Category Archives: Los Angeles City Government

GANAS Academy Recruiter Ed Rodriguez — Yes — The Guy That Sakshi Jain Was Paying A Bounty Of $850 Per Student Signed Up To Attend Her Creepy Little Charter School — Had A Secret Recruiting Plan — Revealed Here For The First Time In Full Flaming Weirdly Idiotic Glory — “Recruiters will focus greatly on El Super located in Wilmington” — And El Super Charges $150 Per Day For Tabling — And Sakshi Jain Coughed Up Another $750 For This — Not To Mention Ancillary Expenses

The other day I revealed for the first time that Sakshi Jain, founder and supreme commander of the on-indefinite-hiatus GANAS Academy, hired a recruiter, name of Ed Rodriguez, to trick parents into signing their kids up for her school and was on the hook to the guy for $850 per signed-up kid. And the story continues to develop! Today I have an email from Ed to Jain explaining in great detail his entire plan for recruiting the victims.

There are a lot of aspects and details and subtleties and I am sure that I, as an amateur who understands literally nothing about the rarefied world in which Jain and Ed and their peers operate, am missing pretty much everything essential about this plan. However, I believe I can sum it up fairly accurately as two long pages which boil down to:

1. Set up a table at El Super in Wilmington
2. Lie like a MFer
3. ???
4. PROFIT!!

Oh, and also, El Super isn’t letting this happen for free. They charge $150 for people to pitch stuff to their customers from a table. And here’s another email from Sakshi Jain ordering her subordinate to cut five cashier’s checks for $150 each to cover the space rent. It’s only money, friends, and it’s not Sakshi Jain’s money, so why the hell not?

Now, as I said, I don’t really feel qualified to do the sociology here. I will leave it to others to discuss and determine how these privatizers chose El Super as their primary base of operations.1 My forte is, of course, publishing records. Read on, therefore, for a transcription of Ed Rodriguez’s entire recruitment plan for GANAS Academy!
Continue reading GANAS Academy Recruiter Ed Rodriguez — Yes — The Guy That Sakshi Jain Was Paying A Bounty Of $850 Per Student Signed Up To Attend Her Creepy Little Charter School — Had A Secret Recruiting Plan — Revealed Here For The First Time In Full Flaming Weirdly Idiotic Glory — “Recruiters will focus greatly on El Super located in Wilmington” — And El Super Charges $150 Per Day For Tabling — And Sakshi Jain Coughed Up Another $750 For This — Not To Mention Ancillary Expenses

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Saghafi V. Pali High Trial Scheduled For August 19, 2019 — At 10 a.m. — Mosk Courthouse Department 72 — But Before That Everyone Filed About A Zillion Motions On Monday — And They Will All Be Heard On August 9, 2019 — At 8:30 A.M. — Obviously Also In Dept 72 — And I Have The First Page Of All Of Them — But Complete Copies Of Only Three — Because They Are Really Expensive — And I At Least Am Not A Damn Zillionaire

This is just the quickest briefest note imaginable to let you all know the state of the case of Saghafi v. Pali High, in which former teacher Saghafi will seek to prove in court the clearly true but maybe not so easy to prove in court theory that these Pali High folks are a bunch of damn racists and that they due to their damn racism, messed her up big-time. You can read my previous stories for background first here and then here.

And the trial, which was previously scheduled for July, was postponed until August 19, 2019 at 10 AM in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in good old Department 72. And as is their lawyerly wont, just this very Monday, all the lawyers filed about a zillion motions, because I don’t know, perhaps that was the last day to do it. And the Los Angeles County Superior Court charges about a zillion dollars a page for PDFs of pleadings but they give one the first page for free.

