In the Money


I got my e-invitation to the San Diego County Tax Payer’s Association’s 14th Annual Golden Watchdog and Golden Fleece Awards.  The event’s being held this year on May 13 at the tony Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley (right down the street from the entity that used to be known as the Union Tribune but may one day in the not too distant future be known as the Union Condominiums…)

I’m passing on attendance. 

It’s not just that I (and many of the taxpayers the SDCTPA claims to represent) have ideological disagreements with a group that is knee-jerk reactionary when it comes to any mention of enhanced public revenues (aka blood-sucking taxes.)  Even higher taxes,  on occasion, serve a public good even though most of us—even my self, on most occasions—do not like paying them. It’s not just that I have a minor irritation with the SDCTPA over its name, as I’ve written about before.  The SDCTPA does not represent all tax payers in San Diego county (I do believe that is the task assigned to the progressive jazz quintet known as the Board of Supervisors.) Yet, that they don’t more accurately call themselves the San Diego County Republican & Libertarian Tax Payer’s Association is only a small quibble.

It’s not even my annoyance that, while the SDCTPA loves to ridicule the ridiculous spending of public institutions (spending which, at least, purports and attempts to do something for this thing called the public good)  it says not a peep about the ridiculous spending of the private sector (Sunroad, debasement of the Padre Brand over a de-nuptialization, ghost-town developments in Eastlake, not to mention pretty much anything happening within a hundred klicks of Wallstreet these days ring a bell, anybody?)  These days (and for much of the last generation) the true fleecing of America has come courtesy of the best and the brightest minds of the Wharton, Harvard and Chicago schools of business.

No, my ultimate reason for passing on the tax-paying bashing binge is much more parochial: the $200/head dinner price.  Unless the chicken is really that good, seems to me the SDCTAA should put themselves on the menu for a fleecing award.

Hmmm, the SDCTAA celebrates the exposure of government waste at a $200 per person event.   I wonder just which tax brackets their membership comes from… 


10 Responses to “In the Money”

  1. mlaiuppa Says:


    Gee, I was going to ask if I could have your ticket. One never passes up a free meal one doesn’t have to cook and one doesn’t have to clean up after.

    But $200?

    That’s not an awards banquet. That’s just a smokescreen for a fundraiser. For you’ve already nailed it; local conservatives.

    They haven’t contributed anything for the “public good” so I see no reason to give them my hard-earned $200 for a plate of cold rubber chicken and an evening of teeth grinding.

    I’ll pass on the ticket, thanks.

    I’d rather attend the Orchids and Onions awards by the Architects Association. But only if it’s free.

  2. g.adfly Says:

    Chickens don’t have fleece-they have pinfeathers that need to be burned off if they don’t get “plucked” right-golden pinfeathers award for not getting plucked by the powers that be anyone?
    Gladys Adfly

  3. CJ Says:

    Obviously Mr. Luna has no idea what he is talking about when he seemingly attempts to speak knowledgeably about the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. As a former political science student at the University of San Diego, I am displeased that Mr. Luna did not do his due diligence prior to speaking negatively about an organization that has been in existence for more than 60 years. Mr. Luna believes that SDCTA is an “anti-tax” organization, but that is hardly the case. Rather, SDCTA is an advocate for good-government. Why doesn’t Dr. Luna speak to what SDCTA has done for local taxpayers in regards to school district bond measures. They have made it a requirement that an Oversight Committee is established for all school district ballot measures to ensure that all the projects promised to voters actually get done! I challenge anybody critical of the Taxpayers Association to become a member first, then see for yourself that any recommendation made is based on sound analysis. I don’t see any other organization producing the quality of work similar to that of SDCTA. Heaven forbid a NON-PROFIT organization attempt to instill GOOD-GOVERNMENT practices that protect local taxpayers. I bet Mr. Luna rather see municipal governments do what they want, when they want without repercussion.

  4. mlaiuppa Says:


    Where is the extra $180 per plate going? Because even a good chicken dinner shouldn’t cost more than $20.00. At a hotel, you’l pay about $60.00 a plate that would also cover the cost of the venue.

    So…where does that extra $140 go? Because that’s….profit.

    As for the oversight, it doesn’t prevent waste. I work in the schools. I’ve seen those projects. I’ve seen the shoddy workmanship that no one is accountable for. One door didn’t have a lock installed…the insides were empty. Corners are cut. And the jobs are signed off before the work is completed; the contractors are paid before the work is completed. That’s why it doesn’t get done and doesn’t get done right. There is no incentive to fix it because they already have their money. Who would build a custom home like that?

    I read through the last three years worth of “awards” at their site. I am not motivated to join or to give them money.

    Not even $20.00 for a chicken dinner.

  5. getyourfactsstraight Says:

    Folks, the event is a fundraiser; the primary fundraiser for the organization. If raise-my-taxes Professor Luna doesn’t want to go, he should stay at home. The irony is that Mr. Ivory Tower Luna with plush benefits from the private, expensive University of San Diego, didn’t even do his research before writing his column. Isn’t that the

  6. getyourfactsstraight Says:

    …job of a professor? To research facts, share those facts with the public and conduct comprehensive studies which provide the public with information of value? Mr. Luna’s own knee-jerk presumptions, which are far from accurate, are a sad reflection on the Unversity of San Diego and Mesa College.

  7. CJ Says:

    Do you think the money on top of the cost of the dinner goes into pockets? They go to pay for the operations of the organization. And if you don’t like how your school district spends your money, then vote the board out of office. And since you have a problem with the “awards” that are handed out, it sounds like you’re perfectly contempt with out-of-control spending by government agencies. May be we should just throw more money at schools to fix problems instead of holding our elected officials accountable for how they spend the money we ALREADY give them.

  8. mlaiuppa Says:

    “Mr. Ivory Tower Luna with plush benefits from the private, expensive University of San Diego”

    And there you have it.

    Start with private university. Guest lecturer. He’s a professor at a community college; Mesa College.

    Plush Benefits? Like healthcare? Do I also smell anti-pension? And maybe anti-union too. I think I detect that teachers should work for minimum wage, no benefits, no pensions and pay for their instructional materials out of pocket. They should also sharpen their own quills and chop their own wood, avoid ice cream parlors and only be seen in the company of their brothers or Fathers. Upon marriage they shall lose their positions.

    OH, excuse me.

    I’ll stop there. You could use a little research yourself.

  9. CMR Says:

    SDCTA endorsed Proposition A (Transnet Renewal), Proposition MM and son of Prop MM. They also endorsed the community college bond (thus a fun irony given Mr. Luna’s employer). They may be a lot of things but with at least some endorsements of tax increases I think we have to say they are NOT a libertarian organization.

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