2018 Los Angeles Auto Show

One of the world’s largest auto shows and 1,000 vehicles returns November 30 – December 9, 2018, at the LA Convention Center. Our show is your one-stop-shop for comparison shopping cars, trucks, SUVs, electric vehicles & more without any sales pressure.

The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show will feature household names in the auto industry as well as brand new startups.

Each year, auto companies compete for attention at the big Los Angeles Auto Show. And this year, Nissan is celebrating 60 years of garnering attention, starting back in 1958 with the scrappy Datsun brand.

Discount parking is available near the LA Convention Center, please visit https://laautoshow.com/parking-and-directions/.


Friday, Nov. 30: 9AM to 10PM 
Saturday, Dec. 1: 9AM to 10PM (early entry tickets also available)
Sunday, Dec. 2: 9AM to 10PM (early entry tickets also available)
Monday, Dec. 3: 10AM to 9PM
Tuesday, Dec. 4: 10AM to 9PM
Wednesday, Dec. 5: 10AM to 9PM
Thursday, Dec. 6: 9AM to 10PM
Friday, Dec. 7: 9AM to 10PM 
Saturday, Dec. 8: 9AM to 10PM (early entry tickets also available)
Sunday, Dec. 9: 9AM To 7PM (early entry tickets also available)

Visit the website at LAAutoShow.com for directions, show info, celebrity appearances, vehicle debuts, automakers and much more.

“People were curious. In fact, right after the 1958 L.A. Auto Show, Ray Lemke set up the first Datsun dealership here in Southern California,” said Chris Keeffe with Nissan USA.

Nissan is now looking ahead, unveiling their latest Maxima sedan and Murano SUV at the 2018 show, six decades after their beginnings. An example of that first tiny Datsun model is currently in the vault of the Petersen Automotive Museum, while an exhibit chronicling the Japanese auto industry is featured in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery.

Another company is looking ahead, participating at the L.A. Auto Show for the first time. EV startup Rivian is debuting a plug-in electric pickup truck with a promised 400-mile range. Starting price will be in the $60,000-70,000 range when it goes on sale in late 2020, according to the company.

“It’s incredibly fun to drive. It’s good on-road, good off road, it can fit your gear, your pets and your family and it’s still very efficient,” said R. J. Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian. “It’s a fully-electric vehicle, tons of performance, tons of smoothness.”

Bentley brought its gorgeous new Continental GT convertible to town. You won’t see it at the show, but Bentley is doing VIP previews this week, as they know Southern California is a target audience.

“The U.S overall is a hugely important market for us with this product, and California specifically. I mean, the weather here is just great for convertibles, and we expect around two-thirds of our GT sales here will be the convertible,” said Chris Craft, a Bentley board member. The new Bentley will go on sale in the middle of 2019 for a starting price of $230,000.

So whether a company is coming up on 100 years (Bentley), looking back on 60 (Nissan) or trying to get its first year on sale (Rivian), for auto companies, Southern California is the place to be this week

The L.A. Auto Show will open its doors to the public Friday morning. For more information, visit www.laautoshow.com.


Memphis Express to be outfitted with latest in football technology

With concussion protocol at the center of sports talks in America, a new pro football league plans to equip players with the newest safety technology.

The Alliance of American Football, which will debut in February 2019 in eight cities — including Memphis, has partnered with Riddell as its official protective equipment partner. That deal will run through 2021.

Founded in 1929, Riddell is a designer and developer of football helmets, sports equipment, and various apparel and accessories. The Alliance will use Riddell’s SpeedFlex and Speed helmet platforms in its inaugural season as well as its CPX and SPX shoulder pads. Riddell will also be able to conduct field tests, thus outfitting The Alliance players with the latest and safest products.

The Alliance of American Football is invested in our athletes both on and off the field,” said Hines Ward, head of football development for The Alliance, in a release. “The selection of Riddell as our protective equipment partner underscores The Alliance’s commitment to player health and wellness that I so passionately believe in.”

Ward was in Memphis for the official team announcement in May. To read more from that interview, click here.