I don’t have time to write about any of this in detail, but I do have some of the motions and all of the previews, and there are links and some very brief comments below. The motions themselves are to be heard in Department 72 on August 9, 2019 at 8:30 AM. I am not completely sure I can make it but I will certainly try my best!
Continue reading Saghafi V. Pali High Trial Scheduled For August 19, 2019 — At 10 a.m. — Mosk Courthouse Department 72 — But Before That Everyone Filed About A Zillion Motions On Monday — And They Will All Be Heard On August 9, 2019 — At 8:30 A.M. — Obviously Also In Dept 72 — And I Have The First Page Of All Of Them — But Complete Copies Of Only Three — Because They Are Really Expensive — And I At Least Am Not A Damn Zillionaire

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Interim Councilmember Greig Smith Has A Private Email Address — Conducts City Business Through It — citycouncilguy@yahoo.com — For Instance — Among Other Pretty Sleazy Things — Uses It To Communicate With Lobbyists At Englander Knabe & Allen — Founded By Harvey Englander — Uncle Of Smith’s Predecessor And Protege Mitch Englander — Like A Whole Trump Family Incestuous Secret Email Vibe Going On Out There In The Damn Valley Innit?!

With yesterday’s revelations that Betsy De Vos and seven other members of the Trump administration are being investigated by the House Oversight Committee for their illegal, unethical, appalling, and hypocritical use of private email addresses to conduct public business I thought it was a good time to catch you all up on the state of my investigation into private email use by our own local City Council folks, precisely none of whom are being investigated by anyone for this specific transgression.1

Previously I discovered and revealed that Mitch O’Farrell, David Ryu, and Gil Cedillo all have privately controlled email accounts through which they conduct City business. Jose Huizar also does this, but I didn’t break that story, the FBI did.2 And today, thanks to a huge set of emails I recently received from the ever-courtly Colin Sweeney, director of communications over at CD12, I can, for the first time of which I am aware, break the news that the name of Sweeney’s current boss, the infamous Greig Smith, belongs right smack on that list as well.

The email address in question is citycouncilguy@yahoo.com. The set linked to above only contained a few examples of Smith’s use of this email address to conduct City business, but then I only picked them up by accident. Thanks, as we know, to the monumental 2017 opinion in City of San Jose v. Superior Court, these emails are public records in themselves. Of course I have a request in already for the rest of them, but I imagine it could be a long process. Or maybe not, we’ll certainly see! Read on for links to the emails along with some commentary.
Continue reading Interim Councilmember Greig Smith Has A Private Email Address — Conducts City Business Through It — citycouncilguy@yahoo.com — For Instance — Among Other Pretty Sleazy Things — Uses It To Communicate With Lobbyists At Englander Knabe & Allen — Founded By Harvey Englander — Uncle Of Smith’s Predecessor And Protege Mitch Englander — Like A Whole Trump Family Incestuous Secret Email Vibe Going On Out There In The Damn Valley Innit?!

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News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

There are two parts to today’s story. First, recall that last month I was forced by the arbitrary, pointless, and utterly inscrutable intransigence of Gil Cedillo‘s Senior Policy Deputy Mel Ilomin to file yet another writ petition against the City of Los Angeles seeking to enforce compliance with the California Public Records Act. And I have some excellent news about this, which is that yesterday the City completely abandoned its indefensible exemption claims and produced more than 200 pages of material responsive to the request at issue. It came to me in two PDFs, which you can get copies of here:

CPRA emails part 1.pdf

CPRA emails part 2.pdf

You might recall that Ilomin, completely backstopped by ought-to-know-better Deputy City Attorney Strefan Fauble, had claimed that every single one of these emails was exempt due to that putative deliberative process nonsense that the City of Los Angeles loves so well. And I won’t belabor the details, but if you read through the yield, you’ll see that this exemption claim was entirely unfounded, indefensible, just utter nonsense. For instance, a nontrivial number of these emails are widely published announcements that there will be mobile showers available on various dates at Lincoln Park which, whatever the hell they may be, aren’t exempt from production under any theory acceptable to even the marginally sane.

And there’s some other reasonably interesting material in there, about some of which I might write at some point. But there is also one exceedingly important record, which is this February 2019 email conversation between Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez and a long list of LAPD officers, LAHSA staffers, and others, scheduling a sweep of homeless encampments along Llewellyn Street in Chinatown for the explicitly stated reason that they were impeding construction on a huge housing development owned by the Trammell Crow Company, done at the request of Trammell Crow’s senior vice president Alex Valente.

