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Saturday, September 30, 2006

"East Side Neighborhood Development Company" Does this organization serve the interest of the community?

The following story was written by an ex-employee of the East Side Neighborhood Development Company. The opener to this topic is the cover letter to the allegations. The entire letter is very long and filled with disturbing allegations. I will be posting sections of the letter daily in the comments of this topic.It should take between 7 to 10 days to post all the information in the letter. So as you scroll down the comment section of this post, everytime you see the image of "George Orwell" that is my post of another issue to this subject, another piece of Mike Taube letter to the City and the East Side Residence.A letter many people wish was never seen! Exculsively right here at ADEMOCRACY!

Reprinted from original documents. This mark * signifies unreadable print from original document.

November 16, 2004

To: City of St. Paul and all the residents of the East Side

From: Mike Taube

(area of address omitted)

This is in response to being fired from the East Side Neighborhood Development Company (ESNDC).So please bear through this with me.

The following pages I have gone through and written the facts.There will be some spelling mistakes, and punctuations long the way please bear with me.

I have never been fired from a job in my inter life. I was a union member for ** years and went back to school to get an education in project management. I went to Dunn-woody and I did alright I thought with an education and with all the years of construction experience I would get a good job. This was the only job offer I had. I took a %50 pay cut to help the poor and I have found out that if you stand up to your boss and show him the mistakes of his administration in the past few years. When you show him, what has to be, done and he is afraid of the facts of how bad things are, you will be dismissed. I know I am not a great communicator with people but when people are afraid of someone pointing out their mistakes, and their afraid that they will be next to be fired. They need to get rid of those that is standing up for these people here on the East Side of St. Paul. I was fired for standing up to these people and if this anyway helps one person out their get the fair chance whether it's the homeowner or the small business owner. At least I know I was, fired for doing what I was hired to do. I can go back to working with my hands knowing that I did what was right for these children and those children have been miss treated and the authorities in St. Paul have drop the ball. I hope that they will get help. from some one, that cares enough to stand up that cannot, be fired or and to sit down and told to look the other way.

2. Hopkins & Payne
3. 736 Sims
7. 1014 Edgerton
8. 1001 Southern Cooking
10.Mallared Teal
12.Payne & Whitall
14.Main of the Lion
16.Anderson Perfect Pizza
16.Chi Vang
18.Don Panchos Bakery
18.Minnehaha Ave.
21.Swedish bank

Monday, September 25, 2006

The MOOSE HEADS TRUTH in Code Compliance!

This post clarifies what we're up against in St. Paul. I thought it was worthy of a title.

From: "Anonymous"
Subject: [ademocracy] 9/25/2006 08:26:34 PM
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 18:26:40 -0700 (PDT)
A lot of people do not understand the term "Code Compliance." Most people think it means that a property owner should keep the building up to code, and not have any unsafe conditions existing.


When the city of St. Paul subjects these condemned and vacant houses to "code compliance," what they are doing is in effect telling the property owner to bring the property into compliance with what would be the equivalent of the modern day building code, like it is a brand new house being built today. That means a person is stuck tearing out walls, floors, etc. replacing perfectly good and working plumbing, furnaces, stairways, etc....WHATEVER the city wants.....and at the same time your neighbors ARE NOT subjected to this and they get to maintain their homes under the code the house was built under (with some small exceptions.)

The city uses this power (even though they have NO authority to)to address behavior and prejudice issues with neighbors, and they disguise it as a law enforcement tool. The neighbors do not like someone so they call the City Council and complain. The City Council then calls out the inspectors and they come and (in some cases, not all) they lie about certain repairs so they can condemn the house and make it vacant, and they insist on the owner making all these costly repairs that no one else has to make.

Do these houses need repair? Yes they do, in some but not all cases, but they do not a code compliance.

Most of the code compliance's cost $40,000.00 to $50,000.00. Who can afford that?

By requiring the owner to invest so much money into the property, the City of St. Paul has practically guaranteed that the owner will not be able to rent to the low income people any longer because now the rent has to go up too high for the low incomes to afford it.

No one has ever to my knowledge complained that they do not want to or think they should not have to keep their house up to snuff. What they are saying is that they do not want to be TARGETED AND DSICRIMINATED against for repairs that no one else has to make. They want to be able to maintain their property in accordance the the city's chapter 34 housing code standards, just like all the other taxpayers, not the bankrupting code compliance scam that the city has going on.

If I am not mistaken, this is one of the elements of the lawsuits the landlords have brought, and considering how the city has acted, I personally think the landlords will win.

If the home owner cannot afford to do the repairs, then the City Council just tears down your house for you and you have in the Jessamine case some months ago.

Then one of their "pet developers" or "non profit" organizations winds up with the vacant lots somewhere down the road to build their projects on.

St. Paul has not been telling the truth about anything concerning the housing code inspections department, and now it seems like it is time to pay the price.

How could the city think that for 5 years they could go around condemning, requiring these expensive code compliance's, and tearing down everything they can get their hands on and not have it make an effect on the community?

Posted by Anonymous to ademocracy at 9/25/2006 08:26:34 PM

Pioneer Press missing part of the story.

Posted on Mon, Sep. 25, 2006
If nobody's home, trouble comes calling
St. Paul's spike in vacancies threatens neighborhoods
Pioneer Press

Ali Dahir, 17, a student at Humboldt Senior High School, walks past a boarded up house on the corner of East Minnehaha Avenue and Bradley Street in St. Paul Friday.
More photos
Sunday: These homes were lost … and that's just the beginning
A map of St. Paul shows vacancies throughout the city, but concentrations in Payne-Phalen and Dayton's Bluff.

Five homes sit empty at an intersection in St. Paul's Railroad Island neighborhood — foreboding, boarded-up omens of a community teetering on the brink.

Broken glass glitters on a stretch of sidewalk in front of the East Side homes at Bradley Street and Minnehaha Avenue, near the geographic heart of the city. A Dumpster in a driveway overflows with what once were a family's belongings — an old couch, some chairs, a child's toy.

In scattered clusters, the scene is repeated across St. Paul, especially in the city's poorer neighborhoods, where there are many rental properties. In the past five years, the number of vacant St. Paul buildings has more than doubled, an alarming trend that, in some areas, threatens to unravel years of rising property values.

The reasons are many and the solutions few. A softening housing market, questionable lending practices and neighborhood crime all have contributed to the problem, while federal funding for rehabilitating urban cores has dwindled.

For people who invested in the neighborhoods, who bought homes and spent their hard-earned money fixing them up, the trend is unsettling.

"My immediate concern is the two houses across the street. They've been vacant for almost a year," said Elmer Heutmaker, 39, a Dayton's Bluff resident for 18 months, adding that one of the homes has been broken into. "My wife and I just hope and pray that someone decent moves in."

The situation has caught the attention of the mayor and the City Council, which will hear about the extent of the problem at its Wednesday meeting.

The burning question is what to do about the vacancies and foreclosures. Absent a huge rebound in the real estate market, the problem seems destined to linger. And the longer buildings remain vacant, the harder they are to keep from becoming blight on the neighborhood.

"It decreases the values of the surrounding homes, and it creates a sense of abandonment," said Mike Anderson, executive director of the East Side Neighborhood Development Co., one of a handful of St. Paul nonprofits that piece together public and private funding to revitalize neighborhoods.


St. Paul's 766 listed vacancies put downward pressure on all aspects of their neighborhoods, from home values to the public's perception of its schools. When that happens, families become more reluctant to move in, hastening the downward spiral.

The vacancies disproportionately affect poor neighborhoods and those with a high number of minorities. Three-quarters are in neighborhoods where incomes are less than the citywide average, according to a Pioneer Press analysis of city records. Barely a quarter of St. Paul neighborhoods have predominantly minority populations, but those areas account for 43 percent of the vacancies.

Fueling the phenomenon is an escalating number of foreclosures that appears to be partly the result of nontraditional home financing, such as high-risk loans and adjustable-rate mortgages, which became popular during the go-go days of the real estate boom.

And there is widespread speculation that many investors in rental properties simply got in over their heads.

"They used collateral on this one to buy that one," City Council President Kathy Lantry said. "And when they start falling apart, they lose them all."

But there's evidence that not just first-time homebuyers and investors are losing their houses. According to City Council researchers, 46 percent of citywide foreclosures came after a homeowner took out a home equity loan.

The city maintains a vacant-building registry, but it lists only properties reported by owners or that draw neighborhood complaints, so there likely are hundreds more than 766 empty homes. Across from Heutmaker's Reaney Street house, for example, neither of the two vacant buildings is currently on the city's registry.

With families forced out and houses reclaimed by financial institutions, getting vacant houses rehabilitated and back on the market is difficult. Critics say banks — particularly those with no local ties — are reluctant to sell the foreclosed properties at a loss.

"The real question is: How long will the banks sit on these properties?" said Chuck Repke, head of the Northeast Neighborhoods Development Corp. "What price will the banks ask for, and what will the city's response be? That's the problem of some mega-international bank owning the home. It doesn't mean a thing to them. … It's just a line on a spreadsheet."

Vacancies are concentrated in the North End, Payne-Phalen, Frogtown and — distressingly for many who worked hard to turn the neighborhood around — Dayton's Bluff. But they are up, too, in more stable neighborhoods, such as the greater East Side and Highland Park.

The problem wears on activists in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood, where much energy has been spent polishing the area's reputation. Stately, turn-of-the-century homes rivaling anything on Summit Avenue can now be found around many corners there. But they are abutted, increasingly, by vacant homes that are often boarded up.

"It's disheartening to see all these vacant houses again," admits Jim Erchul, executive director of Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services.


The question is, what do you do about it?

