Wednesday, February 01, 2006

POLITICAL PATRONAGE PAID WITH PUBLIC BOND MONEY


Los Angeles, CA. Secret bonds known as COPs (Certificates of Participation) are being used by California cities, counties and school districts "to get a lot of cash up front to pay off their political patronage friends and then stick future generations of taxpayers without any voter approval of this long-tem debt.” So says John Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in a six-minute preview of a two-part (one hour) interview on the Full Disclosure Network™ program. To view this Internet video “free on demand” go to the URL http://www.fulldisclosure.net/flash/436-7_Bond_Money.php where it is available 24/7, as a public service. Some of the points made in the video are:

  • When asked how taxpayers could be denied their right to vote on public indebtedness, Coupal said: “The law has been carefully crafted by those that have a vested interest in the process, those being in local governments, the political and elected officials, the bureaucrats and of course the bond business, the bond underwriters, the bond counsels and bond marketers. They have a cottage industry and they get a lot of money out of it. The last thing they want is some voter approval process to screw it up.”

  • When asked to respond to Los Angeles Unified School Board Member David Tokofsky's claim that the LAUSD's issuance of COP bonds has never been challenged (for legality). John Coupal said “I think it would be something we would consider doing. I mean, we have always looked at COP bonds as a potential area for litigation because we believe, certainly in spirit, they violate the voter approval requirements mandated by the California Constitution (and Proposition 13).

  • When asked why the LAUSD always seems to be out of money? Coupal said “the L.A. Unified School District has a budget that’s higher, that’s greater than 20 states, it’s huge, it’s monolithic. It is just a massive entity that we believe has ill-served the parents and children of the City of Los Angeles. If one adds not only the operational funds, which works out to over $10,000 per student, per year, but adds on top of that the capital revenues available to them, the children of this district should be getting a Cadillac education and of clearly they are not”…. the L. A. Unified School District continues to be a poster child for mismanagement and bad use of taxpayer funds.”

Billed as “the news behind the news” Full Disclosure Network™ programs are hosted by Emmy Award winning host Leslie Dutton and featured on 40 cable television systems and the Internet at www.fulldisclosure.net Over the past thirteen years the Full Disclosure Network ™ programs have explored police policies, politics, corruption and reform. Cable channels are listed by community and air times on the website.

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