Now, you might recall an instance where an encampment was swept for no better reason than that Eric Garcetti was making a political appearance in the area later. This incident was reported in the Los Angeles Times and evoked the following quasi-denial from Garcetti’s spokesman Alex Comisar, who said it did “not reflect the mayor’s approach to interacting with Angelenos experiencing homelessness.” And this same tired implausible story of utter compassion is told by everyone involved with homelessness no matter how messed up their motives actually are. Our City officials, just ask them, do not use the vast municipal power entrusted to them to fuck up the lives of the unhoused for petty stupid venal purposes.

Even, no doubt, Gil Cedillo will tell you what a goddamned humanitarian he is on these lines. And yet when we look at what he does, what they all do, well, here is Cedillo’s staff arranging for homeless human beings to be displaced from their community just because some sociopathic zillionaire didn’t want his damned construction project to be held up. And the sweep did take place. In fact, on the very next day, February 26, 2019, as reported by Joanna Swan on Twitter, because that’s where the City’s priorities are, what their actions are, no matter what their empty words might suggest. Read a transcription below, and if you haven’t done so already, look into Services Not Sweeps.
Continue reading News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

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Sakshi Jain — Supreme Commander And Founding Spirit Of GANAS Academy — The Little Charter That Couldn’t — Hired A Guy Named Ed In May 2019 To Recruit Students For Her School — Cause Evidently They Weren’t Busting Down Her Doors Trying To Get In — And Per The Contract — Which Naturally I Have A Copy Of Here — Ed Was To Collect $850 Per Student Signed Up — Yes — You Read That Right — Eight — Hundred — And — Fifty — Dollars — Per Recruited Student — So Much For The Vaunted Efficiency Of Charter Schools

Somehow, even though it makes no freaking sense whatsoever, we are continually asked by innumerable mobs of kool-aid-drunken pro-charter ideologues to believe that somehow their damnable publicly funded private schools are more efficient1 than publicly run public schools. Thus, the argument goes, we are lucky to be able to funnel public money and other valuable assets to them for their supernaturally efficient use in the pursuit of what they’re pleased to present as public goods.

But just logically, theoretically, even without reference to facts, how could this possibly be true? Like how does it make sense to pay the supreme commander of some random charter school out in Northwest Zillionaireville a significant fraction of a zillion dollars in exchange for her skilled elite commandery when we’re already paying Austin Freaking Beutner an equally significant fraction of a zillion dollars for his equally elite equally skilled commanderistic talents? How many damn commanders do we even need?

In any case, that’s the theoretical no-facts-needed version of the anti-charter-efficiency argument. But, as you no doubt know, the very point of this blog, the one thing that sets it apart from your average raving Internet lunacy,2 is facts! Facts as reflected in public records! All this blather, like the blather you’re reading now, exists for no real purpose beyond filling out the blank space around the links to the records.

Like for instance, this link to a contract between Sakshi Jain, supreme commander and founding heroine of the lately placed-on-hiatus GANAS Academy, and some guy named Ed, whose LinkedIn profile identifies him as an educational consultant. The purpose of the contract is to engage Ed’s services to recruit students to attend Jain’s star-crossed but nevertheless self-proclaimedly world-class private school. And what is most amazing to me is that Ed is to be paid per piece. Not a joke. Eight Hundred And Fifty Freaking Dollars per student signed up.
Continue reading Sakshi Jain — Supreme Commander And Founding Spirit Of GANAS Academy — The Little Charter That Couldn’t — Hired A Guy Named Ed In May 2019 To Recruit Students For Her School — Cause Evidently They Weren’t Busting Down Her Doors Trying To Get In — And Per The Contract — Which Naturally I Have A Copy Of Here — Ed Was To Collect $850 Per Student Signed Up — Yes — You Read That Right — Eight — Hundred — And — Fifty — Dollars — Per Recruited Student — So Much For The Vaunted Efficiency Of Charter Schools