On Wednesday, the St. Paul City Council will hear a report outlining the scope of the problem, and Mayor Chris Coleman's administration is trying a broad approach to finding solutions. Council Member Dan Bostrom, whose East Side ward has more than its share of vacant buildings, says the city should encourage people to invest in their neighborhoods.

"We've got to come up with a plan to get owner-occupied duplexes," Bostrom said. "Get home ownership back in those neighborhoods."

Ann Mulholland, Coleman's chief of staff, said neighborhood vitality is City Hall's top priority.

"Mayor Coleman feels that our neighborhood character and culture is what makes St. Paul St. Paul," she said. "We are really turning our attention to this in a focused and concentrated way."

In conversations with several council members and members of the Coleman administration, there seems to be a unity of purpose and an understanding that, if unchecked, the problem could tear at the fabric of the city.

"We're not going to take a year to look at this," said Cecile Bedore, the city's director of planning and economic development. "We have to make sure we don't develop an 80-page report and stick it on a shelf."

But city government doesn't have as many revitalization tools as it once did.

Neighborhood development corporations, which are funded by local, state and federal grants, often take a leading role in revitalizing neighborhoods. But there is less money for redevelopment today than five years ago, when the number of vacant buildings was low.

St. Paul funding from Community Development Block Grants and the HOME program, the two main sources of federal urban-renewal funds, declined from $12.8 million in 2001 to $11.4 million in 2005 — an 11 percent drop that looms larger when the increasing costs of redevelopment are factored in.

St. Paul — which received $18.8 million in 1975, the first year of the block grant program — is not alone. In recent years, funding nationwide has been cut from $4.3 billion in 2002 to $3.7 billion in 2006.

"It's a nationwide problem," said Michael Wallace, senior legislative counsel for the Washington, D.C.-based National League of Cities.

President Bush's administration wants to tweak the formulas used to award grants to better serve communities in need, said Brian Sullivan, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"In the budget climate we're in, if you can't demonstrate results, you're going to be a target," Sullivan said, explaining why the program has been cut. "People here at HUD still love (the program). We all love it."


Surprisingly, not everyone's unhappy with a boarded-up home. A Pioneer Press analysis seven years ago found that crime associated with many buildings dropped once they became vacant.

"Some of the people who are living next to those boarded-up houses will say it's better today than it was when the miscreants were living there," Bostrom said.

But the problems associated with vacant homes only worsen with time. Youths commonly break in, as do vandals looking to gut the homes of their copper and lead pipes to resell, especially now that the market for recycled metals is booming.

Homes that sit empty often fall into disrepair, dragging down property values. A 1995 study by the Family Housing Fund of Minneapolis and St. Paul found that homes adjacent to and directly across from a vacancy drop $10,000 in value.

Mark Johnson has seen the effect firsthand. A Realtor with Edina Realty, Johnson is trying to sell a North End house at 9 E. Jessamine St. for an out-of-state investor. The small, single-story home, surrounded by vacancies, was listed last year for almost $130,000. It's now offered for less than $95,000.

"The neighborhood does matter. It's location, location, location," Johnson said.

With four registered vacant buildings nearby and an empty lot where the city recently razed a nuisance house across the street, the home is a tough sell. Johnson said crime in the area also is a problem, and that the reports he gets from agents working with potential buyers aren't good.

"They say, 'Clients drove by, didn't feel comfortable, didn't get out of car, left,' " Johnson said.

The city spends $700,000 a year to maintain unkempt properties, including vacancies, as part of an aggressive monitoring campaign. The city mows the lawn, picks up garbage and boards up windows if needed. The cost for the work is added to the home's tax bill, and most of the money is eventually recouped once the owner pays the taxes or the home is sold.

But laws intended to protect homebuyers can stall the turnaround of a vacant property. After a property goes into foreclosure, for example, the owner often has six months or more to take it back. This so-called redemption period is among the longest in the nation.

"Let's say the city wants to prevent a vacant property from sitting empty for X amount of time," City Council President Lantry said. "The fact is, if the mortgage company isn't past the redemption period, it's gotta sit there."


The city does have available some extreme measures. If a home deteriorates enough, the city has the power to demolish it. But that only creates more problems.

Not only does razing create a "gap-toothed" streetscape, but the action also is fraught with symbolism. When a home at 14 E. Jessamine St. was leveled earlier this year, picketers accused the city of trampling on property rights.

Furthermore, owners of property where a home has been razed sometimes quit paying their taxes. Then a lot can sit as long as five years before it's forfeited back to the government.

Vacant homes have long been the source of angst, spawning litigation between the city and HUD, which once owned hundreds of homes across the Twin Cities. Activists have squatted in vacant homes to focus attention on homelessness, arguing that some could be used to shelter the needy. And they can harbor crime — in 1999, an 8-year-old girl was raped in a vacant Frogtown home.

So, what to do?

For one thing, Lantry would like the city to open a dialogue with the banks.

"They'd better come to the table to see if there's some strategy we can employ to get them out from holding all these homes. … They took a chance, they overextended, they compromised their underwriting policies and procedures," Lantry said. "They took a chance because values were increasing so rapidly that they could recoup their money if people walked away.

"That's not happening anymore."

Jason Hoppin can be reached at or 651- 292-1892.

Next steps in St. Paul

St. Paul is following two tracks to attack the problem of emptying neighborhoods:

• The City Council will officially hear a report Wednesday that examines the roots of foreclosures and vacancies. That report will be the basis for policy decisions, which could include such steps as seeking state legislation or adding staff to the city's licensing department, which oversees vacant buildings.

• The report likely will align with a fast-track effort by Mayor Chris Coleman's administration to examine the broader scope of the problem, including poverty, education disparities and other socioeconomic causes. The Department of Planning and Economic Development is spearheading the effort and is meeting with City Hall department heads and concerned community organizations. PED Director Cecile Bedore said the mayor may convene a community development cabinet to make sure the recommendations for solving neighborhood disinvestment are implemented.


From Sunday: "These Homes Were Lost," with a map of foreclosures across the Twin Cities during the past year and a half, is on

Bob> This is the second story on this subject and I see nothing concerning the Citys actions contributing to these registered vacant homes.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Registered Vacant Homes

reprinted from Tribune

Foreclosures, empty homes are on the rise in St. Paul
The trends, detailed in a report to the City Council,are a priority for the mayor and will be discussed at Wednesday's council meeting.
Myron P. Medcalf, Star Tribune
Last update: September 23, 2006 – 11:15 PM

School helicopters? Flight of fancy, or ...
The number of mortgage foreclosures in St. Paul has increased over the past three years and is expected to nearly triple 2003's total, according to a city report released Friday.
The report by the St. Paul Council Research Center, the research arm of the City Council, also said that the city has the highest number of vacant homes since statistics have been kept.

The City Council will address the report at Wednesday's meeting.

An economic downturn, disinvestment in neighborhoods and unethical lending practices are cited as some of reasons for the increase in vacant buildings and foreclosed homes.

In St. Paul, as in other parts of the country, the numbers are disproportionately in low-income districts and areas with minority populations, the report says.

Ann Mulholland, chief of staff for Mayor Chris Coleman, said that addressing vacancies and foreclosures is a priority for the mayor. Various organizations throughout the city had anticipated the rise in vacancies and foreclosures and begun talking about it prior to the report, she said.

"It matters a great deal when our neighborhoods aren't doing well," Mulholland said. "We can't sit on our laurels. We need to tackle it."

The report says that homes are vacated when owners can't sell them, the bank begins foreclosure proceedings or when a city condemns a dilapidated building for safety reasons.

Although recent economic changes and trends have affected the ability of some residents to pay their mortgages, predatory and subprime lending practices also are responsible for foreclosures, the report says.

Subprime lenders offer loans regardless of a person's credit history, and predatory lending forces homeowners to pay additional fees to increase the lender's profit.

Myron P. Medcalf • 651-298-1546 •

The Most Functional English Word

Nancy sent me this story. I thought it was appropriate with all the talk about whether we should use this word or that word at 'St. Paul Issues and Forums'.



Well, it's shit ... that's right, shit!
Shit may just be the most functional word in the English language.

You can get shit-faced, Be shit-out-of-luck, Or have shit for brains.

With a little effort, you can get your shit together, find a place for your shit, or be asked to shit or get off the pot.

You can smoke shit, buy shit, sell shit, lose shit, find shit, forget shit,
and tell others to eat shit.

Some people know their shit, while others can't tell the difference
between shit and shineola.

There are lucky shits, dumb shits, and crazy shits. There is bull shit, horse shit, and chicken shit.

You can throw shit, sling shit, catch shit, shoot the shit, or duck when the shit hits the fan.

You can give a shit or serve shit on a shingle.

You can find yourself in deep shit or be happier than a pig in shit.

Some days are colder than shit, some days are hotter than shit,
and some days are just plain shitty.

Some music sounds like shit, things can look like shit, and there are times when you feel like shit.

You can have too much shit, not enough shit, the right shit, the wrong shit or a lot of weird shit.

You can carry shit, have a mountain of shit, or find yourself up shit creek without a paddle.

Sometimes everything you touch turns to shit and other times you fall in a bucket of shit and come out smelling like a rose.

When you stop to consider all the facts, it's the basic building block of the English language.

And remember, once you know your shit, you don't need to know anything else!!

You could pass this along, if you give a shit; or not do so if you don't give a shit!

Well, Shit, it's time for me to go. Just wanted you to know that I do give a shit and hope you had a nice day, without a bunch of shit. But, if you happened to catch a load of shit from some shit-head...........
Well, Shit Happens!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

St. Paul may ban 'loosies'...

