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Sanford makes hay out of high salaries

Do you sometimes sense the “fix is in” with regard to politics?

Tom Changnon has been superintendent for 12 years and is retiring. He has endorsed Scott Kuykendall who has worked in his office as assistant superintendent (not elected) underneath Changnon.

Shannon Sanford, a Ceres native, is taking on Kuykendall. Sanford is superintendent of the small Gratton School District. Voters in the past have held a tradition of picking their superintendents from small districts. Changnon was superintendent of Keyes and, previously Martin Peterson came from the Waterford Elementary School District.

Sanford is running an interesting radio ad which suggests that something is wrong when the superintendent of county schools is making more than the governor of California. She vows to spend 10 percent of her salary to purchase school supplies for our “local teachers who far too often have to pay for supplies out of their own pocket.”

I went to Transparent California website and found that Changnon is raking in $230,000.04 annually as he leaves office and receives $8,920 in other pay and $36,788 in benefits for a grand total cost of $275,708.12 to taxpayers.

The same website shows that Gov. Edmund “Jerry” Brown makes $185,870.45 and receives benefits of $93,089.08 for a grand total of $278.959.53.

Gov. Brown even makes less than Ceres Unified School District Supt. Scott Siegel, who is not elected. Transparent California notes Siegel is paid $214,769.26 annually, receives “other pay” of $21,361.26, takes $33,855.79 in benefits for a final cost of $269,986.31

Some of the deputy superintendents for Ceres make close to what the governor of California makes.

It seems like education is a cushy gig for administrators.

Speaking of Sanford, she is hosting a campaign fundraiser starting at 5 p.m. tonight at Alfonso’s Mexican Restaurant in Ceres.

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Lots of readers expressed dismay that police cannot release the names of juveniles arrested for crimes. The matter came up last week after we posted a story on our website about the two teenagers who robbed a 60-year-old Wells Fargo Bank customer at the downtown Ceres ATM. We ran the photo and name of the 18-year-old girl, Kiana Nesmith of Ceres. The ID of the 16-year-old boy who wrapped his hands around the victim’s neck and throat to help shake the money loose and threw him to the ground remains anonymous. Agreed, that’s bull.

California is one of those states that mollycoddles lawbreaking juveniles. Liberals think that protecting IDs is a way to promote rehabilitation and protect privacy.

In my opinion, if you want to try choking or killing a man for his money, you get no protection. Your name and photos gets plastered all around media because you are a thug and the public has a right to beware of you when you walk the streets the next day because the jails or juvenile hall is too full.

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You may have heard Harder’s “Done with Denham” radio ad. It insinuates that Rep. Jeff Denham voted for a bill that supports Jerry Brown’s Twin Tunnels project after being bought and paid for by Kern County farmers.

Stop. Wait right there.

Here’s really the truth. There was an appropriations bill with a provision to waive environmental review for every large water storage project intended to expedite much-needed water storage projects, such as the Sites Reservoir dam. There was also an amendment to stop the Bay-Delta Plan. Denham also put in $2 million to fund his Clean Water Act ready for Trump’s signature. Denham’s position remains that he will never approve the twin tunnels project until our region gets the water storage it needs.

So Harder is claiming Denham supports the twin tunnels when that’s not the case. It’s a matter of taking an issue and twisting it to take an unfair political jab.

As Denham’s Senior Legislative Assistant John Mark Kolb stated, if we had more reservoirs, we wouldn’t have to worry about sending more water down the river.

We don’t capture enough water in the mountains and foothills above us. Remember that the last water project built in California was New Melones on the Stanislaus River in 1979. That’s when 23.6 million lived in California. We’ve added nearly 16 million more people with no new water storage!

Don Pedro was finished in 1971. The La Grange in 1894. The New Exchequer Dam (McClure) in 1967.

I’d say it’s time.

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U.S. Senator Kamala Harris says the 10th Congressional District voter need to not vote for Jeff Denham, saying he’s backed by the NRA.

Harris plays politics in a district she hasn’t visited since she’s been a senator.

But what is really funny is how Denham’s late-arrival-to-the-district opponent, Josh Harder knows that calling for gun control in the Central Valley would be political suicide.

So, the facts mean nothing to Harris.

But despite that Harder hasn’t openly called for more gun control than we already have, don’t believe he would be a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. After all, the Brady Campaign, a group named after Reagan shooting victim James Brady that is pushing for more gun control versus criminal control, has endorsed Harder. Perhaps because they know Democrats would love to grab your guns?

If you value the freedom to arm and protect yourself and family, Josh Harder is not your guy.

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As a newspaper editor, I enjoy unfiltered press releases from various groups that really don’t make it into print – at least not without some significant editing.

