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Did Governor Jerry Brown reveal a DCA quid pro quo at the California State Athletic Commission to fire George Dodd?

By Zach Arnold | August 23, 2012

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The current Chairman of the California State Athletic Commission, John Frierson, has been a friend & political ally of Governor Jerry Brown for over 40 years. Linda Forster, a 42-year old business owner who wants to become a powerful politician in California, is a political ally of Mr. Frierson. Linda Forster was appointed last year to the CSAC board by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor appointments to the CSAC board are one year in length without approval from the state Senate Rules Committee, which is led by Senate boss Darrell Steinberg. If you get confirmed by the SRC, you can hang around the commission for a few more years.

When the heat was on former CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd over budget affairs last June at a San Diego meeting, the newly-appointed head of the Department of Consumer Affairs (Denise Brown) wanted Dodd out of a job. She wanted to show the Senate Rules Committee that she would be tough on budget matters. The end result was the spectacle we got in El Monte, California on June 26th where a dozen top DCA officials failed to convince the CSAC board to fire Dodd. The DCA dirty dozen included DCA #2, Awet Kidane. At the El Monte hearing, it was Jerry Brown ally John Frierson that wouldn’t take orders from Consumer Affairs to fire Dodd. Instead, Dodd was censured.

This result spooked DCA in Sacramento, which was not expecting to receive any push back whatsoever. Within days of the El Monte meeting outcome, DCA did everything possible to make George Dodd’s job impossible to do. Despite cash left in the CSAC bank account, DCA got an emergency loan from the Department of Finance. DCA got a loan when they knew 100% that they didn’t need the cash. When George Dodd resigned from CSAC, DCA (via Kathi Burns) openly admitted on August 1st that there was money left at CSAC. Rather than help George Dodd do his job and run CSAC, Consumer Affairs did everything they could to sabotage him. In the process, DCA bureaucrats exposed a paper trail that has already haunted them and will continue to haunt them for a long time to come.

On July 18th, we posted an extensive article detailing how major politicians in Sacramento are involved in the business affairs of the California State Athletic Commission. If you have not read the article, read it. It will set the stage for what is about to happen in the coming months with CSAC. In the article, we noted the case of Linda Forster. At the El Monte hearing on June 26th, Forster was a vocal leader in the CSAC board firing George Dodd. Forster, along with 2011 Governor Brown board appointees Brian Edwards & Mike Munoz, were facing confirmation meetings with Darrell Steinberg’s Senate Rules Committee because the initial one-year appointment terms were about to expire. Edwards ended up leaving CSAC before the June 4th San Diego meeting. He left. As for Mike Munoz, he voted to censure but keep Dodd as CSAC Executive Officer. As a result of his vote to keep Dodd at CSAC, the Senate Rules Committee let his CSAC term expire.

But what about Forster? From our July 18th article:

The Senate’s Rules Committee has a lot of power. This is why the relationship between SRC and the Department of Consumer Affairs is an important link. DCA only answers to the Governor & Darrell Steinberg. We also noted in our article about George Dodd’s resignation (by a source on background) that Linda Forster, another Governor Brown appointee to CSAC last year, was allegedly told to get rid of Dodd. She supposedly pushed for Dodd’s firing in El Monte. However, when the other CSAC board members wouldn’t go along with her, she quit. Our primary source on background said that she quit because she wanted to protect her support from CADEM (California Democratic Party) for a future election race in her district.

Was she promised political support explicitly by CADEM in exchange for a vote to fire Dodd?

Thanks to Governor Jerry Brown, we now have (at least) a part of a puzzle on the Linda Forster story.

Less than two months after quitting the California State Athletic Commission due to George Dodd not being fired by the board members, Linda Forster was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown last Monday to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The BBS happens to be a board that is under the Department of Consumer Affairs umbrella, just like CSAC is. What a surprise — the appointment by Governor Brown of Forster to the BBS was done two days before the Behavior board hosted a two-day meeting on 8/22 & 8/23 in Sacramento (meeting agenda here).

To give you a sense of how Governor Jerry Brown’s office announced his appointment of Linda Forster to CSAC in 2011 versus how the office announced her 2012 appointment to the Board of Behavioral Sciences, let’s take a look at the bio profiles the Governor’s office released.

June 27, 2011:

Linda Forster, 42, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California State Athletic Commission. She has served as the president of Forster Construction Company since 1994. Forster served as the administrator for the Parents of Watts from 1993 to 2006 and as the director of the Dianne Feinstein Home for Young Mothers from 1991 to 1993. She also worked as a clinical social worker at the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in 1996. Forster served as a commissioner for the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services Board from 2001 to 2004. She was a member of the U.S. Junior Olympics Basketball team in 1987. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Forster is a Democrat.

August 20, 2012:

Linda Forster, 42, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Forster has served as president at Forster Construction since 1995. She was an administrator at Parents of Watts from 1993 to 2006 and a social worker at the Los Angeles County Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in 1996. Forster served as director at the Dianne Feinstein Home for Young Mothers from 1991 to 1993 and was a case worker at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health from 1991 to 1992. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Forster is a Democrat.

I suppose washing the taste out of a stint at CSAC by getting an appointment to the Board of Behavioral Sciences is a good step for improving the political resumé.

Why you should care about this story

There’s a simple reason as to why someone in combat sports should give a damn about what is going on here.

