corruption

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH $60,000?

Submitted By Linda Sutter – July 13, 2020

On June 9th, 2020 the Board of Supervisors approved to give $60,000 to a company in Washington DC to lobby for the better good of Del Norte County.  The Company they hired is called the Thorn Run Partners and the person allegedly representing Del Norte County’s interest is Greg Burns.

The name of the company and the last name of the representative should give you a red flag from onset, however, we taxpayers place too much faith in our leaders and the end result explains why our county and city are broke begging for more.

So, I do what I do best, I requested to review documents to help explain how to justify $5,000 a month for Greg Burns representation.

These are the following questions I asked documentation for;

1. name and actual hours worked for each calendar day and each calendar week by each worker employed by the consultant for years 2016- May 2020. This was not answered.

2. List all projects and hours worked on each project along with details of the project. This was answered through numerous articles provided by TRP, mostly duplicate of the 863 page document sent to me, and not in chronological order.

3. I want to review complete records of payrolls, expenditures, disbursements, and other cost items charged to this county for work performed by this group. This was answered.

4. I would like to review all electronic emails from Run Partners to Del Norte County from 1/2016 to 5/2020. The county only provided a couple of emails, mostly dating this year a couple from 2018 and a couple from 2019, which means the county is either hiding something or the TRP breached their own contract of performance at a tune of $5,000 per month.

5. List all dates Run Partners were in Del Norte County, from 1/2016 to May 2020. This was never answered in violation of the Brown Act and FOIA request.

The first Document I received was 863 pages of horse manure. On April 1, 2020,  “Potential Framework of a 4th  covid19 relief package-infrastructure, with direct payments to local governments.

“In addition to surface transportation sections, such as highways, transit and rail, the House Democratic infrastructure framework includes several non-traditional sections, including funding for airports, water, broadband, energy, and school construction.”

School construction? My understanding is our local school board wants another bond for the schools after spending 25 million in the last 5 years with nothing to show for it.

The memorandum goes onto say, “While House Leadership and Committee leaders begin this discussion, we will continue to share your infrastructure needs with the committees of jurisdiction and will work with your Congressional delegation on this effort.” Keywords “infrastructure needs.”

That was worth $5,000? The next set of documents that was sent by Greg Burns were articles from the Thorn Run Partners daily generic newsletter. Again Dated April 1, 2020 a 5 page Covid19 Edition letter outlining a barrage of subject titles and Covid19.

The next 3.5 pages is a politico article talking about the covid19, pretty much everything that you see on television and social media is reiterated in this article. I might add that politico articles are free on the internet.

The next article provided by Greg Burns is called ROLL CALL. “Insurers call for a federal fund to help coronavirus-impaired businesses Groups representing the mutual insurance and property casualty insurance industries joined dozens of other groups Tuesday in calling for a federal business continuity fund to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Another article sent is called “The Hill,” Insurers call for federal fund to help coronavirus-impaired businesses Groups representing the mutual insurance and property casualty insurance industries joined dozens of other groups Tuesday in calling for a federal business continuity fund to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. A one page document.

 A second article by “The Hill,” Coronavirus brings quick changes to state alcohol laws States are temporarily relaxing laws on alcohol purchases, providing a major win to the beer, wine and spirits lobby during the coronavirus pandemic.

Another article of “The Hill,” Fed’s expanded lending program opens funding to the oil and gas industry Changes to a new lending program from the Federal Reserve have paved the way for the oil and gas industry to get government financing amid the pandemic. Yep a bailout to oil companies.

June 1, 2020 Burns writes, “From:Greg Burns Sent: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 16:04:03 +0000 Subject:TRP Influencer Series: Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Thursday, June 4 at noon ET Hello all, For those of you that have enjoyed our virtual ‘TRP Influencer Series’ events, our next one will give you a different perspective from some of the more recent ones as it’s with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday, June 4 at noon ET. Rep. Mullin is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee who sits on three subcommittees: Health, Oversight and Investigations, and Environment & Climate Change. As usual, our guest will participate in a moderated discussion before taking questions from attendees. The event will be held over conference call, and dial-in information will be provided upon RSVPing to my colleague Hannah Kelman (hkelman@thornrun.com). Questions will be read by our moderator and must be emailed in advance to thornrun@thornrun.com. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks, Greg.

Is that worth $5,000? And by the way, just so everyone knows, all articles including the TRP (Thorn Run Partners) newsletter is available for free at www.thornrun.com and facebook.

As I go through these numerous pages of articles the common denominator is the fact that absolutely none of these articles, or work conducted by Mr. Burns is directly related to the issues of Del Norte County. The articles that are sent to the supervisors board are generic in nature and are discussed widely on all news casts.

