AB 523 is up for a vote today in the Assembly. Strip away the rhetoric on how wonderful KOCE's original programming is and this is a bald attempt to engineer an ex post facto rigging of the bidding process against Daystar and legalize a multi-million dollar gift of public funds.
E-mail or telephone OC 's Assembly delegation asking them to vote no on AB 523.
- Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher: e-mail or call (916) 319-2072.
- Assemblyman Chuck DeVore: e-mail or call (916) 319-2070.
- Assemblyman Van Tran: e-mail or call (916) 319-2068.
- Assemblywoman Mimi Walters: e-mail or call (916) 319-2073.
- Assemblyman Todd Spitzer: e-mail or call (916) 319-2071.
- Assemblyman Bob Huff: e-mail or call (916) 319-2060.
Section 81450 of the California Education Code states:
(a) The governing board of any community college district may sell for cash any personal property belonging to the district if the property is not required for school purposes, or if it should be disposed of for the purpose of replacement, or if it is unsatisfactory or not suitable for school use.
"For cash" -- those are the operative words. A community college is only allowed to "exchange for value, sell for cash, or donate any personal property belonging to the district" -- that is essentially what the KOCE Foundation offer is -- "if all of the following criteria are met:"
(a) The district determines that the property is not required for school purposes, that it should be disposed of for the purpose of replacement, or that it is unsatisfactory or not suitable for school use.
(b) The property is exchanged with, or sold or donated to, a school district, community college district, or other public entity that has had an opportunity to examine the property proposed to be exchanged, sold, or donated.
(c) The receipt of the property by a school district or community college district would not be inconsistent with any applicable districtwide or schoolsite technology plan of the recipient district.
The sale of the KOCE only meets one of those three criteria -- not enough to justify stiff-arming Daystar's cash-offer in favor of the KOCE Foundation's pastiche of cash, sweetheart loans and in-kind valuations.
The bottom line is this bill exists because a religious broadcaster wants to buy Orange County's little KOCE-TV. From the standpoint of good governance, impartiality and simple fairness, AB 523 reeks and deserves defeat in the Assembly -- and failing that, a veto at the hands of Gov. Schwarzenegger.