Archive | June 2011

California Democrat hopes to pass “On Our Knees” to limit hotel maid’s duties

The California State Assembly Labor and Employment Committee moved Senate Bill 432 “On Our Knees” one step closer to the governor’s desk. The proposed legislation is hoping to outlaw hotel maid’s requirement that makes them perform unsafe housekeeping duties like cleaning bathroom floors and making a bed without fitted sheets.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The hotel industry mounted an aggressive push back, but it failed to derail the bill as the California State Senate approved the injury-prevention bill on June 1.

According to a press release, the hospitality industry lobby has slammed the bill as another example of California’s “over legislating” and just another reason business is fleeing the bankrupt state.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. was the first large hotel chain to announce its opposition to the legislation. However, the bill’s author was not buying into any of the hotel’s regulation claims.

“The hotels change their sheet inventory frequently. There will be no added expense,” said Democratic Senator Kevin de Leόn (D-22). “All we ask is that when the hotels make their next purchase, half of the sheets be fitted. It is a minor action for them but a major benefit to employee health, safety, happiness and productivity.”

Senator de Leόn went on to describe maid duties as “degrading work” in his press release. “Hotel housekeepers frequently clean bathroom floors on their hands and knees, a degrading practice that is tolerated by too many hotel employers.”

It is de Leόn’s assertion that maid’s back-breaking work requires hotel housekeepers to regularly clean floors on their knees. “The practice, combined with the failure to provide fitted sheets like those used in homes, has led to an unacceptable rate of back and other work-related injuries.”

A study by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (2009) by researchers from four universities and UNITE HERE, a housekeeper union, said hotel maids suffered the highest injury rates of any hotel employees.
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“We scrub floors, clean toilets, and lift heavy mattresses to change sheets,” said Cathy Youngblood, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood. “The beds are too heavy, and with flat sheets, you have to lift the mattress to tuck the sheet under. By the time I’m on my sixth or seventh room my hands are aching. Everybody uses fitted sheets at home. Why are the hotels the exception?”

Complaints from maids received mixed reviews from hotel patrons. “When I check into a hotel I don’t expect to be handed a toilet brush and clean sheets as a part of my hotel experience,” said Nancy Hoover.

However, the housekeepers union seems to think hotel owners need to provide alternative cleaning duties for maids who perform so-called demeaning cleaning tasks.

“I live and work in constant pain,” said Gilda Vallejo, a 13-year housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. “My back and shoulders throb from the repetitive lifting. Simple solutions like fitted sheets could help relieve some of the pressure and make our jobs safer.”

Some hotels, like the downtown LA Marriott, have compromised and provide fitted sheets for all of their beds. “In the Marriott Downtown LA, we use fitted sheets, and the housekeepers love them,” Teresita Cain said. “Fitted sheets are easier on our bodies.”

While that may be true, if the proposed hotel regulation passes, motel guests in the Golden State may have to ask; “Am I responsible for cleaning my room and how much will I be paid for the service?”

Senate Bill 432 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee in Sacramento.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com California Democrat hopes to pass “On Our Knees” to limit hotel maid’s duties – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/california-democrat-hopes-to-pass-on-our-knees-to-limit-hotel-maid-s-duties#ixzz1Qh0gnfAN

Sheriff Deputy hits illegal drug jackpot-300 pounds worth $9 million

Earlier this week a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle loaded with Methamphetamines and Black Tar Heroin on State Route 347.

Once the vehicle stopped, a front-seat passenger exited the car and fled on foot through the desert. Sheriff spokesman, Tim Gaffney said the “passenger was described as a Hispanic male wearing a blue and grey striped shirt and jeans.”

Deputies apprehended the female driver, Jessica Velasco, without a struggle. Gaffney reported that deputies could see several packages of what they believed to be illegal drugs in plain sight. When questioned about the drugs, Velasco told deputies, “Nothing in the vehicle is mine. The vehicle belongs to my husband, and he is going to be pissed. I’m not a bad guy, (I) just did a bad thing.”

An investigation revealed this bust was part of a larger smuggling operation that curries drugs from Mexico, across the U.S. border illegally, into Pinal County where “it was loaded into a Nissan Armada for delivery to various locations throughout the United States,” according to Gaffney.

