FROM Nick Berardino
Official Favoritism in Orange County? Employees of Orange County told the Board of Supervisors last night they felt "betrayed" after an auditor's revelations that top county executives got unjustified raises of up to 33 percent in less than six months, at the same time hundreds of lower-level workers were being laid off and furloughed. The Orange County Register has reported the auditor's findings, the names of the beneficiaries and recommendations that could save the County $150 million. Last night was the Board's first hearing into the matter. Note: We asked County CEO Tom Mauk and two supervisors to appear on tonight's program. All of them refused.
Union Battle Comes to Costa Mesa City Hall Forget the South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Local Republicans think Costa Mesa might be starting a political movement that spreads statewide. Many California cities are struggling with the rising cost of public pensions. Now conservative council members want to cut the workforce in half and outsource many jobs to private contractors. Republican leaders have visions of a mini-Wisconsin.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.