Redevelopment Thug Madeline Janis Has Dumbest Solyndra Gotcha Yet

Madeline Janis has an argument so herniated and lame somebody was bound to make it: Republicans trying to cut through the Obama Administration’s Tule fog of obfuscation in the Solyndra scandal are showing why big government is necessary. 

Janis is a crooked-as-the-Kickapoo activist responsible for Los Angeles’ “living wage” laws, head honcho of the poverty-pimping L.A. Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), and commissioner at the City of Angels’ Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).  She's one of about a half-dozen people who most deserve thanks for the fact that L.A.'s gross metropolitan product was in serious secular decline even before the recession hit. Here’s her argument

But really, what the conservative Obama critics are saying is that the federal government and states such as California and Wisconsin that invested millions in the company should have had more bureaucratic red tape. Yes, that most hated of terms, “red tape” is something that could have actually prevented a huge loss of government dollars in an unwise investment.

Extreme right-wing conservative Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan…is arguing that part of the problem is that there was not enough government review and evaluation –  i.e., bureaucracy and red tape – of the Solyndra deal to make sure that it was a wise investment of taxpayer dollars.

As someone who’s spent nine years as a public official, as a member of the board of commissioners of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), I know a lot about bureaucracy. I have presided over the investment of billions of taxpayer dollars and creation of hundreds of economic development deals. I have seen my share of red tape… 

But it’s most often conservatives rather than liberals that – in my many years of experience – put the pressure on public officials like me to eliminate the so-called red tape and to move projects faster, sooner (should have been done yesterday!), before all of the appropriate evaluation and vetting have been done.

I believe Janis to be one of the least honest people I have ever encountered, but I think she is being sincere here. She truly doesn’t comprehend the difference between a government’s duty to exercise caution before spending taxpayer dollars and your being forced into a hell of permitting delays, land seizure and “user” fees for the crime of doing business with another willing adult. She’s been stealing money so long she thinks she’s earned it. 

Nevertheless, I have a soft spot for Janis, who is responsible for one of the few moments of actual pleasure I ever had at the L.A. Times. She and my boss were, for reasons I don’t care to explore, tight as ticks. I called her one day for questioning about the CRA’s long-stalled Vermont/Manchester Project (soon to celebrate 20 years as a vacant lot!). A few minutes into the conversation it clearly dawned on her that I was not asking friendly questions, and the change in her tone – from breezy and glib to vicious and vituperative – was something to witness. (I have a hunch this was the first hostile interview she’d ever faced from anybody at the L.A. Times.) Shortly after hanging up, I got called into my boss’s office for a stern talking-to, but it was worth it. 

You can read up on Janis. I was encouraged a few months ago to learn that a Sacramento oppo research firm was finally starting to document her reign of terror, but I don’t expect much to change. She’s done plenty of favors for the right billionaires. The many, many CRA projects that have turned arable real estate into fallow prairie are clustered in a part of town nobody in power cares about. The Republicans Janis pretends to condemn are in fact quite happy with the CRA’s violations of property rights, common sense, and the well-being of working poor people. Gov. Jerry Brown’s effort to shut down the state’s redevelopment agencies made more progress than I expected and helped to shine a light on these organizations’ stunning levels of corruption; but after the smoke has cleared, the CRA is still there, still destroying lives and property all over the county. 

I have no doubt that Janis hears from plenty of “conservative” swindlers who want to remove obstacles to their ability to collect public money. But she also hears from a lot of people like Kramer Metals, a viable Slauson Ave. scrap-metal business the CRA recently condemned and removed in order to replace it with more vacant land. 

But Kramer Metals wasn’t looking for a handout. It was being persecuted by an unaccountable gang of government extortionists and begging (in vain) to be spared. To Janis it all sounds the same. 

Hi! Perbole Alert! Several commenters have noted my intemperate or distemperate language, and others have added intemperate language of their own. All factual claims above are accurate. Phrases of broad contumely should be viewed as exaggerations expressive of my minority views: 1. Taxes are taken by force from unwilling parties who vote strongly and consistently against taxation whenever the very limited representation made available by our government allows them to do so; therefore the exchange of money is clearly not consensual and is de facto, though obviously not de jure, illegitimate. 2. The lack of consensuality is even more clear in eminent domain takings. 3. The corruption endemic in spending the wealth extracted through processes 1. and 2. should be considered contributory infringement after the fact. I do not claim any laws as currently interpreted were violated by the subject of this article. And of course, I was referring to the Kickapoo River in Wisconsin, which Cheeseheads are proud to call the crookedest river in the world. 