Was a political deal (quid pro quo) offered to Linda Forster, someone with future political aspirations, in order to get George Dodd fired? If so: a) what was the deal offered? and b) who offered it?

We don’t have the full picture yet on what happened with the players involved but we certainly do have circumstantial evidence that indicates there was political pressure to terminate George Dodd’s career. I still have trouble comprehending the fact that such powerful Sacramento politicians are obsessed with what happens at the California State Athletic Commission. It is this political meddling that has created the disaster zone that is CSAC right now.

If a quid pro quo was offered, what kind of deal was it? Well, we know that Linda Forster quit when George Dodd wasn’t fired and, less than two months later, Governor Jerry Brown’s office appoints her to another DCA board (the Board of Behavioral Sciences). On July 27th, we reported that Governor Brown’s office is involved in the process of recruiting candidates to become the next Executive Officer of CSAC and that the man involved (Josh Groban) was Jerry Brown’s legal counsel for his 2010 political campaign.

Was Governor Brown involved in offering a political deal to Linda Forster or was someone involved?

What about Darrell Steinberg, the head of the California state Senate who oversees the approval or rejection of political appointees via the Senate Rules Committee? Steinberg had the power to approve Governor Brown’s CSAC appointees and didn’t do it. It should be noted that on June 26th, the date of the CSAC El Monte hearing, there was supposed to be a SRC hearing to determine the fate of Denise Brown as the head of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Luckily for her, the SRC confirmation meeting was pushed back a week later. However, the fact that the CSAC board saved Dodd’s job on the same day that Denise Brown was up for appointment confirmation means there was a lot of political pressure on a lot of players. After Dodd was saved by CSAC on June 26th, DCA made sure to do everything they could to apply the proper pressure to force Dodd out as Executive Officer. When he resigned on July 16th, DCA got their wish.

Which leads to us a third potential power broker in Linda Forster getting a new appointment to a DCA board and that’s Denise Brown, the woman in charge of Consumer Affairs. Did Brown offer Forster support for a new DCA board appointment after the debacle in El Monte on June 26th? Given that DCA is technically controlled by Governor Jerry Brown, it’s certainly not unrealistic to see a scenario where Denise Brown would give a warm reception to Linda Forster for a new DCA board appointment because she pushed for George Dodd’s removal at the CSAC El Monte meeting.

The one nagging question

All the major players in Sacramento politics have their fingerprints on the business dealings at the California State Athletic Commission. You can’t hide the evidence, whether it’s a paper trail or political actions by the players involved.

The big question, as it is always is with political scandals, is why. What is the motive for individuals like Governor Jerry Brown, Denise Brown, and Darrell Steinberg to micromanage affairs at a board like CSAC? How much money is missing from CSAC? Are there other scandals being hidden, such as inflammatory harassment scandals? What is it that has the biggest power brokers in Sacramento scrambling to get their hands involved in what happens at CSAC and the wannabe politicians who go from board to board at the Department of Consumer Affairs?

A message to potential whistle blowers

We understand that there are potential sources who have key & critical information that could provide us with some real clues of what is going on in Sacramento. However, some of these sources have day jobs with the state of California and are afraid to risk their livelihood because of threats from Consumer Affairs about what is happening with CSAC.

So, we want to extend an olive branch to anyone who wants to come forward and talk to us on background. If you are interested in communicating with me, just send me a message and give me contact information in which you can be reached offline to further discuss matters. I will not burn any potential sources nor disclose names. Your potential communication with me, as a source on background, is protected by the California Shield Law and the California Whistleblower Protection Act.

If you have information that can help out our investigation, please reach me. There is a good reason for you, as a potential source, to cooperate with us. If you are someone who is in a vulnerable political position and you don’t stand up for yourself in terms of defining what your situation is, others will attempt to use you and blame you for their actions. With the impending audit of CSAC and the upcoming legal battles against DCA over what has happened at CSAC, now is a chance for you to reach out to me and put the spotlight on where the bad apples are and why. The more you help us with our investigation, the more you can help your situation out and bolster your credibility.

Help us put the media spotlight on where it needs to go.

Topics: CSAC, Media, Zach Arnold | 3 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

3 Responses to “Did Governor Jerry Brown reveal a DCA quid pro quo at the California State Athletic Commission to fire George Dodd?”

  1. Dr.Met says:

    i still don’t know what this has to do with MMA, other than Dodd becoming victim of political favors

    • Zach Arnold says:

      Quid pro quos are illegal, first off.

      Second, it’s a demonstration of just how messed up CSAC has become thanks to the actions of outsiders who have no experience or interest in the fight business. In other words, they are the ones who are destroying the climate of combat sports in California.

      The answer no one has outside of a few individuals is why this is happening and what the motive is. We just know that it is. California should be a much stronger power house for combat sports and it’s not because of the meddling from people like Jerry Brown, Darrell Steinberg, and Denise Brown.

      The consequences of their actions are very real.

  2. gwesd says:

    Why would the Governor appoint someone to another board when she would quite when things get difficult? So if the new board she is on goes through difficult times or they do something she does not want them to do, will she quite again? If so, what kind of politician will she make.

    It is ashame that some commissioners try to use appointments for political gain and not for the better of the board they are appointed to. They need to remember they serve at the pleasure of the stakeholders they represent.

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