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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk & Special Guests Steven Greenhut, and Mark Cabaniss

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
October 18, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com, welcome CalWatchDog's editor in chief Steven Greenhut, and former public defender and DA  Mark Cabaniss.   

We'll ask Steve about the news, from bad to worse concerning California's fiscal crisis, and the battle over what to do about it. 

We'll ask Mark what he thinks about District Attorney Raukaukus's choice to only charge two of the six officers involved in the murder, and what he makes of the charges the DA did hand down.

KFI's John and Ken host the number one drive time show in the country, second to New York City market in numbers, and first in monetized market share.  Love 'em or hate 'em, if you're in radio, you wish you had their numbers.

They're populist and some of their political rants and perspectives line up well with the principles of liberty, sound fiscal policy and limited government that doesn't infringe on a healthy entrepreneurial class, the middle class, the small business class.

Some of their ideas are reactionary. But that's another topic. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct 19th, they are going to Fullerton, CA to support the recall of three sitting City Council members who make up the majority of the City of Fullerton's City Council, and their reason is spot on for all the latter perspectives about their populism.

The issue that brought this recall into being was the police brutality against and murder of Kelly Thomas, a 37 year old 135 pound schizophrenic homeless man who also happened to be son of a former Orange County deputy sheriff and a loving caring father. The reason this case was not buried under the rug as so many police brutality cases and sometimes even the murder of a detained person or prisoner are, was the forming of an alliance between Kelly Thomas's father and the writers of a local and popular blog called Friends for Fullerton's Future.

Guest, Mark Cabaniss, who lives in the Sacramento area in Northern CA, is a former DA and a public defender. He has written on this case on at least three separate occasions and his pieces have been published at CalWatchDog, Friends For Fullerton's Future Blog, the Greater LongBeach.com online news publication, and other publications. You can find a compilation of his works on this issue here.
Each of the different op-eds he wrote on this case appeared is various different publications but are only listed here one time.

Tonight we'll ask Mark to explain to us what he thinks about District Attorney Raukaukus's choice to only charge two of the six officers involved in the murder, and what he makes of the charges the DA did hand down. L.A. Times Blog reported the D.A.'s charges like this:
Two Fullerton police officers have been criminally charged in the violent confrontation that left a homeless man dead, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas announced Wednesday.
Officer Manuel Ramos has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the beating of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man. Officer Jay Cicinelli has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

Are the charges fair?  Can the public expect justice be served?   Yes or no, and why? 

Special guest, Steven Greenhut, studies, writes and speaks about public policy.  In addition to being editor and chief of, and regular contributor to CalWatchDog.com,  he regularly contributes columns to online and hard copy publications, including the Opinion section of the O.C. Register, and the hard copy of City Journal.  He has authored two powerful books on abuse of the public trust in public policy: Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain , and his most current, Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation .

We'll talk with Steve about as much as we can and have time for, concerning the ongoing battle between citizens who want to reign in the costs, power and burdens of the Public Sector in California, and those who defend the status quo, and are pushing to up the costs of sustaining the current paradigm onto the tax payers, in terms of raising taxes, and reforming or diluting Proposition 13, raising fees,  and further restricting citizens in cities or municipalities from enacting reforms at the local level to cut down the costs of their public sector services, employees, benefits and retirement pay.

Steve lived in Southern California until recently, and worked as an editor for the Opinion Section of the Orange County Register and their blog. He wrote a lot on police practices during his tenure at the O.C. Register and has much insight to share with us on the issue of the Kelly Thomas case, the DA's charges, and the policy, politics and practices that enable police and sheriff Departments to develop into a culture of abusive practices.

Other related links:
Outlook goes from bad to worse for CalSTRS under proposed accounting standards: By Dale Kasler
California's big public pension funds are already short tens of billions of dollars. An organization of accountants is about to make the picture look even worse. A proposed change to pension accounting standards could give more ammunition to conservatives seeking to reduce pension benefits for public sector workers. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to issue a wide-ranging proposal to overhaul pensions sometime soon.
Departing DeVore Zings Union Ally Spitzer Silencing Local Gov’t Truth-Teller

Merging cities: ‘Out of the mainstream’?

De-Development Nightmare Haunts CA Biz

Convicting an officer is a tough challenge, experts say: Jurors are usually sympathetic toward police officers and even when prosecutors get a conviction, the sentence may be reduced.

Baca says he was out of touch with county's jails: The Los Angeles County sheriff said he failed to implement important reforms that could have minimized brutality. He also said his command staff has at times left him in the dark about jail conditions.

30 jailers punished for inmate beatings, report says: Sheriff's Department watchdog releases study on inmate abuse. Sheriff Baca plans to install more video cameras in jail to document misconduct.

L.A. County deputy says he was forced to beat mentally ill inmate: The rookie, top recruit in his class, resigned after the incident, which he said was covered up. The deputy's supervisor was allegedly threatened by the young man's uncle, a sheriff's detective.

L.A. County jail guards aid drug trading, sources say: Inmates pay to get narcotics and other contraband through deputies. Baca says guards' financial hardships are usually involved.

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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