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  • Dumbar glory||

  • Bradley||

    I confess I don't understand you spammers. You think someone is likelier to scan a goddamn QR code than to just click a spam link?

  • fuck off||

    and go play with your Lego

  • Bradley||

    u mad bro

  • ||

    Reminds me of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency under the reign of Susan F. Shick. Except she makes Shick sound like an amateur.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Shortly after hanging up, I got called into my boss’s office for a stern talking-to, but it was worth it.

    How does something like this play out? "I'm hitting that so enough with the journalism, capisce?"

  • Old Salt||

    I imagine it was probably closer to this:

    "Seriously, son? Back the fuck off! Do you know how hard it is to find a pair of tits that don't charge me to take a Taco Bell Shit on?"

  • ||

    what a visual...lol

  • ||

    That's called a Cleveland Steamer, by the way. And yes, people pay good money for that sort of thing.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I want to be clear that though there was a talking-to, I was not asked to change anything or redirect any reporting. I have few good things to say about the L.A. Times, but they never spiked or mutilated anything I did for political reasons.

    Also, get your minds out of the gutter. The mutual admiration between Janis and my editor was as far as I know strictly professional, which makes it all the more incomprehensible.

  • ||

    She and my boss were, for reasons I don’t care to explore, tight as ticks.

    With a statement like that, you can hardly be shocked that some of us inferred something prurient.

  • ||

    Also, get your minds out of the gutter.


    But that would spoil the fun. :)

  • ||

    I was not asked to change anything or redirect any reporting. I have few good things to say about the L.A. Times, but they never spiked or mutilated anything I did for political reasons.

    So your boss bitched you out for asking tough questions and ultimately you were let go from employment at the LA Times....Either you are the most naive person on the planet or you think we are the most naive people on the planet.

  • Amakudari||

    Extreme right-wing conservative Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan…is arguing that part of the problem is that there was not enough government review and evaluation – i.e., bureaucracy and red tape – of the Solyndra deal to make sure that it was a wise investment of taxpayer dollars.

    Seriously, what conservative-with-strong-libertarian-leanings-or-whatever like Paul doesn't want greater deliberation in government? I thought that was the reason why our government is structured the way it is.

  • MJ||

    "She and my boss were, for reasons I don’t care to explore, tight as ticks."

    Well, if that is not bait for prurient curiosity, nothing is.

  • MJ||

    "Yes, that most hated of terms, “red tape” is something that could have actually prevented a huge loss of government dollars in an unwise investment."

    Or the government could just not engage in this kind of corporate welfare and any "red tape" involved with spending taxpayer monies wisely in such "investments" would be moot. The Left rails against corporate welfare in theory, but delights in it in practice as long they can put some pretty wrapping on it like "green energy".

  • ||

    + $14,000,000,000,000

  • Watoosh||

    SO TRUE. Corporate welfare bad, unless it consists of licensing requirements (can't have unprofessional hairdressers out there, someone might get hurt!), cartelizing regulations (who cares if it kills small businesses - without the government, you'd have an average of 2.8 fingers in every Big Mac!) and selective stimulus (tax breaks and subsidies) for "good corporations" who invest in 'Merkun jobs, green tech etc. Also, the GM bailout was necessary because China.

    I don't trust a single Team Blue cheerleader who complains about corporate welfare - Democrats have contributed at least as much to it as Republicans. I can sympathize with sincerely leftist greens, socialists and anarchists about how major corporations fuck the environment and how corporate hierarchies are a pain in the ass for employees (though I don't necessarily agree with them about solutions). Team Blue, on the other hand, doesn't give a shit about these things - they love corporations as long as they contribute to their ideal of a Progressive America.

  • Watoosh||

    *idea of a Progressive America

  • ||

    Actually I think Democrats are MORE in favor of corporate welfare than Republicans.

    Republicans do like the targeted tax breaks, but they aren't bold enough to demand outright subsidies. The Democrats are. And they arne't even ashamed of it.

