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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Task Force Recommends Valley Oak Closure

The Best Use of Schools Advisory Task Force has voted by a 6-1 margin to recommend the closure of Valley Oak Elementary. A full report will be drafted and presented to the Davis School Board at the March 1, 2007 meeting.

The vote came amid suggests by several of the board members that they would not act on these recommendations until late March and moreover would be unlikely to make changes for the 2007-08 school year.

In recent weeks, Board Member Sheila Allen made strong statements that she was opposed to closing any school and vowed to keep all nine elementary schools open.
Allen said last week: “the board needs to be honest with the community that a major change (like closing a school) in the 2007-08 school year is not realistic.”
Moreover on February 13, 2007 she told Davis Democratic Club members that she was emphatically opposed to closing any school and she did not believe that we should pit neighborhood against neighborhood.

Other members have suggested they will wait to read the report before making any decisions however both Jim Provenza and Tim Taylor last week strongly indicated that closing a school next year would not be a good idea at this late date.

Baki Tezcan, one of the members of a group seeking to keep all nine schools open points out to us in a written statement that in 1999, using the projection of 4,450 kids for 2006-07, the board approved the construction of Montgomery and Korematsu Elementary schools. 4,450 kids were enough to justify nine elementary schools in 1999.
"If the School Board decides to close Valley Oak, the property owners in Davis may well question why they are paying for Measure K, which passed on May 23, 2000, and supported the construction of Montgomery and Korematsu. If the Board in 2007 decides that 4,378 K-6 students may be accommodated in 8 elementary schools, then everyone will wonder why the Board told them that we needed 9 schools seven years ago with projected enrollments for 4,450 K-6 students in 2006-07."
He concluded:
"In short: a projection of 4,450 students was deemed good enough to run 9 schools, but an actual number of 4,378 students is now regarded as not good enough to keep them open. If anything is double standard, that is it!"
Task Force Chairman Kirk Trost is quoted in the Davis Enterprise:
“Unless there's approval of some major new development, we're not going to see a substantial number of (new) students,” said task force chairman Kirk Trost, noting city government has put the proposed 600-home Cannery Park development on hold."
The Cannery Park development may be on hold, but the current growth plan by the city is still 1.25% per year. In order to accomplish that, they would have to have a project development the size of Cannery Park every two years, the size of Wild House every three years, or the size of Mace Ranch every seven years. That would suggest that within seven years, if the council majority is maintained, there would be the need for at least one additional school.

In the shorter term, I think there are many very good reasons to keep all nine schools open. I also think this is a good strategy to avoid pitting neighborhood against neighborhood. The March 1, 2007 School Board meeting should be an interesting one to follow.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Friday, February 23, 2007

County Looks into Medical Marijuana ID Cards

Josh Fernandez of the Daily Democrat reports that the Yolo County Board of Supervisors will be holding a public hearing on the Health Department's proposed implementation of the statewide Medical Marijuana ID Card Program.

This initiative was passed by the state in 2004 to help law enforcement have a means to correctly identify those people who can legally use the drug. Counties were required to provide the forms for individuals to sign up. The law was then challenged by San Diego County who claimed that it was not legal for states to mandate counties implement the program. In December 2006 a Superior Court Judge rejected the suit.

Supervisor Mariko Yamada voted for Proposition 215 when it was passed by California in 1996 and indicated she would be inclined to vote in favor of the ID card program.

Supervisor Matt Rexroad favored the initiative on his blog.
"I've never smoked (or inhaled) marijuana but personally have real doubts about making it illegal while we allow alcohol and tabacco (sic) to be used freely. We have to draw a line somewhere but I am not sure that the current line can be justified."
So he's the person under the age of 40 who has never smoked marijuana?

Personally I do not understand this law. There are pretty solid benefits to terminal patients from using marijuana. It is a clear improvement of quality of life both in terms of pain reduction and overall comfort. Moreover it clearly facilitates and stimulates appetite. Having a good appetite can keep the person stronger and better enable them to fight and hold on. That is a key factor in not only quality but longevity of life.

People get paranoid over the fact that it is marijuana. Well what I find interesting is the drugs that are legal pain killers in this country and how many of them are far more powerful than marijuana in terms of perception distortion.

Three and a half years ago I was in the emergency room with what turned out to be two blood clots one in my arm and one in my lung, they gave me an assortment of drugs, many of which were far stronger than marijuana in their effects. (Still didn't dull the pain but they were quite powerful).

There is to me, no good reason not to allow terminal patients to use marijuana as a means for improved quality of life.

---Doug Paul Davis Reporting

Revenues Way Down from Parking Enforcement

On Tuesday, Paul Navazio, the City Finance Directory presented the Mid-Year Budget Update. One area of serious short fall is in the area of parking citations and moving violations. The current revenue is 28.6% of the budgeted figure and they have now subsequently reduced the overall revenue estimate by over $700,000 to $778,567. This figure represents only 51.5% of the original budget estimate. As one can clearly see, this represents not a small shortfall but would could only be described as a massive shortfall.

Perhaps the most alarming factor is that this shortfall comes after a massive capital investment in both cameras at intersections and also new parking enforcement vehicles equipped with GPS locators. City planners had expected that these new enforcement mechanisms would make it easier to catch violators and thus increase the revenue.

Approved in May of 2005, this system was put into place due to a number of concerns. First, efficiency, the parking enforcement officers were said to not be able to effectively monitor all regulated districts in the City. This system would be capable of scanning over 1000 license plates per hour and would therefore increase both the area covered by a single officer and the number of vehicles that can be monitored. Moreover it would eliminate the chalk marking system and therefore eliminate the problem of violators removing the chalk marks rather than moving their vehicles.

This system was authorized at $81,000 one-time fee plus a $14,000 maintenance.

The obvious sell of that system from the staff report was this was a way to catch more violators. Instead, what has happened is that the new technology combined with the stricter prohibitions against reparking have encouraged citizens to take more care when parking to avoid citations and fines. In other words, the enforcement system is so good, that it has taken away incentive for people to violate the system.

The result of this expenditure for new technology has been a drastic decline in the number of citations and thus a massive shortfall from the projected budgeted revenue.

In previous blog entries we have lamented the fact that the city relies on fines as a source of revenue.