The impounded vehicle contained 196.9 pounds of Methamphetamines and 102.65 pounds of Black Tar Heroin.

Velasco was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for one count each of the following; “Possession of a Dangerous Drug, Possession of a Dangerous Drug for Sale, Transportation of a Dangerous Drug, Possession of a Narcotic Drug, Possession of a Narcotic Drug for Sale and Transportation of a Narcotic Drug.”
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She is currently being held on a $500,000 bond.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office turned the case over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), due to the large quantity of seized drugs. These agencies also assisted with the processing and evidence collection.

“We appreciate the assistance of our Federal Law Enforcement partners with this huge seizure,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu. “The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office continues to step up our enforcement efforts against the drug cartels of Mexico. As a result, we were able to seize nearly 9 million dollars worth of illegal drugs before they could be distributed throughout the United States.”

Pinal County is Arizona’s number one pass through county for illegal smuggling of people and narcotics. Sheriff Babeu has stated that his county is home to numerous high-speed chases and increased crime rates directly related to the illegal smuggling practices.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Sheriff Deputy hits illegal drug jackpot-300 pounds worth $9 million – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/sheriff-deputy-hits-illegal-drug-jackpot-300-pounds-worth-9-million#ixzz1QaYpjrAa

San Diego migrant camps expose fire danger of living in canyons

It’s a typical Sunday afternoon in San Diego; the sun is shining, a breeze is blowing and the fire danger is high. Unfortunately, nearby residents recognize that the canyons are teeming with illegal migrant camps and any slip-up could ignite McGonigle canyon.

San Diego is no stranger to fires, in the fall of 2007; the entire region was literally on fire. And it’s only been four years since the devastating fires could be seen from space.

The Southern California wildfires that engulfed San Diego County burned more than 500,000 acres, destroyed 1,500 homes, killed nine people, injured 85 others and sent at least 60 firefighters to the hospital.

The new brittle conditions are certainly setting up a collision course for nearby home owners and illegal migrants who inhabit the canyon preserve.

McGonigle Canyon is located just east of Del Mar and is home to multi-million dollar homes that line the idyllic canyon.

What visitors may miss if they stick to the trails are numerous mini-migrant encampments that are designed to blend into the shrubbery and bushes.

The well-camouflaged camps are littered with fire dangers- open fire pits, propane stoves/grilles, matches and cigarettes. All of these camps are home to numerous empty alcohol bottles and cans.
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Other threatening issues include; propane gas stoves, sanitary issues, drinking, environmental destruction, pollution of the streams and unsavory reading materials (pornographic magazines). Several of these camps contained hats from the 2010 Census Count, leaving open the question of either fraudulent identification or corrupt hiring.

Some local authorities blame the lack of low-cost housing for the illegals living in the canyon, the migrants admit they would not take advantage of low-cost housing because they would rather send their earnings to their families back home.

While the country is currently focusing on the Arizona wildfires that have consumed close to a million acres, the next tragedy may be in San Diego where wet winter conditions has set the stage for extra fuel and deadly fires.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Larry Link murder at New Mexico Stein Ghost Town remains a mystery

It has been just over two weeks since the murder of New Mexico ghost town owner and mainstay in the small New Mexico community. The New Mexico State Police say that they are no closer to solving this senseless crime.

So far the June 7 murder has failed to produce any suspects and the New Mexico State Police are asking the public to come forward with any details.

Spokesperson for the New Mexico Police, Tim Johnson indicated that locals in the region are perplexed that the murder investigation has not produced any leads and “encourages anyone with information to contact the State Police.”

Johnson goes on to say that the ballistics report has not been completed, and they are hopeful that the caliber of the weapon used to murder Link can narrow the search for a suspect.

While there are no suspects in the case, and the State Police say they have no evidence that an illegal alien murdered the beloved ghost town owner; illegal smugglers have been known to pass through that part of the state.
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Those with any information about the Larry Link murder can reach the New Mexico State Police at (575) 524-8827 or to report an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (575) 542-8827.

