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Jose Medina Far Outpaces Opponents in Fundraising

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RIVERSIDE - The Jose Medina for Assembly campaign recently announced that it continues to lead in fundraising, raising $112,000 thus far, which is more than double the amount any candidate has raised in the race for the 61st Assembly District. The campaign also reported more than $72,000 cash on hand - while his main opponent, Republican Bill Batey, reports only $3,755. 

"Contributions from residents of the 61st Assembly District are at the core of my campaign to attract and retain good jobs in Riverside County," said Jose Medina, a Riverside Democrat. "I am also proud to have leaders in business, labor, and public safety among my donors."

A former Riverside Community College District Trustee, Medina outraised GOP contender Bill Batey by more than 2-to-1 in the latest reporting period. Medina raised $41,214 while Batey reported only raising $17,300.

"These resources will help me communicate with voters throughout the 61st Assembly District in time for the June Primary," said Medina. "In the coming months, our continued fundraising efforts and aggressive ground campaign will allow me to share my vision to protect education and promote job creation with the families of Riverside County."

A Riverside Unified School District teacher, Jose Medina is the Democratic candidate in the race for the 61st Assembly District. He is backed by a bipartisan base of elected leaders, and leaders in labor, business, and public safety. The 61st Assembly District includes Riverside, Highgrove, Perris, Mead Valley, Moreno Valley, and March Air Reserve Base. The California Legislative Latino Caucus and the California Democratic Party have identified Medina's race as a top priority in 2012.

For more information please visit www.medinaforassembly.com

Get Answers to Questions About Your Financial Future

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Financial planning is a personalized approach focused on one’s individual goals to support a standard of living now and in the future. On Thursday, March 22, 2012, Tillman Riverside Mortuary will sponsor a free Community Informational Seminar at Park Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, 1910 Martin Luther King Blvd.,

Riverside beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the hopes of providing the community the tools needed to secure their future financially.

This event will bring together professionals from the social security administration, Veteran’s Administration, Coroner/Public Administration, probate and living trust attorney, as well as other invited guests providing essential information for financial security.

For more information on the seminar or to RSVP contact (951)682-6433.

This event is co-sponsored by the African American Historical Society, NAACP, and Park Avenue Missionary Baptist Church. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served.

Jose Cuervo National Championships to be Held in Huntington Beach

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Local and Pro Beach Volleyball Athletes to Compete for National Championship Title and $150,000 Prize Purse

The 2012 Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series will round out the season with the Jose Cuervo National Championships in Huntington Beach from Sept. 21-23. This final USA Volleyball-sanctioned, three-day event will kick off with the qualifying round on Friday, Sept. 21, followed by the Main Draw event on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Finals taking place on Sunday, Sept. 23 as the elite men and women professional beach volleyball players hit the sand in a double-elimination tournmaent. Top contenders will compete for the championship title of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series and a piece of the $150,000 prize purse, the largest prize on tour to date.

Though the intensity and heart-pounding action are enough to bring spectators to the beach, title sponsor Jose Cuervo will fill the sand with entertainment as the Cuervo Village creates a full festival-like atmosphere featuring music, consumer contests and giveaways.

Every Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series event will be free to the public. For more information or to watch the Jose Cuervo National Championships Semi-Finals and Finals live, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.josecuervoprobeachvolleyballseries.com" www.josecuervoprobeachvolleyballseries.com or follow them on Twitter at @probeachseries.

SB Bankruptcy Plan Talks Called “Intractable”

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Councilman Rikke Van Johnson urges outside financial help

Chris Levister

SAN BERNARDINO - As the public battle rages over fixing a $45.8 million budget deficit members of the San Bernardino City Council remained mired in acrimony on Wednesday raising the risk of deepening default, unnecessary layoffs and has some members asking the pivotal question: “Are we up to the task of adopting a plan acceptable to the bankruptcy court?”

“No”. That’s Sixth Ward Councilman Rikke Van Johnson. “We’re essentially in a state of paralysis.”

Johnson says the council’s lack of fundamental financial expertise compounded by the bickering, blaming and sniping between the council, mayor and city attorney has set off unprecedented partisanship and intensified accusations from warring factions on the council.”

He said negotiations on a “pendency” plan have become intractable. The pendency is a day-to-day budget designed to guide the council until the court approves a long-term plan to restructure the city's debt.

Under Chapter 9, bankruptcy rules courts lack authority to interfere with a city's "property or revenues" or its "political or governmental powers."

“The time has come to get some outside help,” said Johnson. “How are we going to come up with an actual pendency plan if we’re still deeply mired in acrimony over the Fire Department budget?”

The council’s lack of knowledge governing the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process reared its head last week when Councilman Robert Jenkins asked when the plan will go to the court.

“It won’t,” said City Attorney Jim Penman.

“You could see jaws drop” said Johnson. The city must give the court a balanced budget first. That means a lot more cuts.

Last month the council voted for bankruptcy to deal with the budget gap, and the city’s inability to make payroll for its employees. The local insolvency is attributed to loss of revenue from foreclosures, lost redevelopment dollars as part of the state mandate last year, and the police and fire departments’ salary and pension impact on the General Fund. Public safety including police, fire and code enforcement accounts for 75 percent of the city’s budget.

The pendency plan the council approved September 5 called for $22.4 million in cuts and another $9.4 million in labor negotiations. The council made several modifications to the plan which included delaying a recommended $3.5 million cut to the Fire Department. 89 employees have left voluntarily since July 10 when the city announced that it intended to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The cuts if fully implemented would leave a $7.1 million general fund deficit.

Much of the bickering has focused on union contracts. The biggest clash is over the interim fire chief’s plan for rotating closures of the three least-busy fire stations. Some council members have been adamant that stations in their wards not close. “There are some members of this body who have been brought by the unions. Now they’re cashing in their chips,” he said. This accusation was also made by Mayor Patrick Morris and other members of the council. Johnson points to campaign contributions by the San Bernardino Professional Firefighters and San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

“I think the fire union in particular has told elected officials who depend on union contributions for their election that they are unwilling to take any budget reduction or rank and file layoffs.”

Council members have also butted heads over a waste-disposal deal vetoed by the Mayor in August. The proposal has been discussed and rejected several times.

Johnson was incredulous that reasonable compromise proposals put forth have been patently rejected by “these elected members” despite recommendations from city staff including Finance Director Jason Simpson.

“We can’t expect to agree on a governing plan when we’ve got elected members who can’t distant themselves from the lure of union dollars,” said Johnson.

“I’m not optimist that we as elected leaders are capable of making the tough decisions to show the court we can fix this city. So far we’ve failed miserably.”

Southland Campaigning

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Last Saturday Congressman James Clyburn (D - SC) was in Riverside in support of Mark Takano, candidate for the newly drawn Congressional District 41. Several community activists were in attendance including Waudier (Woodie) Rucker-Hughes, President of the Riverside NAACP, (who introduced Takano) and DNC Delegate Linnie Frank Bailey. Says Bailey, "We were excited to have an appearance by a Representative of Congressman Clyburn's status! He spoke of the need to retake the House and the importance of the November election." Clyburn in the number three ranking Democrat in the House leadership. Pictured (l-r) Mark Takano, Nancy Takano and Congressman James Clyburn.

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BVN National News Wire