This is my Political opinion Blog. On it I will write about Nevada / California mostly. My Art site is on which I will post drawings, paintings and sculpture for sale.

Location: United States

I realy have lived in a cave for quite some time, though ive also lived in a franciscan monastary, a log cabin in the mountains, and a completly underground house. I work in stone, clay, wood, glass past (not blown)as well as oil and acryilic. I have also woked a forge (yes the kind with a bellows and anvil) while living on a ranch.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The California Political Reform Act was adopted as a statewide initiative (Proposition 9) by an overwhelming vote of the electorate in 1974. The law requires detailed disclosure of the role of money in California politics. The Political Reform Division, Secretary of State, is located at 1500 - 11th Street, Room 495, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone (916) 653-6224.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) interprets and enforces California's Political Reform Act.

Fair Political Practices Commission
428 J Street, Room 450
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 322-5660
Fax: (916) 322-3711
Fax-On-Demand: 1-888-622-1151

The Political Reform Audit Program of the California Franchise Tax Board conducts audits of selected state and local candidates and campaign committees. The Audit Program also conducts audits of selected lobbying firms and lobbyist employers registered with the Secretary of State. (This Program does not have a website.)

Political Reform Audit Program
Franchise Tax Board
P.O. Box 651
Sacramento CA 95812-0651

Telephone: (916) 845-4829

The problem with political reform in California, as in any other state is lack of enforcement. I counted nearly 100 lobbyist firms listed alphabetically from A to E and verified that every letter save Q and X has At least two firms listed. Hundreds of firms with who knows how many employees being overseen by Room 450 and P.O Box 651.

I found a directory listing daily filings that included Electronic Filings, Directory Changes, Individual Lobbyists, Employers of Lobbyists, and Payment to Influence. Daily filings mind you! And how many employees of the Political Reform Audit Program? When I attempted to contact the Reform Division on line the error message 404 - Page Not Found was as far as I could get. So how about a phone call to (916) 322-5660 ?

Not in service! As disgracefully as some elected officials and their lobbyist constituents act in the 21st century and I can’t get through to state run oversight!

Imagine I.R.S. agents, or traffic police working from a room and a post office box. Any suggestion that law enforcement should do without personnel to circumscribe behavior for the general public would be scoffed at as inviting anarchy. Yet even if I were somehow able to catch a crooked politician at their exclusive country club accepting Payment to Influence/ taking bribes who would I turn to? Error message 404 – Page not found or (916) 322-5660 number not in service? I might perhaps travel to Sacramento, provided I don’t have other obligations like a job or family. If, in an election year The Political Reform Division can not be reached, why are they collecting a paycheck?

Call 911 and get a busy signal. If someone dies as a result of unresponsive public service representatives Lawyers would line up for miles to solicit the surviving family as clients.
Yet California is reforming politics statewide with a so far undisclosed number of workers, a disconnected line and a P.O. Box?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

U.N. Human Rights Council Vote March 15th, 2006 - Washington, D.C.- - "In its first test to determine if it is capable of real reform, the United Nations has failed. The decision to confirm the creation of a weak, and ineffective, Human Rights Council underscores the inability of the organization to embrace real reform. I am disappointed in the outcome. We must continue to pursue an aggressive reform agenda. The Congress(and US taxpayers) have the absolute right to demand reform and transformation of the UN as a precondition to continued financial support."

The United States has not paid it’s financial obligations to the United Nations since the late eighties. This country invented the U.N. and while we were able to exercise hegemony over the rest of the world, no one complained. We’ve gotten our comeuppance and must drink sour grape juice. Declaring the Human Rights Council to be weak and ineffective the same day it was empanelled does not seem to embody the presumption of innocence underpinning our justice system nor by extension, our superior understanding of human rights.

I have argued for years that only by exposing countries with a poor human rights record to international scrutiny that comes from serving on these types of councils can we apply positive peer pressure. True, the U.S. doesn’t currently possess the leadership to affect positive change and the Human Rights Council should only have one or two renegades on it at a time. Never the less prejudging the U.N.’s effectiveness / ineffectiveness or underscoring organizational inability on the part of any other entity is pure hubris. This is after all the same administration that ceded the gulf coast to a hurricane.