St. Paul may ban sale of 'loosies'
Selling individual cigarettes instead of packs leads to more youth smoking, say backers of the proposed ordinance.
Myron P. Medcalf, Star Tribune
Last update: September 20, 2006 – 9:59

St. Paul is considering an ordinance that would ban the sale of individual cigarettes, commonly called "loosies," that come from a standard pack of 20.
City Council President Kathy Lantry, sponsor of the ordinance introduced Wednesday, said she has received multiple complaints from her constituents that the majority of single cigarettes sold are bought by minors.

She said research shows that communities where individual cigarettes are peddled have higher smoking rates among young people.

"I get a lot of complaints in my office," she said at Wednesday's meeting.

Federal law prohibits the sale of cigarettes without the surgeon general's warning label, but no state or local law exists that specifically addresses the sale of single cigarettes.

Other Minnesota cities have addressed individual cigarette sales through local laws, which typically are easier to enforce than state and federal laws.

The sale of loosies most often attracts the poor and minors, said Jeanne Weigum, executive director of the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota, which helped write the proposed ordinance.

Weigum said she suspects that the problem isn't widespread in St. Paul, but added: "It's vulnerable people who are going and buying one or two cigarettes."

Tobacco retailers who follow the federal law don't want to get lumped in with those who are breaking it by selling single cigarettes, said Tom Briant, director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, based in Minneapolis. He said members of his organization don't sell cigarettes illegally.

"Why people would do that, I'm not sure," he said of those selling loosies. "It's not appropriate or legal."

Kristina Schweinler, a St. Paul senior licensing inspector, said that some smaller retailers are suspected of opening packs and selling singles.

"There's a health concern if cigarettes aren't wrapped and packaged," she said.

Doug Blanke, director of the Tobacco Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law, said that a study conducted in California in the early 1990s showed that more than half of the surveyed tobacco retailers in that state were selling cigarettes individually. He said the study also showed that the sales were more prevalent in nonwhite neighborhoods.

Blanke also mentioned a World Health Organization treaty, not ratified by the United States, that encourages the banning of individual cigarette sales to curb smoking among minors.

Such an ordinance would be supervised by licensing officials who would call upon police to investigate any potential violations, said St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh. Police officials aren't aware that the sale of individual cigarettes is a big problem, he said.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held

in a few weeks.

Staff writer Howie Padilla contributed to this report.

Myron P. Medcalf • 651-298-1546 •

Bob> I see this on two levels. First of all there is alot of homeless street people who can only afford a single cigarette or cigar. There is also alot of low income people in general who can only afford a single.

Secondly, we have laws that prohibit minors from buying tobacco products, enforce the law and stop going after small business profits and a class of people who can't defend themselves.

"West St. Paul City Officials Render Elderly Woman Homeless"

A few weeks ago I posted a story about a West St. Paul elderly home owner who is in a threatening situation of losing her home.

Alice, like many people has a drinking problem. She is addressing these issues. Her home had been the site of disorderly drunken behavior. The neighbors have complained.

Alice has obtained restraining orders to keep away the people who would come over and start trouble. yet they still came over and it has caused trouble for her with City Hall.

Now Alice is on the street. I'm not sure what the answer is, I know one thing, it isn't moral to make an elderly woman homeless.

Fortunately it looks like Alice may get some help. Click onto the title of this story to see for yourself. If anyone else can contribute in some way to help Alice it would sure be great, and I can only promise the reward you receive for your contribution will be in Heaven.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

? Mobsters at City Hall or Just Hired Guns for Rich Developers

I was asked to post this for someone-



I have become hooked on your blog, and after reading all the posts regarding the corruption and federal lawsuits, I decided to go to the City Council website and watch some of the past City Council meetings.

I think it is very interesting how not only the public hearings for property owners seem to be predetermined, but also how arrogant, callous and cold hearted these City Council people seem to be in taking some ones house or having a house demolished. People are there practically begging for their life and when the citizen is done, a lot of the time the City Council doesn't even acknowledge what the person has said or even that someone said anything, they just vote to deny the appeal, and 9 times out of 10 the vote is unanimous with no one even asking a question!

In many cases they vote to demolish the property in 5 days "WITH NO OPTION OF REPAIRING IT". Even when it is pointed out to them that the house is in foreclosure, they vote to destroy it, along with the ONLY equity the lender has for the money he has advanced for the mortgage on the property!

How long are mortgage companies going to continue to lend money on St. Paul properties in a city with these kinds of policies and attitudes?

It is no wonder the city has a budget problem, they are demolishing the tax base like there is no tomorrow, and in many cases replacing it with TIF projects that pay no tax! All of this in a city where a whopping ONE HALF of the taxable real estate market value is TAX EXEMPT due to government, religious, and non profit, etc. real estate!

In other cases, Council members are heard making remarks to the tune of "this property needs to be repaired and brought to its TRUE VALUE so the taxpayers can realize the property tax on it.

This is really unbelievable, and seeing how they do this, (and sometimes the glee they seem to have doing it) makes me not only believe what the landlords say in the lawsuits, I wholeheartedly believe that the city of St. Paul not only IS out to make money on these actions, but has made money on their actions.......A LOT OF MONEY!

In the cases where the property owners shows up for the hearing, these hearings are nothing but a sham made up to look like something fair and honest. They are a badly disguised joke! The City Council acts as the court, and the City Council members are the jury, along with their own staff member acting as the prosecutor (or maybe the presenter of facts) in hearings that are so phony they couldn't even fool a school kid.

For the property owners that do not show up, I can see why they don't. Why waste your time in a kangaroo court.

I think it would be interesting for you or your bloggers here to look at these meetings and report back on what they think of these "sham hearings."

Go to the website for the "City of St. Paul" on "Council"......then click on "minutes"......from there you will see a link to look at the City Council meetings (or archives of past meetings if you wish) on the "video" and sit back with your are in for one of the biggest insults to your intelligence and sense of decency you will ever experience.


anonymous and mad in the city

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Twin Cities Officials Wage War On Poor People!

Bob> These practices by both Cities governing bodies concerning code enforcement is shameful! Where is the empathy? I hope you all are voted out in 2007.

Reprinted from City pages.

In the name of restoring order on the North Side, Minneapolis housing inspectors are issuing citations at a record pace. But is that flaking paint on Jean Coste's garage contributing to North Side crime—or just the city coffers?

Story and photos by Mike Mosedale

It's about 6:30 a.m. on a hot July morning when Harold Middleton starts looking for involuntary customers. Middleton doesn't use that term, "involuntary customers." It comes from the business plan devised by his bosses at the Minneapolis Department of Regulatory Services and it describes violators of the city's housing code. These days, that typically means residents of the North Side, where Middleton and his co-workers have been swarming the streets.

After a quick smoke in the big, empty parking lot at the Bean Scene, a coffee shop on West Broadway and Penn avenues, Middleton settles into the air-conditioned comfort of his office—a city-issued Chevy Malibu. He reaches into the big plastic bin in the back seat and extracts a thick stack of files. He then sorts the papers by address and affixes them to his clipboard.

Today, Middleton explains, he is doing re-inspections—checking properties that have already been cited for violations that range from such minor offenses as flaking garage paint and missing storm windows to big-ticket stuff like worn-out roofs and crumbling driveways. If Middleton finds that a problem hasn't been adequately addressed, the property owner faces the prospect of a $100 re-inspection fee and a $200 "administrative citation." In case of uncorrected environmental violations—inoperable vehicles, tall grass, rubbish in the yard—Middleton will make a note in the file and a contractor will be summoned. The next communication from the city will come in the form of a bill.

On this morning, Middleton is starting out in Jordan, one of the North Side's poorest neighborhoods. Middleton used to live in Jordan and has worked the North Side for most of the past seven years. He says he hasn't noticed the housing stock declining in recent years. If anything, he ventures, conditions have improved because of new buyers who have moved into the neighborhood and spruced up long-neglected properties. That fact notwithstanding, the sweep that Middleton represents is unprecedented in both scope and pace. Under the so-called "North Initiative," the exterior of every property in the city's Third, Fourth, and Fifth wards will be inspected by the end of October.

It is a daunting task: There are approximately 23,000 parcels in the three wards, which are mainly located on the North Side, but also include parts of Northeast and downtown. Since the program kicked off in mid-May, inspectors like Middleton have been pulled from other duties to focus exclusively on the sweep. And they've been busy. By the end of July, the inspectors had already paid a visit to some 20,628 properties and issued a staggering 20,378 citations. Along the way, they've served notice to the owners that they face escalating fines if they don't correct the problems promptly—a policy that could net a few million dollars for the city's general fund.

Once his day's paperwork is in order, Middleton throws the Malibu into gear and rumbles down the alley. Overall, Middleton estimates, compliance rates have hovered around 50 percent at the properties he has re-inspected. Some of the property owners who received multiple citations have only half-satisfied their work orders.

On the prowl: Housing inspector Harold Middleton
Photo by Mike Mosedale
Middleton quickly spots an example. "We had a big motor home here that was not properly licensed," he says as we rumble down an alley. "It's gone now. But they still didn't get the painting done on the trim of the dwelling." So Middleton steps out of his car, snaps a picture of the offending house with a city-issued digital camera, and scribbles the JPEG number on his clipboard. In the event the property owner contests the citation before a hearing officer, Middleton explains, the digital pictures will be used as evidence.

Dressed in a loose-fitting, untucked AFSCME T-shirt and blue jeans, Middleton doesn't look the part of the stickler or the zealous enforcer of city code. He's low-key and personable and takes no apparent pleasure in issuing citations. Still, he accepts the city's stated rationale that the crackdown is a benefit to the North Side. "I guess the whole idea is to get people to take pride in their property, keep the properties looking good," he offers.

