September 25, 2015

More China Money?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 3:37 pm

Clinton85OpacityOn Thursday, September 24, 2015,  ABC News reported that, “The FBI has arrested a politically prominent Chinese millionaire [Ng Lap Seng], the alleged secret source of foreign money in a campaign finance scandal during the Clinton administration, on charges he lied about why he brought more than $4.5 million in cash into the United States over the last two years.”

Our August 13, 2015, OpenCdA post entitled The Clinton Family Trie (Huang , Hsia, and Riady, Too) reminded readers of the connection between the Clintons and  Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie, a major fundraiser and long-time close friend of the President, who accepted a plea agreement in return for telling how he had routed illegal donations from the PRC to the Clinton Presidential Campaign.  The ABC news story makes the connection between Trie and Ng.

Here is a link to the the federal criminal complaint.

September 24, 2015

Will Port of Hope Move to Post Falls?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 7:20 am

portofhomeOpenCdA has received word that northern Idaho’s Port of Hope, Inc., currently in Coeur d’Alene, has applied for a special use permit to establish a federal residential re-entry center in Post Falls.  We believe this will result in the closure of the Coeur d’Alene facility which has been in operation since 1998.

OpenCdA fully understands the Port of Hope’s apparent desire to leave Coeur d’Alene.  The shameful efforts by members of the City of Coeur d’Alene Planning Commission with help from employees of School District 271 to run Port of Hope out of town in 2013 were documented in this series of OpenCdA posts.   Thankfully, the Coeur d’Alene City Council resoundingly rejected those efforts in its meeting on October 1, 2013.

We hope that the members of the Post Falls Planning & Zoning Commission will look at our posts linked above.   These posts revealed how hysteria and deception can drive a completely unsupported decision in a planning commission hearing.  Our hope is that however the Post Falls Planning & Zoning Commission rules on Port of Hope’s application, the Commissioners’ votes will be based entirely on their objective evaluation of the relevant evidence presented during the hearing.

September 14, 2015

The Ferguson Commission Report

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:08 am

Ferguson Report Here is a link to the 198-page digital version of Ferguson Commission Report.   The print version will be released to the public later today.

Even though the report primarily focuses on the greater St. Louis, MO, area, many of the findings and recommendations are applicable and worthy of consideration throughout the country.

September 13, 2015

Otter’s Veto: Intentionally Illegal?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 7:51 pm

gambling-games1For the reasons we’ve beaten to death in our earlier posts concerning historic horse racing machines in Idaho, OpenCdA agreed with Governor Otter’s decision to veto S 1011 passed during the 2015 legislative session.  That bill repealed Idaho Code § 54-2512A.  His decision to veto the repeal effort was the right one.

However, we also agree with the Idaho Supreme Court’s decision released September 10, 2015, to overturn Otter’s veto.  Otter bungled the veto.  It is impossible for us to believe that an honest, competent, and experienced governor could accidentally or even carelessly mess up the state’s clearly defined veto process.

To OpenCdA it looks as if Governor Clement L. Otter intended for his veto to be unable to withstand the inevitable and ultimately successful legal challenge that was mounted against it. (more…)

September 5, 2015

What’s in a Name?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 7:32 am

diversionignitecdaIn her online newsletter dated September 3, 2015, State Senator Mary Souza offered some advice to the Coeur d’Alene Urban Renewal Agency.

Sen. Souza advised, “Ditch the new name and logo, cancel the PR contract, return to the original name of Coeur d’Alene Urban Renewal Agency. Get rid of the paid consultants, lobbyists and the overpaid executive director position. Hire a manager and a clerical assistant and let’s have the board members stand for public election. We can even pay them a small fee for their time, which would place them under a higher level of the Idaho Ethics law.”

OpenCdA agrees with Senator Souza. (more…)

September 3, 2015

Corruption Investigation — Palm Springs Mayor

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:09 am

PSLogo copyImagine that!  In southern California the Inland Empire Public Corruption Task Force that includes the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office,  and the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office has served a search warrant at the Palm Springs, CA, city hall.

It has been alleged that Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet may have taken a walk on the shady side when he received about $200,000 from a local developer, Richard Meany.  Seems Meany was going to need to purchase some Palm Springs city property for the project, so he hired the Palm Springs mayor to consult with him on the project.   The mayor and council subsequently voted to approve the sale of the property to the developer at a questionable price .

Palm Springs is a resort city with a population of about 46,300 residents in the Coachella Valley.

Fortunately for us in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, nothing like that could ever happen here.  Mayor Steve Widmyer would never have any close ties with any local developer and then be involved in a deal for city land with that developer’s company, right?

August 26, 2015

Pardon Me… ?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 8:33 am

Clinton85OpacityOpenCdA wonders …

Will President Barack Obama pull a Gerald Ford and pardon Hillary Clinton for all violations of specific federal criminal laws involving the almost-certain compromise of classified information in connection with her establishing and using her private email server while she was Secretary of State?

