Friday, December 21, 2007

Council Member Speaks Out About City Manager's Treatment

Council Member Speaks Out!
About City Manager's Treatment

People of Barstow deserve a response to the separation of the former City Manager Hector Rodriguez, not speculation.

I don’t care if you live in an at-will state in which you can terminate anyone at any time, it is still immoral to fire people without helping them understand what they need to improve and providing the opportunity to do so.

Hector did not get fired, although the Mayor told me he wanted him dismissed and tried to call an emergency closed session meeting to terminate his contract sometime during the month of September, which I strongly opposed.

We have lost a good city manager, who cared about Barstow and the citizens in this community. He took the moral high ground because he is a man with integrity.
Hector Rodriguez

To understand how our local government works and my personal opinions of Mayor Lawrence Dale's management style, I felt it necessary to express thoughts in writing.

Barstow is a General Law city . It is the role of the mayor and council to serve as stewards of the city and to establish policy for the city. It is the city manager’s role, along with the support of city staff to implement the policies established by the mayor and council.

In some ways it is part of a system of checks and balances.

The mayor of Barstow isn’t bestowed with powers like the mayor of Los Angeles or New York . The people of Barstow haven’t given the mayor that kind of control.

Consider the following: Since the Mayor took office in 2000, Barstow has had six city managers. Since 2003 Barstow has had four city managers. That’s like having a new city manager every year. That kind of turn over signals deep-rooted systemic problems at City Hall.

And it doesn’t stop there — the turnover among the city’s senior managers and police officers have been equally alarming.

Think about it:

• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need for the mayor or members of this council to meddle behind the scenes in the business of city staff.

• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need for the mayor to convene so many closed-door City Council meetings.

• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need to schedule so many council meetings during the work day when people can’t attend the meetings or outside of our regularly scheduled Monday night Council meetings.

When the independent council majority appointed Hector Rodriguez as city manager in 2006, Mayor Dale opposed us. The mayor was furious!

Since Hector Rodriguez was appointed city manager more than 18 months ago, the mayor has worked behind the scenes to undo the previous council’s decision and undermined Hector’s success and decision-making.

Earlier this year the Mayor tried to dismiss Hector but there was an outpouring of support from the community for Hector. So instead the Mayor has worked behind the scenes to get rid of Hector.

Recognize that Hector wasn’t the mayor’s guy. And if you’re not the mayor’s guy, you’re not going to be in a job for very long.

This past year, the mayor fought against Hector’s choice for police chief and tried to undermine that recommendation. Chief Burns has proven in a short period that Mr. Rodriguez made great choice by hiring her.

When the mayor wanted his friends at Micromedia Filtration to take over the $15 million contract for the sewer treatment facility, he fought against Hector and the concerns of key city staff.

Now we’re back to business as usual.

Mayor Dale has a hungry, unhealthy appetite for control and leverage over the council and over those who manage things at City Hall and in our police department. Anyone who crosses the mayor or his friends, or who is independent in thought, seals their fate; including myself.

Micromanagement of city staff has kept Barstow from moving forward since the Millennium. At best, Barstow has stood still the last seven years. For every step forward, there’s been a step or two back.

At the root of the stagnation is a mayor’s leadership style that is holding Barstow back.

There’s something suspicious about elected leadership that prefers to meet behind closed doors and has to rule with such an iron fist.

He poses the management style of a dictator or director; I compare Mayor Dale’s management style to Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders.

That can’t be in the best interests of the people of Barstow. And after the last seven years, the people of Barstow are smart enough to see that.

Comments Posted
About This Article

Barstow Citizen - Finally, someone who has spoken the truth. If you doubt the information, go ahead and read it for yourself. Enrich your mind of all that is happening in Barstow.

I am not a Hector fan, but I agree that the mayor was running the show. Why is it that we have had so many city managers? Maybe we should ask Mayor Dale, he runs the show remember?

Why are there so many brown act violations Mayor and city councilmen. Please dont act like we dont see you in the restaurants. Remember this is Barstow, everyone talks and better yet most folks have camera phones. Smile cause you have been caught.

I would like Joe Gomez to run for city council again. We need good people involved to ensure that us Barstow Citizens dont get the short end of the stick.



316 -
Dale has got to go his Mason brothers all intimidate people they are just like gang members if they don't get what they want they pressure or intimidate you they should be treated just like gang members lets have a mason sweep and press gang enhancement charges

Jeffrey - It is good that someone has come forward with what has been going on in the past couple of months at City Hall.

I also see that every comment appears to have been deleted by the "good old boy" crowd defending this corrupt administration.

Your censorship will not go un-noticed. At any rate, it would be a great idea if more people in the know would come forward and expose the current administration for the crooks they definitely are.

The more information brought to the public the better. Of course the goon squad on the right will always try to censor the truth, but the truth will still prevail in the end.

Rock Hound - Mr. Gomez's honesty is appreciated. Barstow needs honest leadership.

Robert Silva - Watch for Mayor Dale and his local attack dogs to go after Joe Gomez.

The good old boyz who meet down at Purdy's Garage will not stand for this sort of exposure of the truth.

Before you know it, they will start trying to tar and feather Councilman Gomez with their unfounded rumors and innuendo.

Whatever allegations you hear from the good old boyz about other people, you can assume those are actually the dirty deeds that Mayor Dale and the good old boyz are up to themselves.

Ask them for the proof when they feed you gossip and rumor.

Bud Campbell - I called Joe immediately to Thank him for his service. His service to the community.

Under the current Mayor's term:

Drainage problems have been created and covered up with no mention of Flood Insurance,

New residences have been created with no seismic engineering,

Children have been placed within dangerous buildings,

Real estate fraud has run rampant under the cheerleading for a casino,
Soap Mine Road residents and children have been poisoned and lied to,

Good ol' boys have constructed without paying proper fees,

Fees have been waived,

Human excrement is allowed to blow on residents.

And a Dairy watches over our water quality.

God Bless us all. And God Bless Miss California so she doesn't get too involved with these dysfunction backwards egotistical scum. Just look at their own kids.

Nick James - Councilman Joe Gomez made me think about why we have had so many City Managers. Elected members of the City Council, the Mayor included, should let the City Manager do his job and not try to micro manage City Hall.

Savanthar - For those hecklers out there that criticize Joe Gomez I say Joe Gomez would be a far better mayor than Mayor Lawrence Dale. For one thing Joe Gomez is honest and a true statesman. These are two values that run short in the current mayor of Barstow. Dale is neither honest or a statesman. He is in fact in it for himself and his buddies at Micromedia. Mayor Dale only knows how to feather his own nest and the nests of his buddies and everyone in Barstow would be a lot better off if he were out of office. Dale should resign immediately if not sooner. He is as corrupt as the day is long. His corrupt agenda does not benefit Barstow and should be abandoned completely and utterly. Out with Dale!