In the view of the initiative's biggest boosters, among them mayor R.T. Rybak and Fifth Ward councilman Don Samuels, the sweeps aren't just about maintaining the housing stock. They argue that tougher standards on property can help restore social order and, in so doing, stem the rising tide of crime that is now swamping the North Side.

Middleton does not make such grand arguments. He is mindful that enforcement can come at a steep cost, especially for poor homeowners. The soaring foreclosure rate on the North Side is already the highest in the city. Middleton sees evidence of that every day as he makes his rounds: emptied-out homes with lawns that look like wheat fields. He knows additional financial burdens—in the form of a new roof or paint job or personal crisis—can push low-income homeowners beyond their limits.

"You got a lot of people here living on the edge," he says. "I get calls where people tell me, 'I don't have the property anymore. It belongs to the bank now.' And sometimes people know they're going to lose it, so they just walk away."

Of course, Middleton avers, none of that is his business. His job is to follow department policy—and that policy calls for him to enforce the rules, curb to alley, with no exceptions.

But the eagerness with which Minneapolis is now pursing code enforcement on the North Side does raise a question: Is that chipped paint on the garage on Knox Avenue contributing to North Side crime—or just the municipal coffers?

Joy Harris-Jones has lived in north Minneapolis her whole life, mostly on the 500 block of Newton Avenue. At 65, she's seen a lot change over that period. These days, her neighborhood—which extends from Penn to Lyndale avenues and Olson Memorial Highway to Cedar Lake Road—is known as Harrison. When she was a kid, everyone called it "Finn-town" in reference to the Finnish immigrants who'd settled here. "I might be the last full-blooded Finn left and I ain't leaving," Harris-Jones cracks in reference to the shifting demographics of her neighborhood.

One thing has remained constant in Harrison: It still draws a lot of working-class immigrants looking for a toehold in a strange land, with most of the recent influx coming from the Hmong and Somali populations. Harris-Jones bought her current home in 1972, a modest one-and-a-half-story stucco built in 1927. Harris-Jones, who gets by on Social Security and a small pension, says she maintains it as best she can. It's her house, after all. "I'm going to live in this house and I'm going to die in this house and I'm going to be buried in the house," she says with a laugh. "And then I'm going to haunt the next person to live here."

In her decades in Harrison, Harris-Jones has had scant trouble with the city inspectors. About 10 years ago, she received her only citation: a painting order. She complied and, after taking photographs to court, managed to avoid a fine. Like a lot of people who own older homes, she's regularly been hit by unexpected expenses. In the past five years, she has shelled out for a new roof and a new cement walk. After burglars drove a tandem truck into her backyard and unloaded many of the contents of her house, she also had a new chain-link fence installed.

In June, Harris-Jones received a citation from Regulatory Services that nearly sent her into a panic. According to the order, her home was in need of fresh paint on all the trim. That was a daunting task, considering that she has 26 windows. In addition, she was instructed to paint the garage and replace the crumbling asphalt driveway. She says she knew she needed to do some painting. The driveway order puzzled her; it had been in lousy shape for decades and never aroused the city's ire before. But it was the August 1 deadline that really stuck in her craw.

A lifelong resident of the Harrison neighborhood, Joy Harris-Jones wonders why deadlines for making repairs were so tight
Photo by Mike Mosedale
Harris-Jones, who has both asthma and diabetes, knew she couldn't do any of that work herself. Nor, she says, could her husband, Michael, who last year quit his job as a custodian at Block E because of physical disabilities. Since his unemployment benefits ran out in April, the household finances have become tighter. So when Harris-Jones started tallying what the work would cost to contract out, she nearly gave up hope. A while back, she had gotten an estimate of $3,200 to replace her asphalt driveway. Such a sum was out of reach, which is why she decided to cover the bare patches with plywood. "That was the only thing we could afford," she says.

Harris-Jones was hardly the only homeowner in her neighborhood rattled by the city's get-tough approach. Just down the block, Jean Coste, a retired widow, received an order instructing her to paint her garage by August 1.

"I admit it's in bad shape. If my husband was still alive, we would have gotten it painted," Coste says. But like Harris-Jones, the 68-year-old Coste was in no shape to do the work herself and, like Harris-Jones, doesn't have much in the way of disposable income. Coste, who made sandwiches at Peter's Grill for 20 years, says she lives just above the poverty line. But it was the tight deadline—coupled with the prospect of punitive fines—that bothered her most.

"It's ridiculous," Coste says. "This city just wants to penalize those who can least afford it." Like many of her neighbors, Coste is also puzzled by the timing of the sweeps. "Things are looking better around here than they have in a long time," she says. "So why now?"

J. Kevin Flagg started getting calls from area residents practically from the day the inspectors hit the alley. Flagg, who works as a housing coordinator with the Harrison Neighborhood Association, figures he received 12 to 15 calls the first week alone. Mainly, he heard from people who worried that they wouldn't be able to pay for the repairs.

"You have to look at the people who live in Harrison," Flagg says. "The average household income—not personal income, household income—is $26,000 a year. We're talking about people working minimum-wage jobs. I know poverty is no excuse for not taking pride in where you live. But some things take precedence over other things. You prioritize. Are you going to pay the light and water bills or are you going to paint the garage?"

As Mayor R.T. Rybak tells it, the impetus for the North Side sweeps is a simple one: "We're sending a message that we will not accept lower standards in north Minneapolis than in any other part of town." In his second-term inaugural address, Rybak talked about the importance of "closing the gap" on the North Side. Disparities in public safety, education, employment, and housing, he says, have persisted too long and "problem properties" are an important part of the equation.

"After that speech, I called all the department heads and said, 'You're all doing a lot of work and you're going to have to do a lot more," Rybak says. In late winter, the mayor recalls, he attended a neighborhood meeting in Jordan in which residents, frustrated by rising crime, suggested stricter code enforcement as one strategy to turn things around.

Assistant City Coordinator Rocco Forte, who was also at the meeting, echoes the mayor's account. "We listened to neighborhood perceptions of what was happening on the North Side and one of the issues they brought up was that they didn't think the inspections department was being aggressive enough," Forte says.

Previously, Forte explains, inspections on the North Side were mainly complaint-driven. After the meeting in Jordan, Forte settled on a new and unprecedented approach: a curb-to-alley sweep of the entire Third, Fourth, and Fifth wards. He also made another significant policy change: Extensions on work orders, which used to be granted at the discretion of individual inspectors, would henceforth be routed to his desk. "I thought we were way too liberal on that," Forte says. "Most inspectors gave extension after extension, so in some cases the problems never got resolved."

Since the sweeps began, Forte estimates he's given fewer than 100 extensions. Typically, he says, he only hands them out when a property owner can demonstrate that they've made significant progress, hired a contractor, or applied for a loan to fund the improvements. (Deputy Director of Inspections JoAnn Velde, meanwhile, pegs the number of extensions at closer to 200.)

Like Rybak, council member Samuels, who represents much of the North Side and is a robust supporter of the sweeps, acknowledges that the city's punctilious approach is a hardship for some residents. But he says the North Side has long been "underserved" by housing inspectors. He contends the lack of vigilance from inspectors has contributed to a downward cycle in which homeowners, dismayed by the "ambient blight," have sold their properties to landlords who don't care whom they rent to. That dynamic, Samuels says, has fueled North Side crime.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Global Warming Political Ploy

Please link the title of this topic and read the SCIENTIST statements on global warming.
The following is a thread from "St.Paul Issues and Forums"

Posted 19 Sep 2006 18:00 by Bob Spaulding

Clearly, the City is on a course to become the most environmentally-friendly
its ever been, and a clear leader in environmental stewardship.

The Sustainable St. Paul plan isn't simply a nice thing, it's ABSOLUTELY
ESSENTIAL. We really don't have a choice. If environmentally forward-thinking
cities like St. Paul in countries like the U.S. don't make improvements right
now, there won't be much of a world left for future generations to inherit.
Exhibit A being global climate change.

Tomorrow at the Council Meeting, Anne Hunt of the Mayor's office is set to give
an overview of the Coleman Administration's Sustainable St. Paul work for the
next year. For more information: for an overview of the
program. will link you to a copy of annual priorities.

Kudos to the Coleman administration and the many others that have contributed
to the greening of our

Posted 19 Sep 2006 18:31 by Bob Johnson

I like clean air. It stinks real bad when the wind is blowing from the
direction of the airport here in Highland once in awhile. I'm sure that isn't
healthy. I don't buy all this global warming stuff.

Dave, Jay, anything we can do about those stinking Jets? I don't think more
trees will help.

The Truth Behind "Global Warming" Hysteria
By Bill Steigerwald | July 27, 2005

Global warming is always a hot topic in liberal media circles, where the
political and scientific consensus is that global climate change is
occurring, it is a danger, it is caused by mankind and we need to start doing
something serious about reversing it.

For a little balance, we called up Fred Singer, aka "the godfather of global
warming denial." An expert on global climate change and a pioneer in the
development of rocket and satellite technology, he holds a Ph.D. in physics
from Princeton and happens to be the guy who devised the basic instrument for
measuring stratospheric ozone. Now president of the Science & Environmental
Policy Project research group (, his dozen books include "Hot Talk,
Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate." I talked to him by telephone
from his offices in Arlington, Va.:

Here is the rest of this story>

Posted 19 Sep 2006 20:27 by Bob Spaulding

I leave the science to the scientists, and EVERY peer-reviewed study
(hundreds over the last few years) agrees global warming is real and caused
by humans in significant part.

Otherwise, I would suggest none of the other fair-minded folks here dignify
Bob's line of reasoning with further response.