    What is the single biggest source of corporate welfare in the budget? Farm subsidies. That came out of the New Deal.

    All those morons who favor a national industrial policy ... statist central planners the lot of them ... how do you tihnk they propose to implement it? Through subsidies to favored industries.

    For the Republicans, corporate welfare is a corruption that needs to be hidden. For the Democrats, it is policy.

  • SIV||

    crooked-as-the-Kickapoo

    Racist or "riverist"? You make the call.

  • Loki||

    I've worked in the field of tribal law for a few years, living in Oklahoma, and this is a phrase I've never heard.

    Cavanuagh, can you 'splain?

  • AKA crookedest in the world||

    Kickapoo is an Algonquian word meaning “one who goes here, then there”, a fitting name as the river is very crooked, frequently doubling back on itself...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kickapoo_River

  • ||

    May I point out that, unlike the California Redevelopment Agency, the Kickapoo River eventually DOES get where it's supposed to go?

  • ||

    Geez Tim, why don't you two just do it and get it over with. I'm starving.

  • GUFFAW||

    fer fuckin serious

  • pj||

    seriously. anyone else seeing Wendy and Cartman here?

  • Cowboy||

    She’s has been stealing money so long she thinks she’s earned it.

    sounds like a typical bureaucrat

  • Fluffy||

    I wish this woman would sue Reason so that you could use the discovery process to drive her to suicide.

    YEE HAW ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC BITCHEZ

  • ||

    That is what I was thinking. I would see this stupid bitch have to answer smart questions, then watch her spaz at how someone would question her authority and intellect.

    I can tell she is what of these idiots when you ask them what they do, they say, "well i am a local project distribution coordinator." And when you ask them, rightly, "what the fuck does that mean?" They just look at you like you're and idiot.

  • ||

    Well you know I have heard that she might have a proclivity towards sheep.

    You think that would do it?

  • Fluffy||

    Dude, Tim just called her a thief over and over and over.

    If that doesn't do it, she's not going to get bent out of shape when we tell the world that she fucks donkeys.

  • ||

    True. And she will never sue Reason. To do so would open up her entire corrupt professional life. You are right, she would never do it. But God it would be fun.

  • ||

    Hey, I caught her act in Tijuana, once. Not too bad if you've been gargling with meth and tequila.

  • ||

    "Dude, Tim just called her a thief over and over and over."
    -------

    All but called her a whore too

  • She won't sue||

    He didn't call her fat

  • Lord Humungus||

    *movie voice-over* imagine a world...

    without government cronyism and market intervention.

    is such a world so hard for these 'liberals' to imagine?

  • Old Salt||

    You might as well ask them to imagine a world without caffeine!

  • Giorgio A. Tsoukalos||

    Is such a thing even possible?...

    Yes it is.

  • DJF||

    How about if we have a separation of Business and State.

    Where we would have the State not giving taxpayer money to the State and the State reducing it role in regard to business to only protecting the public from actual physical harm caused by Business

  • DJF||

    Corrected

    How about if we have a separation of Business and State.

    Where we would have the State not giving taxpayer money to the Business and the State reducing it role in regard to Business to only protecting the public from actual physical harm caused by Business

  • BakedPenguin||

    That's just crazy talk!

  • Joseph Mailander||

    Thanks for the link, Tim. I don't know if you saw it last week, but LAANE's latest economy-killing idea is for Californians to boycott Amazon--because, like all other out-of-state shippers, they aren't obliged to pay State taxes on electronic orders.

  • Raston bot||

    yeah, good luck signing people up to pay more for stuff voluntarily. now where's that $199 Kindle Fire tablet they're releasing?

  • Fire Tiger||

    Technically that statement isn't true. The issue is Amazon doesn't collect the "use tax" from California residents for items that are sold. Basically if you purchase a product, the state wants to charge you for using it.

  • ||

    I have presided over the investment waste of billions of taxpayer dollars

  • The Claw||

    Look, there are a lot of people who think process fifrst and only then goals and/or results. It's not extravagant that they'd equate these different kinds of red tape. The problem is when the same person is against one type and in favor of the other, not at random but systematically.

  • Robert||

    Gotta remember to revise these monikers.

