Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Vote for Donald Trump because the future of the Supreme Court and our Constitution are at extreme risk if Hillary Clinton wins.
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- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
- The Devil Made Us Equal by Mike Robbins
- Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting
- New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem
- Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins
- Hate Crime Law Supporters Weakened Our Criminal Justice System and Self-Defense Rights, by Michael D. Robbins on
- Could Firefighter’s Arrest be the Result of a Culture of Entitlement? on
- Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? on
- Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? on
- Eye-Popping El Segundo 2009 Firefighter Compensation Data on
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Category Archives: Measure A – 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases
Inherent Conflict of Interest
The Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Associations (unions) bankrolled the Measure B tax-hike campaign. FPPC campaign disclosure forms show the police and fire unions spent an overwhelming $39,247.50 in our city election ($19,033.50 police, and $20,214.00 fire) to influence voters on Measure B and the City Council race.
This is nearly four times the $10,000 they contributed to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign in 2014, for eleven tax hikes, on residents and businesses. The fire union probably spent more than $100,000 on their Measure P campaign in 2012, to outsource our local Fire Department to Los Angeles County for a reduced level of service, for their own financial benefit.
None of the firefighters and only about one-fourth of the police live in town. They campaign in our local elections to maximize their pay and pensions, and raise taxes and fees to pay for it, no matter how excessive and unsustainable.
The latest available El Segundo City Employee compensation data, for 2014, at TransparentCalifornia.com, shows the 58 sworn police employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$139,028; Maximum=$358,536; Average=$228,240; and Median (half above and half below)=$214,867.
The 44 sworn firefighter employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$148,235; Maximum=$375,524; Average=$247,646; and Median=$225,882. The firefighters are paid to sleep and eat, including some of those hours at the overtime rate of 150% their regular pay rate.
The union campaigns have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with union greed.
– Mike Robbins
Eight Reasons to Vote Out the Incumbents
1.) Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson voted for at least twelve tax hikes.
2.) They voted to charge residents more than $1,850 for each fire department paramedic ambulance transport to the hospital, even though taxes pay for that.
3.) They voted to lease out the driving range for up to 50 years, at CenterCal’s option, without a competitive bid, for much less money than it’s worth, to build a huge TopGolf sports bar with an enlarged driving range as an accessory. The lease will take land away from the golf course, restaurant, and pro-shop; eliminate hole #1; and reduce the yardage, difficulty, and possibly safety of the golf course.
4.) They used falsified financial data to misrepresent that the golf course is losing money to justify their sweetheart deal.
5.) They voted to remove more competent and honest Carl Jacobson from the Mayor’s office and make Bill Fisher mayor, in the middle of Jacobson’s term without justification.
6.) They and two police union members ambushed then City Council candidate Mike
Dugan in 2014, rudely disrupting his Meet the Candidate night at the Moose Lodge. They kept interrupting him, made false accusations, and wouldn’t let him talk.
7.) Fellhauer tried to eliminate City Council Member (but not City Clerk and Treasurer) benefits, to discourage candidates from running against her. She gets lavish benefits from LAPD.
8.) A Fellhauer camp political operative repeatedly pressured challenger Don Brann to stop running against her for City Council.
– Mike Robbins
Elect Brann and Pirsztuk
I led the successful grassroots campaign against Measure P, the firefighters’ union initiative to hijack our fire department and contract with Los Angeles County for a significantly reduced level of service, all to lock-in and protect their excessive and unsustainable total annual compensation of $150,000 to more than $350,000 per year. I also led the successful grassroots campaign against the residential trash collection fees, because taxes already pay for that, and against Measure A, eleven tax hikes in one ballot measure, on residents and businesses.
City Council candidates Marie Fellhauer, Dave Atkinson, and Drew Boyles all publicly endorsed Measure A and were featured in campaign mailers supporting it. Candidates Don Brann and Carol Pirsztuk are fiscal conservatives who did not endorse or support Measure A.
I support Don Bran for City Council because he is intelligent and fiscally conservative, has no hidden agenda, he listens, and if he makes a mistake, he learns and corrects it. Likewise, I support Carol Pirsztuk.
