We could not help but notice that the usual set of local hangers-on, wannabes and coat holders showed up at the OCTA’s Pre-Proposal Conference today for the $4.7 million “Public Outreach for Interstate 405 Improvement Project”. These vendor conferences are usually scheduled by the Authority when there’s a large bid is rendered as we covered last week: I-405 Needs a $4.7M Spokeshole. 17 potential vendor representatives attended, and we particularly recognized these four: Continue reading
Former State Senator John Lewis has such a hold on the Republican Party of Orange County that he was able to force the withdrawal of Robert Hammond, their candidate for the 69th Assembly District, so as to pave the way for his Democratic pal Tom Daly. And Lewis also ran the failed campaign of Chris Norby, for the 65th Assembly District. With the loss of Norby’s seat, and the 69th, the California Republican Party ceded a supermajority in the State Assembly to the California Democratic Party.
But Lewis is not the only one to blame. OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (a political consultant) and OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen were personally involved in pulling Hammond out of the race for the 69th. And neither of them helped Jose “Joe” Moreno, the Anaheim Republican who, at the last minute, filed for the 69th rather than concede the victory to Daly. Moreno was however undone by allegations that he violated an obscure Federal law – the Hatch Act. Moreno, an employee of the O.C. Health Agency, was accused of this by labor, even though he is a longtime union member. Continue reading
Update: We broke this story on Nov. 20, 2012. The OCTA confirmed it today with a press release we are including below our original post:
Darrell Johnson is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority, serving in the position since 2010. My sources tell me that Johnson will be appointed next week to step in as CEO of the OCTA when the current CEO, Will Kempton, leaves at the end of February, next year. Kempton is leaving to join a non-profit organization in Sacramento – Transportation California.
Sales-tax money can pay the tab; don’t build more toll lanes.
By JOHN MOORLACH / O.C. Board of Supervisors chairman
You can’t spell freeway without the word free. Yet, with government constantly searching for new revenue streams, toll roads have become an appealing mechanism for building this critical infrastructure. Orange County taxpayers, however, are balking at this approach for expanding the I-405, or San Diego Freeway. Rightfully so, as toll revenues are not required to build the one additional lane that was recently promised in a countywide ballot measure. Continue reading
By: Chriss W. Street
The State of California was already facing a $19 billion budget deficit, had shorted K-12 public schools $8 billion and are releasing imprisoned rapists into “community probation” when the California Legislature’s Democratic majority voted last week to approve selling $4.6 billion in new state bonds to build 130 miles of railroad track through some of the most uninhabited farm country in Central California.
The arrogance of leveraging the already insolvent state caused a volcanic public outrage, but the Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown were desperate to get their paws on $3.3 billion in federal grants from the Obama Administration. But in a shocking development, Moody’s Investor Services, who was expected to provide the credit rating to justify selling the debt, may have just torpedoed the state’s credit rating by tripling their estimate of California’s unfunded public pension liability from $38.5 billion to $109.1 billion liability and raising the annual cost of state pension funding by $7.3 billion. Continue reading