Tag Archives: Barbara Boxer

Lock him up: Ex-DC demorat staffer admits to doxing republicans, threatening witness

The “democratic political professional student” worked for U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and previously worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). He also previously worked or was an intern with the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

As reported by NY Post: A former Democratic congressional staffer pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges after he posted leaked personal information about Republican senators on Wikipedia, then threatened a witness who caught him.

Jackson Cosko, 27, of the District of Columbia, pleaded guilty to five offenses related to his “doxing” the senators — uploading their personal information online — including computer fraud, making public restricted personal information, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors said he went after the lawmakers after one senator fired him and he got upset with the others while watching testimony on sexual assault allegations during Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

His targets included GOP Senate Judiciary Committee members Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, as well as Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

He faces nearly five years in prison when he is sentenced June 13.

DCG

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Demorat intern arrested after doxxing GOP senators, faces 50 years in prison

Good. Make an example out of this unhinged demorat.

From Fox News: The arrest of a Democratic congressional intern this week for allegedly publishing the private information of three Republican lawmakers, with police investigating more possible incidents, underscores what has become an increasingly confrontational approach by the anti-Trump ‘resistance.’

Jackson Cosko, who recently worked as an unpaid intern for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, was arrested for posting the personal information of Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah on Wikipedia — including their home addresses.

Fox News learned Wednesday that Capitol Hill police are investigating additional doxxing incidents involving at least two senators, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. It was not clear if Cosko — who worked with other Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — was involved.

Cosko had worked in a host of roles in the House and Senate, including as press assistant and legislative correspondent, according to his LinkedIn page.

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday that the wide range of charges against Cosko, including witness tampering and burglary, suggests there could be more to the case than meets the eye.

“With seven different charges out there, it really does makes it sound like it’s more sophisticated and widespread because now you see Sen. Rand Paul is also having issues,” he said, although he added that it wasn’t clear if Cosko was connected to the Paul case.

While it was not clear what the motivation was behind the posting of personal information (known as “doxxing”), Graham, Lee and Hatch have been outspoken defenders of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid sexual assault allegations against him. The doxxing on Thursday came moments after Graham had scorched Senate Democrats in a fiery speech for what he called “an unethical sham” in their treatment of Kavanaugh.

The incident marks the latest in escalating attacks against Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials — particularly in relation to the Kavanaugh controversy — by far left-wing activists, which have occasionally picked up the support of Democratic lawmakers.

A day after the doxxing, two female activists cornered Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in an elevator on Friday and screamed at him, with one of them repeatedly demanding he look at her as she accused him of suggesting her own sexual assault “doesn’t matter.”

Moments later, Flake demanded an FBI investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh — forcing GOP leaders, faced with little room for error on Senate votes, to accede. It was not clear if the dressing down caused Flake to waver, but he later told The Atlantic that the incident “struck a chord.”

Days earlier on Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife Heidi were hounded out of a restaurant by protesters peppering the senator with questions about Kavanaugh and chanting “we believe survivors” and “cancel Kavanaugh.” His Democratic opponent in the Texas Senate race, Beto O’Rouke, condemned the incident and said his family “should be treated with respect.”

The tactic of hounding lawmakers and Trump officials out of restaurants became more prevalent in June, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen were driven out of restaurants amid the backlash over the separation of illegal immigrant families at the border.

That move was encouraged by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who days later called on supporters to confront Trump officials in public spaces.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she told a crowd.

In July, Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ., who recently compared himself to Thracian gladiator Spartacus, told supporters to go to Capitol Hill and “get in the face of some congresspeople.”

This week, Republicans have been pushing back against such tactics. Some have pointed to the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., at a Republican baseball practice last year as a reminder of how heated rhetoric can lead to much worse.

Kelley Paul, the wife of Sen. Paul, wrote in an open letter to Sen. Booker, saying that she now keeps a loaded gun by her bed after her family has “experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level.”

“I would call on you to retract your statement,” she said. “I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials’ personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.”

