Posts Tagged ‘union’

Developing Corruption

Politicians occasionally take on the responsibility of developing the economy of the region they are supposed to govern as if that were in the job description.  It’s not.  The job of government is delineated (policing, cleaning streets, etc.) and if those jobs get done well then the economy will develop naturally.

However ‘economic development’, with the broad interpretations possible for that term, allow far more flexibility in the political-payback game.  For example, you could give a no-bid contract to a non-profit which provides employment to political operatives and does nothing beyond mailing out a campaign flyer twice a year.  That is exactly what has been going on with the Union County Alliance for years and today the Office of the State Comptroller called them out.

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End-Of-August Miscellany

Nothing much going on this time of year but did you know:

  1. How the New Jersey Pension Panel set up by Executive Order 161 is progressing;
  2. That a previous Executive Order (138) set up a Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit within the Department of the Treasury;
  3. How illegal immigrants get action; or
  4. That Todd Snider wrote a book?

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Gay Marriage and Unrepresenative Government

MYTH: Political leaders promote the general welfare.
TRUTH: Political leaders are often busybodies who want to force their preferences on us.
John Stossel; Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity (page 103)

2013-597 FREEHOLDER ALEXANDER MIRABELLA & THE ENIIRE BOARD: Resolution urging members of the New Jersey State Legislature to overturn Governor Christie’s veto of Assembly Bill A-1 and Senate Bill S-1, the “Marriage Equality and Religious  Exemption Act,” in wake of the United States Supreme Court Decision striking down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The resolution passed unanimously and 530,000 residents of Union County are now on record as being in the forefront for supporting gay marriage in New Jersey.  Are they really?

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Anatomy of a Boondoggle

Government trying to downgrade employee benefits through privatization….pay-to-play….private sector vultures duping public officials out of taxpayer money….government competing against the private sector.  It’s all there in the fiasco that is the new Galloping Hill Golf Course Clubhouse/Banquet Center.  The Union County Watchdog Association is preparing a report on this boondoggle and we need your help.

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Acounting Fraud on OPEBs

Last week I outlined how the Union County audit is fraudulent as regards their Note on OPEB Obligations. Tonight I brought my concerns to the freeholders and it got even worse:

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Brownies Governing

Government is best at congratulating itself, regardless of merit.  Six years ago it became too obvious and the nation was aghast as it witnessed this charade play out. A political hack placed in a critical position failed miserably yet was praised effusively by a clueless chief executive:
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In a similar vein, the November 8, 2012 Union County freeholder meeting dedicated 155 minutes to an oval jerk of self-congratulation on the county’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

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Who’s the idiot?

In a news conference a politician sought to refute accusations made by a political operative questioning their intelligence by bringing together a group of other politicians to a podium.

I instinctively thought it had to do with Union County but, as it turned out, the politician was Perth Amboy mayor Wilda Diaz, the political operative was James Devine and among the supporters at the podium were Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Fanwood mayor Colleen Mahr, and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver:

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Public Employee Unions Are NOT the Problem

‘Shadowbosses:  Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind’ by Mallory Factor is a perceptive book that came out last week.  I read Chapter 1 (Meet the Shadowbosses) and Chapter 6 (Shadowbosses Bankrupt Our States) and will likely finish it today if the rain persists.  The information is accurate but the target is off.

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MSM and Politicians can’t tell you who’s going bust next

Because they don’t know.  This is what comes of not covering council meetings or looking at (much less examining) budgets.  Even ratings agencies (like S&P which had San Bernadino bonds as investment grade last week) aren’t any help.

Accounting fraud is alleged in San Bernadino and yet nobody reports the details.  The mainstream media is ill-equipped to understand anything more arcane then poll numbers and the public face of these municipalities, their elected officials, come off as innumerate incurious figureheads who get any real information on a need-to-know basis.

Based on the most reliable source I came across (Al Jazeera) and my own research, these (in a slideshow format that I’m experimenting with) are the next big (over 500,000 people) municipalities likely to go belly-up:

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Conspiracy of Dunces

When I first looked at the funded status of the New Jersey public pension plans I wondered why participants, taxpayers, and politicians weren’t alarmed.  Even now there’s about$70 billion in assets with up to 38% in hedge funds, $8 billion gets paid out annually and, in a good year, $4 billion comes in.  You have nowhere near enough money to annuitize retiree benefits, never mind the 500,000 other participants.  Couldn’t anybody tell that the actuaries were throwing around phony numbers to keep everybody happy and their fees coming in?

Then, after closer inspection of the government process, it hit me.  It’s in nobody’s immediate interest to recognize the truth.  If you have ‘professionals’ advising that you can lie, cheat, and steal and politicians dumb enough to believe them, this is what you get.  For example…….

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