It is probably the reparking rules more than the new GPS enforcement vehicles that has led to the fewer citations. The budget shortfall would probably be worth it if the new policies freed up parking in the core downtown area. However, that does not appear to be the case. As we have written in the past, vehicles are now simply rotating from street to street and block to block rather than occupying a single space. The net result is the lack of street parking.

There are a number of lessons here. First, technology can at times be a double-edged sword. If the city's goal was to maintain a steady revenue from parking citations, they would have been better served not trying to fix a system that was already working well. The city got a bit too greedy believing that they could create a system that would be more efficient and would catch those who would have erased the chalk rather than moving the car. What I think they did not anticipate is that those people in a chalkless system would simply move their car.

Second, the city should not be budgeting revenue from fines. That leads to a perverse incentive structure where the city relies on people violating the law and when people do not violate the law, rather than being considered a good thing, it creates a problem.

Third, you cannot finesse parking problems using enforcement means. The city should re-examine how it chooses to deal with the issue of long-term parking in the core downtown area. It should then think about how to incorporate and accommodate individuals who come to the downtown in order to do shopping or perhaps have a meal during the day.

A few weeks ago the suggestion was offered that perhaps the city needs a parking commission because the safety commission deals primarily with other issues. While it is not clear that a 20th city commission is needed, there does need to be at least a permanent subcommittee examining the issue of parking, parking enforcement, revenue, and parking allocation in both neighborhoods but also in the core downtown area.

The city in this realm seems to have been too smart for its own good. By investing in new technology the city managed to reduce its revenue flow, the irony of this situation should not be lost on its residents.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Midday Briefs

Congratulations Captain Black--Please Move to Davis

One of the most telling statistics I heard at a recent meeting is that fewer than 10 and possibly as few as five Davis police officers actually live in the City of Davis. That means that few officers have the experience of living with fellow Davis citizens, as a result at times they may lack understanding of the needs and concerns of their would-be neighbors. In turn this leads to a failure to help build community and foster trust between residents and the police.

When Chief-designate Landy Black becomes Davis Police Chief Landy Black, I strongly urge him to buy a home in Davis with his family, to live among the people for whom he is sworn to protect and serve and to be a part of this community, rather than an outside who merely comes in to work.

Flex Your Rights

I was rather surprised to get an email last night from Phil Rexroad. He is the brother of County Supervisor Matt Rexroad.

He wanted me to pass on the following website:

This site seems to be another good resource for people to understand their rights under the constitution. Too many people do not understand these rights (or simply don’t know them at all) and subject themselves to humiliating and depersonalizing police searches because of that lack of knowledge.

Sacramento Bee Editorial on Term Limit Reform

On Sunday, I wrote a blog entry that said that while I support ending term limits, I oppose the current proposal. This morning's Sacramento Bee Editorial agrees with this point of view.
"Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, Sen. President Pro Tem Don Perata and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once seemed close to hatching a workable deal linking term limit reform and redistricting, but now they are bumbling it. Badly.

Instead of speaking directly to voters, and making a strong case for loosening the stranglehold of term limits, Núñez and Perata are sneaking around with a duplicitous, self-serving initiative that would change term limits but not necessarily improve them -- but would extend their own time in office.

The machinations on this one have been outrageous, even by Capitol standards. For several months, Núñez, Perata and Schwarzenegger have pushed to reschedule California's 2008 primary from June 5 to Feb. 5, arguing it would give California more clout in picking the president next year.

Now it turns out that, while spouting these arguments, these leaders and their surrogates were quietly putting together a ballot initiative aimed for the prospective February 2008 primary."
As I've said before, I strongly oppose term limits. Everyone in this country who runs for office has term limits--they are called elections. I do not think that term limits have accomplished what those who envisioned them believed they would accomplish. Instead they have left us with inexperienced elected officials and well-experience unelected officials. Nevertheless this is a cynical and calculated move by those in power to consolidate their power and expand their allotted time in the leadership, while at the same time it does not solve the larger problems.

Homeless Awareness Event on UC Davis Campus

This message courtesy of Richard Cipian:
"This is Richard Cipian. I am writing at this time of our to get out the word of a Homelessness Awareness Day the Associated Students of UC Davis (ASUCD) are planning for this upcoming Feb, 27th, 2007- Tuesday at noon at the quad at the MU. We will be having oral testimonies from those who are homeless in the Davis community, advocates of the local homeless, poets, statements from politicians and The Spare Changer- a local non-profit and homeless newspaper journal on hand to educate folks about homelessness issues in the community. The whole goal of the event is to raise the attention and profile of homelessness in the Davis community and greater Yolo County and to inspire more action from the private sector on ways that we can better serve our poor community.

Homelessness at least in my opinion is a very political issue in Davis. A good chunk of the Davis community is charitable about homeless concerns but if given the knowledge of how to fine tune thier charity, we could end homelessness in Davis for those that want shelter. There is a small minority in Davis with stereotypes of the homeless as being criminals, drug addicts or just people who choose to be homeless that must be broken down some how. We are hoping that this event will do that or at least infuse the community of Davis with the truth regarding homelessness. If the influential business community would partner up with social service providers and activists we can really get close to eradicating homelessness in Davis. This is the first such homeless day we have ever had at UCD and the event should be a great event. We are also having a resource faire and donation drive."
---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Special Commentary: Peeling Back The Veneer on Police Oversight

Watching the City Council Meeting on Tuesday Night in addition to reading the Davis Enterprise coverage and the Ombudsman’s Report on his observations one is very tempted to hearken back to May 2, 2003 where President Bush stood on the USS Abraham Lincoln beneath the sign Mission Accomplished and pronounced the end of major combat operations. And while this is probably a wholly unfair analogy, it is not without some truth to it. Because in reality while there was almost a jubilant atmosphere at the council chambers on Tuesday, the real and tough work lies not behind us but ahead of us.

And yet the very message of the other night is that there are structures in place that will lead us in the right direction.

Don Saylor perhaps summed up this feeling very well, “It is heartening to see the work of so many in the community on this issue. I think there’s a genius to what the community has done in response to the complaints we’ve heard.” Leaving aside the very obvious and blatant irony of his statement, one needs to remember that this system is largely untested by a strong and substantial case. What we have seen at best is that this system in good times, may be adequate—and even then I have my doubts.