If he does, will her quid pro quo be little more than to quietly accept disqualification from seeking or holding any office under the United States regardless of whether that office is elected or appointed?  Will she also agree to have her security clearance revoked with prejudice and agree to never seek its reinstatement, reissuance, or renewal? (more…)

August 21, 2015

Assessing the Damage to National Security

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:31 pm

Clinton 75opacityAs exemplified by the lede from this Wall Street Journal article on August 19, much of the national skews media have focused their questions on how much damage disclosures about the presumed compromise of Hillary Clinton’s private email server will do to her campaign for President in November 2016.

It’s a reasonable question that goes directly to the question of Clinton’s suitability to have access to national security information, a requirement to be President of the United States, but even that is one which should be further down on the list of more important questions.

In our opinion, the question that should be number one is, “Presuming that all of the emails processed through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server are now in the hands of technically competent foreign intelligence services, how much damage has been done to the national security of the United States?”

Determinations of any criminal, professional, or political liability assignable to Clinton and others entrusted to properly protect national security and other sensitive information all hinge on a full and complete answer to that question. (more…)

August 19, 2015

Berns Doesn’t Act Alone!

Berns for OpenCdaIn this morning’s editorial titled ignite cda:  Transparent as black tape,  the Coeur d’Alene Press skews paper lamented that it has yet again watched LCDC Schlockmeister Tony Berns reprise the role of the Governor in the musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

But Tony Berns does not act alone.  He has been empowered to be arrogant, evasive, and deceptive by the willful or ignorant actions or inactions of past and present members of the LCDC Board of Commissioners.  Here are the current Commissioners.

Berns’ sidestep dance experienced by the Press and recounted in today’s editorial sounds very similar to his response to us as detailed in our May 2007 Whitecaps blog post titled Official Ignorance.

It’s not the first time Berns has pulled the wool over the Press’s eyes.  In December 2006 Berns booted Press reporter Tom Greene from an LCDC Board meeting being held at one of the LCDC Commissioners’ homes.  Berns told Greene he had to leave the meeting because the LCDC was going into executive session.  It wasn’t.  Although the Press reported the deception in articles on December 21, 22, and 23,  an honest and competent editor and publisher would have been screaming for Berns’ head and the resignation in shame of every LCDC Commissioner who went along with it.  Patrick and Thompson didn’t scream; they whimpered.

The LCDC Board of Commissioners (or ignite cda Board of Commissioners if you prefer) have the authority to remove Berns. In our October 11, 2011, OpenCdA post titled Berns Must Go (And He Shouldn’t Go Alone)!, we called for Berns and some Commissioners to leave.  Of course, they didn’t.

In part because of the persistence of some Coeur d’Alene community watchdogs who became elected officials, notably Senator Mary Souza, Councilman Dan Gookin, and Representative Kathy Sims, the antics of Tony Berns and the inattentive cast of clowns at the LCDC/ignite cda have come to the attention of other officials in the state.  What some state officials in the past have dismissed as “just a Coeur d’Alene problem” is now being recognized as symptomatic of larger statewide issues.  In its 2015 session, the Legislature approved the formation of the Urban Renewal Interim Committee, its charge being “To undertake and complete a study of urban renewal plans and issues.”

Regardless of what the Legislature’s Urban Renewal Interim Committee recommends, we hope that Tony Berns and several Commissioners of the LCDC/ignite cda will soon be gone.  They are “underperforming“.

August 13, 2015

The Clinton Family Trie (Huang , Hsia, and Riady, Too)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 5:56 am

Clinton 50opacityCozy associations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are nothing new for either former President Bill Clinton or his wannabe President wife Hillary.  It is only a matter of time until a few people with long memories recall the foreign financial revelations of the 1996 Clinton presidential campaign. The China connections then had little to do with dinner plates.

It was in those revelations the public first learned of the Clinton’s connections with big campaign donors like the Lippo Group’s Mochtar and James Riady who had long-time connections to a Chinese intelligence agency.

The public learned about Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie, a major fundraiser and long-time close friend of the President, who accepted a plea agreement in return for telling how he had routed illegal donations from the PRC to the Clinton Presidential Campaign.

It was in those revelations that the public learned that Los Angeles immigration consultant Maria Hsia and former Democratic National Committee official John Huang had arranged:

“At a fundraising lunch held on April 29, 1996 at the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California, and attended by Vice President Gore, Buddhist monastics illegally funneled $65,000 to the DNC through ‘straw donors’ at the instigation of Hsia, a longtime fundraiser for the Vice President. When press accounts of this donation-laundering appeared, Temple officials altered and destroyed evidence to protect the Temple, Hsia, and the Vice President from embarrassment.”

Parenthetically, for those who think that America’s Indian tribes are morally above donating money to politicians to encourage the pols to stifle competition with tribal casinos, read the major heading The Indian Casino Decision.

The Clinton’s have a long history of questionable ties to the People’s Republic of China.  The PRC and its intelligence agency, the Guoanbu, have long memories and very likely meticulous records, maybe now including some emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, of who received how much money from whom.

It has been almost 20 years since the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign finance scandal.  For most of us, that’s a long time.  For the ChiComs in the PRC, it’s the wink of an eye.

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