The following excerpt regarding the future of the game of football can be found on Riddell’s website:

“As the margins of physical performance become increasingly incremental, the margins of mental performance will become the frontier of greatest opportunity. That game will be played on our turf. The game of the future will be won with the brain. And the helmet, the space to which we hold the rightful ownership, is the home of the brain. That space most represents the future of the game.”

The Alliance has more than 600 players signed. In addition to the Memphis Express, the teams include Orlando Apollos, Atlanta Legends, Birmingham Iron, Salt Lake Stallions, Arizona Hotshots, San Diego Fleet, and the San Antonio Commanders. Memphis Express will play its home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.


Oprah Winfrey’s Mom Vernita Lee Dies on Thanksgiving at Age 83

Oprah Winfrey‘s mother Vernita Lee died in her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thanksgiving, the family said in a statement. She was 83.

Lee was born on May 2, 1935 and worked as a housekeeper throughout her life. She is survived by Winfrey and daughter Patricia Amanda Faye Lee, who she gave up for adoption at birth and reconnected with later in life. Lee also had two other children — son Jeffrey Lee, who died in 1989 and daughter Patricia Lee Lloyd, who died in 2003.

A spokesperson for Winfrey says her mother has already been laid to rest at a private funeral.

In an interview with Milwaukee local station TMJ4, Lee opened up about how she got through the deaths of two of her children.

I’m a Christian lady, and if you’re a Christian person, it helps you to deal with situations like that,” she said.

Winfrey posted two videos on her Instagram page from Thanksgiving, including a peek at her feast. She has stayed off social media since.

In the interview, Lee said she modeled the example of giving other love, which her daughter made a career of.

“I loved her the way that she loves people now,” she said, adding that her proudest moment was in 1985 when Winfrey “did the Color Purple.”

The mogul’s mom and father Vernon Lee met once before welcoming Winfrey in 1954. Winfrey then traveled between her mom, dad and grandparent’s houses throughout her childhood.

“[Oprah’s] mother wrote me,” Vernon said in 1999, “and told me that, you know, the baby had just come, in a letter: what it weighed, what its name was and so forth and so on.”



Since last Saturday at least 7 #BlackWomen that we know of have been murdered in #domesticviolence incidents.

FACT – EVERY 9 seconds a women is abused in these United States of America!

Let me put truth to light! Black Women and Girls are being killed left and right, and these motherfuckers killing us lie and say everything they can to control us, to keep us in line, to stay, and be afraid so they can beat us in from of family and friends until they kill us!

They try to provide us with with just enough “D” action or Tongue action, a pretty word, a half ass back ended comment that kind of sounds like a compliment, but you know it’s not!


FACT – NOT EVERY MAN IS AN ABUSER, A PREDATOR, OR VIOLENT! There are many Men who are advocates, who are supportive, consideration, kind and loving! This is NOT about them!

They apologize, say it’s never gonna happen again, BUT YOU KNOW IT WILL! They try to give us that ray of sunshine, among the piles of shit stained walled to so we have a glimmer of hope to hold one too…

Because of the F’ed up life someone us had, the lack of love and support from those who were supposed to love and care for us, because of the inter-generational trauma and violence they experienced, we are out here looking for the ELUSIVE LOVE from any damn body!

Please believe, just because you didn’t receive love before, do not mean you don’t deserve it now.

I do not care what kind of bullshit community, environment or home you came from, you ARE WORTHY OF SO MUCH MORE!

FACT – 4,774,000 women in the U.S. experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.

FACT – Love Does Not Hurt! Don’t let a Mofo tell you any bull!

No Man or Woman should EVER put their hands, feet, teeth, fist, belt, stick, or anything else on you to cause you pain, hurt, harm, anguish, abuse or anything other than LOVE & AFFECTION! PERIOD! POINT, BLANK P.E.R.I.O.D!

I know you want SOMEONE to love them!

I know YOU want to love someone!

I know you believe the person who is hurting and harming you will change. They WILL NOT CHANGE! Not unless they themselves have a life-changing event that happens to them to make them change.

You can’t screw (Smash, Make Love, or do) them enough!

Your Special Place (Vagina, or any other hole for that matter) AINT THAT SPECIAL cause it’s NOT going to stop them from hitting you once it’s began!