At best I would suggest that this new system is indeed untested, but in many ways I believe even stronger that many of the problems that we dealt with over the last year and indeed over the last twenty years are still occurring now and that they have simply not come to our attention just yet in any sort of public way.

I think some of this false sense of security comes from this statement from the report of Bob Aaronson, the Ombudsman: “Of what I observed first-hand, there is little that is troubling about how the Davis Police Department responds to the public. To the extent that any incidents have prompted my concern, it has typically been misjudgments and not misconduct.”

In many ways this gives those such as the City Council Majority and their defenders strong political cover and these words set the tone for the meeting on Tuesday Night. And yet we must note that those words themselves are at best heavily nuanced. He said “little” not “nothing” and he couched in terms of what he observed “first-hand” which leaves much of what he has read second and third hand in play.

It is at this point at which I believe this veneer of mission accomplished begins to fray as quickly as that banner on the USS Lincoln. For one needs only travel out into the community—the minority community—to realize that all is not as rosy as it seemed in council chambers. If you talk to many people instead of optimism and euphoria you have at times heated anger and frustration. For these people, Saylor is indeed correct that there is much more “heat” than “light.”

The very sense I get is that neither the Ombudsman nor the Council Majority has ever really traveled into these circles. It is easy to see from a police cruiser police interactions in the openness, what is more difficult to see is what happens in the darkness of night and in the shadows away from the bright lights of public scrutiny. In other words, is the Ombudsman who goes on ride-alongs experiencing the truth of police interactions or is he witnessing a cleaned up and sanitized version. Is this the Heisenberg principle at work—that in the process of studying the phenomena of police-community interactions, you are actually altering police-community interactions.

Perhaps the most frank discussion of Tuesday evening’s meeting was on the Community Advisory Board. While many members of this board—all of whom are staunch defenders of the police—come forward on Tuesday to praise its work, it was enlightening first to hear the city staff admit that the CAB is not an oversight body like the Police Advisory Board or the Ombudsman. What it most resembles is a sounding board for the police chief.

Steven Worker, himself an ardent defender of the police and the council majority, admitted that the selection process might indeed appear problematic to the outsider and lend itself to the perception that the body was not representative. And although he did not offer a solution, his admission of the problem was enlightening. Moreover the concern was raised both by Worker and Sharla Harrington who spoke in public that the private nature of the meetings and the lack of specificity of the minutes also seemed to undermine it.

In truth this body was described by one of the few members of the CAB who is a critic of the police, as filled with people who are strong supporters and rarely ask tough questions. Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald (my wife and former chair of the HRC) pointed out that this body had actually existed prior to its reformation in 2005 and that prior to its disbanding by Chief Jim Hyde it had been a very effective and diverse body and that the new body was the one that lacked the diversity. It is a diversity in a different sense than sheer demographics, but rather a diversity of thought on police operations. There are simply too many defenders and not enough critics and the purpose of the meetings is wholly sanitized.

Perhaps the most outrageous comments of the evening were made by Councilmember Stephen Souza. First Councilmember Souza asked Mr. Aaronson if there was a required certification for an ombudsman. Actually he less asked it than asserted it. Mr. Souza clearly should have researched this prior to his question, for he would have clearly found that there is no certification required. Secondly he suggested that perhaps Mr. Aaronson could review the operations of all city departments. This was an astonishing statement that Mr. Souza once again should have taken up in private. It seems to me as an observer, that Mr. Aaronson would have politely explained that he was already working far more hours than the city was paying him and he is barely scratching the surface of what needs to be done.

When this position was created I strongly questioned how someone could be a part-time Ombudsman and only come to the city of Davis just a few days out of the month and be able to perform the vast tasks expected of him. This was not discussed on Tuesday night, but it seems clear that there is simply not enough time or resources available to provide the kinds of oversight and scrutiny that this system clearly needs. Mr. Aaronson in his position as Ombudsman, needs to be given far more resources than have thus far been allotted. And while Mr. Aaronson will not complain about this, I certainly both can and will.

This gets back to my primary complaint of that evening and let me say I respect the concerns that Bob Aaronson did express both in his report and in his statements on the lack of a strong supervisory structure, problematic in-car computers and in-car recording systems, and frankly his statement about the lack of communication was in fact a home run.

However at the end of the day, Mr. Aaronson, in my opinion simply has not seen the dark underbelly of the city of Davis quite enough. He has not spoken to a number of very credible people who can tell him of years of abuse running up until this very day at the hands of some within the Davis Police Department. And unfortunately, he has joined our city in progress and I do not feel that he has spent sufficient time getting up to speed on the last year let alone the last twenty years.

The implication of Tuesday night was mission accomplished, but in fact, the reality is more like mission incomplete. The suggestion was made that we have made tremendous progress in the last year and in reality I would suggest that we have made tremendous progress in one area and one area alone—we hired an ombudsman. Unfortunately I think the city council believed that this position would be a catch-all and one of the reasons they believed that was in fact that they never really believed there was a problem to begin with.

The reality is that the position cannot possibly catch-all the problems in this community with the police. And I myself believe I have fallen into a false sense of security that somehow with the hiring of Bob Aaronson, that all of these problems that have been twenty years in the making would go away. I feel that I have backed off this fight to a considerable measure out of deference for Mr. Aaronson. Now after reading the press coverage I feel that I myself have made a mistake. It is not that Mr. Aaronson is poor intentioned—in fact, just the opposite in my opinion. He is a very good, decent, and sincere man. It is simply that he has too big a job ahead of him to leave it all to him.

Where we have fallen backwards is that there is no one that is a public body that can help him out. The Human Relations Commission has been disbanded and it has been replaced by a body that is at best a shadow of its former self. The Community Advisory Board has been somewhat exposed as a non-oversight body, and it was advertised as one of the pieces of the oversight puzzle. The PAC is a body that appears to audit IA’s (internal affairs investigations) and that is indeed an important purpose but it is also a limited one. And the Ombudsman himself has a Platte River of responsibilities and if taken to the logical conclusion it would literally mean his work was a mile wide and an inch deep. Fortunately he is far more dedicated and diligent than that. But at the end of the day, he too needs help and that help is not coming from the Davis City Council who has already declared mission accomplished.