  • tarran||

    Dude, keep it: the claw is an awesome handle.

  • TRTB||

    Concur.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Not The Craw, The Craw!

  • ||

    Baron von Raschke?

  • ||

  • Tony||

    I believe Janis to be one of the least honest people I have ever encountered, but I think she is being sincere here. She truly doesn’t comprehend the difference between a government’s duty to exercise caution before spending taxpayer dollars and your being forced into a hell of permitting delays, land seizure and “user” fees for the crime of doing business with another willing adult. She’s has been stealing money so long she thinks she’s earned it.

    I would so do her, if I were straight.

  • U can ask her to tie her hair||

    Tony

  • ||

    Is it just me, or is that a picture of a post-op trannie?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I don't know, are you a post-op trannie? Is that a picture of you?

  • It's just you||

    Nancy

  • Alex||

    What makes you think "post"?

  • Raston bot||

    From the oppo research link...

    Janis said last week. "What they're doing is a mugging in a parking lot."

    So filing FOIAs is a mugging in a parking lot? Wow. Crash hard, bitch.

  • ||

    Whatever happened to "If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, now, do you?"

  • P B||

    It never ceases to amaze me that every time government fails the response by the nanny staters is that we need more government involvement. Their faith is government is unshakeable.

  • flye||

    I think it starts with Bryan Caplan's syllogism:

    1. Something must be done
    2. This is something
    3. Therefore, this must be done

    And that something is always, always government intervention, even if couched as an act of "society" or "collective action" or "the will of the (correct thinking) people."

  • ||

    Good god Tim! Are you just begging for a lawsuit or what?!

  • ||

    "Nevertheless, I have a soft spot for Janis, who is responsible for one of the few moments of actual pleasure I ever had at the L.A. Times."

    Tim, we understand. Late night, alone at the office. Sometimes it's a thin line between love and hate.

  • Haunted Taint||

    Tim, I'm beginning to think you might be jeopardizing your chances of working for the Times again.

  • ||

    Tim is working on jeopardizing his chances as much as possible.

  • ||

    Definitely Full Retard.

    CB

  • GILMORE||

    this echoes my comment from yesterday = Dems are pretending the criticism over the solyndra deal is that it was *poorly executed*...rather than being wrong in *principle* to be handing over a half-billion in taxpayer money to shoddily managed companies that happen to have connections to party fundraisers...

    Unlike Tim I find the reaction to be only half-sincere (in that they genuinely think there's nothing wrong with re-allocating taxpayer funds, just that it didnt 'go well'), but also half a conscious head-fake, reacting to an accusation no one has made, intended to redirect the debate to something other than the sordid center of the issue, and deflect the story to be about a failure of 'not enough bureaucracy'...

    its a very feminine tactic. Who doesnt remember some time you pointed out something slightly critical about a woman and 2 seconds later you're wondering how the topic got onto something having no relation to that issue whatsoever...?

    No im not mysogynistic. I just admit= women are better at that shit than men. Ninjas in fact. Harder to pin down than jello in an ice rink.

  • Sudden||

    I'm getting married next week... thank you for the warning (although I've already experienced this, I imagine it will advance to defcon 4 in the years to come).

  • GILMORE||

    Mazel tov!

  • squishua||

    I believe Janis to be one of the least honest people I have ever encountered, but I think she is being sincere here. She truly doesn’t comprehend the difference between a government’s duty to exercise caution before spending taxpayer dollars and your being forced into a hell of permitting delays, land seizure and “user” fees for the crime of doing business with another willing adult. She’s been stealing money so long she thinks she’s earned it.


    Beautiful! This is like Hunter S Thompson writing about Richard Nixon!

  • ChrisO||

    Geddy Lee, circa 1981

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Had to wait a while, but: this is a winner.

  • mineral process equipment||

    Unlike Tim I find the reaction to be only half-sincere (in that they genuinely think there's nothing wrong with re-allocating taxpayer funds, just that it didnt 'go well'), but also half a conscious head-fake, reacting to an accusation no one has made, intended to redirect the debate to something other than the sordid center of the issue, and deflect the story to be about a failure of 'not enough bureaucracy'...

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

  • han||

    and and other witnesses claimed that the elbowing-in-the-head pr

  • شات عراقنا||

    thanks

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