Let’s talk fact check again….

Posted on August 9, 2012


From our friends at “Fact Check” over at the AOC-

The AOC’s fact check is something we could spend the next hundred posts picking apart. We’re not going to waste our time doing that because it is all fiction. There is hardly any facts in fact check other than those twisted with another version of the truth. 

Let’s pick just one. Looking at this diagram below, we see that the Judicial Branch’s budget as described last year is only 2.4% of the overall state budget. And the slice just to the right of it? That would be the legislative and executive branches combined at 2.6%

In the diagram below that, this diagram makes the claim that 81% of the Judicial Branch budget goes to the trial courts in 11-12.  It indicates that the AOC’s budget is only 4.2% of the entire judicial branch budget or roughly 133 million last year. However, lets not forget a few things that our esteemed colleagues at the Ministry of Truthiness left out. Since we understand they’re short-staffed these days, we’re going to assist them with their facts.  In the lower diagram, you will note that the facilities maintenance program takes up 6.6% of the judicial branch budget or about 209 million. If one reviews the budgetary documentation for the facilities program, you will note that only 50 million out of this 209 million is actually spent on maintaining courthouses. So where did the remaining 159 million go? Well that went to the AOC for the costs of internal operations to support the program with jobs spread across the entire AOC in fields not even remotely related to construction.  That makes the net amount going to AOC operations of 300 million dollars.

9/12/2012 update: The AOC has deleted the chart that we were linking to from their website. Probably because this post picked it apart.


We’re not done yet. A good chunk of the 7.7% of the budget for the appellate courts and the Supreme Court actually goes back to the AOC for the AOC to support various operations. We’ll conservatively guess only 1% of the appellate court and supreme court budget goes back to the AOC for things like information technology infrastructure services, telecommunications and other clawbacks, helping the AOC’s pot to grow to another 30 million dollars a year. This brings their budget last year to 330 million dollars, rounding out the total of the judicial branch budget at nearly 11% of the judicial branch budget.

Then there are trial court clawbacks out of the 81% of the judicial branch budget. Let’s conservatively estimate that 1% of that total is clawed back to the AOC for any reason they can invent.  We’re guessing it is significantly higher. That would equate to another 25 million bringing the AOC total to 355 million dollars before plucking various trust funds outside of the overall state budget for other things.

We’ve mentioned the agency with a hundred million dollar budget that spends a half of a billion dollars a year only laid off about 36 employees,  encouraged a good amount to retire and take an early buyout, eliminated unfilled positions and rid themselves of a few consultants to come to a total of jobs eliminated of 277.

More than a hundred of those jobs were paper jobs that never existed in the first place.

Yes, there was the tossing of some sacrificial lambs to the wolves, Vickrey, who apparently “retired” but maintains an office on the 4th floor, and Mr. Tonto, his sidekick with the posh Danville back yard. Oh, and we can’t forget “Bluto” who probably put The Donald to shame repeating two words before someone uttered those same words to him.

A couple of “spokespersons” from the Ministry of Truth news studio were given the axe so we all would be able to see and feel the real impact of these devastating AOC layoffs. Calabro retired, Patton retired, a few others retired. What we have seen thus far is only token offerings. There remains a disproportionate amount of managers and senior managers, assistant directors and directors who all inflated their titles and their paychecks with judicial council consent. The SEC report targeted many of those jobs by saying what we’ve been saying all along. These are not the traditional roles or jobs held by directors.

Maybe division managers but that would rock the apple cart. They have to find space in the org chart for assistant directors,  senior managers and managers and they really, really do not want to let any of these people go due to what they know. Combined with benefits, this group alone siphons off about 50 million dollars a year in judicial branch budget.  Some are patronage jobs given to people who could never pass a test for those jobs. Some are former contractors whose main function was to work with the AOC to help separate the trial courts from their money. Some, just because they were a friend of someone like Bill or Ron and still are.

The JC and the Chief Justice incorrectly believes that if these former faces that we all know and loved are no longer out in front, that the problems are solved because after all, the SEC report is “just a snapshot in time” The SEC report indicates lots of these people who need to be getting walking papers. So we’re trying to figure out why people continue to be promoted into these ranks in light of a purported reorg and in the face of the SEC report.

Do they know something we don’t?

So how do we choke the chicken and still get the eggs?

Implement the SEC report and democratize the judicial council.


The Judicial Council/AOC decision tree courtesy of our friends over at Pacific Scentworks.

In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying,
“It is a crock of shit, and it stinks.” 
And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said,
“It is a pail of dung, and we can’t live with the smell.” 
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying,
“It is the container of the excrement, and it is very strong, 
such that none may abide by it.” 
And the Mangers went unto their AOC Directors, saying,
“It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.” 
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying unto the Judicial Council,
“It promotes growth and it is very powerful.”
And the Judicial Council went to the Chief Justice, saying unto her,
“This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the AOC 
with very powerful effects.” 
And the Chief Justice looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And that is how shit happens over at the AOC.