Published: Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 – 10:46 am
California’s state hospital system and three of its employees must pay a combined $1 million award to a state hospital psychologist after a jury decided she was pressured to declare mentally ill patients competent for trial using questionable assessment methods and then fired for exposing the policy.
Napa State Hospital psychologist Melody Jo Samuelson’s lawsuit ended with a monthlong trial and a verdict that she suffered retaliation for whistleblowing. A judge late last week affirmed the jury’s decision.
Department of State Hospitals spokesman Ralph Montaño declined to answer questions about allegations in the lawsuit or whether the department will continue fighting it.
“The department is in the process of evaluating the verdict,” Montano said in an email earlier this week.
Samuelson’s lawyer, Kirk B. Freeman, said his client is “happy with the jury’s verdict,” but “she still has concerns about how she’s going to be treated at the hospital.”
According to court records, the state hired Samuelson in early 2006 and granted her privileges at Napa State Hospital that included assessing criminally accused patients’ fitness to stand trial. The records say she received favorable reviews.
Not long after Samuelson started work, the state and federal government settled on changes to end civil rights abuses at Napa and three other state hospitals where mentally ill inmates sometimes languished without treatment.
Samuelson’s court complaint alleged that James Jones, the Napa hospital’s chief of psychology, “made it clear … that he was committed to … returning patients to court as competent to stand trial.” To do that, Jones lowered evaluation standards and pressured staff to use unreliable methods to determine patients’ competency, according to the complaint. One assessment technique, the complaint said, used a “mock trial” method that prepared patients to answer evaluation questions by rote memorization.
Jones’ agenda was to move patients out of the hospital and “improve outcome statistics,” Samuelson’s court filing alleged, but “patients were at risk of having their psychologists testifying that they were competent to stand trial when they were, in fact, not competent to stand trial.”
Jones used the hospital’s peer-review process to pressure staff to go along with the fallible patient-evaluation methods, the complaint said.
Historic: 1st state adopts plan to rein in feds
Georgia legislature: ‘Enough is enough,’ calls for restraints on Washington
World Net Daily.com
By Bob Unruh
March 6, 2014
The plan to put the brakes on Washington’s expansion of the federal government is under way.
Convention of States confirmed that the Georgia legislature on Thursday passed the organization’s application “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”
State Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, told the organization he is “pleased that the Georgia legislature has given voice to the frustrations of millions of Georgians.”
“Enough is enough. It is time to impose fiscal and other restraints on our runaway federal government. We urge other states to join us,” said Macon, the primary sponsor of the resolution.
“We Georgians have become the hope of the nation today,” said Jacqueline Peterson, the Georgia state director for the Convention of States Project. “Many thanks to our state legislators for standing for liberty. May God bless us, every single one!”
The idea is to have an Article V Convention of States, the one process the U.S. Constitution gives to citizens to bypass the White House, Congress and even their own governors to establish a new path for the nation.
The new president in 2017 would face new limits on executive orders, Commerce Clause actions, a balanced federal budget and a ban on using international treaties to govern inside the U.S. if the state-based movement is successful.
There could even be term limits for Supreme Court justices and Congress, and a mandatory sunset of all existing federal taxes.
The ideas are being discussed in legislatures where a Convention of the States has been proposed.
The Convention of States Project, launched by Citizens for Self Governance, is working to have state lawmakers call such a convention through the Constitution’s Article V.
Thousands of Americans already have signed on in support of the idea that Americans, themselves, need to address Washington’s massive spending, over-regulation and takeover of authority from states.
State lawmakers in Alaska, Alabama, Florida and elsewhere also are now looking at plans that if approved would be submitted to Congress in support of a convention.
Michael Farris, who has been know for years as the face of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, now is on the front line of seeking a convention in which state delegates would meet, agree on a path for the country and then tell Congress what will happen.
Calif. senator sues ObamaCare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
By Tori Richards
A California senator has sued his state’s ObamaCare exchange for causing the cancellation of more than a million policies and spending tax dollars in an “irrational, unreasonable and abusive” way, such as a lurid Richard Simmons video.
