Friday, March 29, 2013

Memorial Service for Politico Mafioso's Jeff Vath will be April 5th

The Memorial Service for our friend Jeff Vath will be Friday, April 5th, 10 am at the Deer Valley LDS Chapel 2939, W. Rose Garden Ln., Phoenix, AZ 85027. Please join the family for a luncheon immediately after the service.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

R.I.P. Politico Mafioso

One of our most well-known fellow Arizona political bloggers passed away last night, Jeff Vath of Politico Mafioso. Jeff was quite the character; in my opinion the most colorful blogger in the state. He was only 53. He had struggled with his weight for years, but he had started to make progress over the past couple of years, losing 88 pounds. Surrounded by family and friends last night, I believe he died of a perforated ulcer that led to heart failure.

When he first appeared on the Arizona blogging scene a few years ago, I didn't know what to
Jeff with his hero, Senator John McCain
think of him. He was a diehard Republican, but he never seemed to like any of the candidates I liked; didn't like the conservative Pachyderm Coalition. He frequently supported liberal Republicans in the primaries (but to be perfectly honest, some of the conservative candidates he opposed were not the greatest candidates and prone to gaffes). 

I got along with him though, because as our mutual friend Charles Jensen (Politics on the Rocks) liked to point out, Jeff always looked out for the underdog. When Jeff saw his friends getting beat up in the media or in politics, he was never afraid to come out and blast their attackers on his blog. He truly was the Politico Mafioso, afraid of nothing. He broke many stories that were picked up by the mainstream media.

Jeff was a big fan of Senator John McCain, and things really heated up between him and I when I became social media director for the JD Hayworth senatorial campaign against McCain. Jeff would attack us on his blog, but things usually didn't get too mean; most of his attacks consisted of the funniest pictures of us. Shane Wikfors of Sonoran
Politico Mafioso's photoshop of JD Hayworth, Rob Haney, Shane Wikfors, CQ and I
Alliance was the field director for the Hayworth campaign, and it became all out war between the two blogs for awhile! Jeff was very talented with graphics. During the campaign he appropriately added the title "Leader of the McCain Mafia" to his blog.

When my older brother passed away in 2009 of leukemia, Jeff was there for me, and he got to know my sister whom he also consoled, much like an older brother. They remained good friends until he passed away.

It was just one month ago that I posted the photo of his new decked-out car with "Politico Mafioso: Leader of the McCain Mafia - The GOP's Bad Ass Blogger" plastered on the side, which he drove to Politics on the Rocks. 

I will deeply miss him. His wife Mary Anne is a retired schoolteacher, and past president of the local retired schoolteachers' association. My mom was also a schoolteacher, and Mary Anne reminded me a lot of my mom; witty, fun and a truly decent person. My heart goes out to her at this time.

R.I.P. Jeff Vath. I know you're up there in heaven looking down at us shaking your head at how the Republican National Committee doesn't have a clue with its efforts to modernize the party, and the Maricopa County GOP chair's latest remarks about Brewer getting him into hot water with Andy Tobin and other Republicans. But I know you're smiling because at least we got Robert Graham in as state party chair!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New website launches: Arizona Female Firearm Competitors

Phyllis shooting her Glock in the Arizona desert


Phyllis Gross has launched a website for Arizona women and girls who shoot in firearm competitions. Competitions include hunting, target shooting, and related events.

The Mission Statement for the website provides,

To bring due recognition to as many Arizona female firearm competitors that we can; of all ages, races, religions, nationalities and creeds. To draw attention to the women who shoot in competitions, hunting target or any other firearm competitions. We will cover the past to the present, and strive to cover all ranges in Arizona.

Click the link below to view it, sign the GUEST BOOK, make comments and submit advice please. It is UNDER she needs your help!

Phyllis Gross is originally from Michigan, however since she first moved out to Cave Creek, Arizona as a child, she is proud to be an AZMichigander. She recalls first being introduced to shooting in the Arizona desert, by her father, John Gross at or near the age of 10. Along with teaching his daughters to shoot, John taught them to ride dirt bikes (motorcycles). Phyllis is thankful for the childhood memories and now the memories in adulthood that helped to motivate her to launch her new website. Phyllis has participated for years in Arizona NRA and other pro-gun events and organizations. She joined a shooting league at the Ben Avery range in North Phoenix and enjoyed the competition shooting with her first gun, a Glock 19, 9mm. Phyllis has participated in the 2011 Glock Match in 3-Points, Arizona (near Tucson) and after that competition, really desired to compete against other female shooters, along with the men she often challenged.

A few men in the Phoenix and Tucson areas have previously expressed the desire for Phyllis to start a women's group to encourage the local women to get out and join her in competitions, events and meetings. Phyllis doesn't see that in her future, but rather the vision for the website and the goal to eventually turn it into a magazine or a book.

Will you consider a donation of financial support to help her with this venture? The website has a link to PayPal for that. Phyllis is hoping to get sponsors to advertise on her website, once she gets subscriptions in place. Glock, FrontSight, Armed in Heals, and more will be approached. Can you suggest any that would benefit from being on the website? Email

Rachel Alexander (a great friend of many years) posted a photo of Phyllis on the website she runs - Rachel is now an editor with Western Shooting Journal-click the link below to view it:

Want to be in Western Shooting Journal?
Email a photo of you and your gun to Rachel at :

Do you want to be featured in Western Shooting Journal or write about guns? We are always looking for interesting stories. Here are the topics: competitive shooting, self-defense, concealed carry, guns and pop culture, shotgun – skeet, trap, clays, etc., hunting (should be timely – preferably beginning to middle of season), archery, product reviews/features, shooting world celebrities/interviews/columns, reloading, black powder, gun safes, women and guns, law enforcement, youth education about guns.

Our March issue features Phyllis Gross at outdoor shooting ranges in Arizona. There's also a lot more, including an article I wrote about Hollywood and guns.

-Rachel Alexander

Final comments from Arizona Female Firearm Competitors Editor - Phyllis Gross

Women are now gaining more social and internet media attention for being PRO-GUN, rather than anti-gun.

Criminals are the negative people, illegal actions are bad. Good girls love guns! Think about that. Bad girls who are doing illegal actions with guns are indeed not to be supported by good girls with guns!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jailed for Nonpayment of Child Support - But it's Not His Child

Leigh Adelmann was extradited from Arizona to a Missouri jail for nonpayment of child support for a child that wasn't even his. The courts and prosecutors were aware of this, but DIDN'T CARE. If he gets behind again, he risks going to jail again.
The feminists have ratcheted up the laws against men to such an outrageous level that paternity fraud is not just ignored, but routinely rubber stamped by the courts. Whether one agrees with the concept of child support or not, virtually everyone can agree that jailing men for child support over children who are not theirs is morally wrong. Men are routinely sent to jail for falling behind on paying child support, even though debtors' prisons in the U.S. were mostly eliminated in the mid-nineteenth century.
The family courts and laws are set up in such a way that makes it very easy for a mother to collect child support, and very difficult for a man to avoid it. If a couple was married, the default law is that the man will be required to pay child support for any child born while they were married. In order for a man who isn't the father to escape this outcome, he must obtain a paternity test and take a series of legal steps in court. Most states only allow a short window of time for a man to do this. If a man is not aware of the child, which he may not be if his wife or former wife doesn't notify him of the child right away, he loses all chance to fight the child support, and will be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars for the next 18 years until the child becomes an adult.
Courts routinely order these judgments even if the man is unaware what is going on. A March 2003 Urban Institute study commissioned by the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) found that "most noncustodial parents appear to be served by 'substitute' service, rather than personal service, which suggests that noncustodial parents may not know that they have been served."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Glenn Beck's Dystopian Thriller about the Very Real UN Policy of Sustainable Development