To read the first story; UPDATE: New Mexico businessman Larry Link murdered on own property – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/breaking-new-mexico-rancher-larry-link-murdered-by-illegal-alien#ixzz1QE7BoOXl

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Larry Link murder at New Mexico Stein Ghost Town remains a mystery – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/larry-link-murder-at-new-mexico-stein-ghost-town-remains-a-mystery#ixzz1QEaJjPt3

San Diego Border Patrol captures two Americans trying to smuggle dope from Mexico

San Diego Border Patrol agents arrested two American citizens, a 19-year-old male and 18-year-old female, yesterday for trying to smuggle approximately 250 pounds of marijuana inside a boat at Shelter Island.

San Diego’s Shelter Island is owned and controlled by the Port of San Diego and provides police and other services for those who do business on the island.

However, Border Patrol agents spotted the suspicious boat yesterday with two people on board near the island. Once the vessel docked agents quizzed the boaters who displayed a suspicious and nervous demeanor.

“A Border Patrol K-9 team performed a cursory inspection of the vessel resulting in a positive alert to the driver and passenger consoles,” said Jerry Conlin, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent. “Agents searched the vessel and discovered 100 bundles of marijuana inside the consoles with a total weight of 241.2 pounds and an estimated street value of $144,720.”
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The suspected drug smugglers, narcotics and boat were taken into custody, and handed over to Homeland Security Investigations’ Marine Task Force, BP Agents reported.

In an effort to prevent drug smuggling by boat, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) retains an aggressive enforcement stance along the coast to identify and arrest traffickers of humans, drugs and other smuggled goods as a part of the Maritime Unified Command (MUC).

To report suspicious maritime activity, call the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 1-800-854-9834.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Obama begins to wind-down the costly war in Afghanistan (Final in a series)

For antiwar groups, the President’s address to the nation was somewhat welcome news; the ever-increasing unpopularity of the war opened the door to common sense. On the other hand, critics called Obama’s speech a road map for insurgents to plan their takeover of the Afghan government.

The dilemma for commanders on the ground centers on the classification of the 10-year war. A mission change is in the works and military leaders will now shift the counterinsurgency strategy to a more stealthy counter-terrorism position.

Afghanistan’s corrupt government, lack of infrastructure and tribal tendencies have met a predictable ending- a U.S. troop departure, a small victory toppling the Taliban and killing Osama bin Laden.

General David Petraeus outlined the requirements for a successful counterinsurgency strategy in a 2006 military handbook. “As the counterinsurgent gains success, offensive and defensive operations become more in balance and eventually diminish in importance compared to stability operations.”

It has been five years since Petraeus wrote the Manual on Counterinsurgency and Afghanistan remains in the hands of corrupt leaders who provide economic and security failures for its people. Afghan President Hamid Karzai continues to swindle the American people by requesting billions of dollars for nation building; however, there has been little progress with building infrastructure in the past 10 years.

According to the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development in Afghanistan, the foreign aid dispensed to Afghanistan amounted to $320 million each month and the monthly military tab is approximately $10 billion. Other money earmarked for the corrupt Karzai government is a $19 billion slush fund that is included in the U.S. aid package, most of it coming under the Obama Administration for its counterinsurgency approach.

America’s love affair with exporting democracy has sent the nation into an economic abyss. In the case of Afghanistan, a 2003/04, a plan hatched by Army Lt. COL Anthony Shaffer could have saved taxpayers billions of dollars. His book entitled “Operation Dark Heart,” reported that Pakistan officials were meddling in the Afghan War and were not friends of the U.S. “They were playing both sides of the war efforts,” COL Shaffer said. Had COL Shaffer’s intelligence of the Afghan War effort been heeded by military leaders at the top, U.S. troops could have shifted their tactics and avoided a troop surge.

Evidence that the Department of Defense did not want COL Shaffer’s 2003/04 plan to find its way into civilian ranks came in the form of the heavily-redacted book “Operation Dark Heart.” The tell-all book chronicled gritty details regarding Pakistan’s and U.S. complicity with insurgents.

Many lawmakers as well as, Johnny Come Lately politicians, are arguing that the Afghan War’s focus should be on Pakistan’s unsavory alliance with the Taliban and al Qaeda. By focusing on terrorist organizations, the U.S. can unleash special op teams, and reduce the number of boots on the ground.

