Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Los Osos CSD Municipal Bond Fraud Question for the Des Moines Register

Representative Gustafson story question, please
TO: Carol Hunter, Executive Editor, Des Moines Register

Hello Carol,

I'm a blogger/reporter in San Luis Obispo County, California, and I'm researching a story that involves Iowa State Representative, Stan Gustafson (District 25).

Now, on August 8, 2017, I cc'd you, and several of your editorial staff, on an email I sent Representative Gustafson, and that I also published on my blog, at this link:


... where I show how his name is attached to a critical piece of evidence in an ongoing SEC municipal bond fraud investigation involving Representative Gustafson's previous elected position with the Los Osos Community Services District.

In my email I also show how an attorney has told me that "Yes," the LOCSD's "Summer 2000" newsletter -- the critical piece of evidence that has Gustafson's name all over it (and in REALLY bad places) -- constitutes fraud, and how that fraud now has about 4,200 Los Osos property owners (including many low-income seniors) funding the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud until the year 2033, and frankly, beyond.

In my email, I also asked Representative Gustafson if he signed off on the wording in that fraudulent newsletter before it went out, or, did his jaw hit his desk when, AFTER it was mailed out to "every property owner and resident of Los Osos," he discovered that one of his fellow Board members actually created, and then mailed out the fraudulent newsletter without his knowledge.

In other words, I gave Representative Gustafson a golden opportunity to distance himself from the municipal bond fraud.

Well, I have an update to my reporting that I'd like to share with you and the editorial staff at the Des Moines Register.

After several weeks from the date of my original email, Representative Gustafson finally did respond.

Here is his response, in its entirety:

"I have reviewed the newsletter you linked me to. The CSD was established in order to complete a sewer project for Los Osos. The Board worked diligently with the necessary agencies and experts in order to do so. The County had to take it back over again. "

And that's it.

So, to repeat (for emphasis), I recently asked Iowa State Representative, Stan Gustafson, these questions (quoting from my original email):

"1)  Did you, like the Karners, benefit financially from the passage of the LOCSD's wastewater assessment, and therefore signed-off on that fraudulent newsletter BEFORE it went out?

or;

2) Were you even aware that your fellow LOCSD Board member, Pandora Nash-Karner, was producing/mailing that "Summer 2000" newsletter, and when you first saw it -- AFTER it was mailed out -- your jaw hit your desk?"

And his answer to those intensely important questions was:

"I have reviewed the newsletter you linked me to. The CSD was established in order to complete a sewer project for Los Osos. The Board worked diligently with the necessary agencies and experts in order to do so. The County had to take it back over again."

So, again, because I am a very cool/fair reporter, I actually gave him the opportunity to distance himself from the LOCSD's municipal bond fraud, and he chose not to go that route. [I'm assuming that he doesn't have access to counsel, because that is absolutely terrible advice.]

Now, I noticed how the Des Moines Register, back in 2014, did a nice report at this link:


... that shows how Gustafson actually lied to the "Record Herald and Indianola Tribune," AND to the People of Iowa, when he failed to disclose his previous elected position with the LOCSD.

Additionally, in another stunning piece of evidence from... uh, 2016-ish(?), at this link:


... Representative Gustafson actually confesses to "helping to bankrupt (the) Los Osos (CSD)."

So, this all falls into place, perfectly: Gustafson's name shows up all over the the evidence (and, again, in really, REALLY bad places) in a current, on-going SEC investigation into municipal bond fraud by Gustafson's LOCSD -- municipal bond fraud that has some 4,200 Los Osos property owners funding the fraud until the year 2033 -- and that municipal bond fraud led directly to the LOCSD's bankruptcy starting around the mid-2000s (as Gustafson NOW confesses to), and that's WHY he lied to "Record Herald and Indianola Tribune," and to the People of Iowa regarding his previous elected experience, back in 2014.

Now, here's why I am emailing you today:

When I Google: Des Moines Register Gustafson

... I'm not seeing any reporting from Iowa on the super-important Gustafson/LOCSD municipal bond fraud/SEC Investigation/deliberately lying to the People of Iowa story.

The only Des Moines Register story my Google search turns up is the previously mentioned, "Gustafson admits recall from California board in '05," story from 2014.

So, now I'm just wondering if the Des Moines Register is planning on covering the story on WHY Representative Gustafson lied to the People of Iowa in 2014, when he deliberately omitted his disastrous, and fraud-filled (errrr... "allegedly" [finger quotes]) term as a Los Osos CSD Director.

If you (or anyone on your staff) have any questions about the SEC investigation, or any of the municipal bond fraud evidence against the LOCSD, or how some 4,200 property owners in Los Osos (including numerous low-income seniors) are now stuck funding that fraud until the year 2033 (and beyond), please just ask.