The problems in our community did not happen overnight and they will not be cured in a five month period. While I remain disappointed in the tone of the report, I also realize that this presents an opportunity for this community, if people are willing to actually go out into the field and discover for themselves what a lot of people have to deal with on a daily basis. The mission is in fact not accomplished and in many ways it has only just begun.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

People's Vanguard of Davis has Snail-Mail Address

(Cue up the theme song to "The Jeffersons")

The People's Vanguard of Davis
P.O. Box 4715
Davis, CA 95617-4715

Reisig and West Sacramento Defend Gang Injunction

The ACLU is taking on Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig before a three judge panel at the Sacramento 3rd District Court of Appeal over the issue of two year old gang injunction.

At issue are two crucial points. First that those affected by the injunction were not given sufficient notice in order to challenge the injunction. Second whether or not the individuals filing the suit even have standing to sue.

The Sacramento Bee quotes ACLU Lawyer Ann Brick:
"This injunction left it up to the police to decide who is and who is not a gang member," she said. Those stopped by police had to go into court to prove them wrong.
Reisig has countered that that four plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the injuction because they have not admitted they are gang members and therefore the law does not directly affect them.

Yolo County Judge Thomas Warriner threw out the ACLU's challenge on this basis.

The Sacramento Bee further reports:
After court, Reisig defended the method police used to notify alleged gang members of the injunction.

"When you serve one street terrorist, they're all going to find out that the cops are coming," he said.

Reisig, who was at the time a Deputy District Attorney, gave notice of the suit to just one of the alleged gang members. When neither that individual nor anyone else showed up in court, Warriner granted the injunction.
What is unclear to me is whether these individuals have been served with gang injunctions? If they have been, how could they not have standing to sue? If they have not been, why would they sue in the first place?

This from the Sacramento News and Review on December 1, 2005:
All four of the ACLU’s clients in the case claim that they are not members of the Broderick Boys gang. (In fact, many West Sacramento residents say there is no such thing as the Broderick Boys and that local police and prosecutors have exaggerated the existence of the supposed gang.) And all said they received no notice that the gang injunction was being sought in the courts or that they would be subject to its restrictions.

But Judge Warriner ruled that the four had no standing to challenge the law, because they claim they are not gang members. The injunction “binds only defendant Broderick Boys and its members and authorized representatives” wrote Warriner in his ruling.

Furthermore, he ruled, “any person who is charged with criminal contempt for violating the terms of the injunction is entitled to the protection of numerous rights when defending such a charge.”
This ruling makes no sense, given that the clients of the ACLU are claiming to have been directly affected by the injunction.
The judge’s logic exasperated opponents of the injunction. Jory Steele, an attorney with the ACLU, said, “Obviously, we vehemently disagree with the judge’s ruling. Our clients were indeed directly affected by the injunction.” Directly affected because they have been labeled as gang members by police and prosecutors and because--even though they deny gang membership--they nevertheless risk arrest if they are stopped by police after 10 p.m. in West Sacramento or if they are seen in public with anyone else identified as a Broderick Boy.
So again--if these individuals have been served by the injunction--how do they not have standing? Why do they need to have admitted they were gang members in order to have standing?

Once that is question is decided, then the issue of the constitutionality of the Gang Injunction can be addressed. We can debate that issue further as we did back as we did last month.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Landy Black Named New Police Chief

City Manager Bill Emlen at last night's Davis City Council Meeting announced that Seattle Police Captain Landy Black has accepted a job offer for the position of Police Chief. Captain Black's tenure will officially begin on April 9, 2007. Interim Police Chief Steve Pierce will once again return to his previous position of Assistant Police Chief. Captain Black's starting salary will be $130,421.50 which is the highest salary in the city's salary schedule.

In previous interviews, Captain Black expressed support for strong community outreach and civilian review of police operations.

The People's Vanguard of Davis notes that as Captain he oversees the very diverse East Precinct in Seattle and thus has experience working with diverse groups of people in terms of race and socio-economic status.

Captain Black also expressed a willingness to meet with various community groups and citizens on a regular basis. He believes that police departments are not doing service to the community if not communicating with critical people. But there is a dual responsibility. The community needs to inform them about where they can make improvements. He also wants to know when they are doing the right thing and not just the wrong thing.

This is one of the most important hires that the city of Davis will have to make in the next few years. I was uncomfortable with the process being as a private as it was. Since the process was private and there was limited outside and community input, City Manager Bill Emlen bears a large responsibility for this hire and its overall outcome.

In the course of my interview with Captain Black I was struck by a number of observations. First of all, he said a lot of the right things. He spoke about the willingness to work with a broad group of citizens, he spoke of the need for community-police dialog, he spoke of the need for good systems of oversight, etc. This leaves me hopeful that Captain Black will be able to mend some of the fences between some groups in this community and the police. If he can build bridges within the community and lead the department in a strong manner, then he will be a tremendous asset to this community.

On the other hand, there were a number of statements that he made there were less than reassuring. Overall, I found him to be very well prepared for the interview and very well rehearsed in his public statements. This was a comment consistently made by every individual I spoke with. And it was a matter of some concern that he may be telling people what he knew they wanted to hear.

Moreover in our conversation he mentioned that he did not believe that the department was facing problems. This took be aback somewhat, although I recognize that in interviewing for a job, perhaps Captain Black was less in the position to be candid about whatever potential problems face him in his new job.

In one of the few really pointed statements by the Ombudsman Bob Aaronson, Mr. Aaronson wrote:
"Based on many discussions with Department members, is the need for quality leadership and clear supervision that uniformly holds people accountable. Without intending to disrespect the hard work of current and former supervisors and administrators, it does appear that the turnover in staff, and particularly in chiefs, has undermined the organization’s supervisory chain of command, its vision and its morale. By all reports, these problems pre-existed the Buzayan incident. There is no more critical decision to be made for the Department in the next twelve months than the selection of the next Chief of Police."
This has been a consistent concern speaking to people in and around the police department. This is also an opportunity for the new police chief to be able to step in and provide structure and stability where it has been lacking in recent years. And while my statements sound a somewhat cautionary tale, I remain hopeful that Captain Black who has many strong qualities will be a good and successful chief and can carry through on many of the ideas and ideals that he brings to Davis. As always, we will be closely watching the actions of the new chief and monitoring the department as a whole.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

LESSONS LEARNED: Being Nice to Bob Dunning Does Not Pay

(The Scorpion and the Turtle)

Last Friday, I put up a “briefs” piece talking about a few small items, one of which was some commentary on Dunning’s week where I agreed with several points that he made, including his support for Measure J.