Posted 19 Sep 2006 20:53 by Bob Johnson

Bob S.>I leave the science to the scientists, and EVERY peer-reviewed study
(hundreds over the last few years) agrees global warming is real and caused
by humans in significant part.

Bob J>I think "Scientist" is the key word here. I encourage others to read what
the "SCIENTIST" has to say in the link I provided in my post above.This
golbal warming issue is a political ploy.

Bob S> Otherwise, I would suggest none of the other fair-minded folks here
Bob's line of reasoning with further response.

Bob J> Aren't you in a gray area with this statement? Clearly an attempt to
marginalize my opinion. An opinion derived from reading reports and documents
from "scientist".

This thread is worthy of a trip to my blog!

HUD does this organization serve the people?

Former Bush Assistant Secretary for HUD Reveals "Ethnic Cleansing" Connected to CIA Drug Dealing in Los Angeles

Government Spends Millions in Campaign to Silence Former Wall Street Banker, Cover Up Connections to Dark Alliance Stories & CIA Inspector General Report on Drug Trafficking

Special to "From The Wilderness"

by Contributing Editor, Catherine Austin Fitts

~ ~ ~

I was ten years old when the combined action of HUD housing investment and heroin trafficking destroyed my West Philadelphia neighborhood. The combined real estate and drug play destroyed the equity in our homes and businesses. Many of us left. Those who stayed were embroiled in the increasing stress of what happens as neighborhoods deteriorate into crime and decay. I decided that I would learn how money worked. I was too young to understand fully how the combination of HUD investment and drugs could move control and ownership from the many people who lived in a community to a few people who lived outside the community. -- C.A.F.

* * * * *

I'm an investment banker. In the eighties I was a Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors at the Wall Street investment bank Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. I managed the firm's large municipal and government clients. My projects included the financing of billions of dollars of improvements in New York City's subway, bus and commuter rail systems. I also organized the financing for hundreds of millions in renovations to the infrastructures of New York and New Jersey. I regularly handled hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions.

I also helped to make tens of millions of dollars in profits for my firm and I raised tens of thousands of dollars for the George Bush Presidential campaign in 1988. Nicholas Brady, who became George Bush's Treasury Secretary, had been my partner and boss at Dillon Read.

I was a Wall Street insider and a political insider - or so I thought. I was successful at Dillon Read because I created new investment models that helped ordinary people while making a profit. I thought "outside the box." When Iran-Contra came and went I was oblivious. I had no idea about the drugs. It never entered my mind. Yet today I am convinced that the illegal drug trade, the enormous cheap capital it generates, and the CIA's role as enforcer/protector for the profits of that trade is a dominant factor in the economy of this country.

It is a factor, which is destroying the entire American culture and is utterly out of control. As an investor and banker and as a former Cabinet level appointee, I tell you this is true.

My evolution came slowly. In 1989 I was named Assistant Secretary of Housing-FHA Commissioner under Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp. I managed $300 billion of mortgage insurance, mortgages and properties of the Federal Housing Administration and, as Commissioner, I advised the Secretary on another $1 trillion of mortgage financing. I was fired by Jack Kemp in late 1990 because I would not go along with the questionable political practices, which seem to be built into HUD's machinery and purpose.

But still I did not see the bigger picture.

In 1990, after leaving HUD, I started my own investment company, The Hamilton Securities Group, and I devised new and creative ways to save taxpayers billions of dollars.

In 1993, Hamilton secured contracts with HUD through Secretary Henry Cisneros. Hamilton saved taxpayers billions of dollars by taking defaulted HUD housing mortgages, repackaging them and auctioning them on the private market.

Hamilton began putting wealth back into inner city projects by hiring women living in HUD housing and teaching them how to use computers to build data bases on how money works in 63,000 neighborhoods throughout America. Hamilton started a data processing company with these women in a HUD project (Edgewood Terrace) in Washington. The women who lived there earned stock in the company. The company made money and proved the concept of what on-line access in communities could do to build jobs and businesses. We used the success of that effort to persuade HUD to fund computer learning centers in other housing projects. Hamilton was extremely successful. We made millions and we saved the government billions.

Fulfilling my childhood dream, Hamilton also created new software and money management tools, which were, for the first time ever, able to map down to the neighborhood, exactly how HUD and other federal money worked, who profited when loans defaulted, and how money came into or left a community.

For example, we were often able to see where HUD was spending $100-250,000 per unit on apartment buildings when there was single family housing available within walking distance for $25-50,000.

Secretary Cisneros had been extremely supportive of our work. We had unrestricted access to rich quantities of government financial data that was supposedly public but hard to understand. We were translating that into useable information so that people in any community could see how the money flowed through their neighborhood. We helped HUD get increasing amounts of data up on its web site. An unforeseen side effect for the women at Edgewood, and for Hamilton, was that by seeing clearly how the clean money worked, we also began to see how the dirty money worked.

As an investor for more than twenty years, I believed that it was actually more profitable for people to own their own neighborhoods and businesses and to know exactly how the money worked. The MONEY MAPS we made were so simple to understand that they looked like comic books.

As it turns out we mapped a great deal more than we knew.

In 1996, as reporter Gary Webb was busy writing a series of stories connecting CIA and the Contras to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, I was busy using the money maps in a way that would help people move people from government subsidies to home ownership and entrepreneurship.

I was also advocating that U.S. government investment in communities should be subject to the same public disclosure rules that private companies are obligated to follow under the Securities and Exchange Commission Rules. If you are a shareholder in a company, that company is using your money. The law requires that they use your money legally and that they do their best to protect your money and make you more.

To earn money, and to do so in a fair, honest and competitive way, federal and state laws require companies to report performance and key transactions to you, the shareholder.

Every citizen is a shareholder in the government. If governments worked like they require corporations to work, they would be required to report to you, in the sunshine, exactly how the money was working, in your neighborhood, and you could either approve - or disapprove of the fairness and effectiveness of that, based upon your understanding of your own needs. That is very threatening to those who have used agencies like HUD as a trough to pay off political cronies.

On August 1, 1996, I gave the keynote address at a Neighborhood Networks conference in Boston, Massachusetts to 500 owners, managers and tenants in private HUD housing. As part of the speech I showed a slide of one of our money maps of Los Angeles. As I put the slide up I made the following statement:

"One of the products that has been most successful for the first data servicing sites, Edgewood Technology Services, has been "geo-coding" databases and mapping. I wanted to show you this map; it's up on the World Wide Web. This is a map of Los Angeles. Can anyone figure out where south central LA is from looking at where the HUD properties are on this map? This is the same thing as the Washington DC map I showed earlier. The little red dots are single family properties that were financed by (now) defaulted HUD-held mortgages. This map was geo-coded and designed and programmed by a woman who, four months before, had been on unemployment compensation and is a tenant in HUD housing"

If you compare this map with the fact that Freeway Ricky Ross - the crack cocaine kingpin described in Gary Webb's Dark Alliance was known for buying up real estate along the Harbor Freeway and selling drugs throughout this exact area - the mathematical correlation is staggering. Every dot represents a HUD mortgage where the taxpayers lost money in a defaulted FHA loan and where somebody else bought the property for pennies on the dollar.

Most of those loans defaulted as the crack cocaine epidemic ravaged Los Angeles. The taxpayers bear the costs of not only the defaulted mortgages, but also deterioration in property value, the crime, and ultimately the depopulation due to very expensive prison warehousing and welfare.

Exactly who bought and traded in properties throughout this area should be the subject of congressional hearings looking into corrupt HUD practices from the period and continuing to this day. I suspect that many of the same players connected to the Savings and Loan scandals, who have also been tied to Iran-Contra and CIA's drugs will surface yet again.

Demographically it is also easy to see now that the racial composition of South Central has changed radically and that African-Americans have been geographically and politically fragmented as, I believe, an intended result. Their political power has been weakened.

Just days after showing this first map, I received a subpoena from the Office of the Inspector General of HUD asking for extensive data and records from Hamilton. Suddenly, the loan sales and Hamilton were under investigation. The HUD IG's actions were doubly surprising given their intimate involvement in and positive feedback about the loan sales program and because a HUD OIG audit team had just finished an audit of the loan sales program and had informed our project manager and HUD that our performance was excellent and there were no problems whatsoever.

At the same time, we got calls from a team of reporters from US News & World Report. They had been assured "at the highest levels" of the HUD Inspector General's office that we were guilty of criminal action and that I and would soon be indicted. The recent favorable audit disappeared. Investigators started doing interviews where they did more seed planting than information gathering.

The "investigators" at HUD started suggesting to reporters that bid rigging had occurred in the loan sales. This was just after members of the HUD IG audit team had actually sat in on one sale, and concluded that bid rigging was impossible. They had also concluded that there was no way that "rigging" could have taken place because in a sealed-bid auction, you cannot favor one bidder when all bidders have access to the same information. That audit report was suppressed while the IG investigators pushed the exact opposite notion to reporters.

On August 10, Bob Dole announced Jack Kemp as his running mate. Meantime, the Republican appropriations committee, chaired by Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis of San Bernardino, gave Susan Gaffney, the HUD IG a large appropriations increase for her program Operation Safe Home, which targeted black communities for visible media "wag-the-dog" roundups of drug offenders. At the same time, our model for computer learning and data processing by people who had a stake in the company that did the work was adopted by Unicorp.

Unicorp is the Department of Justice private business that markets prison labor to federal agencies.

Suddenly, the black people who were apparently not smart enough to do database and software development near their children and parents were more than competent enough to do it in prison. The prison investment boom was taking off, fueled by new and longer mandated sentences. We at Hamilton felt like we were walking around with a big bullseye on our back because we wanted the communities of America to know what we knew, which was how to make maps that tracked the money flow in their own home towns.

