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February 22, 2012     The Julian News
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February 22, 2012
 

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February 22, 2012 California Commentary Stop Special Interest Money by Jon Coupal Unless one is wearing Brown colored glassesl it is easy to see that California is a mess. We rank second in unemployment and millions Of Californians have fled the state since the millennium -- most as economic refugees seeking to Carve out a better life for themselves where taxes are lower and job opportunities are better. Most taxpayers see as their biggest obstacle to an improved life those elected officials who work against their interests, while bowing and scraping before those who provide millions of dollars in campaign cash. What it comes down to is that the Sacramento politicians are making war against regular folks, while assisting narrow, well-heeled, special interests to prosper. What happens when an average Californian travels to Sacramento and requests an office meeting with a state representative? Those few ordinary citizens who attempt this pilgrimage are in for a rude awakening. First, you're lucky if you get a meeting. If you do, it will most certainly be with a junior staffer just barely old enough to vote. Not so for those lobbyists whose firm or organization contributed thousands of dollars to the politician's most recent campaign fundraiser. Those who provide campaign cash expect access to "their" lawmaker at a moment's notice and they demand "correct" votes on the legislation they care about. And no, this is not a partisan issue; representatives from both political parties are more than willing -- and some are eager -- to take contributions from powerful special interests. In 2010, corporations, business groups and labor organizations gave $89 million dollars to the Sacramento politicians. Unions weighed in with $25 million in direct contributions, while major corporations ponied up $48 million. Saying these payouts were made to advancegood government would not pass the "laugh" test. Look at these examples. PG&E donated $561,000 playing in 70 percent of state legislative races. BNS Rail infused another $400,000 into 94 percent of legislative races, while AT&T was good for $760,000 to 99 percent of races. These records demonstrate that the goal of these firms is to buy influence with whoever is elected. For the unions and corporations these expenditures are a great deal, even if for average taxpayers it is not. A few hundred thousand dollars invested in politicians can provide big payouts in return. Of bills passed by the Legislature, 60 percent are written by lobbyists and attorneys for special interests. This corruption of the legislative process is nothing new, but with our state's failing economy and high taxes, it can no longer be ignored. This fall, California voters will have the opportunity to strike a major blow against the system of influence peddling that currently dominates Sacramento. A just-qualified initiative, Stop Special Interest Money Now, will appear on the November ballot. It will accomplish three things that will diminish the control of special interests over elected officials. First, it will prohibit corporations and unions from contributing directly to the campaigns of political candidates. Second, it will bar contributions to officials by those contracting with, or seeking to contract with government -- no more "pay to play." Finally, it will stop labor unions from taking money, to be used for political activity, directly from workers' paychecks without their explicit permission. While there may be no foolproof way to totally prevent special interests from trying to manipulate the system for their benefit, the passage of Stop Special Interest Money Now will go a long way toward leveling the playing field so that the concerns of average Californians are given the same consideration as those of big corporations and unions in the deliberations of government. Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- California's largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated t6 the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers' rights. R.F.D. NICE CAI"CI-t, "EONE. 1.7OU WANT T4AT FtLLETED OR by Mike Mat'land Week y SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 5 8 2 3 1 4 5 1 3 1 5 9 6 5 4 7 2 6 8 7 3 9 7 6 8 9 1 6 2 5 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: * gi Moderate ** Challenging ** * HOO BOY! 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. The Julian News 13 M HOMES o CABINS , LAND . RENTALS o PROPERTY MANAGEMENT . VACATION RENTALS I 19 Main Street www.julian-realestate.com 76 (:), ,765- ()1n Lovely 3 Bed/2 1/2/Bath home in beal / Wynola Estates. All level, beaudl{u\\;} landscaped 2.7 acres. Offered at $375,000 br, 2ba, bonus ountain Home with views to the ocean! Great family home with privacy and easy Offered at $364,500 Panoramic ome on 2 garages, 2,756 sq.ft. 6 bdrm/3 bath, remodeled. REDUCED TO $499,000 m in Julia 2 master suites, one handicap accessible. Mature forest plus orchard and horse property. / / 3 Bdrm/2 acres in Pine Hills. Detached office/art studio. Garage, Handicapped Accessible. 