The Lincoln Club asked me questions Lincoln_Club_Questions
August 30, 2010 Mr. Marks,
Thanks for sending along the Lincoln Club packet. As I mentioned in our phone call tonight, the packet did not get to me until hours before the due date. Although your letter may have been written in the distant past, it was dated August 13, postmarked August 16, and delivered on or about August 19. Since there was no way for me to respond by the due date, I have taken some time to look it over and have responded below.
In practice, I respond to every one of the mailers, even the ones for the groups that are inclined to despise me. The internet will back be up on this point: you can easily read my responses from when I ran for FV CC more than a decade ago.
Your note thanks me for seeking the endorsement of the Lincoln Club. That is a bit presumptuous. I never did seek the endorsement of the Lincoln Club. Although several Republicans have endorsed me privately, it is not clear that the endorsement of the Lincoln Club will be of much value in a CC race. The reasons for this are manifold. The FV CC is probably too small a race to worry about. Also, just as the Democrat Party left Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has left lots of us hard-working fiscal conservatives. Under the last Republican President, spending was obscene. Lest you think I am a newcomer to this idea, if you are motivated to do so, you can look up my opinion in this point from my high school valedictory interview in 1983. Is the Lincoln Club full of true fiscal conservatives? If so please consider endorsing me.
As a physicist, engineer, and father of two young children, and as a realist, I say the position of the Lincoln Club “pursuit of limiting government and expanding freedom” is not realistic. What the people of the United States need are leaders that are capable of dismantling the untenable welfare state that has been created by both Republicans and Democrats. The alternative is the financial collapse of the United States and a descent into third-world poverty. This would be bad for the US, but also would be tragic for the rest of the world. Without money, mo longer would good men be able to do anything. Evil would triumph. It was just this week that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff described the current US spending as a security concern. He understated the problem.
Work to have the Lincoln Club embrace reality! Demand the Lincoln Club promote a hard fiscal conservatism. Why would the party of small government so prominently assume I had a Campaign Committee Name? We need small government ideas and actions, not the sort of expansive party machine that assumes and promotes large government. The details of your questionnaire belie your mindset. Speaking the truth, despite the ugly nature of the truth, should not be considered a political liability. If the Lincoln Club does not have the political capitol to speak the truth to the electorate, perhaps it should simply disband and thus permit its members to golf more.
Looking at the first page of the CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE – 2010, I see a bit more presumptuous writing. Take my advise, at least for this election cycle. Leave the presumptuous writing and flim-flammery to the Democrat Party: they are better at it. (Note: I have some experience on this point. My mother’s uncle was Speaker of the US House of Representatives.) Practice humility, and do not presume I must have a campaign committee.
Yes, of course I understand that providing information to the Lincoln Club does not constitute an endorsement.
A summary response to the first page is: Frank Perdicaro is running for Fountain Valley City Council in the 2010 general election. Contact me by mail at xxxx xxxxxx Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at home at xxx xxx xxxx. My budget goal is zero dollars, and I have raised zero dollars. My campaign platform is like that of the Lincoln Club, but only more so. We must return fiscal sanity to the US at the Federal, State and Local levels.
Privately several people have endorsed me. In the past I have spoken to Dana Rohrabacher more than a few times. He has not endorsed me because there was no political value in upsetting any of the existing sitting members of the FVCC. Dana and I agree on many points, but he is a stronger politician. The same sort of thing goes for Kermit Marsh. He and I recently (at the Beach Cities Friends of the NRA event last month) lamented the fiscal, politician and mental weakness of the Republican Party. Guy Carrazzo my direct opponent for election to the FVCC, signed my nomination papers. I consider that a good endorsement. As a result of my long-term work debunking the Global Warming Scare, Anthony Watts, owner and editor of the largest science blog on the internet, personally endorses my candidacy.