I was not the only one dealing with Inspector General inquiries. The HUD officials working with me were also inundated with an investigation marked by leaks and dirty tactics. The former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily at HUD, Helen Dunlap, was one of the people targeted. She was from California and had previously run the California Housing Partnership. She had lots of experience in real estate and community development in Los Angeles.

Gary Squier, the Housing Commissioner of LA, on loan from Los Angeles, who was not involved in mortgage sales with Hamilton, nonetheless found himself dealing with similar probes from the HUD OIG. He was later to be turned down for a position by the White House despite impeccable credentials. No one could figure out why.

Suddenly I was persona non grata to long time friends and business relations in and around the government. I believe the leak campaign was far more sophisticated than something the HUD Inspector General could or would do on her own. It appeared that major economic and political powers had ordered that Hamilton be destroyed. More importantly, they wanted the evidence of what we knew - the maps - destroyed. That is also why, to this day, we believe the Federal government has destroyed many, but not all, of our tools and databases.

We didn't realize it at the time, but I am now convinced that in the summer of 1996, our software and mapping techniques uncovered evidence of ethnic cleansing on Los Angeles. Hamilton's map revealed that one of the most significant effects of the crack cocaine epidemic was that black homeowners, faced with payments on unlivable and unsellable properties, simply defaulted and fled the city to get away from the shootings and the drugs.

Those properties: industrial, residential and commercial were scooped up for pennies on the dollar. Wouldn't it be fascinating to know who bought the properties and how much money has been made on them since?

Thanks to people like Gary Webb, Peter Dale Scott (Cocaine Politics), Alex Cockburn (Whiteout), Mike Ruppert, brave DEA Agents like Celerino Castillo - and now to the CIA's own reports - we can prove that the CIA knew full well what it was doing.

And, as is his particular gift, Mike Ruppert, who gives us permission to see the obvious, has established that blacks were targeted by CIA and that the people who control our intelligence agencies are the same ones who control our economy and Wall Street.

Mike has taken great pains to document these things in previous issues of From The Wilderness.

Someday the "MHT" will Come to the Affordable Housing Crisis


From Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton Whitehouse

by Gary Aldrich

~ ~ ~

Special agents of the FBI are trained to find truth, document truth, and present it to a judge, to a jury, or even to the counsel of the president of the United States.

In the many assignments that I was privileged to have over the course of a twenty-six-year career with the FBI, I would often come across a special kind of truth. Everyone has experienced moments of great clarity when we see or hear evidence that is irrefutable. Judges have a name for it - they call it prima facie evidence, facts that are indisputable and require no explanation.

Water is wet, fire burns, con men con.

When I was a young agent in Los Angeles, my prosecutor partner was an assistant U.S. attorney, fresh from Stanford University Law School. We had a bribery case to take to trial. We needed to prove that a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspector took bribes from contractors so they could pocket money earmarked for home repairs that they never made - repairs paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Our evidence, frankly, was weak, but the crimes were especially heinous, because when the "repaired" roof leaked like a sieve or when the electrical outlet shorted out or when the furnace didn't work, the poor couldn't afford to make the repairs. When they walked away from their defective homes, because they had been defrauded and could not repair them, they walked away from their small chance to have the American Dream. Their credit could be destroyed by a mortgage foreclosure and eventual bankruptcy. Their neighborhoods, full of similarly defrauded people, would disintegrate, and disintegrating neighborhoods were breeding grounds for serious crime.

It was a hard case to prove because the bribes were paid in cash, and the HUD inspector-I'll call him Raymond-never put the money in a bank. Of course Raymond denied the bribes and blamed the contractors for not doing the work. . . .

The inspector was very slick in his defense. In the end only one contractor had the guts to testify for the government, and he was on the witness stand.

He had some serious problems in his past, including alcoholism and divorce, and the defense attorney took him apart, destroying his credibility. The assistant U.S. attorney and I were worried. The defense attorney's withering attack on our witness's character meant we might lose the case.

Our witness was now 'on trial', and he was unraveling. But the defense attorney, not knowing when to quit, asked, "Mr. Smith, you didn't pay any bribes, did you? You were drunk all of the time. Your wife threw you out of the house. In short, you were a mess, weren't you?"

"Well, actually now that you ask, there is this one thing...," Smith began.

The defense attorney, sensing danger, tried to cut him off. "Never mind, Mr. Smith, I think the jury has heard enough of your lies. We all know what your answer is going to be. No further questions, your honor."

The prosecutor stood up. He had a hunch our witness had something important to say. "Wait a minute, your honor, I think we are entitled to hear Mr. Smith's answer, don't you?"

The judge concurred. "Go ahead, Mr. Smith, you can finish your answer."

Smith looked alarmed. "Judge, if I tell it, I gotta use some, well, bad language, and I don't feel right about that." He looked over at the jury.

The judge smiled at Smith. "Mr. Smith, I am sure that this Los Angeles jury has probably already heard whatever words you might need to use." All eyes turned to the jury. They nodded.

"Well, your honor, there was this one thing. Raymond always made us come to his office to pay the bribes. He insisted that it had to be in his office because it was safe there. Behind his desk, where he sat when we paid him, was this big mounted moosehead. Well, when Raymond looked into the envelope to count the hundred dollar bills, he would always laugh. He'd point up at the moosehead behind his desk and say, "If that f--ing moosehead could talk, we'd all go to jail!"

There it was. The moosehead truth. The MHT.

The guilty look on Raymond's face said the rest. It was all over.

The jury came back inside of thirty minutes with guilty verdicts on all counts.

I've always remembered that trial and the discovery of the MHT, and in every case I handled thereafter, I searched for the moosehead truth....

In this book I hope to help the reader find the moosehead truth about the Clintons, their friends, and their political agenda, an agenda that I conclude is at odds with the Constitution I had been sworn to uphold....


Monday, September 18, 2006


A man mentioned to his landlord about the tenants in the
apartment over his. "Many a night they stamp on the floor
and shout till midnight."
When the landlord asked if it bothered him, he replied,
"Not really, for I usually stay up and practice my trumpet
till about that time most every night anyway."

Dave Thune Comments on the Hungry.

Posted to "St. Paul Issues and Forums"

Posted 17 Sep 2006 08:51 by Dave Thune

"The chicken was frozen and loaded Tuesday onto a "food rescue" truck. The next
morning, it was served as breakfast to the homeless and the working poor,
dressed up with some gravy made in the St. Paul Salvation Army kitchen."

This quote from today's St. Paul Pioneer Press (Schools' scraps can be a
gift, or just trash) is an example of our school district's efficiency and
humanity. It made me very proud to be a parent and resident of this city. It
speaks to the commitment of our school district to be part of an effort to
cross boundaries and address issues like poverty and hunger that both
directly and indirectly affect the futures of our children.

The food donated by St. Paul Schools fed hundreds at the Salvation Army, two
blocks from my house - hundreds who otherwise would've started the day
hungry. On their behalf I thank our School District for their continuing work
to allow families to provide for themselves and their children in a society
which often appears more intent on punishing the poor.

dave thune
ward two, st. paul

Code Enforcement Generating Revenue

An excerpt from the AD HOC Committee Report May 2006- If anyone is interested in seeing the whole report I'll post it. This report concerns all of us and should be public information.And now it is!By the way isn't there people named in the RICO lawsuits serving on this committee?

Role of revenue generation in code enforcement: Several city staff said they perceived that
city officials have increased their focus on the revenue-generating capacity of code
enforcement activities, such as rental registration, vacant building fees, and excessive
consumption. They expressed concern that their work was more valued as revenue generation
than for the other benefits their work provides.
Budget reports on fees generated by code enforcement show they do not make up a significant portion of the budget. It would help staff to understand the rationale for the fees, and the role fees play in their budget. Code enforcement officials should clarify where fee-generating work stands in relation to other work, in order to address possible concerns that activities that raise revenue are more highly valued than those that do not.

Bob> So they don't add significantly to the budget. Bid deal! They still have the perception that this is their role!!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chief Harrington on Crime Prevention?

Reprinted from Pioneer Press.

Posted on Sun, Sep. 17, 2006

Rely on evidence, not fear, in arguing for more officers

I applaud the St. Paul Police Federation and concerned community members for their interest and concern in the effort to obtain additional police resources. I share their concerns for public safety, yet I feel compelled to respond to questions about some of the operating assumptions being used in the argument for more officers.

As chief, I am a strong advocate for additional police resources, but want to caution that arguing the potential of "Minneapolis problems here" as the sole basis for more officers is misleading.

Even during the chief of police selection process, I voiced my belief that our police department was understaffed and would need to add more officers to keep pace with the growing demands. I have found no compelling research evidence to suggest that adding more police officers automatically results in less crime. There are many strong arguments for more police officers, but we must not fall into the easy trap of thinking more cops equals less crime.

It is important as we look to address concerns about rising crime we use evidence of what is and what is not effective to support our decisions.

As police, our focus is to keep the peace, enforce the law, prevent crime, reduce the harmful effects of crime, and reduce the unrealistic fear of crime. I am concerned that the current well-intentioned and emotionally charged campaign to obtain additional police resources is counter to our focus of reducing the fear of crime.

I have heard from many of our officers they are heartened by the resident involvement and concern over the serious issues of community safety. We all want the very best for this city and are proud to do our part to maintain safe neighborhoods. It is important to remember as this or any other city struggles to find ways to reduce crime and enhance safety, the debate must be based upon sound assumptions and not fear.

As the people of this city and its leaders struggle to respond to growing crime concerns, the focus should be on what works for the specific problems that are identified.