FACT – Domestic Violence is the 3rd leading cause of Homelessness for Women and their children!

No amount of crying, praying, pleading and negotiating with God, your parents, friends family or even him (or her) is going to stop that fist, foot, bite, belt, being push out a car, down a flight of stairs, being ran over, pistol whipped or shot!

If he / she hits you once, twice, he/she WILL HIT YOU AGAIN! 
And again, and again, and again, and again!

He / She might hit your children!
He / She might hit your parents!
He / She might hit your friends!
He / She might hit your co-workers!

FACT: Each year, 2 million injuries and 1,300 injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused as a result of domestic violence. Three women are murdered every day by an intimate partner.

You may go to the hospital and You will lie to protect him / her, but who is protecting you?

You may have broken bone, teeth knocked out, busted eye sockets, black eyes, hair pulled out, and it is NOT OKAY!

WE see you and want to help you! No shame, No Blame!



If he or she tells you they are going to kill you (if you leave; if you don’t act right; if you don’t do what they say; or they are JUST GOING TO KILL YOU, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE PLANNING TO DO!

A person who abuses a woman or child, does NOT HAVE ANY REGARD FOR YOU!

That means if they hit you, rape you, cut you, burn you, slice you, run you over or KILL YOU, SO damn what.

Understand this person does not mean you any good!




These are unhealthy relationships that do not get better until you get help!

What can you do?

If you know someone who’s suffering from DV please just be there for her! Don’t judge her, she’s already judging herself. Don’t belittle her, he’s already breaking her down. Just be there for her, support her, help her……😢😢😢😢

Women and Men, teach your children to RESPECT People. All People!

Teach your children about Consent

Teach your children that every person has the right to be respected, to live and to love!

Teach your children to love!

Teach your children to never turn a blind eye to abuse of any sort!

Teach boys and the men in your life to be advocates!

Organizations, bring in positive Men groups and organizations to have conferences on Healthy Manhood for the boys and men, and make sure they attend!

Teach your children to be considerate

You can teach your children all these things by being a positive role model for them and doing all these things yourself!

First, don’t jump into any relationships until you know who you are dealing with. Pay attention to the spoken and unspoken communication this person is giving you.

If they tell you they aren’t shit, guess what! They aren’t!

If they tell you that no one ever loved them, that means they are unlovable, have trust issues, or some serious issues that needs to be evaluated. Even if you are a therapist, get the hell away!

If they tell you their Mom’s or family doesn’t like them and always are out to get them, or everyone is out to get them. Trust, the issues are plentiful, and I can bet there is a reason on one wants to be around this person.

If they tell you about their ex who is a “”B” or a “H”, or a liar, or anything else, he / she has trust and control issues, and one day that’s going to be you they are talking about.

If he/she tells you they love you and you don’t know their last name or you just met them (like in the last month or two), run as fast as you can.

The 1st time he /she talks to you crazy, cusses you out, grabs you, hits or slaps you, tell you what you not gonna do or betta not do, demands to check your cell phone, smell your panties, wants to come to your office or school to see who is talking to you, tell your your Mom, Dad, Family or friends don’t want to see you happen with him/her and they are haters, or tells you how to dress, who you can see or talk to……

you better get the hell out of there, screaming and hollering as loud as you can, causing as much attention to him/her, call the police, file a complaint, inform your job, tell your family, and everyone you know. YOU. ARE. WITH. AN. ABUSER!

Most abusers get away with so much, and over time they get more out of control and take bigger chances because you have not done anything in the past. And those around you haven’t done anything to stop it either!

We can no longer remain silent and let the violence take over our lives as we lose control over what once was our lives!

Know the signs of all the various forms of domestic violence!

Types of abuse: Verbal, Emotional, Mental, Physical, Sexual, Medical, Spiritual (yes, people try to abuse you based on the bible (don’t forget slavery) and our spiritual beliefs) and Financial Abuse which is what keeps most people in violence relationships!