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has co-authored a frightening new book about the future of our society under the local auspices of ‘sustainable development,’ called Agenda 21. Although it is a work of fiction, it could become nonfiction. Agenda 21 is the United Nations program that is being implemented piecemeal by nations under a stealth plan that can be found out in the open seeking to achieve “global sustainability,” one community, one town, and one city at a time. Agenda 21 will create a planned central economy that will determine the way we live, eat, learn, move and communicate, all under the guise of “protecting the environment and saving the earth” from the human footprint. The totalitarian society portrayed in the book is eerily reminiscent of the 1949 satirical dystopian novel written by British author George Orwell entitled Nineteen Eighty-Four-1984, portending daily life under the system of totalitarian communism. In Agenda 21, humans live under severe government regulations so burdensome that life has become virtual slavery. There is no Congress, no President, or freedom. The United States has been replaced by “The Republic.” Co-author Harriet Parke decided to write the novel after discovering the truth about Agenda 21 from Beck’s exposes.
Written from the perspective of a young woman, Emmeline, the story takes place less than a generation after Agenda 21 has radically transformed American society. The goals and lingo of Agenda 21 have become fully intertwined with drastic government regulations. People were “promised Paradise” in the beginning in order to persuade them to move into “Planned Communities.” They were told that it was necessary in order to preserve the earth. Once living in these cramped quarters where the government could spy on them, it became difficult to object to anything. Elections were ended because “the officials felt that people kept making the wrong decisions.”

In Agenda 21, the government has complete control over family life, in order to ensure that citizens do not make irresponsible decisions and waste resources. Citizens are told who to marry and urged to have babies. Women are prohibited from living alone. Children are taken from their parents at birth and raised in “The Children’s Village,” where their parents are forbidden from visiting them. Babies born with defects are destroyed. Emmeline becomes pregnant and has a baby, Elsa, who is taken away from her and placed in the Children’s Village. Fortunately, she obtains employment at the Children’s Village, where she is able to occasionally sneak visits with Elsa. Emmeline goes through three husbands in a short period of time. The instant she reaches the reproduction age of 14, she is “paired” with a husband. He is eventually taken away by the Authorities when they suspect him of plotting with her father to escape from the Planned Community. Her second husband is taken away when he becomes stressed out and refuses to go to work one day.
Read the rest of the review at Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

Friday, March 22, 2013

Contrary to Popular Belief, Gun control is not Gaining Momentum in America

Although the Second Amendment has taken a slight bruising after Sandy Hook, unlike other controversial social issues such as gay marriage and drug legalization, which are gradually becoming more accepted by society, gun control is not gaining ground.
There is concern across America that the Sandy Hook mass shooting has given gun control efforts significant – and unwarranted – momentum. Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado signed new gun control legislation this week, and President Obama is again pushing Congress to pass additional federal gun control laws. Although it is a sad week for Second Amendment supporters in Colorado, that state is an outlier. What happened in Newtown was a tragedy, but heightening gun restrictions is not the right response.
Governor Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed into law on Wednesday legislation that expands background checks on gun purchases and limits the sizes of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Colorado used to be more of a purple state that could go either Democrat or Republican, but in recent years it has turned into a blue state. It was home to the 1999 Columbine school shooting and the Aurora movie theater shooting that killed 12 people last summer. These tragic incidents, combined with Sandy Hook, created an emotional climate to pass gun control legislation.
Contrast Colorado with nearby Arizona. Arizona experienced the tragic, high-profile shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Yet there is no chance any new gun control laws will be passed. In fact, Arizona is now considered the most gun-owner friendly state in the country. The state's legislature and most top political offices are held byRepublicans, whereas, the reverse is true in Colorado. This is evidence that a high-profile mass shooting is not enough to turn the tide in favor of gun control; the political climate is more determinative.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Virginia One of 44 States to Restrict Government's Arbitrary Taking of Property

With the re-election of President Barack Obama, who will likely appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices opposed to the protection of private property rights, there is little chance Kelo will be overturned by the Supreme Court in the near future. Fortunately, although an unelected group of five judges has chosen to ignore the plain words of the U.S. Constitution and dictate public policy, state legislatures and the ballot initiative process are providing an effective way for the people to fight back and protect their rights.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I will be on the Austin Hill show Wednesday morning to discuss the ammo shortage and Colorado's new gun laws

If you're up early Wednesday morning, and want to hear about what happened at the Cal Expo this past weekend due to the ammo shortage, and the latest on Colorado's new gun laws, check out my interview as editor of Western Shooting Journal on Austin Hill's Idaho show. 6:35am PST (9:35am EST) here to listen to NewsRadio KINF 99.1 FM live. Click here to check out Western Shooting Journal and subscribe (only $1.89/mth online).

Check out these cool new AmmoMugs!

My new favorite gadget. The perfect gift for a gun enthusiast (only $25). "MOLON LABE is Greek for "Come and Take" and is often attributed to the Spartans' battle cry at the Battle of Thermopylae. The translation was also used by the Texas Colonists in their battle with the Mexican Government in 1835 and many other groups that want to communicate their desire to "Never Give Up". Check them out at

Monday, March 18, 2013

Common Core: What's Hidden Behind the Language

Conservatives are in an uproar over Common Core, an educational curriculum being forced upon the states by the Obama administration, which is scheduled to be mostly implemented this year in the 46 states that have adopted it. Common Core eliminates local control over K-12 curriculum in math and English, instead imposing a one-size-fits-all, top-down curriculum that will also apply to private schools and homeschoolers.
Superficially, it sounds good. It creates universal standards that supposedly educate all children for college. But along with the universal standards come a myriad of problems, which the administrators of Common Core are disingenuously denying. The American Principles Project released an analysis last year of Common Core, exposing the duplicitous language. Common Core describes itself as “internationally benchmarked,” “robust,” “aligned with college and work expectations,” “rigorous,” and “evidence-based.” None of this is true.
Common Core proponents claim that it is not a federal mandate, instead using language like “state-led” and “voluntary.” The Common Core website asserts, “The federal government was NOT involved in the development of the standards.” It states that Common Core is not a national curriculum, but “a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed.”
Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Core. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by the states and voluntarily adopted by them. She writes in The Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.” Instead, Common Core is being driven by policymakers in D.C.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Your help is needed to resist passage of HB 2047 PARCC/Common Core

Editor's note: I have an article coming out tomorrow on the Common Core curriculum. It's bad news for underperforming schools in particular.

