Tag Archives: Territorial Dispatch

Lou Binninger: The Pension Heist

14 Jul

Here’s a must-read:


Cities  going broke paying down pension debt, CalPERS investments based on bribery, a scandal that led to the suicide of one CalPERS official. 

The city of Chico agrees to contracts with public employees stipulating all employees must pay union dues whether or not they want to be in the union. The city also agrees to collective bargaining. The unions are the biggest donors in every local election.  These problems could be solved with city ordinances. 

Think about it.

Lou Binninger: “Is the voting system trustworthy?”

2 Jun

Last Fall when I asked Butte County Clerk Recorder Candace Grubbs a few pointy questions about missing ballots, thrown-out ballots, mis-addressed ballots, etc, she really got nasty with me, declaring that I was accusing her of something. It made me think of that line from Hamlet – “The lady doth protest too much…” She whirled around on the defensive faster than the Arkansas Razorbacks.


Contrast Grubbs’ reaction with that of Yuba County Clerk Recorder Terry Hansen when asked about voter fraud in Yuba County (Is the Voting System Trustworthy? by Lou Binninger )


The piece starts out with a notice that Hansen will be asking English non-proficient voters to send in a request for bilingual ballot booklets, but when Hansen seems open to chat, Binninger goes on to ask a few questions about voter fraud, citing one surprising instance of recent fraud right there in Yuba County. “Before Hansen’s tenure charges were filed against a city council candidate
for registering numerous individuals using a pool hall address. “

I was invited years ago to a meeting at District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl’s office, he liked to have people sit around a table and discuss current issues, I respected that. Another person at the meeting was Mark Sorensen, former Chico mayor and current city council member. We got into a casual conversation in which Sorensen asserted that he had studied the voter rolls – available at the door of every precinct on election night for the public to peruse – and he’d seen the name of a prominent local person who listed his address as the building that houses the Jesus Center. We supposed that the man must live out of the city limits and wanted to vote in council elections, which is totally illegal. It set me to wondering – how many people register at their work addresses here in the city of Chico for the same reason? At a rental property? At their friend’s house? 

When I posed these questions to Grubbs, she went madder than a wet hen, again accusing me of accusing of accusing her of something. I asked, at that time, if I was allowed to purchase the voter rolls for inspection – I was perfectly willing to pay for them – but she said I had to be a registered PAC to be allowed to even see the rolls. They’re public information, like I say, they’re posted right at the door, on a post, of any polling precinct, for the public to inspect, but she said I had to be a PAC!

I’m not accusing her of anything, but she sure acts suspicious.

Terry Hansen describes new measures that are being put in place, assuring us that it will be easier for county clerks to keep track of who is registered where, when they move, even when they die. It sounds as simple as, the various counties are finally communicating with each other.  In past, it was entirely possible and I’d say probable, that people all over California – and the nation – were registered at various addresses as they moved from district to district, town to town, county to county, even state to state, simply because the people who run the system – county clerks – don’t stay up on this information, they don’t drop you from your old address when you register at your new address. This allows some people to be registered in multiple voting precincts, even in one town. 

I had at least three people complain to me that they still received voter information for people who had not lived at their house for years, in some instances, had moved completely out of state. 

As optimistic as Hansen seems about the changes, I believe the system is as strong or weak as the people in charge, and I believe the incompetence and entitled attitude of our public workers will perpetuate voter fraud. 




Liberty Tour VI — learn about Oroville Dam, California Voter Fraud, Cal Exit vs State of Jefferson, and the Declaration of Independence

18 Apr

Liberty Tour VI

Saturday April 22, 8 am – 3 pm

Church of Glad Tidings

1179 Eager Road

Live Oak, CA 95953

$20 at the door

As Lou Binninger says in this week’s Territorial Dispatch,  “You’re more likely to see a spotted owl than get accurate information on these topics elsewhere.”


That’s actually true – when Doug LaMalfa came to Oroville last night to talk about the dam crisis, the “community meeting” was completely derailed by – get a load of this – outside agitators from Grass Valley. 

I notice whenever I see one of those “pussy” hats there’s a fascist under it, ready to tell you what you should be doing and thinking. 


They shouted down speakers as LaMalfa and other local officials tried to answer questions about the Oroville Dam crisis – apparently they don’t care too much about women living in the path of a gazillion cubic feet of water, held back by a 50’s era dam that, if it’s built the same as the spillway, has no rebar or modern concrete standards, and is about as safe as a day-old egg.

The pussy hat people wanted to talk about Sanctuary City, but I bet  they aren’t talking about undocumented aliens being  registered to vote as citizens. 

Given our slanted media, we either get the liberal rant on most of these issues or we hear nothing at all. While Liberty Tour speakers also have their slant, it’s a good idea to hear both sides, find something rational somewhere in the middle.

I’m sorry they charge so much for this engagement – $15 ahead, $20 at the door. If they were really anxious to inform the public, they could wave the charge or make it more reasonable. But, if you have the dough and time to drive up Hwy 99 to Live Oak, you might learn something.

If you don’t make it, keep an eye on the Territorial Dispatch, Lou may have a recap of at least some of the speakers.


