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California Coastal Commission - Why Funding Swap Makes Sense

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to be compensated by California’s state agencies for legal services. It is a reasonable request - considering that last year, the DOJ lost $30 million of its budget and had to cut 130 attorneys from its staff.

As a way to manage their caseload and still provide legal services for state agencies, the DOJ is proposing to have the state re-allocate funds usually provided to the DOJ, to the general fund agencies, and in turn, have the agencies pay the DOJ for legal services provided.

The DOJ annual General Fund has sometimes not been sufficient to accommodate all of the legal services requested by the various agencies, which then outsource private counsel at up to double the cost than if they had been represented by DOJ.

The Governor’s budget overview projected a shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year of $6.9 billion, this deficit has grown by $13 billion in the budget, with the largest chunk - $4.9 billion - the result of Federal and State Court Litigation!

Opponents of the funding swap, including Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, have complained that it would be “the greatest threat to the integrity of the Coastal Act since it was passed.”

This is simply untrue.

SINS OF COMMISSION documents the California Coastal Commission’s long history of overstepping the authority provided it under the California Coastal Act. Stopping the commission’s free ride on legal expenses would required it to prioritize its focus and keep it from capricious costly litigation.

The funding swap may reduce the Commission’s dictatorial pattern of obstructionist rulings, which are in clear violation of the Coastal Act and the Constitution, as when it picks unnecessary fights with families, farmers and ranchers at the expense of broader planning.

This important tax-saving, fair-minded proposal is long overdue.

If you would like to express your support for the legal funding swap please contact:

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/subcommitteeframe.asp?subcommittee=125

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/newcomframeset.asp?committee=18

http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/sub/BFR_4_AGENCIES/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/sub/BFR_2_JUSTICE/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

Speaking of funding…

SINS OF COMMISSION is a fiscally sponsored film through the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit organization. This means you can support SINS OF COMMISSION the movie,  freedom of speech, documentary film making, the International Documentary Association, and receive a tax deduction at the same time.

MEMO TO: Sara Wan RE: The Coast is Under Attack

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Sara, read your open letter on CALITICS website, and I’d like to share a few thoughts.

Aren’t you being a bit over dramatic, crying wolf, telling everyone that the coast is under attack? Unless of course, you’re saying The Crab Monsters are at it again… and that’s some serious Mojo.

On the contrary, Ms. Wan, coastal people say that you, the California Coastal Commission, are the attackers.

People living along the coast of California welcome this new legislation, and consider it is very good news for ALL the people of California especially if pending legislation in the Public Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ)  requires the Coastal Commission to pay for all legal services previously supplied by the Attorney General (and swept under the rug - so to speak). The People of California need to know how much your commission really spends..

This is something that should have been done long ago - but now is a good time to start.

The California families you sue, that defend themselves in court against the California Coastal Commission, pay their own legal bills.

Maybe now is a good time for the CCC to return to doing what you were supposed to do when the voters passed proposition 20, e.g., protect the coast, that area from the mean high tide land to 1,000 yards in land. By the way you do such good work on the Navy Sonar marine mammal issues and overwhelming plastic debris…why not just stick the coast of California, as it was defined before you and the California Coastal Commission skewered the definition of “coast” to allow you to blitz-krieg  inland?

This new budget proposal would force you to stay away from people’s homes, and private property…and stay the heck out of their lives.

This would also mean the California Coastal Commission would be have to think real hard before it capriciously attacked picnic tables, rogue rose bushes, eucalyptus trees, horses,  sheep, goats, showers, house colors, trespass on private property, spy on folks, extort people’s land out from under them in exchange for a building permit or any other stuff like that.

This may be also a good time to send Mr. Cease-and-Desist Douglas packing especially since he’s so darn sue-happy.  You commissars have done enough to wreck life, liberty and the California economy. Maybe this may be why so many Californians are angry.