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In January 2018 — Just Mere Months After Millions Of Dollars In Charter School Money Bought Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Election To The LAUSD School Board — He Asked The California Charter School Association To Draft A Board Resolution For Him — Outlining Proposal To Study How To Legally Sell Or Lease LAUSD Property To Charters — And To Take LAUSD Facilities Away From Public Schools And Give Them To Charters On The Basis Of “Performance” — And To List All Facilities So The Privatizers Would Know Which To Target — And To Put Prop 39 Co-Location Disputes In The Hands Of A Putatively Neutral Third Party — And To Work Some Incomprehensible Voodoo With Bond Money — And Then Melvoin Proceeded To Have Secret Meetings On The Subject With CCSA Flacks — And Other Privatizing Galaxy Brains — Like Emilio Pack — And Caprice Young — And Mark Kleger-Heine — And Cristina De Jesus — This Post Is Part One Of A Series Because The Whole Thing Is So Darn Complicated

We’ve already seen that LAUSD officials, both elected and appointed, have a sickening penchant for sharing confidential materials with Charter lobbyists, giving them advance input into official policy proposals, and so on. I’ve recently reported, e.g., on an episode from September 2018 where Austin Beutner allowed Cassy Horton and Jed Wallace of the California Charter School Association to vet an upcoming speech and also to talk in advance with his speechwriter to explain what they thought ought to be included. Convicted felon slash former schoolboard member Ref Rodriguez did the same thing in March 2018 with respect to a board proposal.

And it turns out that, beginning in January 2018, LAUSD Board member and charter school bootlicker Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin1 was involved in a very similar scheme having to do with LAUSD policies on school facilities, a subject which sounds tedious but is actually bureaucratic code for real estate, a subject which is at the very center of the zillionaire plan to loot the public treasure-stores for their own gain.2

Basically the proposal, which seems never to have made it out of the secret meetings, would have called for LAUSD to list all its facilities so that the privatizers could choose which ones to target, to allocate facilities between charter schools and public schools based on excellence and student success rather than on need, to authorize a putatively neutral third party to settle disputes over co-location offers, to study how to sell or lease LAUSD property to charters, and to do something complicated with bonds used to fund facilities. It all seems incredibly shady, shady beyond belief.

Icky Sticky Nicky was elected to the LAUSD Board in May 2017 after having been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, which delusionally called him an “independent thinker” and also claimed that “Melvoin, who has worked for reform-oriented groups, is decidedly aligned with that movement but in a more balanced way than, say, Monica Garcia.” The LA Times reported on his July 2017 swearing in, and was, by then, after the election was over and the information could no longer sway a single voter, willing to state the relevant facts more explicitly, noting that Melvoin was “elected with the help of millions of dollars from charter school supporters.” The Times also quoted from Melvoin’s speech at the ceremony:

Today is not about the results of an election but about the emergence of a new paradigm.
[I am a product of] the coalition that arose to implore us to lead with a simple yet radical maxim: Put kids first.

And today’s story concerns some ugly truth about Melvoin’s putative more-balanced-than-Monica-Garcia alignment with Charter school zillionaires and about what they bought from him in exchange for their zillions of dollars.3 About how these matters actually played out during his first year in office and, by extension, exactly how he interprets his “simple yet radical maxim: Put kids first.”
Continue reading In January 2018 — Just Mere Months After Millions Of Dollars In Charter School Money Bought Icky Sticky Nicky Melvoin’s Election To The LAUSD School Board — He Asked The California Charter School Association To Draft A Board Resolution For Him — Outlining Proposal To Study How To Legally Sell Or Lease LAUSD Property To Charters — And To Take LAUSD Facilities Away From Public Schools And Give Them To Charters On The Basis Of “Performance” — And To List All Facilities So The Privatizers Would Know Which To Target — And To Put Prop 39 Co-Location Disputes In The Hands Of A Putatively Neutral Third Party — And To Work Some Incomprehensible Voodoo With Bond Money — And Then Melvoin Proceeded To Have Secret Meetings On The Subject With CCSA Flacks — And Other Privatizing Galaxy Brains — Like Emilio Pack — And Caprice Young — And Mark Kleger-Heine — And Cristina De Jesus — This Post Is Part One Of A Series Because The Whole Thing Is So Darn Complicated

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Ten Years Of LAPD Directives Regarding Cooperation With ICE — There Have Been Four Versions Of The Rules Since 2009 — But As Of October 2018 There Are Still Specified Circumstances Under Which They Will Still Honor ICE Detainer Requests — And Hold People So That ICE Can Take Custody Of Them