4 Redwood Decks. Great Locale, ample parking, easy access, Julian Estates - 3 bedroom, den, 2 bath, 2 I well on property, 2well maintained buildings car garage, 2200 sq. ft., 4.42 acres. Wood 896 sq. ft. Upgraded 2br/lba cabin with 2 Ill an0 a 7on s00uare foot rental cabin. Interior, Lodge Feeling. fireplaces and 2 covered patios. 37 Acres. $697,000 Business sold separately $359,000 Year-Round Creek $499,900 4.32 acres on Eagle Peak Rd. Septic, Well, Electric, Panoramic Views $175K 3/2.5 acres - Harrison Park, well, electric. $99,900 3/' .49 acres - Harrison Park Lot - ready to go! - $30,000 3/' 5 acres Harrison Park vvith well & electric. $109K 3/8 acres - Pine Hills -Perc test, Septic Layout & Surveyed. Panoramic views Electric Nearby REDUCED TO $160K and 6.32 acres - Pine Hills - Incredible view lot. Completed Perc Test, Survey and Septic Layout. REDUCED to $175K ~ Both lots at a discounted rate of $320K Sports Quiz Answers 1. The Braves' Eddie Mathews, with 299. 2. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth did it in 1928. 3. The Green Bay Packers had 36 rushing touchdowns in 1962. 4. Michigan's Gary Grant (1984-88). 5. Nine. 6. Ethiopia (Halle Gebrselassie). It was American author James Thurber who made the following 6 i sage observation: "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in 9 tranquility." If you're a fan of the original "Wizard of Oz" movie, you might be 17 surprised to learn that the actress who played Glinda the Good Witch, Billie Burke, was 54 years old when the film was shot. The award for the most needles.s war in history could very well , Answer E   It 9 9 6 5 L Ill r 9 I i ] [I l 8 g l It '6 9 L g Weekly SUDOKU 6 L 9 " 17 8 L  17 8 L 9 g 6 L S g 9 " 7. James McHale (1947), Jim go to Paraguay, whose president, Francisco Solano Lopez, believed I  I i. S i g ' t 6 9 Simons ('71)and Nick Taylor himself to be an excellent tactician. He was a great admirer of (2009) all did it at the U.S. Napoleon Bonaparte and wished to emulate the French emperor, Open. but he had no wars to fight. To  #'l 1 remedy the situation, in 1864 t, lrOSSWOrC[ __ Lopez declared war on all three of his neighboring countries, '  ACROSS ---- Td-Tf- Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. 11 1 Bar bill 1 . -- His tactical abilities .seem to k lilli 4 Perspire 17 -- '[ -'' 9 Use a .... have been of little use, however;  i crowbar 15 it is estimated that 90 percent of 12 Knight's I 1 ---- Paraguay's male population was address ii killed during the course of the 13 Actress 21 _2 ll war. I. U2 Berry 2T_ 1129 30 During this time of election 2. Bon lovi 14 Fish eggs 15 Alternative 3- -- ---- madness, "misology" could be 3o Take ']'hat to a jail .... a useful word to know. It means 4. Rogtr  k ral ors t- term 36 'r'hatred of reason." 5. Taylor Swirl ,/. ll -- 17 Eggs French novelist Marcel 6. Kenny Chesney 18 Rhyming Proust's magnum opus, tribute 45 4 "Remembrance of Things Past," 7.Usher \\; 19 Vacuum 4-8- 52 53 has been hailed as a literary 8.LadyGaga brand __ , 21 Salt 5-7- -- masterpiece, but not everyone 9. Andre Rieu companion 5-7-  ---- was a fan at first read. As Proust 10. Sade 24 Opposed to was trying, unsuccessfully, to 25 "-Town" -  find a publisher for his seven- *ErossearninE s Source: 26 Congeal ment, often 5 Irrigated 30 Letterman volume work, one publisher BillboardBoxscore I 28 Cord fiber 54 Id counter 6 Inventor rival said, "1 may be dense, but I l 31 Cattle drive part Whitney 32 Information fail to see why a chap needs ----- tool 55 Bounded 7 Hawaiian 34 "Frasier" star 30 pages to describe how he  [1,g C[ossw'ord - 33 Pooch along greeting Kelsey 35 Location 56 That girl 8 Mortises' 37 Taste tosses and turns in bed before Answers 36 Couches 57 Boxing mates 39 Sanguinary falling asleep." The author finally Solution time: 21 rains. 38 Sphere promoter 9 Conditional 42 Egret's published the first volume with 0  ^] N I NI a! 40 End for ball King stipulation cousin his own money; after the book H S a l 0 i oi 9 3 or bass 58 Contest 10 Wander 44 Cheerios o i - : 41 Western submission 11 365 days ingredient was hailed as a masterpiece by 0 I  u - - u n state 59 Cut the 16 Jazz style 45 Took to critics, the same publishers who 1 I 0 " 3 s 43 Basketball's grass 20 Elevator court had rejected Proust competed z Ix q  1 t2+-111 Mr. Mourning name 46 Therefore for the opportunity to print the O C a-- 1 +--'0 S PBS "Street" DOWN 21 Bursts 50 Choose other six volumes of his work. J_ I a Joi u Extinct bird 1 Recipe 22 Modern-day 51 Doctrine ,,, v S S _ i u__itn_i_.o 45 47 48 Spoon- meas. money 52 Discoverer's Thought for the Day: "Before I bender 2 Atmosphere 23 Lavish call got married I had six theories about Geller 3 Kinsman, for supply 53 Fresh bringing up children; now I have six 49 Raise short 27 Also children and no theories." accompani- 4 Sunglasses 29 The gamut -- John Wilmot 2012 King Features Synd,, Inc. 2012 King Features Syndicate, Inc. AC !N O k ! c t 2012 King ili .L IOlU! v M IBIV,- Features Syndicate, Inc.