“There cannot be a gradual drawdown of troops without a change in mission objectives,” said Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Successfully implementing a counterinsurgency strategy is near impossible without enough Marines and soldiers to see it through. On the other hand, counterterrorism operations linked to a more simplified set of objectives is sustainable with a significantly smaller force size.”

Hunter continues to explain that a drawdown is on the horizon, and the military must narrow its objectives in Afghanistan. “These objectives should consist of making sure the enemy cannot get back on its feet, strengthening the Afghan military and stabilizing Pakistan. We can do all of this with a much smaller footprint, utilizing special operations forces, intelligence gathering capability and air assets.”

Hunter contends the situation on the ground has changed and, “what might have seemed like a good strategy years or even months ago is not showing the level of success that justifies continuing the mission with such a large troop presence. The time has come for a change in strategy that begins with a departure from nation-building and counterinsurgency operations – the centerpiece of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan since Mr. Obama took office.”

Corruption fuels instability

Afghanistan’s corruption is legendary. The war-torn tribal nation provides fertile fields for training terrorists and growing poppies, is home to al Qaeda, and is where the 9/11 plotters hatched their terrorist attack on America. But sadly, in the worst kept secret in Central Asia, the U.S. condones and encourages the growing of poppies (the base ingredient for heroin and cocaine) paying billions to Taliban insurgents and warlords for convoy protection. We do so, not to keep the poor farmers happy, but to line the pockets of the Taliban, warlords, and the Karzai government. In other words, Americans are fighting and dying protecting the poppy fields.
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“More declared cash flies out of Kabul each year than the Afghan government collects in tax and customs revenue nationwide. It’s not like they grow money on trees here,” said one U.S. official investigating the corruption and Taliban. “A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen. And opium (poppies), of course.”

President Hamid Karzai sees the money changing hands differently. “Making money is fine and taking money out of the country is fine. The relatives of government officials can do this, starting with my brothers. But there’s a possibility of corruption.”

If this is true why does America/NATO continue to send billions of dollars to such a corrupt country? This scenario implies the American government chose its political elites poorly and the continuation of business as usual will only leave disenfranchised Afghan civilians inflamed at the U.S.

According to separate Congressional and Senate reports, the American government pays more than $2 billion for Host Nation Trucking (HNT) or in layman’s terms, private security firms that protect U.S. military convoys and materials in dangerous tribal areas.

A report titled “Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan” was published by Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) in June of last year. The report detailed the billions of dollars spent to protect U.S. military supply convoys in Afghanistan- the majority of the money is paid by the DOD through defense contractors and finds its way into the hands of Taliban leaders and warlords.

The Senate Armed Services Committee also sent staffers to investigate the “convoy protection” issue. Their report titled, “Inquiry into the Role and Oversight of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan” concluded the U.S. pays trucking contractors billions of dollars a year, much of it ends up in the hands of local warlords.

Two U.S. administrations have now promised a “hearts and minds” and “nation building” campaigns and to date both have subverted the ability to impose a military solution. This role is fraught with disappointments since it implies that the U.S. and allied forces will provide the Afghan people with an effective government, root out corruption, create a westernized Afghan military, value women’s rights and ensure fair elections.

It has been 10 years since America waded into the Middle East Wars, and the ability to achieve victory continues to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Part one- http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/u-s-troops-fight-and-die-to-preserve-shariah-law-afghanistan

Part two- http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/us-payments-to-taliban-afghan-warlords-threaten-american-nato-troops

Part three- http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/billion-dollar-corruption-within-the-u-s-picked-afghan-regime

Part four- http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/terrorism-s-down-payment-the-form-drugs-and-u-s-aid-money-part-4

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Obama begins to wind-down the costly war in Afghanistan (Final in a series) – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/obama-begins-to-wind-down-the-costly-war-afghanistan-final-a-series#ixzz1Q9m8JYNF

Fire gate – Hidden camera video shows a link between smugglers and the Arizona wildfires

With close to a million acres scorched in Arizona, lawmakers as well as law enforcement officials are taking heat for stating that the worst wildfires in the state’s history were started by suspected illegal aliens.