Good Morning from Colorado,

Wouldn't you know soon as I leave town on business the Senate Education Committee finally puts HB 2047 which intends to change the state testing standards from the failed A.I.M.S. system to the yet to be determined P.A.R.C.C. system intended to test the Federal Government sponsored Common Core National (and International) "Standards".  This without the benefit of any input from the Parents, Teachers, 'Independent" School Boards, the Community at large...anyone other than a hand full of so called Educational Elite who have determined what is best for your children, grand children and mine.

To render Common Core ineffective we must kill the testing arm P.A.R.C.C.  The House voted in favor of this bill not really understanding the 'intended' consequences.  These consequences are almost too numerous to mention but the most simple one is the shear cost of Common Core which no one has even begun to attack.

My request is for you all to try to attend the Senate Hearing now scheduled for Thursday Morning  the 21st at 8:30 AM in SHR 1.  

Thanks and I will be traveling back earlier than I had planned to specifically attend this one meeting...I consider it that important.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

German bankruptcies fall on strong economy

Berlin (dpa) - Bankruptcies in Germany fell sharply last year thanks to a strong economy, data released Tuesday showed. The statistics office said the number of companies registering as insolvent dropped last year to 28,304, 6 per cent fewer than a year earlier. The number of consumers registering as bankrupt also fell, declining by 5.5 per cent to 97,635. dpa amc jln Author: Andrew McCathie

Continuing crisis leads to record bankruptcies in February

A total of 755 Dutch companies went bankrupt in February, the highest number ever recorded in a single month, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday. The figures do not include one-man operated companies, the CBS said. The CBS usually calculates the bankruptcy rate on the basis of three-month periods, because of strong fluctuations in the number of company court sittings. Taking this into account, the February average would be 680, the highest total since records began in 1981, the CBS said.