You also say that, ” the commission may be unable to initiate lawsuits to protect public access or other coastal resources.” This is a load of rubbish. I’m sure you will still have an appropriate budget to be spent wisely… like on the beach -however this also means you have to close your department of silly lawsuits. In case you elitist imperialists haven’t noticed… times are tough for We the people.

You say, “Jerry Brown’s (the Attorney General) budget people support this bad idea.” Could that mean Jerry B does too? And perhaps what you’re calling a bad idea is actually a real good idea…and an idea that is  way overdue.

You say, “this also effectively means that the Commission would be unable to deny any applicant or to impose any conditions on any proposal that the applicant opposes, based on whether the Commission could afford the cost of litigation.”  Yes, that is what it effectively means.

What this proposal also suggests is that  your bad-ass commission needs to stop the 30 year wave of terror. Quit lying and trying to steal folk’s land, then hiding underneath the judge’s robes. And most important of all - quit storm-trooping around people’s private property.

Like what you’re reading? Here’s how you can help --

SINS OF COMMISSION is fiscally sponsored film by International Documentary Association, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the art and advancement of all documentary films.

This means you can support SINS OF COMMISSION and receive a tax deduction at the same time when you donate through the International Documentary Association. Simply click the DONATE NOW link on the upper right… or the Crab Monsters may attack you next..

California Coastal Commission - Time to follow the money

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

[Last] week’s Supreme Court ruling that corporations are protected by “free speech” rights and can contribute enormous sums of money to influence elections is a de jure endorsement of the de facto dominance of corporations over our lives.

Truthout

Homer Simpson discovers corporations have more rights than he does.

To say money has always influenced politics along the California coast would be an understatement.  Just a glance at the way the legislature turns a blind-eye to coastal commission shenanigans or how the judiciary rubber stamps rulings consistently in favor of the CCC and the story can be told. 

When one ponders the implications of corporate citizenship, take into consideration the plethora of  PAC’s and non-profit corporations that wield a mighty big influence on coastal politics.

Well-known orgs like the venerable Sierra Club have also helped the California Coastal Commission eviscerate people’s rights along the coast of California.  The CCC is the de facto enforcer… the legal muscle for the corporate thugs.  We are just now beginning to discover the pathological relationship that existed between some environment groups like EDC who will sell-out the environmental for cheap.

Last year, SINS OF COMMISSION requested an accounting by the state of California to see which non-profits gave money to infulence the California Coastal Commission at a time way before the US Supreme Court blessed corporate citizenship last week. So far those documents have not been forthcoming.

The danger of foreign loot loading into U.S. campaigns, not much noted in the media chat about the Citizens case, was the first concern raised by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked about opening the door to “mega-corporations” …

Truthout

Corporations will now have more rights than people.

Tara Malloy, attorney with the Campaign Legal Center of Washington D.C.

Under current laws, human-people, as opposed to corporate-people, may only give $2,300 to a presidential campaign. But hedge fund billionaires, for example, who typically operate through dozens of corporate vessels, may now give unlimited sums through each of these “unnatural” creatures.

Truthout

And there you have it.

If corporations are the new citizens… what happens to us people? 

In the meantime, think about supporting SINS OF COMMISSION a flim about, by, and for the people.  Help to finish the film and get it out.  ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor The INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation - a very worthy non-profit foundation concerned about preserving people’s rights to Freedom of Speech through documentary films.

Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard Oshen

 

SINS OF COMMISSION - KSCO AM - SATURDAY SPECIAL Audio File

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

NOW - Listen to this!

If you missed KSCO’s spectacular SATURDAY SPECIAL radio show hosted by MZ, broadcast last Saturday on AM 1080 - you can hear it right here right now.

If you think SINS OF COMMISSION is making a difference in California- help keep it going.

Critical time California.

2 diabolical bills, AB 226 and AB 291 are in the works and if you think the people along the coast in California are the only ones going to suffer, you are are in for a big surprise, and a rude awakening.

