This is my latest e-mail to Wendy Gordon, Communications Deputy to California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, and Robert Oakes, consultant to California Senator Carol Liu regarding the State of California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and collective state CAFR’s from ~14,000 various government entities in the state:
Hello Robert and Wendy,
Today is your fourth business day in receipt of documents that prove California state assets in cash and investments of $600 billion (here, here). This data refutes official claims for “need” of austerity, and as I had not yet heard from you regarding this important inquiry I just spoke with you both on the phone. You both also showed no evidence of looking at additional budget solutions of a state-owned bank for at-cost credit and national debt-free money to directly pay for public goods and services, but I’ll stay focused on the CAFR data at this time.
I strongly recommend that you both take the few moments it takes to look for yourself at pages 234-235 of the CA CAFR and page 63 of the L.A. County CAFR to see these colossal cash and investment accounts for yourself. You’ll find $409 billion in that one state account, and $66 billion in one county account. Because we’re also considering $8 trillion in the state’s various ~14,000 government CAFRs, the L.A. County example is powerful evidence for comprehensive consideration.
Remember, the state budget deficit we’re told “causes” austerity as our only option is $16 billion. I promise I will be in communication with you both at least once a week until this issue is resolved with Carol and Anthony’s public and official response. I promise my best good-faith representation to the public of my interactions with my state Assemblymember and Senator.
Wendy, you reported that Anthony is in receipt of this information and “busy with the budget.” You don’t seem to recognize that $600 billion in state cash and investments makes the budget conversation entirely different. In fact, you questioned why I am focusing on Anthony and Carol with a tone that attacks the messenger, and non-understanding that as a constituent to both I have the civic right and responsibility for such important dialogue. With all respect, Wendy, once you take the few moments to responsibly verify the data, you should be appreciative of my communication to have this data public knowledge.
Wendy, you reported that you were unaware of the existence of the state’s CAFR. Was Anthony aware of this public document and its $600 billion in public monies?
Robert, you reported that the existence of the state’s CAFR was news to you. Was Carol aware of this document and its $600 billion in public monies? You said you passed this information to “someone” and you would be my contact. You said the information seemed “complex.” I will ask and report if you took the few moments to verify the data in our next communication.
The content of this e-mail is now published (here, here, here to start, overall CAFR articles here). I’ll write repeatedly until CAFR assets are public knowledge, and the 99% of California have independent and multiple cost-benefit analyses to know our full options of our money. I strongly suggest that you encourage Anthony and Carol’s best public statement regarding their legal responsibility as public representatives to this game-changing news.
My recommendations stand, and are below in this e-mail chain (at link, omitted in article).
I do not recommend silence or non-attention. Do Carol and Anthony have more important issues than $600 billion and collective $8 trillion while Californians are told to suffer under imposed austerity? If they do, you’re welcome to say so for public consideration.
Again, I’d like to help Anthony and Carol shine on this issue. I’d like to help promote them as true leaders standing for the public good, help their career advancements, and bring them public recognition as literal trillion dollar heroes.
Please, Robert and Wendy, help me go in this direction for the needed benefit of everyone in California. Please call me if I can help Carol or Robert understand this data.
If it helps, Steve Whitmore, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Senior Media Advisor responded in professionalism to my inquiry.
You should also know that the reason for my outreach to law enforcement is that non-disclosure of these accounts seems to be an “emperor has no clothes” obvious crime by officials with fiduciary responsibility for transparent honesty with public money. Repeated public statements by both parties’ leadership that we have no option than austerity seems to be a criminal lie of omission. Retaining $500,000 per California household while being silent about those collective accounts is news the 99% will be motivated to act upon.
Consider: how is a tax surplus of $500,000/household in silence a public service and not a crime?
Since when is it the job of government to be rich while demanding austerity of those they’re supposed to serve?
The 99% will, I predict, be quite forgiving of public officials who faced personal blackmail and threats who side courageously now for the public good. I will do my best to help in that effort.