Click to see preamble.


JANUARY 5, 2014


Who’s Paying for Smart Growth? WE THE PEOPLE RADIO

Guest for the first hour:

 Dr. Lawrence J. McQuillan

Guest for second hour:

 Anthony Silveria
appearances: January 5, 2014  January 26, 2014

Our guest: Lawrence J. McQuillan, PhD  

                   Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation








Dr. McQuillan on Linked In
Lawrence J. McQuillan is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University, and he has served as Chief Economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, Director of Business and Economic Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Founding Publisher and Contributing Editor of Economic Issues.
Dr. McQuillan’s books and major studies include A Brighter Future: Solutions to Policy Issues Affecting America’s Children, California Prosperity: Roadmap to Recovery 2011: Ten Steps to Return California to Prosperity, Jackpot Justice: The True Cost of America’s Tort System, Tort Law Tally, U.S. Tort Liability Index, The Facts about Medical Malpractice Liability Costs, U.S. Economic Freedom Index, An Empire Disaster: Why New York’s Tort System Is Broken and How to Fix It, Tort Law Tally: How State Tort Reforms Affect Tort Losses and Tort Insurance Premiums, Bringing More Sunshine to California: How to Expand Open Government in the Golden State and The International Monetary Fund: Financial Medic to the World? In addition, he is the author of more than 350 articles in such leading outlets as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Investor’s Business Daily, Forbes, USA Today, New York Post, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

He further created the California Golden Fleece Awards to highlight a state or local spending program or regulation that fleeces California taxpayers, consumers, or businesses. He has been an advisor for the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee, Socioeconomic Council of Madrid, Colorado Governor Bill Owens, Heritage/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's task force on a constitutional spending limit for California, California State Senator Tom McClintock, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Law and Judiciary Policy Committee of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Swedish Office of Science and Technology, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy, and elsewhere.
Dr. McQuillan's commentaries on "smart growth" / "sustainable development:
Highway Robbery: How Your Taxes Subsidize the California Lifestyle
The next time you swipe your debit or credit card at the gas pump, you’ll be doing more than filling your tank. You’ll also be helping to finance parks, bike paths, pedestrian walkways, overlooks, viewing areas, parking lots, turnouts, “stack-and-pack” housing and government land grabs in California. In short, you’ll be subsidizing the California lifestyle, without enjoying any of the benefits.
Plan Bay Area: ‘Smart Growth’ and ‘Sustainable Communities’ Hurt the Poor
The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission have approved Plan Bay Area, a master plan for housing, transportation and land use in the San Francisco Bay Area through 2040. The goals of “smart growth” and “sustainable communities” sound noble, but the plan will disproportionately harm the region’s poor and minorities. A lawsuit seeks to halt implementation.
Why Senator Steinberg’s SB-1 Deserves Defeat—or a Veto3
The big budget bills have been resolved for this legislative session but the public has good reason to remain on alert. Senate Bill 1, introduced by State Senator Darrell Steinberg (D–Sacramento), is so dangerous that the Assembly should swiftly kill it.
Oakland VA Unmasked

Guest for second hour:

Anthony Silveria
           Note: Anthony Silveria will be back for a full show on January 26.
Anthony Silveria is a Former Marine military police/disabled veteran employee removed from employment by director for reporting harassment, discrimination based on disability, increased surveillance, and hostile work environment. Whistle blower and NO FEAR act not protecting disabled veterans from harassment for going out sick per doctors’ orders for incapacitating episodes due to exacerbation of disabilities by hostile work environment.  Military service background and accomplishments:

Anthony's credentials: United States Marine Corps (1990-1999)
Military Police, K-9 (Military Working Dog), SWAT (Special Weapons Assault Team)
Accident Investigator, DOD (Department of Defense) Instructor, Manager of MWD Kennels
Military Awards and accolades:
Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal 3rd Award, Navy and Marine Corps Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Certificate of Recognition 3rd Award, Meritorious Mast 4th Award, Certificate of Appreciation 5th Award, Certificate of Achievement, Secretary of the Navy Letter of Commendation, and Letter of Appreciation 19th Award (DD214)
US Marine Corps Meritorious promotions:
Private First Class (Squad Leader throughout boot camp) June 2, 1990
Lance Corporal (#1 Graduate, Military Working Dog [MWD] Detector Course) January 15, 1991
Corporal (Won meritorious selection board, but promoted by time in grade) December 1, 1992
Sergeant (Meritorious Promotion through board selection at the base level, Marine of the Year, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii) August 2, 1993
Superior Physical Performance Award April 6, 1993 and June 1, 1993
Provided personal protection of the Presidents of the United States; President Bush Senior and President Clinton, Vice President of the United States Gore, and other foreign and domestic dignitaries of various diplomatic affiliation
SWAT School, Honor team (#1 Graduating team), Special Reaction Team, and Fort McClellan, Alabama February 7, 1992
7th Annual Police Canine Competition at Schofield Barracks, awarded: 1st place Overall Top Dog, 4th place Narcotics Detection, 4th place Obedience, 2nd place Scouting, 1st place Controlled Aggression with MWD Rex 279C (Top Kennel Awarded to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii) 1993
Military Policeman of the Quarter, Provost Marshall’s Office, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii June 30, 1993
Marine of the Month, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii June 30, 1992
Marine of the Quarter, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii October 23, 1992
Noncommissioned Officer of the Month, Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii June 30, 1993
Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii June 30, 1993
Top Honor Graduate, Sergeants Leadership Course, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, 1993.
Planned and performed over 200 MWD demonstrations for Congressional Staffers, Foreign Dignitaries, and charitable civilian organizations as Assistant NCOIC for Military Working Dog Demonstration Team, 341st Training Squadron, 37th Training Group, 37th Training Wing, Lackland Air Force Base 1994 – 1996
K-9 Instructor and trainer for Joint Task Force 6, Mission JT650-97, in support of Virgin Islands Police Department, located a Kilo of Cocaine onboard a civilian vessel, March – April 1997.
US Marine Corps Team Sports Experience:
Football – All Marine Team, Kaneohe Bay – 1992
All Marine Team, Camp Pendleton – 1998 and 1999
Volleyball – Base champion, Lackland Air Force Base – 1996 (Coach and player)
Department of Veterans Affairs performance awards and last performance appraisal:
1. Performance award, 12/10/10, exceptional performance.
2. Performance award, 5/18/11, exceptional performance.
3. Performance award, 6/21/12, exceptional performance.
4. Most recent Performance appraisal dated December 3, 2012, Performance appraisal states I am fully successful in all areas except for Cooperation and Organizational Support. Immediate supervisor explained why I was exceptional, stating, “Mr. Silveria meets the exceptional level for performance for Cooperation and Organization Support because he is fully supportive. As a member of the Innovation Team and a new RVSR, he participated in several initiatives to assist the office in resolving the claims that were pending the longest and readily suggestions for improvement in processes/procedures as he identified areas where improvement was needed. Mr. Silveria also remained flexible as the workload of the Innovation Team increased in both volume and complexity as necessitated by the workload for the RO.”