United States: Chapter 9 Update: Limiting Jurisdiction In Municipal Bankruptcies

Since the publication of our two-part municipal bankruptcy series (see NYLJ, March 4, 2010, and May 6, 2010), the strain of rising pension costs, declining tax revenues, and onerous debt obligations has become more acute for many struggling municipalities. Recent decisions regarding Bankruptcy Code section 904, which constrains a bankruptcy court's oversight of a municipality's assets and spending power, have affirmed the proposition that a municipal debtor has full discretion to modify its obligations without court approval. Most recently, the courts presiding over the Stockton and Jefferson County cases have clarified the scope of section 904 to afford a municipal debtor the unfettered right to pay creditors on account of their prepetition claims during the pendency of its chapter 9 case. Statutory Background Chapter 9 has evolved over the years to keep up with the advances of municipal finance while also ensuring that the provisions of it do not encroach upon the municipal debtor's sovereignty. In drafting chapter 9 and its predecessor under the Bankruptcy Act of 1898, chapter IX, Congress had to take care not to violate the Tenth Amendment, which bars Congress from interfering with the sovereign affairs of the states. Indeed, in the 1930s, the Supreme Court struck down a jurisdictional provision of the statutory predecessor to chapter 9 as unconstitutional because it permitted bankruptcy courts to interfere with municipal property or revenues if such property was not necessary "in the opinion of the judge for essential governmental services."1 New York City's fiscal crisis in the 1970s served as the genesis for the liberalization of the municipal bankruptcy laws because, at the time, the existing municipal bankruptcy provisions were woefully inadequate to deal with the restructuring needs of a city as large and complex as New York. In 1976, Congress liberalized and broadened many of the provisions of chapter IX to their current form as set forth in chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code of 1978. In particular, Congress further broadened the jurisdictional limitations by enacting section 904 of the Bankruptcy Code, deleting the phrase "necessary for governmental services" from the jurisdictional provision. In its current form, section 904 provides that, absent a chapter 9 debtor's consent, a bankruptcy court "may not...interfere with...(1) any political or governmental powers of the debtor; (2) any property or revenues of the debtor; or (3) the debtor's use or enjoyment of any income producing property."2 Section 904 is a keystone in the interplay between federal bankruptcy powers and municipal sovereignty, and imposes significant limitations on the court's ability to issue orders that would "interfere" with the debtor's use of its property or revenues. Recent Decisions Over the past year, multiple bankruptcy courts have addressed the interplay of section 904 with other provisions in the Bankruptcy Code and the Judicial Code, and all have broadly interpreted section 904 to prohibit any court interference with the debtor's use of its property during the pendency of its case.3 Jefferson County I. The chapter 9 filing by Jefferson County, Ala., in November 2011 - the largest such filing as measured by total liabilities (over $3 billion) - was precipitated by a default on its sewer warrant obligations and declining revenue. The warrants were secured by the net revenues of the sewer system, which the county was obligated to transfer to a revenue fund account. The indenture required the county to transfer such revenues to a debt service account controlled by the indenture trustee. Prior to the commencement of the county's chapter 9 case, the indenture trustee for the county's sewer warrants commenced a state court action seeking to enforce the terms of the indenture. The state court appointed a receiver and granted partial summary judgment in favor of the indenture trustee, finding that the county breached the terms of the indenture. Subsequently, the county commenced its chapter 9 case, and the indenture trustee requested that the bankruptcy court find, among other things, (i) that the state court retained exclusive jurisdiction over the sewer system such that a receiver was entitled to continue to manage the sewer system and (ii) that the automatic stay imposed by the Bankruptcy Code did not apply to the receiver. Among other things, the court held that abstention from the county's bankruptcy case was not warranted under section 904. The indenture trustee and the receiver argued that, because the receiver, acting in its sovereign capacity, controlled the entire sewer system at the instruction of the state court, section 904 prohibited the bankruptcy court from doing anything that would impair or limit the receiver's or the state court's exercise of control over the sewer system properties. The court disagreed and held that section 904 applies only to municipal debtors. The receiver, according to the court, was not the debtor and, therefore, "literal interpretation of section 904 does not sustain abstention from the County case."4 Furthermore, the court noted that the receiver did not act in a sovereign capacity because its actions were taken by it on behalf of a private party, the indenture trustee, seeking to enforce the county's obligations under the indenture. Therefore, the court held that the provisions of section 904 did not apply to the receiver. Jefferson County I clarifies that section 904 applies only to a chapter 9 debtor, regardless of whether a third party controls the debtor's property. Jefferson County II. On Dec. 19, 2012, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama held that the exception to the automatic stay under section 959 of the Judicial Code (28 U.S.C. §959) does not apply to a municipal debtor because of the jurisdictional limitations imposed on courts by section 904.5 Section 959(a) provides that "trustees, receivers, or managers of any property, including debtors in possession, may be sued, without leave of the court appointing them, with respect to any of their acts or transactions in carrying on business connected with such property."6 This decision resolved a dispute between the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County over the county's decision to close an inpatient care unit at a county-owned hospital in Birmingham. The city argued that the county's closure of the inpatient care unit without having another health care option in place for indigent citizens would violate the Alabama Health Care Responsibility Act (AHCRA). The city also argued that section 959 of the Judicial Code permitted the city to sue the debtor and certain of its officers to enforce the provisions of AHCRA. The court disagreed, holding that, consistent with the Tenth Amendment's reservation of certain powers to states, Bankruptcy Code section 904 prohibits a bankruptcy court from interfering with a municipal debtor's political or governmental powers, property, and revenues without the debtor's consent. The court found that the absence of federal court control over a municipal debtor supported the proposition that Judicial Code section 959 should not be applied to constrain a chapter 9 debtor's ongoing operation of its assets, such as the county's operational decisions regarding the hospital unit.7 Accordingly, the court held that section 959 does not apply to chapter 9 cases and rejected the city's attempt to enjoin the county's closure of the hospital unit. Stockton I. In the face of severely declining tax revenues and rising pension costs, the city of Stockton, Calif., filed for chapter 9 on June 28, 2012. Along with its chapter 9 petition, Stockton implemented a pendency plan, pursuant to which the city would reduce certain benefits of the retirees during the pendency of the case. A group of retirees objected to Stockton's unilateral reduction of retiree benefits under the pendency plan and filed an adversary proceeding seeking to enjoin the city from unilaterally reducing their benefits, contending that such a reduction in benefits violated the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. On Aug. 6, 2012, Judge Christopher Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed the retirees' proceeding, holding that, under its pendency plan, a chapter 9 debtor has the power to modify and impair certain creditors' interests during the pendency of a chapter 9 case with little, if any, limitation or oversight from the bankruptcy court.8 Klein stated that section 904 expressly "forbids the court from using any of its powers" to interfere with any property or revenues of the debtor. The court noted that section 904 contains such broad language that the court cannot use remedies that it may otherwise employ in chapter 11 (e.g., "no inherent authority power, no implied equitable power, no Bankruptcy Code section 105 power, no stay, no order, no writ") to interfere with a municipality regarding its political powers or the use of its property.9 As applied to this case, the court found that an injunction would prohibit Stockton from using the "contents of its treasury," which brought the proposed relief within the ambit of section 904(2).10 Accordingly, the court held that section 904 prohibited the court from granting injunctive relief because "section 904 prevents any federal court" from interfering with the debtor's property and revenues.11 Stockton II. On Feb. 5, 2013, Klein held that section 904 gives a chapter 9 debtor the freedom to decide whether to ignore or to follow the compromise approval procedure set forth in Rule 9019 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.12 Accordingly, the court held that a municipal debtor is not required to seek court approval under Rule 9019 before entering into settlements with its prepetition creditors. The history and plain language of section 904 compelled the court to conclude that the "bankruptcy court cannot prevent a chapter 9 debtor from spending its money for any reason, even foolishly or in a manner that disadvantages other creditors, unless the municipality consents to such judicial oversight."13 According to the court, a municipal debtor's settlement authority would necessarily fall within the purview of section 904 because it would involve the use of the municipality's property and revenues. The court's power to disapprove that settlement would constitute "the power to interfere," and the power to interfere with a municipality's property is precisely what Congress has withheld from the scope of federal courts' authority in chapter 9 cases.14 Accordingly, the court found that based on section 904, a municipal debtor "can pay any debt in full without permission of this court."15 The court disagreed with creditors who argued that a spate of unapproved settlements would lead to a creeping plan of adjustment. While the court acknowledged this possible outcome, the court ultimately concluded that "the day of reckoning comes at the plan confirmation hearing." Although the municipal debtor has unfettered discretion to enter into settlements with its creditors during the pendency of its case, the court noted that an unfair settlement with a substantial creditor would likely make it difficult for the debtor to later confirm a plan of adjustment. Specifically, if any impaired class of claims does not accept the plan, then the city would be required, pursuant to Bankruptcy Code sections 943 and 1129(b), to prove that the plan "does not discriminate unfairly" and that the plan is "fair and equitable" with respect to the non-accepting impaired class. Furthermore, the city would also bear the burden of proving that the plan is proposed in good faith. According to the court, evidence of untoward settlements would be probative of these issues and would likely cast into doubt the confirmability of any proposed plan of adjustment. Analysis The Stockton and Jefferson County decisions illustrate the difficult position encountered by many creditors during the pendency of a chapter 9 case and further underscore the free reign that a municipal debtor enjoys during such period. Stockton II, however, should serve as a reminder that chapter 9 debtors will have to account for their actions during the chapter 9 case on the "day of reckoning," which will occur at the time that confirmation of a plan of adjustment is sought. Presumably, if a court finds that a debtor entered into any untoward settlements with its creditors during the pendency of its case, it would likely cast into doubt the confirmability of the plan of adjustment. Specifically, a municipal debtor must establish that its plan of adjustment satisfies a broad panoply of statutory provisions in the Bankruptcy Code, including: (i) section 943(b)(7), which requires that a plan is in the best interests of creditors and is feasible; (ii) section 1129(a)(2), which requires that the "proponent of the plan complies with the applicable provisions of this title"; and (iii) section 1129(a)(3), which requires that a debtor file its plan in good faith. If the plan of adjustment violates any of these provisions, a bankruptcy court could reject the plan of adjustment and instruct the debtor to draft a plan that would be more acceptable. Furthermore, as the court noted in Stockton II, if a plan of adjustment is not confirmable because the debtor entered into unfair settlements with other prepetition creditors, the court may dismiss the case pursuant to section 930(a)(5). Ultimately, a municipal debtor might not want to risk having its case dismissed or prolong the confirmation of its plan of adjustment due to its inequitable behavior during the pendency of its case. Conclusion Based on the recent clarification of the scope of section 904, it will be interesting to see how courts continue to apply the section in other instances. Even though the Jefferson County and Stockton decisions may seem disheartening for creditors in chapter 9 cases, creditors should bear in mind that a municipal debtor will be held accountable for its actions once it seeks confirmation of its plan of adjustment.

US Auto-Sales Pace at Slowest Since GM, Chrysler Bankruptcies

Sales of new cars and trucks in the U.S. have cooled to the slowest pace in more than three years even as automakers increase spending on incentives. The average number of days needed to sell new vehicles rose to 64 at the end of February, the most since August 2009, Bloomberg Industries said in a report. Carmakers have also raised incentives to 7.8 percent of a vehicle’s price to lure buyers, the highest ratio since 2011, analyst Kevin Tynan wrote in the note. Incentives increased more than 8 percent in both January and February, he said. Vehicle sales have remained a bright spot for the U.S., expanding more than 10 percent annually since 2010, the year after bankruptcies for the former General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. Growth is slowing this year, with total light-vehicle sales rising 3.7 percent in February, according to Autodata Corp. Still, it’s premature to be concerned as the pace of growth is returning to pre-recession levels, said Jessica Caldwell, industry analyst for “Even though it’s creeping up a bit, it doesn’t start to raise eyebrows at this point,” she said. “The number of days needed for a sale have risen, but it’s stabilized in the low 60s.” Brands seeing some of the biggest increases in average numbers of days needed to sell their vehicles include Chrysler, GM’s Chevrolet and GMC brands and Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln line, said Caldwell, who’s based in Santa Monica, California. © Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved. Read Latest Breaking News from Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

Columbia Lafayette Nevada Ouachita Union bankruptcies through Tuesday, March 12, 2013

South Arkansas bankruptcies by county through Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Columbia Windfred Mixon, 278 Holliman Circle, McNeil; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 7. Assets, $95,960. Liabilities, $114,013.09. Gloria Ann Watson, 406 Patricia, Waldo; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 8. Assets, $46,132.50. Liabilities, $15,257.71. Ouachita Alicia Stevenson, P.O. Box 257, Bearden; Chapter 7; bankruptcy filed March 11. Kevin Lamar Thrower, 292 Ouachita Road 437, Camden; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 11. Union Jeremy Pauley and Amber Pauley, 311 Evans Drive, El Dorado; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 5. Felicia Benson, P.O. Box 486, Junction City; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 7. Joyce Marie Richard, 473 Primm Road, El Dorado; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 7. Billy Ray Brown and Rhonda Gail Brown, 311 West 14th, Smackover; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 8. Christine Marie Davis, 448 Martin Luther King Blvd., El Dorado; Chapter 13; bankruptcy filed March 8. Lorenzo Emil Steward and Tiffany Ontanette Steward, 3516 Pearl Street, El Dorado; Chapter 7; bankruptcy filed March 8.

