Blog


The Fraud Is THEIR Racist Leader

The media has it wrong again.   It is not just that the Fraud has not come out strongly against white supremacists–it is the fact he is their leader.   Would Hitler come out against the Brown Shirts?

What is lost in today’s discussion are simple facts the media refuses to repeat.  First, that Donald Trump is a racist.  Second, that he came to power on the strength of the racism that still exists in America.  Third, the regime is full of open racists such at Steve Bannon, who control the street gangs currently in Charlottesville.

In fact, Bannon serves as a modern day Ernst Rohm, who Adolph Hitler finally had to eliminate because of his power within the Nazi organization.  Hitler was the supreme leader but Rohm controlled the street gangs.   Trump cannot get rid of Bannon unless and until he can figure out a way to isolate him from the troops below.   Hitler did this with a purge of over 400 murders in the night of the long knives–such an option seems very unlikely under Trump.   As Hitler made a deal with the German institutional organizations before he launched his purge.   Trump and the institutions of the United States are at opposite ends and have no intention of making deals with each other.

In Trump’s case, he would have to win over the institutional government (FBI, CIA, NSA, Cops and Military) to purge his crazy minions below.  Ironically, it is the sense of patriotism from these institutions that is the only thing stopping Trump from a full take-over of the nation.  As the feckless Democrats, Republicans, Media and Courts all stand aside despite their official responsibilities as Americans.

The simple fact is that we, the majority, are at war with the racist, misogynist, lying culture that has been allowed out of the shadows because of the perceived success of the loser Donald Trump.

His people are the minority in this country, once thought to be on the verge of extinction.  These racists lived in the shadows and have only been empowered because of Trump’s embolding them.

They do not represent the hopes, aspirations and values of real Americans.  But they are in power due to an anomaly in the Constitution that was created by and for racists.  The Electoral College purposely gave racists more power to determine the Executive Branch, which is why 12 of our first 14 Presidents had slaves.  Only the Adams (father and son) did not; and J.Q. Adams was not elected by a majority vote either.

But the fact remains, Trump is an accident of history and the institutions that should bring him to heel are in the hands of his own partisan hacks, thus the institutional government is our only hope for victory.

In the final analysis, America is again at war with the racists; currently The Enemy Within our country.  We must all stand up and fight these white supremacists–especially and including their leader Donald Trump.   These people must be eliminated from power; peacefully and politically if possible.

Let’s hope the FBI, CIA, NSA, Cops and Military do their job.  Otherwise, we are lost and the battle will be bloody.

Robinson Communications for Progressives

RCI is lining up clients for 2018 and beyond. Our goal is to elect progressive, under-served community leaders. Call us if you are ready to lead and want the best and most innovative campaign services available.

Sing Like a Bird or Fry Like One

The death penalty is absurd in the 21st century. In a country founded on “give me liberty or give me death” the ultimate punishment of death is contrary to our own stated belief system regarding the attributes of punishment. Clearly, the depravation of liberty is a far more severe penalty than a quick death. That glaring inconsistency aside, we still have the penalty and clearly the recent conviction of Antolin Garcia Torres for the horrible killing of Sierra LaMar has all the hallmark requisites for its implementation.

The evidence against Torres was overwhelming. New technology and DNA matches showed he was guilty and there is no reasonable doubt in the minds of law enforcement, the jury or the public. The Sheriff’s Office did a tremendous job collecting the evidence and the District Attorney’s Office laid out that evidence for the jury. Case solved.

There is one major factor missing. There is no corpus delicti–in fact the search goes on for the child’s body. In the past, this fact alone has led to acquittals of defendants. But with new science comes new results. DNA matches prove a person’s guilt without the necessity of supplying the body. But the family and friends of Sierra still grieve and she deserves to be put to rest by the people who loved her.

In this regard, Torres can do himself, Sierra’s family and the community a service. It is not redemption; that can never occur. But if Torres were to come clean and tell what he knows regarding where Sierra is located; it would be a sign of taking responsibility, remorse and, some compassion for his victim and her family.

It might even keep him from the death penalty; though I am sure no “deal” will be cut for his cooperation. At this point his best opportunity is to simply do the right thing; which might be beyond his capacity–given his crime. But self-preservation is a huge incentive; if he wants compassion for himself–he may want to show some contrite and remorseful behavior for his victim and their family.

Otherwise, why would a jury ever need to show the same to him?

