ANNONCER: Welcome to a special edition of “Money Rocks: Corruption in America, the Bolling Files with Eric Bolling.” Jerry Brown’s investigating the corrupt town of Bell, California, but a law firm connected with that city’s attorney forked over thousands to Brown’s election campaign. This bell is cracked. When are the Feds coming in to clean house?
ERIC BOLLING, HOST: I am Eric Bolling. welcome to “Money Rocks” where we root out crime, corruption, arrogance, and the shocking betrayal of public trust leading to addictive discussion and debate. Remember, cutting down on public corruption would amount to a huge tax cuts for America and saving us all money.
Residents of the tiny town of Bell, California found out today they’ve been overcharged on their property taxes to the tune of $3 million. And they may not get that money back. California Attorney General Jerry Brown has been investigating the town, but now a new report says the former city attorney who approved all the huge public salaries in Bell works for a law firm that has donated at least $5000 to Jerry Brown’s election campaign.
Here to talk about these latest outrages of what must be the most corrupt town in America, Steven Greenhut, Cal Watchdog’s editor in chief and Ara Najarian, mayor of neighboring Glendale, California.
Steven, let’s start with you, sir. Boy, where do we start? We had two big pieces of news today. Number one, this just came out right before air. Bell, California, has been charged $3 — the residents of Bell $3 million more than they are legally allowed to be charged. And a lot of it could be due to what, high pension requirements?
STEVEN GREENHUT, CAL WATCHDOG EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes, it’s incredible looting. I mean, this is the pension problem at its extreme. The state has a $500 billion unfunded state pension liability. And Bell is becoming the poster child for a burgeoning issue.
And Jerry Brown, well, it’s kind of troubling about the campaign donation. But this is all about politics anyway. I mean, Brown is — he’s a shameless politician. He’s very good at taking whatever issue he can to advance his career. And he’s in a tough gubernatorial battle. And he’s very weak on the union issue, because he helped create the problems we have now. And so he’s jumping on the Bell scandal, but I don’t expect any sort of a real serious investigation.
But even more important, I don’t expect that he’s going to — as governor, he’s going to do anything about this massive pension debt that’s putting some cities in bankruptcy. It’s depleting public services. Bell is — it’s a freebee. Anybody could go after the complete, absolute plundering going on.
BOLLING: All right. Hang in there, Steven.
Mayor Najarian, what about it? Is — you know, these poor people, they’ve been ripped off by the Three Stooges. Their bond issues may bankrupt — may bankrupt the town. And now we find out that their taxes, they’ve been paying way too much in taxes. What’s next, mayor?
ARA NAJARIAN, GLENDALE, CA MAYOR: It is a shame. I think what we’re seeing here is this slow-motion implosion of a municipality. Every day, the news gets worse and worse. And now they’re paying too much in taxes, their bonds are down to junk level, and the corruption with the attorney that’s supposed to be watching the city to give them advice on these whole issue, this is just a mess. And it is unfortunately, this whole Jerry Brown issue is turning into a sideshow, when we should be focusing truly on the poor people of Bell and how they’ve just been getting robbed, robbed of true leaders in their government, robbed of their hard-earned dollars, and their taxes.
BOLLING: Hey, Mayor–
NAJARIAN: This is a shame–
BOLLING: –does the fact that the Bell city attorney donating to Jerry Brown’s election campaign, does that bother you at all? Does that smell bad to you?
NAJARIAN: Oh, of course, it smells bad. And I think Jerry Brown should leave this issue alone totally, create a wall within his office, and not talk about it, not do the press conferences and beat his chest in saying, look, I’m fighting corruption in the city of Bell. Well, let’s follow that along. You’re getting money from the city attorney that’s supposed to be making sure that the salaries in the pensions are in line.
BOLLING: Hang in there, you guys.
BOLLING: Both you guys, hang in there — Mayor, hold on, and Steven, hold on. I want to bring it over to Alan. You know, during that setup package, you said there he is, the next governor of California.
ALAN COLMES: Yes, the once and future — what is this, a Meg Whitman campaign meeting?
BOLLING: Absolutely not.
COLMES: I mean, you know, look–
BOLLING: Hey, listen, first of all, let me clarify this.
COLMES: Yes, yes.
BOLLING: I have to clarify this, you guys. If it’s a Republican, a Democrat–
COLMES: Well, let me point out–
BOLLING: –it doesn’t matter.
BOLLING: We’re still going to call them out, Alan.
COLMES: Let me point out that–
BOLLING: It just happens to be a Dem.
COLMES: Let me point out that a coalition of Bell residents have called on Meg Whitman, who is saying the same thing everybody here so far has said, just stop politicizing this issue. This is what Meg Whitman is trying to use against Jerry Brown, which has nothing to do with Bell. So this sounds like a Meg Whitman meeting. And–
BOLLING: It’s not a Meg Whitman. By the way, I forgot to introduce the panel.
BOLLING: That’s FOX News analyst Alan Colmes.
BOLLING: Also, FOX contributor Steven Crowder, Jonas Max Ferris from Maxfunds.com, and Meme Roth from National Action Against Obesity, guys. But Alan, it has nothing to do with right, left center.
COLMES: Stop — yes, you’re using this–
BOLLING: It’s not.
BOLLING: Let me do this.
COLMES: You’re using this to after Jerry Brown, when he’s not involved in this.
BOLLING: I didn’t want to do this, but you know, we have conflicting stories. We’re trying to figure this thing out. Did — has he worked for the state or local municipality for 16 years or 25 years?
COLMES: He has nothing to do with Bell, California. He was the mayor of Oakland. He’s now attorney general of the state.
BOLLING: Steven, Steven–
COLMES: It had nothing to do with Jerry Brown.
BOLLING: Steven Greenhut, is there — does the currently Attorney General Jerry Brown running for governor, does this bother you at all, given his past record with Calpers?
GREENHUT: Oh, absolutely. I mean, he ought to release the information about his own pension, which it appears that he may have earned more years credit than he’s worthy of.
But this isn’t really a partisan issue. I mean, Brown is terrible.
COLMES: And Meg.
GREENHUT: He helped create this mess. No, but Whitman’s terrible, too. I mean, she wants to exempt public safety from her so- called pension reform issues, which that’s the bulk of the problem. So they’re both pretty bad on the issue and they’re jockeying. But it’s a huge problem in California and something needs to be done.
BOLLING: Steven, hold on there, Steven.
GREENHUT: But Brown is a (INAUDIBLE) unions.
BOLLING: I want to bring it to Steven Crowder here on the table.
STEVEN CROWDER: The other Steven.
BOLLING: The other Stephen.
CROWDER: The one who almost got slapped in the face when your hand were going.
BOLLING: It’s not tiresome. We didn’t care. And Mr. Greenhut says, you know what? Meg Whitman’s terrible, too. What does California really need to fix the problem?
CROWDER: Well, absolutely. And as somebody who couldn’t care less about micro politics, I don’t care. The ridiculous spending is ridiculous spending. As you said, I don’t care if it’s Republican or Democrat.