I recently published a set of notices issued by the LAPD Chief of Detectives over the years. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, including the records on which this story is based. Today we have a set of four notices, the earliest from 2009, explaining how LAPD is to interact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement with respect to undocumented prisoners in the context of Darryl Gates’s famous Special Order 40, which forbade officers from questioning anyone with the sole purpose of determining their immigration status. Here are links to the four notices, each of which is superseded by the subsequent one:

CoD Notice 8.4 — July 1, 2009
CoD Notice 1.8 — December 21, 2016
CoD Notice 1.8 — May 17, 2017
CoD Notice 1.8 — October 12, 2018

This recent flurry of revisions was required by the California TRUST Act, signed into law in October 2013 which, according to the LA Times, “prohibits state and local law enforcement from holding people longer than 48 hours for federal immigration agents — unless they’ve been convicted of certain crimes, most of them serious or violent.” These directives codify how this requirement is to be implemented by actual LAPD officers with respect to actual prisoners.

The detailed rules explain when they’re allowed to look up immigration status information, what kinds of information they’re allowed to act on, how they’re allowed to act based on the information, under what circumstances LAPD will hold prisoners for transfer to ICE, and so on. The rules are technical and I am in no way qualified to interpret, explain, or even opine on their meaning, but these rules are so important and so timely that it’s clearly necessary to publish them anyway. I know there are people out there who need this information.

There’s a transcription of the most recent one, which explains LAPD’s current policy, below. I will say in closing, though, that given the nightmarish conditions, the sexual torture, the murder, going on in ICE’s concentration camps, I cannot actually imagine any circumstances whatsoever in which LAPD, or anyone, ought to turn anyone over to them, no matter how terrible their crimes, and the list of crimes for which they can be turned over includes forgery and suborning perjury and things on that level, none of which are worth putting someone in Dachau over.1 It is clearly time for a fifth revision of this policy.
Continue reading Ten Years Of LAPD Directives Regarding Cooperation With ICE — There Have Been Four Versions Of The Rules Since 2009 — But As Of October 2018 There Are Still Specified Circumstances Under Which They Will Still Honor ICE Detainer Requests — And Hold People So That ICE Can Take Custody Of Them

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In March 2018 Then-LAUSD-Board-Member Ref Rodriguez Shared A Top Secret Confidential Copy Of A Board Resolution With Cassy Horton Of The California Charter School Association — Before Anyone Other Than Richard Vladovic Had Seen It — And Cassy Horton Of CCSA Inserted Comments And Rewrote Language — And Arranged For Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA — And Parker Hudnut Of ICEF Charter Schools — To Meet In Her Company With Rodriguez And Aixle Aman Prior To Its Introduction To The Board To Discuss It — And Shared It With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot Charter Schools — And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep — For Their Comments — And Rewrites

Remember how in September 2018 universally-reviled-by-sane-people LAUSD superintendent Austin Beutner gave an advance copy of a major policy speech to the California Charter School Association for their comments, and even organized a conference call between Jed Wallace, then supreme commander of the CCSA, and Beutner’s speechwriter Shira Fine so that Wallace could pass along pro-charter propaganda to Fine for inclusion?

And then, when it got tweeted about, reprehensible CCSA shill Cassy Horton responded with a particularly mendacious claim that this kind of thing was just business as usual and everyone does it?1 Well, today’s story, about Horton getting top secret information from Ref Rodriguez in March 2018, may tend to support her claim that it’s just business as usual. But I still haven’t seen any evidence that anyone other than CCSA flacks is getting advance information out of LAUSD officials.

Before he was investigated by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, before he resigned in what passes for disgrace in municipal politics, before he pled guilty to a felony and assorted misdemeanors, before all that nonsense, former school board member Ref Rodriguez was famous for being the handpicked stooge of the CCSA. And, like his asshole buddy Austin Beutner after him, it turns out that Ref Rodriguez also secretly shared major policy documents, including at least one LAUSD board resolution, with CCSA flacks for them to revise to better reflect their interests.

The story begins with this email from Cassy Horton to four of the very creepiest of creepy charter creeps, which is to say Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA, Emilio Pack of STEM Preparatory, Christina De Jesus of Green Dot, and Parker Hudnut of Inner City Education Foundation Charter Schools.