St. Paul did have a small increase in serious crime between 2004 and 2005. The increase, while unacceptable, is growing slower than the pace of Midwest region overall. Over the past nine months, we have tracked an average increase of nearly 1,000 quality-of-life type calls, such as disorderly person, fights, loitering, etc., each month. While our serious crime numbers show a rather marginal increase, we cannot forget the increases do represent real crimes, with real victims, who endured very real harm.

No one can argue against the idea that having more officers will provide us with the time and resources to better and more completely work with our partners in government, business, education, and neighborhood groups to address the root causes of crime. More cops will allow our officers time to realistically assess and solve problems. We will be able to improve our response time to calls for service and have the resources to more completely investigate more crimes. And finally, we can make sustainable efforts to reduce the fear of crime and allow thoughtful, evidence-based decisions about what works guide our strategies and action plan.

Over the last several years we have implemented several initiatives, such as the gang unit, police activities leagues, and the expansion of the domestic violence and sex offender tracking units, which, studies show, directly reduce crime. Currently, we are engaged in the comprehensive process of developing our public safety action plan for 2007. While we believe these initiatives have been part of our success in slowing crime growth, the use of these proven strategies reduces our police staffing to answer calls for service and provide follow-up investigations.

There will be many who use stories or anecdote to guide their arguments for more officers. While those stories may provide a point of reference, we know that crime is complex, and so are the solutions to addressing it.

Mayor Coleman has committed to the addition of 100 officers during his term of office, demonstrating his commitment to public safety. Members of the city council have taken the initial steps to provide resources to meet our most urgent public safety needs. More cops are a great first step in making St. Paul a safer city. Putting these officers to the best use by planning and working with our city partners is crucial to our success.

We must come together not in fear but in partnership to positively impact the quality of life for the people who live, work and visit St. Paul.

John M. Harrington is chief of police in St. Paul.

Friday, September 15, 2006

3rd Racketeering Lawsuit

I have linked the 3rd Rico suit against the City of St. Paul.
You can find the link at the right side of the screen below my profile.

You can also find it under the "Documents" link at the WATCHDOG NEWS website. You can link the title of this post or most post right here at Ademocracy for a link to the Watchdog.There is also a link to the Watchdog News under my profile.



May, 2004 Steinhauser, Meysembourg, Brisson file Federal Raketeering lawsuit
against the city of St. Paul. Court file #04-2632 JNE/SRN

June, 2004 City launches false criminal charges against Steinhauser. On the day of
Trial, the city of St. Paul moves to dismiss the charges. City inspectors
make the following note in the paperwork: “this is the property owner who
is part of a major lawsuit against us for harassment!!!”

June, 2004 City goes after Steinhauser witness Steve Johnson in Ramsey County
court with false Restraining Order. At trial the matter was dismissed
without Johnson producing a single witness, and the judge commenting
that there was no basis in law or fact for the relief sought by the city.

August, 2004 City goes after another Steinhauser witness named Bee Vue by using a
fraudulent mailing scheme to start a civil lawsuit for trumped up code
violations at 707 Preble.

March, 2005 Harrilal, Johnson, Vue file Federal Racketeering lawsuit against the City
St. Paul. Court file #05-461 JNE/SRN

July, 2005 Gallagher, Collins, Dadder’s Properties, Dadder’s Estates, Dadder’s
Enterprises, Dadder’s Holdings, Troy Allison file Federal Racketeering
Lawuist against the City of St. Paul. Court file #05-1348 JNE/SRN

December 21, 2005 Jeff & Sara Kubitschek join Federal Racketeering lawsuit
Court file #05-1348 JNE/SRN

April 25, 2006 Denise Simmons files “Notice of Claim” alleging several violations of
Federal law regarding her house on Sherburne. These notices are usually
the first step in filing a lawsuit.

June, 2006 Akinwale Akinropo files “Notice of Claim” on her property on Bates.
These notices are usually the first step in filing a lawsuit.

As of right now, the Plaintiffs and Defendants are taking Depositions and serving their
serving their “expert reports” on each other.

According to the “Pretrial Scheduling Order” the cases have to be ready for trial on
September 1, 2007.

More CRIME from the Property Pirates?

48.Appeal of Donald and Mercy Flemino to an Order of Condemnation for property at 175 Fairview Avenue North (Laid over from August 16) (Legislative Hearing Officer recommends denying the appeal concerning the Correction Notice; recommendation concerning the Condemnation is forthcoming)


Appeal of Robert Gausman to a Condemnation and Order to Vacate property at 451 Selby Avenue. (Legislative Hearing Officer recommends laying over to the September 19 Legislative Hearing)


Appeal of Jeff Pauls to a Summary Abatement Order for property at 1265 Rice Street. (Legislative Hearing Officer recommends denying the appeal.)

Are these really nuisance properties?


7. Letters from the Office of License, Inspections and Environmental Protection/ Neighborhood Housing and Property Improvement declaring 651 Blair Avenue, 719 Case Avenue, 931 Marshall Avenue, and 1022 Minnehaha Avenue West

nuisance properties, and setting date of Legislative Hearings for September 19, 2006 and City Council Hearings for October 4, 2006.

Racketeering Law Suits Revisited.

Due to the current traffic to this topic I have brought it to the top of the discussion.

21 Comments to date-

I have added links to the RICO lawsuits against the City of St. Paul.

The links are located on the right side of the screen below my profile.

Please take the time to sort through the legal boredom and get to the meat of these stories. It's a sad drama of personal grief suffered by many.
posted by Bob at 11:08 AM on Sep 10 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is Ch. 5 News misinformed or are the police lying to them?

Last night on CH. 5 I seen a report about the Gang Graffiti in Highland. It was reported 2 were arrested ages 18 & 19. Ch. 5 reported this as if it were the first time these 2 were arrested.It was not.

As you all remember my son was falsely arrested for this act, and he was so upset over his false arrest immediately after he got out of jail he went after these alleged dangerous gang bangers and assisted the police in apprehending the perps.

I guess they were released from custody and started spray painting graffiti in Bloomington. I can see why they went to Bloomington they got beat up for doing it here in our neighborhood and they kept getting caught by neighbors in the act of painting graffiti.

The "LIE". They aren't really part of a violent murderous gang. They only would like to be. They spray paint the real gangs graffiti all over as if they were the real bad gang bangers and they are not! Like I said their just SCRUBS, wanna be's.

I tend to believe it was probably the police who told channel 5 these were real bad guys belonging to a violent murderous gang. It makes them look better to get some dangerous gang bangers off the street verses some dumb kids.

Channel 5 interviewed my friend Paul and my sons girlfriend Judy. Paul manages the Marathon gas station and my sons girlfriend Judy works there.If the reporters had asked the right questions they would have found the truth in all of this.

My son still has emotional difficulty over the unwarranted police attention he has received.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ramsey County officials decide whether or not to throw away tax payers money

Old jailhouse could become condos

Ramsey County officials are renegotiating a development agreement for the county's old riverfront jail in downtown St. Paul.

Long in the works, the project has been delayed while developers reconsider whether to completely replace the jail, perched on the Mississippi River bluffs near the Wabasha Bridge.

Ramsey County property management director Jolly Mangine said the developers might convert the building to condominiums instead because replacing it altogether could prove too expensive. The project is paired with a planned 33-story condo tower adjoining the old West Publishing headquarters on Kellogg Boulevard.

The developers, Welsh Cos. and David Bernard Builders, are expected to pay $3.9 million for the jail and the adjoining property.

— Jason Hoppin

Bob- Yeeeks, do they think we really need more condos in ST. PAUL? It's nuts! The realestate market is starting to take a dive. I like how the author of the article above called it the OLD JAILHOUSE. It's the newest building on the river front. And it is also the best looking building on the river front.

The sale price of 3.9 million. Us tax payers paid a hell of a lot more money for this building than their selling it for. I thought buildings appreciated.


No worries about Benanav becoming judge!

Ostby leads in judicial contest
Pioneer Press
Voters in St. Paul and Ramsey County stuck with the tried and true at the polls Tuesday night. Incumbents cruised to fairly easy victories in most of the offices on the primary election ballot and rallied behind endorsed DFLers.

Likely the most closely watched race had Ramsey County District Court Judge Elena Ostby facing challenges from two St. Paul attorneys, including City Council member Jay Benanav.

Although facing a better-known opponent (Benanav ran for mayor in 2001) and trailing in fundraising to both Benanav and Paul Godfrey, an insurance attorney, Ostby led her two rivals by better than 4,000 votes in a rare judicial primary election.

"I haven't been a career politician, and I have been honing my craft as an attorney for 20 years, and I think voters recognize that," said Ostby. She said she considered it a mark of honor that she was a relative unknown. "People haven't had any reason to hear about me," she said.

Benanav noted primary and general elections can have entirely different results: he himself won the 2001 mayoral primary in St. Paul only to lose narrowly in that year's general election. "And, you have to remember, having that incumbent next to your name is a big advantage," said the Ward 4 city council member.

Ostby will face Benanav in the general election Nov. 7.

In the other nonpartisan race on the ballot, incumbent Ramsey County C0mmissioner Rafael Ortega easily bested both businessman Dan Galles and golf caddy Charles Barklind. Ortega pulled ahead of Galles, his nearest rival, by a nearly 3-to-1 margin on the strength of his three terms on the board and the DFL endorsement in the race.

"I've been working hard, and it paid off," Ortega said of the widest election margin he has posted as a county board candidate. "I work hard for transit and housing, and people know that."

Galles didn't sound surprised by the result Tuesday. "There was absolutely no reason for independents or moderates to come out today," Galles said. "He would be in real trouble if he didn't do as well as he did today."

The district includes Highland Park, which votes heavily and does stray on occasion from the dominant-party DFL endorsement in local races. The area went for Randy Kelly in 2001 and sent the last Republican to the Legislature from St. Paul in the 1980s.

