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The Myth Of “Corporate Welfare”

May 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Below is part of a conversation that I am having with Brandi Anderson, another candidate for City Council’s Ward 2 here in Reno.  One of the questions that I asked her was about what corporate welfare is, and after hearing her understanding of the issue I thought my response to her might be good for readers here to see in order to understand the matter a bit better.

This also serves as a great contrast to my conversations with Donna Graves, wherein Donna tended to avoid direct answers and remained closed about who she is and what she believes.  Brandi appears to me, for the time being (dont we all need alibi’s?), to be a candidate who is willing to demonstrate integrity and be open about who she is and what she believes. 

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Now, on the issue of “corporate welfare,” I would caution you about using this as a perjorative because it is in vogue to do so.

What some call corporate welfare, is really an anti-corporation/anti-business slogan that sounds good on the surface, but its meaning is either lost or becomes irrelevant when one actually begins looking at the term and its implications. In short, it has become a battle-cry with little meaning, except to demonize business and profit.

If all things were equal around the world, such concessions (tax breaks, mostly where the feds are concerned) would be unnecessary and would be only exercised by local and state governments to entice businesses to start or relocate to their particular venues. But things are not equal, with huge cost/wage disparities the world over requiring governments at all levels to consider tax breaks and other such deals to bring businesses to their shores and localities.

What YOU ELECTED OFFICIALS need to remember is, Reno and Nevada in general are IN COMPETITION WITH OTHER states, counties and cities for those businesses.

Therefore, you will need to figure out nice tax breaks (in this economy, make them across the board is my recommendation), infrastructure offerings and other helps to get larger businesses to relocate and new ones to start HERE.

I would encourage you to do some in-depth research on what other foreign governments do to lure businesses to their shores. They figure out incorporation schemes, wage subsidies, infrastructure (roads, utilities, business parks) and other ideas to make their particular locales the most attractive.

This is how multi-national business is conducted. I know not only because of research, but I have also been in investment banking many years ago and I am well aware of the intracacies and nuances of international finance and business.

This same motiff of competition applies to businesses that operate within the United States – so Reno is in direct competition on the national AND international level to attract businesses here. Thus, elected leaders of Reno are called upon to do things to attract those businesses, so what you and others call “corporate welfare” is actually a required part of the competition process.

One of my ideas is for Reno to take advantage of, and advocate for more/better, banking and incorporation laws to attract business headquarters and generate business startups to this state. It isnt well known, but Nevada has some fairly decent bank privacy laws that when coupled with nice tax/financial enticements can generate a substantial amount of “paper” activity, to be followed up by steady brick and mortar (including internet/e-business) entities joining Nevada, and hopefully Reno. Consequently, more people will move here, more sales taxes will be collected and if Reno City Council is smart, they will live within their means and save money for rainy days like we’re having now.

This idea just above is my own, so I ask that if you use it that it be attributed to me as I have published it on my blog and my own campaign website (yes, I am considering a future run for something). It is one of those ideas which sets me apart and the attribution piece is important – the way I’ve put it is actually a copyright issue.

Anyway… there’s my two cents on the corporate welfare matter.

Reno City Council Election – Donna Graves, Sharon Zadra, Jessica Sferrazza Revealed.

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

[NOTE:   According to Donna, someone flagged my post about fire fighter pay, which then removed my other posts including the fire fighter one and stopped me from posting any more messages.  What this “friend of Donna’s” did was create an unnecessary situation which led to suspicions on my part and Donna having to resort to well-deserved self defense actions to counter my accusations outlined below.  So, I must apologize to her for reacting to the flagging actions and automatically assuming the worst about her.]

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Today’s aftermath from someone flagging a post of mine on Donna Grave’s FB page marks, yet again, a very distinct turn-around for Donna Graves (her FB Link) in my mind. 

Here’s what happened on the 5/12/10:  Shortly after I posted a question about her husbands pay as a fire fighter (a Captain no less), and pointed out that paying them $200,00 and more per year (not including health insurance, retirement and overtime) was highway robbery (RGJ link)… I was immediately banned from posting on her FB site and all my posts/questions were removed.

Of course, I complained and I then assumed the worst (as she has deleted my posts before without explanation), wrote a blog entry here and left the matter alone.  Donna then demanded an apology which I told her I would provide in a public forum (i.e. her FB page and my blog), if she could provide ample evidence or an explanation about what happened, and that the issue would then be over in my mind.

Later, Donna told me that someone had “flagged” my post, which apparently deletes that post and then hides other posts from the same author, while also banning further posting until the FB account owner re-approves the poster to make comments again.  This sounded quite reasonable to me, so I decided that I was not going to squabble over that matter any further, after which I posted my apology and simply let it go.