Its subject alone tells quite a story: “<DO NOT SHARE OR FORWARD> Authorizing Resolution for Review and Feedback”. But the whole thing is essential reading. What’s at stake in the resolution is how charters should be authorized by LAUSD, how their performance should be evaluated, and so on. Not, sane folks might think, something which ought to be written by the very industry it’s meant to regulate. Evidently Ref Rodriguez disagreed. Here’s a transcription of the email:
Continue reading In March 2018 Then-LAUSD-Board-Member Ref Rodriguez Shared A Top Secret Confidential Copy Of A Board Resolution With Cassy Horton Of The California Charter School Association — Before Anyone Other Than Richard Vladovic Had Seen It — And Cassy Horton Of CCSA Inserted Comments And Rewrote Language — And Arranged For Marcia Aaron of KIPP LA — And Parker Hudnut Of ICEF Charter Schools — To Meet In Her Company With Rodriguez And Aixle Aman Prior To Its Introduction To The Board To Discuss It — And Shared It With Christina De Jesus Of Green Dot Charter Schools — And Emilio Pack Of STEM Prep — For Their Comments — And Rewrites

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The Resurgence Of The Unhinged Grudge Informer — Anonymous CD5 Resident Threatens To Call ICE On Construction Workers Because They Don’t Speak English And The Constant Beeping Of Trucks Drives Her Crazy — And CD5 Staffer Debbie Dyner Harris Doesn’t Say A Critical Word About It — It’s All Normal In Quality-Of-Life-Land — If Our Society Creates And Weaponizes An Institution Like ICE It’s Certainly Not Unexpected That People Would Use It As A Weapon — But Can’t We Rely On Our Public Officials Not To Encourage It — If Only Through Their Invidious Silence?

Tomorrow, July 12, 2019, under the banner of Lights for Liberty, thousands of people across the country and across the world will be participating in vigils at American concentration camps run by ICE, protesting the murderous treatment of the prisoners held there. You can find an event near you here. There are any number of serious reasons to abolish ICE, you can even ask ICE agents about it.

And one of these reasons is that the very existence of this organization, which is empowered to lock people up and torture them on the barest suspicion that they’re somehow violating immigration laws, incites people to use that power to further their personal goals. Under the original Nazis concentration camps were not only a tool of state terror but were used regularly by ordinary people to settle entirely non-political grudges with their neighbors.

The very existence of the capability creates the irresistible urge to use it. The blade itself incites to violence.1 This behavior was so commonplace and so problematic for various reasons that there’s a term for those who engage in it, they’re grudge informers. As Colleen Murphy puts it in her fine book The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice:

The term “grudge informers” refers to individuals who, during periods of conflict or repression, report personal enemies to authorities in order to get rid of them.2

Now, I’m not interested in rehashing the endlessly stupid discussions about the appropriacy of comparisons of ICE concentration camps to Nazi concentration camps nor, obviously, the appropriacy of the term “concentration camp” to refer to them. If it strikes you that there are two legitimate sides to that debate, you can go here and talk about it to your heart’s content.

I am, however, interested in talking about public records. In this case, a set of emails I obtained from the office of Paul Koretz, putatively esteemed CD5 repster, containing the phrase “quality of life.” I’m really interested in the kind of crazy shit that housedwellers gripe about to their council offices, and especially interested in the kind of terrorism that gets conjured up and poured down upon the tender heads of the helpless like so much molten lead from the ramparts as a result of such complaints.

Searches on this phrase seemed like a good way to find more of it, and oh boy, did that ever work out! Just for instance, if you have the heart, or the stomach, really, take a look at this endless series of constituent complaints from folks on Sweetzer Avenue in May of this year, really worked up about some construction noise created by an assuredly villainous outfit known as ETCO Homes.
Continue reading The Resurgence Of The Unhinged Grudge Informer — Anonymous CD5 Resident Threatens To Call ICE On Construction Workers Because They Don’t Speak English And The Constant Beeping Of Trucks Drives Her Crazy — And CD5 Staffer Debbie Dyner Harris Doesn’t Say A Critical Word About It — It’s All Normal In Quality-Of-Life-Land — If Our Society Creates And Weaponizes An Institution Like ICE It’s Certainly Not Unexpected That People Would Use It As A Weapon — But Can’t We Rely On Our Public Officials Not To Encourage It — If Only Through Their Invidious Silence?

