I had the misfortune of watching KCET’s post State of the State analysis last night. David Lazarus, a brilliant business columnist for the LA Times, and Judy Muller, a professor of journalism at USC and former CBS News correspondent, had the misfortune of being paired with Flash Report’s Jon Fleischman.
I’ll boil down Fleischman’s argument in a nutshell: taxes should never ever, ever, ever go up.Â Who cares if the cost of fuel, materials, labor or real estate increases, who cares if each classroom has 70 kids it in, who cares if trash isn’t collected or fires aren’t put out, or roads are filled with potholes:Â just cut spending.Â Brown’s proposed spending cuts will never beÂ enough for Republicans.Â Fleischman wants to see $25 billion cut from the budget nowÂ without specifying what he or Republicans would cut.
Two favorite moments from last night.Â
A quote from Fleischman: “I used to work for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and I know people who get pensions of $100,000, $150,000 and $200,000 to sit around a do nothing.”Â
Yeah, Jon knows them.Â He knows people like Mike Carona, who in addition to collecting his full county pension approved of by a completely Republican County Board of Supervisors, is now housed on federal taxpayer time with three hots and a cot at the Colorado version of Camp Cupcake.Â Carona’s pension, according to the OC Register, is a little more than $17K a month ($209K annually). If Carona gets through prison unscathed and lives for another 20 years, taxpayers will pay him more than $4 million.Â His counterpart, disgraced and jailed George Jaramillo pulls in just shy of $140K a year, while in jail on theÂ California taxpayer’s dime. Again — all approved by a Republican controlled BOS.
But what about Fleischman’s own pension?Â Well, that’s a public records request waiting to happen.Â Perhaps he’d like to renounce his pension to save taxpayer dollars?Â The fact is most county employee pensions are pretty modest, and Chris Prevatt is working on a post regarding that.
But worse still, when is someone going to call Fleischman on the carpet for what his obligation was to taxpayers and the county over what was going on in Carona’s Sheriff’s Department?Â He certainly billed himself as part ofÂ Carona’s inner circle.Â What did Fleischman know and when did he know it, and if he knew it, why didn’t he blow the whistle?Â Â As a county employee, his obligation was to the taxpayers and the county, not Mike Carona or the Republican Party.Â Yet Fleischman has never been held to account for what he knew about Carona’s well-documented legacy of corruption.Â
A flashback to 2006; Fleischman wrote: “I have known Mike Carona for nearly fifteen years.Â He and I first met when he was the Marshal of Orange County (in charge of security for our county courthouses) and I was a special assistant to freshman Congressman Ed Royce.Â Over the years, I have come to know Carona as a man of strong integrity with a commitment to freedom and liberty, and a passion for public policy administration.Â
Because of Mike Carona’s strong belief in Republican principles, I have seen him be a leader within the GOP.Â He has endorsed hundreds of Republican candidates for local, county, state and federal office.Â Whether it has been his support of paycheck protection, or his solid opposition to both open primary measures, Carona has done the right thing.Â This year you need only look at the big battles in Orange County to know that, despite his own election taking place, Carona is still stepping up for the GOP cause.Â He was a solid endorser of Diane Harkey for State Senate, and he is a prominent supporter of John Moorlach for Board of Supervisors.
Of course, for FlashReport readers, it is important to see the Sheriff as a great conservative leader (I’ve never met a Sheriff who is more passionate about second amendment rights than this one!), but the last five and a half years, I have been able to see a great law enforcement leader and manager first hand.Â If you didn’t know it, I work full-time in the media relations office of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.Â In that capacity, I get an insider perspective of Sheriff Carona.
Mike Carona words (sic) tirelessly for the department (which is a large one – with around 4500 employees and an annual budget around 600 million bucks!).Â I’ve never met anyone more dedicated to their job than Carona.Â Whether it working day and night with his command staff of four Assistant Sheriff’s to keep the day-to-day operations on track, or if he is traveling around the nation (Carona serves as an advisor to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and on the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).Â …In closing I would simply say this.Â If you do not know Mike Carona already — then perhaps you will take the word of someone you do know…me!Â I am not only voting for Mike Carona — but am doing so enthusiastically.Â Please consider voting for him as well, and like I said above, if you have relatives or friends in Orange County, encourage them to vote to re-elect Sheriff Carona as well!”
Might I suggest a conjugal visit to Colorado, but I understand that’s against the rules in Federal Prison.
The second moment was when debating the merits of the special election Brown called for, Judy Muller turned to Fleischman and said “what are you so afraid of…?”
The unspokenÂ answer: losing.Â
I should thank the GOP for putting Fleischman up there to represent the Right.Â He didn’t offer a single idea other than dramatic spending cuts to unspecific programs.Â Nicely done.