Regional bankruptcies: March 1

These are commercial and personal bankruptcies of $5,000 or more filed recently in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York in Utica. The list includes major unsecured creditors when available. Bankruptcy definitions: Chapter 7, debtor sells assets in return for discharge of debts; Chapter 11, debtor company reorganizes under court supervision; Chapter 12, family farm repays debt; Chapter 13, debtor arranges plan to repay debt. March 7 Sherry Britton-Susino, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Capital One Auto Finance, Plano, TX, $9,212. Jodie M. Hudack, formerly known as Jodie M. Brooks, Jodie M. Gorzynski, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: First National Bank Credit Card Center, Omaha, NE, $14,619. Robert R. Hatfield and Susanne R. Hatfield, Pulaski, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: Galaxy Asset Purchasing LLC, Atlanta, GA, $16,639. Jeffery A. Hoffman, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: M & T Bank, Buffalo, $13,256. Donald C. Livingston, Jr. and Melodie A. Livingston, Pennellville, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Citibank, Sioux Falls, SD, $20,995. Mark P. Moberg and Patricia L. Moberg, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Capital One Auto Finance, Plano, TX, $9,783. Ralph D. Paro and Amy S. Paro, Fulton, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Diamler Chrysler LLC, East Syracuse, $9,086. Melissa A. Pullano, formerly known as Melissa Pullano-Hannel, Fulton, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Community General Hospital, Syracuse, $14,346. Brenda L. Southgate and Edward A. Southgate, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Social Security Administration, Jamaica, $12,341. Rodney F. Trumble, Richland, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Onemain, Hanover, MD, $5,497. John W. White, West Monroe, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Discover Card/DB Servicing Corp, Charlotte, NC, $9,450. Charles M. Burns and Lisa M. Burns, Weedsport, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Chase Auto Finance, Tampa, FL, $12,120. Jessica L. Ladd, Hannibal, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Department of Education, Oklahoma City, OK, $28,850.

O.C. bankruptcies continue decline

Orange County bankruptcy filings continued their year-over-year decline in January, according to data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. A total of 1,037 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy during the month, down 23.1 percent from a year earlier but 5.8 percent higher than in December.Filings continue to be high by historical standards. In January, 2006, 89 bankruptcies were filed in the Santa Ana federal court. January bankruptcy filings also declined in nearby counties and the central district, which stretches from San Luis Obispo to the Arizona border. In Los Angeles County, 2,858 bankruptcies were 25.5 percent lower than a year earlier and in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 1,944 bankruptcies were 26.7 percent below the January 2012 filings. Districtwide, 6,840 bankruptcies were filed in January, down 26.3 percent, according to the court.

East Coast Brokers and Packers files for bankruptcy

Less than a month after releasing plans to reevaluate its business with possible new partners, East Coast Brokers and Packers Inc. has declared bankruptcy.According to court records, the Mulberry, Fla.-based company’s owners Batista Madonia Sr., president and chief executive officer, and his wife, Evelyn Madonia, owe a variety of creditors more than $50 million in liens and judgments. One of Florida’s largest tomato grower-shippers, East Coast stopped growing tomatoes Florida tomatoes last fall. East Coast filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa on March 6. On March 12, lawyers representing the Madonias filed a motion to consolidate the bankruptcy case with other cases involving closely intertwined companies. In addition to the East Coast Brokers packing and sales operation, the Madonias co-own companies including Circle M. Ranch Inc., a land and farming operation, and packinghouses Ruskin Vegetable Corp. and Byrd Foods of Virginia Inc.According to court records, the Madonias and their operations owe $46 million to MetLife Agricultural Investments, $5.6 million to Chicago wholesaler Anthony Marano Co., $443,000 to Georgia Pacific Corp., Atlanta, as well as state and federal governments and various other crop production services and suppliers. The state of Virginia has also asserted claims against the Madonias, according to court papers. The judge in the bankruptcy case has scheduled a March 28 status conference and a creditors meeting April 8. In 2012, East Coast, which also grew and shipped from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, planted 1,500 Florida tomato acres. The Madonia founded the company in 1956.

Suntech Power on the Brink of Bankruptcy?

Suntech Power (NYSE: STP ) is in a pickle that could lead to consequences as severe as an involuntary bankruptcy. On Monday, the company announced a forbearance agreement with lenders, essentially holding off payment on $541 million of bonds due on Friday. As more reports have emerged, it appears the forbearance agreement was only with 60% of bondholders and the other 40% want nothing to do with it. Right now, it appears Suntech has no interest in paying bondholders on Friday and there's now speculation this could lead to lawsuits and even an involuntary bankruptcy. Bloomberg interviewed a hedge fund manager who said that the fund sees it as worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit if they aren't paid on Friday. But statements from law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP were even more telling. Bloomberg quotes partner James Millar as saying: "Every piece of information that I've looked at suggests that they will default on Friday." That's telling no matter what side you are on. What is interesting with this debate is that the company could have converted bonds into stock if it would have alerted bondholders three days prior to maturity, which was yesterday. Since it didn't, it appears that the company will be forced to pay cash or wind up in court. Implications across solar Suntech is the news of the day but this has much wider impact on the solar industry than just one company. China's state-run banks haven't come to the rescue of Suntech even though it has billions of dollars of debt outstanding with them. China may finally be willing to let a few companies fail. This is bad news for Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE ) and LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK ) , in particular. Yingli has $2 billion of net debt, and at last count LDK Solar had $3.3 billion of net debt, both unsustainable in any normal business environment. Will the government let them fail as well, taking multiple gigawatts out of the industry's overcapacity? Many companies hope so. A Suntech failure would be good for everyone else If Suntech goes down it would really be good for everyone else in the industry. Solar is oversupplied right now and Suntech would take 2 GW of that supply off the market. I think U.S. solar companies would benefit the most but there would be winners in China as well. JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO ) and Jinko Solar (NYSE: JKS ) have two of the better balance sheets, and they could pick up some of the slack. Trina Solar would also be able to fill in, and with a bigger brand name than JA or Jinko it could experience expanding margins. Foolish bottom line This is exactly what the solar industry needs, even if solar stocks aren't reacting that way today. Keep an eye on Suntech's developments over the next few days to see if it evades this somehow, or if bondholders try to force the company into bankruptcy. It'll be a fascinating fight to watch. A solar stock worth putting on your watchlist Investors and bystanders alike have been shocked by the drop of renewable energy stocks over the last 12 months. The stakes have never been higher for the industry: Is it done for good, or ready for a rebound? If you're looking for our recommendation on how to play major solar company First Solar, along with continuing updates and guidance on the company whenever news breaks, we've created a brand-new report that details every must-know side of this stock. To get started, just click here now.