Olde Meanie - The Mayor needs to be "unvoted" ASAP! He has created a terrible condition within City Hall and hence for the city. His secret letter to BIA about an Indian tribe is just the tip of an iceberg.

Manuel Gurule - It's about time Joe Gomez speaks out on what truly happened with Hector. I know this is all being investigated by the District Attorney's Office Integrity Unit. I hope at the end of their investigation more light will come to this subject. Unfortunately other members of the Barstow City Council are not responsible enough to speak out on this. It harms absolutely no one to tell the truth except those that are lying. Don't get me wrong. I don't believe Hector was a Saint but I do believe he was doing his job and he held his integrity in doing so. The root of this evil begins and ends with Micromedia and the mayor's determination to give them the sewer plant contract. $15 million is a great sum of money and influences and corrupts a great deal.

Veteran - I am so impressed to hear what Joe Gomez had to say. It is about time someone said the truth! I have lived in this town for 25 years, and it seems that our current mayor wants us to be kept in the dark.
He is a sneaky man with a hidden agenda.
Who cares if Joe's article sounds like a campaign speech, at least we are getting to the meat and potatoes of the reality of what is wrong with our city. When I first moved here, we had a JC Penny's, Kmart, Sears, Rudes clothing store, and a bunch of really nice places to go. Now we have Wal-mart! That is it. This town is repressed, and when every else is thriving, we are dormant. Thank-you Joe Gomez for your honesty! It is refreshing. Also, you have my vote no matter what you are running for! Heck, I want to be your campaign manager!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TVT Weighs in on City Manager Scandal weighs in on the City Manager Firing Scandal and the Tyranny of Mayor Dale

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Barstow's Mayor allegedly attempted to interfere with RFP process for $15 million contract

An 11.30.07 story in Barstow's Desert Dispatch suggests that Mayor Lawrence Dale was attempting to manipulate the process in order to guarantee that Micromedia Filtration, Inc. would be awarded a $15 million contract to modify the City's waste water treatment facility despite the City Council's direction to release an RFP and conduct a search for all qualified contractors.

A memo dated Oct. 30, written by Rodriguez and addressed to the council, accuses Mayor Lawrence Dale of interfering with the process, wanting to directly award the $15 million contract to Micromedia Filtration, Inc., instead of reviewing bids from other firms. Rodriguez wrote that he’d been given direction to award the contract to Micromedia in a meeting held on Oct. 18 with Dale and council member Steve Curran. Dale and Curran disputed Rodriguez’ allegations.

“The Mayor told me that the Council’s direction to me in this matter had been to write a (Request for Proposals) that would result in a contract award to Micromedia by effectively eliminating other potential bidders,” Rodriguez wrote in the memo.

Certainly if these allegations are true, this isn't the first time in the Mayor's seven year tenure in office that he has attempted to manipulate outcomes in order that his friends might receieve favorable treatment and even millions in financial gain. Clearly he's perfected that behavior in his quest to win a casino for his Detroit friends behind BarWest LLC.

One must wonder what he gets in return for such rewards to his friends because he doesn't report any campaign contributions or gifts from such individuals as required by California's political reform laws. Is his Railroad Foundation or other "charitable" affiliate benefiting?

Mayor Lawrence Dale has a history of closed doors and backroom secret deals. He's calendared an unprecdented number of closed sessions and previously unscheduled meetings.

When a previous independent Council majority voted against him on various matters, Mayor Dale was relentless behind the scenes trying to undue nearly every one of their decisions.

Mayor Dale often attempts to squash public debate and reigns over Barstow with an iron fist. Anyone who crosses the Mayor will eventually be a victim of his covert attacks and relentless need for revenge. Hector Rodriguez is the latest example.

Previously Congressman Buck McKeon had carried a an ear-mark to secure half a million dollars in new money for this project that would ulltimately be awarded to Micromedia Filtration, Inc.


Manuel (Gil) Gurule Tells the Truth About City Manager Rodriguez

Manuel (Gil) Gurule
Letter to the Editor
Desert Dispatch

Dear Editor,

Surprise surprise, just what I predicted would happen did happen and for the same reasons I mentioned in my letter on November 14th, 2007. It took the Desert Dispatch 2 1/2 weeks after my letter and 2 days after the City Manager was fired to finally reveal the truth on the reasons for his termination.

The memo on October 30th, written by City Manager Rodriguez, has been floating around City Hall for the past month, so it's not that hard for a newspaper that truly wants to inform its public to find. This letter was addressed to the full council concerning the interference of Mayor Dale with awarding a $15 million contract to his friends Micromedia Filtration Inc., who, by the way, was recommended to him by his dear friend, the mayor of Adelanto, who is now being investigated for embezzlement.

Instead of sidestepping the law like the mayor wanted, Mr. Rodriguez was doing the highly ethical thing by reporting this interference by the mayor to the full council. But with Mr. Dale and his puppets, this only ended with the demise of our City Manager and his ultimate and unjustified termination.

I have previously written a complaint to the San Bernardino County's District Attorney's Office and its Public Integrity Unit concerning Brown Act violations with regard to Micromedia and discussions about its contract in closed session. This complaint was sent in when it was made obvious by Councilman Joe Gomez and Councilman Steve Curran that the council had spoken in closed session about the contract with Micromedia when it was not put on the agenda for discussion. That is a direct Brown Act violation.

Hopefully the recent events on the firing of the City Manager Mr. Rodriguez, the head of the city of Barstow, will trigger a deeper investigation into his firing and the possible awarding of a $15 million bid to his friends Micromedia, something the mayor has been pushing for months and is an obvious conflict of interest to the mayor.

The article in the Desert Dispatch mentions a memo sent out by Mr. Rodriguez to the council and city department heads. This memo issued communication guidelines between city employees and city council members. City Council members are not to give direction to staff, subordinates of the City Manager. That is the city manager's job.

The communication guidelines were rescinded by the majority of the council the same day they put the city manager on indefinite leave. Strange, is it not? They now admit that the council is to stay out of the city manager's job duties, like Councilman Curran states in your article of December 1st. To me, Councilman Curran is talking with a forked tongue, or in a nicer term, being deceptive.
Hopefully this article of the Desert Dispatch on internal memos will open some eyes on what is really going on in Barstow.

Manuel Gurule

Letters to the editor, November 14, 2007

Fix Is In On
City Manager's Treatment

I too would like to voice my opinion on the misguided vote by our City Council to put our city manager on indefinite paid leave. This only means firing.

