Since he took office in 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown has granted 283 commutations and 1,332 pardons; more than any California Governor since the 40s.A lot of those happen on Christmas Eve, and this holiday Brown granted 143 pardons and 131 commutations. But the list did not include Napoleon Brown (no relation), who has served 18 years of his 44-year manslaughter sentence for a particularly brutal night of crime. Napoleon Brown is the older brother of San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who took the unusual step of using her Progressive cred in an attempt to get her brother some leniency.
Nearly a hundred years ago, Will Rogers said, “Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.” But even Will would have been at a loss for words to describe a recent decision by the Sacramento City Council to pay the 50 most well-known, trigger-happy gang members up to $500 a month, for up to 18 months, not to nine each other.
On August 28, 2015, Ian Hespelt, a 39-year old San Francisco bicyclist, attacked a woman’s rented car with his bike lock, smashing the driver side window, and nearly missing her head.
If you look at the colossally dumb videos on YouTube and Facebook, and the off-the-charts sales of Selfie Sticks, you’d think the whole world couldn’t wait to get their 15 minutes of fame. But evidently the 12,000-plus members of the Chicago Police Department feel differently.
Before I get to the details of this constitutional crime, let me say that America deserves a better conservative candidate than Donald Trump. The tragedy of Trump is that he is saying so many of the right things and is such a total boor in expressing them. I believe it was George Will who first pointed out Trump’s association with Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment, and remarked that Trump is operating on that same dumbed-down WWE level.
On April 26, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s now-famous statement moved the bar for responsible city government to an all-time low. What she meant to say was that, in the process of trying to give peaceful protestors the space to demonstrate about the death of Freddie Gray, marauding thugs were given free rein to sack her city.
Let’s say you’re a Portland citizen. You were an assistant manager of an auto parts store for almost nine years, and were laid off a few months ago. You have an excellent reference from your former employer, coach your son’s Little League team, and have had no brushes with the law, not even a speeding ticket. You hear a new auto parts store is opening, and send them your resume. Move quickly to the back of the line.
I have a pet theory that some of the worst damage done to our cities is inflicted by local school boards. Recently, NYC Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña tossed my pet theory a large tasty bone.
On September 28, the Seattle City Council embarrassed themselves by voting unanimously to search citizens’ garbage and fine them for food scrap violations. On October 6, they embarrassed the entire country.