The Daily Caller reported that Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and his wife were chased through Reagan National Airport by activists — who kept yelling at him even as he tried to use the bathroom.

On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Perdue blamed Democrats for inciting such behavior, and read quotes he said were inciting harassment of Republicans in public.

“This is America, but these are the tactics of the Brownshirts in Germany in the 1930s, Mr. President,” he said. “Unacceptable. Totally irresponsible.”

According to the Washington Examiner, Cosko could face 50 years in federal prison.

DCG

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Running as terror expert, Loretta Sanchez misses many anti-terror panel meetings

She’s a demorat in California, that’s all the qualifications she needs to be elected in that state.

Loretta Sanchez

Loretta Sanchez


From Sacramento Bee: California U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who points to expertise in homeland security issues as a reason for Californians to elect her to the U.S. Senate this fall, has missed more than half the hearings of the House Committee on Homeland Security since she first joined the influential panel 13 years ago.
She’s far from the only one. It’s not uncommon for members of Congress, who may have conflicting meetings or other responsibilities, to miss committee meetings, and there are many with worse records than Sanchez.
But Sanchez has ranked particularly low in attendance in recent years: Last year, she ranked 28th out of 30 committee members after missing seven of the nine full committee hearings for which the Government Publishing Office has transcripts.
She also missed nearly all 2015 meetings of the Subcommittees on Border and Maritime Security and on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, according to the available official transcripts.
Sanchez announced in May of last year that she is running for the Senate to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer – so, not surprisingly, Sanchez spent time in California working on her campaign effort.
But she also missed the bulk of the meetings in 2013 and 2014, including most held by the subcommittees on border security and Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
Sanchez attended nine of the 22 full committee hearings those years, placing her near the bottom in attendance. Among the hearings she missed were “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland” and “The Rising Terrorist Threat and the Unfulfilled 9/11 Recommendations.”
Sanchez joined the Homeland Security Committee in 2003 and has attended 44 percent of the hearings since then, according to a McClatchy analysis of the full-committee hearings for which there are official transcripts released by the Government Publishing Office.
Her attendance record is far from the worst – Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Young of Florida, for example, didn’t show up for a single hearing during his two years on the committee – but it’s below the 55 percent average for members of the committee dating in 2003.
Sanchez has campaigned on her position as the most senior female member of the Homeland Security Committee, saying she “has emerged as an expert on intelligence and counterterrorism issues.”
Sanchez is also a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, where she is on a pair of subcommittees and is particularly known for her work combating military sexual assault and expanding women’s combat roles. The Armed Services Committee transcripts don’t indicate how many of the meetings Sanchez and other members attended.
Sanchez spokesman Luis Vizcaino said attending hearings was one aspect of her role on both committees, along with subcommittee work, briefings and congressional trips to volatile regions of the globe. “She is known and respected in Congress and the Pentagon for her expertise on military readiness and counterterrorism,” Vizcaino said in a statement.
“Her work ethic, commitment to her committee role and 20 years of experience on national security issues has provided her with a strong foundation of in-depth knowledge and expertise. Rep. Sanchez is always speaking with leaders and experts to get the information and intelligence needed to make the best decision for the security of this nation,” Vizcaino said.
Read the whole story here.
DCG

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SF gay activist arrested for child porn of 1 year olds

“Relativism poses as humble by saying: ‘We are not smart enough to know what the truth is—or if there is any universal truth.’ It sounds humble. But…[i]t’s like a servant saying: I am not smart enough to know which person here is my master—or if I even have a master. The result is that I don’t have a master and I can be my own master. That is in reality what happens to relativists: In claiming to be too lowly to know the truth, they exalt themselves as supreme arbiter of what they can think and do. This is not humility. This is the essence of pride.”John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God

Have you ever considered that the Left’s championing of moral relativism actually is their way of rationalizing and justifying their own moral perversions? If there’s no clear right and wrong, then what they do isn’t wrong.

Bernie Ward

Take Bernie Ward for example. A prominent leftist, Ward was a former aide to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) and a popular radio talk host on San Francisco’s KGO 810 AM with his own news talk show, as well as a 3-hour Sunday program called “God Talk.”

