I promised California Senator Carol Liu I’d invite our community to contact her office if after five weeks (July 13) she failed to respond to $600 billion in surplus taxpayer assets (video explanation here) revealed by California’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Officials claim we’re “forced” into austerity with “no options” from a $16 billion budget deficit.
Last week, our local paper published a third letter requesting our two state representatives, Assemblymember Portantino and Senator Liu, address literally the most valuable issue of the state.
Senator Liu’s consultant, Robert Oakes, today e-mailed me:
Sen. Liu asked me to request an opinion from the Office of Legislative Counsel regarding your requests about the CAFR, since there appear to be statutory, Constitutional, and legal issues regarding the potential redirection of any or all of these designated funds.
Carol and Robert violate their legal fiduciary responsibility with three revealing lies in this response:
- Robert claimed in his letter to Legislative Council, “Mr. Herman believes the Legislature can redirect any or all of these funds for other purposes, if the Legislature so designates.” As documented in five weeks of articles of Robert and my communications, I’ve never asserted who has jurisdiction over these various funds totaling $600 billion, except that they represent a taxpayer surplus. I insist and repeat over and over that Carol’s job is to inform the public of our comprehensive financial status. This first lie deflects, obfuscates, and continues to hide $600 billion of taxpayer assets.
- Carol and Robert continue to lie in omission about the $600 billion, and ignore my central request for a public statement simply affirming the CA CAFR documents these surplus taxpayer assets. That the public has these assets, don’t know about them, are being forced into austerity with lying rhetoric, and Carol/Robert ignore this while lying about my request is criminal breach of their fiduciary public responsibility.
- But the central lie is pretending to represent public interests while lying, obfuscating, and being minions to the monied interests that want to retain these colossal funds.
As always, I welcome Carol and Robert’s return to public service, and would like to help them do so. I will document whatever they choose to do.
My e-mail to Robert today:
Thank you for your e-mail. You’ve twice ignored my promise to invite the public to contact you if I don’t have a response from Carol by this Friday, July 13 (five weeks after our first phone conversation and your acknowledgment of receiving the data) to affirm the simple points repeated below.
Regarding your message to the Office of Legislative Counsel, I’ll be interested to learn what specific funds the California legislature has authority to redirect, and other types of existing fund authority that would have to be considered for a comprehensive analysis of the $600 billion in taxpayer surpluses revealed in the CAFR.
That said, I never asserted the legislature has authority to “redirect any or all of these funds,” as you state in your message to Leg. Counsel.
What I asked for repeatedly, and copied below from our last e-mail conversation, is for Carol to:
- Make a public statement that affirms the existence of taxpayers’ $600 billion in retained assets (you’re welcome to use this statement in whole or part),
- make a recommendation of what to do (the minimum I’ll accept is affirmation that the public should know about these colossal funds, and they be subject to public and professional consideration for restructure).
- and the directing of this this to whatever area of government would consider how possible restructure would occur. Her recommendation should include the state’s data-sampled estimate of $8 trillion in the various 14,000 government agencies.
Robert, this Friday will begin the 6th week you have been in receipt of this data. If I do not have a public statement by Carol to affirm $600 billion in surplus taxpayer assets according to your own financial statement and an ethical recommendation of what to do, I promise my strongest voice to invite community support to receive it.
What is an ethical response? I can’t imagine one that does not include the above three points. Can you?
From our July 6, 2012 e-mail:
I understand this request is deceptively simple because I’m asking about what the CAFR lists as “nongovernmental cost funds” that you didn’t know existed, and has a shock-factor of $600 billion in surplus assets that raise obviously disturbing questions of why these assets are retained.
If it helps, Anthony Portantino’s Chief of Staff, Trent Hager, has taken this issue on himself and with similar difficulty because he also had no idea about these funds.
I can walk anyone through the data in minutes, Robert. I’m patient, and with limits. I need someone to work with and at least a preliminary statement from Carol by Friday, July 13. For your convenience, I’ve even drafted one that she/you can consider. If I don’t receive response, I will invite interested readers to contact you and ask why. Depending on what sites repost my articles from the three main sites, views range from the tens of thousands to over ten million.
Again, all I’m asking is Carol to affirm that these CAFR funds as listed exist (obviously), that they could be reconsidered in light of a budget deficit 35 times less than the surplus value of assets (obviously), and to take some action to send the information to officials who have the jurisdiction for that consideration. If Carol wants to do more than this minimum, that’s up to her.
The public do not know about how much they’ve been overtaxed, Robert.
That is what needs to be publicly stated and considered. This might make it easy and obvious what the public wants done with their assets.
If Carol acts within what I’ve explained as minimum ethical response above, I’m happy to credit such action publicly. If your office fails to take such minimum ethical action in reasonable time, then I will use my strongest public voice to invite the public to join in my contact to Carol’s office to receive ethical action.
I’m doing my best to make this easy and of public service, Robert.