Salt Lake attorney named American College of Bankruptcy fellow

Kenneth L. Cannon II, a shareholder in the law firm of Durham Jones & Pinegar in Salt Lake City, will be inducted as a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy on Friday in Washington, D.C. He is one of 39 nominees nationally being honored and recognized for their professional contributions to the fields of bankruptcy and insolvency."Selection is perhaps the highest honor that can be conferred on a professional," said Kevin R. Pinegar, president of Durham Jones & Pinegar. "(It is) limited to those who have made exceptional professional and scholarly contributions in the field." The American College of Bankruptcy is a professional and educational association. Its fellows include commercial and consumer bankruptcy attorneys, insolvency accountants, turnaround and workout specialists, law professors, judges and government officials. Cannon has spent 30 years representing parties in reorganization cases, in transactions with insolvency issues, as well as in teaching and lecturing, Pinegar said. In addition to his legal practice, Cannon serves as an adjunct professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and as a member of several federal court committees. He is a regular panelist and lecturer at regional and local bar conferences, and formerly was an adjunct faculty member at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He also has published widely in the areas of insolvency, legal history and Western American history.

Chrysler bankruptcy lawyer top pick for Detroit manager

(Reuters) - A bankruptcy expert who collected more than $1 million in fees in Chrysler's restructuring is the top candidate to take over Detroit as emergency financial manager. Kevyn Orr, a partner in Washington with the law firm Jones Day, is expected to be named to the post by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder this week, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Orr, 54, has wide experience in business restructuring and a reputation as a calm leader who thoughtfully considers a range of views. He was Jones Day's third most active partner on the Chrysler restructuring, piling up $1 million in fees in the first year on the case. "Facts are stubborn things, and Kevyn is willing to be bound by those and willing to make courageous decisions," said Ben Wilson, Managing Principal at the Washington law firm Beveridge & Diamond. One decision that Orr is likely to face is whether to recommend the city file for bankruptcy, which, if allowed by the state, would be the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Detroit, the birthplace of the U.S. auto industry and Motown music, has suffered an exodus since the U.S. housing crisis, leaving it with falling tax revenue and rising crime. It has "operational dysfunction" in its government, debt of $14 billion, and a deficit projected to hit more than $100 million when its fiscal year ends on June 30, according to a report commissioned by the governor. On Monday, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the city had chosen Jones Day as its restructuring counsel. The Detroit Free Press later reported that Orr was the top candidate for emergency manager, which Reuters confirmed by a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Orr did not return calls and emails on Tuesday. Snyder declined to comment. CHRYSLER TRACK RECORD Orr established himself as a restructuring leader during Chrysler's intense five-week dash to complete its sale to Fiat in 2009, a turnaround that some considered improbable at the time. He logged $1 million in fees on the Chrysler restructuring in the first year, according to court documents. He billed as much as $750 an hour, above the average hourly rate of $690 for a Jones Day partner. Two other partners, John Papadakis and Adam Plainer, billed at more than $1,000 an hour. During the initial weeks, Orr appeared regularly in court and examined witnesses as Chrysler battled for approval of its sale to Fiat, a deal backed by U.S. government funding. He briefed reporters during court breaks and patiently walked them through the complex proceedings. Before joining Jones Day, Orr was director of the executive office for the U.S. Trustee, the arm of the Justice Department that oversees bankruptcy. Richardo Kilpatrick, a Detroit attorney who worked with Orr in the Trustee's office, said he expected Orr to try to work by consensus rather than by force. "He's got the right skill set to deal with the issues confronted here, if anybody does," Kilpatrick said. Standing behind Orr will be Jones Day, with 2,400 lawyers, making it the world's fourth-largest law firm, according to rankings by the American Lawyer magazine. The firm recently added Bruce Bennett, a Los Angeles-based bankruptcy attorney who is among the most experienced in the country with municipal, or Chapter 9, bankruptcy. Bennett oversaw the bankruptcy of Orange County, California, which at the time was the largest municipal bankruptcy ever. CITY OPPOSITION Orr, originally from Florida, earned his graduate and law degrees at the University of Michigan, according to Jones Day's website. An African-American, he is the chairman of Jones Day's diversity task force. The pick was "very shrewd by the governor," said John Pottow, a professor specializing in bankruptcy law at the University of Michigan Law School. But not everyone reacted positively to reports of his imminent appointment to the job. "Jones Day has a reputation of protecting big banks while leaving out the small people," said Reverend Charles Williams, head of the Michigan chapter of New York-based Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network of community activists. "They'll save bondholders and banks, but not the small, local-based businesses that employ Detroit (residents)." Orr's emergence on Tuesday coincided with a hearing in the state capital, Lansing, where representatives of the Detroit City Council tried to convince state officials not to appoint an emergency manager. David Whitaker, director of the City Council's research and analysis division, said bringing in an outside manager would sideline elected leaders and was "beyond anti-democratic." "Why take a move like that that's so provocative when you have a document in place that everybody's signed onto?" he said, referring to an April 2012 agreement between the city and the state. Edward Keelean, Detroit's acting corporation counsel, warned that the appointment of an emergency manager would trigger court challenges by labor unions and others. An emergency financial manager would have authority over Detroit's fiscal affairs, including contracts, asset sales, layoffs and consolidations. If a manager is appointed, the city can challenge the decision in state court. But such court challenges have failed in Michigan in the past. Michigan Chief Deputy Treasurer Mary MacDowell, who presided over the hearing, said she would review the information presented by city officials and send her recommendation to Snyder. (Reporting by Steve Neavling, additional reporting by Dawson Bell, Tom Hals, Karen Pierog and Ben Klayman; Editing by Eddie Evans, Bernard Orr)

Bankruptcy Court Approves Process for Selling Rhythm & Hues

Despite some late fireworks, a California federal bankruptcy judge has approved an auction for the sale of VFX house Rhythm & Hues. The decision to go ahead with bidding came Wednesday in an eight-page order issued by Judge Neil Bason. South Korea’s JS Communications has been established as the "Stalking Horse Bidder" and will make a $425,000 cash deposit that it will be able to get back if the company ultimately doesn't win the bidding. STORY: Rhythm & Hues Draws Early Bid in Bankruptcy Sale Interested buyers will have to make qualified bids by March 22. The auction commences March 27, and a hearing on the approval of the sale of R&H will happen the following day. In making the decision to go ahead with the auction, Bason noted that he had considered various declarations including the response that was filed by the Committee of Unsecured Creditors. In that filing, the committee questioned the loans that have been allowed to keep R&H in operation and also the proposed auction, saying that liquidation might be a better approach to the recovery of creditors' money. That drew an angry response from 20th Century Fox and R&H's lawyers, who defended how the bankruptcy was playing out. Bason didn't articulate his reasoning in the court documents, but there will be future opportunities for objections to the sale. Parties other than the committee must file oppositions to the proposed sale of assets free and clear of liens, claims and interest by March 25. The committee can file its own objection by March 28, the date in which R&H's future seems likely to be determined.

