An Endorsement of Royal Alexander

October 31, 2007

For the first time the writers of this website have agreed to endorse an individual candidate. This is significant because even though I believe each of us voted for Bobby Jindal, the site did not endorse him. It’s not that it’s a big deal whether we endorse a candidate or not, mostly because we believe that our readers are typically smart enough to know the issues and make up their own minds.
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When I first met Buddy Caldwell, I hadn’t heard of him before. I only knew of two candidates in the A.G.’s race, Foti and Alexander. The greetings were made, and then the first thing out of Caldwell’s mouth was how bad Charles Foti was. I listened as he told me how bad this guy, but then the next thing out of his mouth was how bad Royal Alexander was. Needless to say, I walked away from him thinking I’d rather have Charles Foti than this nasty man as Attorney General.

You would think that his focus so early in the campaign would be why he’d be a superior Attorney General, but further research explains why Buddy Caldwell doesn’t even think he’d be a superior at the job. Before I get into all that, I want to talk about Royal for a moment.

He’s got his scandals mind you, he isn’t perfect. Like many of you, I didn’t like that email he sent out. It wasn’t right what he said, but after finding out the email was sent out at 1 a.m., well, it’s not excusable, but much more understandable, especially during a campaign.

There’s no consistency in his so called scandals. We’ve heard about the lawsuit against him, but take into consideration that the girl was the scheduler who sent her boss to the wrong location for a very big meeting, and upon demotion, sues Alexander. We’ve all seen the pissed off ex-employee who tried to get even because they lost their job. Further examination of this situation reveals that this indeed is the case. That’s not just me saying it, but your federal government saying it.

The third so called scandal involves a page and Mark Foley, in which, Foley apparently had contacted a page. Again, this isn’t Royal doing anything in it, other than the person who worked for him was involved in with Foley. Should we hold this man guilty because he was in the same city and talked with many of the same people as Foley? When something bad happens in your town, do you expect everybody to be held responsible, or just the culprit who committed the wrong doing?

The point is, we’ve all been accused of wrong doing at points in our life, but it’s when there’s a consistency, then we have a problem. There’s no consistency in the accusations. All three incidents are in no way related to the other, not even in the actions.

But with Buddy Caldwell, there’s clearly consistency in how he ran his office. Here’s a man who abused the funds of his office, and when the legislative auditor caught him, Caldwell began to use foul language, use racist name calling, false accusations, and threatened the auditor. He even subpoenaed two of Dr. Dan Kyle’s investigators. That was in 1997.

In 1995, Buddy Caldwell had another problem, again with his temper. He left his wife in December of 1994 and went to Las Vegas to get married to his third wife. Buddy called up his child hood friend Fox McKeithen and she was hired as a confidential assistant to McKeithen. The following May, she filed for a divorce. Four days after filing, she was fired from her job. Again, like Dr. Kyle, his soon to be ex-wife felt threatened. She even felt so threatened that she had a restraining order put on Caldwell, which Caldwell apparently disobeyed.

Then there was Judge Patricia Hedges, a case where Buddy Caldwell brought charges of Extortion, Public Bribery, and Malfeasance. Without any explanation, Buddy Caldwell dropped the charges against Judge Hedges. There’s only two explanations I have to this, either Buddy Caldwell didn’t have a case, in which case damaging the reputation of 5 innocent people, or he was looking for a payoff and got it. Either way, it doesn’t look good for Caldwell.

And then there was State v. Robert Todd Griffin, a case in which 6 time felony convict Griffin beat up James Hill, who later died of his injuries. That was in 2005, it’s two years later and Buddy Caldwell still hasn’t prosecuted the guy… not bad for a guy who’s got a supposed conviction rate. What’s he doing? Cherry picking his cases?

He’s spent 29 years as an elected official in Louisiana, and it’s shows. It’s in his character, it’s in his blood, this is who he is. Say what you want about Royal Alexander or Charles Foti, but both are clearly a step above Caldwell. Buddy Caldwell is clearly too dangerous to serve as Attorney General.

STATE ANNOUNCES TAX CHANGES AT START OF FILING SEASON

US Fed News Service, Including US State News January 21, 2009 The California Franchise Tax Board issued the following press release:

The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today announced tax law changes and free tax services available for California taxpayers’ filing their 2008 state personal income tax returns.

