately persuaded 25 people, most of them Rodriguez’s relatives and friends, to participate by telling them their contributions would be reimbursed, according to a 10-page formal accusation released by the ethics commission on Wednesday. Each gave between $775 and $1,100, for a total of $24,250.

At the end of that reporting period, Rodriguez submitted records “certified under penalty of perjury” showing he had raised $51,001 in individual donations, the document says. “However, nearly half of the reported funds were actually Rodriguez’s own money.”

...If convicted on the felony counts, Rodriguez faces a possible maximum sentence of four years and four months in jail. Melendrez could serve up to three years in jail.
He was a board member of the California Charter School Association Board, so this kind of behavior isn't surprising. That's who these people are-- all of them; every single one of them. They shouldn't be part of the Democratic Party either-- none of them. They're anti-union fanatics and they belong in the GOP. Although Rodriguez was forced to resign as school board president, he refuses to step down from the school board where the charter school scumbagshave a shaky 1 vote majority.

Since the original charges, though, the L.A. Times is now reporting even more serious charges: funneling more than $285k of public dollars from his charter school network to his own non-profit and to a company he had a stake in. 
The charter school network that L.A. school board member Ref Rodriguez co-founded and ran for years has filed a complaint with state regulators alleging that Rodriguez had a conflict of interest when he authorized about $285,000 in payments drawn on its accounts. ...According to the complaint and documents reviewed by The Times, the vast majority of the money transfers that Rodriguez authorized and PUC has flagged went from school accounts to Partners for Developing Futures, a nonprofit under his control.

An attorney who reviewed the records for the school network said he has found little or no evidence so far of services provided for these payments.

...The conflict-of-interest allegations could add to Rodriguez’s legal problems.

Last month, prosecutors charged him with three felonies and 25 misdemeanors for alleged money laundering in his school board campaign. Rodriguez is accused of soliciting people to give him donations and then illegally paying them back... Critics of charter schools called again for more regulation of these schools, which receive public funding but operate largely outside of a public school district’s control.

“This type of behavior is exactly why we continue to push for greater accountability and transparency among California charter schools,” said Frank Wells, spokesman for the California Teachers Assn. “This misuse of public funds is robbing students of resources they deserve.”

Rodriguez no longer works at PUC; he gave up his job there when he joined the school board in July 2015.

On Friday, the school network accepted the resignation of his cousin, senior manager Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez. In PUC records reviewed by The Times, Melendrez is listed as the person who requested eight of the checks Rodriguez authorized, adding up to nearly $188,000.

In its filing with the political practices commission, PUC contends that the payments to Partners for Developing Futures are a potential conflict of interest because Rodriguez appears to be on both sides of the transaction. PUC’s records indicate that he authorized and signed the checks. Tax filings from 2009 through 2012-- the last year for which one is available-- and records that PUC provided from as recently as 2015, show that Rodriguez was the chief executive of Partners for Developing Futures.

Melendrez also is a defendant in the money-laundering case. Prosecutors have filed charges contending that she helped Rodriguez solicit and illegally reimburse the donations.

Last month, prosecutors charged him with three felonies and 25 misdemeanors for alleged money laundering in his school board campaign. Rodriguez is accused of soliciting people to give him donations and then illegally paying them back.
All of this, of course, comes after a bunch of big "blue chip" Democratic donors (like Netflix CEO Reed Hastings) teamed up with Trump backers to pack the L.A. school board with anti-union board members earlier this year. The funniest part of this is that it comes right as the Charter School Association is lobbying the school board to remove oversight rules on charter schools in Los Angeles, which is totally absurd, since they’re receiving public funds.

So, please, when you want to whine or throw a tantrum about supporting all Democrats, take that crap somewhere else.

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At 1:45 AM, Blogger Mary Carson said...

This is off topic. Delete if you'd like.
Looking for info on Perez's DNC "improvements". Would love an organizational chart. Bits of info available, but nothing that allows me to see the structure of the beast. Would like to support rabble-rousers (Nebraska) trying to put the brakes on this in Las Vegas.

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nebraska and "rabble-rousers" seems contradictory to me. Nebraska Ds are typically among the most docile among the corrupt leadershit. Sen. Nelson was among the several who made sure nothing progressive happened in 2009-2010. Evan Bayh was another prominent betrayer from Indiana, another place where Ds are democraps.

I am truly disillusioned that there are still those who "freak out" because you don't support *ALL* democraps (regardless how much damage they do). Kind of affirms my opinion that most D voters are barely sentient but don't hate with as broad a spectrum as the Nazi Rs.

I'm also very disillusioned that someone who clearly sees how horrible the democraps truly ARE will still actively abet that horribleness by promoting and supporting new ones (most of whom will lose), even though most of them are better. Surely you have to agree that a few good people will end up impotent to affect ANY meaningful change when the leadershit still rules with an iron boot.

The democraps are responsible for much of what ails us/US today (Clinton supported and signed the lege that led to 2008, obamanation murdered thousands of innocents with drones...) or, at the very least, were responsible for normalizing all the evils of R admins (torture, war, tax cuts for the rich, corporate hegemony, foreign coups...).
The democrap leadershit, responsible for all of this, aren't in any danger of being replaced and are actively grooming their like-minded heirs and entrenching the corruption, lies and other horribleness by recruiting worse and worse people to defeat BA's few decent offerings before losing to Rs -- it's crystal clear that neither chamber actually wants a majority lest they be forced to betray another voter mandate ala 2009.

The one and only path to making America great again is for a truly left party to coalesce out of the hapless democrap voters plus a lot of re-animated independents who have been long dormant due to a very real hopelessness in our left politics. This coalition can and should make a permanent majority that the white racist Nazis can never outvote. But it will never happen as long as the democraps are the only hallucination of a left party there is.

DWT, instead of helping, you are just prolonging the problem.


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