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Postcard from Simi Valley

You don’t have to be a hardcore Republican to enjoy the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Tom and I took a busload of 48 KVEC listeners down on Tuesday and we were all duly impressed by what we saw. Situated in the rolling green hills above Simi Valley, the library offers a breathtaking view of surrounding vistas — on a clear day, you can even see the ocean.

The Air Force One exhibit is not to be missed. I was amazed by how small the presidential office/compartment was. You get to walk through the entire plane. The library also features an exact — and I mean exact — replica of the Oval Office. History abounds throughout the building and staff has spared no expense in recreating major chapters of Reagan’s life. Any student of modern history should spend the morning wandering the lilbrary grounds. This was my first visit to a presidential library, but I’ve gotten the bug now and I want to visit others.

Thanks to our sponsors: Spencer’s Fresh Markets, Silverado Bus Tours, Crushed Grape, Mission Grill and the Atascadero Coffee House and Deli.

Meanwhile, back on the radio front, we are getting closer to streaming on the Internet, I promise! Just working out a few last minute bugs. Continue to be patient, please.

I’m off Monday and Tuesday for the big move to Nipomo. Jack Greene, Betsey Nash, Santa Maria Bill and SLO police chief Deb Linden fill in for me. Also, next week, we’ll have a debate about Wal Mart SuperCenters and whether Atascadero should get involved.

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  1. Guy Murray
    May 18, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    What are you suggesting Dave, that you’re not a “hardcore Republican?” Were there any Jelly Beans aboard Air Force One? I’ve been to Nixon’s but not Reagan’s I will make a point to go. Thanks for this update.

    Regards,

    Guy
    Nipomo News

  2. JerryDinAZ
    May 19, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    God bless Ronald Reagan! I have been to the library 4 days after his service. I was touched. A great life, a great man and husband…and the nation’s best President!

  3. Anonymous
    May 21, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer
    Sun May 21, 12:12 PM ET

    MEXICO CITY – If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn’t be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn’t have been allowed on the force.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies “xenophobic,” Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

    In the United States, only two posts — the presidency and vice presidency — are reserved for the native born.

    In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

    Foreign-born Mexicans can’t hold seats in either house of the congress. They’re also banned from state legislatures, the Supreme Court and all governorships. Many states ban foreign-born Mexicans from spots on town councils. And Mexico’s Constitution reserves almost all federal posts, and any position in the military and merchant marine, for “native-born Mexicans.”

    Recently the Mexican government has gone even further. Since at least 2003, it has encouraged cities to ban non-natives from such local jobs as firefighters, police and judges.

    Mexico’s Interior Department — which recommended the bans as part of “model” city statutes it distributed to local officials — could cite no basis for extending the bans to local posts.

    After being contacted by The Associated Press about the issue, officials changed the wording in two statutes to delete the “native-born” requirements, although they said the modifications had nothing to do with AP’s inquiries.

    “These statutes have been under review for some time, and they have, or are about to be, changed,” said an Interior Department official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

    But because the “model” statues are fill-in-the-blanks guides for framing local legislation, many cities across Mexico have already enacted such bans. They have done so even though foreigners constitute a tiny percentage of the population and pose little threat to Mexico’s job market.

    The foreign-born make up just 0.5 percent of Mexico’s 105 million people, compared with about 13 percent in the United States, which has a total population of 299 million. Mexico grants citizenship to about 3,000 people a year, compared to the U.S. average of almost a half million.

    “There is a need for a little more openness, both at the policy level and in business affairs,” said David Kim, president of the Mexico-Korea Association, which represents the estimated 20,000 South Koreans in Mexico, many of them naturalized citizens.

    “The immigration laws are very difficult … and they put obstacles in the way that make it more difficult to compete,” Kim said, although most foreigners don’t come to Mexico seeking government posts.

    J. Michael Waller, of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, was more blunt. “If American policy-makers are looking for legal models on which to base new laws restricting immigration and expelling foreign lawbreakers, they have a handy guide: the Mexican constitution,” he said in a recent article on immigration.

    Some Mexicans agree their country needs to change.

    “This country needs to be more open,” said Francisco Hidalgo, a 50-year-old video producer. “In part to modernize itself, and in part because of the contribution these (foreign-born) people could make.”

    Others express a more common view, a distrust of foreigners that academics say is rooted in Mexico’s history of foreign invasions and the loss of territory in the 1847-48 Mexican-American War.

    Speaking of the hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who enter Mexico each year, chauffeur Arnulfo Hernandez, 57, said: “The ones who want to reach the United States, we should send them up there. But the ones who want to stay here, it’s usually for bad reasons, because they want to steal or do drugs.”

    Some say progress is being made. Mexico’s president no longer is required to be at least a second-generation native-born. That law was changed in 1999 to clear the way for candidates who have one foreign-born parent, like President Vicente Fox, whose mother is from Spain.

    But the pace of change is slow. The state of Baja California still requires candidates for the state legislature to prove both their parents were native born.

  4. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    May 22, 2006 at 5:07 am

    Hey SM Bill, why don’t you discuss this when you have your show this week. We know you like to talk about the corruct political types, I know only republican ones. I wonder why this will not get much media play?

    Filing: Tape Shows Lawmaker Taking Money
    May 21 4:35 PM US/Eastern
    Email this story

    By MATTHEW BARAKAT
    Associated Press Writer

    ALEXANDRIA, Va.

