No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for July 21st, 2010

Robbing the people blind, California edition

by @ 13:06. Filed under Politics.

(H/T – Allahpundit)

The story of Bell, California and its $800,000/year city manager sounds more than just a bit familiar:

Hundreds of residents of one of the poorest municipalities in Los Angeles County shouted in protest last night as tensions rose over a report that the city’s manager earns an annual salary of almost $800,000.

An overflow crowd packed a City Council meeting in Bell, a mostly Hispanic city of 38,000 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, to call for the resignation of Mayor Oscar Hernandez and other city officials. Residents left standing outside the chamber banged on the doors and shouted “fuera,” or “get out” in Spanish.

It was the first council meeting since the Los Angeles Times reported July 15 that Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earns $787,637 — with annual 12 percent raises — and that Bell pays its police chief $457,000, more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck makes in a city of 3.8 million people. Bell council members earn almost $100,000 for part-time work.

I do have a word of warning for the residents of Bell – do not stop until ALL the theives are out of office. We in Milwaukee County thought that throwing out the county executive and 6 of 25 supervisors in 2002 after we found out they voted themselves million-dollar pension lump-sum payments and enhancers that made their pensions at least the same value as their highest couple years’ worth of salaries would be enough for the remainder to learn their lesson, but they didn’t.

Beyond the numbers – July gubernatorial edition (now with Walker)

by @ 8:38. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Revisions/extensions (12:19 pm 7/21/2010) – The GAB finally got done collating Scott Walker’s report, so a look at it can now be made. That’s been appended to the bottom of the post.

The Government Accountability Board’s Campaign Finance Information System has once again proven inadequate to handle Scott Walker’s fundraising efforts, taking over 12 hours to generate the report but we can at least take a look at the other two major candidates’ finances for the first 6 months of the year.

First up, Democrat Tom Barrett. On the surface, things look rather normal, with about $1.8 million raised from individuals, another $191,000 from “conduits”, a relatively-minimal $45,000 in “in-kind” donations, and $348,000 from PACs for a total of $2,390,821.96 raised. Because, unlike Neumann and Walker, he does not face a serious challenger (just a person whose campaign Christian Schneider describes as a “crazy train”), the campaign only spent a tick over $1 million, and has $2,894,232.24 cash on hand with just under $11,000 in unspecified obligations to US Bank and no outstanding loans.

There are, however, a few “gems” in the report. With the ongoing government takeover of health care, an unusually large number of health-care providers decided to donate to Tom Barrett in what appears to be a desperate attempt to be the last private health-care provider standing. I won’t hold my breath for the media to notice that Big Med, like Big Finance, has shifted their donations to Democrats.

Speaking of Big Finance, it looks like Barrett is the official candidate of M&I Bank, at least before Walker’s report became available. A couple pages’ worth of donations (mostly in the conduit section) came from M&I employees.

Another significant donation base for Barrett is the “unemployed”. Another failing of the CFIS system is the lack of sortability, but the best I can determine, somewhere around 2 dozen “unemployed” people donated at least $100, with at least 7 topping the $1,000 donation mark, despite a lack of employment. I’d like to meet their financial planners; I can’t exactly afford to drop $1,000 on anything.

That brings me to Mark Neumann. His campaign took in $294,230 in individual donations, $1,760 in “conduit” donations and $23,181 in “in-kind” donations, and Mark loaned the campaign $2,525,070 the first 6 months of the year. Campaign expenses of $2,758,625.49, including $880,000 in loan repayments (more on that in a bit), left the campaign with $1,059,922.73 cash on hand, with $2,721,120 in personal loans still outstanding.

JR Ross of WisPolitics notes there’s a discrepancy between what Neumann’s campaign staff released and what the report has. That stems from the decision by the PR flacks to effectively not count the $880,000 in “flash cash” Neumann loaned his campaign on 12/31/2009 to make his numbers work and took back on 1/4/2010, as that $880,000 paid back was replaced by fresh personal loans.

I have to give credit to Patrick Marley and Lee Bergquist of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for twigging onto the “flash cash”, though they didn’t quite expound on it. The quick explanation:

  • On 12/31/2009, the last day covered by the January 2010 continuing report, Mark Neumann loaned the campaign $970,000 to bring the total personal loan amount to $1,076,050.
  • That $970,000 represented almost the entirety of the $974,177.55 cash on hand at the end of the day 12/31/2009.
  • On 1/4/2010, after a minimal donation take and taking care of the expense of meeting the payroll, the campaign paid back Neumann $880,000 of that loan.

They also noted that Neumann loaned the campaign $1,000,000 on June 30, the last reporting day for this report. Once again, that represents almost the entirety of the cash on hand. However, since the campaign is in full-spending mode (as it should be), I don’t think we’ll find a “repayment” in the next report.

Finally, Scott Walker. His campaign took in just over $2.1 million in individual donations, about $222,000 in “conduits”, about $28,000 in in-kind donations, and just under $145,000 from PACs for a total of $2,589,997.95 raised. Campaign expenses of $2,016,721.81, including $101,090 in contemporary returned contributions and another $5,000 returned contribution initially made in 2005, left $2,571,774.80 cash on hand.

Speaking of those returned contributions, while the Walker campaign was the only one to specifically itemize returned contributions, the Barrett campaign noted that it returned some contributions in early July.

M&I appears to be playing both sides of the aisle, making significant donations to both Barrett and Walker. Again, the CFIS system does not allow for easy sorting of donations, so I cannot do more than a rough eyeball of the reports. The volumes of contributions are roughly equal between the two campaigns.

There is an oddity with the CFIS format of Walker’s report. Every other gubernatorial report that had multiple sources of individual donations had them in the order of monetary, conduit and in-kind (with Neumann’s loans appearing between the conduit and in-kind sections). That order on Walker’s report was reversed.

One more thing – there is exactly one active gubernatorial candidate people associated with Graef-USA donated to the past year, and it’s not Walker.

Wednesday Hot Read – James T. Harris’ “White Man’s Burden”

by @ 6:00. Filed under Politics.

James T. Harris lights up a local liberal racist who thinks he knows what being “black” means. I usually don’t bother with the local nutroots because personality conflicts aren’t worth it, but in this case I’ll make an exception because one of the co-bloggers over at Folkbum’s needed the smackdown. I’ll skip to the close:

Dear LORD! Is it 1950? Are we in Mississippi? Did I somehow get abducted from my home in Sherman Park’s Uptown Crossing, a predominantly “black” neighborhood, by the way… where I reside with my gorgeous, smoking hot “black” wife and my three brilliant and beautiful “black” children (though the Wizard might denounce the above as my phony black wife, phony black kids and phony neighborhood… he of infinite, all-knowing phony black wisdom)?

Seriously, my patience for this ridiculous liberal race dance has now run out. I’m black and conservative among many other things…

Get over it.

I don’t need any arrogant, liberal Euro-wannabe lefty or his surrogate telling me how to vote, think or talk. Earl and his “community” of listeners obviously do.

Dats why dey be Democrats!

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