This cannot come as a surprise to anyone. The cards were dealt over two years ago when Mayor Dale and his cohort, Paul Luellig, voted against the appointment of Hector Rodriguez to City Manager. This was a blow to the dictatorship of Mayor Dale and Paul Luellig. But their efforts to stop his appointment failed. They did not get their way and with the recall of Paul, the mayor had to wait until he had his other two votes to remove Mr. Rodriguez. This came when Tim Silva, his crony, and Julie Hackbarth were elected.

One thing that makes this very suspicious is that his suspension was to take effect immediately after closed session on Monday. For those of you that don’t understand this, this was done only to silence Mr. Rodriguez from revealing the true facts behind his suspension in open session. Now that he is negotiating his departure, he’s under strict confidentiality and cannot release anything to the public while negotiating his compensation for his remaining tenure.

He was about to release some information that would not have been favorable to the mayor on what led up to this point. By suspending him, his lips were sealed and the cover-up was in effect. For those in the know, this all stems from the contract dealing with the mayor’s associates vying for building the sewer plant. Nothing more. Mr. Rodriguez held to his ethics, stood up to the mayor and wanted to follow the law. The mayor wants to sidestep the law for his friends MircoMedia.

With the placement of the mayor’s appointee Ron Rector, things will go the mayor’s way. As we have seen in the past, Ron Rector is a yes-man and will never go against the mayor. If there are any legitimate reasons to let our City Manager Hector Rodriguez go and cost the city taxpayers thousands of dollars for doing so, why then wasn’t the public notified of this prior to his suspension? It is our right as taxpayers and citizens of Barstow to know what is going on with our city government.

Manuel Gurule

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why the City Manager Was Fired

It hasn't been much of a secret that Mayor Dale never wanted Hector Rodriguez to be the City Manager from the beginning when he voted against his confirmation.

It is no secret that Dale has been scheming to get rid of him ever since.

Dale didn't like him because he isn't white, isn't Republican, and isn't part of the old crony guard that has been running Barstow for years.

But most importantly, Dale didn't like him because Hector has integrity. He stood up to the Mayor's corruption in general while performing his duties in the most professional and competent manner in recent history.

But at the heart of Dale's contempt for Hector is the issue of MicroMedia. After throwing away 1.7 Million dollars that the City had already spent on the HDR contract, the Mayor tried to railroad the contract into the coffers of his buddies at MicroMedia. Hector wasn't about to compromise himself by going along with the Mayor's questionable schemes and Dale fired him.

Now that Barwest compromised our election process and imposed their puppets on the Council, Dale now has the power to do whatever he wants and treat the city like a cheap whore.

None of this was ever a secret and was in fact quite transparent. But finally Reporter Jason Smith has exercised a little journalistic investigation and the story is now in print for all to read. Here is that story:

November 30, 2007 - 8:53PM

Memos show disagreement between Council, staff preceded city manager’s departure

BARSTOW — Internal city documents show that the termination of City Manager Hector Rodriguez’ employment contract was preceded by disagreements between City Council members and city staff over the city’s wastewater-treatment plant upgrade contract.

A memo dated Oct. 30, written by Rodriguez and addressed to the council, accuses Mayor Lawrence Dale of interfering with the process, wanting to directly award the $15 million contract to Micromedia Filtration, Inc., instead of reviewing bids from other firms. Rodriguez wrote that he’d been given direction to award the contract to Micromedia in a meeting held on Oct. 18 with Dale and council member Steve Curran. Dale and Curran disputed Rodriguez’ allegations.

“The Mayor told me that the Council’s direction to me in this matter had been to write a (Request for Proposals) that would result in a contract award to Micromedia by effectively eliminating other potential bidders,” Rodriguez wrote in the memo.

“(T)his was in direct contradiction of Council’s direction to me. As city manager, it is my charge to carry out the direction of the Council majority. For me to do otherwise would be both illegal and unethical ... Council’s direction to me was to administer an open Request For Proposals process, the ultimate outcome of which is unknown at this time.”
Rodriguez stated in the memo that Dale had spoken directly with members of Buerau Veritas, the consultant which the city hired to assist with the request for proposals process, to select the wastewater contractor.

“The very reason why I requested assistance was due to interference from the Mayor in the negotiations,” Rodriguez wrote. “This interference appears to be occurring again, likely jeopardizing the fairness of the Request For Proposals process and opening up the door to litigation.”

Rodriguez did not return calls seeking comment. Dale and council member Steve Curran disputed Rodriguez interpretation of events, calling it a misunderstanding.

“I did not direct the City Manager to create an RFP that would eliminate potential bidders for the wastewater facility upgrade project,” Dale wrote in an e-mail. “In fact, the City’s consultant Bureau Veritas is now moving forward with an RFP process that will be advertised with all potential bidders.”

Dale wrote that he spoke with the city’s consultant because he worried that the firm is not moving fast enough to choose a contractor. Upgrades to the wastewater-treatment facility were mandated by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Board because of elevated nitrate levels in the water. The city could face fines from $1,000 to $10,000 per day if it does not meet the July 2009 deadline set by Lahontan.

Citing a contractual settlement, Dale declined to state if the disagreement with the city manager was related to the council’s 4-1 decision on Thursday to terminate Rodriguez’ employment contract.

Curran said the bid-seeking process for the wastewater upgrade contractor is difficult due to the unique nature of the technology that Micromedia uses in its plant.

“The council voted 3 to 2 to go with Micromedia. ‘Go’ is a misused term. When you say ‘go with Micromedia,’ do you mean the firm Micromedia, or the technology behind Micromedia?” Curran said.

He voted against the council’s July 16 decision to cancel the city’s previous contract with contractor HDR Engineering in favor of Micromedia. The city spent $1.7 million on with HDR, but allegations of project delays and rising costs led the council to switch firms. Micromedia says its plan for the facility would save the city $1,183,600 annually in operating costs or potentially reduce each resident’s sewer bill by $11 a month
Curran said he isn’t comfortable with awarding the construction contract to Micromedia because of the young company’s lack of a track record.

“Our hopes are that other companies that use this technology will come up,” he said.

Curran said that some of the concerns outlined in the memo are related to an ongoing disagreement over city staff members’ interactions directly with council members. Curran said that although he’s heard rumors, he’s not aware of council members directly giving instruction to city staff.

“I would appreciate it if the city staff would come to me and say that this is happening. All we’ve heard is hearsay,” he said.

According to the Barstow Municipal Code, the city manager is responsible for day to day
operations of the city and the management of city employees.

“The city manager works for the City Council. The staff does not work for the council, the staff works for the city manager,” Curran said.