Brann voted, together with Fellhauer’s allies and supporters Eric Busch and Bill Fisher, to hire the disastrous City Manager Doug Willmore. Willmore cost our city millions of dollars. He wanted to effectively mortgage City Hall for 10.3 million dollars to pay for the 11.25% to 32.3% in raises Busch and Fisher gave to the already overpaid firefighters and police during the Great Recession. Brann realized his mistake and corrected it before leaving City Council, by voting with Carl Jacobson and Suzanne Fuentes to fire Willmore.
– Mike Robbins
October 1, 2014
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), founded by California Proposition 13 sponsor Howard Jarvis, has honored former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero” for leading the successful campaign to defeat Measure A in the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election. Measure A had ELEVEN tax hikes in one ballot measure!
Here is the article in their official statewide newsletter, Taxing Times, Vol. 40, Issue 3 for Fall 2014:
HJTA was very pleased to receive the following update from former El Segundo councilman Mike Robbins after local Election Day, April 8. Here are excerpts:
We had a great victory in El Segundo last night! The citizens and taxpayers won, and the city-employee unions with lots of campaign money and a significant conflict of interest lost – AGAIN!
Thank you to everyone who helped.
El Segundo Measure A, ELEVEN TAX HIKES IN ONE MEASURE, taxing RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES, lost by 57% NO to 43% YES, despite the “Yes on A” campaign spending a whopping $33,129.87 in small-town El Segundo, including $17,500 from four city-employee unions – $5,000 from the fire union, $5,000 from the police union, $5,000 from the city employees’ union, and $2,500 from the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council in Sacramento (supervisory and professional employees’ union) at a cost of $25.74 per vote.
Measure A would have created new taxes on residents for electricity, water, gas, and all forms of “communications services,” including landline telephones, cell phones, Internet, cable TV, and satellite, to pay for excessive compensation and pensions for city employees. Firefighters and police are paid $150,000 to more than $380,000 each in total compensation per year.
I, together with two other former El Segundo City Council members, and two other long-term city residents, co-authored and submitted an argument against Measure A and a rebuttal to the argument for Measure A, and I authored and distributed two one-page double-sided campaign flyers on Saturday, April 5, and a third on Sunday, April 6.
The HJTA hat is off to Mike and other active El Segundo taxpayers who made this victory possible.
Police Union Fundraiser Mailer
The police officers’ “association” (union) sent out their annual union fundraiser mailer, exploiting murders of police officers elsewhere to solicit money from residents and businesses. Giving them money is absurd for many reasons. If you already gave them money, try to get it back.
First, the non-deductible contributions go to their union. The police and fire unions spent more than $10,000 in their labor contract campaign for 11 half-page newspaper ads, two city-wide mailers, and mobile billboards driven around town with falsehoods attacking our city council for doing their job to protect our city from bankruptcy.
Second, the police and fire unions contributed $10,000 to Measure A in 2014. Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses, to pay for big past and future police and fire compensation and pension increases.
Third, the unions don’t need our donations. Police and firefighters are paid far more than nearly all El Segundo residents. Their total compensation has been about $150,000 to $385,000 each per year, with three to six million dollar pensions, due to union campaigning to elect city councilmembers who give the biggest pay and pension increases – and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.
And fourth, the union solicitation is corrupt. It uses realistic-looking fake ESPD police badges, and many residents believe they will get faster and better service or avoid a ticket if they pay off the union and put the union’s police badge decal on their window.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading
The firefighter and police officer “associations” are labor unions. They spent thousands of dollars campaigning for a month, with deceptive campaign ads and mailers, to keep millions of dollars per year in excess compensation they receive as rewards for their support for past City Council candidates.
None of the firefighters and only one fourth of the police live in town. They want to control and run our city for their own financial benefit.
Their unions exist to continuously increase their compensation, no matter how excessive and unsustainable, at our expense in money and safety. They support candidates and ballot measures that will maximize their pay, and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.
For example, the firefighters put Measure P on the 4/10/2012 ballot to maximize their compensation, but reduce our safety. It would have forced El Segundo to contract with the L.A. County Fire Department for an inferior level of service. We would have lost our three paramedic transport ambulances, and been forced to use out-of-town ambulance companies, doubling hospital transport times. The firefighters hired a campaign consultant, election lawyers, and professional pollsters. They probably spent over $100,000. I led the grassroots campaign against Measure P. Thankfully, 90% of voters voted “No”.
The city unions contributed $17,500 to the Measure A campaign (4/8/2014). Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses. I led the campaign against Measure A. We won again. The union activism shows Council is doing its job.
