“Silence can only be equated with fraud when there is a legal and moral duty to speak or when an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally misleading.” – U.S. v. Prudden, 424 F.2d. 1021 (1970).
After 5 weeks’ consideration of data from their own Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), documented with page numbers showing $600 billion in surplus taxpayer funds (video explanation here), Assemblymember Anthony Portantino and Senator Carol Liu choose to say to their constituents and taxpayers:
It was actually worse: Both rejected weekly requests to simply affirm the data. Anthony AND Chief of Staff Trent Hager refused to explain his “no comment.”
Carol AND consultant Robert Oakes:
- evaded for five weeks,
- then claimed they needed specialized legal opinion,
- then refused public comment,
- Robert finished by e-mailing me, “We’re always glad to address concerns of 21st Senate District residents, who should use the “Contact Me” section on Sen. Liu’s website. Residents outside the District, of course, should contact their elected officials. This report is an annual audit of the basic financial statements of the state.”
I feel accurate with this characterization of my state reps and staff contacts, given their roles to hide colossal taxpayer surpluses: “Asset holes.”
I say anyone is welcome to contact Robert Oakes as my appointed representative to renew the request for Senator Liu’s response if that person will provide me the report of what happened. Robert can be reached at the Sacramento office: 916-651-4021. His e-mail: Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol and Anthony chose “no comment” even after I suggested the easy and minimum public response to simply affirm the existence of CAFR funds, affirm that they could be reconsidered, and send recommendation for economic cost-benefit analysis to appropriate Assembly and Senate committees, as well as inviting public consideration of these colossal taxpayer assets.
Why do two state representatives evade comment in face of government-imposed austerity for a $16 billion budget deficit when their CAFR shows over 35 times that amount in surplus assets, especially when nearly none of their constituents are aware of a surplus $600 billion?
Do we face the same insider corruption with our state’s 1% that plagues Wall Street and federal government? Indeed, the CAFR reveals billions “invested” to the biggest banks, including over $2 billion for mortgage and asset-backed securities at the core of so-called bailouts.