Thank you for your time,
Ron
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sewerwatch.blogspot.com


P.S. In my personal editorial policy of (what I like to term) "open source journalism," I have cc'd this email to numerous media-types (and others), and have also published it on my blog, at this link:


Thanks again.

###

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Los Osos CSD municipal bond fraud question for SLO County Assemblyman, Jordan Cunningham

Hello Assemblyman Cunningham,

I'm a blogger in SLO County, and I'm researching a story involving a property tax assessment in Los Osos, a community in your District.

Now, I noticed in your recent mailer, titled, "Fire Tax Flames Out," that you write, "For years Sacramento has unfairly targeted some residents with an annual $152 Fire Tax. The Legislature finally repealed the Fire Tax, starting next year."

and;

"This victory puts an end to the unfair burden on homeowners... "

And, on your Facebook page, at this link:


... you write:

"Californians pay too much in taxes. I'm proud to have worked to repeal the unfair Fire Tax on homeowners. Starting in 2018 we can all say good-bye to the Fire Tax."

With your focus of "unfair" property taxes, I'm now curious about your take involving a "special assessment" that appears on about 4,100 Los Osos property owners' tax bills as, "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT," for about $250/year.

First, a little background: The story that I am now researching involves a current SEC investigation into the Los Osos Community Services District for municipal bond fraud, and a key piece of evidence in the SEC's investigation is the LOCSD's "Summer 2000" newsletter, that I have made available for public download at this link:


Now, in that newsletter it describes (in detail) a sewer system that the LOCSD had been developing (for the previous two years -- since its inception in 1998) for the community of Los Osos -- a so-called "STEP/STEG" collection system with a "70-acre" treatment facility in the middle of Los Osos, comprised of several large ponds.

Additionally, the "Summer 2000" newsletter goes on to describe the 70-acre ponding system as "on schedule."

The newsletter also states that for the District's "better, cheaper, faster" sewer project to move forward, that, "yes," a property tax assessment vote would have to be passed by Los Osos property owners, and then the newsletter went on to outline a series of dire consequences that would result if the assessment did not pass.

The newsletter, along with a lot of other LOCSD marketing material during the run-up to the 2001 assessment election, did the trick, and Los Osos property owners passed the assessment a few months later.

However, as my previous investigative stories (including two New Times cover stories) on this subject clearly show, including at this link:


... a March 7, 2001, LOCSD report shows that the 70-acre ponding system that the LOCSD told "the residents and property owners" of Los Osos was "on schedule" in "Summer 2000," had actually completely failed by early February 2000.

A few years back, I asked an attorney if the above-scenario -- where a government agency produces a newsletter that states that a public works project is "on schedule," when the agency's own documents show that the agency was fully aware that the project described in the newsletter (in detail) had completely failed some six months earlier (and, frankly, was never even close to being a feasible option in the first place) -- constitutes fraud, and he told me, "Yes."

Furthermore, that property tax assessment vote that the District's newsletter heavily promoted for a "yes" vote (an election violation, by the way [Stanson v. Mott]), and that was eventually passed back in 2001 to fund a known-to-the-LOCSD-to-be-fake "project" (that never even came close to being built) allowed the LOCSD, in 2003, to sell nearly $18 million in municipal bonds, and those bonds are (present tense) 30-year bonds, that are secured by the roughly $1.2 million per year that is collected (by SLO County government) from those roughly 4,100 Los Osos property owners (at about $250/year) due to the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment -- an assessment that doesn't expire until the year 2033, for a failed, fraud-based non-"project," that will never exist, of course.

In other words, the LOCSD's completely fraudulent "Summer 2000" newsletter -- and I mean, like, every word in that newsletter is a complete and easily documentable lie, and that was obviously produced by the District solely to trick Los Osos property owners into passing the assessment -- is STILL 100-percent relevant today, and will continue to be 100-percent relevant -- 100-percent in play -- until the year 2033, and, frankly, beyond.

So, with all of that in mind, my question is, considering that you call the "Fire Tax" an "unfair burden on homeowners," and that the community of Los Osos is in your District, what is your take on the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment?

I mean, I'm assuming that the Fire Tax, at $152/year, was actually being used for SOMETHING, unlike the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment, at about $250/year, which is funding nothing but a fraud for the next 16-plus years, so I'm very curious on what your take is on the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment.

Finally, I want to point out that there is a massive stack of primary source evidence that shows that at least one of the LOCSD Directors in 2000, would/did benefit financially from the passage of the LOCSD's 2001 wastewater assessment.

Again, my question is: Considering that you refer to the "Fire Tax" as an "unfair burden on homeowners," what is your take on the fraudulent "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment, that's paying for absolutely nothing except to pay dividends to municipal bonds investors, on the backs of more than four thousand victims in Los Osos, including numerous low-income seniors?

