The Power of the Legislature

If people in glass houses throw stones … you have the right to throw them back

Jim Untershine, GZS of LB, 11-26-02

Stephen Horn, R-Long Beach, representing the 38th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, may have started a chain reaction that could possibly reach critical mass upon his retirement. Stephen Horn had the clarity to identify a serious problem that threatened his constituents and possessed a thorough understanding of oversight procedures that allowed redress of grievances by the Legislature. This chain reaction was the result of one letter. I have never talked to Steve Horn personally or any member of his staff

Stephen Horn has instilled in me the crazy idea that "the system may actually work" and has restored my faith in human nature. Stephen Horn was the only person to offer assistance in my desperate attempt to resist fraud and undue influence by the Los Angeles Department of Child Support Services (LA DCSS). Stephen Horn was informed of this unlawful persecution along with the CA Attorney General, a civil court judge, a criminal court judge, a Public Defender, a District Attorney, a political science professor, the DCSS, the ANCPR, the ACFC, and the FBI.

Stephen Horn contacted Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, representing the 54th District in California, who urged the DCSS Public Information and Response Unit (PI&RU) to initiate the Complaint Resolution and State Hearing process. I have personally met and spoke with Alan Lowenthal at my home on 2 separate occasions prior to 1995 (during his house to house canvassing for votes in the Long Beach Heights area). I was impressed enough with Alan Lowenthal's grassroots ideals to actually vote for him that year, while I voted for Ross Perot in a desperate attempt to keep Clinton out of office.

The State Hearing process mentioned above was implemented in 07-01-01 as mandated by Assembly Bill 472 (which was passed into California law in 1999) and was part of legislation that separated the District Attorney from Child Support Services. AB 472 was deemed necessary after a 1999 Bureau of State Audits report found that the child support enforcement program in California was lacking in many areas, including a sense of overall vision and uniformity of practice. . DCSS is responsible for the administration and ultimate outcomes of the State Hearing process related to child support services. DCSS has contracted with the California Department of Social Services (DSS) State Hearing Office (SHO) to conduct the hearings

Although I was shown the door to a State Hearing, it was up to me to walk through it. I found that there is a difference between knowing the path to my State Hearing and actually walking the path. After Stephen Horn and Alan Lowenthal expressed their interest in this matter, I was sentenced to jail for 60 days for ignoring the same court order that I have been trying to convince LA DCSS to recognize since 01-99. I was put in jail with the completed "Request for State Hearing" form in my hand and was forced to send it to Sacramento in a LA County Jail envelope that was given to me by a fellow inmate. I was a high-power, contempt of court, K10, keep away, and was held down the hall from Robert Blake (who is accused of cheating Family Law justice in California).

After my release from "debtor's prison" I was contacted by the Local Ombudsperson investigating this matter, I was later contacted by the LA DCSS State Hearing Representative (SHR), and I was later contacted by the "District Attorney" days before the State Hearing. This "District Attorney" contacted me later that same day and admitted the billing was fraudulent and promised that it would be corrected in the next month's billing statement. This "District Attorney" told me there was no reason to attend the State Hearing, and that it only involved an Administrative Law judge and it didn't amount to much anyway. Despite changing the hearing time, changing the hearing address, and holding the hearing in a different room, I somehow managed to walk through the door to my State Hearing.

My State Hearing was held on 11-12-02 and I am currently awaiting the official decision. I was allowed to show an Administrative Law Judge from the Department of Social Services (DSS) that the fragmented California Family Law system has caused LA DCSS to:

Steve Horn and Alan Lowenthal were instrumental in allowing me to steal a peek at due process. These heroes of the Legislative Branch may soon be hailed as the newest American Patriots in this new age of accountability and an urgency to identify the ways and means by which implements of our own creation can be used by independent entities as a weapon of mass destruction against us.

The state of California may become aware that the fate of our families are in the hands of a band of profiteers from Denver, CO who aspire to "Do socially useful work, have fun, and make money" while attempting to "create an environment that allows their employees to take risks without being punished for their mistakes". Policy Studies Inc (PSI) was paid $250,000 to conduct a 3 month investigation into the accounting practices of LA DCSS while I was being double billed. PSI was recently contracted by the California Judicial Council to conduct the "Four Year Review" of our state child support guideline. While PSI insured that our state's child support guideline remains the highest in the nation, PSI failed to identify the fragmented system that prohibits compliance with the federal mandate that allows this state to practice Child Support Enforcement (CSE).