An Oct. 26 memo written by Rodriguez to the council and city department heads issued communication guidelines between city employees and council members.

“There have been occasions when Council members have met directly with staff, and when Council members’ expressions of opinion have been interpreted as direction,” he wrote.
The memo continued, “Council members may not give direction to subordinates of the City Manager ... Staff is required to adhere to this directive. Failure to do so will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

The communication guidelines were rescinded by a decision of the council on Nov. 5, the same day that the council voted to place Rodriguez on indefinite paid administrative leave.
City attorney Yvette Abich said that it was necessary to reverse the memo’s guidelines in order to clarify the communication policy so that council members can ask questions of staff members.

“Essentially the City Council is to work with the City Manager in giving direction to city staff, but the city staff is free to talk to city staff on the basis of inquiry,” she said.
She declined to comment further about the termination of Rodriguez’ employment contract or the circumstances surrounding his departure.

“The law says we can’t talk about personnel matters,” she said. “He’s got a right to privacy, and we have to respect that.”

Attorney Bob Conaway Defends Free Speech

After Robert Vasseur wrote another one of his indiscernible rants in a letter to the editor where he resorts to his usual meandering and always irrelevant attacks on me, local Attorney Bob Conaway responded with a letter of his own.

Mr. Conaway poignantly defended my constitutional rights to free speech and the right to dissent. Just like any elected officials, attorneys take an oath to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Thank you Bob for taking that oath seriously and being counted on the side of Free Speech!

Letters to the editor,
November 29, 2007

Barstow residents entitled to criticism

Robert Vasseur’s letter to the editor (”City manager’s removal might be justified,” Nov. 19) highlights one of the current problems facing this country — a tendency to try and make dissension and or vigorous debate something which is partisan. That we have dissension at City Council meetings is patriotism in play.

I have met the city manager, Mr. Rodriguez, and I believe he has the qualifications to serve Barstow well based on a solid resume of prior experience. If there are other problems we aren’t being told about, I suppose the Brown Act can be blamed, but whether the blame is somewhere else or not, people like Larry Halstead have a right to voice that opinion.

As long as Larry lives in Barstow, he has a constitutional right in public comment periods to criticize government operations and leaders in Barstow. As a regional director for the California Democratic Party, I have sat in council chambers and have heard Larry make it clear that while he is a member and president of a local democratic club, he does not speak for the state party and as a California Democratic Party state officer, I can assure Mr. Vasseur the Democratic Party is not organizing nor supporting a recall in Barstow nor is there anything going on except for the usual voter education process and the get-out-the-vote drives for the upcoming elections.

Barstow, party affiliations aside, appears to suffer from less than full and honest disclosure of what government is doing or thinks it’s doing in the public interest, of insider dealing that dead-ends the city with nothing to show for it except busted tribal (and or Chinese business) deals and or financing agreements (and a fat bill for attorney fees, costs, spent staff time), a sewage spill that could have been avoided (along with the fat fines the city had to pay) ... and well I could go on.

I do respect the work and dedication of Barstow’s city employees and elected leaders. I only wish Larry Halstead’s first amendment right to criticize was similarly respected, not because he is a Democrat, but because he is a fellow American.

Bob Conaway

"Bob Conaway's letter to the editor here is really good and to the point. The establishment never likes a whistle blower and Larry Halstead is a whistle blower when it comes to the iniquities of the Barstow establishment. Of course there will be name callers who lack substance and couldn't argue their way out of a brown paper bag, but Larry will still be there doing his patriotic duty by blowing the whistle on this crooked city establishment. Dissent is the highest form of patriotism and Larry certainly is dissenting from our current political situation in Barstow. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that and all of Larry's critics can just sit and meditate on what it means to exercise one's constitutional freedoms in this country.

Jeffrey Quillinan

In response to someone hiding behind the pseudo name of Splixx, who left a stupid comment left on the Desert Dispatch website in regard to the above letter, Jeffrey Quillinan left the following comment:

"Larry is no joke and Larry is not just "out for himself" as Splixx alleges here. I vouch for Larry's honesty in his attempts to warn Barstow of the underhanded dealings of our present City Council with regards to Barwest. Larry is a good citizens and true patriot. Splixx doesn't know what he is talking about when he posts negative things about Larry Halstead. That much is truly evident by his vitriolic nonsense here."

Jeffrey Quillinan

Katherine Siva Saubel calls Michael Malik "Devil"

It is interesting to note that for several years this battle over ancestral rights has pitted me against, not only Barwest and the Barstow Kool-Aid Club, but also the Los Coyotes Tribe. This is not only unfortunate but it pains me greatly as I have always been in favor of Native American rights and the issues that surround them. Throughout this battle I have been maintaining a position that Los Coyotes need a casino project but that it should be on their reservation or at least on their Ancestral Rights.

I have watched as Barwest Liar-in-Chief Shady Shields has manipulated public opinion at large and key participants in this casino drama specifically. When ever Shields is in attendance at the City Council Meetings he can be seen huddled with his followers. Before he was elected by Shields, Tim Silva was often seen connected at the hip with his guru Shields. School Board Member Julie Clemmer is another groupie that can often be seen under Shields wing as he plots her attacks against me.

These local politicians are easily bought off and corrupted but when you see Native Americans falling prey to the Barwest/Shields manipulations it is disheartening as yet another example of white man pulling the wool over Native Americans as they exploit their resources. Then last August the extend to which Shields influence has been able to get the younger Los Coyotes Tribal members, Shane Shapirosa and Tina Johnson, to compromise their integrity and the good name of the tribe as they stood up and repeated the lies against me that Sleezy Shields was able to get them to regurgitate was beyond offensive.

Now he had gotten these younger members of the Tribe to plot a coop against the much beloved and highly respected Katherine Siva Saubel. Corrupting Native Americans and leading a coop against the Tribe's matriarch is at the top of my list as to why I have total contempt for Barwest and the sleezy tactics they employ. These people have no shame and they richly deserve titles such as the "DEVIL". Only now, it is not just that "liberal, radical, activist" Halstead who is using these labels to describe the unsrupulous tactics of the Detroit Demolition Derby we have come to know as BARWEST. Not it is straight out of the mouth of the esteemed Tribal Leader.

From Sunday, December 02, 2007

Los Coyotes tribal leader calls Barwest's Mike Malik "devil;" says he has "seduced" younger tribal leaders

Los Coyotes
tribal spokeswoman and tribal elder Katherine Siva Saubel recently called Michael J. Malik, Sr. the "devil" and said he has "seduced" younger members of the tribe to jump aboard Malik's band-wagon. Among other things, Malik's group paid younger members of the tribe to appear in Barstow as "grassroots" volunteers during the 2006 election primary:

"Saubel said there is a council-only meeting today to discuss the casino efforts--a meeting she was not invited to be but plans to attend anyway. A full tribal council meeting is set for mid-November. Saubel claimed the Malik has 'seduced' the younger member of the tribe and called him 'the devil himself.'