In 2008, Ward pled guilty to distributing child pornography “between 15 and 150 times” via the Internet and was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment. In the chat logs with a woman who posed online as a dominatrix, Ward also described sexual activity with his own children, although both he and his children denied to investigators that the activities ever occurred.

Most recently, another San Francisco leftist champion of moral relativism, 66-year-old prominent gay activist Larry Brinkin was charged with six counts of sending and receiving images of child porn, including those of children as young as one year old.

How utterly perverted can a man be to find a one-year-old child sexually appealing?

Larry Brinkin

Erin Sherbert reports for SFWeekly, Sept. 26, 2012, that Brinkin, San Francisco’s well-known gay rights activist, appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to six felony charges of sending and receiving images of child pornography.

The charges came three months after Brinkin, 66, was first arrested by San Francisco police, who claim he had been using the e-mail address zack3737@aol.com to view images of children as young as perhaps 1 year old being sodomized by and performing oral sex on adult men, accompanied by highly racist commentary.

On May 8, the SFPD was contacted regarding Brinkin’s alleged illegal activity. Investigators secured a search warrant on his home where he lives with his husband and son. They seized items from his house, including computers, videos, VHS tapes, and a floppy disc. Police later determined Brinkin received e-mails and sent two reply e-mails containing child pornography. Then on Aug. 8, the SFPD seized additional computers belonging to Brinkin, which allegedly contained dozens of images of child pornography. On Sept. 20, police arrested Brinkin again and booked him on child pornography charges.

Brinkin retired in 2010 after serving 22 years as a contract compliance officer for San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission. Beloved member of the gay community, the S.F. Board of Supervisors had declared the first week of February as “Larry Brinkin Week.”

Now I know why the latest push from the Left is to “normalize” pedophilia as just another ho-hum “sexual orientation.”

~Eowyn

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The bankrupt Democratic Party – by a former Democrat

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC2T81nsqKA&feature=player_embedded]

I honestly don’t understand how any Democrat, after watching this video, can remain a Democrat.

Maybe the message is getting through.

Rasmussen keeps a running monthly poll of party identification. Its latest poll found that in August, 2012, 37.6% of Americans considered themselves Republicans. That’s up from 34.9% in July and 35.4% in June, 2012. It’s also the largest number of Republicans ever recorded by Rasmussen Report since monthly tracking began in November 2002.

~Eowyn

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Democrats are hypocrites on gas price

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKdScVerrBU]
Democrats, thy name is Hypocrisy!
They doth speaketh with forkéd tongue.

H/t our Miss May

~Eowyn
 

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Americans With No Abilities Act

Breaking News!

Washington, DC – June 13, 2011

The Obama Administration is urging Congress and the Senate to
pass sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many
Americans: The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA). President Obama said he will sign it as soon as he squeezes out some free time from playing golf.

The AWNAA is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

“Roughly 50% of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said California Senator Barbara Boxer, a ready-made candidate for the AWNAA. “We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”

Another AWNAA candidate, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) also threw his support for the bill: “As a representative an exhibitionist with a big small penis, way too much time on my hands, but no abilities whatsoever, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so.”

In a Capitol Hill press conference, two other AWNAA candidates — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — pointed to the success of Congress, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74% of the members of Congress lack any job skills, making this institution one of the largest U.S. employers of Persons of Inability.

Other institutions and industries with good records of non-discrimination against the incompetent and inept include teachers’ unions (75%), Wisconsin public employee unions (95%), SEIU (99%), TSA (99.5%), U.S. Dept of Homeland Security (99.8%), ACORN (99.9%), and the Obama White House (100%).

At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons of Inability (a whopping 83%).

Under The Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million ‘middle man’ positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given so as to guarantee upward mobility for even the most inept employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions,and gives a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNAA contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?”

“As a Non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,” said Ken Cox, who lost his position as a TSA screener at Kennedy International Airport due to his inability to remember Janet Napolitano’s instruction, “Strip Search All Blond, Blue-Eyed Babies!”