Researching old Davis Enterprise articles is kind of tricky at times. Newsbank has a database that goes back to 1997, however, the further back one goes in time, the more sketchy the database becomes. My search of “Bob Dunning” and “Measure J” revealed nothing prior to 2004. That left me with two alternatives—one would be to go to the library to wade through old microfilm from 2000 or the other was to ask people active in Davis at that time what their recollection was. Several people remembered Bob Dunning being mentioned in the “No on J” ad prior to the election and argued that his position was considerably nuanced and ambiguous.

So as my commentary on the matter, I threw in the line, “Then perhaps most shockingly he strongly supports Measure J (a measure he opposed when it was actually on the ballot)”—and didn’t think twice about it until I got an email from Bob Dunning, much to my surprise, since the last time he emailed me he was none too happy with me.

Dunning wrote:

“One quick correction if you wish to make it. I have always been in favor of Measure J. Both before and after. (Ask the anti-J folks. They were very mad at me at the time.) I have the battle scars to prove it. I can't believe you didn't check that out and I do note a lack of any quotes from me to back up your assertion that I was against Measure J.”
While this was a very small part of the piece--the major part was to demonstrate Dunning's contemporary position on some issues that we have agreement. However, since I was clearly wrong here, I put an immediate correction on the blog entry and intended to examine it further.

Dunning was not satisfied with this solution:

“Your "correction" woefully misses the mark on two fronts. First, you didn't list it anew, you just went back to the original copy, which most folks have already read and aren't likely to read again…”
I politely explained to him that blogs work a bit differently than newspapers.
"There is a difference between a blog and a newspaper. One of the differences is that the majority people read newspapers when they first come out. However, the majority of the people who will read this blog entry will do so in the future and have not done so already. So for people in the future, they will see that correction. People log on today and read what I wrote four months ago using Google and other search engines or going through the search and archive features on the blog itself. So you actually do want that correction in the blog. I have left the text the same so as to not distort the record that I was incorrect--I do not attempt to re-write history but I do like to correct misinformation."
Bob Dunning is largely correct on the history of his comments and my blog was incorrect in stating that he opposed Measure J.

On Sunday March 5, 2000 the “No on J” people paid for a full page ad in the Davis Enterprise. One of the blurbs was from Bob Dunning.

“We have too many people living here right now. What I propose is Measure O. Measure O will actually decrease the population.”
This ad implied Dunning’s opposition to Measure J. Dunning believed that ad to be a distortion that was flat out wrong. In his words he was extremely “pissed off” that his name was in the ad. So, Dunning then took the unusual step of having a Monday column on March 6, 2000 to respond. He writes:
“[W]orse yet, anyone who has read anything I’ve written over the last two months of this bitter campaign knows that… “No on J” is the exact oppose of how I am likely to vote in tomorrow’s election…

Basically, what I’ve said in several columns is that we have nothing to fear from letting people vote on issues of this magnitude, that Measure J is neither anti-growth nor pro-growth, but simply a measure that allows people to vote on growth…”
Having waded through two months of Davis Enterprises from January 2, 2000 until March 6, 2000, I would say that statement is somewhat accurate. Notice he said it was the exact opposite of how he would “likely” vote in the election.

Moreover he added:

“Unlike some commentators . . . . I refuse to endorse anyone for City Council or much of anything else.”

In any event, I was clearly in error on Dunning’s position on Measure J, though it seems clear that he was far from a clear-cut support of Measure J.

Nevertheless, I decided to try to do the right thing here and make an effort to clarify the record. I took the unusual step of sending Mr. Dunning a draft of this blog entry. I was roundly criticized for doing this by some close to me. They correctly point out neither Bob Dunning nor Debbie Davis would ever send me a draft for my review as a courtesy. And while that is unequivocally true, I want to do business differently than Bob Dunning and the Davis Enterprise.

One reason that a blog can be valuable to a community is that it allows information, including updates and corrections to be posted as they become available unlike newspapers that may report incorrect information only to “possibly” have a small correction printed on some obscure page.

Unfortunately my gesture of good will as well as my attempt to correct the record was returned with a hard slap in the face. In response to a draft of this blog, I received a two-page, single-spaced, diatribe from Bob Dunning.

"All of that was, of course, available to you as part of the public record. Everything I have ever written is out there for scrutiny. You don’t need a secret code to access it. And yet you, you who claims to be presenting the real story you won’t read in The Davis Enterprise, did no research at all to validate the facts."

The public record as Dunning refers to it required me to go down to the library for two hours to wade through the ancient microfilm technology.

“A simple phone call (I’m listed) or email (my email is in the paper five days a week) would have yielded the truth, as if the truth would have mattered to you, because, let’s face it, it didn’t fit your argument that I flip-flopped on Measure J and cannot be trusted. You maligned my honesty and my integrity with a bald-faced lie. And, if you think I’m biting your head off again, it’s because you deserve it.”

Perhaps the tone of this response suggests why I might be reluctant to contact Mr. Dunning. Most of my communication attempts with Mr. Dunning have likewise received this sort of response. So why would I feel comfortable calling him or emailing him to ask?

I made an honest mistake, sincerely attempted to correct it, and he calls this “A bald-faced lie.”

He finishes:

“Are you, in the spirit of truthfulness, going to reveal your shoddy “research” methods to your readers and explain to them who these “couple of people” were and why their memories were so bad on the most pivotal Davis election in the last 30 years?

The theme of that piece and most of your pieces is that “Bob Dunning cannot be trusted,” and “we can’t believe a thing Bob writes,” yet that conclusion, which has not been “corrected” in your piece, was based on a lie repeated over and over until it became “fact.”

You and your friends, because your knees jerk always to the left on all issues, simply can’t understand someone who takes issues one at a time. “Oh yeah, Bob Dunning was against Measure J, he led the charge, I remember it well.” What garbage.

I can be charitable and say you didn’t remember this important election. Maybe you had other things going on in your life. But, since you were about to malign someone’s honesty and integrity and make a definitive statement about them, it seems to me you owed your readers more than asking “a couple of people.” Especially when the hard facts were so readily available.