What are their triggers (these are things that sets them off. Everyone’s triggers are different). There are way too many to list right here.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND, IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT! YOU DID NOT DO ANYTHING to deserve any form of abuse. And even if you did do something, if does not give anyone the right, the power, the ability to hurt or harm you!

If you are in an abusive relationship, you must put together a safety plan. For your sake, your child and your family. Contact my company, The Positive Results Corporation, a domestic violence shelter or the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get help or create a Safety Plan ASAP.

On Friday, November 30th we are conducting a domestic violence event to create awareness about financial abuse and financial fundamentals to support you into financial empowerment. This workshop is free, but you must RSVP in advance!

But remember, if you are in an abusive relationship and you are considering leaving, it can be a very dangerous time for you. When people feel like they are losing control, they feel like they can take any chances. Please be careful.

There is help for you. You must tell others what you are going through. There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed!

Please don’t hide the truth from those who really do love you. Let them know, they may be able to help. Or at the very least, let them know what’s up, so they know what you are dealing with, and what they may have to deal with if that person shows up.

Black Women, I know we do not want to call the police on our men… we know we may wind us dead, or they may, but you have to look at it different. Someone is trying to kill you! Calling the police may be your only option.

Make sure you document the abuse, and keep copies in places your abuser doesn’t have access too.

Don’t think for a minute the abuse will it will stop if you just wish it away. Pray is away. Sex it away. Be nicer, lose or gain weight. Make more or less money. Screw their friends when they tell you or not. Clean or cook, or not… It’s coming back, like the monster in the closet, or a bill, it’s coming back!

Please get help! We can’t afford to lose another soul. We can’t afford to lose you! We love you more than you can imagine, even if I / we never met you. I / we love you still!

FACTS About Black Women According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control)
CDC: Black Women Murdered By Domestic Partners More Than Women Of Any Other Race

Black women were also found the most likely to be killed by guns.

The study found that 53 percent of all murders of women (during the years looked at) involved a domestic or intimate partner.

Black women were found to suffer death at a partner’s hands more often than women of any other race. 4.4 out of every 100,000 black women are killed by their partners, the study found.

Native American women had the second highest incidence of murder, 4.3 per 100,000 population. White women were found to have a rate of 1.5 per 100,000.

Black women were also found to be the most likely to be shot to death. 57.7 percent of the black women included in the study died of a gunshot wound.

Study authors found that 98 percent of the homicidal partners, regardless of race or method used to kill, were men.

This fits in to what criminologists know about murder. According to the FBI, men are far more likely to commit murder than women. A full 90 percent of known homicide offenders are male.
Authors found that one in 10 of the murdered women experienced severe violence in the month before their deaths.
Least Protected
#Every21Hours a Black woman is murdered by a partner or ex.

We are being MURDERED and your SILENCE speaks volumes.

Will you share this with another women or the men who love and support them?

Will you consider making a donation to any one of the organizations that creates awareness of domestic violence or sexual assault, a domestic violence shelter, a organization that services girls, boys, children and women who have been trafficked? You can make a donation to our organization at www.prc123.org

Or make a donation to an organization you know that does good work in the community!

The next time someone tells you their truth or they need help, believe them!

This is not all all inclusive note. But it is a start!

Where will you start? Please, don’t close your eye and think this doesn’t affect you!

Love yourself more than you love the person who wants to kill you!

Any life lost is one too many! 



Happy Birthday, Tina Turner!

Don’t forget to nominate Tina The Musical in the upcoming WhatsOnStage Awards! Head to their website to nominate: awards.whatsonstage.com. #WOSAwards hashtag#SPMGMediahashtag#AAM

Grammy-winner Tina Turner rose to fame in the 1960s by singing and performing with then-husband Ike Turner, later enjoying an international solo career with hits like “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Better Be Good to Me,” “Private Dancer” and “Typical Male.”

Who Is Tina Turner?

Born in Tennessee in 1939, Tina Turner began performing with musician Ike Turner in the 1950s. They became known as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, achieving popular acclaim for their live performances and recordings like the top 5 hit “Proud Mary,” until Tina left in the 1970s after years of domestic abuse. 

