Monday, April 21, 2014

Gaines duo resonates with Tea Party in EDH

Ted and Beth Gaines3

SEN. TED GAINES will try again to repeal the fire tax. Democrat photos by Mike Roberts

From page A1 | February 27, 2013 | 13 Comments

Ted and Beth Gaines were in El Dorado Hills last week to update the Tea Party Patriots on what they’re doing in Sacramento to protect taxpayers.

Both were elected in 2011, Beth to the reconfigured Assembly District 6, which now contains El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park, plus portions of Placer and Sacramento Counties, Ted to California Senate District 1, which encompasses the northwest corner of the state, including all of El Dorado County.

Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin, arrived fresh off two days of hearings on the California Parks Department slush fund scandal.

The department had $20.4 million in the state Parks and Recreation Fund last year while threatening to close 70 parks in response to budget cuts.

An apparent $33.5 million surplus in the Off Highway Vehicle Fund turned out to be a reporting error by the State Department of Finance, according to Finance Department officials at the hearing.

The $20.4 million went unnoticed due to misreporting by Parks Department officials in budget documents, according to a state audit.

Ironically, the department would have needed legislative approval to spend any of the secret money. The Legislature and governor spent the $20 million on park operations later in 2012.

Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned when the story broke in July. Her deputy was fired.

Beth Gaines sits on the Assembly’s Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. She told her Tea Party audience Thursday that she called for the audit in July, and that the results were far from satisfying.

She was troubled that Parks Department leadership couldn’t produce a record of costs to run each of the 278 state parks. “There’s no tracking of revenue in or expenditures out,” she said.

Last fall Gov. Jerry Brown appointed retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson to turn around the battered department. Gaines recounted asking him how he planned on changing the department’s culture of entitlement.

“He asked for more money,” she said. “He said they couldn’t even keep the toilets clean on a $553 million budget.”

“There have been criminal acts here,” she continued, vowing to see those responsible held accountable.

Jackson originally proposed getting the cost numbers together for the next budget cycle.
“That’s two years from now,” said Gaines, shaking her head. “No, we’ll have them by May.”

Beth Gaines was equally dissatisfied with the state Finance Department and the State Auditor, who should have known the surplus was accumulating, she said.

Communication between the Parks Department and the auditor “just dropped off,” she said.

“If one of the 500-some state departments doesn’t answer your letters, do you just give up?” she asked. “This kind of communications breakdown is another example of the culture of entitlement in state government.”

“I vow to you, I’m going to watch these state departments and how they spend their money,” she said. “More audits are coming, I promise.”

Her energy and passion impressed the 150-or-so conservatives on Thursday, especially when they learned that she’d also introduced legislation calling for open Cap and Trade meetings that day.

“They’ve been meeting behind closed doors,” she said. “I’m convinced this culture of dishonesty isn’t limited to the Department of Parks and Rec.”

She’s always opposed AB-32’s goals, she said, “but now that it’s being implemented my goal is to control the abuse and shine light on this overreaching program.”

Her bill, AB-527, will prohibit any payments to Western Climate Initiative Inc, the firm charged with implementing cap and trade in California, unless the Air Resources Board certifies that WCI complies with the provisions of the California Open Meetings and Public Records Acts.

The bill also makes WCI subject to audit by California State Auditor.

“I’m your watchdog,” she said. “I’m watching your money. I’m also going to watch (Gov. Brown’s budget) Proposition 30 and make sure that money goes down to the schools.”

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, preceded his wife to the podium, and talked about life as a super minority. “I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen, but it’s not going to be good,” he said.

Oil producers recently proposed a 9.9 cent per gallon fuel tax increase, despite a California fuel tax that is commensurate with other states, he said. “I don’t think voters of either party want to pay another 40 cents per gallon.”

He predicted that Democrats would propose a “split roll tax,” to raise commercial property taxes, which would trickle down to the consumer and hurt the economy, he said.

He promised to reintroduce legislation to repeal the fire tax, which is currently being litigated by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Ted Gaines commented on recent schisms in the Republican Party, rejecting the notion that Republicans are no longer relevant. “You’re only irrelevant if you believe you are,” he said. “We have a whole new opportunity in 2014. We just have to be smart about it.”

He called for greater outreach to immigrants, students, Latinos and Asians. “Their perception of us is old, rich, white guys that don’t care about anybody else.”

