Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Why I Cannot Support Dawn Ortiz-Legg for State Assembly District 35

I ran for State Assembly and lost in the primary. After the primary I went to lunch with both candidates running for State Assembly District 35 in the upcoming general election.

After that I pretty much ignored them – I was trying to get caught up on work. Recently I found time to research both Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Jordan Cunningham.

After my research I cannot support Dawn Ortiz-Legg for California Assembly.

First and foremost is Dawn’s involvement with and her co-founding of Code Pink.

Army Specialist Kevin Pannell was in Iraq for five months when he was caught in a grenade ambush in Bagdad on June 13, 2004. Four days later, surgeons amputated his left leg above the knee and his right leg below the knee. He now uses artificial legs and a wheelchair.

I echo Specialist Pannell’s sentiments: and I quote -"it was probably the most distasteful thing I had ever seen. Ever. We went by there one day and I drove by and [the anti-war protesters] had a bunch of flag-draped coffins laid out on the sidewalk. You know that 95 percent of the guys in the hospital beds lost guys whenever they got hurt and survivors' guilt is the worst thing you can deal with.”

If you want to see the face of freedom google Army Specialist Kevin Pannell.

I do not deny anyone’s right to protest a war but to protest at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is unforgivable and anyone associated with Code Pink is guilty by association.

This painfully reminds me of Vietnam and what my brothers and I went through for serving our Country, only to come home and be spit on – called baby killers. Many of these protesters were rich kids that got out of going to Vietnam because their parents could afford to send them off to college – a draft deferment. And after college it was off to Canada.

Many of these same draft dodgers took their college degrees and went into politics, while returning Veterans struggled in hell, with little or no help from a Veterans Administration that is minimally better today. Our traitors went on to become our leaders and our heroes were not welcomed home for 38 years – until March 30, 2011 by the United States Senate.

In life we all have choices. My choice has been to help Veterans and my community in whatever way I can - like the Veterans Stand Down, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots and working on making a community center become a reality.

Dawn's choice was Code Pink. As a Veteran Code Pink is about as offensive as you can get. Code Pink believes in peace through surrender - open boarders - in a perfect world that would be wonderful. But in the world that we live in Code Pink is dangerous. I'd like to believe that code pink is naive but I cannot. Code Pink traveled to Palestine and was hosted by Hamas.

Dawn told me that she would vote outside her party line to do the right thing but I have to question that.

Dawn's campaign has raised over $1,000,000.

The California Democratic Party has given her about $500,000.

32 democrats running for State Assemble have given Dawn over $125,000.

Money is pouring in from outside our district - border to border - for Dawn Ortiz-Legg - Del Norte County Democratic Central Committee $75,000 - San Diego County Democratic Party $65,000 - Democratic Central Committee or Marin $60,000 - Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee $25,000.

Dawn bashes Jordan Cunningham (her opponent) for being an attorney, yet she has many attorneys donating to her campaign. Dawn’s money is coming from outside politicians, outside special interest groups and unions.

Jordan’s money is coming from businesses and voters in the 35th district. I believe that Jordan Cunningham will be the least likely to raise taxes.

Jordan has wholeheartedly agreed to help me get some things done for Veterans, our District 35 (Paso to Lompoc) and the State of California (more on that later).

It's up to us to get Jordan Cunningham elected and then get to work making the Central Coast of California a better place for all of us to live.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Letter Sent 4-22-2011 to Federal Circuit Court Judge - The Federal Case that Changed Caltrans Policy

Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association
120 E. Clark Avenue, Orcutt, CA 93455

The Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119

April 22, 2011

Re: Brown v. California Department of Transportation Case No. 02-15385
Resulting in California Department of Transportation Policy Change

Dear Judge Wardlaw:

Did Caltrans’ interpret the decision correctly in Brown v. California Department of Transportation (hereinafter Caltrans) Case No. 02-15385 when they applied the court’s ruling to their current policy?

Caltrans current policy does not allow the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of California to be displayed anywhere in the State right of way.

California law allows the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of California to be displayed in the sidewalk area in the State right of way. 

Caltrans admitted that their decision to change their policy was based solely on their defeat at appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Brown v. Caltrans Case No. 02-15385.

My opinion is that Caltrans simply lost the lawsuit because 1. Caltrans allowed freedom of expression on a non public forum (the overpass) 2. Caltrans discriminated on the basis of viewpoint 3. Caltrans violated their own pre Brown v. Caltrans policy by allowing anything to be hung from an overpass that was distracting and potentially dangerous to the public.

In questioning a Caltrans representative on why our recent “Gateway Monument” permit was denied I was told that "The display of the United States flag constituted expressive activity, within the meaning of the First Amendment".

While I agree with Caltrans’ statement in context to Brown v. Caltrans, where the flag was draped over the overpass, I do not agree that it applies to the daily occurrence of flying the American flag as a symbol of our great nation and in full compliance with the United States Flag Code.