Well, I log in today and find my apology that I posted on her FB page gone and the following FB email waiting for me:

May 13 at 6:37am

Derrick

I read you blog and am appauled at your inability to appologize. This election is not about the unions, which again I will remind you that I do NOT have the Local 731 (Fire fighters) endorsement. It is clear that you are only supporting candidates that have a military background. Your agenda has come into focus. I have always said I believe that the fire fighters need to give concessions, I was even quoted on RGJ as saying so.  I would recommend you look at the source you are using as truth, a letter to the editor.   None of the facts were checking in that letter. 

As you refuse to write the truth in your blogs and have become abbusive, I will no longer allow you to post on my fan page, I will no longer answer your email. Mr. Johnson, the truth is something everone is entilted to and the truth is not something you are capable of writing.

Now, there are more than a few things wrong with her claims – in fact, I would say that either she is lying or somehow she has “unintentionally” distorted in her own mind what has actually occurred.  Personally, I dont think she believed I would post an apology to her and do so publicly in a way that everyone could see – I think this is the real reason why she sent the above message to me and DELETED my apology on her FB fanpage.

Here are my rebuttals: 

1) I provided a VERY cordial and sensible apology on her FB page, which she deleted this morning… out of embarrassment perhaps?;

2) I never claimed she has received the local 731 Fire Fighters endorsement, so I have no idea where her comment is coming from;

3) I have not endorsed anyone except Ed Hawkins for Ward 4, and I clearly stated at the end of my first revision of this blog that I did not know anything  about Gonzales, the military candidate she is referring to;

4) She is correct about saying Fire Fighters need to give concessions, but she has not mentioned the EXHORBITANT PAY that they receive, which does not include overtime, healthcare and over-time pay;

5) She implies the letter to the editor is filled with lies, yet she provides no rebutting evidence to prove that is so;

6) I have been critical of Donna because she has danced around questions I have asked, using semantics and slightly off-topic answers to claim she’s addressed my questions, but I have not been abusive in any way;

7) As for truth, well, that is not a matter left open to subjective opinion.  I am very cognizant of the need for truth, honesty and integrity – however, I am now quite sure Donna has little grasp of these matters after reading her last and supposedly “final” communication to me.

Clearly, SOMEONE did not like me questioning fire fighter pay and my calling attention to the fact that she and her husband have a nice fat check coming to them each month just on his salary alone.  Are Donna’s supporters afraid of such things being pointed out and how far will these supporters go to protect her from scrutiny?  Is Donna truly appalled or is she embarrassed by the pay information being brought to light or her behavior and is she merely lashing out at me now out of frustration?

Moving on….

As far as Sharon Zadra (FB Page) and Jessica Sferrazz (FB Page) are concerned, neither of them have bothered to answer the same questions that I’ve posted to Donna Graves.  In fact, both have deleted my questions without comment and Sharon actually lied to me claiming she had sent me a private message answering my questions.  At least Donna has had some level of courage to TRY and answer my questions, even if those attempts failed to actually answer what I was asking.

What questions have I asked that are so offensive?  Well, they went something like this:

1) If illegal’s & their supporters marched on City Hall demanding that Reno become a haven city where police and other officials were prohibited from enforcing immigration laws, would you cave in to this pressure and vote to make Reno such a city?

2) What do you think about Arizona’s recent immigration law, including the amendments?

3) What is your political philosophy, left-right-center, and how does this philosophy change or guide your voting?

Folks, we can no longer let politicians get away with presenting trite pet issues and slogans to trick voters into supporting them.  I am advocating for a different way of approaching politics, which starts by asking candidates and current office holders what they believe in and why.   We need to find out what their political philosophies are and consider how those philosophies and aspirations to higher office will impact us before we “let them in” to be our representatives.  Clearly, doing things how we’ve always done them just isn’t working anymore.

[Edited] After Donna called me a hypocrite in an earlier email, I got to thinking about what the real issue is that got her or one of her supporters to have enough heartburn to have my fire fighter salary post deleted and me banned from posting comments. 

[Edited] I think, at the heart of the issues is this thing called INTEGRITY.  I may have tweaked someone’s “nose,” so to speak , on this issue by calling it to attention in a public way which could open Donna up to scrutiny where her motivations to run for public office are concerned.  At the very least, I called into question a very major issue concerning public employees (hiring, firing, lay-offs) and their stability as city employees.  Something that could directly impact Donna and her husband if more layoffs occur. 

