- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California July 8, 2002The voters of Los Angeles back in 1990 were so upset with official corruption that predominated the scene of city politics that they desired to create an "Ethics Commission" to oversee the politicians. However, the very politicians that were the object of the creation of the new commission appended to the passage of its creation a salary increase for themselves. Thus, the theory was promoted that the voters could get rid of their corrupt politicians, but in exchange the good politicians were going to have to be paid more. Sort of like buying honesty.Not long after the commission was created, charges began to be made that the Ethics Commission was unethical, influenced by corruption, graft and special interests.Now the City of Los Angeles is facing tremendous budget shortfalls that the citizens of L.A. have yet to realize the significance and magnitude, with city hiring freezes and shutting down of services, including those to the poor. At the same time, the already highest paid city councilmen in the nation are being paid even more at the expense of the have-nots, causing embarrassment. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. We will comment more on this below the story.
Highly Paid L.A. Council Gets a Raise
Wages: Members, who already make more than comparable officials nationwide, will get 5% boost by 2003. Salaries are tied to judges' pay.By PATRICK McGREEVY and TINA DAUNT
TIMES STAFF WRITERS
March 23 2002
The Los Angeles City Council, already the highest paid council in the nation, will get pay increases totaling 5% over two years, officials said Friday.
Some council members said they were uncomfortable with receiving a pay raise when a hiring freeze has been imposed on city staff and officials are struggling with a potential budget deficit. Their pay will grow from $133,051 a year to $139,784 by July 1, 2003.
"I asked, 'How do we get a pay raise when we have a budget crisis?'" Councilman Dennis Zine said. The answer: Voters approved a measure in 1990 that took salary decisions out of the hands of elected officials and tied the salaries to the pay of local judges. ....Since that measure passed 12 years ago, council salaries have more than doubled.
The latest pay boost, triggered when the state approved raises for the judges, will increase the salary for Mayor James K. Hahn from $172,966 to $181,719 by July 2003. ....
Julie Wong, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said Hahn will accept the raise, but declined to comment further. ....The size of city officials' salaries and the way they are set drew criticism from taxpayer advocates, including Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. "They are way out of line with what is the norm nationally," Coupal said. When it comes to council members' salaries, no city comes close. ....
"There is a complete taxpayer disconnect in this process."
The provision tying salaries to judges' pay was part of Proposition H, an ethics-reform package....Council members were responsible for including the pay formula in the measure. ....
[Councilwoman Cindy] Miscikowski, who is married to multimillionaire developer Doug Ring, said she will accept the pay increase because she, too, does not want to make a big deal of the issue. ....
Times staff writer Matea Gold contributed to this report.As J.A.I.L. has said before, commissions created by politicians can never work because it only creates another layer of political government on top of the existing one. Can the blind lead the blind? No! Has the Los Angeles Ethics Commission cleaned up corruption in Los Angeles politics? No! Political corruption has only gotten worse. What honesty did the taxpayers receive for their hefty salary increases to these corrupt politicians? Nothing! These corrupt politics have only been rewarded with a doubling of their salaries.Again, we find the truthfulness of the statement that the leopard is unable to change his spots, and that a corrupt spring is unable to produce pure water. Honesty just cannot be bought.With J.A.I.L. hammering away daily exposing judicial corruption all over, state legislatures are now becoming concerned about their judiciaries. They are going about in damage control. Examples are Florida, Massachusetts, and now Oklahoma.Right now, although the State of Oklahoma has long had a judicial commission called "Council on Judicial Complaints," the State of Oklahoma is now seeking to create what they call a "Task Force for Judicial Court Reform." And why is this? It is because the existing "Council on Judicial Complaints" is not working! But will another commission be the cure? No!The inevitable truth is that J.A.I.L. proposes the only solution to a government hopelessly out of control. The government has fallen and cannot get up. The answer must come external of corrupt government. J.A.I.L. is that only external answer!J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law
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