Last weekend Senator John McCain (R-AZ) pointed his finger directly at illegal aliens and said they are either getting cold at night or trying to distract law enforcement from other illegal activity- namely drug smuggling.

As a result of this admission, Senator McCain was lambasted by both liberal media and open border activists. However, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever quickly defended the Senator and said the evidence is overwhelming.

The statement that landed McCain in hot water took a direct shot at illegal border crossers. “There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by the people who have crossed our border illegally. The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border,” he said.

Dever confirmed McCain’s theories and told reporters that “When this fire was started, Montezuma National Monument was closed. The forest around it was closed… So, whoever started the fire was there illegally.” He continued to explain that the fire started near the U.S./Mexico border and the only people “traveling in that area were smugglers or illegal aliens.”

The residents, ranchers and Border Patrol Agents this reporter talked to in the field the pass few days, clearly stated illegal aliens/drug smugglers started many if not all of the Arizona wildfires.

One rancher said, “In some cases, these wildfires can be caused by lightning strikes, but we haven’t had rain for weeks.”

Several other agents in the field explained that calls came into the office that illegals in distress started signal fires in more than one instance. “We just got another call today from illegals that started a fire because they were lost. In other cases, illegal aliens create a diversion fire, so drug smugglers can get their dope across the border,” said one agent who didn’t want his name divulged for fear of retaliation.
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Confirming this scenario is raw footage taken from a Secure Border Intelligence (SBI) hidden camera. The new footage was taken in the forest wilderness near Nogales, Arizona that has been closed by officials and it shows suspected smugglers crossing in front of a SBI camera. Shortly thereafter the viewer can see the fire raging pass the camera. (View footage here)

A representative from Secure Border Intel suggests the federal government has not secured the border south of these wilderness areas, putting communities in danger in Arizona.

While media outlets are reluctant to identify illegal aliens as the most likely suspects in these fires, residents, law enforcement and ranchers have all drawn the same conclusion- the fires are started by suspected illegal aliens and drug smugglers.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

To visit Secure Border Intelligence; http://secureborderintel.org/

Continue reading on Examiner.com Hidden camera video shows a link between smugglers and the Arizona wildfires – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/fire-gate-who-really-started-the-arizona-wildfires-caught-on-hidden-camera#ixzz1Q4cASZhz

San Diego Border Patrol Agent kills an illegal border crosser in self defense

The San Diego Police Department has taken over the overnight shooting death investigation, where a Border Patrol Agent shot and killed a Mexican National. The illegal alien allegedly crossed the international border fence one-and-half miles east of the San Ysidro port of entry.

Border Patrol Agents reported that the agent on the scene encountered three illegal border crossers. Once the agent, who has not been identified yet, proceeded to question the suspects, the men fled and threw several large rocks.

The Border Patrol Agent immediately called for back-up, according to the San Diego Police Department. Once the second agent arrived, police say two suspected illegal aliens fled back into Mexico, and a third threw rocks and a large piece of wood with exposed nails.

A struggled ensued during the apprehension of the third assailant, and the BP Agents were pelted with rocks and wood, according to SDPD homicide Lt. Ernie Herbert.

The Border Patrol Agent, who was first at the scene, fired his gun, killing an illegal border crosser after the agents were under attack. The suspect fell onto the Mexican side of the border where officials say he succumbed to his injuries.

The injured agent was treated for his injures and later released.

Herbert said, one suspect was arrested, but his name has not been released.
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Neither Border Patrol Agent has been named, according to the San Diego Police Department who has taken over the investigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union called for the Border Patrol to review its shooting policy regarding rock throwers (on the Mexican side of the fence) and eluded that agents may have used excessive force.

San Diego Border Patrol is no stranger to the daily barrage of illegal border crossers, in fact, BP Agent Robert Rosas was murdered in July of 2009 by illegal smugglers just yards from the U.S./Mexico fence.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the violence Border Patrol Agents face while securing the nation’s southern border every day.