Following a slow start to her solo career, Turner achieved massive success with her 1984 album Private Dancer. She went on to deliver more chart-topping albums and hit singles, and was elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. The revered singer later became involved in the spiritual Beyond project, and married longtime boyfriend Erwin Bach in July 2013.

Background and Early Life

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her parents, Floyd and Zelma Bullock, were poor sharecroppers, who, early in her life, split up and left Turner and her sister to be raised by their grandmother. When her grandmother died in the early 1950s, Turner moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to be with her mother.

Barely in her teens, Turner quickly immersed herself in St. Louis’s R&B scene, spending much of her time at Club Manhattan. It was there, in 1956, that she met rock-and-roll pioneer Ike Turner, who often played at the club with the Kings of Rhythm. Soon Turner was performing with the group, and she quickly became the highlight of their show.

Making the Charts: ‘A Fool in Love’

In 1960, when another singer failed to show up for a Kings of Rhythm recording session, Turner sang the lead on a track titled “A Fool in Love.” The record was then sent to a radio station in New York, and was released under the moniker “Ike and Tina Turner.” 

The song became a huge R&B success, and soon crossed over to the pop charts. Before long, the group was touring as the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and earning renown for their electrifying stage performances. The group also capitalized on the success of “A Fool in Love” by releasing a string of successful follow-up singles, including “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “Poor Fool” and “Tra La La La La.”

Ike and Tina Get Married

With their popularity growing, Ike and Tina were married in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1962. Two years later their son, Ronnie, was born. (They had four sons in all, one from an earlier relationship of Tina’s, and two from an earlier relationship of Ike’s.)

Divorcing Ike

Despite their success as a musical duo, Tina and Ike’s marriage was in shambles. Tina would later reveal that Ike was often physically abusive. 

By the mid-1970s, the couple separated both personally and professionally after an altercation in Dallas in which Tina fought back, according to her later book. In 1978, they were officially divorced, with Tina citing Ike’s frequent infidelities and increasing drug and alcohol use in addition to the abuse. 

In the years following her divorce, Tina’s solo career got off to a slow start. According to Tina, when she left Ike, she had “36 cents and a gas station credit card.” To make ends meet and to care for her children, she used food stamps and even cleaned houses. But she also continued to perform in lower-profile venues and made guest appearances on other artists’ records, though not achieving any notable success initially.

Huge Comeback: ‘Private Dancer’ 

In 1983, however, Turner’s solo career finally gained steam when she recorded a remake of Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together.” Noted for a related video in which she appeared in a rag dress between two dancers, Turner took her remake to the top 5 on the domestic R&B charts and the top 10, U.K. pop. 

Personal Life and Religion

In 2013, it was announced that Turner, at the age of 73, was engaged to marry her longtime partner, German record executive Erwin Bach. In July 2013, they were married in Zurich, Switzerland, only months after Turner had gained her Swiss citizenship.

During the 1970s, a friend introduced Turner to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, from which she found peace in the rituals of chanting. Today she adheres to the teachings of The Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist organization consisting of about 12 million Nichiren Buddhist practitioners. 

Turner collaborated with spiritual musicians Regula Curti and Dechen Shak-Dagsay for the release of Beyond: Buddhist and Christian Prayers in 2010, as well as for the follow-up albums Children Beyond (2011) and Love Within (2014).

“The experience of singing prayers together allows us to deeply connect on a emotional level,” Turner explained to Billboard in 2010, “a place of love and respect where worldly differences fade.”

‘TINA’: The Musical and Lifetime Grammy

Opening in 2018 at the Aldwych Theatre in London, TINA is a musical that depicts a biographical account of the singer’s life and career and will feature some of her most popular hits.

“I am so excited to be bringing my musical to the West End!,” Turner stated. “London is a place that means so much to me and had such a big impact on my music and my life. Returning now to tell my full story, in the city I love, feels like an important chapter and is truly exciting.”

Turner also found out that she would be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys in 2018, alongside other industry legends like Neil Diamond and Emmylou Harris

Around this time, Turner revealed that she had forgiven her ex-husband for his abusive behavior years ago. “As an old person, I have forgiven him, but it would not work with him,” she said in an interview with The Times. “He asked for one more tour with me, and I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ Ike wasn’t someone you could forgive and allow him back in.”