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Green Dot Charter Schools CEO Cristina De Jesus Served On Gavin Newsom’s State Charter School Task Force Earlier This Year — According To Tony Thurmond The Point Was To Identify “what is truly best for kids” — But De Jesus Told Her Colleagues That Her “Representation On The Task Force” Gave Green Dot “The Ultimate Voice” — And She Used Her Knowledge Of Task Force Meetings To Shape Green Dot PR Messaging On Charter School Controversies — None Of Which Sounds Like Thinking About What’s Best For Anyone Other Than Green Dot — Oh And Also It Seems That In Early 2018 De Jesus And The California Charter School Association Were Just Sitting Around Waiting For Michelle King To Die — So They Could Start Manipulating The Choice Of Her Replacement — Which As We Now Know They Ultimately Managed Really Well — At Least From Their Infernal Point Of View — And Making Insensitive Remarks While They Waited — Which Is Not A Good Look For A Bunch Of Privatizing Vultures — Especially Given How Their Hand-Picked Dude Is Working Out

Earlier this year Governor Gavin Newsom asked State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to convene an expert task force to study some aspects of charter schools in California and to issue a report by July 1, which task they duly completed. Here’s what Tony Thurmond had to say about what all these experts were going to get up to:

I am excited that we have this incredible assembly of experts from all sectors to help lead this charge, to take a deeper look at the impact of charter schools. We plan to research data and facts, and will review the fiscal impact and authorization process of charter schools. But more importantly, we are going to do this with thoughtful intention and through the lens of identifying what is truly best for kids.

And one of the putative experts appointed thereto was Cristina De Jesus, mostly famous for being the supreme commander of behemothic privatizing charter school organization Green Dot California. And even though Tony Thurmond thought the task forceers were going to think about the kids, well, as might be expected by the cynical,1 it turns out that, as shown in some emails I recently obtained via the California Public Records Act, De Jesus had very, very different ideas about her role on this expert body.2

The story begins on March 27, 2019, when Anna Phillips published a story in the Los Angeles Times, privatizers-into-a-tizzy-throwingly entitled How a couple worked charter school regulations to make millions. And into a tizzy indeed were thrown the privatizers, especially their ministers of truth.3 Thus did Green Dot commo-king Sean Thibault write an email to his Supreme Commander CDJ,4 proposing a response, perhaps to be submitted as a letter to the editor, which Thibault refers to as an LTE because of course he does.

This proposed LTE is incredibly worth reading for its crackpot accusation that “ideological charter critics” essentially caused Clark and Jeanette Parker to steal all that money from Today’s Fresh Start Charter School because they “have focused their legislative proposals on areas that already have healthy public scrutiny” rather than what, according to Sean Thibault, they ought to have been doing, which is “partnering to update charter laws and regulations to help catch bad apples.” But what we’re really interested in here is Thibault’s summing-uppery, directed at his boss CDJ:
Continue reading Green Dot Charter Schools CEO Cristina De Jesus Served On Gavin Newsom’s State Charter School Task Force Earlier This Year — According To Tony Thurmond The Point Was To Identify “what is truly best for kids” — But De Jesus Told Her Colleagues That Her “Representation On The Task Force” Gave Green Dot “The Ultimate Voice” — And She Used Her Knowledge Of Task Force Meetings To Shape Green Dot PR Messaging On Charter School Controversies — None Of Which Sounds Like Thinking About What’s Best For Anyone Other Than Green Dot — Oh And Also It Seems That In Early 2018 De Jesus And The California Charter School Association Were Just Sitting Around Waiting For Michelle King To Die — So They Could Start Manipulating The Choice Of Her Replacement — Which As We Now Know They Ultimately Managed Really Well — At Least From Their Infernal Point Of View — And Making Insensitive Remarks While They Waited — Which Is Not A Good Look For A Bunch Of Privatizing Vultures — Especially Given How Their Hand-Picked Dude Is Working Out

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