[Edited] Donna has publicly stated that she is against the firing/lay-offs of 200 city employees, even though this reduction in city personnel may in fact be a legitimate cost-cutting measure.  Donna clearly disagrees with this method of addressing budget shortfalls, but she does have a point concerning how the City spends tax dollars and seems to have funds to buy parks and golf courses, when that money would be better used elsewhere.

[Edited] As I told Donna, the issue is integrity (which is applicable to every candidate for every office across America) and think my point is best made by posting exactly what I said to her in private, so here it is:

May 12 at 2:08pm

You see what’s going on here? You may have different issues to put in front of voters, but from what I can see – at the core of who you are – you are no different than Jessica or Sharon.

The issue is integrity.

Deleting my post on your FB page about fire fighter pay sparked something – it showed you have no more integrity than Sharon, Jessica and the lot of them now in office. It may have even showed that your agenda, in part, might be about protecting your own family income. Maybe? Maybe not – but it does raise the question and it should in other people’s minds too.

If you dont have integrity and the consistency in life that comes with it, you really have nothing to act as a foundation for your life and you have little to rest a public life on as an elected official.

You will be reduced to living and behaving just like Sharon, Jessica and the rest of Reno’s merry band of self-serving officials have to, all to cover up for your inconsistencies and the false front (aka mask) such people have to create to stay “safe.” They are doing it – if you dont find integrity for yourself, you will do it too.

Just because the circumstances of my initial confrontation with Donna were changed, but are now mysteriously back to where they were before my apology, I have to insist that my comments still stand as a universal truth about integrity, honesty and all those good principles voters should hold candidates accountable for. 

[Edited] Furthermore, my recommendation is STILL a NO vote for all three.  Brandi Anderson, who has garnered support from the unions in the area, may or may not be a good choice – time and further investigation/questioning will tell.   Anthony Gonzalez may be a good candidate, but he is an unknown at this point so I have no recommendation to give concerning his candidacy.

See you on the battlefield.

Nevada – Fire Reps Berkley & Titus next November!

March 21, 2010 Leave a comment

U.S. Reps. Dina Titus and Reps. Shelley Berkley of Nevada have announced they’ll vote for the ObamaCare bill, giving President Barack Obama more support for his top priority.  LINK

The real travesty is, these two clowns demonstrate that they have no clue about our Constitution and that they are complete SCRIBES for Obama, Pelosi and Reid as evidence by the following quotes from a recent RGJ article:

Shelley Berkley - Offender #1

Berkley said the bill’s centerpiece — making health insurance available to 32 million uninsured Americans, including 460,000 in Nevada — was a shot at controlling medical costs in the long run.

** “a shot at controlling medical costs?”  Who are these people kidding?  It’s that “hopey changey thing” all over again – just look at my prior post “By The Numbers” which shows she’s lying or ignorant, or both.  HOW CAN NEVADA pay for this huge number of people????  ANSWER:  We cannot.

“I believe with all my heart the current system is unsustainable,” Berkley said. “The cost of health insurance is skyrocketing. I just made a decision that although this is not a perfect bill there is more in it that was good for the people I represent.”

** Party Before Country, in her allegiance to Obama!  In other words, her beliefs trumps the facts and she is counting on people not challenging her FEELINGS on the matter – a hallmark of utopian marxist foot soldiers who have no thought of their own, AND she clearly is not listening to The People of Nevada.

Dina Titus - Offender #2

Titus stressed consumer-friendly provisions of the bill, saying it’ll improve coverage for Nevadans who already have health insurance and extend coverage to thousands more uninsured in the state.

** Medicaid is what will be tapped and what Titus forgets or simply does not know is, that Nevada will be on the hook for a large portion of these costs on top of an already cash-strapped budget.

 “The public is demanding this,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We have carried this for a year. The president is making it his agenda. I think it is time to get busy.”

Titus spokeswoman Andrew Stoddard said her offices in Washington and Henderson received more than 1,000 calls this week and they ran about even for and against the bill.

Likewise, Berkley spokesman David Chery said calls to her offices ran in the hundreds, with the breakdown being “close to even

** How can an even split in for/against calls be equated to Nevadans “demanding this?”   And, why should we believe the Titus or Berkley claims on the breakdown of the calls when Democrats have lied to us all year about this issue?  

My fellow Nevadan’s, here are two more individuals who need to be shown the proveribal door after selling out America and Nevadans to make Barry Obama “look good.”  

That was actually an argument Obama used to help sway waffling Representatives – help Barry look good and dont kill his presidency.  Can you believe that Obama would be so self-centered and egotistical that he had the stones to actually pitch this load of crap to people as a reason to vote for HCR???????