One interesting aspect I personally found in the numerous articles was this, “Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). The Fed will purchase up to $500 billion in state and local debt with the intention of supporting cash-strapped municipal governments’ access to liquidity. More information on the program can be found here. • The Federal Reserve announced that it is expanding the scope of cities that will be able to borrow money through its emergency program for state and local governments. This expansion will allow at least two cities or counties in every state to be eligible, regardless of population.”

Never heard any mention of that from our Supervisors, maybe because they don’t take time to read these articles we all pay for? Or we can always hear the same old excuse, “Well, this is very competitive,” implying that we would never make the mark. Nor have our Supervisors and City Council heed the Executive Order by President Trump, “calling on agencies to target regulations “that may inhibit economic recovery” during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Or how about this,

 “As expected, House Democrats just now have released a $3 trillion, 1,815 page bill entitled the “Heroes Act” which is expected to be voted on in the House on Friday. Among MANY provisions in the bill, a summary of which has not yet been released, the bill provides the following for states and local governments, all of which could be used for revenue loss: • $500 billion for states • $375 billion for all cities and counties o $187.5 billion for all counties based on population o $187.5 billion for all cities ▪ $131.25 billion allocated under the formulas used to distribute CDBG funding (if you are an entitlement city) ▪ $56.25 billion for non-entitlement cities allocated via population.”

Maybe that is why Dr. Rehwaldt and our Supervisors want to keep lock down mode in Del Norte County despite lack of scientific evidence to support the pandemic. (no Death, and only 2 hospitalizations which is questionable if the hospitalized persons were there for other reasons other than covid but was forced to test for covid and found positive).

 So much for the homeless efforts and issues this letter was written November 2019, “From:Greg Burns Sent:Sat, 16 Nov 2019 15:25:27 +0000 To:Jay Sarina (jsarina@co.del-norte.ca.us);Lori Cowan;Gerry Hemmingsen Subject:FYI: USICH Trump has fired Matthew Doherty, the executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. His dismissal comes after a September report by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers criticized efforts, led by Doherty, to move the chronically homeless into subsidized housing.” Did we hear about that? Nope. Does it affect our County? Ask a Supervisor.

“Trump has promised to take action against California’s homelessness problem, arguing that homelessness hurts the quality of life and the “prestige” of some of its largest cities. The Washington Post reported in September that administration officials have considered razing tent camps for the homeless, creating temporary facilities and refurbishing government facilities.”

In one letter written on June 3, 2020 Mr. Burns delivers  news;

 “Democrats, along with some Republicans, have called for bailing out state and local governments whose budgets have been decimated by the coronavirus crisis. As those governments have increased spending to fight the pandemic, they’ve seen tax revenue drop drastically.

Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the progressive Economic Policy Institute and former chief economist at the Labor Department, told the committee that nearly 1 million government jobs at the state and local level have been lost already.

She warned those layoffs could create a vicious cycle that could drown the recovery: Government workers’ wages stop flowing to businesses struggling to recover, leading to further private-sector layoffs and bankruptcies.”

Shierholz said forcing states to rely on debt to get through the coronavirus’s economic crisis would be repeating a mistake from the last recession. “State and local austerity in the aftermath of the recession delayed the recovery by over four years,” she said. “We’ll be facing that, and more, this time.” Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, asked Shierholz if Congress should provide states additional grants, rather than just rely on the Fed’s lending facility. She agreed. “In order to keep them from becoming a drag on the recovery, we need to make sure that their budget shortfalls are filled in,” she said. “It is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a robust recovery.”

“To have a large tax increase in the middle of the recession, as state and local governments will be forced to do, that is about the last thing we need.”

This piece of information applies to our County and City, as I attend City meetings and learn they approve nearly $700,000 for a stabilization project at the end of 9th street, where council believe (wink wink) “Congress,” will pay them back and then turning around wanting to raise our sales tax up to 8.5% for other services (and capital projects). It should be noted the city took the money out of the water enterprise fund as a “loan”.

This is not the time for raising taxes for sure, but the point of the matter is, taxpayers are paying 60,000 for representation in Washington, the BOS receive this information, hide from the public and then are going to vote on a sales tax increase to make up for lost tax revenue. How do you like the elected so far? And folks, let us not forget all this trillion dollar bailout stuff is gonna hit us in the pocket books at tax time.

In closing, unless we are getting more than a few articles every month from TRP, it is hard pressed at these times for our County Representatives to have a Champagne Budget on a water diet don’t ya think?

One Response to WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH $60,000?

  1. Angry Old American Reply

    July 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you Linda! Once again you have given us an example of diligent research, independent critical analysis and logical conclusions. Yes, it is $60,000 cast to the waste bin. However, the Board of Supervisors can hire an extreme Leftist lobbyist to trade the souls, spirits and future of its citizens in exchange for mooch-money if they want; it is their money after all. What? It isn’t THEIR money? It is the taxpayers money?!! No problem, we can demand that the financial compensation of each member of the Board of Supervisors be docked by $12,000 each.