Summary of information regarding situation I wish to report that is causing the production, quality and overall Veteran’s claims processing problems at the VA Oakland RO.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Oakland Regional Office is riddled with problems linked to incompetent management.

Over the past two years a plethora of individual news articles have been released about the problems with the Veteran’s claims processing at the Oakland Regional Office (RO), and the VA Nationally. The problems were originally pointed out by the executive managers and local managers as the employee’s lack of understanding and willingness to do their jobs.

In actuality, the problems are not with the individual employees, rather with the incompetent managers who are not following or aware of the laws, rules, and regulations governing their positions. The managers are all civilians at the RO and think like civilians, not worried about the Veterans, only getting numbers for the RO, not helping Veterans.

Currently, several Veterans working for the RO have filed EEO charges for discrimination based on disability. Some Veterans have been terminated by the managers of the VA Oakland RO while out on sick leave per their doctor’s orders for treatment of their disabilities. Some have gotten their jobs back with extensive damages and continued retaliation while working at the VA. Many Veterans have left on their own to get a job where they are not constantly harassed or discriminated based on their disabilities.

One particular former Marine who has worked for the Oakland Regional Office for the past 5 years has had enough and for the past two years has reported discrimination based on disability, harassment, increased surveillance, retaliation, and hostile work environment to the
EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity), FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority), OIG (Office of Inspecting General), OSC (Office of Special Council), DOL (Department of Labor – Office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement), OWCP (Office of Workers Compensations – Department of Labor), Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, Congresspersons Spier, Honda, Lee, and Stark. The EEO has multiple charges (23 total on one complaint) submitted by not only the former Marine, but 7 other disabled Veterans have submitted EEO charges against the managers of the RO with nothing but more retaliation. The AFGE union is not helping any of the employees and Federal Labor Relations Authority charges are still pending after over a year of reports filed with the FLRA.

The OIG has not done anything with any of the reports to them about abuse of authority, waste of resources, or hostile work environment. The Office of Special Council has done nothing with the multitude of reports, not even a cease and desist, to protect the employees from further prohibited personnel practices. The DOL is investigating possible embezzlement of Federal funds by the AFGE local 1159 union president who happens to be a buddy of the Oakland Regional Office director, Douglass Bragg, as well as many non-compliance violations regarding the collective bargaining agreement (aka Master National Agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees, 2011).

Finally, Senator Feinstein and Boxer sent letters back to the former Marine stating that they cannot help Federal employees due to the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act is for political functions and voting, not compliance or reports of hostile work environment. Disabled veterans have been ordered back to work off FMLA leave per their doctors because the managers stated they do not recognize their disabilities.

The veteran is 90% service connected by the VA and the VA managers stated they do not recognize her disability and she had to return to work for a lower paid position without reasonable accommodations immediately. There is so much more to report that are affecting the VA Oakland Regional Office and the VA National claims process that cannot be reported in one letter. Please contact me and I will give you whatever information you ask regarding the problems at the VA.

I will also explain how the executive managers to include: Oakland Regional Office Director - Douglass Bragg, Western Area Director – Willie Clark, Under Secretary for Benefits – Allison Hickey, and VA Secretary – Erik Shinseki, have not responded to any of the pleas from the veterans or civilian employees regarding the hostile work environment.

The government is convoluted and there are many people in the chain of command who are not here for the Veterans. At the end of the day the executive managers and local managers are giving face time for political reasons, but do not care about the Veterans. I can provide multiple examples, but do not want to disclose everything until someone contacts me about the problems that are affecting the VA Oakland Regional Office, delaying Veterans claims, hurting quality government employees, and violating several laws in place to protect veterans.



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