" 'I was 83 when we started this. I'm 87 now,' Saubel said. 'I think he's just waiting for me to keel over.' "

Mike Malik and Mrs. Marian Ilitch are the principals behind the Detroit-based casino syndication BarWest LLC. Malik and Ilitch have proposed building several off-reservation casinos for tribes from opposite ends of California on a site that Barwest owns in Barstow, California.

Ilitch and her husband Mike Ilitch are the co-founders of the Little Caesars Pizza franchise. The family also owns the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, MotorCity Casino, Detroit's Fox Theater and other sports, entertainment and restaurant operations.

Malik and the Ilitches are behind stalled proposals to build unorthodox off-reservation casinos in Port Huron, Michigan; Barstow, Califorina; and in The Hamptons on New York's Long Island. (see also: Detroit Free Press exposes Malik/Ilitch casino enterprises)

Members of the Bay Mills Indian Community have expressed concerns about Malik's involvement in their casino ventures as well as a business venture involving the research and manufacturing of various plastics products. Rumors have circulated among Bay Mills members to suggest the FBI is investigating the plastics venture.

In 1999 the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) failed to grant Michael Malik a gaming license and he was forced to transfer his interests in Detroit's MotorCity Casino to Marian Ilitch before the casino could open its doors to the public.

Last year, following a two-year investigation, California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined Malik's Barwest LLC on two counts for failing to report a $26,600 contribution Malik made to the San Joaquin County GOP Committee in 2004 -- Malik paid a $6,500 fine; and TVT has learned the FPPC is investigating numerous unreported political contributions and questionable lobbying payments Barwest's Malik made in 2006.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Barstow is in Crisis with City Manger Firing

Barstow is in Crisis with City Manger Firing

City Manager Hector Rodriguez

The City of Barstow is under siege and is now in full blown crisis mode, while most citizens are either unaware or just don’t care. For two years or more now, I have been blowing the whistle about the climate of corruption that has been brought on by the influence peddling of Barwest. Now our worst nightmare has come true with the firing of the best City Manager we have ever had and the best asset we currently have going for us - Hector Rodriguez.

We now know that Barwest has spent a total of 19 million on their Barstow project. That is 19 million dollars in influence peddling in a city where most of that influence could have been bought for a fraction of that cost. Some of that money was spent on the purchase of the property for the project from the cronies that have been running this town forever and keeping this town economically depressed with their incompetence and self serving interest. Two of these cronies, the Hackbarths and the Currans, reinvested that money in a speculative manner by purchasing adjacent parcels to the Barwest project. Then Barwest as part of that deal elected their children onto the City Council to protect that investment. Barwest also made a deal with Tim Silva to sell out the City funded Chamber of Commerce in exchange for his seat on the Council.

Now the Barwest project has disintegrated into the toilet as well it should have and as I predicted. But in the process, Barwest and this Council’s blind allegiance has diminished the possibility that we will ever have a casino project. Tom Shields the liar in chief who claims over 300 political campaigns to his credit and boast that he could elect a rock, has proven total lack of any experience is not an obstacle to holding office in Barstow. In their campaign literature designed by Shady Shields, Tim and Julie were billed as “The Turnaround Team for Economic Development.” In reality, neither one of them has squat in the way of experience of any kind and neither has ever entertained an original idea in their life.

As a result, we now have a Council that is totally controlled by this corrupt Mayor. We have replaced local democracy with Dictator Dale and he has used that power to the advantage of his special interests. Canceling the HDR contract and replacing it with MicroMedia (with no proven tract record and not a single model of a waste water treatment system to their name), is an act that should have already cost Dale his job. MicroMedia is his special interest and it was wrong for Dale and his actions on their account have already been adjudicated as illegal by our City Attorney.

Our distinguished and honorable City Manager was the only one standing up to Dale and so our Mayor has been trying for some time to do away with him. With Dale’s buddy Ron Rector as our new City Manager the current level of local corruption will sky rocket and this town is doomed to have a Mayor who treats our city like a cheap whore. There is reason to believe that Hector was also discriminated on because he was NOT white, NOT Republican, and NOT part of the crony politics.

If this action is allowed to stand, this town is in big trouble. It is past time for the good citizens of Barstow to stand up to local special interest and the tyranny of Mayor Dale. It is time to throw the lot of them out and those who participated in Hector’s firing should be recalled and/or indicted. It is time for a citizen revolt to take back this town. I am calling for a protest movement and a boycott of Del Taco and Silva’s mortgage business as a good starting point.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Updated Index and Home Page

Welcome to Barstow Politics

Created by

Larry D. Halstead

Political Scientist, Community Activist,
Public Speaker, Writer

All post are archived chronologically in a column on the right. For Your Easy Reference and Access to Current Significant Post they are Indexed Here Below:

Background and Purpose of the Barstow Politics Blog
This blog was started in late 2006 as a communication tool for issues facing the Barstow community. Now that Indian gaming has come to control and dominate the local political agenda, this blog will reflect that obsession and follow the corruption and cronyism involved.

In The News
(Commentary and Links to Relevant Stories)

Desert Dispatch on Council's Current Brown Act Violations
Council accused of violating Brown Act over casino meeting Citizen files legal complaint; council reveals details of gathering - By Jason Smith
September 18, 2007

Shackford Apologizes for NOT recognizing Brown Act Violations
The Editor of the Desert Dispatch was dismissive when the violation was first brought to his attention, after some consideration he realized that the law was violated and that there are even more serious ramifications of the Council’s Transgressions.

The Latest in this Effort

My Passion for Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty
This is my post explaining why I care about Ancestral Rights and how I see it being consistent with every fight for social justice that I have ever been involved with throughout my life. It includes my three minute statement read under the "Casino Update" portion of the Sept 17 City Council Agenda.

Who I Speak For and Who I Represent
In an effort to discredit me, Tom Shields and the Barwest Kool-aid Club have been accusing me of working for the "other side". Others think I should "tone it down" since I am the President of the local Democratic Club. This is my statement about who I represent when I speak out at Council Meetings and other public events.

September 17 Council Meeting Showdown and viewing schedule
For a over a month, the September 17 City Council Meeting has been shaping up to be a real show down and expose on local conflict of interest, influence peddling and the predicted death of the Barwest Compacts. This post outlines those reasons and has the schedule for viewing key sections on the internet.