    Our Board of Supervisors are wearing dark glasses, with a tin cup in one hand and a white cane in the other. The sign they stand under says “Will do nothing for mooch-money.” They are determined to wait for the clink of pennies in their cup while opportunity passes us all by.

    We are sitting on the deck of the Titanic. California is sinking. Hundreds of thousands of California’s most productive and talented residents have already moved to other States. Meanwhile, our “Sanctuary State” has become a Mecca for illegal aliens, MS-13 gang members, terrorists, and hoards of homeless. Another 8,000 inmates are being released from prison to join the 10,000 that were already set lose. The rats are not abandoning ship; they are being jettisoned. Government layoffs are epidemic as the free-enterprise tax-base further erodes. Still, there are many State employees, eternal optimists, that consider their jobs to be untouchable. “Surely they will never get rid of law enforcement or corrections; especially those with seniority!” Dream on.

    Meanwhile, back in the United States of America, opportunity is knocking. The government is begging people to go back to work. Has anyone noticed that many items are no longer available at the stores? Products are disappearing because of the Pandemic shut-down. Chinese manufacturing has come to a standstill. Many products will be totally exhausted by this coming Fall. There are light manufacturing opportunities that can be done at home right now to meet local needs. Too bad we are in California where taxes are sky-high, there’s a mountain of red tape to start a business, regulators and enforcers breathe down our necks, and our litigation-crazy courts are anti-capitalist. I suppose that is why the best and brightest have already left.

    Our most pressing need in Del Norte County is to extricate ourselves from California before we sink with it to the bottom of the sea of poverty and despair. International Socialism has destroyed California and will take Del Norte County down with it. The only solutions offered by our leaders is to beg for mooch-money from the Federal Government and tax their citizens into bankruptcy.

    We the People have only a few options. First, we could petition to become a County in another State. Second, we could petition and demand to become an independent State of our own. Third, we could secede from the United State altogether and form an Independent Nation.

    The first option of becoming a County in another State would be the most likely of the three possibilities. Because of Del Norte County’s mooch-money dependent nature and inability to rule itself efficiently, remaining a County might be a sound option. Oregon is a Socialist shit-hole and sinking from epidemic of fiscal incompetence and corruption just like California. However, Nevada is solvent, as well as many other States. Certainly, a non-contiguous County would set a precedence, but it is no different than a non-contiguous State of the Union like Hawaii or Alaska.

    The second option of forming our own State is not far-fetched. It offers more opportunities and advantage over remaining a County. There are States on the East Coast that are smaller than Del Norte County. We have a port and enough local resources to survive quite well. Federal funding would go directly to our new State instead of begging California for pennies to be dropped in our tin-cup. Plus, we would have our very own Congressional and Senatorial representatives. We would have control of our own water and resources. We could allow for greater Tribal autonomy by making them Counties in our new State. We could repeal California’s draconian firearms laws and restore the Second Amendment. We could restore free enterprise and dismantle the communist stranglehold on our Constitutional rights. We could eliminate the regulations that stifle industry. Perhaps some of the businesses fleeing California might take the short step to our new nearby State instead of a long leap to Texas and beyond. Who knows, maybe the Counties of Siskiyou, Shasta, Lassen and Modoc might join us. The State of Jefferson movement has too many political ties to California for any hope of exit. Better to strike out on our own; perhaps call it “New Jefferson.”

    The next option of seceding from the United States altogether is an option if Communists in Congress gain complete control of the USA and eliminate the Constitution and Bill of Rights altogether. The Democrats in Congress are working on a new government model at this very moment. We could declare Independence, salvage the Constitution and Bill of Rights for this land, and enjoy the liberties that have been denied us for decades by the Socialist State of California.

    Of course, any of these options would be deadly. Democrats in Congress were in full support of the occupied zone in Seattle’s cultural revolution; despite the subsequent crime wave and homicides. Those in power would never tolerate a peaceful Constitutional government based on the Bill of Rights and rule of law. These intolerant Maoist fanatics would send in the tanks, fix bayonets, and shoot to kill. Just like Tienanmen Square in China, Liberty cannot be tolerated!

    Linda, you did a good job of showing all of us just how convoluted, corrupt and hopelessly entangled in red tape and special interest cronyism our State and County have become. Perhaps we should take an example from the ancient Macedonian King Alexander. When King Alexander encountered the Gordian Knot, a knot so complex that no other king could untie it; what did he do?

    Alexander the Great drew his sword and cut it!

    Respectfully,

    Angry Old American

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