Delay of Refunds Due to the state’s persistent cash and budget problems, the State Controller announced that he may have to delay refunds for 30 days starting February 1, 2009, for both personal and business taxpayers. FTB is still processing returns as normal. However, it is likely this delay will affect state refunds for most early filers. Returns that have not completed processing before February 1, may have their refunds held for 30 days.

Law Changes Mortgage relief New state law for 2007 and 2008 provides relief for people who have been through foreclosure or had their home mortgage modified. Usually, taxes are paid on debt that a lender forgave or cancelled. Now this amount may be excluded from taxable income. California and federal limits differ.

Net operating losses suspended for 2008 and 2009 for taxpayers with net business income of $500,000 or more The time limit to carry forward losses increases from 10 to 20 years. Starting in 2011, taxpayers can carry back losses for two years. Carry backs are limited to 50 percent of losses for tax year 2011, 75 percent for 2012, and 100 percent in 2013.

Business tax credits For taxpayers with net business income of $500,000 or more, business tax credits are limited to 50 percent of the net tax for 2008 and 2009. Be sure to review our tax forms instructions for specific details. estimatedtaxpaymentsnow.com estimated tax payments

Same-sex marriages Couples wedded on June 16, 2008, and before November 5, 2008, must file as married. However, the California Supreme Court has agreed to review the challenges to the passage of Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. The California Attorney General has stated he believes these marriages are valid and will defend them in the court action. Affected taxpayers should follow the court action since the decision may impact their marital status. FTB will provide updates following the Supreme Court decision on its website.

Charitable contributions Taxpayers can contribute to any of 15 charities listed on the tax return. Contributions will reduce refunds or increase taxes owed. Those who itemize their deductions may take a charitable contribution deduction on next year’s return. New this year are the:

* California Ovarian Cancer Research Fund * Municipal Shelter Spay-Neuter Fund * California Cancer Research Fund * ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease Research Fund Standard deduction The standard deduction for single or married filing separately is increased from $3,516 to $3,692. For joint, surviving spouse, or head of household filers, it increased from $7,032 to $7,384.

Personal exemption credit The personal exemption amount for single, married filing separately, and head of household filers jumps from $94 to $99. For joint or surviving spouses, it increases from $188 to $198. The dependent exemption credit changes from $294 to $309 per dependent.

Estimated tax payments Starting in 2009, estimated tax payments for the first and second quarters increase from 25 to 30 percent. The percentage drops to 20 percent for the third and fourth quarters. Also new, fewer people will be required to make estimated tax payments. Now, they are required only when the tax owed after timely tax payments and credits is expected to be $500 or more ($250 for married/RDP filing separately). The prior threshold was $200. To avoid penalties, the estimated payments for taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $1 million or more must be at least 90 percent of the taxes owed.

Electronic payment requirement New law requires that individuals who make a 2009 estimated tax or extension payment larger than $20,000, or with total 2009 tax liabilities of more than $80,000, must make all future payments electronically.

Free e-file Services ReadyReturn is FTB’s completed tax return program where FTB completes the tax return for the taxpayer. It is based on information already collected from employers such as W-2s. ReadyReturn has been expanded to include more people this year. Nearly 1.9 million taxpayers who last year earned wages from a single employer, filed either as single or head of household, only took the standard deduction, claimed no more than five dependents, were renters, or can be claimed as a dependent are eligible. see here estimated tax payments

CalFile is FTB’s no-cost, direct to FTB, online filing program. It is available in both English and Spanish to more than 6.5 million taxpayers on FTB’s website. CalFile accepts income of up to $326,379, itemized deductions, and some tax credits.

Check your My FTB Account Check your My FTB Account on our website to get information such as your estimated tax payments, any balances due, state W-2 information, or FTB issued 1099 forms. Claiming the wrong amount of estimated tax payments is the top error made on returns.

Other Changes Designate a contact person on your tax form You can now designate a third party contact person, such as your tax preparer or family member, by checking a box. This feature gives FTB permission to contact your designee to get information if needed to process your return, discuss math errors and offsets, or provide the status of your refunds. It does not authorize the designee to receive any refund checks, or bind the taxpayers to anything.


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