The man has no care for The People, but he sure has an eagle eye open to help himself and care for his legacy.  Is that really presidential?  No.  It’s pathetically selfe-serving and so unpresidential that I am wholly embarassed by this man’s conduct and motives!

As I have previously demonstrated, the HCR bill WILL NOT save any money and it will cost us far more than any Democrat is willing to admit. 

Titus and Berkley have demonstrated very clearly that they do not care about constitutional restrictions upon the Fed, and they are very clearly less intellectually capable than us average folk who do not want this monstrosity of a bad bill.

What’s more, this duo demonstrates they are followers rather than leaders and that they are cowards rather than following in Nevada’s tradition of individuality, courage and independence.

Please, do us all a favor – vote these two bums out in November!

See you on the battlefield.

Eradicate RINOs, Starting With Dawn Gibbons

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I read with mild interest in the RGJ that Dawn Gibbons is going to be starting a new 30 minute “inside scoop” politics show weekday mornings, starting in April sometime.

My eyes popped open and my blood pressure rose when I saw what she said about Obama, Reid and even Bill Clinton.  Here’s what gave me the indigestion from the RGJ blurb:  In the interview with Elfman, Gibbons — a Republican — called President Barack Obama “a brilliant man” and a “great president” and she praised Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Harry Reid, calling Reid “a wonderful public servant.”

Have these RINOs lost their collective minds?!?!?!? 

* Obama and his band of thugs, with Pelosi & Reid in the lead, are ruling America from the left and are even now trying to use unconstitutional measures (i.e. the Slaughter rule) to get their HCR bill passed;

* Reid has recruited a mealy mouthed Tea Party candidate to split the vote so he can win and even played dirty politics against Brian Krolicki;

* Pelosi & the DNC are ignoring ethical lapses within their own ranks, including back-room dealings, sweetheart deals for their cronies and etc.

Now we have a self-proclaimed GOP member saying these people are great, wonderful and etc!?!?!?   I hope what she is taking or smoking is worth the distorted world view it’s creating and isn’t costing too much to keep her mind foggy and confused.

The GOP needs to marginalize and reject these individuals and clean up the Nevada GOP so that we have a consistent party populated by individuals who are clear on the principles of the founding of this nation, federalism and what the Constitution actually says.   The GOP needs to find it’s moral and ideological roots again and STICK TO THOSE PRINCIPLES regardless of the opposition and what the so-called mainstream media might say.

The GOP will not be able to accomplish a resurgence with people like Dawn Gibbons and Bill Raggio in our midst who call for moderation, a big tent approach and continually give ground in the ideological fight to save this nation from the progressives of America.

I will see Dawn and Bill in the months and years ahead and I will tell them the same things in person and I will push to have them marginalized and ignored – until they publicly and consistently recant their “big tent” ideas and neo-progressive beliefs.   This isn’t about “hate” or anything of the sort.  It is about pushing the GOP to find clarity and focused purpose, which means rejecting the very things that have undermined the credibility of Nevada’s GOP in the first place.

See you on the battlefield.

Harry “Dead-Beat” Reid Recruits A Tea Party Candidate

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Senator Reid has been in office 24 years too long, in my opinion – where is his shame and sense of deceny?  A recent story broke a few days ago on Foxnews about Reid hoping for a third party candidate to split the conservative / GOP vote in Nevada, and today we discover that a third party candidate has indeed stepped forward ( read more here ).

Reid Prays For "Salvation" In 2010

Is this a credible charge?  I think so:  “No doubt about it”, says Danny Tarkanian, one of the many Republican senate candidates hoping to challenge Reid in November. “Nobody in the Tea Party knows who he is. He didn’t know any of the principles of the Tea Party,” Tarkanian tells CNN. He even accuses “Harry Reid’s staff, campaign, whatever” of picking Ashjian because he’s Armenian, as is Tarkanian. He explains, “They know the Armenians are very close they’ll vote for each other.”

I too was considering such a third party run,  however, upon deeper consideration I deemed it a vote-splitter just as Reid was hoping for which could very likely mean Reid wins by a narrow margin.  I was simply not willing to allow this to happen “on my watch,” so I ended all activities to put myself on the ballot for Reid’s seat. 

This new guy may be a genuine candidate or he may not be, I dont really know.  What I do know is he doesnt appear to be a serious candidate and that by these appearances and the odd timing of his coming forward just days after the Foxnews story, I am suspicious indeed.

Reid isn’t above such chicanery as evidenced by his (unproven) apparent derailment of Brian Krolicki via false charges being leveled by our democrat Nevada AG – these were recently dropped.

Keep watch Nevadans – Reid and the DNC are without shame or scruples.