Friday, November 14, 2014

Functionary of the Borg. Think of it.

     For those who care (and if you don’t, for God’s sake stop reading), here’s a kind of quick update on Don Wagner, former SOCCCD trustee. Presently (and since 2010), of course, he is a Republican member of the California State Assembly.
     I mean, just in case you need reassurances that, indeed, Big Business pulls the strings that run the world and Don is one of its puppets, read on. The good ol' SOCCCD helped ready Don for his role as Borg widget. Think of it.
     Don’s own website tells us that
First elected in 1998 to the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, Don served three consecutive terms, including an unprecedented six years serving as Board President. Under Don's leadership, his district balanced every budget and paid off all its debts, without raising taxes.
     Well, that’s sort of true. “His district” spent a shitload of taxes—more taxes than other districts spent—owing to the “basic aid” gravy train. He didn’t have to ask for beaucoup de tax money, ‘cause the gravy train was built and running and regularly bringing in the gravy, like the Union Pacific.
     Wagner’s Wikipedia entry describes Don’s accomplishments as Assemblyman as follows:
* On February 16, 2011, Wagner authored a bill (AB 632) that would require the Office of Administrative Law to send notices to the legislature of proposed regulatory actions, including information regarding the economic costs of the regulation: AB 632
* Wagner has also proposed bill (AB 338) in advocacy for greater transparency in the passing of new bureaucratic regulations. [sic] bureaucracy tries to put in place by requiring a copy of each new regulation to be submitted to the Secretary of State.
     Yeah, Don's one of those guys who thinks that regulations, like taxes, are always bad. That would make him an anarchist, I suppose. He's a radical, he is.
     Anyway, Don has been a good friend to business, a foe of regulation, a foe of taxes. No surprise there. He often described himself as a Libertarian of sorts when he was on the board, ignoring the voices of pointy-headed academics and similar caterwauling varmints.

     Let's talk about Don's donors. According to a site called Crowdpac, Don’s “individual” political donors include Martha, Pamela, and Rick Goacher. I’m not sure who Martha is, but Rick, who died recently (brain cancer), was the president of Rich Goacher Planning Inc. and a long-time member of the Lake Forest Planning Commission. Pam was his wife (and an employee of RGP).
     According to one bio,
Rick served as planning director for many of the industry’s top land use consulting and engineering firms, managing and overseeing literally hundreds of land-planning and development projects throughout California, the United States and the world. … [A]fter years of loyal clients urging him to start his own firm, Rick started the land-use planning firm “RGP” in 1991 with his family and has grown it into California’s premiere land planning firm over the course of 22 wonderful years.
     He was a devout Christian, natch.
     Another donor has been Wendy Hershmann, who is (or was) Vice President Human Resources, Amerita, Inc. What’s that? Well,
Amerita, Inc. is a Specialty Infusion company focused on providing complex pharmaceutical products and clinical services to patients outside of the hospital. This market is expanding rapidly and is driven by increasing healthcare costs that are moving patients into the most cost effective delivery settings, a growing bio-pharmaceutical pipeline of infuseable and injectable medications, an aging population and the recent addition of a Medicare benefit for these products and services.

     Another individual donor (or couple) is Mark and Joan Walmsley. Mark seems to be a computer programmer for Boeing.
     Then there’s Dwight Robinson:
He and his wife, Holly, were married in 1999 and immediately decided to make Lake Forest their home. …
 Dwight has been very active in the Lake Forest community over the last decade. He is a Charter Member of the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce, a Sunday School teacher and a Little League coach. Previously, Dwight was a board member at Grace Christian Schools, an elder in his church, and board member of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Forest. Dwight owns and operates a few businesses in California and also serves as the Managing Partner of a small business located in Lake Forest.
     Don tends to cozy up with devout Christians. But you knew that.
     And then there’s David Horowitz, who, I’m guessing, isn’t a devout Christian, but who knows:
The Horowitz Family owned and operated Standard Concrete from 1949 until 1990. David Horowitz was its CEO and controlling member for 17 of those years. Today, Horowitz Group is a single family investment office based in Orange County, CA. The family office invests opportunistically in private equity and real estate and was an early capital provider to multi-unit brands, such as Lemonade Restaurant Group, Sprouts Farmers Market, and MiniLuxe, Inc. On the philanthropic front, David was Chairman of the American Cancer Society in the '90s, while also supporting and participating in the CASA program. Recently, he has been involved with MIND Research, Discovery Science Center, GERI at UCI, TEDx Orange Coast, and as a Trustee at Cate School….

     According to Crowdpac, Don’s “Organizational donors” include:
UPSPAC California [the political arm of United Parcel Service; UPS seeks to cut pensions]
California New Car Dealers Association [Um, check out their Facebook Page]
Philip Morris [i.e., Altria Group, an American multinational corporation based in Virginia. One of the world’s biggest tobacco firms.]
Reynolds American Inc. [The second biggest tobacco company in the U.S.]
Philip Morris USA Inc. [The tobacco company, owned by Altria]
BNSF Railway [The second-largest freight railroad network in North America]
Anthem Blue Cross [A major, and controversial (recissions, rate increases), US health insurance provider, a subsidiary of Wellpoint]
Edison International [It's a utility company based in California. Its subsidiaries include Southern California Edison]
     Are you reassured?
     OK, then.

The Borg

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