Lou Binninger: private water providers like Cal Water charge up to 80 percent more than municipal providers

8 Oct

Marysville Can’t Afford Cal Water By Lou Binninger

Territorial Dispatch, Oct. 7 2015


 Marysville households are in shock over their water bills. Olivehurst, Linda and Yuba City residents can use much more water, add their sewer fee and still pay far less than Marysville people spend just for water. And, many of those water bills are larger than what people owe for PG and E. 

Why? Marysville is controlled by California Water Service (CWS), a for-profit corporation. CWS is known for high water rates, big profits and generous dividends. The other water systems are municipal, owned by the people and have low rates.

CWS bills are steep enough to cause customers to move. Cheaper options are 5 minutes away, just outside Marysville city limits.

Most Marysville lawns and landscaping were brown prior to drought restrictions. People could not afford the price of water in 2012. The city looks like no one gives a damn. Properties look abandoned.

However, other cities found a solution. Create a public water company and purchase the infrastructure (pipes, wells, tanks etc.). The citizens of Marysville already own the water. CWS is paid to deliver that water to them.

Food & Water Watch (FWW), a nonprofit advocate for safe and affordable drinking water, helps communities move to public control. In 2009, FWW studied nearly 5,000 water utilities and 1,900 sewer utilities and concluded that private entities charge up to 80 percent more for water and 100 percent more for sewer services.

CWS rates are much higher, 3-4 times higher.

In the current CWS rate case submitted to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) more than half of the requested 25% increase goes to improving CWS operations in San Jose. Less than one mile of the more than 54 miles of Marysville water line is listed to be replaced. In the last rate case CWS wanted 47% (2013) more and before that they were awarded a 55.5% (2011) spike in rates.

In November 2002, CalAm (Cal-American Water Co), the City of Felton’s (pop 4057-yr 2010) water provider, proposed a 74% rate increase over three years. Felton residents formed Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW), and with legal help from Santa Cruz County, fought the rate increase. CPUC reduced it to 44%.

However, fearing future escalating costs, FLOW began working on a plan to buy the water system and turn it over to nearby San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD), a public utility. By 2005, FLOW enlisted the help of FWW and worked on a ballot initiative to raise the funds to buy the system.

They were successful. The ballot initiative won with nearly 75 percent of the vote. SLVWD then proposed to buy the system for $7.6 million. CalAm/RWE refused to sell. SLVWD pursued eminent domain to force a buyout. Just before the case was to go to jury trial, Cal-Am agreed to terms.

Today, with Felton now served by a public utility, the average resident’s bill has dropped by at least 50%. FLOW has calculated that even with using a property tax increase to pay off Cal-Am, most residents are already saving as much as $400 per year.

Citizens of Ojai (pop 7581-yr 2013), east of Santa Barbara, have been working on buying-out Golden State Water (GSW) and joining adjacent Casitas Municipal Water District. Casitas delivers water at one-third the price. In 2008, GSW hiked its water rates by 34.9%. In January 2011 they bumped rates again 26.2%.

On August 13, 2013, Measure V was put on the ballot to approve joining Casitas, issue bonds to buy GSW and make capital improvements. It passed with 87.4% of the vote.

Ojai customers expect 10-15% rate decreases the first year after purchase and for rates to remain stable. The typical customer would experience an annual savings of $141.00. They project that savings will increase to $1500.00 per year by 2025.

Though the court has ruled for Ojai FLOW / Casitas Water District to purchase Golden State, the legal wrangling continues. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in July 2015.

Marysville residents have been slapped with similar or greater rate increases as either Felton or Ojai. No wonder Appeal Democrat writer Harold Kruger believes Marysville leaders are soft on the issue. Maybe it’s time the residents take charge.

See what’s ahead for Chico in the next couple of years…Marysville city staff play dirty with November tax increase measure

7 Sep

 I don’t know if you’ve heard, the Marysville city council voted to put a one cent sales tax increase on their upcoming ballot. As you’d expect in a town that defeated a similar proposal in 2008, there’s opposition. But something Democracy minded citizens might not expect was how the opposition was treated by the city clerk.

According to Lou Binninger in the Territorial Dispatch  

( read the full story here – http://territorialdispatch.biz/2014/sept/Sept3-2014WEB.pdf   )

the Marysville City Clerk gave the anti-tax group the wrong deadline and therefore prevented them from submitting their ballot arguments. When the group showed the clerk a note in her own handwriting with the wrong deadline, she still refused to accept their arguments. The city attorney backed her up, saying all the city has to do is post an obscure notice in whatever newspaper they think can bury it the farthest in the want ads. 

I’m not surprised, Chico City Clerk Debbie Presson has given me misinformation, and then handed me nothing but a dumb giggle and “I’m so sorry!”  But  to those of you who have not yet been hipped to the true meaning of “public servant,” it would still come as a shock that these people work to feather their own nests instead of safeguarding the public interest. 

I expect this or a very similar scenario to play itself out right here in Chico in 2016. We’ve already heard the cops asking for some sort of public safety tax, probably an increase in sales tax. As busy as I will be over the next year or so, I will  keep Chico Taxpayers up and running, let’s try to get ready for another go-around like Measure J, it might be fun.