    A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.

    At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company’s deal for work in Africa.

    As Jefferson and the informant passed notes about what percentage the lawmaker’s family might receive, the congressman “began laughing and said, ‘All these damn notes we’re writing to each other as if we’re talking, as if the FBI is watching,'” according to the affidavit.

    Jefferson, who represents New Orleans, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

    As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official _ the name is blacked out in the court document _ to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.

    All but $10,000 was recovered on Aug. 3 when the FBI searched Jefferson’s home in Washington. The money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil.

    Two of Jefferson’s associates have pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Alexandria. One, businessman Vernon Jackson of Louisville, Ky., admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker in exchange for his help securing business deals for Jackson’s telecommunications company in Nigeria and other African countries.

    The new details about the case emerged after federal agents searched Jefferson’s congressional office on Capitol Hill Saturday night and Sunday. The nearly 100-page affidavit for a search warrant, made public Sunday with large portions blacked out, spells out much of the evidence so far.

    The document includes excerpts of conversations between Jefferson and an unidentified business executive from northern Virginia. She agreed to wear a wire after she approached the FBI with complaints that Jefferson and an associate had ripped her off in a business deal.

    Jefferson’s lawyer, Robert Trout, contended that the prosecutors’ disclosure was “part of a public relations agenda and an attempt to embarrass Congressman Jefferson. The affidavit itself is just one side of the story which has not been tested in court,” Trout said in a statement.

    The affidavit says Jefferson is caught on videotape at the Ritz- Carlton as he takes a reddish-brown briefcase from the trunk of the informant’s car, slips it into a cloth bag, puts the bag into his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drives away.

    The $100 bills in the suitcase had the same serial numbers as those found in Jefferson’s freezer.

    While the name of the intended recipient of the $100,000 is blacked out, other details in the affidavit indicate he is Abubakar Atiku, Nigeria’s vice president. He owns a home in Potomac, Md., that authorities have searched as part of the Jefferson investigation.

    Jefferson assured the FBI informant in their coded conversations that he paid the money to the Nigerian official, even though the money was still in Jefferson’s possession when agents searched his home Aug. 3.

    On Aug. 1, two days after Jefferson picked up the $100,000, the informant called Jefferson to ask about the status of “the package.”

    Jefferson responded: “I gave him the African art that you gave me and he was very pleased.”

    When Jefferson and the informant had dinner at a Washington restaurant on May 12, 2005, the FBI was listening, too. Jefferson indicates he will need an increased stake in the profits of one deal, the affidavit said. Instead of the 7 percent stake originally agreed upon, he writes “18-20” on a piece of paper and passes it to the informant.

    That is when negotiations move ahead and notes go back and forth, ending with Jefferson’s laughter about the FBI watching it all.

    Throughout the conversations, Jefferson makes attempts to deflect direct connections to any bribes.

    He tells the informant at one point that money should be paid to businesses operated by his children. “I make a deal for my children. It wouldn’t be me,” Jefferson said, according to the affidavit.

    In a different conversation, Jefferson seeks to distance himself from bribes that must be paid to Nigerian government officials to facilitate transactions.

    “If he’s gotta pay Minister X, we don’t want to know. It’s not our deal,” Jefferson told the witness, according to the affidavit. “We’re not paying Minister X a damn thing. That’s all, you know, international fraud crap. We’re not doing that. We’re not doing any of that that gets us (unintelligible).”

    The affidavit also spells out “seven other schemes” in which Jefferson was involved; nearly all were blacked out in the document.

    The Jefferson investigation has provided fodder for Republicans who have suffered black eyes in the investigations of current and former GOP lawmakers, including Tom DeLay and Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

    Jefferson, who has pledged not to resign from Congress in the face of the bribery investigation, speculated about his political future in one of the recorded conversations.

    When the informant asked Jefferson about his political plans, he responded: “I’m gonna get your deal out of the way … and I probably won’t last long after that.”

  5. Justin in Los Osos
    May 24, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    If you are a member of the working class you are a fool to worship reagan.

  6. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    May 26, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    Justin,

    If you are a working person, YOU are a SHEEP and are content that the rich are getting their just punishment and you as a “worker” are being helped by the democrates. They will take care of you, right. Meanwhile, you work hard, they take your money and safe it away, and when you get old you can have a little back. Oh yeah, and with the death tax to punich the rich (working business owners and ranchers) your hard working family business profits and purchases will be taken away when your parent dies and your loving government will allow you to have maybe %45 back!

    Again Justin, you are a SHEEP. You have no clue about the policy of Reagan or how he helped the common person except what your liberal herders tell you. Too bad, I feel sorry for you.

  7. JerryDinAZ
    May 31, 2006 at 2:26 am

    “NEWTONE”…2 THINGS…FIRST, GET OVER YOURSELF… SECOND, PLEASE STOP ATTACKING PEOPLE FOR EXPRESSING AN OPINION
    i FOR ONE WOULD LOVE TO SEE SOME NEW NAMES HERE. THE 4 OF YOU BLOVIATE MORE THAN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEINGS! GET A HOBBY!

  8. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    May 31, 2006 at 3:25 am

    Jerry D In Az,

    Please. Seems to me that ROb is Osos said that you are a fool if you “worship” Reagan. Give me a break. I responded to him, and told him how I feel. That is not a problem. You are just mad because you live in AZ and have fewer taxes and stay inside most of the time now instead of living here.

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