It’s hard for me to believe that everyone, including you, “remembered” it the exact opposite of the truth. And if you did “remember” it wrong, how can we trust anything YOU say?

Seems like a convenient excuse so facts didn’t get in the way of a good story.

You violated a critical rule of both journalism and the law by assuming facts not in evidence. And let’s be honest, you wanted the “facts” to be that way. You wanted me to have flip-flopped.

Your after-the-fact correction is silly, irrelevant and woefully inadequate. Your conclusion remains, Bob Dunning can’t be trusted because he flip flops, even though what you just told your readers is completely and maliciously false.

It seems as if you and your sources are the ones who can’t be trusted. I wonder if you’ll point that out to your readers as you seek to print the truth that The Davis Enterprise won’t. We obviously have a harder job than you do. We have to use facts to reach our conclusions. You, on the other hand, can just make stuff up. Or maybe it was a lie and you knew it all along.

Many, many people disagree with my point of view. That’s fine. You can call me crazy, misguided, “conservative” – though I’ll match my true “liberal” credentials and substantial field work for true liberal causes against yours any day – but making up complete, absolute lies that present just the opposite of what I have written and very publicly stood for is inexcusable. Based on the “comments” posted after your lie, many of your readers obviously believed your lie, which means you accomplished your purpose.

Fortunately, since you won’t do it in an adequate manner, I have a column of my own where I can set the record straight. The bottom line is, you didn’t do any research at all, you simply made it up.”

Next time, I’ll simply let Mr. Dunning use the feature on this site that is available to everyone else—the comment feature. If he has a problem with something I have written, he can respond instantly using the comment feature. Many people use it. It works. There will be no further communications between myself and Mr. Dunning.

I leave you with a parable that teaches us all an important lesson:

A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. "Are you mad?" exclaimed the turtle. "You'll sting me while I'm swimming and I'll drown."

"My dear turtle," laughed the scorpion, "if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?"

"You're right!" cried the turtle. "Hop on!" The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said:

"Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there'd be no logic in your stinging me. Why did you do it?"

"It has nothing to do with logic," the drowning scorpion sadly replied. "It's just my character."

This is a lesson indeed I will take to heart.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Anti-Gay Attitudes Persist Despite Progress In Society

Watching the recent events in Woodland unfold was a reminder both of how far we have come and how far we still have to go in this society in terms of attitudes toward gay people. I am not naive enough to expect people to accept gay marriage. I realize that there are strong religious and other forces working against that. On the other hand, I do not think it is too much to hope that if one is to oppose things like gay marriage based on religion that they nevertheless treat others with respect and dignity.

This moves us back full circle to the incident at Harper Junior High School that we have been covering since early November when the father Guy Fischer and the Principal David Inns first attended a Davis Human Relations Commission meeting.

Erika Chavez of the Sacramento Bee did a nice story on Sunday about the Fischer family whose son was the victim of harassment on the Harper Junior High School campus

It took the District awhile but under the Davis Joint Unified School Board has passed a series of changes to the discipline code to greatly improve it. Board President Jim Provenza who we previously praised for his work in forcing Superintendent Dave Murphy to make the language unequivocal, was quoted at length by the Sacramento Bee.

Davis district school board President Jim Provenza said the Fischer family's allegations prompted revisions to the district wide anti-harassment policy.

"It was already a priority for us, but I think the incidents at the junior high demonstrated the urgency of that priority," he said.

The anti-harassment policy is strategically focused on low-level incidents and clarified language regarding sexual orientation and gender, Provenza said.

"It's easy to ignore the little things going on. Then when the big things happen, everybody's surprised," he said. "We are going to enforce standards of conduct that prevent that from occurring."

I will say again, I think the district in the end made some very important changes and Provenza is absolutely correct that this incident demonstrated the urgency of the situation and forced action much quicker than it would have come without it. This is unfortunate, but it is the way things work sometimes.

What is unfortunate and frankly appalling are some of the comments made by readers of the Sacramento Bee web site: While it is unclear where these comments are coming from geographically, the comments themselves demonstrate strongly the need to continue to work to educate not only the students but the community as whole. This is a real wake up call to all of us, in my opinion.

Here are a couple examples of some of the worst (but unfortunately not all of it):

“These two "dads" need to grow thicker skin and teach their son to do the same. Kids are cruel. It's a fact of life. Get over it. The truth is most people do not think that homosexual behavior is normal because, well, it isn't. Not normal, not natural.”

“Grow a pair… Guy Fischer and his partner, Richard Carrillo should start acting like men. Having a hissy fit and threatening legal action to sanction their private (wait, no, it's public now) sexual appetites is so sad.”

“This is not the schools fault, it is the two male parents fault for the lifestyle they chose and to raise a boy in this lifestyle. Also it is everyone's right to speak their belief's at any time (Freedom of Speech). To surpress this right is to harm everyone, not just one boy being raised by two fathers...”

“This pretty much sums up why gay couples need not raise children. Its pretty disgusting how they expect the rest of the world to accept their sinful behavior.”
These are just some of the comments but I think they illustrate a couple of key points.

First, I understand that there are people who believe that homosexuality is a sin. But just as we saw outside of the County Clerk’s office last week, there is a difference between a loving Christian response and a hateful bigoted response.

Second, there is a vast difference between someone expecting others to “accept their sinful behavior” and someone expecting their children not to be tormented by other students. There is also a legitimate expectation that when their kids are bullied and tormented by other students the teachers and district will do something about it. Neither of these have anything to do with accepting the "sinful" behavior of the parents. Rather they have everything to do with not accepting the misbehavior of students.

Third and finally, I do not think people really understand the nature of bullying. These comments were far too dismissive about it.

Here’s the article’s description of the actual incidents:

“What started as occasional muttered slurs, they contend, escalated into vicious name-calling, shoving and public ridicule.”

Even this statement does not give the full extent of some of the things that the son in this incident was actually exposed to. Frankly, most of those things have not been repeated here because they are too graphic, but perhaps they need to be in order for people to realize just how serious this is.

We all should commend Board President Jim Provenza and the rest of the board for the work they have done to improve the language of their discipline code. But what these comments tell me is that there is much work to be done in our community—realizing that a lot of the people who commented do not live in Davis—nevertheless, I think they are an adequate reflection of some of the Davis community as well. I have seen this first hand in the comments on the youtube videos, some of which were so bad, I had to delete them.