The lawsuit against Covered California and its director, Peter Lee, was filed late Tuesday by Sen. Ted Gaines, the legislature’s most vocal critic of ObamaCare. Gaines has sparred recently with Lee by demanding an accounting of $1.37 million spent to promote a campaign featuring a gyrating dance-off with Simmons.
“We saw a million people impacted who had insurance and then saw those plans canceled based on a decision of Covered California,” Gaines told Watchdog. “We want to stop that in its tracks to take a look as to whether this is the right path for insurance coverage in California and across the nation.”
Gaines said he has run into red tape trying to get a remedy in the Legislature and hopes the courts will have an effect. He filed the lawsuit as a private citizen and as the owner of a family insurance agency.
Click on red headline for article
by on 03/03/2014
California Political News and Views
To cover his out of control spending and massively deficit budget, Guv Brown closed down local government Redevelopment agencies and stole the money—that money was used to “balance” the State budget. It also stopped projects that would create jobs—Brown wanted the money more than he wanted jobs in California.
Lots of lawsuits, cities on the verge of bankruptcy and financial ruin everywhere—but Brown can say his budget is balanced—even though the State Controller says we have a $12 billion cash deficit. Brown is confused by all the stolen money and gimmicks used to create a “balanced” budget. Now the Guv realizes he has killed jobs and harmed cities, so he wants to “walk back” his actions.
“The crux of Brown’s plan is to expand the reach of the rarely-used, little-known infrastructure finance districts. The districts, or IFDs, have taxing authority and are created with voter approval. They rely on property tax dollars and focus on highways, transit and sewer projects, libraries, parks and child care centers.
Brown wants to add to that list urban “infill” development, affordable housing, development to encourage use of public transportation and former military bases, and what his office calls “necessary consumer services.”
See the full story by clicking on the red headline
by on 03/03/2014
California Political News and Views
ObamaCare has killed quality health care and the finances of millions of American and California families. Most have lost the doctors they want and the ability to go to the hospital of their choice. Wait till they have to pay the sky high deductibles. Then it will hit the fan.
While the middle class have been massacred, no one has asked about the hundreds of thousand that lost their coverage, lost their doctors and lost plans they liked. At the same time even the poor have been harmed by this take over by of health care by Barack.
“But, on Jan. 1, that program ended and the Affordable Care Act took over. Most of the former Health Program enrollees now qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid, which has been expanded to cover more of the nation’s poor.
But 24,000 of them do not.
Although they were notified that the program was ending and given information on Covered California, the state’s health-care marketplace, they have essentially been dumped from their health plan and left to fend for themselves on the exchange.
See the full story by clicking on the red headline
California Political News and Views
Thanks to corrupt Democrats the people of California might be allowed to keep their homes and jobs. With the 2/3 super majority the Democrats were prepared to change the rules of Prop. 13 making it difficult for businesses to stay in California, jobs would leave and folks would live on welfare. We always knew that Wright and Calderon were corrupt—let us not forget Democrats Speaker Perez, Senate Democrats Leader Steinberg and Senator DeLeon are still under FBI investigation. Who knows how many more Democrats are under investigation?
Now they will need at least one Republican to raise taxes and pass emergency bills.
“Two of the most closely watched issues in the final six months of the legislative session will both, if anything’s going to gel, require supermajority votes: a water bond and a constitutional amendment to boost the state’s budget reserve process. Both will require at least 54 votes in the Assembly and 27 votes in the Senate to make their way to a vote of the electorate.
How would either of these be shaped with the new need to court Republican senators? Is that kind of bipartisan threshold simply too high?”
NOW on KCNR RADIO, in Redding, CA., Terry Rapoza is updating everyone on the progress of our State of Jefferson movement! If you miss it, you can listen to the archived program by going to http://kcnr1460.com click on the archive.
Click on link for maps
David Brody — Mon, 2014-03-03 13:25
GREELEY, Colo. — If you mention the word “secession” most people think of the South during the Civil War. But today, a new movement is gaining steam because of frustration over a growing, out-of-control federal government.
