Of all of the states of the union, not one is more powerful or prosperous than California. California is the 6th richest economy in the world, or so folks say. I was employed with the state of California for over 20 years and saw how this powerhouse operates behind the scenes. Let me just say that California does not operate for its people, which is why Californians like myself are leaving in droves.
Normally, a state employee gets sucked into the system, believing in what they are doing and follow the blue state rhetoric that goes along with it. That was not me. I happen to believe that being a public servant, I work for the public, not for the government. This is so far from the truth. I didn’t fall into the brainwashed blue abyss. I was big time red-pilled by the waste, corruption, and abuse I witnessed. Now, after twenty long years, I’ve walked away for good, taking my dismal CalPers retirement promises with me. I’m ready to tell everything I witnessed to educate Californians and other Americans about the corrupt government collecting millions off of the backs of hard-working people.
California is very dependent on their labor unions. Not only do labor unions act as lobbyists for the left’s agenda, but they are the middle man of money between legislators, administrations, contract attorneys, and the courts.
First, let me be clear: labor unions do not represent employees. This is a myth. They may boast about receiving big settlements for employees who have been wronged, and take full credit for it, but this occurrence is rare. For the most part, management is in charge. I once saw hundreds of back-logged employee grievances flagged for denial without even being reviewed.
Negotiations for memorandums of understanding, or MOU’s, are negotiated for the state, not it’s employees. I can’t tell you how many times a raise was negotiated, only to find out that health premiums were to increase, leaving those raises completely moot. The last straw for me was the promise of a 5% raise followed by a memo that stated that my rural health premiums were being increased by 25%, resulting in a 20% decrease in my pay.
The unions know this and don’t announce the increases until after the love-bombing promise of a raise. It is an outrageous bait and switch, leaving the rank and file employees scrambling for a way to keep up. If California were to convert to a “right to work” state instead of collective bargaining, the state could save millions of dollars for real help to struggling Californians. Instead, millions are spent on Judge salaries, union administrators, office space, court fees, supplies, equipment, insurance, employee salaries, postage and lawyers for collective bargaining operations.
Legislators write bills to create laws and programs designed to create new departments, more employees, and more dues flowing to the unions. When department management sits down with the unions at the bargaining table, an impasse is likely, resulting in the need for outside counsel to step in.
California is completely run by lawyers.
Contracted firms generate millions per year. A contract for a single department generates up to $10M per year, often more. When it comes to budgets, the payment to attorneys is top priority. There are no questions asked. Payments are made regardless of budget.
I was in charge of setting up a contract for one of these firms. There are hundreds of documents required in processing these contracts. According to state policy, a letter is required to be submitted to the Attorney General giving an explanation as to why outside counsel is needed. All of the paperwork was in place but when it came time to submit this feasibility letter to the AG, all procedure was halted.
A week later, a contracted number was generated, bypassing all documentation and data into the system.
When the contract went over budget, and extension of another million was generated with no signature or authorization whatsoever, that left no accountability for funds. With no accountability, kick-backs and other schemes run wild. I observed upper management include their names into these contract documents, claiming billable hours of over $300 on top of their already bloated salaries.
When the Bureau of State Audits began to investigate this, the administrators in question quietly retired, only to return a year later when the dust settled. This is a textbook example of kick-backs and double-dipping the system. No wonder the rank and file lose money and administration and legislators get raises.
State departments have to project their budget every year. All of these special projects and contracts are necessary in order to justify their projected budget for the next fiscal year, even if the project or contract is not needed. This makes room for management to spend money on new office equipment, lavish training retreats, new fleets of vehicles, expensive operator-assisted conference calls, new cell phones, new computers and printers. Whatever extra perks they can find, completely justified by a fraudulent, bloated budget. Sometimes, an elected official will come up with a grand idea to cut spending, only to create more corruption.
The largest department in the state is the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This department spent almost a $1B in settlements to inmates between the years of 2012 and 2015. Think of all of the elderly, veterans, students, and needy families that could have used that money, not to mention the schools that ask for more grants and bonds every year.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor, he elected to merge two state departments in order to “save money”. The Department of Personnel Administration and the State Personnel Board were merged to create CalHR. The governor presented this as a means to cut spending, but there was a big problem.
When these departments merged, the State Personnel Board moved from the general fund to a private fund under the DPA. The DPA bills every department in the state for their mandatory legal oversight, submitting invoices for as high as $400k per month. These invoices are for billable hours DPA attorneys spend in assisting the departments in collective bargaining, arbitration, and other personnel matters.
The state bills itself.
Payments for these invoices are not logged, tracked, or accounted for at all. The invoices are paid, no questions asked, to be deposited into CalHR’s secret account, leaving a revolving door of money, accessible to lawyers, union executives, administration, and anyone else seeking to gain from the swamp of corruption.
For those who don’t believe in the deep state, corruption, kick-backs, and other swamp transactions, I assure you that it does exist. Tax payers should care because they are being robbed every day by elitist bureaucrats. With the flood of people leaving the state because it is becoming impossible to survive, it is only a matter of time before the whole system implodes.
Michele Stump is a Lead Contributor at the DailyLead.