I was not surprised to receive one on Wednesday titled, “UFW Foundation condemns Trump administration’s ‘radical plan’ to limit legal immigration with proposed ‘public charge’ rule.”

Aside from the fact that Donald Trump was undoubtedly elected because of Americans’ frustration with a porous border and flooding our nation with the world’s needy poor at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, the United Farm Workers just doesn’t get it. 

United Farm Workers Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres condemned what she called Trump’s proposed “Public Charge” Rule. She said it was a “hideous attempt to limit legal immigration.”

In a nutshell, the White House wants to implement a rule that would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to become legal residents if they receive government benefits. The changes would make legal immigrants reconsider applying for public benefits, such as Medi-Cal and food stamps. Illegal immigrants, who are ineligible for most government programs, are afraid that the few services they are able to receive would prevent them from gaining legal residency.

Understandably, fiscal conservatives herald the move, saying the U.S. should not have to support individuals coming into the country.

Torres says this is “part of Trump’s radical plan to limit legal immigration.” She also called the plan “malicious.”

Come on. It’s more like a desire to ween them off the government dole and halt illegal immigration who are driven to get taxpayers to take care of them. The average American is tired of being taxed to death so that we can take care of the poor streaming illegally across the border to fundamentally change America socially, politically and financially.

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I really enjoyed this email from Americans for Limited Government.

But let me set the stage first. As you should know, two shrill women had a melt-down and accosted U.S. Senator Jeff Flake as he was trying to make his way to the Kavanaugh hearing. They were upset that Flake said would be voting in favor of the Supreme Court justice nomination. Losing control, both women played to the camera while trying to shame Flake, saying they knew Kavanaugh was guilty of sexual assault and how could he allow that to happen and how his vote would be ignoring all women who have been violating. As Flake quietly put up with their antics he was disrespectfully told by the one woman to “Look at me … quit looking away from me.” CNN played right into it, with “Senator, do you care to respond?” “Can you not give them an answer, Senator?”

One of the women, Ana Maria Archila, was not just some random poor innocent victim of sexual assault. It turns out she is a Democrat leftist, a staff member of the Latin American Integration Center (LAIC) in Queens, New York. She also is co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, a progressive leftist organization.

Here’s where it gets humorous. Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning learned that Archila made $178,071 in 2016, while her male counterpart, co-executive director Brian W. Kettenring was paid $182,198. Manning wonders why the George Soros funded center isn’t living up to what it preaches about equal pay and equal rights for women.

Manning said it’s shameful that “her employer treats her unequally to her male counterpart. Perhaps, she should take her case to the Supreme Court. I’m confident when Justice Kavanaugh hears her plea that he will be sympathetic as someone who just hired women to fill every one of his highly sought-after clerk roles.”

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Steve Peace, who as a state Assemblyman was a member of the Gang of Five in Sacramento with Gary Condit, wrote an op-ed last week noting how independent voters have the control in politics in California. There are five million voters who are registered as “No Party Preference.” Peace points out that they could tip the scale in favor of Republican John Cox over the media proclaimed heir apparent Gavin Newsom. And it’s now possible that independent Steve Poizner (a former Republican) could be elected state Insurance Commissioner over Democrat Ricardo Lara.

Peace writes: “That we are even talking about these races borders on amazing. If any upsets this year were to occur in California, it will be the biggest political news since … well Trump winning in 2016.”

Keep in mind that Trump has endorsed businessman Cox, which helped cinch a win over SoCal’s Travis Allen.

I might add that independents could send Jeff Denham back to Congress for a fifth time. Keep in mind that Denham hasn’t lost a race since getting into state politics in 2002. He even survived a ridiculous state Senate recall effort launched by Democrats in 2008 after he cast a deadlock-breaking vote on the state budget.

I believe the voters will see the Harder candidacy for what it is: an outsider with limited connections to the Valley and heavy reliance on party support and Bay Area money in an attempt to turn the House back over to Democrats to begin this insane talk about impeaching Trump. 

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 I accidentally stumbled upon this story in the L.A. Times. Juan Romero, the Ambassador Hotel bus boy who tended to the mortally wounded Senator Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968 and whose haunting image was captured by a photographer seconds after the assassination, died at age 68 in, all places, Modesto. The San Jose man died Oct. 1, presumably in a Modesto hospital. He was here dating a woman when he suffered a heart attack and his brain went without oxygen too long.

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Okay, so I know these are old news stories but it dawned on me the other day how they were treated vastly differently by the national news media. When then Rep. Gabby Giffords was seriously wounded by a mentally ill gunman at an Arizona shopping center on Jan. 8, 2011, we heard a lot of talk about gun control. When Congressman Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was shot by a left-wing extremist on June 14, 2017, the media’s coverage strangely was absent talk about gun control. It was as if gun control wasn’t stressed because Republicans were the target.

Just an observation worth noting.

How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at