A number of conservative, rural Americans are taking about seceding and creating their own states, meaning a new map of the United States of America could include the following:
A 51st state called Jefferson, made up of Northern California and Southern Oregon
A new state called Western Maryland
A new state called North Colorado
These are real movements gaining traction with voters across the country. Jeffrey Hare runs the 51st State Initiative in Colorado, an effort to fight an out-of-control legislature trying to ram big government policies down the throats of voters.
“We’re at this point of irreconcilable differences,” Hare told CBN News.
Secessionist talk has filled town hall meetings and the divide discussed is not just ideological.
“It’s predominately left versus right, but it’s urban versus rural because you typically find more typical conservative values in rural America,” Hare said.
An Attack on Colorado?
That’s the crux of the issue. Rural Americans across many states feel they’re not being heard. Their laundry list is long and at the top of that list are stricter gun control laws.
According to Weld County, Colo., Sheriff John Cooke, the state legislature is out of control.
“They are out of touch with rural Colorado,” he said. “There is an attack on rural Colorado and it’s not just on gun control laws. It’s on several of the other bills that they passed.”
Government mandates on renewable energy, environmental policies restricting oil and gas drilling, and controversial social issues like gay marriage have also led to this divide and talk of secession.
Organizers want to create “North Colorado,” an idea that went to voters in 11 counties this past fall. But not everyone in Colorado thinks secession is a great idea.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily the way to make something happen within the area you live,” Colorado resident Greg Howe told CBN News. “You’re supposed to work within our electoral services.”
The so-called secession movement in Colorado had mixed results this past November. Some counties approved it. Others didn’t.
But the organizers of the 51st State Initiative are undaunted, saying this type of movement takes time.
“Movements take a while; education takes time,” Hare said. “People do have a hard time saying ,’I want to live in a different state,’ even though physically they live in the same house.”
“It’s hard for them since their lives have been Coloradoans,” he explained. “Their whole lives to say that ‘I’m going to be a new Coloradoan’ or ‘I want to live in the state of liberty’ or something different.”
An ‘Amicable’ Divorce
That desire for something different can also be felt in Arizona, Michigan, and in Western Maryland where thousands have signed secession petitions.
One website reads, “We intend to exercise our right of self-determination and self-governance to better secure our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Scott Strzelczyk, the leader of the Western Maryland movement, is ready to get going.
“If they are not going to listen or take our needs into consideration and govern in a way that’s more in accordance with the way we want to be governed we are seeking an amicable divorce,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Northern California and Southern Oregon, activists want to come together in the state of “Jefferson.”
Their proposed state flag includes two “Xs,” representing their feeling of being double-crossed by the state capitals of Sacramento, Calif., and Salem, Ore.
No Small Task
Creating a new state isn’t easy. The last time a state actually gave up territory was in 1820, when Maine split from Massachusetts. Since then, additional efforts have been unsuccessful.
The first step is getting it passed by the state legislature and then the U.S. Congress.
“This is a valid constitutional process that our founding fathers specifically wrote into the Constitution,” Hare said. “Well, if they didn’t write this into the Constitution to be used, then why did they write it in?”
But supporters have an uphill battle since the media will not be their friend.
“The danger is once the outside media start to grab hold of it, the attention is on the difficulty, the almost impossibility of it happening,” professor Derek Everett, with Metropolitan State University in Denver, explained.
State secession proponents, like Roni Bell Sylvester of Colorado, say they will keep fighting because the dismissive attitude of state legislative bodies must end.
“I find the sort of arrogant, dismissive to be further proof as to just how disconnected the urban is from the rural,” Sylvester said.
Movements like the one in Colorado and other states could be just the beginning — at least that’s the talk at town hall meetings in places like Colorado and elsewhere.
It’s called ‘voter disconnect” where the people say they’ve had enough and are crying out for something to be done.
“We, at some point, have to figure out a way to get our point across or at least be able to have a dialogue and not be ignored because you haven’t seen anything yet over the next 5 to 10 years,” one resident warned at a recent town hall meeting in Colorado.
As for Hare, he said it boils down to one simple concept.
“I think ultimately what people want, whether you look at it from a right or left paradigm, is government to stay out of their business,” he said.
on 03/02/2014, California Political News and Views