Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Build America Bonds are fattening up the Wall Street Bankers Bonus programs. The Wall Street Journal has run a series of articles this week on the front page as well as the opinion sections about debt in America.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Idaho Sheriff's Association Uses Deceptive Telemarketing, Plan To Drop Firm
Friday, March 19thWe all get the dinner time phone calls from someone representing the coppers asking us to donate to their “fight against drugs.”
The GUARDIAN editor hung up on them a few weeks ago and subsequently got a very official looking bill for a $25 pledge to the Idaho Sheriff’s Association with an address on State Street at one of those private mail drop places. The letter with a huge “IDAHO SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION” heading is couched in language aimed at the sympathies of naive citizens.
A brochure with fake “before and after” shots of models purporting to be druggies is included in the package–it reminds us of those old VD pictures we had to view in junior high sex ed classes 50 years ago in Michigan. Also in the pack was a decal for your car that some people construe as a “get out of jail free card” to show coppers they donated to the cause.
A letter uses terms like “war on crime…focus the lives of youth away from drugs and alcohol…drug eradication program…scholarships for law enforcement.” The letter also mentions the Association has, “secured the assistance of Community Safety, LLC.” In plain English that means the Association has loaned its good name to a telemarketing/direct mail scammer that keeps about 80% of the donations.The GUARDIAN contacted Vaughn Killeen, executive director of the Association who confirmed the letter and bill were sponsored by his group. He also said he was working to terminate the relationship and noted “some deceptive practices by the vendor.” He favors a directing marketing campaign for funds.Killeen went on to say the Association makes about $40,000 a year from the marketing program. Based on the discussion with Killeen that means the private marketing outfit takes close to $200,000 in the name of drugs and coppers from Idahoans.We sympathize with the purported goals of the Sheriffs’ Association, but hooking up with deceptive marketing firms only serves to undermine their cause. The Association lobbies on behalf of its members, conducts jail inspections to insure compliance with health and security standards, and serves as a legitimate forum for exchange of ideas and training standards. Hustling citizens for cash is tawdry endeavor they should avoid in our opinion.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Representative Schaefer writes a summary of his activity and views of the legislative session each week. This week a terrible bill may make its way out of committee and may actually get passed. Here are Rep. Schaefer's comments on the legislation:
Monday, March 15, 2010
THE GUARDIAN made yet another trek to the Boise Capitol Dome to hear the latest and greatest from the Revenue and Taxation Sub-committee on Urban Renewal Law changes for the 2010 session.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We are posting the Canyon County Commissioners letter to Idaho DEQ Director, Toni Hardesty.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Critics of Urban Renewal in Idaho have left their collective mark with the members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, sub committee. Nearly a week of testimony and review of proposals for changes to the draft legislation submitted by UR agency representatives and lawyers, the laws as submitted will more than likely be up for a complete rewrite of HB 567. This bill and other UR legislation was fraught with all manner of efforts to remove voter oversight of these agencies.
Critics cite a lack of public oversight of how UR agencies use property tax revenue. Testimony, emails and contacts made to legislators about how UR agencies operate by critics made their mark with the committee.
Proponents don't want any ability of voters to undermine the UR agencies ability to spend our money as they see fit for economic development and improving blighted areas. The first blush of this legislation was drafted by what we like to call the fox in the hen house and would have limited any voter oversight of big dollar projects in their communities. The draft legislation would have virtually eliminated any future need for bond elections or voter oversight of these agencies.
Lawmakers will now draft a new bill for consideration. More on this as it becomes available.