Breaking News: BarWest Compacts are Dead
A full ten days before these Reservation Shopping, Ancestral Rights violating compacts were scheduled to expire, Senator Wiggins, the co-author of the bill kills it on her own as she is investigated for her own illegal contributions from Barwest.

The Fight for Ancestral Rights

The BarWest Scam in Barstow
This is a comprehensive work on how Barwest bought influence and stole democracy in Barstow. This post will be updated as the story of corruption, reservation shopping, Ancestral Rights violations continue to plague the city of Barstow.

It’s About Ancestral Rights STUPID!
The myriad of issues involved in Indian gaming have their roots in the fundamental concepts of Ancestral Right and Indian Sovereignty. They are sacred rights to Native Americans and are equivalent of civil rights, human rights, and the Bill of Rights.

Mayor Dale and Tom Shields
(still NOT) the Final Authority on Ancestral Rights
The Ancestral Rights of Native Americans has been worked out over the past 250 years by the federal government, state government, and the tribes involved. But that hasn’t stopped Mayor Dale and Barwest spin doctor Shields from trying to establish themselves as the final authority.

The True Story of My Involvement in Indian Gaming
As I have become increasingly vocal in my opposition to Barwest and the corrupt Barstow politicians that do their bidding, I have come under attack regarding the nature of my involvement. This post sets the record straight once and for all.

Barwest Spin, Lies, Deception, and Influence Peddling

Who is Really Buying Influence in Barstow?
The Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Verifiable Truth on who is buying influence in Barstow! Tom Shields and the Barwest Kool-aid Club has been trying to paint me as a paid hack for "the other side" but the truth is out as to who has really been buying influence in Barstow and who has sold out.

My Commentary on the BarWest Media
Blitzkrieg and all out Lobbying Effort
In all out effort of lobbying and a media blitz, Barwest tries to salvage their failed compacts that were doomed when the Governor reluctantly signed them against his better judgment.

Please DO Contact Our Leaders in Sacramento
As part of the 11th hour effort to salvage their failed compacts, Barwest urged its supporters to contact leaders in Sacramento. I am also urging concerned citizens to do so but for the opposite goal of exposing the fraud and ending the Barwest corruption in Barstow

Desperate Barwest Launches Media Blitz
Complete Media Coverage in one spot
This is a collection of repost of articles of media coverage about the desperate BarWest media blitz and all out lobbying effort to salvage their doomed compacts.

Red Faced Mayor Exposed as Pawn of Barwest
At a Special Meeting of the Barstow City Council on August 28, 07, during the Council Reports’ Mayor Dale was confronted and chastised by Councilman Gomez about his unauthorized letter to the Department of the Interior which is a vicious attack on the Chemehuevi Tribe and their legitimate Ancestral Rights.

The Index of Smoking Gun Letters
This is the collection of the letters that were distributed by Councilman Gomez at the 8.28.07 Special Meeting. Besides the unauthorized letter from Mayor Dale, the other letter document the legitimate Ancestral Rights of local tribes.

The BarWest Kool-aid Club Defined
I often use this term in describing Barstow’s sell-out politicians, other leaders in the community, and those citizens who practice blind devotion in a cult like manner toward Barwest and who are complicit in the violation of Ancestral Rights.

Citizen Oversight and Public Participation

Citizen Oversight and Public Participation
In light of the efforts by the Kool-aid club to stifle my 1st Amendment Rights, I wrote this ‘letter to the editor’ in defense of Cur constitutional rights and the responsibility of citizens to speak out.

Everything You Need to Know about How-TO do
Barstow Citizen Oversight on the Internet
Starting on October 16, 2007, the Barstow City Council Meetings are available to watch live on the internet and are also archived on the City of Barstow’s Website along with the Agenda. This post shows you how to access the portion of the Meetings that are relevant to you and to other post referenced here.

Go direct to the City’s Website - Click Here

Please DO Contact Our Leaders in Sacramento
This post contains pics, phone numbers, and emails for our CA State leaders for your easy, convenient reference all in one location.

For Further Info - Other Relevant Sites

Barstow Indian Gaming -
This is my blog dedicated to only Barstow Indian Gaming. It has none of the other issues in Barstow unrelated to Indian gaming and it has additional related stories that I didn’t write for those only focused on Indian Gaming

Real World Politics -

Politics in Barstow are warped by issues that are often unrelated to the reality of the real world. For this reason, I have recently created this new blog as an outlet for expressing my view on any issue NOT relating to Barstow. It is still under construction but you may want to check out my post on Cesar Chavez there.

The Verifiable Truth (TVT)-

The complete one stop spot for everything about Barwest and their schemes involving Reservation Shopping and other scandals across the nation. To narrow your search to Barstow related stories on TVT, the following hyperlink will allow you to review posts at TVT that are related only to BARSTOW:
Click Here to search TVT for Barstow related stories

Capitol Notes - The Official Blog for KQED’s John Myers

John Myers is Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED's "The California Report," heard weekdays and weekends on 24 public radio stations, including 88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shackford Apologies for not Recognizing Brown Act Violation

Shackford Apologies
for not Recognizing
Brown Act Violation

The Editor of the Desert Dispatch was dismissive when the violation was first brought to his attention, after some consideration he realized that the law was violated and that there are even more serious ramifications of the Council’s Transgressions.

Apparently former Barstow Mayor and City Councilman Gil Gurule had contacted Shackford to give him a heads up that while the four members of the Council were supposed to be attending the League of CA Cities Conference in Sacramento, they were actually playing hooky and spending their time lobbying on behalf of Barwest.

The fact that all four members of the Council were meeting behind closed doors in the Governor’s office, lobbying, setting policy, and negotiating upon their special interests was something that Shackford wasn’t interested in when Gurule first brought it to his attention. But after the matter exploded into view at the Council meeting on Sept 17, Shackford had an awakening and to his credit was man enough to offer up an apology. Here is what the paper’s editor had to say on his "Editor's Blog" at

Who Watches the Watchdogs?
posted by Scott Shackford

September 18th, 2007 ·

It looks like I owe Manuel “Gil” Gurule an apology.

He called me at the end of last week about the casino happenings (and lack thereof) in Sacramento. His intention was to point out to me that the meetings between the governor’s staff and four City Council members may have been a Brown Act violation. The Brown Act is California’s public meeting law, which is intended to make sure that local governmental meetings and decisions (with some exceptions) happen in a public forum, with the community appropriately notified.

I blame casino outrage fatigue for not listening, though it’s really a lousy excuse. City Council members aren’t supposed to gather in large enough numbers to define a quorum — three or more in this case — without public notification of the meeting. Their meeting in Sacramento is most likely a Brown Act violation, though they amended the situation by reporting out the content of the meeting at the subsequent City Council meeting Monday.

