Powder Blue Report

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Clerk/Recorder Watch: Another Epic Tom Daly FAIL!

Another day, another Tom Daly epic fail.  At the rate Daly is going, he might not file for re-election.  Quick someone call Harry Sidhu and let him know that there are two new potential political openings for him to salivate over....Clerk & Treasurer. 

A few years ago Daly persuaded the BOS that he needed more archive space/ and or general space to ever expand the imperial government empire known as the Clerk Recorder.  Once again we have to give major props to Friends For Fullerton's Future blog for doing the digging via public records request and blowing the lid off of Tom Daly's epic incompetence and malfeasance.

Back in 2008, a building was purchased for $2.1 million in downtown Santa Ana(433 W. Civic Center Drive) to expand the Clerk's office/archives and for other purposes.  The building was purchased "as is" with a caveat that the county "would pay for minor repairs".  But nothing is ever minor when it comes to Tom Daly's incompetence.  Two years after the purchase, the building is still sitting vacant collecting dust.  It seems that a feasibility study was done(at a cost of $100k)and the options to get the building ready for occupancy are....to put it mildly, very expensive.

Here are the three options the architectural firm came up for the building.....ready for this?

1. $2.8 million to remodel the building to make it usable; ADA, structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, roofing, replacement, etc.

2. $5.7 million to remodel as above, and expand the building to accommodate the proposed use.

3. $7.6 million to demolish the building and start over again.

Did you guys get that?  At the very minimum, this boondoggle is gonna cost $2.8 million more just to make the building usable again!  If they go with the middle option, it will cost $5.7 million for the proposed use.  Are you pulling your hair out yet?  Lastly we have the nuclear option....junk the whole thing and start over from scratch....at a whopping cost of $7.6 million!

If they wanted to make a video of "Government Gone Wild", you couldn't pick a better topic than Tom Daly.  Thanks for nothing Tom.


Friday, March 05, 2010

47th CD Watch: Breaking News.....Quang Pham Suspends His Campaign

I just spoke personally with my good friend Quang Pham.  He has decided to suspend his congressional campaign.  I know this was a hard decision for Quang to make, but it was the right decision.  He has decided that he will step aside for the good of the GOP team this November.  I salute him for this.  Here is his press release....

Quang Pham Suspends Congressional Campaign

For Immediate Release                                              

March 5, 2010                                                            

Contact: (714) 653-1140 or media@PhamForCongress.com


GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Quang Pham, fiscal conservative and Republican candidate for California’s 47th Congressional District, said today that he will no longer seek the nomination. The filing deadline to appear on the ballot is March 12.

        “Winning a seat in Congress requires full commitment of time and money,” said Quang Pham. “Yet my business and my employees now need all of my focus.  In addition, the dynamics of the race have changed significantly.” 

         Several senior Republican leaders praised Quang’s candidacy and his political future.  “Quang’s energy, passion and intelligence are impressive. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) just enrolled him in our Young Guns Program. Perhaps more importantly, Quang is the consummate team player, and his future in Republican politics is bright,” Congressman Kevin McCarthy, chief deputy whip and head of recruitment for the NRCC, said.

           As a business owner and Marine Corps combat veteran, Quang Pham thoroughly impressed many of us in the New Majority,” Tom McKernan, Chairman of New Majority Orange County added. “We admire his desire for unity and his commitment to the long term success of Republican values.  We are encouraging him to stay active with the Republican Party.”

          “According to recent polling, Quang Pham would have been competitive in the primary election,” Congressman Ed Royce said.  “But he realizes that the ultimate goal is to defeat Loretta Sanchez and that a bitter primary fight would leave the winner with fewer resources to accomplish our mission.”

            Scott Baugh, Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, added, “I applaud Quang Pham and I respect and support his difficult decision.  We welcome his participation with open arms.”

 Finally, Quang Pham recapped, “While campaigning, I have met many wonderful people locally and nationally.  I especially thank General William Lyon, a leader among leaders, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, Rod McDermott, Bill H. Lyon, Doug Hamlin, Tom Davin, Carol Rudat, Jeff Stack, Bob Longpre, Marsh Carter, Marjie Shahani, Jim Harker, Bob Mosier, Ron Martell, and Mike McGill.  Thanks to my campaign consultant, Joe Giardiello, campaign manager Nathan Miller, fundraiser Alexandra Wilcox, and to Nick Lecong for his help with the Vietnamese American community and media.

 I thank members of the media, activists, and bloggers who have covered this race since last May and who have shown an interest in learning about me, a first-time candidate.  Continue to hold elected officials and candidates accountable to taxpayers and voters.

 Most of all, I thank my wife, Shannon, my mother, my sisters, and my personal friends who have encouraged me and supported me.”

A resident of Orange County since 1990, Quang Pham is an independent businessowner, decorated Marine Corps combat pilot, author of A SENSE OF DUTY: OUR JOURNEY FROM VIETNAM TO AMERICA, and community leader who was a candidate for Congress in California’s 47th District.  For more information, please visit www.PhamForCongress.com.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

We Have A Mike Duvall Sighting....

The guys over at Friends For Fullerton's Future have posted up a great "get" with the first interview of Mike "Drippy" Duvall since his resignation in disgrace last year.  I don't know what Mike's motivation is for coming out and spilling the beans at this moment, but I'm glad he did.  We all like to watch a good train wreck and this definitely fits the description. 

According to Mike, he believes it was a conspiracy to take him down.  Quoting from FFFF....

Although he can not fully explain their motives, Duvall stated that he believe the likeliest scenario is that he was set up by a conspiracy involving Jeff Miller, the assemblyman from Corona, and his aide.  He believes the whole thing was either orchestrated or exploited by Republican operative Jon Fleischman, likely in retaliation for the forced resignation of Fleischman’s wife, a former employee in Duvall’s local office. He claimed that Fleischman had become extremely hostile to him personally.