Ortega and Galles will face off again in November.

State Sen. Mee Moua easily turned back the first primary challenge she's faced since being elected to succeed Randy Kelly in 2002, when the longtime East Side senator was elected St. Paul mayor.

"It gave us a chance to get the base out early," Moua said. She'll face Republican Richard Mulkern, who did not have a primary opponent, in November. The district has been in DFL hands since 1980.

In the other contested legislative race in St. Paul, Minnesota Nurses Association head Erin Murphy easily beat University of Minnesota public health educator John Gehan in the DFL primary to succeed outgoing state minority leader Matt Entenza.

Entenza left the Legislature to run for attorney general, and Murphy upset rival DFLer Ian Keith in April to win the party endorsement for Entenza's vacant seat. She'll face Republican Kirstin Beach and Green Party challenger Jesse Mortenson in the general election.

It is one of the most liberal districts in the Legislature, and the upstart Green Party has made some inroads — Green mayoral candidate Elizabeth Dickinson won one of the district's 15 precincts outright in last year's mayoral primary.

But DFL party loyalists have represented the area, with a succession of representatives, since 1970, and Murphy posted the widest victory of the night in local races, beating her DFL challenger by 5 to 1.

"I'm just turning that off," Murphy said of the DFL dominance in her district. "This is the first time I've been a candidate, and we're going to work on turning people out and helping the top of the ticket."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Inmate Bites the Dust!

REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. (AP) _ The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was investigating on Monday after the death of an inmate at the Redwood County Jail.

The body of the 35-year-old Granite Falls woman was found around 5 p.m. Saturday hanging in her assigned cell. The woman had been arrested Friday evening on a failure to appear warrant on drug related charges.

Jail workers and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive her.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Republican Strategies!

Legalizing Marijuana - A New Republican Strategy?
by Mike Rhodes ( MikeRhodes [at] )
Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM
The Republican Party has a new voter registration project in Fresno. It involves luring people to sign a LEGALIZE MARIJUANA petition and then re-registering them as Republican

Legalizing Marijuana - A New Republican Strategy?
By Mike Rhodes

The attractive young woman says to me, "would you sign our petition to legalize marijuana?" I don’t have to think twice and say "sure, where do I sign?" That is when it got interesting. She says, "Do you have your ID with you?" "Well, yes I do, but what does that have to do with..." I say as she responds with "oh, we just have to verify your ID." Thinking that this has something to do with making sure they have valid names for a ballot initiative I comply.

As I’m filling out my name and address on the petition I notice that the young lady is filling out a very official looking form. Probably just the ballot initiative form, I think to myself. Then, she says "is it OK if I register you as a Republican?" "What?!?" I say "yes, I do mind! What are you doing?" She says that if I register Republican she will get an extra 10 cents. But, I complain, "I don’t want to re-register." She explains that this is just to update the records for the County Clerks office. I repeat that "I do not want or need to update my records." I am repeatedly told that it is OK and that they just want to update my voter registration records. She also tells me that she is working for the Republican party, being paid hourly, and that the ploy about the "10 cent bonus" was not accurate.

This Republican party employee goes on to tell me that she is there to attract people to the table that is set up in Fresno’s Courthouse Park, and that the legalize marijuana petition is just a prop. She confirmed that there is no ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. She said that the petition will be given to an elected official in Sacramento. I have my doubts about that.

At this point in the conversation, she called over her "boss" who was talking with someone a short distance away. I introduced myself as the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper and said I was interested in writing a story about the petition campaign and their registering people with the Republican party. I guess that wasn’t the right approach to get him to open up to me. The "boss" gave me no information. He even refused to give me a copy of the marijuana legalization petition I had just signed.

Later that day I called Victor Salazar, the Fresno County Clerk. Salazar said that the process sounded deceptive and that I might want to call the Secretary of State fraud investigation unit. I called the number for the fraud investigation unit repeatedly today. Apparently, nobody was in the office today and all I got was an answering machine. I will continue to call.

I also went back to Courthouse Park today to see the Republican Party project was again in full operation. They seemed to have different approaches to different groups. To white men that looked like they might be attorneys, they asked if they were registered to vote. When Latinos walked by they would throw out the legalize marijuana angle.

The Petition
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM

Republican Party employees used this petition to lure people to their table. Once there, they re-registered them with the Republican Party.

Courthouse Park
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Aug 3rd, 2006 6:06 PM

The Worlds Oldest Profession

The World's Oldest Profession

Prostitution causes crime, I would like to submit that most of the criminal activity surrounding prostitution is the direct result of forcing it into the underworld of illegal activities right along side of those unsavory types who inhabit that world.

Countries where prostitution is completely legal don't have the crime problems associated with it that we do.

Yet, in the United States prostitution is a real problem.

But there's a real solution.

Legalize it.*

It already is legal in many parts of the world.

Even in at least one Nevada county in the good ol' U-S-of-A.

If prostitution were legal we could

reduce or eliminate the rampant victimization of prostitutes by pimps, johns, and the whole unsavory raft of criminal elements now associated with it

control disease by requiring regular checkups and health certificates

get many prostitutes off the street and into a controlled environment

put more of our limited law enforcement resources into fighting major crimes

take away the impetus to get young women (and men) hooked on drugs in order to turn them into prostitutes (and profit)

eliminate a significant source of income for organized crime, and

put prostitution officially on the tax rolls.
Right now, instead of deriving income from prostitution, we are spending large sums of money trying to wipe out "an evil" which has largely been created in a muddled effort to legislate morality.

By legalizing prostitution, we would not be condoning it.

Strangely, this is exactly the same conclusion the Catholic Church came to many years ago before the anti-sex factions got control.

But, legalizing prostitution hasn't a chance in hell.

It makes too much sense.

And it would be politically unpopular.

And politicians depend too much on inflating issues like this to get elected.

Another victim of code enforcement!

Please click onto the title of this topic for another story of a City taking someones property.

When Good News For Cops Is Bad news For Cops by Claire Wolfe

"Be careful what you wish for. You might get it."
You might win the lottery and end up dancing the tango with the laxman for the next ten years. You might find True Love—only to discover that your male has relatives from Hades and slowly begins to resemble them.
Or, if you're a peace officer, you might be granted ever-expanding search pow­ers—only to find out one day that those ballooning powers hurt you worse than they hurt the criminals you're supposed to take off the streets.
Congress keeps creating new and expanded authority for searches and sei­zures. The Supreme Court keeps finding creative reasons to destroy historic pro­tections against unlawful searches. Like the authority to:
• Bring in drug-sniffing dogs when no
drug use is suspected.
• Conduct random checkpoints for
everything from drunk driving to seal-
belt compliance.
• Perform violent no-knock raids in the
middle of the night with little justifica­
• Force innocent people to ID them­
selves or face arrest.
Search passengers in vehicles because
the driver might have committed a
"Sneak and peek" into data and pos­
sessions without notifying the owner.
Search vehicles even when the driver
is arrested outside them.
• Get secret search warrants, backed
by secret affidavits, issued by secret
You might think those expanded pow­ers are good. Government lawyers and high law-enforcement mucky-mucks think the eternal expansion of police powers is good. Every time there's a new decision or a new law expand­ing search authority, the bigwigs trum-
pet the virtue of "Giving police the tools they need to get criminals off the streets" or "Giving government the tools to fight terrorism and ensure our national security."
But when the long-term consequences hit, die lawyers and mucky-mucks will be behind the gates of their cushy sub­urban communities. It's the ordinary officer, the little guy on the streets, who's going to suffer.
And suffer they will. Eventually. Not today, not tomorrow. Maybe not for another ten years. But eventually, a day of rage will arrive.
When the long-term
consequences hit,
the lawyers and
mucky-mucks will be
behind the gates of
their cushy suburban
communities. If s the
ordinary officer, the little
guy on the streets, who's going to suffer.
Of course, peace officers already deal with rage every day. But this will be different.
The rage isn't going to come from guilty individuals trying to weasel out of responsibility after being caught in the act. The rage isn't going to come from rapists, murderers, terrorists and gangsters to whom rage is a way of life. It isn't going to come from drug dealers. Or scam artists. Or embezzlers. They're all part of the criminal system. Getting frisked or strip-searched or having their
stuff confiscated is just a routine occupa­tional hazard for a lot of them.
No, the rage is going to come from a quarter where everyone will least expect it. It's going to come from tens of thou­sands of ordinary working-class and middle-class men and women—people who grew up in homes where their mothers told them, "The police officer is your friend."
Let me describe a few cop-encounters that happened to people 1 know. I've given them nicknames to avoid hurling them further.
Betsy, a middle-aged interior decora­tor, is hauling a van-load of samples on a Texas highway. She's slopped for a broken taillight She's done nothing else wrong. But because she's near the Mexican border, officers insist on search­ing her van. They make it clear that if she doesn't "consent," they'll bring out drug dogs—and that those dogs will find something. Bewildered and terri­fied, Betsy "consents" to the search. Two hours later, the police depart and leave her standing in the growing darkness, alone on the highway, to re-pack her vehicle.
Patrick, a young man from Wyoming, is driving clown a dark, lonely road in an Eastern state. A squad car pulls behind him. On go the bubble lights. Patrick has no idea why anyone would stop him, (It will later turn out that the officer ran his license plate, made a data-entry error, and thought the truck might be stolen.) Patrick fears to pull over in the deserted dark, so he slows down, puts on his emergency blinkers, waves out the window in a "follow me" gesture, and drives about a mile to a lighted shopping mall. Thereupon, the officer drags him out of his vehicle, ransacks it, and hauls Patrick to jail for not pull-

32 S.W.A.T. SEPTEMBER 2005