Now, more than ever, is the time to contribute to SINS OF COMMISSION. If you’ve been thinking about doing it, hoping someone else would - waiting for summer, wait no longer - summer is almost over.

ALL donations are tax deductible and confidential when made through the film’s fiscal sponsor the INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION, a 501 c3 non profit foundation. Fastest, easiest way to help is to click the “DONATE NOW button” on the side of this page, and you will be whisked away to a secure PAY PAL page set up for us. Fill in the blanks, click “send” and bingo…you’ve helped!  You can also send a check to:

The International Documentary Association
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017.

Please be sure to write  “for: SINS OF COMMISSION” on your check. 

Thank you in advance for your support,

Richard

Time for PETER DOUGLAS to take a hike

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

California Coastal families, farmers, and ranchers are not enemies of the state and deserve equal protection under the law.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

-Thomas Jefferson

We celebrate our Nation’s Birthday in a few days. It’s a good time to reflect on what we Americans stand for…and what we don’t.  At a time we are fighting tyranny overseas, let us not forget to stand up to tyranny in our own backyard.

There is a concept in America we call “term limits”. They apply to everyone in office, including  Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. Can anyone name someone besides Mr. Douglas who has reigned in office as long as Sir Peter?

In a Monarchy, kings reign… in a democracy, elected officials serve the people - all of the people for limited terms.

-Richard Oshen filmmaker

Amendment 22 to the United States Constitution ratified February 1951, specifies term limits for the President of the United States. Seems that Mr. Douglas thus declares himself to be above the constitution. Like the rights to property Mr D despises, he seems to view the constitution as a petty annoyance.

In a 1997 speech at a conference in Monterey…Peter Douglas called for the U.S. Constitution to be amended to make courts the “arbiters” in what he called the “debate” over property owners’ rights. That seems to be the issue right there, Mr. Douglas:

Property rights is not a debate. It is the LAW OF THE LAND.

Me thinks this is the trouble in a nutshell. Did Mr. Douglas or did he not take a Civil Service oath to defend and protect the constitution of the United States? If he did, he hasn’t done a good job of it… if not it is a charade on scale unparalleled in California, possibly the nation, and must not be permitted to stand any longer.

In my 90 minute interview with Peter Douglas for SINS OF COMMISSION, Mr. Douglas makes a bold, provocative statement on camera that he is not a civil servant - Question: If Mr. Douglas is not a civil servant, then who or what does Peter Douglas serve?

I was appointed on a seven to five vote. And there have been at least 11 attempts to get rid of me over the years because people don’t, for whatever reason, uh, can’t control me. And I’m (Stammers) the only non-civil service employee of the Coastal Commission. Everybody else is civil service.

- Peter Douglas, SINS OF COMMISSION

If he is not a civil servant…all the more reason to to send him packing. Especially after the Ramirez Canyon travesty SHAME ON YOU!

Time to break up the CCC’s corrupt fiefdom, especially with so many overlapping regulatory agencies in the state. It seems to me the resource agencies can be streamlined - trim the fat, and become much more efficient thus saving an already overburdened budget, and WE the people, lots of money.

The commission’s little scheme works like this: The governor selects 4 commissioners, the speaker 4 and legislature 4 then, they in tern, keep anointing Peter, over, and over, and over again. If that isn’t a racket, a shell game…what do you call it? I call it time for Term Limits. You serve a term, or two -just like the president… then thank you , and buh-bye!

Protection of the environment and protecting our human rights guaranteed under the constitution  ought not be at odds with each other, they support each other, and need each other to survive. Douglas has cunningly put them at odds and uses it to wage class warfare.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

People are inseparable from the land…although the Triple C is trying real hard.

Billion Dollar fires that need not be.

Americans have the constitutional right to own property, Mr. Douglas. ALL their property…and to be secure on that property.

