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« | Home | »

Nothing changes in Sacramento

By Zach Arnold | April 8, 2013

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This guy (Che Guevara) was in Sacramento… and nobody bothered to ask him a question.

Last week, I gave the politicians in Sacramento a very easy blueprint on how to make Monday’s sunset review hearing for the California State Athletic Commission relevant. Mainly, put the one guy who is most responsible for the mess in California combat sports under oath for two hours and grill him with data from the Bureau of State Audits.

Naturally, the politicians didn’t listen or do the right thing. They wanted a dog-and-pony show for the press. Just one problem… they killed the audio stream for the hearing that was posted on the Senate Daily File web site. They chose to air audio from another meeting at the Capitol instead of the sunset review. That’s like sending out invitations for a birthday party and forgetting to list the location of where the party is at or what time you should be in attendance.

(The California Channel, at the last minute, decided to pick up the option to record the sunset hearing. You can download the large MP4 video here to watch.)

So, let me give you a quick summary of what happened. The toads on the state Senate Business & Professions Committee voted against sunsetting the California State Athletic Commission. That’s the one good development. As for the two hour session, it was a bunch of pols bloviating about “how could a state agency become insolvent?” while praising the Department of Consumer Affairs for hiring Andy Foster and hoping Andy is Superman to clean up the mess that the bureaucrats have made.

Marc Ratner (UFC), Roy Englebrecht (promoter), and a representative from Bellator were in attendance. Unfortunately, the hearing proved to be a waste of their time.

Oh, did I mention Che Guevara was in Sacramento? He was right there for the politicians to put under oath and grill. If the pols wanted answers and wanted a fall guy, they had their chance. They declined. They gave him a pass. They always do. That’s how he continues to survive. Proof positive that failure always gets rewarded in politics.

However, as one door closes… another one opens up. Che’s past history of being part of the wrecking crew that damaged the California State Athletic Commission is about to catch up with him. The first domino to fall? Bill Douglas. Douglas, the former Executive Officer who DCA made sure was in place years ago, is heading to trial on April 18th in Sacramento Superior Court. He apparently is not going to accept a plea deal with prosecutors after being charged with 7 misdemeanors for allegedly trying to sabotage key members of the CSAC front office. Accepting a plea deal would kill Douglas’ chance of getting back a job with the state of California and any retirement pension. So, it’s a roll of a dice for him.

Douglas and Che were a tag team in the CSAC front office in 2009. What will Douglas say about Che during his upcoming trial in regards to their prior activities for key decisions that were made in the office? How much new material will be revealed? Remember, both individuals worked in tandem with DCA. They ran over many good people while they were in power. Eventually, one of them is going to reveal the skeletons in the closet — and my guess is that Douglas is ready to roll over on Guevara right about now.

And that’s not good news for a guy who’s desperately trying to protect an easy $60,000/year paycheck for being a paper pusher.

Back to the sunset hearing that took place on Monday. Here’s a useless press release from the office of Assemblyman Luis Alejo about today’s proceedings:

Oversight hearing discusses administrative and operational deficiencies of California State Athletic Commission

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) participated in an oversight hearing of the State Athletic Commission organized by the Senate Business, Profession, and Economic Development, the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection and the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committees.

Members of the Committees discussed with representatives from the State Athletic Commission and the Department of Consumers Affairs the results of a recent State Audit, requested by Assemblyman Alejo, which raised serious concerns with the financial management and administrative operations of the California State Athletic Commission. During the oversight hearing Alejo raised serious concerns with the fact that the Chair of the Commission, Mr. Frierson, was not present at the hearing to answer questions regarding his involvement and responsibilities as Chairman of the Commission.

“Six audits, three internal audits by the Department of Consumer Affairs and three audits by the California State Auditor, over the past 6 years have highlighted the fact that the Commission has failed on its responsibility to manage its financial and administrative operations,” says Alejo. “The sunset review report also shows the continued inability of the California State Athletic Commission to carry out its statutory duties with serious flaws and major improvements needed. It is worrisome that many of the same problems go back to 2003 and persist a decade later.”

The California State Athletic Commission is responsible for protecting the health and safety of its licensees; boxers, kickboxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes. Through the years, the Commission has become one of the largest combat sports sanctioning bodies in the nation. The State Athletic Commission came under scrutiny when the Commission announced its insolvency due to excessive spending. Reports of financial problems and administrative wrongdoing led Alejo to request the audit last July.

“The State Audit report reveals that the Commission lacks a long-term plan to deal with its financial crisis. It is unacceptable that even after fiscal problems became public the Commission’s board took 6 months to begin correcting the problem. Additionally, it was revealed that the Commission has violated state law in managing its Pension and Neurological Funds,” says Alejo.

The Committees that participated in the hearing today will collect all the information provided by the State Auditor, the State Athletic Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs and members of the public and will begin drafting a bill to address the short-and long-term issues with the California State Athletic Commission.

Notice how the politicians are very careful not to go after the behemoth known as the Department of Consumer Affairs, the agency that basically controls the puppet strings?

To read all CSAC-related articles, dating back to May 2012, CLICK HERE.

Topics: Boxing, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Nothing changes in Sacramento”

  1. John Lovell says:

    I remain very hopeful for my beloved boxing in California. Andy Foster is truly a class act, and I am very impressed with the two most recent appointments to the CSAC.

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