I was dismissive of Mr. Gurule’s call, because I’ve grown tired of folks on both sides finding ways to pick pick pick at their opponents and trying to get the newspaper involved. I’ve also been made increasingly aware by our readership that most folks out there don’t care about the squabbling, just the results.

But while this particular Brown Act violation was fairly mild — they were just there to receive information, it appears, not to plan anything — there are potential serious repercussions when this happens. What other meetings could have taken place in Sacramento without our knowledge? Could there have been strategy sessions to deal with opposition to one project? Could they have discussed dumping the city’s agreement with one tribe or the other? These are all potential discussion subjects that are obligated to happen in public.

So I apologize for letting my frustration with the nature of this debate cloud my perception about what is happening in Sacramento. Gurule was absolutely right to be concerned and I appreciate his call, in retrospect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Desert Dispatch on Barstow's Brown Act Violations

Desert Dispatch on Barstow's Brown Act Violations

Jason Smith, staff writer for the Desert Dispatch covered the September 17 Regular Meeting of the Barstow City Council Meeting. The night was highly focused on Indian gaming due in part because of the timing on the Barwest Compacts dying their last and final death at midnight that same night.

Item # 31 on the Agenda was a lame attempt by four members of the Council to "cure" and clean up their Brown Act Violation from meeting with Cynthia Bryant, Legislative Analysis Assistant for Governor Schwarzenegger. The Council got in a heated debate before I spoke on the subject.

During my comments I brought up the immense Conflict of Interest that they all have and that combined with the Brown Act Violations caused me to file a Complaint with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit earlier that same day.
At the end of the meeting, Jason was asking me about the complaint and I gave him a copy of the Complaint I had filed. On the next day, Tuesday, Jason wrote the following article which was scheduled to run in Wednesday's paper.

September 18, 2007 - 5:21PM

Council accused of violating Brown Act over casino meeting Citizen files legal complaint; council reveals details of gathering

By JASON SMITH, staff writer BARSTOW — At its Monday meeting, the City Council disclosed that members held a closed-door meeting earlier this month about the Big Lagoon/Los Coyotes casino compacts, leading some to believe that the council violated California’s open meeting law.

While attending the League of California Cities Conference on Sept. 6., four council members met with Cynthia Bryant, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, who handles Indian gaming issues, to discuss the issues holding back the Barstow casino compacts. City Manager Hector Rodriguez and the city’s Economic Development Manager Ron Rector also attended the meeting. No agenda was posted prior to the meeting as is normally done when more than two council members are present.

Barstow resident and frequent critic of the council, Larry Halstead, announced at the Monday’s council meeting that he had filed a complaint with the Public Integrity Unit of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. He accused council members of “corruption” and was upset at what he called city lobbying for a private developer.

“We paid you guys to lobby on behalf of your special interests, that’s what this was,” Halstead said.

The Brown Act, the section of state law which governs how government agencies hold public meetings, states that no more than two council members can gather together outside of a scheduled meeting. Three or more council members at the same meeting would constitute a voting majority and is not allowed under the law except when the event is previously placed on a public agenda or under special circumstances.

Council member Joe Gomez, the only member not to attend the conference, said he was disappointed that the council decided to meet as a group.

Gomez said he chose not to attend the conference because he had attended similar events in the past and said he felt the event was “a waste of taxpayer money.” He accused the Mayor Lawrence Dale of leading the council into violating the Brown Act.

“You clearly led this council, which consists of several new members, to violate the Brown act. … You met without posting a meeting. You met behind closed doors and this clearly violates the Brown Act,” he said.

Council member Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre defended the council’s actions saying that the meeting was not pre-planned and was the result of a last-minute scheduling change

“We had 20 minutes to drop everything to see her,” Hackbarth-McIntyre said.

She said that due to the complexity of the issue and differences of opinions among council members, she felt it was important that all members had the same information.

“There was no vote. We just received information. It was very important for all of us to hear what was discussed by Ms. Bryant,” she said.

Hackbarth-McIntyre said that council members were aware they would have to disclose what was discussed.

“We’re here tonight to let everyone else know what was said and done to cure what went on in that meeting,” she said.

City Attorney Yvette Abich said at Monday’s council meeting that the Sacramento meeting should have been handled differently.

“Should an agenda have been posted? Yes. But it wasn’t. But the Brown Act has a mechanism to cure situations like this,” she said.

She pointed out that the Brown Act has a provision that allows for closed door meetings to be disclosed after the fact, “curing” the violation.

Frank Vanella, Deputy District Attorney with the Public Integrity Unit acknowledged that Larry Halstead’s written complaint of the council’s actions had been received and said his office will review the allegations to determine if further investigation is needed.

He said that assuming the violation was not intentional than a warning would be the most likely penalty that council members would receive. He said that though his office did not keep statistics over Brown Act complaints for individual cities, violations were a common occurrence mostly done by officials unfamiliar with the law.

“There’s a history of Brown Act complaints in almost every city and every board,” he said.

My Passion For Ancesrtal Right and Indian Sovereignty

My Passion For
Ancestral Rights
Indian Sovereignty

For all of my life I have found myself on the front lines of standing up for issues of Social Justice. I often say that I inherited the battle for Environmentalism and Freedom of Choice in Alternative Medicine from my father, Bruce W. Halstead, M.D. From that start, I found myself involved with other issues that included: code enforcement, civil rights, human rights, equal rights, children's issues, government corruption, and corporate wrong doing.

While I received my degree in Political Science from UC Davis in 1976, I have spent my professional life in business. When I met my wife Michelle at the end of 1999, she had already adopted three children who started life as the victims of drug abuse. Together we have adopted five more of these children who would otherwise be at risk of growing up in perpetual foster care where they would be statistically inclined to repeat the sins of their biological parents.

In the process of becoming foster parents, I was exposed to the phenomenal crisis that has been created by the miserably failed war on drugs. We are now creating generations of children who are growing up in the system with little hope for the future. It was this reality that has led us to create the Earth Haven Foundation for Kids to address their needs. The goals for this foundation include educating the public about this crisis, providing methodology for handling their needs, and passing legislation that would open up loving adopted homes for these innocent child victims.

It was the search for affordable housing for these children that brought our family to Barstow. Since it is my nature to practice public participation and citizen oversight, it was only natural for me to get involved with local politics. It didn't take long for me to see what was going on here in Barstow and how this town was being run by the same kind of land baron cronies that ruined by home town of Grand Terrace.