San Diego Border Patrol has not released any more information and are expected to have a press conference later today.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com San Diego Border Patrol Agent kills an illegal border crosser in self defense – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/san-diego-border-patrol-agent-kills-an-illegal-border-crosser-self-defence#ixzz1Q2M1peSO

Democrats, political favors & guns- Fabio Nunez leads the way in Sacramento

It hasn’t taken former assemblyman Fabio Nunez much time to embroil himself in another controversial piece of legislation. First, the assemblyman used his close personnel relationship with Governor Schwarzenegger to get his son pardoned from murdering a fellow college student, and now the disgraced state lawmaker has taken on the airgun/Airsoft and BB gun industry.

When it comes to the firearm industry, State Senator Kevin deLeón (D-22nd) can always find new ways to insult voters and this time he has allowed former Republican Assemblyman-turned lobbyist, Nunez, to add an amendment to SB798 excluding his clients in the paintball industry and saving them millions of dollars.

Nunez’ new employer, Mercury Public Affairs, a lobbying firm, has amended SB 798 exempting his client’s paintball guns from the proposed state coloration requirement. Meanwhile, those who are unable to curry political favor in Sacramento are stuck with the tab, one that will put some manufacturers out of business.

The latest controversial legislation, SB 798, takes aim at the wildly popular BB guns, airguns and Airsoft gun industry. The bill is sponsored by California State Senator deLeón, the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,

a long-time political ally of Nunez and de León.

SB 798 was proposed in response to the December 18, 2010 shooting of a Los Angeles 13-year-old boy by a LAPD Officer who thought the child was carrying a firearm. However, the child’s weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told The Los Angeles Times after the shooting; “We have seen far too much heartbreak involving these types of realistic-looking guns that are labeled as toys.”

Nevertheless, this unfortunate accident sparked another controversial idea from the LAPD- making airguns, Airsoft guns, BB devices and other toy guns conform to a new regulation. SB 798 addresses this issue by requiring BB guns to be brightly colored, adhering to the same laws and regulations used for imitation firearms. The new regulation would force manufacturers to retool their plants and paint the exterior of the airguns/Airsoft device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue or bright pink.

“SB 798 will help keep our communities safe,” said de León the bill’s sponsor. “This (bill has) brought us one step closer to preventing tragic accidents, especially the shooting of minors and young adults, by law enforcement officers.”

While there is no proof that painting Airsoft/airguns or BB guns would result in fewer accidents, its consequences punish manufacturers who are on record stating this legislation will cost them millions of dollars.

These critics argue that “SB 798 would result in a huge, unjustifiable loss of income for private businesses, a loss of jobs and a loss of tax revenue for the state. For the Airsoft industry alone, this would amount to approximately $175 million in lost business revenue and close to 300 direct jobs in California. California’s economy would further suffer from the loss of related business revenue in office supplies, transportation services, food services, printing services, and other economic venues.”

In addition to the loss revenue, California taxpayers will certainly have to cover the court costs associated with this bill. Airgun/Airsoft manufacturers said they will go to court if necessary in order to preserve their business rights’. Furthermore, federal law preempts state law in this subject area thus placing SB798 on a collision course with federal statutes.

Earlier this year overzealous California lawmakers tried to regulate the sales of gun ammunition with AB 962 only to lose in Fresno Superior Court. Judge Jeffery Hamilton ruled the heavy-handed regulation of ammunition sales was deemed unconstitutional.
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Yet, Senator de León continues to waste tax-payers monry and resources in the pursuit of new laws that will not hold up under the scrutiny of the courts.

Even though the new legislation targets BB guns, imitation firearms, Airsoft, airguns and other pellet guns, the firearm industry as a whole is strongly opposed to the proposed changes. California Association of Firearm Retailers, BB gun manufactuers, retailers, law enforcement and consumers and Soft Air USA and Airgun Information International have all come out in opposition to the draconian legislation that will not prevent future accidental shootings by the LAPD.

While SB 798 is currently being promoted as a public safety bill, there have been no studies that say changing the color of a toy gun prevents accidents. In fact, a 1990 study finds, “Toy guns, Involvement in Crime and Encounters with the Police’ conducted by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that the coloration of toy guns does not result in a decrease in the shooting of children possessing toy guns by law enforcement officers.”

Some highlights of the study included law enforcement officers are taught to assume that all objects that look like a firearm are real weapons. In every case where officers used deadly force in a toy gun confrontation, the ‘triggering element’ in the officer’s decision to shoot was the action of the person. Without exception, all officers interviewed during the study said that officers must be taught to assume that all weapons they encounter are real. It was continually emphasized that training officers to try to distinguish between real and toy guns during an encounter would be an officer safety factor and an increased potential threat to the public. Officers are trained that anyone can pose a threat with a gun regardless of age or sex. Thus, officers are told that even when encountering a youth with a gun, it should be treated as a life-threatening circumstance.”

On the other hand, manufacturers claim that the criminal will try to outsmart police and refinish their guns to look like the airgun/Airsoft devices; this may cause an officer to hesitate and give the criminal a deadly edge.

Internationally recognized airgun expert, Dr. Robert D. Beeman Ph.D. concurred and said, “As an independent airgun expert, I oppose Senate Bill 798 because it would create a false and dangerous sense of security concerning airguns capable of serious human injury and death… It would increase accidents and incidents of serious injury and death among both the general public and police officers.” He continued to explain that, “This is primarily a behavior problem, not a product problem. Proper behavior virtually eliminates the danger attributed to such products. In any case, traditional airguns firing metallic projectiles should be exempted from SB 798 for safety reasons.”

In the end, California lawmakers have come up with another bill that over-regulates the BB device and airgun industry and encourages manufacturers to leave the embattled state, robbing residents of precious jobs and much-needed tax revenue.

Perhaps if Assemblyman Nunez’s son would have used a pink weapon his victim may have had enough time to run away from his killers?

SB 798 bill will be heard on June 21 in the Assembly Public Safety Committee the same day that an airsoft retailers “Airsoft Megastore” CEO Mike Zhang was selected as a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year award. It’s ironic this award could occur in Beverly Hills the same day the committee votes to send another industry out of the state.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Democrats, political favors & guns- Fabio Nunez leads the way in Sacramento – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/democrats-political-favors-fabio-nunez-leads-the-way-sacramento#ixzz1PYV5yDWu

D.C. lawmakers move to implement E-Verify for some government contracts

In an effort to protect American jobs, the U.S. Congress adopted an amendment to the FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that mandates the government hold contractors accountable by using the E-Verify program.

The Amendment was successfully introduced by Congressman Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss). “This is a common-sense amendment that simply uses the appropriations process to enforce the E-Verify system that is currently in place. While nearly 14 million Americans are looking for work, research estimates that more than 7 million illegal aliens hold jobs in the U.S. workforce.”

Rep. Nunnlee says the Amendment will help eliminate illegal employment that is costing U.S citizens jobs and money.

“Illegal employment is one of the driving forces of illegal immigration and a contributing factor to our nation’s current debt problem. Illegal immigrants use our medical services, draw on state and federal assistance and take advantage of our educational system for their children – all at the cost of hardworking taxpayers,” Nunnlee said. “As a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, I am committed to identifying legislative solutions that address the issue of illegal immigration. Similar E-Verify language has been included in the Homeland Security bill, and this amendment is a step in the right direction.”

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine the eligibility of that employee to work in the United States, according to DHS’s website.
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The easy to use, web-based, E-Verify program is a free verification service offered by DHS and the Social Security Administration. While the program is voluntary for most employers, those seeking certain government contracts must enroll their future employees. The process is straightforward and takes less than a minute per identification and is 96.9 percent accurate.

To date more than 238,000 employers are enrolled in E-Verify, with more than 16 million queries run through the system in 2010. So far this year there have been more than three million cases run through the system.

The Amendment to Energy and Water Appropriations Bill offered by Congressman Alan Nunnelee read; “None of the funds made available under this Act may be expended for any new hire by any Federal agency funded in this Act that is not verified through the E-Verify Program established under section 403(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note).”

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak

Continue reading on Examiner.com D.C. lawmakers move to implement E-Verify for some government contracts – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/d-c-lawmakers-move-to-implement-e-verify-for-some-government-contracts#ixzz1POZs9rJW

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