A recent poll by the New York Times found that young voters see Democrats as helping those in need. “That ought to be the perception of Republicans,” he said. “We are the ones that will provide an opportunity for you to succeed, to grow your business, to live the American Dream.”

Gaines reported that Democrats are scrambling to set up the Obamacare insurance exchange. “They’ll decide what types of insurance products are available,” rather than the free market, he said.

The exchange has cost three-quarters of a billion dollars thus far, he added.

Gaines worried that the exchange would become “an instrument for single payer healthcare.”

The California Medical Association, which supported Obamacare, is now in a panic because of a doctor shortage, he said.

To address the shortage, Democrats will propose modifications to “the scope of service,” he said, broadening the role of nurses and physicians assistants. Gaines predicted that doctors would oppose the changes.

“This has not been well thought out,” he concluded.

During the extended question-and-answer session of the Tea Party meeting, longtime El Dorado Hills resident Barbie Brilliant asked why she should stay in California, which has become “the unfriendliest retirement state there is.”

Beth Gaines took Brilliant’s observation as a challenge. “In California … we’re entrepreneurs. Our ancestors came to this state seeking a better life. Government was small. We had self-determination. Now we’re losing it. It makes me want to cry.”

“We need to reach out to youth,” she said. “We’re the party of freedom, independence, self-reliance and self-determination. Work hard and it pays off.”


Discussion | 13 comments

  • Jim RiordanFebruary 27, 2013 - 11:49 am

    I thank both of you for being there for us. The scenarios you described in this article are why many of us absolutely despise many government agencies. What Government seems to forget is "servitude" went out with Lincoln. I laugh in their face when I read Ted's statement that, “after Obamacare”, these stupid "lawmakers" are now “recognizing” that there “may be a Doctor shortage”. Well Duh! That is because Doctors who had to pay dearly to get their degree cannot and will not be "regulated" into accepting less for professional services rendered. Good for them. Government could never make me charge less for my services or tell me what to charge for them. I live in a free Country and I will fight for that. Bureaucrats on the other hand have sold-out to a life of dependency and they do not have the “right” to choose what to charge. And they shouldn’t. If they were worth more, they would be earning more in the private sector. . Doctors are not bureaucrats, thank God, so, just like I would, most of them will simply not be “forced labor” for the government and they will simply find other ways of offering their services or other people to offer them to. Remember, these government wanna-be Gods are the same worthless pukes who scream when any budgets or benefits of theirs are cut at all! Then we have the totally worthless Parks department headed by people who cannot even tell us taxpayers, from whom they are stealing the money, how much is coming in and going out, yet they end up with $20 million in the bank which belongs to US Taxpayers. If one of us hid any of THEIR money, we could go to jail. That is where Ruth Coleman should be. IN JAIL. This thieving department should be managed by reputable money managers and accountants instead of the idiots now in charge and those idiots should lose any and all pensions, benefits etc. Obviously these particular bureaucrats can’t even count, so it is no wonder they could not earn an honest living in the private sector. Let me guess, Beth, Ruth Coleman probably "stepped down" and receives full retirement benefits when she and her cohorts should be retiring in jail along with all the Parks Department “officials” who failed to notice a “mere” $20.4 million in overpayments to them. Then when they found it, they tried to hide it, while threatening to close 70 parks in response to budget cuts. No mention of cutting their budget by getting rid of some of their idiots who can’t count, noooo. Instead, they threaten to hurt the very people they are supposed to be helping-- park users. You know, the people who PAID for them. They should just let all the “Rangers” go and leave the park gates open. And retain only a small maintenance staff and make ‘em WORK. What they did is pure, intentional theft. These government pukes make me sick. I wish you would introduce legislation that automatically ends all payment of any future benefits to all thieving idiots like this. Allow me to propose a new "scope of service" for them: If they are so dirt stupid that they can't figure out what funds are coming and going, then they are too dirt stupid to be paid for the "work" they did. Not only should they lose all retirement, they should pay us back their salaries since they did not earn them.

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  • cookie65February 27, 2013 - 1:36 pm

    Was there any discussion on the real issue? "500-some state departments". I have such mixed thoughts on all of this. Our supposed conservative representatives don't seem to bat an eye at having so many government departments, but they tell us how hard they are working at making sure all 500-some state departments aren't wasting any of our money. Let me know when we start elimating government agencies and I will listen to how you have our back. If I sound like I think it is a dog and pony show it is because I do.

