Monday’s Madisons

I’m going to try to change up what I’m posting a little bit more this week.  I’m hoping that it continues.  I’ll still work on getting longer pieces posted, as well as more mini-profiles on as many candidates out there running for office in November.  But I wanted to give a few links out there to read.  I’m hoping I’m giving you some new things to read in the meantime.

A few weeks ago, two members of Congress helped to introduce a bill that would change the Fair Labor Standards Act to keep minor league baseball players not treated as typical hourly wage employees.  Due to outrage from baseball fans, I’m pretty sure, Representative Cheri Bustos withdrew her support for the bill.  It’s important to note: “Minor leaguers are paid in season only. Any offseason training is on them. They are not paid (except expenses) during the Arizona Fall League. They are not paid during spring training except for the meals not provided by the team…More perspective: Major league teams spend anywhere from $10 million to $30 million on their entire farm system per year. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke is making $34,416,667 in 2016.”  Baseball is an $8 billion industry.  Pay the players who work hard to make it to Major League Baseball.

The Baton Rouge Police Department had a history of racial violence prior to the killing of Alton Sterling.  From the article, “Many law enforcement officials came to Louisiana immediately after Hurricane Katrina to provide reinforcements, and one state trooper from Michigan said Baton Rouge police attempted to thank him for his help by letting him “beat down” a prisoner. A trooper from New Mexico wrote a letter to the Baton Rouge police expressing the concerns of seven New Mexico troopers and five Michigan troopers that Baton Rouge police were engaging in racially motivated enforcement, that they were physically abusing prisoners and the public and that they were stopping, questioning and searching people without any legal justification…But the bad reports aren’t confined to the time around Hurricane Katrina. In 2014, a 15-year-veteran of the force resigned after a series of racist text messages were attributed to him. Michael Elsbury, who routinely patrolled an area around Southern University, resigned as the department was looking into text messages that called black people monkeys (and worse) and expressed pleasure ‘in arresting those thugs with their saggy pants.'”

There will be a discussion on Tuesday, July 12 about what is going to happen next in California for battling income inequality.  As California goes, so does the nation, they say.

Speaking of which, there was a defeat of a bill that would have included greater transparency in body cams for police officers in California.

My old county, Orange County, is under fire for some more issues involving jailhouse informants.    “The OCDA’s office has been under fire for almost three years for its involvement in mishandling evidence produced from a secret jailhouse informant program that has allegedly violated the rights of countless defendants. Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders, who first unearthed the informant network, has been arguing since 2013 that a tainted snitch network in county jails has existed in secret for decades. Sanders argues that county prosecutors and police have violated multiple defendants’ rights by illegally obtaining, and sometimes withholding, evidence gleaned from jail informants.”

The heir apparent to Sheriff Lee Baca’s job as sheriff of Los Angeles County has been sentenced to federal prison for five years.  More information about his role in hiding an FBI informant can be found here.