According to Duvall the “hot mike” on the day his comments were recorded was Miller’s, not his; that in retrospect Miller seemed to coach the conversation into its lewd direction; and that Millers aide almost immediately went to retrieve a copy of the recording. Duvall stuck to his story that his comments were not a true revelation of anything that actually happened, and in fact he was just repeating stuff told to him about another legislator altogether.

Really Mike?  If you didn't "do" the lobbyist, then why did you circle the wagons and then resign?  I mean I have to say, you really aren't believable at all here.  I'm questioning why you would even want to open up this scab at this time. 

I have heard through the grapevine that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye.  For now though, Mike says he is the victim

Lastly, I don't if I should be thanking Mike for the reference to "eye patch underwear", but it sure was funny.  Anytime I hear that phrase I will always know where it came from.

Congrats again to the FFFF blog for scoring this interview.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Deal Me In For Online Poker In The US

There is an effort underway in Congress to end the ban for online Poker here in the US and regulate it.  I say that it's about damn time.  There's no way that in a free country, that online Poker should be banned. 

For a little history on this issue, back in 2006, the Congress passed the Safe Port Act. A provision of the Safe Port Act was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The UIGEA, as it is more commonly known, made it illegal for financial institutions to process gambling payments, whether it is to a gambling site or to the player.

The UIGEA was meant to go into effect in December of 2009, but a legislative war had erupted nearly six months prior. Barney Frank (D-MA) had begun the fight to overturn the UIGEA. After gathering 65 cosponsors to his bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, Frank managed to delay the UIGEA by six months.

So we are getting closer to the June 1st deadline for this act to go into effect.  The purpose of this post is to raise awareness of this issue for everyone that loves freedom and doesn't like the government telling them what they can and cannot do in private with their own money as long as they are not hurting anyone else.  I'm sorry to say that there are a lot elected republicans that have this vicious authoritian streakin them that want to try and run everyone's lives. 

I hope our CA GOP Congressmen and women will get behind this effort to regulate online Poker and keet it safe and legal here in the US. 

Lastly I will post a press release I received from the Poker's Players Alliance...



the State of Play of Online Poker

  Within the next 6 weeks, Members of the House Financial Services committee will be taking a key vote on legislation related to internet gaming, which includes protections for online poker.  Major developments over the last month have created a winning hand for the game of poker.   

In November…the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury extended the deadline for enforcement of online gambling laws until May 1, 2010.  This extension was granted in order to give lawmakers and financial institutions more time to clarify definitions contained in UIGEA, as well as develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law.   

In December…House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) held a hearing on his legislation to license and regulate online gambling, which will clarify that games of skill like poker (that are already legal offline) are protected under the law.  More congressional action is expected shortly in order to accommodate the time frame granted by the Fed and Treasury, and now is a vital time to ensure Members of Congress are educated on the state of poker and how this legislation will impact the right of all American’s to play online. 

Key Points on Financial Services Legislation 

Enforcing the Law to Protect Consumers - Millions of U.S. consumers currently play poker online through offshore sites, outside of American oversight and thus offering no consumer protections.  A recent study conducted by Harvard professor and former law enforcement officer Malcolm Sparrow concludes that a prohibition on online gambling would only serve to push online gambling underground and away from any law enforcement protections.  Simply turning a blind eye to protecting American consumers, especially children and problem gamblers, is not a solution. 

Increasing Tax Revenue and Economic Benefits - Attempting to prohibit online gambling sites is an impossible task, with sites popping up off shore and away from American law enforcement.  These sites bring with them a considerable amount of jobs that are leaving the U.S. to countries with more refined gambling laws.  Additionally, more than $50 billion of tax revenue is being left on the table or sent to other countries – funding that could be used to pay for health care, schools, and community interests.   

Protecting Internet Freedom - Through licensing and regulation, the rights of individuals to play poker at a time and place of their choosing can be protected, all while keeping those who don’t have that right – namely children and problem gamblers – off these sites.  As the Harvard study specifically states, technologies that are currently available and are being used in other countries can reduce the risks associated with underage and problem gamblers, money laundering, fraud, privacy and security. 



Monday, March 01, 2010

Pay To Play 101....A Lesson From Tom Daly

When the going gets tough at county hall, the tough create a pay for play scheme for a phantom sports hall of fame.....so say the guys over at Friends For Fullerton Future. 

This one looks like a classic case of political corruption.  The protagonists of this story are former 4th District Supe candidate and current OC Clerk/Recorder Tom Daly and OC Water Board member/political consultant Brett Barbre.  Just to show that political corruption has no partisan bounds....Tom Daly is a Democrat and Mr Barbre is a Republican. 

I will lay out the Cliff Notes version of this story and leave the details to guys over at FFFF.  

- Tom Daly hires and pays Mr Barbre $48k in 2008/09 for consulting work on a "sports hall of fame".

- from public records requests it is proven that there is hardly anything of value to show to us taxpayers of what this $48k bought.

- this money was paid out in a time of a huge budget crisis & massive layoffs of county workers

- Tom Daly gets to add a high profile Republican to his list of supporters and reaped campaign contributions from Mr Barbre to the tune of $1000....how about that.  What a great return on your investment if you're Brett Barbre. He receives $48k and only has to pay out a $1000 bribe contribution.

- I myself noted Brett escorting Daly's hand picked successor at the time, Renee Ramirez, around at a recent Central Committee meeting.

All this begs the question from us working stiffs out here trying to earn an honest living...does this arrangement seem dishonest & corrupt to the average person out there?