Thursday, April 12, 2007

Salivating "Junkyard Dog" Attacks!


On Tuesday our old buddy over at the CM Press published a pre-Study Session essay as an instructional tool for his majority on the City Council to use as they considered the subject of Community Development Block Grant funds during their meeting that afternoon. From the tone of his little essay, it's clear that he feels he may be losing his grip on them and needed to reinforce his position by providing "enlightenment" to them before they stray too far off the reservation.

It was amusing that the image he used to illustrate his essay was that of what he referred to as a "junkyard dog" - a tattoo-wearing ugly bulldog, draped in an American Flag. He also referred to himself in the text of his message as a "junkyard dog". And, in his subtitle, he says parenthetically that "junkyard dog has the scent". Well, I have to agree - and I can smell that "scent" from here!

You will recall that this fellow was appointed to the 3R Committee until he resigned under fire because of his overt racist leanings. During his tenure he was a tenacious advocate of de-funding any of the charities on the Westside of our town and conjured up all kinds of myths with which he attempted to convince his peers on the committee to join him in his attack. His current essay attempts to do the same thing.

His attacks on the charities is a transparent attack on the Hispanic population in our city. He uses the specter of the illegal aliens as a smokescreen to do what it takes to expunge all Hispanics from our city. If one reads his essays in venues such as the New Nation News and other far-right wing sites his motives become crystal clear.

I've not seen the tape of the Study Session, so I don't know how the dialogue went on Tuesday yet. It wouldn't surprise me if he used a piece of the Public Comments section to instruct the council on their responsibilities as he views them - he does that all the time. Sadly, his view of things harkens back to the deep south in the middle of the last century.

So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see if he still has the influence he once held over the council. Their actions will speak volumes.

***

I recently discovered a clever book entitled "The Book of Useless Information" and will, from time to time, provide an excerpt from it for your enjoyment/edification. Here is the first one: The most difficult tongue-twister is "The sixth sick Sheik's sixth sheep's sick." Try to say that one three times fast!

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Rob Dickson said...

I agree that his motives are less than lofty, but he makes some excellent points regarding accountability and oversight. We should NEVER use funds that could help improve the Westside infrastructure (the terrible state of roads, for one) to fund charities that are poorly run. If those same charities pay exorbitant salaries, they should get no CDBG funds. If they get our money, they should be highly and strictly accountable. If they serve a very limited segment of the population - they should be scrutinized. I know that SOS does great things, but we should definitely be vigilant.

We have many homeless men roaming our streets, most are mentally ill. These men are terribly underserved. I don't know if Junkyard Dog is correct in his allegations, but if he is, a reallocation of funds is in order. If we have charities that help only one segment of the population while not reaching out to the homeless, that is a problem.

4/12/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

rob, don't be swept up in the rhetoric by that "Junkyard Dog". He's persuasive, but not necessarily accurate. Don't forget his agenda, which underlies much of what he does. He's a very gifted writer, able to influence a lot of people.

That word, "exorbitant" is an interesting one. Without some valid data it's hard to know how to respond to it. Running any business, even a non-profit, requires a lot of skill. You don't get that skill without paying for it in most cases. Paying someone "too much" for running any kind of business is mostly in the eye of the beholder. Usually it's influenced by that person's personal bias'. I dealt with this all my working life as we negotiated salaries for clients. I don't think you have enough information, only inflammatory words from a suspect source.

In the past you've been able to step back and assess issues, then make some very insightful comments. I sense that you might have one foot in the quicksand of this guy's rhetoric and encourage you to do as you have in the past - step back from that soggy soil to firmer ground and look again at what he's saying - and why.

4/12/2007 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous dvs said...

CM Press is on record as advocating the closure of charities as a way of ridding the city of illegal immigrants. So finding alternative uses for the funds that the charities would get advances his goal. I would expect him to do anything he can in that direction.

Rob is right though. It is important that all segments of our community have access to grant funds. I personally have spent a fair amount of time supporting the Interfaith Shelter and I would hope that they continue to receive help. Are they the only worthy group though? Certainly not.

I have always felt that support funds should go to where they can do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. That sounds quite straight forward, but I must admit quantifying that sentiment is rather hard to do. In the mean time I settle for charities that have strong roots in the community and a good track record. I doubt CM Press would be even that objective.

4/12/2007 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...

Geoff,

I completely agree - I literally know nothing about this issue other than what I have read, and recently that was only Junkyard Dog's post you alerted me to.

His points about accountability and disclosure, though, are universally appropriate, regardless of motive.

You're also right about salaries. But in the case of non-profits obtaining a significant portion of their funding from CDBG funds, $200,000 seems exorbitant (if true).

A good way to compare salaries is to tie in non-profit/charity salaries to government salaries. Not many in the related government agencies are making $200,000, and if they are, their client base is usually tens of thousands and more, not the same as in our case.

Another way is to compare the ratio of monies used to benefit the clients versus monies used to operate the charity.

Also, you should look at motive for those working at a "charity" who claim high salaries.

We have seen well documented cases of charter schools and charities that were actually just self-enrichment schemes for their founders. We should redmain vigilant to make sure that does happen in Costa Mesa.

4/12/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Westside said...

Removedor:
Allegations about nonprofit organization administrators making such an incredible amount of money is misleading. No one in this sector makes 200 "grandes" a year, unless you add their income from other sources. I don't want to speculate about how much they make, but the truth, after I've seen these people work so hard, is that most of them don't get enough to live a middle-class life. Not only that, the majority of them work for free. SOS has over 500 "voluntarios" and only 38 people get salaries. SOY, Millard's greatest nonprofit enemy, does an incredible work getting kids out of gangs, and other criminal activities. I know folks from LULAC, and other organizations get no money for so much work for the community. Girls Inc. The list goes on... I think our government should increase more money for these local organizations. Giving something to nonprofits is, as far as I'm concerned, one of the most effective ways to prevent crime and other social pathologies developing in poverty-stricken areas. Let's looks at it this way. The city invests only 15% of HUD money, but get so much in "respuesta". Let's say we don't allocate those resources in nonprofits hands, then we have big and more expensive problems to respond to, such as crime, poverty, "bagabundage" etc. This issues of nonprofits, has a racial overtone, just like anything in Millard's life. I'm glad he's getting SOLO, although BOB, seem to be convinced by his biased arguments.

4/13/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous witty/2 said...

Geoff,
Based on the preponderance of the evidence, it is my personal perception that you have been heavily using "The Book of Useless Information" ever since you started blogging.

4/14/2007 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

witty/2, Welcome back. I thought it was about time for you to come out of hibernation. I note that, like most hibernating critters, you awoke from your long sleep in a foul mood. I'm still glad you're back and ready to play again.

4/14/2007 03:07:00 PM  

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