Looking to travel in 2019? Take advantage of these deals from YMT!

Alaska, Hawaii, Ireland and the National Parks – For more information on these great deals, call 855-398-5024, use PROMO CODE: N7017 

If you’re looking for the best choice in affordable travel, look no further than YMT Vacations! Since 1967, they have provided their guests with affordable, fully-escorted tour and cruise tour vacations to Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, and beyond. Their goal is to take you to the destinations of your dreams and give you an incredible experience to last a lifetime, all at a price that fits your budget.   


End the Subsidy Wars: Amazon Took Advantage of a System That’s Baked into America’s Economy. We Must Finally Fix It.

How did such a flawed, wasteful system come to be? How can we be rid of it?

Leave it to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. In his zeal to be disruptor-in-chief, he has pulled back the green curtain on America’s corrupted economic development system. More publicly than ever, taxpayers have been shown how our nation’s tax break-industrial complex works — and quite rightly, they want to end it.

This state-eat-state and city-versus-city madness has many names: “race to the bottom,” “zero-sum game,” even “second war among the states.” That last phrase was coined by Business Week magazine — 42 years ago. It costs at least $70 billion per year, but can only be estimated due to poor disclosure.

There ought to be a law, many say. Why isn’t there?

“Amazon tried to convert a public auction into an Old Economy back-room deal, but that only fueled more public outrage.”Some point to the federalist structure of our U.S. Constitution, arguing that Uncle Sam’s passivity in industrial policy is an inevitable result of states’ rights. Others argue, and I agree, that the Founding Fathers would be aghast to see the states of America acting like hostile nations, with a far less rational — and far more expensive — incentive system than the countries of the European Union.

How did such a flawed, wasteful system come to be? How can we be rid of it?

America’s corporate-dominated site location system was born in, where else, New York in 1936, when a disgruntled Chicago real estate salesman named Leonard Yaseen moved east and created the Fantus Factory Locating Service. It would long dominate perhaps the most obscure yet powerful consulting niche in U.S. history.

For the next four decades, Fantus helped companies relocate thousands of workplaces, most of them factories moving out of the Northeast and Midwest to the South, but also overseas.

Today, Fantus survives within Deloitte. Defectors and the internet have spawned many competitors, but site locators still use the system Yaseen perfected. Searches are conducted secretly, with code names and non-disclosure agreements. The identity of the corporate client is held confidential, often until late in the process.

The true reasons a company chooses a place are never revealed, and the decision may have been pre-determined. Sometimes at two stages — states versus states and then cities within a state — governments are “whipsawed” to maximize tax breaks.

In game theory, public officials are in the “prisoners’ dilemma.” They aren’t told who they are competing against, and if they find out, they know they must not communicate with their peers. Their job is to supply data — and the biggest possible subsidy package — and hope for the best.

They may intensely dislike this game’s rules, but know they must conform, lest they be blacklisted by site consultants shopping the next deal.

When a press release is issued, giving a politician a powerful re-election gift, the spin emphasizes the incentives. No one points out that state and local taxes — and therefore incentives that reduce them — are microscopic cost factors that rarely determine where a company expands or relocates. The bipartisan dogma that tax breaks “work” is cemented in the public narrative.

The system has other moving parts: By the 1970s, the “business climate” propaganda industry was born: purveyors of politicized grab-bags of data sautéed to support corporate attacks on state taxes and safety-net programs.

Fantus walked away from the work when it realized the true agenda, so the Conference of State Manufacturers’ Associations hired the accounting firm now named Grant Thornton. These exercises in pseudo-social science were dissected and demolished in 1986, yet they live on today, for example, in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “Rich States, Poor States” studies by Dr. Arthur Laffer and others. And they are discredited each year by Dr. Peter Fisher at gradingstates.org.

Amazon’s HQ2 search began disruptively as a rare public auction, only the sixth in U.S. history. After an initial rush of enthusiasm, many grew skeptical as they learned about Amazon’s big role in Seattle’s soaring home prices and homelessness.