It is appalling. Frankly, I do not know what is worse—the homophobia or anti-gay statements or the appalling lack of concern for what a junior high school student is going through. But it seems pretty obvious why these types of incidents are so prevalent in our society—too many people think they are no big deal.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Monday, February 19, 2007

Vanguard Response to the Police Oversight Report

The Police Oversight report is now out and you can read the full nine-page text on the City Webpage.

Claire St. John of the Davis Enterprise also did a story on this in Sunday’s newspaper.

If you read yesterday’s article, your reaction to it is probably heavily determined by your feelings about this issue going in. If you felt that the entire issue was a whole lot to do about nothing, then you take solace in statements such as this by the Police Ombudsman Bob Aaronson:
“Of what I observed first-hand, there is little that is troubling about how the Davis Police Department responds to the public. To the extent that any incidents have prompted my concern, it has typically been misjudgments and not misconduct.”
On the other hand, those who opposed the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman and favored a Civilian Police Review Board instead, have pointedly told me that Aaronson’s report just shows them that their feelings on this were correct and that we need to get a stronger system in place that will be able to do a better, stronger, more thorough job at oversight.

I would like to take the middle position in this debate, because I have found Bob Aaronson to be a diligent and well-intentioned person who is incredibly studious and perceptive. I believe that there are fundamental weaknesses in the oversight system - weaknesses that I have laid out ad nauseum in other entries on this blog – however, I believe that those weaknesses can be overcome with diligence and minor structural changes in some of the bodies created by the city council and the police department. I would additionally like to take the middle position, because I believe that Bob Aaronson was well-intentioned and indeed very strategic when he decided to write his report.

I would like to be able to take that middle position, but frankly, I cannot.

I do suggest that people read the full report that is linked above, because the Davis Enterprise did not cover some of the more pointed statements by Mr. Aaronson.
“As I was quoted in a recent Sacramento Bee article, the Buzayan matter was a missed opportunity to begin a meaningful community dialogue around law enforcement issues… Every honest person who played a role in the Buzayan matter must, in hindsight, admit that he’d/ she’d do some things better, more circumspectly, if a ‘do over’ were possible. Healing requires acknowledgment of as much by everyone. Those who haven’t benefitted (sic) from hindsight will simply repeat their mistakes, to the community’s and their own detriment.”
I agree with Bob Aaronson here, and I think it is important for the community itself to understand the point that Mr. Aaronson is making. I find it very unfortunate that this statement did not make its way into the Davis Enterprise article.

However, I also believe that Mr. Aaronson missed out on his own opportunity. And while I understand that Mr. Aaronson has to be cautious and strategic with his position, I think he actually has considerably more political capital to burn than he probably thinks. I do not believe that the city council is in a strong position to be able to fire Mr. Aaronson without handing significant ammunition to people such as myself and others who have been critics of both the police department and city government in general.

Moreover, while I agree with Mr. Aaronson that there is not a Buzayan-level event that he has witnessed to our knowledge, I believe that the community needs to have discourse on the most widespread complaint about the police department—what I shall call pretense stops (in lieu of the more racially charged—racial profiling). These are cases where individuals - who are either of a minority racial heritage, or perceived to be from a lower-socioeconomic status by the vehicle they are driving - are pulled over for minor offenses that other citizens would not be stopped for. This is a very prevalent occurrence in the City of Davis. It is basically a “phishing” operation—where they pull over these cars in hopes of catching a larger fish—an actual criminal who is breaking the law in a major way.

This practice is at times considered good police work and in fact is rewarded. However, it also serves to create tremendous distrust in the minority community because it gives the appearance—that minorities (who are disproportionately of lower socioeconomic status and even those who are not of lower socioeconomic status) are being singled out not because of what they have done, but because of who they are.

This is in my opinion, and the opinion of many in this community, a serious problem and it is not addressed in this report and I feel very disappointed that this was not brought up and that we could not have a discussion on this issue.

Mr. Aaronson has come to the conclusion that the more serious incidents, such as the Buzayan incident, are not an everyday or even a frequent occurrence. I could agree with that assessment; however, my own research – through interviews from calls we have received - suggests at least five to ten more serious incidents per year. But I have a further concern that a lot of these incidents are not being reported at this time, because people either lack trust in the police oversight system, or they lack the financial resources to pursue it through the legal system. Furthermore, people are fearful of being maligned in the public realm as the Buzayans have been.

While Mr. Aaronson compliments members of the police for their treatment of citizens, I have serious concerns about the level of training that some of these well-meaning officers have. I have recently witnessed an appalling lack of police work, where a vandalism incident was reported to the police, an officer came out and took a quick glance and left. However, in the process of cleaning up the scene, I noticed a receipt with the name of an individual on it. The receipt was found just feet from where the police officer parked his vehicle. While the incident itself was not serious, the lack of attention to small details was rather appalling.

This represents an ongoing problem for the Davis Police Department. A similar incident occurred a few years ago when Robert Russell – a gay man whose vehicle was vandalized with over 120 eggs and ruined to a tune of $4,000, was harassed by a group of high school male students who yelled homophobic threats at him all because he had a rainbow flag displayed on his porch. According to a Davis Enterprise article, the grocery bag, the empty cartons, and the receipt remained and were not even picked up by the officers or Gina Anderson, the Internal Affairs officer at the time. Moreover several key people were not interviewed. Not only did Robert Russell end up hiring his own investigator when he saw the lack of work done by those officers assigned to his case, but it was he who went to the grocery store to ask for the video tape. Something that the officers and Internal Affairs should have done.

The report on Tuesday also contains discussion on both the Police Advisory Board (PAC) and the Community Advisory Board (CAB). I will report in detail on the PAC later this week. I have already reported on some of my concerns about the CAB.

The following, is from the City Staff Report written by City Manager Bill Emlen, Interim Police Chief Steve Pierce, and Deputy City Manager Kelly Stachowicz. It is written by city staff (separate from Aaronson’s report) giving feedback on the PAC and the CAB. The report reads:

“The group is meant to provide the Police Chief and other Police Department staff a window into the community. It allows Police Department staff to understand important community issues as seen through the eyes of the community. Members of the group bring to the meetings their concerns, questions, comments and suggestions about police related issues.”
However, I have found the actual workings of the CAB to be different. In speaking with individuals in this group, none of that which is described above is occurring on a regular basis. Issues coming from the public are rarely raised. In fact, the impression I received was that they were often overtly discouraged. Moreover, rarely has input been solicited or received by this body. When the CAB met with the Police Chief Candidate recently, very few tough or substantive questions were raised. “It was a very fluffy interview. Tough questions were not asked,” were among some of the comments made by one of the individuals in attendance that I spoke with.