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  • cookie65February 27, 2013 - 1:44 pm

    With the federal government at 600+ government agencies and the state of California at 500-some departments, it doesn't take the new math to determine the California taxpayers are funding 1,100+ government agencies. How can you look people in the eye with a straight face and say “We’re the party of freedom, independence, self-reliance and self-determination. Work hard and it pays off.” Sounds more like leftist-lite to me. Just more proof that we are having all the wrong discussions in this country.

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  • EvelynFebruary 27, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    Cookie: There's much more that -- unknowingly -- taxpayers are funding. Only recently I've discovered that to significant extent we are funding tax-exempt "non-profits". And in my experience they are no more transparent or accountable than government agencies that we KNOW we are funding. In my experience some appear to be even less accountable than government agencies. The situation is totally out of control. And . . . beyond our control.

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  • Jim RiordanFebruary 27, 2013 - 3:03 pm

    I agree with both comments Cookie. I also believe there should be no unions in Government. Period. All government jobs (except Law Enforcement and fire) should be open for bid, lowest bidder who holds the correct credentials and an acceptable employment history gets the job. If somone comes along with the same credentials and bids lower, you either have to meet their bid or hand the job over to them. We might actually get rid of a lot of dead weight, get rid of union thugs and find some folks with work ethics to fill the jobs. To me, the unions are as bad as the politicians.

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  • cookie65February 27, 2013 - 3:33 pm

    Evelyn, the non-profits are an old scam. Look at it this way. You have a bunch of useless indoctrinated leftists graduating college with a useless degree in liberal arts or some mind melting sociology. They have no marketable skills in the private sector and you can't let the word get around that those college degrees won't get you a job. There isn't room for them in the already over bloated public sector but they are good leftist and need to be placed somewhere dependent on the public treasury so they created non-profits. They become a great source for transfering even more taxpayer money back to the dems in campaign cash, they promote leftist ideology and create a dependable democrat voting block. There are too many of them to count and the majority of them actually accomplish nothing measurable. Acorn was a non-profit, it still is but they changed their name. Excuse my frankness in describing non-profits. I don't have a lot of patience today.

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  • EvelynFebruary 27, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    They have been proliferating at an extraordinary rate since 1992.

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  • cookie65February 27, 2013 - 3:54 pm

    Jim, this is an interesting piece on what happens when the government sector makes all of its own rules. It isn't long but it is telling.

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  • goldyFebruary 27, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    He's kinda scary looking.

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  • Michael MiroFebruary 27, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Beth and Ted - Bless your hearts for being our voice, "crying out in the wilderness"! Only you've got considerably more horsepower! So please! Keep up the good fight! We're with you!

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  • 1036-FrankFebruary 28, 2013 - 10:19 am

    The last part of the article is perhaps the most important. Every person is asking the same question while witnessing the liberal meltdown of the state, why stay? When can they get out? this is not just being asked, it is being acted on. In one Texas town 200 people A DAY of ex-Cal people are showing up. The few who will be left to face Moonbeam's early released unmonitored horde of felons and their daily crime waves combined with huge new welfare state taxes will stay only long enough to let the real estate values rise or until retirement kicks in then they are gone taking their tax revenue with them leaving a higher burden on the few who pay taxes who remain. The libs are going to have their paradise all to themselves soon and I can only imagine what it will be in a few years.

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  • Jim RiordanFebruary 28, 2013 - 1:19 pm

    1036, I have been watching people move to texas as well. I sold one of my planes to a texan. Great GOB ex investigator for a DA. I really enjoyed him a lot and we had a lot of laughs. I liked the Texas law and order concepts. I kept communicating with him and the only thing that made me think twice about Texas are the sand storms and then the huge rainstorms that poor guy kept getting hit with. Later, I drove the southern route east to west through texas and it seemed as though the rural was downright desolate and the cities were packed corner to corner. I sure do like it in Cameron Park and hope we have a good number of years before it becomes urban.

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  • 1036-FrankFebruary 28, 2013 - 3:17 pm

    Jim, I hope there will always be a good old fashioned conservative values state to move to where taxes are low and freedom is high. Right now Texas seems to be collecting a lot of people who I can guess are carrying their California license plates in a paper sack and quietly approaching the DMV counter while glancing around very nervously. The way I see it the states are going to be few that have the values we used to have here, probably a half dozen Rocky Mtn states a few southern states and Texas thrown in and a couple in the mid west will be the last where freedom will still be present. Many people I know already went back home to the states they left so many years ago when they came here for jobs in aerospace and defense.

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