“This new law should be real good for people like me,” Cox added.

H/t beloved fellows May & Joseph.

~Eowyn

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Left's Censorship of Conservatives Begins


Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff, famously said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Rahm was merely making explicit what the Left had been practicing for decades — the exploitation of some public tragedy by reflexively blaming the Right. 
As an example, the Left blamed the “climate of hate” in conservative Dallas and the “paranoid style” of American (conservative) politics for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, despite the convicted killer Lee Harvey Oswald being an avowed Marxist!
It’s the same liberal modus operandus in the recent Tucson, Arizona mass murders. Before anyone even knew who and what the shooter was, the Left and their complicit accomplices in the MSM already began pointing their fingers at “right wing hate rhetoric” as the culprit. Even after the facts began pouring in about Jared Lee Loughner — that he was apolitical, paid scant attention to the news, did not listen to talk radio, but instead is a drug-addled mentally-disturbed loser who worshipped at a skull-bedecked homemade altar — the Left’s scapegoating and demonization of Conservatives persist, undeterred by facts or the truth.

Paul Krugman himself engages in hate speech (A BKeyser design)


True to Rahm’s injunction, the Left did not let the crisis go to waste. In the aftermath of the Tucson tragedy, the father of Christina Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in the massacre, pleaded with the nation that his daughter’s death should not be exploited as a justification to crush constitutional rights. But the Left are doing exactly that.
First, Demonrat California Sen. Barbara Boxer sprang into action to censor the conservative organization Patriot Post. Below is a letter from the Patriot Post explaining what happened:

A staff member from California Demo Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office discovered a small image of an old sticker from the humor section of PatriotShop.US, targeting liberals for defeat prior to 2013. This image clearly was intended as humor but is no longer on our site. Only a small number of people had ever actually seen it.
Boxer believed that this three-inch image was too dangerous to be seen in public, lest it incite murderous violence. Ostensibly, to make her point, she enlarged the image dramatically, distributed copies of it at a televised news conference, and displayed it for the entire nation to see. (One may presume that her audience included more than a few psychopaths who otherwise would never have seen this image … good thinking Babs!)
We now find ourselves in the good company of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and many other conservatives who stand accused by the Left of provoking murderous attacks through words and imagery. However, Boxer’s public accusations pose a serious problem for us. While we have a large following, we remain a grassroots organization, not a well-funded political or media conglomerate.
By midweek, Boxer and her entourage of histrionic sycophants were actively endeavoring to have the entire PatriotShop.US site censored — and shut down. (And we thought Democrats wanted to create jobs.)
To date, our team has done an outstanding job of repelling Boxers efforts to silence us, and we will do everything in our power to continue to defend our First (and Second) Amendment rights. We write simply to ask for your prayers on behalf of our steadfast defense of Essential Liberty.
— The Patriot Shop Staff

Then, we learn that the FBI is compiling a list of Americans deemed a potential threat because they criticized their representative – and targeting them with home visits. As Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars reports:

An Ozark man who ran a blog last year critical of Republican Congressman Billy Long was shocked to see an FBI agent turn up on his doorstep asking questions. The agent was accompanied by Green County Sheriff Jim Arnott, who had stepped outside of his jurisdiction to become involved in this act of political repression directed against Clay Bowler, a resident of Christian County.
The FBI agent wanted to know if Bowler was a threat to Long because he had used an Internet blog to highlight claims of cronyism and corruption involving the Congressman before the southwest Missouri election in November, in which Long defeated Democrat Scott Eckersley to replace outgoing Rep. Roy Blunt.
The most heated confrontation Bowler had with Long was when he asked him a question about political donations Long had made. The video clip of the incident shows Bowler calmly asking Long a question as the Congressman walks away. He ran a website called “Long is wrong” in an attempt to prevent Long from being elected last year. The website has since been discontinued and Bowler hasn’t had any contact with Long since September.
Even the FBI agent who visited Bowler had to agree that his actions represented no kind of threat whatsoever. “I’m not a threat to Billy Long,” Bowler said Thursday. “I find the whole thought very funny, because I’m such an advocate for constitutional rights that I would never do anything that would put in jeopardy those constitutional rights like the Second Amendment”….
Arnott confirmed to KSPR News that Bowler isn’t the only local person who’s been scrutinized in the wake of last weekend’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ) during a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson, Ariz,” states the report, affirming that the authorities are compiling new lists of Americans who are now considered to be potentially violent threats for the crime of asking their own public servants uncomfortable questions. Separately it was reported that the FBI was preparing to visit other bloggers in the area.
Targeting anyone who exercises their First Amendment right to redress their grievances against local representatives who are paid to serve them with home visits accompanied by FBI agents only has one outcome – it chills free speech and discourages other Americans from speaking out against the government. These tactics also have the impact of making asking questions of elected officials, the lifeblood of a free society, seem somehow abnormal or suspicious.
Once again, vultures are still busy circling around last weekend’s tragedy, using it as a vehicle through which to advance their own authoritarian and anti-American agendas of political repression.
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and any move to imply that asking questions of public officials or engaging in criticism of government is somehow suspicious or indicative of a violent individual is a damning indictment of everything America is supposed to stand for. Circumstances like these should only encourage Americans to become more vocal in their dissent while they still have any semblance of free speech left at all.

H/t beloved fellows Tina & May.
~Eowyn

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Funny Spoof of Dem Sen. Barbara Boxer

David Zucker is a famous movie producer, of films such as Airplane, Naked Gun, Top Secret!, and An American Carol. Like many denizens of Hollywood, Zucker was a mindless unthinking liberal and had contributed big bucks to California Demonrat Barbara Boxer in her past (successful) elections for the US Senate.
But like many other Americans, Zucker’s eyes are now wide open. He has finally seen the light. He now regrets having supported Boxer and penned an apology to Big Government readers:

Every time I see the public record listing my campaign contribution to Boxer — I wince. I mean, we all have things we’ve done in the past that we’re embarrassed about, but I’d rather have my being restricted to 100 yards away from elementary schools be public knowledge than that $5,000 Boxer campaign contribution.

In atonement, Zucker made a video spoofing Boxer’s whining insistence that General Michael Walsh call her “Senator” instead of “Ma’am”. As a reminder, here’s the prickly Boxer reprimanding the general in June 2009:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0CprVYsG0k]
And here’s Zucker’s very funny act of penance, “Call Me Madam Joe”:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OoPnlIbNrU]
All is forgiven. Welcome to the Patriotic Resistance, Mr. Zucker! 😀
H/t HotAir.
~Eowyn

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California Welfare $ Spent in Vegas, Cruise Ships

Here’s another reason why the state of California is dead broke and broken. Millions of taxpayer dollars handed out to welfare recipients parasites were spent in Las Vegas casinos, luxury cruises, and vacation sites of Hawaii, Miami, and Guam.
Despite that, the latest polls show perennial politico Jerry Brown (D) leading in the governor race and Barbara Boxer (D) — whom even the liberal San Francisco Chronicle refuses to endorse because she’s “ineffective” — leading in the senate race.
If welfare dollars are being squandered in California, imagine how federal welfare money is being spent….
~Eowyn