– Mike Robbins
Phony Candidates and Slate Mailers
Vote for Murray for West Basin Municipal Water District.
I received a phony campaign slate mailer titled “SAVE PROPOSITION 13 NEWSLETTER” with Scott Houston’s name and photo in it. It’s not a newsletter at all, but a deceptive campaign slate mailer that has nothing to do with Proposition 13.
This is ironic. The current newsletter of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, founded by Proposition 13 sponsor Howard Jarvis, honors Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero” for leading the successful campaign against Measure A and its eleven tax hikes last April, despite city unions contributing $17,500 to the “Yes on A” campaign. But Scott Houston supported Measure A! See his 3/13/14 Herald letter. And Houston ran for Democratic Party Central Committee on 6/3/08 as a self-described progressive (extreme tax-and-spend liberal).
A call to HJTA confirmed they do not endorse Scott Houston, and have no connection to nor control over that slate mailer. Houston paid to get his name and photo in it, as indicated by the asterisk next to his name. … Continue reading
Vote AGAINST Scott Houston
Vote AGAINST Scott Houston for West Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors if you don’t want additional unnecessary water rate increases. Two-time City Council loser Houston is the absolute worst of three “progressive” (ultra-liberal/leftist) Democrats running. Vote FOR Stephen Murray instead.
Houston supported Measure P, the firefighter union’s initiative (4/10/12 ballot), which was defeated by 90% of El Segundo voters. It would have disbanded our local Fire Department and transferred our fire and paramedic services, and firefighters, to Los Angeles County for inferior services. It would have eliminated 31% of our on-duty firefighters, two paramedic squads, and all three paramedic transport ambulances, doubling hospital transport times.
Houston lobbied the City Council (2/15/11 meeting video) to enact Measure P directly into law without allowing the voters to vote on it!
Houston supported THIRTEEN TAX HIKES, including ELEVEN TAX HIKES in Measure A (4/8/14 ballot; 3/13/14 Herald letter).
Houston took endorsements and huge campaign contributions from the police officers’ “association” (union). Police, firefighter, and other government unions support candidates and ballot measures that will give them the biggest pay and pension increases, and raise our taxes to pay for it. That’s why our police and firefighters are paid $150,000 to $330,000 each in total annual compensation.
Houston campaigns claiming qualifications and positions he does not possess. He wants to use WBMWD as a stepping stone to higher office to promote Big Government tax-and-spend “progressive” politics.
Houston is a government union puppet, not a representative of the people.
– Mike Robbins
NOTE BY MICHAEL D. ROBBINS:
This letter was submitted with an error that is corrected above. “Metropolitan” was corrected to “Municipal”. I was researching both the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) and its up-stream water provider Metropolitan Water District (MWD) just before I wrote this letter, hence the mistake.
April 15 Council Meeting
The Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council Members Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods, and without any proof or evidence, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police Union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the Police and Fire Unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with Union Puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 campaign spending. It would’ve happened this time, if not for Dugan.
– Mike Robbins
Recapping the Election
Thank you to the 57 percent of voters who voted No on Measure A and to those who voted for Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan. That puts our city on a better footing for negotiating with the city unions and instituting necessary compensation and pension reforms to ensure the viability of El Segundo as a city.
According to FPPC filings, four city employee unions contributed a total of $17,500 to the Yes on A campaign to raise our taxes and their pay: the El Segundo Firefighters PAC donated $5,000 on Feb. 11; the El Segundo Police Officers Association PAC donated $5,000 on Feb. 25; the El Segundo City Employees Association donated $5,000 on Feb. 28; and the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council donated $2,500 on March 11.
There’s an inherent conflict of interest when government employee unions campaign for candidates and ballot measures that will increase their salaries and pensions – and raise our taxes to pay for it. We don’t want people who live outside our city running the city for their own economic benefit.
The biggest spenders were the biggest losers. The Yes on A campaign spent $33,130 for 1,402 votes (43 percent) at a cost of $23.63 per vote. The grassroots No on A campaign received 1,841 votes (57 percent). Bill Fisher spent $19,671 for 1,545 votes (28 percent) at a cost of $12.73 per vote. One winner, Suzanne Fuentes, spent $7,927 for 2,047 votes (38 percent) at a cost of $3.87 per vote. And the other winner, Mike Dugan, spent $2,833 for 1,859 votes (34 percent) at a cost of $1.52 per vote.
El Segundo Continue reading