Best and Worst of Silicon Valley Decisions

Recently, Scott Herhold of the Mercury News published his list of best and worst decisions. While one might quibble with his priorities, it was hard to argue with his analysis–except for the Saddle Rack. That dive was an eye-sore and we don’t need any would-be urban cowboys in San Jose. The Safeway and affordable housing was much needed in the neighborhood and the area needs even more revitalization.  But other than that–here are a few things Scott missed.

Among the best:

First, LEVI’S STADIUM in Santa Clara. The Stadium has been a cash-cow for the economy in the Silicon Valley. The Super Bowl alone provided over $1 billion in local economic activity–even though San Francisco was officially the host city. Kevin Moore’s Hail Mary was huge.

BART to San Jose; While not completed yet. Ron Gonzales deserves full credit for bringing this project–kicking and screaming–to San Jose. Carl Guardino and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group also deserve a lot of credit. When completed BART will serve as a critical transportation point and move thousands of people off our congested freeways.

METCALF Energy Center: This modern day power plant helps power Silicon Valley. Opposed by Mayor Gonzalez and the City of San Jose at the time; the California Energy Commission approved the plant. The energy produced is critical component for infrastructure in the Bay Area.

AGNEWS Hospital development at what is now known as Rivermark and Oracle.   Although unanimous at the end. The project was almost derailed on a narrow 4-3 vote in Santa Clara. Council members Lisa Gilmor, Rod Diridon, and, critically, the late Aldyth Parle helped make this happen. The project almost failed because of City greed and a failure of some members of the City Council to understand the economics of the development–which included affordable housing, a school, a fire station and park land; but ultimately reasonableness prevailed and the master planned development was built.

SAP CENTER: Herhold did mention the Sharks; but it is the HP venue itself that was the key to San Jose success. In addition to being the home of the Sharks; top tier entertainment that used to be available only in San Francisco and Oakland is now held in San Jose. Former Mayor Tom McEnery and Susan Hammer both deserve credit for their vision and the completion of this project. All of which was opposed by the regular and dependable NIMBY crowd. What would San Jose be like without the arena?

HIGHWAYS 85 and 87. Long opposed by NIMBY’s these freeways were finally built. Eileen Goodwin supervised the 85 project which came in on time and under budget. Highway 85 was slower; but persistence by then Councilman Jim Beall as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission made 85 a reality.

RENT PROTECTION. The recent 6-5 vote from the San Jose City Council to protect renters will certainly go down as one of the best decisions City Policy makers could make; how Mayor Liccardo wound-up on the opposite side of this “moral” issue is baffling. Not only did his Vice-Mayor Magdalena Carrasco vote correctly; she showed tremendous independence from the Mayor–which can’t bode well for his future. That said, fundamentally, it was the right thing to do.

BIKE LANES. Developing a bicycle friendly environment is a long term winner. While it could have been done better in some cases; Mayor Liccardo deserves credit for this initiative. Shiloh Ballard of the Bicycle Coalition is continuing her advocacy for more bicycle friendly areas of the city. The City should concentrate heavily on the Eastside of San Jose–where bicycle travel is an affordable option for the population, especially kids, to get around.

Worst Decisions

SAN JOSE AIRPORT LOCATION–the location of Norman Y. Mineta Airport has hampered planners and developers in downtown and Santa Clara for decades. A good option would be to convert Moffet Field into a commercial airport and free up prime land for development. It will never happen; but one can dream.

KEEPING CALTRAIN AT GRADE; While the electrification of Caltrain is a great idea. The NIMBY opposition of High Speed Rail to San Francisco was stupid and myopic. The NIMBYS who will not be alive to see High Speed Rail spoke loudly against the project. The idiots really supported the 19th Century, at grade system with all the noise it generates to an aerial structure that would allow development underneath, free up traffic, prevent car accidents, help prevent suicides and be less noisy than their current system. There will never be true High Speed Rail to San Francisco as a result–and traffic on their local streets will never get better.

MEASURE B. Herhold did mention this in his column. My problem was with some of the people who supported Measure B, including Mayor Chuck Reed and current Mayor Sam Liccardo. They are lawyers and they knew better. Reed helped cause the problem and his consultant, Victor Ajlouny was a consultant for many Police Associations before he turned on them in Measure B. It was all done for political reasons and they (especially Reed, Liccardo) knew better. They were lawyers.  The Reed legacy is that he is now considered one of the worst Mayors in San Jose history.