Property Rights is not a privilege like a drivers license - it is an inalienable right.

Mr. Douglas, it seems, does not like the idea of we the people owning land at all, yet he owns land…and a house.

Property and property rights are what separates free men from serfs and indentured servants.

Take away the right to own land and be secure on it and people can never be secure.

Once upon a time, thirty plus years ago, it sounded like a good idea to isolate the CCC from the politics of politics.The point is, over time, that seemingly “good idea” to isolate a regulatory commission from our democratic electoral process contributed mightily to its corruption and, along the way, made it subservient to its political patrons - not the people of the state of California.

-Richard Oshen, Filmmaker

Combining all three branches of government into one entity for “expediency” is a Kangaroo court. It is what the coastal commission has become: writer of its own laws, enforcer of the laws they write, judge, jury, and executioner. That is not America.

Who protects the people?

Not the government of California - and certainly not the attorney general of the state.

The attorney general is litigating the people on behalf of the Triple C to the tune of upwards of $ 2 billion dollars per year. They are using our own money to fight us.

Where are the CCC’s checks and balances? The answer, sadly, for all of us is…there are none.

A dysfunctional coastal commission handsomely benefited the big picture plan of certain self-interest Non Governmental Oragnizations to such a degree it appears the CCC is their de facto enforcer - the legal muscle in the service of the elite ones who secretly contribute to them - not the people of California.

Tom Hayden tried to break up this little PONZI SCHEME back in1988, but it was soundly defeated by the same elitist interests that still pull the CCC’s strings today.

Last year Senator Denise Ducheney introduced a bill that would prohibit the commission from appealing itself. Which to this writer, sounds like a very normal thing to do - to prevent a commission from appealing itself  It too was squashed by these same NGOs and their elite supporters.

Where is the legislative oversight?

There is much more to it….the politics of fire…the devaluation of property,  destruction of the family farm, more open space than we can afford, the destruction of infrastructure from lack of property taxes, people living in fear of retribution if they speak out. The CCC is not the STASI.

When the governor of our state tell us education must be sacrificed because there is no money left, and you cast your eyes up to dark billowing clouds of smoke, and expensive leased aircraft zooming overhead, when a fleet of weed-wackers could have prevented all or most of it - you begin to see the huge scope of the disaster by these Pirates of California.

The tyranny by small imperceptible changes that has been obscured for the last 30+ years comes into focus and once seemingly isolated dots connect.

-Richard Oshen, filmmaker

Yes, well past time for Mr Douglas to go - but to go not because someone is anti this, and someone else is pro that, but because no one is above the law.

It is time we, the people of California get down to the business of determining the Coastal Commission’s next chapter post  Douglas and whether we repair or replace the California Coastal Commission.

It is time for a change in California.Time to breathe fresh air into a stale decadent demagoguery.

General Motors held on to their self righteous beliefs to the very end. We cannot afford to.

The future of California hangs in the balance.

SINS OF COMMISSION needs your help. A work print of the film and “other” material is being subpoenaed by the California Coastal Commission. I believe this is an egregious violation of our 1st Amendment Rights.

If you’ve ever considered making a donation to help the film finish or want to defend freedom of speech, now is the time. All donations made through our fiscal sponsor, The International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit, are tax deductible.

Please click the link on the navigation bar, or you may send a check by mail:

The International Documentary Association
1201 West 5th Street, Suite M270
Los Angeles, CA  90017

attention: Fiscal Sponsorship

Please mark your check “for the account of Sins of Commission”

Thank you.

California Coastal Commission- Sins of Commission- What’s At Stake

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

These are my thoughts on something very un-American… Censorship.

The California Coastal Commission is demanding I produce a work print and raw footage from a film not yet finished. I say this is a violation of the First Amendment.

I wrote my guild, The International Cinematographer’s Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and Screen Actor’s Guild alerting them to the gravity of my situation.