Design by bkeyser: https://www.cafepress.com/RTKArtistry


$69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state

By Jack Dolan – Los Angeles Times – October 4, 2010
More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami. State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.
Welfare recipients must prove they can’t afford life’s necessities without government aid: A single parent with two children generally must earn less than $14,436 a year to qualify for the cash assistance and becomes ineligible once his or her income exceeds about $20,000, said Lizelda Lopez, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.
Round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Orbitz.com Sunday started at $419 — more than 80% of the average monthly cash benefit for a single parent of two on CalWorks, the state’s main aid program. “How they can go somewhere like Hawaii and be legit on aid … they can’t,” said Robert Hollenbeck, a fraud investigator for the Fresno County district attorney’s office. “This is money for basic subsistence needs.”
The $387,908 accessed in Hawaii includes transactions at more than a thousand big-box stores, grocery stores, convenience shops and ATMs on all the major islands. At least $234,000 was accessed on Oahu, $70,626 on Maui, $39,883 on Hawaii and $22,170 on Kauai. The list includes $12,433 spent at the upscale Ala Moana shopping center, $3,030 spent at a group of gift shops next to Jimmy Buffett‘s Beachcomber restaurant on Waikiki Beach and $2,146 withdrawn from ATMs on the island of Lanai, home to a pair of Four Seasons resorts and little else. “If it’s on Lanai, that should trigger an investigation,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. “California taxpayers, who are struggling to keep their own jobs, are subsidizing other people’s vacations. That’s absurd.”
Of the nearly $12 million accessed in Las Vegas, more than $1 million was spent or withdrawn at shops and casino hotels on, or within a few blocks of, the 4.5-mile strip. The list includes $8,968 at the Tropicana, $7,995 at the Venetian and its Grand Canal Shoppes, and $1,332 at Tix 4 Tonight, seller of discount admission for such acts as Cirque du Soleil. Although many Las Vegas casinos block the use of welfare cards in ATMs on gambling floors, more than $34,700 has been spent or withdrawn from the ATM at a 7-Eleven in the shadow of Steve Wynn’s new Encore casino and a couple of blocks south of Circus Circus….
The data show addresses of stores and ATM locations where the cards have been used and the amounts of the transactions by year. They do not reveal the identities of the welfare recipients or show how many users visited a given retailer.
Of the $1.5 million accessed in Florida, $13,109 was spent or withdrawn in South Beach, most of that at bars and restaurants along trendy Lincoln Road. More than $7,000 was withdrawn from ATMs a few hours north, at Walt Disney World.
The data also show $16,010 withdrawn from 14 cruise ships sailing from ports around the world — Long Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing. Eight sail primarily from Miami.
The out-of-state spending accounts for less than 1% of the $10.8 billion spent by welfare recipients during the period covered, and advocates note that there are legitimate reasons to spend aid money outside of California. From the data provided, it cannot be determined whether any of the expenditures resulted from fraud. “I think when somebody hears it’s in a fancy hotel in Hawaii or Vegas, it’s too easy to assume the [welfare recipient] is visiting that place and it wasn’t somebody who stole their card,” said Jessica Bartholow, a legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
There is no rule preventing welfare recipients from leaving California, as long as they get clearance from their county case worker to be absent from the program’s 32-hour-a-week job training requirement. County investigators, who state authorities say are responsible for rooting out fraud and abuse, typically don’t question a recipient’s whereabouts until transactions on a welfare card show that he or she has been gone for more than 30 days.
“If it’s a one-time thing in Miami, we would never check that out,” said John Haley, commander of the financial crimes division of the San Diego County district attorney’s office, who said 24% of all new welfare applications in his jurisdiction contain some form of fraud. “We look for patterns of abuse.” In Los Angeles County, investigators hadn’t been checking until a recipient was gone for three months, said Department of Public Social Services Director Philip Browning. The inability to do more was “really just a resource issue,” he said. Following questions from The Times, Browning said investigators would start inquiring once the data show that a recipient has been gone for more than 30 days.
Many recipients travel to other states in an emergency such as a death in the family, investigators say. But with government resources scarce, it’s difficult to sort those cases from incidents of abuse. An anti-fraud unit in Orange County, which won praise from state officials last year for saving the state millions, has since had to slash its budget and lay off 15 investigators, said Paul Bartlett, commander of the county district attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. Those cuts saved $900,000 in operating expenses but allowed “an estimated $9.6 million in suspected fraud payments out the door,” according to an Orange County Grand Jury report released in May.
A state audit last year found that none of California’s 58 counties was adequately following up on information that could help root out fraud, including monthly computer matches that list clients who are receiving duplicate aid from other states, those who are ineligible because they’re in prison and others who have died.

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