As an independent, I find myself in a bit of a Groucho Marx situation: I am not sure I want the endorsement of any political party that would endorse me! Both the Republicans and the Democrats have screwed things up terribly. (At least at the national level. The California Republicans have only screwed up in the hundreds of billions of dollars, unlike the national Democrat and Republican parties, which have screw things up in the tens of trillions of dollars range.)
Although it is not in the questionnaire, I would like to get a few important points out early. Our Governator put up a web site early on in his gubernatorial career seeking input from the general public on how to trim the State budget. Unlike lots of people, I took this problem seriously and spent quite a bit of time re-working the structure of the State of California. I have a detailed plan which reduces the complexity of the State from the 500+ Departments, Boards, Commissions, Divisions, etc. it currently has to exactly 11 (eleven) Departments. California is governable, but only if we want it to be. The current “ungovernable” state is not ordained from above. It is a creation of man and can be fixed by man. Additionally, I have spend quite a bit of time working on the California bankruptcy concept. I have personally spoken with two Senators, two Assemblymen, the Office of the Governor (six times) and a few lobbyists. John Moorlach and I are waiting for a response from the Attorney General on a few details. A few minutes with Google will get you my notes on the mechanical considerations of bankruptcy.
For my CV, please read about me on LinkedIn.com. See http://www.linkedin.com/in/frankperdicaro If you check in the ZIP archive, you will find a campaign flyer.
Now on to the meat of your questions. You proposed a dozen questions, and I answer them below.
1) Yes, but emphatically. I would support repeal of then-Governor Brown’s ruling that California State employees can unionize. Further, I would support a cancellation of President Kennedy’s EO permitting Federal employees to unionize.
2) Not an incumbent.
3) City finance should be public record. The current status of the city should be available as a spread sheet every second of every day. (Not in a proprietary, for-pay form like Microsoft Excel, but in an open, free form like Open Office Calc.) City Council should review the financial status of the city at every meeting.
4) Yes, do all the privatizing possible. The purpose of government is to secure the liberties of the people, not to guarantee employment for well-connected local citizens.
5) In addition to sending official delegates to the Assembly chambers to throw stink bombs (a mixture of cadaverine and putrescine in a mineral oil dispersant should get the point across without being toxic) the city should cut expenditures.
6) 12% is a good start.
7) For this question, I suggest you watch my presentation to the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce, which should be showing up on local cable channel 3 every few days. The City should have an estimating system that takes into account all the costs with opening, expanding and sustaining a business. The system should have 0-day, 90-day and 1-year costs for start-up and should have a way to determine marginal cost per added employee, per added square foot, per added parking space, per added dollar of revenue, and similar common business metrics. These should be on a web site so businesses can estimate cost. Then these should be compared to surrounding cities. If Fountain Valley is not the low-cost leader, it should change its policies so the total cost involved in opening, running or expanding a business is lowest, or nearly lowest.
8) I see no reason to expand or increase any tax, fee, levy, etc, where these are controlled by the City. Government at all levels takes too much money from tax payers. In the case where the City is a pass-through agent, like water service, the City has no real discretion: the City must raise rates to pass on the costs it pays.
9) Private property rights are the backbone of US legal system, but are under constant attack from a growing state. In a system, like ours, where government is granted power by the people, the government should always be the last party to accumulate property rights. This basic concept has faded from the public mind, and now governments all across the US feel free to steal in order to promote and expand their influence. Kelo v. City of New London was an abomination, but no more so than the granting of nonsensical “redevelopment” favoritism throughout the county. The state continues to abolish the concept of private property by declaring everyplace that is not enclosed with a locking door or gate and is not shielded by opaque roof and walls to be a public place. This has been done for cell phones and firearms, along with alcoholic beverages. All of these decisions need to be reversed, and the parties that have had their rights violated should be compensated.