What world our world be like if the government censored ON THE WATERFRONT

or FAHRENHEIT 451 -


or any other controversial film.

What happens to the least of us inevitably happens to the most of us - over time.

The suppression of free speech through intimidating legal efforts such as serving you with a subpoena and demanding a copy of a film … and additionally requesting all of your production records is an interesting story of overreaching abuse of power on their part. This story needs to be told to the largest possible audience. It appears that another chapter in the Sins story is being written.

-Jim L

It is vitally important to a free American process that controversial films like SINS OF COMMISSION exist.

The California Coastal Commission doesn’t think so - especially when they are the focus of investigation. Why? because they don’t want you to connect the dots like we did to a crumbling California economy due to fires like the Santa Barbara Fire, and other destructive, anti-people policies.

They don’t want the people of  Californians to ask questions like, why hasn’t anyone taken a weed-wacker to the overgrown brush?

They don’t want you to find they play a big role in destroying infrastructure along the coast,  because if we improve water lines, and sewers, or put in a new high school in Half Moon Bay for instance, that would mean more people might move there.

Can it be that the California Coastal Commission doesn’t want people to live along the coast?

It will be interesting to see if California Coastal Commission trumps the United States Constitution or not.

Given California courts record involving the Triple C and recent attempt to go squash the filming of an inspection by a commission on private property - jury is out on this one as they say.

I’m intending to vigorously defend our right to free speech, and free press - and invite everyone to join me.

I believe the CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION’s request is unconstitutional and believe I have a right to politely, and firmly refuse to comply on the basis of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Support SINS OF COMMISSION, documentary film, and Freedom of Speech with a tax-deductible donation to our fiscal sponsor the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit foundation dedicated to promoting and preserving documentary film.

California Documentary Filmmaker Faces Censorship Challange from California Coastal Commission

Monday, June 8th, 2009

NEWS RELEASE

SCARY DEVELOPMENT FOR ALL FILMMAKERS

SINS OF COMMISSION, an award winning documentary film by Southern California filmmaker Richard Oshen, is facing legal action by the California Coastal Commission, which has in fact just served Mr. Oshen with a subpoena in order to obtain a copy of the film.

The revealing expose follows ordinary citizens who have come up against the unelected Commission’s autocratic actions wielded, surprisingly, without accountability or oversight.

The California Coastal Commission may try to silence the film because it reveals strong links between California’s increasingly catastrophic wildfires and the Coastal Commission’s prohibition of critical brush clearance.

-Richard Oshen,writer, director, SINS OF COMMISSION

SINS OF COMMISSION examines decades of the Commission’s land use policies and questions how a government body could and, indeed did, unilaterally extend its jurisdiction from 1000 yards landward of the coastline to 5 miles inland.

No matter what your politics, this isn’t America if a quasi-governmental body is going to dictate whether you have the right to see a film. This is a very chilling development, and does not bode well for documentary filmmakers or freedom of speech.

SINS OF COMMISSION is ” a work in progress”. For a governmental body to demand a work print is like asking a journalist for their notes, or an author for a copy of their book before publication.

To think, if the government doesn’t like what the see or read - they could issue an injunction and prevent a story from getting out is scary… very scary.

-Richard Oshen,writer, director SINS OF COMMISSION

Scores of California families and individual landowners have been required to forfeit their constitutional and property rights as a condition for residential development, and in many cases, to avoid arrest and fines reaching the millions.

Help support freedom of speech for all films.

I will vigorously defend SINS OF COMMISSION. This is an out-and-out assault on FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the future of all expose documentary films hangs in the balance.

I urgently need your help. SINS OF COMMISSION is a fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association, a 501 c3 non profit organization. Support SINS OF COMMISSION, freedom of speech, documentary film making, and the International Documentary Association all in one fell swoop.

For more information please contact me at:  sinsofcommission@gmail.com

Thank you,

Richard Oshen



 
 
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