What's your take on THAT tax assessment, and will you now work to repeal it?

If you have any questions regarding this email, please just ask.

Thanks,
Ron
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sewerwatch.blogspot.com


P.S. In my own beautiful editorial policy of (what I like to term) "open source journalism," I have cc'd this email to numerous media-types (and others), and have also published it on my blog, at this link:


Thanks again.

###

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

SEC Investigation Question for Former Los Osos CSD Director, and Current Iowa House Representative, Stan Gustafson

TO: Stan Gustafson (R), Representative, District 25, Iowa Legislature
DATE: August 8, 2017

Hello Representative Gustafson,

I'm a blogger in SLO County, and I'm researching a story involving a SEC investigation into the Los Osos Community Services District, and I just have a quick question for you involving a key piece of evidence in that investigation.

The evidence is the LOCSD's "Summer 2000" newsletter, that I have made available for public download at this link:


According to the newsletter, you were a LOCSD Director, and a member of its "Wastewater Standing Committee" at the time.

Here's the screenshot (hopefully you can view it):

Now, in that newsletter it describes (in detail) a sewer system that you, as a LOCSD Director and Wastewater Standing Committee member, had been developing (for the previous two years) for the community of Los Osos -- a so-called "STEP/STEG" collection system with a "70-acre" treatment facility in the middle of Los Osos, comprised of several large ponds.

Additionally, your "Summer 2000" newsletter goes on to describe the 70-acre ponding system as "on schedule."

The newsletter also states that for your "better, cheaper, faster" sewer project to move forward, that, "yes," a property tax assessment vote would need to be passed by Los Osos property owners, and then outlined a series of dire consequences that would result if the assessment did not pass.

The newsletter, along with a lot of other LOCSD marketing material during the run-up to the assessment election, did the trick, and, as you know, the assessment passed a few months later.

However, as my investigation into this story clearly shows, including at this link:


... a March 7, 2001, LOCSD report shows that the 70-acre ponding system that you, as a LOCSD Director and a member of its "Wastewater Standing Committee," told "the residents and property owners" of Los Osos was "on schedule" in "Summer 2000," had actually completely failed by February 2000.

I asked an attorney if the above-scenario -- where a government agency produces a newsletter that states that a public works project is "on schedule," when the agency's own documents show that the agency was fully aware that the project described in the newsletter (in detail) had completely failed some six months earlier (and, frankly, was never even close to being a feasible option in the first place) -- constitutes fraud, and he told me, "Yes."

Furthermore, the reason I am asking you this question today (well, OTHER than that whole 'SEC investigation' thing), is because, as you also know, that property tax assessment vote that the newsletter heavily promoted for a "yes" vote (an election violation, by the way), and that was eventually passed back in 2001 to fund a known-to-be-fake "project" (that never even came close to being built), allowed the LOCSD, with you as a Director in 2003, to sell nearly $18 million in municipal bonds, and, as you also know, those bonds are (present tense) 30-year bonds, that are secured by the roughly $1.2 million per year that is collected from about 4,200 Los Osos property owners (at about $250/year) due to that assessment, an assessment that doesn't expire until the year 2033, for a fraud-based "project," that will never exist, of course.

In other words, the LOCSD's completely fraudulent "Summer 2000" newsletter -- and I mean, like, every word in that newsletter is a complete, and easily documentable, lie, and it has your name all over it (and in really bad places, I will point out) -- and, as the evidence clearly shows, was produced solely to trick Los Osos property owners into passing the assessment -- is STILL 100-pecrent relevant today, and will continue to be 100-pecrent relevant, 100-percent in play, until the year 2033, and, frankly, beyond.

So, with all of that in mind, my question for you today is: Why?

Why, as a LOCSD Director, and a member of its "Wastewater Standing Committee, did you send out a newsletter, in the Summer of 2000, to all "the residents and property owners of Los Osos," telling them that your known-to-be-DOA, "better, cheaper, faster" sewer project was "on schedule," and that, "yes," the property owners would have to pass an assessment vote to fund it (again, an election violation), when you were fully aware that it had already officially failed some six months earlier, and, in reality, was never even a feasible option to begin with?

Or... repeat: OR, were you even aware that your fellow LOCSD Board Director, and Waste Committee member, Pandora Nash-Karner was going to produce, and then mail that newsletter, as she confesses to doing at this link:

... and when you first saw that newsletter -- a newsletter dedicated almost completely to advertising the long-failed 70-acre ponding system as "on schedule," and "better, cheaper, faster," and with your name all over it -- did your jaw hit your desk?

Which one of those two is it?

Finally, I want to point out that there is a gigantic stack of evidence that shows that the Karners would/did benefit financially from the passage of the LOCSD's 2001 wastewater assessment, so, it makes PERFECT sense why Pandora Nash-Karner would produce, and then mail, that fraudulent "Summer 2000" newsletter.