Scorched by public blowback, Amazon veered to secrecy four months later, announcing that a second-round RFP and bids from 20 “finalist” cities would be closely held, as would site visits.

That is, Amazon tried to convert a public auction into an Old Economy back-room deal, but that only fueled more public outrage.

Now that Bezos has chosen New York and Arlington, Va., skeptics feel vindicated. Amazon almost certainly knew its short list before launching the auction, they say. (After all, it’s been siting facilities for two decades and created its own tax-break office in 2012.)

Encouraging those 238 bids, mostly from places without a prayer, was apparently to gin up tax-break pressure on the true finalists. It “worked,” at least for Bezos: The $4-plus billion in subsidies makes HQ2 the fourth-costliest subsidy deal in U.S. history (in fact, likely the third-costliest, as a Foxconn project in Wisconsin melts down). Yet subsidies must not have been decisive, or else Pittsburgh’s $9.7 billion bid would have “won.”

Corporate control of the tax-break system is also nakedly evident in what we call “interstate job fraud.” In metro areas that straddle state lines (think New York, Kansas City or Memphis), companies can relocate existing workplaces across a border, be legally greeted as “new job creators” and showered with eight-figure subsidy packages — for merely changing their employees’ commuting routes.

No city has suffered this fraud more often, or at greater cost, than New York.

Especially during the Giuliani years, a CEO could visit Jersey City or Greenwich, make no secret of it, and collect a “job blackmail” payoff. It happened dozens of times with banking, media, publishing, insurance and stock exchange firms. Some do relocate, like financial firms dispersing back-office operations after 9/11. Goldman Sachs’ deal in Jersey City even allows it to keep much of its employees’ state personal income taxes.

In 2014, outraged by such abuses, 17 business leaders in the Kansas City metro area prevailed upon Missouri’s Republican-led legislature and its then-Democratic governor to enact a legally binding offer to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

If, within two years, he would reciprocate, Missouri would agree to carve out the K.C. area and stop paying companies to jump the state line. Brownback had the administrative power to agree to the cease-fire, but instead let the offer lapse.

The last time the National Governors Association debated this issue was 1993, prompted by Alabama’s $238 million deal for Mercedes-Benz. (High-profile then, that deal looks quaint today; almost 100 have since exceeded its cost.)

Led by Govs. Jim Edgar, a centrist Illinois Republican, and Buddy Roemer, a centrist Louisiana Democrat, the NGA issued a non-binding statement full of fine platitudes. Like several such voluntary efforts in the Northeast and Midwest, it accomplished nothing.

A lawsuit, the brainchild of public-interest lawyers, found its way to the Supreme Court in 2005. In DaimlerChrysler Corp. vs. Cuno, a group of Toledo, Ohio, residents alleged that Ohio had violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause by paying off the auto manufacturer to build a new factory with massive tax breaks. The plaintiffs lost at trial but won on appeal before the U.S. Sixth Circuit, and the Supreme Court accepted the case.

Two K Street coalitions were born to amass amicus briefs. Former Ohio Gov. and then-Sen. George Voinovich readied legislation, lest the Court make the right decision. Former Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued for Ohio. The plaintiffs were represented pro bono by Northeastern University law Prof. Peter Enrich, who had to repeatedly correct the justices’ questions before answering them.

The Court punted, ruling that the plaintiffs — some of whom had lost their homes and businesses to the plant’s footprint — lacked standing to bring the case because they had not been sufficiently harmed.

“This is the history so methodically exploited by Amazon. Besides HQ2, it has already won the company $1.6 billion in other unnecessary subsidies, for warehouses and data centers.”

Presidents have historically been MIA here, and most major federal development programs may not be used in interstate job relocations.

But President Trump has shattered that norm. In a December 2016 speech at Carrier Corp. in Indianapolis, he, despite having spoken out loudly and frequently against a rigged economy as a candidate, endorsed interstate job wars. Soon after taking office, he helped Foxconn chairman Terry Gao stage a multi-state bidding war for what has become a deeply troubled factory deal in Wisconsin — with $4.8 billion in state and local subsidies.

This is the history so methodically exploited by Amazon. Besides HQ2, it has already won the company $1.6 billion in other unnecessary subsidies, for warehouses and data centers.