10) Fountain Valley is almost totally “built out”, meaning that the general plan for developing the city from farmland into mixed residential/commercial use is nearly complete. For residential development, the City has valid purposes ensuring building codes are maintained, but the purpose of the city should not be to restrict or discourage maintenance or adoption of new technologies. For example, the City should not actively thwart the installation of solar systems. For commercial development, yes it is a valid purpose of the City to promote tax-paying industry in the city. Both retail and manufacturing should be promoted. The promotion should not be without planning and without thought. Impact on traffic patterns, electrical, sewer, water and data systems should be considered. Noise impacts and visual blight should be considered. There are a few other commercial areas where the city should concern itself. To the extent that is possible, the City should be openly hostile to the current status of Wickard v. Filburn, especially where small production of food and solar electricity is concerned. The City should NOT seek to collect business taxes for workers telecommuting, working in their houses.
11) No. Eminent Domain should be used only for valid public purposes, like building of roads used by the general public.
12) For decades now I have repeated The purpose of government is to secure the liberties of the people. This is at least as true today as it was in the last year, last decade or last century. The purpose of government is not to seek to expand itself by taxing the many and bribing the few, regardless of how good any government worker might feel about doing so.
A) Perhaps the single most important thing local government can do for the people is to explain just how bad the legal situation is. The laws, rules and regulations that govern us are so voluminous as to be incomprehensible. No human can read or understand the laws of the State of California: there simply is not enough time in one life to read them. It is not even possible to understand a cursory summary of the law. Law has become unknowable, and thus meaningless, to most citizens. At the City, County, State and Federal levels we have attained, and surpassed the situation postulated by Hamilton.
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.
At each and every meeting the City Council should send a resolution to the County, State and Federal governments demanding a radical simplification of laws, regulations and rules.
B) The legal maze has made it possible to hide the cost of government. Each session of the City Council should make clear the current and future costs of existing laws and regulations. Where it is impossible to understand future costs, the program, law or regulation should be repealed.
C) As I speak with businessmen and contractors in the City, they tell me it is hard to understand the cost of doing business with Fountain Valley. The City should make a program available both in written and on-line form which shows the 0-day, 90-day and 1-year cost of starting, running and expanding a business in Fountain Valley. These costs are know to the City code inspectors and City business offices, but are very poorly expressed to the potential businesses.
D) Like the cost of business, the cost of living in Fountain Valley is a bit of a mystery. It should be easy for the City to show costs and benefits for its citizens. This could be done on-line, and the information could be expressed as costs and revenues per household, per citizen, per resident, per taxpayer, per student, per retiree, etc.
E) The current City CCW policy is based on explicitly racist laws passed in the 1920s. Having worked on this issue for years with the Fountain Valley City Council, I can assure you there is no rational basis, no analysis, no reasoned policy, and no thinking at all associated with the
current policy. The Heller and McDonald decisions, along with the pending Pena, Peruta, Sykes, and other decisions, place the City in a position of unlimited liability, both as an incorporated entity and personally for each member of the City Council and personally for the Chief of Police. If elected, I will work tirelessly to adopt and implement Constitutional Carry, a shall-issue carry policy for every non-prohibited person living in the City.
F) To the maximum extent possible, the City should encourage the development of solar power generation. The modern panel-inverter systems like those offered by Enphase Energy and Exeltech, make solar power attractive. There should be no fees, taxes, or assessments on the installation of photovoltaic systems, just as there are no taxes on the installation of floor lamps, refrigerators, and telephones.
G) Graffiti remains a problem in southern California, and Fountain Valley is not immune. When elected, I will support the adoption of very strong anti-graffiti laws. The laws would be paid for by suitably large fines on taggers and (as may be required for minors) on their parents. The program would included testing of the chemical composition of paint, and testing of spray paint containers for fingerprints.
Graffiti bounties should be increased by a factor of 10, and there should be no limit on the number of bounties awarded. Since Graffiti removal almost always costs more than than $400, and thus triggers the CPC Felony Vandalism provision, taggers should always be considered fleeing felons.
Thanks for your consideration.