LOSING THE SF GIANTS. Mayor Susan Hammer tried to get voters to support a stadium in San Jose. But the NIMBYS prevailed and now AT&T park, which is still cold, has generated a revenue and economic boon for San Francisco; while San Jose still pines away for Major League Baseball in the form of the A’s. Three World Championships and the revenue that accompanies such events as the World Series was lost because–traffic is bad. Note to NIMBYS–you still have traffic and your decisions continue to make it worse.  BTW:  How is that Caltrain ride or drive to AT&T.   You’d be there 1/2 hour earlier if the train were elevated–just sayin’.

CHARGING MAYOR RON GONZALES WITH A NON-CRIME.  In one of the most egregious political and legal blunders of all-time; Mayor Ron Gonzales was over-charged by the District Attorney’s Office for a political deal.  He was falsely accused of taking a bribe and five other counts–all stemming from his “taking a bribe”.   He received no personal benefit from a political deal and Judge John Herlihy noted the malfeasance of the prosecution.  The real tragedy was the collateral damage was the City of San Jose;  at the time I noted that Gonzales was not guilty but that he should resign until he was cleared.  He chose not to do that, which is understandable, but the City suffered as a result of a Mayor who was forced to defend meritless claims while still trying to run the largest City in the Bay Area.   For District Attorney George Kennedy and his employee Julius Finklestein it was a low point in their respective careers.   The media under-reported the effect of this horrendous decision; which is a shame–because Mayor Gonzales was clearly mistreated by a prosecutors who ran amok.

NOT BART TO SAN JOSE.  The early decision by Santa Clara County NOT to incorporate BART was a huge mistake in retrospect.  City of San Jose gadflies were worried that BART would leave San Jose broke–as jobs would flee to San Francisco.  Having no vision of Silicon Valley; their myopic and selfish view led them to reject a transit system the current generation of Santa Clara County residents is going to have to fund through increased taxes.   These people are like the opponents of High Speed Rail today; their ignorance cost future generations in lost time, lower productivity, more traffic and less convenience.   But, hey, they showed those folks in San Francisco.

DUTCH HAMANN AND URBAN SPRAWL.   Wall to wall concrete over the Valley of the Hearts Delight.  Yes, the vision of Dutch Hamann still haunts us today.   Instead of long-term planning for housing, transportation and infrastructure–San Jose threw up ranch-style track homes as fast as they would go up.   Selling for an outrageous price of $13,000-$25,000 in the early 1960s these homes continue to be the major cause of our unlivable nightmare.   Oh yeah, and two cars in every garage and no mass transportation infrastructure.   On the upside, because of the lack of affordable housing, it did create a lot of millionaires in the Valley–at least until the next bubble breaks.

ELECTION EQUIPMENT BUYING DEBACLE BY COUNTY.  The County’s process for buying election machines, equipment and their process for counting ballots is an embarrassment for Silicon Valley.  Instead of following a model similar to San Mateo, where ballots are counted by 10 pm in a secure system–Santa Clara County bought machines that were totally inadequate for the job, finally rejecting them altogether and implementing a process that includes abacuses for counting.    The entire process was fraught with mismanagement, conflicts of interest and ultimately a Board of Supervisors who were deceived by their staff including Richard Wittenberg and then Registrar of Voters Kathryn Ferguson (who went on to work for Sequoia Voting Systems the winner of the RFP for the now defunct electronic voting system).  The time it takes for SC County to count the ballots on election night is an embarrassment to Silicon Valley–and we are among the last to get our official results into the California Secretary of State.  Kern County is faster.

COMPENSATION FOR EXECUTIVES, SHAFT FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES.   In a series of negotiations County Executives increased their own pay while limiting the pay of public employees–yet increasing employee pension benefits and pleading poverty to the Board of Supervisors.  Again, Richard Wittenberg was a master manipulator of the Board and the press.  One year he gave all the executives a raise in December.  The following year, Executives took no raise at all.  Yet, in the beginning of January–Wittenberg noted the executives had not had a salary increase for the entire year (remember that got their raise in December of the preceding year) and proposed increases for executives.  The media bought it; hook, line and sinker.   Yet, Wittenberg was also a fierce negotiator with unions; often getting them to take little or no raise at all.   He did increase their pension benefits–for he would be long gone when the bill came due.   By keeping salaries down for employees, he noted to his bosses that he had “saved” the County millions and deserved higher pay as a result of his efforts.   They bought it.  BTW:  This happened in many jurisdictions; so Wittenberg was not the sole culprit; just a master of the manipulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Career Sen. Feinstein

The late Don Rickles used to kid elderly entertainers, people who hung around a little too long.  To Frank Sinatra, “Hey, Frank–it’s over.”   Or to Jimmy Stewart;  “Hey, Jimmy the home called, you have to be back by 9 pm.”   Laughter.  “Is this too fast for you, Jimmy?  Look, his head is in his plate.”