Since the birth of our nation the purpose of the American flag was and is to serve as a symbol of our country. The American flag and Freedom are inseparable much like the heart and soul of a man,

When does the American flag transition from being the symbol of the United States of America to becoming someone's form of speech or expression?

In a landmark Supreme Court Case Texas v. Johnson the Court ruled in favor of Gregory Lee Johnson, then a member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, finding that Johnson's burning of the flag was expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment.

The American flag that Johnson burned was stolen from a flagpole. I contend that the American flag transitioned from being the symbol of the United States of America when it was stolen from the flagpole where it was being displayed as the symbol of the United States of America and according to United States law.

When the flag thief first touched that American flag it became desecrated and it was then and there that the flag transitioned into becoming someone's “free speech or expression”. Did Johnson have a right to burn the flag? Hell no, the flag didn't belong to him (my opinion).

Does anyone have a right to burn the American flag? Yes, because we are free to express ourselves. But at the point of desecration the flag ceases being the symbol of America's freedom. And that freedom must remain forever pure for the world to witness.

I believe Caltrans current policy removes public forums. The multiplicity of transportation components in the evolution of Caltrans right of ways has effectively created three categories of public forums, including the traditional public forum which is held in the highest regard.

In many scenarios throughout California, the consequences of Caltrans changing their policy has been the removal of traditional public forums (sidewalks and parks) from the State right of ways.

There was no compelling State interest in Caltrans changing their policy. Nothing had changed in the sidewalk areas. The overpasses were still off limits.

Supreme Court Justice Roberts’ 1939 dictum states “traditional public forums have been held in trust for the public and from ancient times, been a part of the privileges, immunities, rights and liberties of citizens.” Traditional public forums cannot be changed to nonpublic forums by governments.

In closing, I believe that Caltrans current policy demoralizes patriotism, discourages national pride and is an injustice to every American.

Your response to my opinions could be immeasurably helpful in getting the American flag flying once again in suitable areas of the California State right of ways.


Steve LeBard
OTORA President
805-714-1165 email

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I spend the weekend campaigning just outside the 2016 Elks Rodeo in Santa Maria, California about 1 mile from my home.

California 24th Congressional District Candidates Question - Answer(s) could potentially solve many of the problems facing this district.

There are 9 candidates running for California’s 24th Congressional District. I, Steve LeBard am running for California Assembly and I have a question to pose to each and every one of these candidates.
Their answer(s) could potentially solve many of the problems facing this district. I will post any answers that I receive from them on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. via Facebook (the day before elections). I ask that all of you re-post their answers to your Facebook friends so that the “voter” is better informed.

The 24th Congressional District covers about 200 miles of California’s Central Coast. We produce lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, avocados, citrus, olives, and lots of wine. Production continues to expand as more acreage is planted and farmlands are more densely planted as is with hoop houses etc…

This production consumes enormous resources. By my calculations water consumed just from the 26,000 acres of grapes planted in Paso Robles is equivalent to the needs to supply water to 885,000 families – five times more than the entire population of this district.

Most of this production is very labor intensive and most of that labor comes from south of the border. Our Congressional District is overwhelmed with illegal immigration. The escalation of illegal immigration has evolved over decades as the demand for cheap labor has risen.

We are footing the bill for their health care, education, law enforcement, social and government services. Neighborhoods are turning into ghettos and gang violence is out of control. Many illegal immigrants come here knowing full well how to work our system of government, some even defrauding the IRS by claiming dependents that don’t live in the U.S. or don’t exist at all.

Many of the products produced locally, utilizing cheap labor, are consumed in other counties, states and countries, yet we, the taxpayer, pay to subsidize those products. The reality is the big producers are using cheap labor at our expense. This is unfair to each and every one of us. Products produced here and consumed outside of our district need the consumer of those products to subsidize our community’s burden. And it’s not just the money; it’s impacting our quality of life in so many other ways.

We must embrace immigrants that want to become patriotic Americans and design a system that monitors the migrant labor force, keeping it safe and accountable. It is our duty to elevate immigrants to American standards, not lower ourselves to third world conditions.

Products produced here and consumed elsewhere, whether it’s someone eating strawberries in New York City, chewing on head lettuce in Omaha or drinking $100 a bottle wine in Tokyo, are consumed at our expense. These consumers are the reason that we are overwhelmed with the public services needed to manage illegal immigration and with the vast consumption of our community’s natural resources?

My question – How will you fix this mess?

Please submit your answers to Steve LeBard email

Assembling the State Assemble District 35 Team (from left to right) Steve Baird, Dan Cadena and Steve LeBard. - Lower photo our mascot Sug - More to come.

Assembling the State Assemble District 35 Team (from left to right) Steve Baird, Dan Cadena and Steve LeBard. - Lower photo our mascot Sug - More to come.

Monday, May 30, 2016