Justice For Sale & Shoplifting Politicians

Posted on October 29, 2011

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 It’s been a slow week for news. Nonethess, our first news story is about the richest man in Los Angeles. Doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong is a billionaire who made his money the easy way, primarily by manufacturing and marketing a controversially priced new breast cancer drug Abraxane and by selling his controlling interests in both Abraxis BioPharma and generic drug maker APP Pharmaceuticals. He is also part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

By some accounts his net worth is floating somewhere around six billion. It also appears that Mr. Soon-Shiong is no stranger to litigation in the California Courts system. Dr. Soon-Shiong is apparently entering into discussions over the next 12 or so weeks to commit about 1% of the cost of CCMS’s estimated 2 billion dollar deployment costs and possibly house CCMS data in his own datacenter in exchange for some yet to be discussed benefit. As we discussed much earlier, we anticipated an attempt to privatize this publicly funded project for some yet undisclosed benefit but we had figured that it might have been Deloitte that was to be the benefactor in such an arrangement and would be making the first move. After all, the AOC is paying Deloitte about the same amount of money the good doctor is ponying up every 20 weeks.

We loathe to see what kind of deal will ultimately come out of these discussions, nor do we believe that any deal should be entered into by any of the parties without being a fully transparent arrangement that is publicly vetted in a public meeting separate from a Judicial Council meeting as well as a separate vote of the council themselves. If it is apparent that the good doctor has something to gain as a result of his philanthropic gesture, like control and marketing rights of all data of the California Courts system, then Houston we have a big problem and maybe such a benefit should be put out to public bid as the people might be able to get more for that data than the 20 million being discussed. Funding the balance of the entire project would be a more philanthropic gesture than funding just one percent, amounting to twenty weeks of Deloitte development costs. Surely, a gentleman with savvy business acumen and six billion dollars in cash on hand could take over the project such as this, complete it and deploy it in the courts at his own cost and do so more efficiently than the AOC could ever do. He would have a stake in completing it because it is ALL of his own philanthropic monies that would fund the balance of the project. As it is his foundations money that would be at stake – and not public funds – you can rest assured such an endeavor wouldn’t be vaporware that is as haphazardly managed as it has been to date.  We would encourage Dr. Soon-Shiong to carefully consider his offer and be mindful of this well documented mismanagement.

Our second story has to do with a shoplifting politician. I’m sure this story will not assist her in her 2014 bid for the California State Senate to replace the termed out Ellen Corbett. Mary Hayashi is the wife of Alameda Judge Dennis Hayashi. A few days ago, the assemblymember was shopping at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. Other news sources state that the assemblymember representing San Leandro left the store without paying for over $2,500.00 in merchandise. Those sources indicate that the items consisted of leather pants, a skirt and a blouse, to which we might ask: Who is doing the robbing here? $2,500.00 for pants a skirt and a blouse?  The assemblymembers spokesperson indicates that the felony shoplifting arrest is all a misunderstanding. Isn’t that the same thing that Lindsay Lohan’s spokesperson said? It was all a misunderstanding?

We suspect that this case will result in some serious sweeping of charges against the assemblymember, who was key in ensuring that the AOC’s court construction program would not be subject to the public contract code. She did this by taking Assemblymember Gorell’s bill subjecting the AOC to public contract code, gutting it and ramming it through subjecting the AOC to public contract code, yet exempting their construction and facilities maintenance programs. You can do things like that when you’re chair of the public works committee. While we believe that she should immediately step down from her assembly seat, we don’t see any morgue cleaning community service in her future. What do you think about the shoplifting politician? Have you ever left a store without paying for multiple items worth thousands of dollars and it was all a misunderstanding? We didn’t think so.