Portland law firm recovers from bankruptcy to continue legal fight against hormone replacement drugs

A Portland law firm that fell into bankruptcy while waiting out a prolonged legal battle against a big pharmaceutical company has recovered, paid all of its debts and expects the case to be formally closed next month. After nine years of legal maneuvering, Williams Love O'Leary & Powers reached a settlement last year with Pfizer Inc. on behalf of about 500 women who allegedly developed breast cancer or other diseases as a result of using the company's hormone replacement therapy drugs. Terms of the settlement are confidential, firm partner Michael Williams said, but it was enough to pay the firm's debts. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 because it couldn't make payments on a bank loan during the expensive legal fight. The firm continued to operate after the filing, which provided the lawyers some breathing room. "It was a matter of time," Williams said. "We knew they'd eventually settle and it probably be enough to pay (debts), but the timing of it was the problem." Williams Love O'Leary & Powers may be the only law firm to emerge intact from a Chapter 11 reorganization, said Albert Kennedy, an attorney with Portland's Tonkon Torp firm who represented Williams and his partners. "What usually happens is Chapter 11 is almost always used to facilitate an orderly liquidation of the firm," Kennedy said. "The biggest single key was the commitment of the partners to stay together and make this work." In pursuing the Pfizer case, the firm spent $3 million in advance costs such as obtaining expert testimony, travel and other expenses, Kennedy said. The firms’s focus on complicated pharmaceutical litigation made it difficult to ride out the expense. Its cash flow from other work was enough to support daily operations, but not to pay the full amount of bank loans. Kennedy called the firm's survival a "very good result." Williams in particular is a "linchpin of the local legal community, a nationally-known tort lawyer," Kennedy said. "It's very gratifying to see them weather this storm, get their creditors paid off, the landlord paid off, and continue to provide service." The Portland firm's settlement with Pfizer was among an estimated 10,000 lawsuits brought by litigants who claimed the company's hormone-replacement drugs caused breast cancer. A June 2012 report by Bloomberg News said Pfizer had paid $896 million to resolve 60 percent of the cases. Pfizer inherited the litigation in 2009 when it bought Wyeth, which manufactured hormone-therapy drugs such as Prempro. The drug was intended to treat conditions associated with menopause.

Revel CEO resigns weeks before expected bankruptcy filing

ATLANTIC CITY — Kevin DeSanctis, the man who guided Atlantic City's Revel casino-hotel through its tortuous development, only to see it struggle amid the cutthroat East Coast gambling market, is stepping down as head of the $2.4 billion resort. The company announced Wednesday that DeSanctis and chief investment officer Michael Garrity will resign from their positions with Revel Atlantic City but retain their jobs with Revel Group, the holding company that developed the resort and holds its license. There, they will work on developing amenity projects for Revel. Taking over the resort's day-to-day operations is Jeffrey Hartmann, a 20-year veteran of the casino, hospitality and leisure industry. His duties will begin once he is approved by New Jersey casino regulators.The moves come less than two weeks before Revel is expected to file a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that will wipe out about two-thirds of its debt and give lenders a greater equity stake in the resort in return. "Having worked with Jeff for many years, I have no doubt he is the right person to lead Revel AC through the restructuring process and oversee day-to-day operations," DeSanctis said in a statement. "Revel's resort is the marquee asset in the Northeast and with a right-sized balance sheet and under Jeff's stewardship, I am confident that revel is poised for success." The company's board of directors said in a statement that Hartmann is "a natural choice for the role." Hartmann said he is "deeply committed to ensuring that we operate our business as usual, and emerge from this process positioned for long-term success."Revel opened last April but has languished near the bottom of Atlantic City's 12 casinos in terms of gambling revenue. Many hoped that Revel would be the kind of game-changer that Atlantic City desperately needs to shake off a six-plus year stretch of plunging casino revenues and declining market share. But it never really caught on. After reaching a high point of $20 million in revenue last August, Revel's take from gamblers sank, reaching just $6.2 million in November, a month in which all 12 casinos were affected by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Its revenues have since rebounded somewhat to $9 million last month.

Bel Air payroll company AccuPay files for bankruptcy protection

A Bel Air payroll company under investigation for allegedly not forwarding clients' tax payments to tax collectors has filed for bankruptcy. AccuPay Inc. filed a petition for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore, listing 95 creditors and debts of between $100,001 and $500,000. Chapter 7 allows for an orderly liquidation of a company's assets to pay of creditors. A bankruptcy attorney for the company's owners said Wednesday that his clients believe they will have funds available to pay creditors. In the bankruptcy filing, the company lists estimated assets of between $100,001 and $500,000. "The principals believe that there is sufficient money to pay the claims," said James A. Vidmar, the attorney for AccuPay's owner, Beverly Carden. "That's what they think, and that's subject to bankruptcy court procedures." Carden could not be reached Wednesday for comment. The East Churchville Road firm, which has an estimated 500 to 600 clients, shut down at the end of February after a Bel Air veterinary hospital, Animal Emergency Hospital, accused it in a lawsuit of "repeatedly and regularly" failing to pay or making only partial payments of federal and state withholding and unemployment taxes over the past five years. DuClaw Brewing Co. had filed a complaint last summer. Three more AccuPay clients — a law firm, another veterinary clinic and a construction company — then filed lawsuits making similar allegations, bringing the total losses alleged in pending complaints to more than $465,000. The company had been sued by other clients for similar claims about five years ago. Since the recent lawsuits, both the Bel Air Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service have started investigating the firm. Vidmar, AccuPay's bankruptcy attorney, said he did not know how many of the 95 businesses and individuals listed as creditors are clients. Some of those listed could be owed business expenses, he said. "There were 95 potential creditors listed, and a lot are probably owed nothing," Vidmar said. "That's got to play out. When the company abruptly stopped, there may have been deposits in the works and payments in the works. There is money there. The bank accounts are there. There's money there to be distributed." But some creditors worry that relief may come too late to help, or not at all. Gary Burrows, owner of Honor Star Service Inc. of Dallastown, Pa., an AccuPay client that provides snack services to offices, says his company is out about $23,000 worth of payments that AccuPay was supposed to make last year to the IRS and tax collectors in Maryland and Pennsylvania. "It's going to be a long, drawn-out thing," Burrows said. "The tax people are going to want to get paid before all this is settled, and being a small company, we just don't have that money laying around." Vidmar said the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case has begun working with the company and attempting to secure funds that had been frozen as part of a Harford County judge's order. Police in Bel Air have said the investigation could involve hundreds of potential victims — any business that hired AccuPay to handle its payroll and remit its state and federal taxes.