However, what I can't seem to find, is one shred of documentation that shows that YOU (or your other fellow board members [sans Nash-Karner]) benefited financially from the passage of that fraudulent assessment, which makes me think that, of those two options above, it was the latter: You (and your fellow board members, by the way) had no idea that Nash-Karner was producing and then mailing out that fraudulent OFFICIAL LOCSD newsletter, and when you first saw it -- AFTER it was mailed to "the residents and property owners" of Los Osos  -- your jaw hit your desk.

That's it, isn't it?

So:

1)  Did you, like the Karners, benefit financially from the passage of the LOCSD's wastewater assessment, and therefore signed-off on that fraudulent newsletter BEFORE it went out?

or;

2) Were you even aware that your fellow LOCSD Board member, Pandora Nash-Karner, was producing/mailing that "Summer 2000" newsletter, and when you first saw it -- AFTER it was mailed out -- your jaw hit your desk?  

Which one is it?

If you have any questions, please just ask.

Thanks,

Ron
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sewerwatch.blogspot.com


P.S. In my own, personal, and, yes, I will add, beautiful editorial policy of what I like to term "open source journalism," I have cc'd this email to numerous media-types (and others), and have also published it on my blog, at this link:


Thanks again.

###

Friday, October 14, 2016

Really? Trib columnist, Tom Fulks, is giving up tens of thousands of dollars of "political consulting" work, just to continue to write his "unpaid" column? I mean, Huh?

Campaign "Consulting" Question for Tom Fulks, please
Hello Stephanie,

I'm researching a story, and I just have a quick question for Tom Fulks, but I don't see a contact email for him in the tag line of his columns, so, I'm hoping that you would be so kind to forward this email to him.

Thank you! : -)

- - - - - - -

Hello Tom,

I'm researching a story, and I just have a quick question regarding one of your recent columns, at this link:


... where you write:

"The last time I was paid by (Supervisor) Gibson for campaign consulting work was June 2014."

I'm just curious: 2014 was the last time Supervisor Gibson ran for office, and, if he decides to run again, he'll likely be firing up his 2018 campaign sometime in 2017.

Now, as I've shown in my past reporting, for example, at this link:


... when Supervisor Gibson campaigns, his campaign pays you tens of thousands of dollars to be his "evil genius in the back room" (his phrase)/"political consultant."

Additionally, in his latest campaign filing, Supervisor Hill, in just the past few months, paid his "consultant," and your friend/colleague, Paul Hughes, of poliARC, more than $40,000 -- almost twice the amount of all contributions the Hill campaign received for that statement ["Monetary Contributions: $28,434.98"] -- with tens of thousands more from previous Hill statements going to your counterpart, Paul Hughes.

So, with all those huge stacks of cash in mind, I'm a little confused: When you write, "The last time I was paid by (Supervisor) Gibson for campaign consulting work was June 2014," are you saying that you have now somehow retired from your job as a "political consultant," and will now, for future elections, be giving up those huge stacks of cash that you are paid for your "political consulting" work, in order to continue to write your "unpaid" column for the Trib, or, when/IF Supervisor Gibson fires up his campaign next year, will you be giving up the Trib column in order to get paid the tens of thousands of dollars again by the Gibson campaign?

Trib Opinion page editor, Stephanie Finucane has hinted to me that you can't do both, understandably.

So, again, just curious: Next year, IF Supervisor Gibson fires up his campaign, will you be giving up the tens of thousands of dollars that he normally pays you for campaign "consulting" work, in order to continue to write your "unpaid" column for the Trib?

As always, much thanks,
Ron

Oh, and P.S: As usual, this email posted to my blog, SewerWatch, at this link:


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[Thanks again, Steph!]

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sewerwatch.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Los Osos Sewer Hook-Up Percentage Question

TO: John Waddell, SLO County Public Works Dept., Project Manager, Los Osos sewer project

- - -

Hello John,

I'm researching a story, and I'm just curious on what the sewer hook-up rate is in Los Osos?

For example, on the county's web site, at this link:


... it reads:

"Phase 1 of the sewer lateral connections of individual properties began on March 28, 2016..."

The site also reads, "... connections are required to be done within 180 days."

So, now that it's been almost "180 days" since "March 28," this is my question: As of August 30, 2016, what percentage of properties in "Phase 1" have hooked up to the sewer?

80-percent? 90-percent? 50-percent? Less?

The total number of properties in "Phase 1" would also be useful in my reporting.

Finally (and again), what happens to the property owners that do not hook-up "within 180 days?"

As always, much thanks,
Ron

P.S: This email posted to my blog, SewerWatch, at this link:


Thanks again.

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sewerwatch.blogspot.com