Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don Wagner: tool of corporate America

     Assemblyman—and former SOCCCD trustee—Don Wagner, and no one else, is announcing that “the Civil Justice Association of California [CJAC] has awarded him its Civil Justice Leadership Award for the 2011-2012 legislative session.”
     Sounds pretty impressive.
     Says Don, "I am honored to be receiving this prestigious award. It has been my goal as a legislator to ensure the civil justice system in California continues to be as fair as possible, and will continue to make sure future laws reflect that."
     Yeah, fairness. That's what Don's all about.
     OK, but what are the CJAC all about?
     Just who is the Civil Justice Association of California?
     Well, according to their website, here’s what they do: “CJAC works to reduce the excessive and unwarranted litigation that increases business and government expenses, discourages innovation, and drives up the cost of goods and services for all Californians.”
     And who are CJAC? No doubt they are folks who represent the little people--ordinary citizens who love innovation and prefer cheap goods and services.
     Well, no. According to the site, the CJAC board comprises the following:

Don attended the Sept. board meeting
     Allstate Insurance Company, Altria Corporate Services, Inc., American Council of Engineering Companies, American Insurance Association, American International Group, Inc., Amgen, Inc., Anthem Blue Cross of California, Apple Computer, Inc., Association of California Insurance Companies, AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Bayer HealthCare, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, California Apartment Association, California Association of Realtors, California Building Industry Association, CalChamber, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Hospital Association, California State Association of Counties, Caterpillar Inc., Chevron Corporation, CNA Insurance Companies, Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc., ExxonMobil Corporation, Farmers Insurance Group, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric Company, Georgia-Pacific, GlaxoSmithKline, Greenberg Traurig, Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, League of California Cities, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, LyondellBasell Industries, Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, Oracle Corporation, Pacific Life Insurance Company, Pfizer Inc., Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Sempra Energy, Shell Oil Company, Southern California Edison, State Farm Insurance Companies, The Accountants Coalition, The Dentists Insurance Company, The Doctors Company, The Dow Chemical Company, The Flanigan Law Firm, The Hartford, The Irvine Company, The Travelers Indemnity Company, United Services Auto Association, Wells Fargo Bank

     Golly! That's a pretty comprehensive list of big business in this state. Clearly, if the CJAC were to have an accurately descriptive name, it would be something like "California Corporations that Hate to be Sued."
     "Fairness" my ass. CJAC comprises mostly the big and the powerful. They know how to get what they want. And what they want is profit and more profit.
     Don's their man, I guess. He's more their man than any other man is their man.
     I can just imagine the phone call:
CJAC: Hey, Don boy! How’d you like to be this year’s winner of our Civil Justice Leadership Award!

Don: Gosh, I dunno. If you give me that, I may as well wear a sign that says “tool of corporate America”!

CJAC: the people who’ll see it that way already know you’re a tool, Don! –Just kidding, boy!

Don: Yeah?

CJAC: Sure. Listen, the rubes back home will think it’s for real. That’s all that matters.

Don: OK, I'm your man. But tell me: how far down the list did you have to go?

CJAC: Hahahaha!
     According to Maplight, here were Don's top contributors in 2009-2010 (I couldn't find more recent data):

Note the fine print

     You know who "Fieldstead" is, right? It's Howard Ahmanson, Jr. You  remember him. Ahmanson's mentor thought that homosexuals should be stoned to death. Yeah. Ahmanson provided the start-up money for Tustin's Education Alliance, on whose board Don sits. He's pretty special.
    Wikipedia notes that, in recent years, Ahmanson has labored to moderate his image:
Ahmanson is reported to have "never supported his mentor's calls for the death penalty for homosexuals"; instead, as the Orange County Register reported in 2004, he "no longer consider[s] [it] essential" to stone people who are deemed to have committed certain immoral acts. Ahmanson also told the Register, "It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things. But I don't think it's at all a necessity."
     He sounds like a swell guy. I'm not surprised that Don is his pal.

From Project VoteSmart: Don Wagner "ratings"

     See also VoteSmart & FollowTheMoney, where we learn that Glenn Roquemore and Bill Hewitt have contributed to Don’s campaigns. Also James Vogt, the key attorney for the SOCCCD in Westphal v. Wagner, IVC instructor Ron Ellison, the notorious Michael Schroeder, Richard Tait (Fuentes’ old boss), Steve Frogue, Marcia Milchiker, Todd Burnett, David Hunt of GKK Works, Bob Cosgrove, Bill Jay, and John Williams.

Don at the Tustin Chamber of Commerce, slowly disrobing


Anonymous said...

Really, Bob Cosgrove?

B. von Traven said...

To view all of Don's contributors (for 2009-2010), go here. Click the button that says, "view all contributions."

Anonymous said...

Gee, as I recall your unions do the same thing, i.e. support causes & candidates with huge sums of money, with even larger amounts cash. Why are you so surprized to find your opposition has support? Golly gee! Let's act like we're so surprized!

B. von Traven said...

12:08, you are either an infrequent visitor to our blog or a dumbshit. Two weeks ago, we offered a post that reminded readers that the umbrella organization of SOCCCD's faculty union (namely, CTA) is by far the biggest political spender in the state: see Money talks; big money talks bigger. Do try to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

That snarky pic of Don with his graying facial hair and ruthless stare is priceless. It captures his true essence. He needs to use that pic in his campaign lit. I'll bet he could triple his donations.

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