With the advent of Indian gaming as the dominant issue of Barstow, it didn't take long for me to investigate the influence of the billionaire Detroit developer which now runs this small town. It also brought forth an interest in the questions relating to Ancestral Rights which I admit to only having a basic concept of prior to my involvement with this issue. But the more I looked into Ancestral Rights, the more that I came to realize how sacred this was to Native Americans and how it was the same as civil rights and human rights.

But standing up for my beliefs has brought me into conflict with the Barwest machine and the object of their smear campaigns to discredit me. I have always been willing to stand up for Native Americans and I would be honored to represent them in any way that would assist in their fight for self determination and Indian Sovereignty.

But since I have yet to be called upon to represent Native Americans, I highly resent the Barwest, Tom Shields ugly lies that I am acting as a paid political hack for "the other side". I can think of nothing that would offend me more than being accused of being another "Tom Shields". I see him as a sleazy, scumbag lier that would stoop to the lowest form of political manipulations for the big bucks that Barwest pays him. This morally bankrupt slime is the best at what he does which is to buy influence, corrupt politicians, and destroy local democracy. The fact that he has some local leaders like Barstow School Board Member Julie Clemmer participating in perpetuating his lies against me is a sad and pathetic statement about their moral character.

For all of these reasons and more, I felt compelled to write the following statement and read it during the "Casino Update" Item of the Agenda for the September 17 Regular Meeting of the Barstow City Council Meeting.

My Three Minute Comments
On Ancestral Rights
During Casino Update
Barstow City Council Meeting
by Larry D. Halstead

"Make no mistake about it! This battle over Indian gaming here in Barstow is all about Ancestral Rights. To those that don’t understand this simple truth, I wonder what part of Ancestral Rights don’t you understand, Ancestral or Rights? It is almost as if you have never even thought about how we went from Native Americans as the ONLY American citizens on the continent, to the ugly history of genocide and forced exile and onto these god-forsaken lands we call “reservations”.

It is like you never even stopped to think about the deplorable conditions imposed on Native Americans on those reservations. Those deplorable conditions have been undeniably turned around by Indian gaming.

Ancestral Rights and Indian Sovereignty is as sacred to Native Americans as civil rights are to non-Indians because it was paid for by their blood. Ancestral rights are not determined by Dale, Rector, or Tom Shields but was determined over a 250 year history of treaties. These days, Ancestral Rights for lands in Barstow are identified by the Native American Heritage Commission and dictated by Senate Bill 18 to be listed on Barstow’s General plan as belonging to the Serrano, Kaaiisu, Fort Mojave, and Chemehuevi Tribes.

This Mayor’s unauthorized letter to the Department of the Interior attacking the Chemehuevi and their Ancestral Rights is ugly, disrespectful, shameful, and illegal. This Council, except for Gomez, has shown a disregard for their blatant conflict of interest. This Mayor can never again expect even the slightest respect from me after his assault on the great nation of the Chemehuevi and his gross disrespect for their elected honorable leader, Chairman Wood.

Barwest politicians obsessive lobbying and acting like the paid pawns and puppets for Barwest that they are, is counter productive to Barstow ever having a casino. It is also a blatant disregard for Ancestral Rights, the Brown Act, and all laws against conflict of interest.

Barwest specializes in Reservation Shopping which is considered by tribes that respect the Ancestral lands of other tribes as an evil threat to Indian Sovereignty. The Barwest strategy for violating these rights in their greedy quest to profit from Indian gaming is to find these fledging tribes and supply them with the lawyers to fight in the courts, the lobbyist to persuade legislators, and the millions of dollars needed to buy influence and politicians like they have done here in Barstow.

Standing up for Ancestral Rights and against government corruption is something that I am proud to do. It is consistent with every battle for social justice that I have ever been involved with and I will continue this battle until justice rolls down upon Barstow like a mighty river freeing this town of the Barwest influence and the corrupt politicians who run this town."

Who I Speak For and Who I Represent

Who I Speak For
Who I Represent

Lately I have been under attack by the Barwest Kool-aid Club who have been using the lies generated by Barwest Liar-in-Chief Tom Shields that I am a paid political hack for "the other side". They have been using this smear campaign to silence me along with putting pressure on me from Dale supporters who think I should not talk about local corruption at the Council Meetings, due to my position as the President of the local Democratic Club.

In the past, they have been successful in silencing some local gadflys through their employment. Since I am self employed as a consultant, it is more difficult for them to use that leverage. So I wanted to set the record straight and do so at the Council Meeting during the Public Comment segment of the Agenda. I prefer to speak from the heart and not off of pre-written statement. However, when you are limited to three minutes and you have lots of stuff to say, I didn't want to leave it to chance. So here is what I wrote and spoke at the September 17 Council Meeting.

Public Comment
Larry D. Halstead

"I want to begin my comments with some much needed clarification as to who I speak for, and who I represent when I speak at this podium. Put simply, I speak only for myself, not the local Democrat Club, or any other person or organizations of any kind. All of my comments are my opinions and mine alone.

From early on, I have made a pattern and practice of speaking out on issues for which I have strong convictions including: the environment, civil rights, human rights, and now Ancestral Rights. In doing so, I have a track record of taking strong views against government corruption, corporate wrong doing, influence peddling, and tyranny at all levels. As such I am a strong supporter of public participation and citizen oversight.

I make these clarifications because in the efforts to silence me those with special interests have attempted to use my positions with civic organizations against me. This tactic will NEVER succeed. For me, speaking out is way more important than any positions I may hold.

To those who are offended by my comments and my accusations of local corruption, I make no apologies and offer only this warning: You are guaranteed to be even more offended by my comments here tonight and from this point forth. To those that would defend local corruption and attack my constitutional rights, I can only say that I have no concern for your opinions or the venom of your letters to the editor. My comments are not meant for your ears and I have no fantasy about winning you over to my point of view.

To those concerned citizens that care about government accountability and local democracy, I have yet another clarification directed to your ears only. You should know the truth of my passion for Ancestral Rights which I will share with you during the casino update.

For now, I want to address the vicious self serving lies about me being generated by Barwest Liar-in-Chief Tom Shields, and perpetuated by school board member Julie Clemmer, along with Los Coyotes representatives Shane Shapparosa and Tina Johnson. None of those lies have any basis in fact whatsoever.

For the record, I do not represent ANY Native American tribes or any gaming interest of any kind, not now, not ever and I have never been paid a single penny to represent them nor have I received any input from them.

To the San Manuel Tribe, I want to publicly apologize that you were dragged into this local battle that you never wanted any part of anyway. You made the one time contribution to my campaign after I solicited your assistance in fighting for Ancestral Rights locally, to offset the hundreds of thousands of dollars Barwest has spent in effecting the outcome of our elections and to control policy here in Barstow.

With these clarification out of the way, it is now time to speak some real truth!"