Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Baldwin Park Council Members Eat Fine Steak: The Poor Pay Their Tab

Baldwin Park Public Officials, with Teri Muse
 HoldingBig, Fatty Waste Management Check
On Jan. 29, 2016, Council Member Ricardo Pacheco, and Council Member Raquel Garcia (aka Monica Garcia) were caught eating at one of the most expensive restaurants in Santa Barbara - Lucky's Steakhouse. They were caught ordering the top shelf steak and drinking fine wine. Lucky's Menu

The Council Members drove to Santa Barbara and stayed at the Double Tree Fess Parker, one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive hotel, in the area. It's $350 a night. That was directly on city money. In contrast, the residents of Baldwin Park make about $13,000 a year. One month at the Fess Parker buys the average resident a year of housing in Baldwin Park.

The purpose of their "city" business was to go to a conference. But in actuality, big business threw the conference to unduly influence their votes - to sell our city bit by bit.

A good example of this would be Waste Management contracts with the City. Coincidentally, also spotted at Lucky's Restaurant was Teri Muse, who is a representative of Waste Management and point person for Baldwin Park. It can be assumed that she picked up the tab, which was about $100 USD per person because the Mayor and Council Members don't want to be caught charging the city for it. But in actuality, we still pay for it. Here's how.

Like the old saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch, or free dinner in this case. If you remember back, the Legal Lens wrote about the $1 Million donation that came through from Waste Management to the City. Well, that was after the City awarded Waste Management, the exclusive contract, for ten years, without going out to bid, I might add. After getting the contract, Waste Management turns around and raises the waste rates on the citizens. This was a Legal Lens exclusive - that no newspaper wanted to cover and can be read here: The City of Baldwin Park Illegally Extends Waste Management Contract

Let's do some trend analysis here. The trend is that politicians want to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous, even though they're really poor and trashy. They don't want to get caught. So, they have to cover up the money trail. They do this through a corporate representative, in this case, Teri Muse from Waste Management. Irwindale, neighboring city of Baldwin Park, played the same game. The Irwindale Council Members spent a quarter of a million living the high roller life on Broadway, New York, by getting a consultant to cover the costs and later having the City reimburse that private consultant. (Read about it here: Where did the money go?) Here, with Baldwin Park, Waste Management unduly influences our politicians, and they raises the residents' trash rates so that it could make huge profits.

I'm writing this article because even though you may not live in Baldwin Park or care about it, this is what's happening everywhere in the United States. Wealthy corporations are buying the votes of our public officials, through the mechanisms outlined above. Just look into the Clinton Foundation, all the money it received, and the reason why Hillary refuses to release private emails or even had to resort to private emails. (Think about this: if she used federal email, it may be federal property, and she didn't want to get caught in her funny business, while she was Secretary of State; furthermore, the scheme of laundering massive amounts of money requires a non-profit, hence the need for her foundation.)

The solution to this problem is that there should not be an exclusive monopoly on government services, such as trash collection. If citizens could pick the trash service they wanted, the free market would come into play, and there would be competitive prices for the consumer, not forcing us to pay incredible rates for trash.

But the current system we have, gives our politicians a steak meal with wine. And, us in Baldwin Park, make an average of $13,000 a year. In response to our complaint at their disgusting behavior and abuse of power, I suppose the Mayor and Council Members are next going to tell us: "Let them eat rice and beans."

And to that, I tell them, "Get a real job."

What the Council Members Ate

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