I recommend several solutions and discount another. Some have suggested a confiscatory, 100% federal tax on state and local subsidies; I consider that politically untenable.

Inspired by how the feds persuaded the states to raise the drinking age to 21 and reduce auto fatalities (by holding back 10% of highway trust funds), a President could hold back 10% of Community Development Block Grant funds until a state signs a no-piracy pledge, agrees to defund interstate job fraud and pledges robust online disclosure of every deal’s costs and benefits.

We need another pair of states to seize the Missouri-Kansas model and create a powerful precedent. We need more business groups to learn how the Kansas City 17 so effectively framed their grievance.

Every public official should learn about powerful anti-piracy/high-cooperation pactsthat have served the Denver and Dayton metro areas for more than 20 years, disrupting part of the prisoners’ dilemma.

Site location consultants should be registered and regulated as lobbyists, to make their activities more transparent and prevent some from working on commission.

We must all school up on the European Union system that caps subsidies, restricts them to truly needy areas, and encourages companies to report each other for seeking ineligible subsidies.

Finally, states and localities must embrace Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures, a brand-new accounting rule that requires most governments to report how much revenue they lose to such tax break programs.

Let’s compost the HQ2 mess and fix America’s economic development system.



Governor Brown to Host 87th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown will host the 87th Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 6th on the West Steps of the State Capitol.

This year’s tree is a 65-foot-tall white fir from the Latour Demonstration State Forest located near Redding in Shasta County, the seventh Capitol Christmas tree to come from a state forest managed by CAL FIRE.

The tree will be illuminated by approximately 10,000 ultra-low wattage LED lights and is decorated with more than 900 hand-crafted ornaments made by children and adults with developmental disabilities who receive services and support from the state’s developmental centers and 21 nonprofit regional centers.

The Governor and First Lady Anne Gust Brown will light the Capitol Christmas tree with 7-year-old Kiran Dong of Valencia, who was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome and receives services from the North Los Angeles County Regional Center. Dong is a student in the second grade at Tesoro del Valle Elementary School and enjoys to swim, rock climb, ride horses and play soccer.

Kitty O’Neal of KFBK Radio will emcee the ceremony, which will also feature performances by the California Army National Guard’s DET 1, 40th Infantry Division Band, Brass Quintet, the Governor’s Own; students from the Oakland Military Institute and Oakland School for the Arts; Harley White Jr. Trio; and St. Paul’s Baptist Church Choir.

When: Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: California State Capitol, West Steps, Sacramento, CA 95814


Governor Brown Secures Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to Support Communities Impacted by Wildfires

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that the White House has approved California’s request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration, submitted yesterday, to bolster the ongoing emergency response and help residents recover from devastating fires burning in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

“We have a real challenge here, threatening our whole way of life,” said Governor Brown alongside the state’s top emergency management officials yesterday at the State Operations Center. “It is a time of sadness, but also one to reflect on where we are and resolve to pull together and do everything we can to help those in need.”

A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for support including crisis counseling, housing and unemployment assistance and legal services. It also provides public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery, including the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure, including roads, bridges and utilities. The declaration includes hazard mitigation, which helps state and local governments reduce the risks and impacts of future disasters.

Yesterday, Governor Brown joined leaders of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, CAL FIRE, California Highway Patrol and California National Guard at the State Operations Center in Mather to provide an update on the ongoing firefighting efforts.

Major fires burning in Northern and Southern California have claimed lives and caused extensive damage to residences and infrastructure. The Camp Fire in Butte County, which has burned 113,000 acres and decimated the Town of Paradise, is already the most destructive fire in modern California history. The Hill and Woolsey fires in Southern California have burned more than 96,100 acres. More than 8,000 firefighters are working the front lines of wildfires statewide.

A state of emergency has been declared in Los Angeles, Ventura and Butte counties due to multiple fires and late last week, California secured direct federal assistance to further support the impacted communities – within 24 hours of making the request. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and is coordinating with other local, state and federal emergency response officials to address emergency management needs.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated areas can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

More information on the FEMA disaster declaration process can be found here.


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