Moreover, the description sounds more like that of a propaganda purpose than a true advisory relationship. Corresponding with that belief is this mention from the staff report:
“On more than one occasion members have brought controversial issues to a meeting to get clarification on police policies or specific cases. While the Police Department has to be diligent in its protections of confidentiality, misinformation has been addressed and the CAB members have been able to share the correct information with people in the community.”
I read this to say that the police department has used the CAB to promote and clarify their operations—information that is then used to correct information with people in the community. What is interesting is that there is no mention of times when the members of the CAB have brought an issue up with the police and the police were able to correct problems. The reason that such feeback was likely not mentioned in the report is that it probably has not occurred. However, the city council sold the public on the belief that the purpose of the CAB was precisely to give the police department a means to get feedback from the community so that the police could better serve the community.

My previous report, questioned whether in fact the CAB really had a diverse membership—the majority of the members of the CAB are strong supporters of both the police and the council majority. Moreover, they rarely raise tough issues or ask tough questions.

If the council wishes to continue this body, it would be more productive to have them meet in public where a broader cross-section of the community can participate and air their concerns and offer feedback. The alternative would be to alter the make-up of the body to include more people who are likely to be more critical of the department. This would serve a dual function of giving the police better feedback but also helping the critics of the police to better understand the working of the department. This would seem to be of mutual benefit.

The current process however seems to be premised on the notion of cutting public discourse on the issue of police operations. The CAB meets in private. The PAC meets in private. The Human Relations Commission no longer deals with police issues. And the city councilmembers nod their heads but do little else whenever anyone comes forth with a legitimate complaint. The public has little to no access with this entire process - other than the three minutes before city council - and I wonder to what extent these bodies are even aware of the existing problems between the police and certain communities.

My assessment is that in the last year, little has changed in the operations of the police or this city government. And in many respects, the systems in place are worse than the ones that existed on June 1, 2005, before Officer Ly ever met the Buzayan family.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wrong Solution To Term Limits

Let me make this clear--the Term Limits law passed in California is one of the worst initiatives that California voters have passed with the most unintended consequences since Proposition 13. For those who thought that Term Limits would produce more competition for legislative seats, redistricting has pretty much taken care of that ideal. Moreover, you have placed a huge governmental system and the eighth largest economy in the world (we've slipped recently) in the hands of rank amateurs. As soon as legislators learn how to actually govern, they are termed out.

This has forced an accelerated Peter Principle on California governance, because instead of doing away with career politicians, it creates a revolving door of mediocre ones, shuffling from office to office, because what they lack in expertise about government and their specific job, they gain in expertise on how to win political office. So it is actually the worst of all worlds--you have career politicians pushed into positions of higher office, rather than stuck in the lower level of the legislature where they can gain some expertise on how to craft legislation.

The other unintended consequence is that expertise in government is always a valued commodity. And if the elected legislators do not have that expertise, that void will be filled by unelected staff members and more problematically by unelected lobbyists. The power in Sacramento has been transferred from the elected members of the legislature to the powerful interests and lobbyists.

Term limits was one of those things that sounds good on paper to some who thought they could break the stranglehold of career politicians and probably as importantly then Speaker Willie Brown, but it is a disaster in practice. Unfortunately most people do not pay sufficient attention to the California legislature to realize that.

The dangers of the initiative system are that once done, it is near impossible to undo. That leads us to the latest attempt to undo the damage.

Past attempts to add terms have failed. Thus, the current attempt is a bit more innovative. Presently you can serve three-two year terms in the Assembly and two-four year terms in the Senate. That is a total of 14 years in the legislature. The current change will allow a total 12 years to be served in the legislature regardless of the house of the legislature you serve in. That way they can sell it to the public as a more stringent measure since it reduces the overall years a legislator can serve.

That makes sense, so you would serve up to six two years in the Assembly or three four year terms in the Senate or some combination thereof.

The advantage is of course, instead of having to serve only six years in the Assembly, you could serve 12 and have a much more experienced body.

The biggest beneficiary in this is of course Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez. He's not only the biggest beneficiary but also the individual pushing this legislation. And he has the California Teacher's Association and the State Chamber of Commerce carrying the water for him on the legislation.

The proposal is also drafted in such a way that existing officeholders who have not used up all of the time allowed under the current term limits law, can serve out the extended time allowed until they bump up against the overall limit for the house.

What that means is that all of the people lining up to run for the 8th Assembly District and 5th Senate District, because Lois Wolk and Mike Machado are termed out respectively, may have to wait because Wolk would get six more years and Machado four more years--if they want it. That would throw everyone's plans into flux.

And the legislators are pushing for the February Primary for the President only, so that the voters can pass this term limits law in February and then in June all of the incumbents can run for reelection without being termed out.

This all sounds good if you are an opponent of term limits. But if you look closely, it doesn't solve the problem, it creates more problems.

This law would probably improve the situation in the Assembly. Members could run and hold an Assembly seat for 12 years. That is twice the length they can hold it now and that would stop the revolving door of legislators and Speakers.

However, it may make the situation even worse in the State Senate. Normally you have people who have spent time in the State Assembly, and who are experienced legislators moving over to the State Senate. But it may not work that way anymore. If you spend 12 years in the State Assembly, you would not be able to serve any time in the State Senate. Conceivably, you could have people moving from the State Assembly to the State Senate and only allowed to serve one term, creating a revolving door at the State Senate level. Furthermore, a large number of seats would probably be held by people with no legislative service at all.

Moreover, you still have the Peter Principle at work, where people who have served their now 12 years look toward another office to hold rather than gaining expertise in the office they currently hold. So they move from the state legislature to Constitutional Offices or possibly Congressional Offices.

This bill doesn't seem to solve the problems, rather it seems designed to give Fabian Nunez another six years as Speaker of the Assembly.

This may end up being one term limits reform bill I will vote against.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting