Pravda’s latest epic fail – minions & misinformation

Posted on May 26, 2011

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Now that AOC Pravda propaganda machine has been reorganized under the Executive Office, their voice and ability to distribute their propaganda without someone in the media making a critical analysis of it is unlikely.

So it only makes sense to make your propaganda machine the most effective it can be by distributing your works behind the scenes so that they avoid media scrutiny. When even that experiences an epic fail because savvy media was able to intercept the message, you’re inclined to look in your toolbox and see what else might work.

Divide and conquer has worked in the past. Pointing at your enemy as individuals,  making them out to be politically driven by their own self-interests has worked in the past. Pitting all other courts against Los Angeles has worked in the past. With all of the epic fails that the AOC pravda propaganda machine has encountered lately, why not try all three? What do you have to lose? After all you already announced your retirement. If you get your supporters to launch a whisper campaign where you attempt to use judicial social networking to distribute your message verbally, it completely avoids media scrutiny. Meanwhile you can get your lackeys to decry the legislation in writings and op-eds making the false representation that you can re-arrange Titanic’s deck chairs if only you had more time and more money.

Isn’t it time that heals all wounds?

Behold, yet another epic fail.

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Dear Members and Others:

We are writing this letter to address some concerns we have recently heard about AB 1208.

Critics of AB 1208 are apparently spreading misinformation that the bill has been amended to favor one trial court– the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Opponents of reform within the judicial branch are apparently willing to spread suspicion among trial courts as a means of maintaining the status quo.  This misinformation apparently derives from an amended provision of the bill which requires a two-thirds (2/3) proportional consent by the trial courts before statewide IT or administrative projects may be undertaken with trial court operating funds, but only if those projects are not separately approved by the Legislature in the trial court budgeting process.

AB 1208 benefits each trial court of this state in a balanced manner.  Every judge must first realize that the current funding statutes do not guarantee that any trial court receive a proportional share of appropriated trial court operating funds beyond the county maintenance of effort, which is only a fraction of the money needed to operate each court.  Instead, the AOC through the Judicial Council maintains “discretion” to allocate funding.  Historically, this discretion has been perceived as a means to promote or enforce “cooperation” with AOC initiatives and programs. 
AB 1208 changes this unfairness.  AB 1208 provides that every court of the state will be guaranteed its full share of all funds appropriated by the Legislature for trial court operations with only two exceptions.  First, the bill does nothing to curtail statewide initiatives.  It simply requires that those initiatives be identified by the Judicial Council in the budget process by the Legislature so that all Californians will know in a transparent way what the AOC plans to spend from trial court operating funds for programs other than trial court operationsSecond, if the Legislature has not separately budgeted these items, the trial courts themselves may consent to the expenditure.

Originally, AB 1208 provided that each court could consent or not.  Opponents of the bill argued that this allowed only one court to “opt out,” thereby refusing payment for a statewide initiative, while ultimately reaping any benefits.  In response, the idea was floated that a strong majority of courts should be able to approve of a statewide IT or administrative initiative over the objection of non-consenting courts.  As a compromise, the “two-thirds” element of the bill was amended into the evolving language.  This “2/3” requirement was considered to prevent any one court from either vetoing or imposing a statewide initiative.  The idea of a weighted vote (i.e., 2/3 of the courts, taking into account the size of the courts) is obviously required out of simple fairness.  Of the 58 trial courts in the state, the smallest 30 account for less than 8% of the state’s judges.  The smallest 40 account for only 16% of the state’s judges.  Obviously, then, if democratic principles are to be given more than lip service, a weighted consent is imperative, lest a small percent of the state’s judges set policy for the rest–the exact situation that now exists.

Notwithstanding the obvious fairness of the consent provision, opponents now seize upon the very effort to respond to their criticisms by calling the “2/3” amendment an “LA” benefit.  We find this insulting to the conscientious judges of the Alliance, as well as to judges of the LA Superior Court.  It is clear that nothing short of outright defeat of AB1208 will satisfy those with a vested interest in the status quo.

Opponents will apparently oppose AB 1208’s central feature that guarantees each trial court its fair share of appropriated funding, no matter what other language is added to the bill.  These opponents favor the status quo of centralized bureaucracy and control that denies every trial court the intended right to participate as a partner in its own administration.

Opponents have refused to meet and negotiate the terms of AB 1208.  They then complain when it is amended to address concerns they have raised in the press.  They are categorical and disingenuous in their opposition, and will not be satisfied until it is defeated and the trial courts are relegated to their subservient status to the AOC. 

The Alliance of California Judges is comprised of judges from all over the state.  AB 1208 was originally drafted by judges who are not from Los Angeles.  The idea that the Los Angeles Superior Court is at the center of the bill was first publicly floated several weeks ago–before the bill was even heard in committee or amended– by a long-time Judicial Council member.  It has now been picked up by others.  The Alliance of California Judges remains committed to ensuring trial court rights in the interest of preserving the common law.  We will continue these efforts regardless of any “straw man” arguments raised by opponents.  We challenge opponents of the bill to tell the truth about its provisions rather than continuing to repeat shopworn “divide and conquer” arguments.

We challenge opponents of the bill to step forward and make constructive suggestions about its provisions, and about its implementation, if they are serious about reform.  Their failure to do so reaffirms their commitment to an undemocratic, insular, and out-of-touch bureaucracy.

A copy of AB1208 is attached hereto.

Thank you.

Directors,
Alliance of California Judges