All was in good fun; but he was making a point.  These entertainers were long past their prime–and new talent had supplanted them.   They had all made their mark; but with time comes change and new blood–in every industry.

Politics is no different and it is time for a great Senator, Dianne Feinstein to retire.  In short, “it’s over Dianne”.   Now some loyalists will remain, just as a Frank Sinatra fan still went to his concerts when he was 70.  But let us not believe it was the same Sinatra who was a hit in his 30’s.

Feinstein has done a great job, but her time is past.  The Senate is no longer the elite body it once was and the rigidity and lack of evolution in Feinstein, her failure to challenge the status quo especially the Trump illegitimate Presidency, her failure to advocate for progressive positions such as single payer and her continued support for a defense budget predicated on a cold war mentality–without regard to technology and the changing world conditions that call for less steel and more resolve.  These positions leave her vulnerable in a more liberal, progressive and modern California than she is used to representing.   In short, Feinstein represents the once moderate wing of the Democratic Party, but her philosophy is antiquated for this changing world.

That is not to say she has not made her mark; she has been a positive progressive force for her era.  But that era is over.

Last, on personal note.   In 1986, Alan Cranston was running for reelection at the age of 79.   Feinstein was 78 when she last ran for reelection.   At that time her view was that Cranston, though a great Senator, had served too long.   It was time for him to allow “other”; ie. herself an opportunity to lead.    Cranston served until he was 85, Feinstein would be 90 at the end of her next term.   The idea of her being wheeled into the chamber and having aides make decisions for her, ala Strom Thurmond would not a great way to end your public service.

We are only asking that Ms. Feinstein heed her own advice.   It’s been a great career, but it’s over.

27 Years of Success

Robinson Communications is proud to celebrate it’s 27th year in business.  We are especially proud of our successes which include these 27 :  (A very partial list)

  • Helping elect the first woman sheriff in California
  • Helping to eliminate tobacco products in public places
  • Helping elect the first Filipino-American in Daly City
  • Helping elect the first Latina in Daly City
  • Helping elect the first female Mayor of Santa Clara
  • Helping to get approvals for the Calpine Energy Center in Coyote Valley
  • Helping elect the first woman U.S. Senator in California 
  • Helping elect the first African American Mayor of Los Gatos
  • Working with United States Senators Gary Hart, Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden
  • Advancing Michelle Obama in 2008 at San Jose State University
  • Helping get Levi’s Stadium Approved
  • Helping increase the size of San Antonio Park and preserving Open Space in Cupertino
  • Helping establish the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
  • Helping elect majority City Councils in Santa Clara, Daly City 
  • Helping elect the second Asian Woman Judge in San Francisco
  • Helping devise an Ethics Program for the City of Santa Clara
  • Helping devise an Ethics Program for the City of Cupertino
  • Helping an Affordable Housing complex in San Francisco
  • Helping Elect an African-American Judge in Marin
  • Helping the Catholic Church save Bald Mountain in Marin
  • Helping get Approval of the Agnews Development in Santa Clara
  • Helping to get higher densities for a project in San Jose
  • Helping to get High Speed Rail accomplished in California
  • Helping get Bill Clinton elected President 
  • Helping Vice President Joe Biden in his Presidential Campaigns
  • Helping get several Parcel Tax Measures passed for children
  • Helping advise labor, community and environmental groups on strategies for success

This accounts for a small number of our successes.   In addition, we are especially proud of our association with the late Senator John Vasconcellos and his vision for a Politics of Trust.   Together we can make our community, our government and our politics better–despite the current national situation.   We stand with all those ready to move our nation, state and communities forward.

Resist Racist, Misogynist Fraud

Robinson Communications is committed to resisting the current illegitimate cabal in Washington D.C.; that was selected my a minority of our country.  We will do all we can to resist within the framework of nonviolent methods.  We call upon all of our fellow citizens, the majority of whom are not racist, misogynists to help in this effort.

