We recently reported that the Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee hastily tried to ratify a rule change that would have transferred oversight responsibilities for trial court spending from the Council’s most representative advisory body, the Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee (TCBAC), to the moribund and reclusive Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency. We joined with a number of other groups, including labor organizations and the TCBAC itself, in publicly opposing the proposal. In the wake of the State Auditor’s sweeping critique of the manner in which the Council and the AOC handle trial court money, we believed that the proposal would have represented a giant step backward in the campaign to make the AOC more transparent and accountable.
We are happy to learn that the E&P Committee is backing down. In the face of vocal opposition, E&P has decided to shelve the proposed rule change.
The Alliance has taken up the fight to reform the AOC and the Judicial Council on another front. Having fought hard to bring about the audit in the first place, we’ve been working behind the scenes in Sacramento during the budget process to bring about the State Auditor’s recommendations for restructuring the AOC. Toward that end, the Alliance has retained Aaron Read and Associates of Sacramento, a firm with an excellent track record and a solid reputation, to help us spread our message of reform. The AOC has 11 full-time employees at its disposal in its Office of Governmental Affairs, so we determined that a retained lobbyist was essential to bolster our presence at the Capitol and provide legislators with a more complete narrative. We remain confident that our work with the Legislature will result in increased funding, as well as greater autonomy and flexibility, for our locally based trial court system.
Directors, Alliance of California Judges
A note from JCW: I’m going to speculate that there is some rule that prohibits these fine citizens from actively soliciting donations to pay for a lobbyist. A hint you already probably guessed at – we’re not one of them. We’re not under contract, paid by, sponsored by or bound to the ACJ in any way. We’re not members of the ACJ and we’re surely not judges. We’re a small, progressive, independent media company that donates both our time and money to fix this broken branch.
So we’re going to do what we’re speculating that they can’t do and that is to ask you paypal these fine citizens a few bucks to keep that lobbyist hammering away in Sacramento towards judicial council reform. It should be a relatively simple task against 11 judicial council lobbyists as it tends to be effortless to tell when they’re lying because their lips are moving. It’s time to send Darth Huffman and his brown-nosing old guard entourage packing back to the rocks they crawled out from under.
To our well to do friends at Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, Microsoft, Genentech and elsewhere: donate generously and often to this non-tax deductible cause to reform these broken systems with new blood, fresh ideas and democracy.
To our friends in the public service sector including the courts: Please contribute what you can or get your brothers and sisters on board to reform this train wreck.
On behalf of JCW we want to thank you in advance for your support!