Western Shooting Journal provides better advice than Biden's on shotgun home defense

Check out our April issue of Western Shooting Journal for the full article. Western Shooting Journal's April issue will hit newsstands around the country at the end of March, and can also be purchased online for $1.89/issue. Gun pro Keith Sipmann of Arizona explains how to correctly use a shotgun for home defense, that will not get you arrested, unlike Biden's advice.(click image to enlarge)

Shotgun self-defense tips from Joe Biden

Continuing Resolutions Splitting Conservatives

As Congress fails year after year to agree upon an annual budget, the government is kept limping along through temporary Continuing Resolutions (CRs). The budget is supposed to be adopted each year by October 1st, the beginning of the fiscal year. Instead, Congress has been passing multiple stopgap funding measures each year. Under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats have not passed an annual budget since April 29, 2009. The CR was approved by a vote of 267 to 151, with most Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed. Democrats voted against it because it included deep spending cuts and freezes.
On March 6th, 2012, only sixteen Republicans voted against the latest CR. Erick Erickson of Red State refers to the bulk of them as the “Conservative Fight Club.” Most of them come from the libertarian or Tea Party wings of the Republican Party.
Yet, are they any more principled than the conservatives in the party who voted for the latest CR? Conservative stalwarts like Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) all voted for it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dutch bankruptcies hit record in February

AMSTERDAM -- More Dutch companies declared bankruptcy in February than at any time since records began in 1981. The country's Central Bureau for Statistics also says Monday that on a three-month average, bankruptcies are at their highest level on record: around 680 per month, not counting one-person businesses. The Dutch economy is struggling as the government cuts spending and increases taxes to meet European budget rules that require countries to get their budget deficits down to 3 percent of their annual gross domestic product. Real estate markets are especially weak, due to a glut in office space and cuts in residential mortgage deductions. The country's economic forecasting office expects the Dutch economy to shrink for the second year running in 2013 before muted growth returns in 2014. Read more here:

Onondaga County bankruptcies: March 7

These are commercial and personal bankruptcies filed recently in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York in Utica. The list includes major unsecured creditors of more than $5,000 when available. Bankruptcy definitions: Chapter 7, debtor sells assets in return for discharge of debts; Chapter 11, debtor company reorganizes under court supervision; Chapter 12, family farm repays debt; Chapter 13, debtor arranges plan to repay debt. March 7 Karl E. Ashley and Kristine M. Ashley, Clay, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Spruce Mountain Pioneers LLC, Hermon, $143,960. Richard G. Bracy Sr., also known as Richard Bracy and Claire M. Bracy, formerly doing business as Richard G. Bracy JMJ Taxi, Weedsport, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Social Security Administration, Syracuse, $14,000. Katrina Y. Brooks, Syracuse, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: Social Security Administration, Salt Lake City, Utah, $29,204. Heather A. Buff, Skaneateles, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Bank of America Corp., El Paso, Texas, $21,354. Mark William Cole, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: HSBC Finance Corp., Brandon, Fla., $19,397. Gene A. Corrice Jr. and Angela K. Corrine, formerly known as Angela K. Gordon, North Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: SLM Corp., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., $22,650. Daniel R. Duffy, Camillus, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: F.W. Webb Co., Bedford, Mass., $53,015. John J. Dunn III, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Bank of America Corp., Wilmington, Del., $7,405. Jennie M. Flood, Clay, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: JPMortan Chase & Co., Wilmington, Del., $15,000. Eleni W. Georgiades, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Bank of America Corp., Wilmington, Del., $12,120. Norman J. Harp III and Stephanie A. Harp, also known as Stephanie A. Ventura, Liverpool, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Carolina Collegiate, Columbia, S.C., $6,424. Jacob C. Hopp and Christina L. Hilton-Hopp, formerly known as Christina L. Hilton, also known as Christina L. Hopp, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: SLM Corp., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., $34,734. Jonna L. Wright, formerly known as Jonna L. Barker, Jonna L. Laribee, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Oneida Healtcare Center, Oneida, $14,921. Henry D. McNeill and Nancy M. McNeill, formerly known as Nancy M. Gannon, Jordan, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: Citigroup Inc., Kansas City, Mo., $13,766. Kathleen I. Mirarcki, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wilmington, Del., $8,546. Matthew C. Mosher, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Amercican Education Services, Harrisburg, Pa., $7,597. Wilma M. Nixon, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, $5,000. Margarita Ortiz, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Bank of America Corp., El Paso, Texas, $10,543. JoAnne K. Parkhurst, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: HSBC Finance Corp., Elmhurst, Ill., $9,693. Bernard D. Perkins, Brewerton, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Target Corp., Minnepolis, Minn., $6,090. William David Prue, Manlius, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Empower Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, $5,017. Christine Rigle, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Citigroup Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D., $6,300. Sharon S. Boatwright, also known as Sharon S. Salmond, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: SLM Corp., Wilkes-Barre, Pa., $28,420. Kevin M. Sass, Liverpool, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Elan Financial Services, St. Louis, Mo., $5,341. Michael S.S. Shenouda, Syracuse, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Indianapolis, Ind., $18,348. Leslie T. Sparks Jr. and Helen Grace Sparks, Baldwinsville, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: Vital Recovery Services, Norcross, Ga, $8,222. Eric D. Williams and Cynthia J. Williams, Liverpool, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: RAC Acceptance, Plano, Texas, $6,541.

Regional bankruptcies: March 1

These are commercial and personal bankruptcies of $5,000 or more filed recently in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York in Utica. The list includes major unsecured creditors when available. Bankruptcy definitions: Chapter 7, debtor sells assets in return for discharge of debts; Chapter 11, debtor company reorganizes under court supervision; Chapter 12, family farm repays debt; Chapter 13, debtor arranges plan to repay debt. March 7 Sherry Britton-Susino, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Capital One Auto Finance, Plano, TX, $9,212. Jodie M. Hudack, formerly known as Jodie M. Brooks, Jodie M. Gorzynski, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: First National Bank Credit Card Center, Omaha, NE, $14,619. Robert R. Hatfield and Susanne R. Hatfield, Pulaski, Chapter 13, major unsecured creditor: Galaxy Asset Purchasing LLC, Atlanta, GA, $16,639. Jeffery A. Hoffman, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: M & T Bank, Buffalo, $13,256. Donald C. Livingston, Jr. and Melodie A. Livingston, Pennellville, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Citibank, Sioux Falls, SD, $20,995. Mark P. Moberg and Patricia L. Moberg, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Capital One Auto Finance, Plano, TX, $9,783. Ralph D. Paro and Amy S. Paro, Fulton, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Diamler Chrysler LLC, East Syracuse, $9,086. Melissa A. Pullano, formerly known as Melissa Pullano-Hannel, Fulton, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Community General Hospital, Syracuse, $14,346. Brenda L. Southgate and Edward A. Southgate, Oswego, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Social Security Administration, Jamaica, $12,341. Rodney F. Trumble, Richland, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Onemain, Hanover, MD, $5,497. John W. White, West Monroe, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Discover Card/DB Servicing Corp, Charlotte, NC, $9,450. Charles M. Burns and Lisa M. Burns, Weedsport, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Chase Auto Finance, Tampa, FL, $12,120. Jessica L. Ladd, Hannibal, Chapter 7, major unsecured creditor: Department of Education, Oklahoma City, OK, $28,850.