Robinson Communications remains a force for electing and advocating for progressive individuals and causes.   We also help environmentally friendly and socially responsible businesses with their governmental needs.

 

Time to Hold Uber to Same Standards as Traditional Taxis

Uber_ride-772x350

Many years ago, all taxi cabs were unregulated. A person could just throw a taxi sign on their car and a new business was created. Problems developed, of course, because not everyone is trustworthy to drive a cab. Government started to regulate the industry to put a curb on the abuses.

In the movie Stripes, Bill Murray plays a cabdriver. In the opening scene, an obnoxious customer has many bags of luggage and treats him with disdain. He takes her on a ride around New York City—a long ride—and stops in the middle of a bridge, throws the keys in the river and walks away. Some people are just not meant to be cabbies. Read more »

Hillary Clinton’s Big Week Is the Turnaround We Expected

Clinton_Contini03-e1445623366488-772x350

 

Bill Clinton was once called “the comeback kid” for his ability to reverse his political fortunes. But it is Hillary Clinton who has really mastered the art of political timing and turning perceived negatives into advantages. The last two weeks have been a model for how to change perceptions.

Hillary has been hammered by distractions from Benghazi to emails. Doubts surface, articles are written, the Bern spikes, calls for Joe Biden to enter the race increase; and Hillary and her team stay poised. They watch the trends of polling data, not the headlines generated by pundits who have little understanding of politics. And in the span of two weeks, Hillary strikes back. Read more »

Government Attorneys Shouldn’t Give Political Legal Advice

Going to the city attorney or county counsel for outside legal advice is like going to a proctologist for a head injury. Yes, they are doctors—but they are not the right kind of doctor. Moreover, government attorneys do not represent individuals, they represent government entities and their advice on legal matters pertaining to political questions is often wrong.

The latest example involves San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco. She dutifully asked the city attorney for legal advice regarding a trip to New York. The advice cleared the way for her to take the trip based on the counsel given. But the analysis was incomplete. The city attorney, Rick Doyle, correctly looked at the issue strictly from the city of San Jose’s point of view. He did not look at the issue from Carrasco’s entire situation—she was also an East Side school board member at the time and still restricted by law on gifts to elected officials.

The city attorney did not take this detail into account and he was not required to—Carrasco was a council member-elect, and not yet a client of the city attorney.

Now, Carrasco has to deal with the political and legal fallout of breaking state law by accepting a $2,400 trip from the Chamber of Commerce. Unfortunately for her, she sought advice from the wrong counsel; she should have retained her own private attorney.

Carrasco is not the first person who was ill served by a government attorney. I have seen first hand with several of my own previous clients.

Years ago, John McLemore relied on the Santa Clara city attorney regarding a conflict of interest vote—his wife had stock in Intel. McLemore was given the wrong advice, and as a result he was fined $10,000 by the FPPC. He could have appealed the decision and won in a court of law, but the cost of doing that was more than the FPPC fine. It didn’t make economic sense and he had to live with the consequences.

In Cupertino, the city attorney ruled “incorrectly” that Congressman Mike Honda could not sign a local ballot argument. A less sophisticated campaign would have amended the statement and taken the congressman’s name off of it. Instead, the organizers sued the city and won the case, and Cupertino ended up paying the legal costs for both sides.

More than a decade ago in Campbell, the city attorney sent a letter to a candidate warning them not to use the logo of the city or any police officers in their campaign literature. This made the newspapers and may have cost the candidate the election based on a published story and the deference given to the city attorney position. But, once again, it was the wrong legal analysis. Campbell’s logo is not owned by the city, but by the people of who live in Campbell. There is also a huge difference between political speech and commercial speech—a distinction many government lawyers fail to grasp.

Most government attorneys are competent in their area of expertise. But it has been my experience that they do not understand distinctions of a political nature. Moreover, they have an inherent conflict of interest in giving advice to politicians when their client is the government entity they serve.

You would be better off asking Josh Koehn for legal advice on these issues than a government attorney who does not represent you.

Office holders should be fully advised that any advice coming from a government attorney is for the benefit of the entity they serve and not personal. Moreover, they should decline to give political advice to their office holders and advise them to seek their own counsel.

There many types of doctor, and most of them are not competent to perform brain surgery. So it is with attorneys. Seek competent counsel.