"If you are truly in the right, you have God on your side, and you constitute a majority of one" (Henry David Thoreau)

Jim Untershine, 824 E Pass Rd #3, Gulfport, MS 39507,,

Thank you and farewell,1413,204%257E21479%257E1009682,00.html

Stephen Horn

Press Telegram, Sections: Opinion

The end of the 107th Congress marks the end of my decade as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and this is also the last column I will be writing as your congressman (although our Lakewood office will remain open until Dec. 31).

Leaving Congress is an event I view with many emotions -- especially gratitude for the high honor of serving and satisfaction with specific accomplishments. But among the emotions I do not feel are the anger, disappointment and bitterness voiced by many people as they leave public life. Indeed, I would like to use this opportunity to say thank you.

Thank you to the thousands of people who have called, written, or come to a meeting during the past 10 years. Whether we agreed or disagreed, I learned from every conversation and every letter. It is both inspiring and humbling to realize the amount of common sense, and the number of good ideas, that are possessed by the American people. I also want to say thank you to the members of the media for 10 years of accurate coverage. Although politicians of both the right and the left often charge the media with bias, I have found that almost all reporters are interested in getting the facts straight and being fair.

No U.S. representative gets anything done without the help of an able staff. I have been blessed with outstanding aides who have worked to help the nation and the people of the 38th District. The Washington staff, under the fine leadership of first Jim Dykstra and currently Dave Bartel has shepherded legislation through both Houses of Congress and fought hard to promote the interests of our area.

Their work saved the Air Force's C-17 project that represents thousands of jobs in our area -- and that has performed so well, including on recent missions in Afghanistan. We secured the federal funding for the Alameda Corridor that allowed the project to be completed on time and on budget. Then we gained the federal funds to complete -- five years ahead of schedule -- the flood control project along the Los Angeles River which lifted the flood insurance mandate on tens of thousands of property owners. The staff also delivered on dozens of other projects ranging from freeway improvements and enhancements at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, to a ZIP code for Signal Hill and grants for educational institutions such as California State University, Long Beach.

The district office in Lakewood has been ably led by the dedicated and energetic Connie Martinez Sziebl. She and her staff have worked tirelessly to help thousands of residents who had problems with the federal bureaucracy -- everything from missing Social Security checks to incorrect flood insurance premiums.

The achievements of the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations, which I have chaired since 1995, would have been impossible without the talented staff led for seven years by J. Russell George and now by Bonnie Heald. The subcommittee has focused on the nitty-gritty issues of saving a buck and making things run better. It's major legislative achievement is the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which has saved $14 billion in taxpayer dollars by better collection of debts owed to the government. Through hundreds of investigative hearings, the subcommittee also spearheaded the successful effort to deal with the year 2000 (Y2K) computer conversion, and made a major effort to improve both the financial management of the federal government and its computer security.

Heartfelt thanks are also owed to the voters of this district and the hundreds of people who volunteered on five hard- fought campaigns. Led by Anne Cramer, Steve Conley, Marcia Horn and Steve Horn, Jr., we proved that you can win by running all-volunteer campaigns and without taking Political Action Committee (PAC) money -- if you have solid local support and treat the voters intelligently.

Finally, there are two other thank yous -- one personal, the other general. The personal thank you is to my wife of 48 years, Nini, who has volunteered in the Washington office for the past decade and helped thousands of constituents. The general thank you is the people who protect us at home -- our police and firefighters -- and to the members of our armed forces who protect us around the world.

As we gather with our families and give thanks for our many blessings this week, let us also say a special prayer for these brave men and women who endure hard conditions and are willing, at a moment's notice, to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Steve Horn returns
Governance: A broad career grounded in results and in principle,1413,204%257E21479%257E1009671,00.html

Press Telegram, Sections: Opinion

Stephen P. Horn, Ph.D, scholar, university president, expert in government efficiency, political reformer and member of the Congress of the United States, is coming home. His work is done.

It would not be done if his constituents had anything to say about it. Congressman Horn, as residents of his district know all too well, got gerrymandered out of his seat by partisan deal-makers who care more about political ease than equity; otherwise the office likely was his as long as he wanted it.

More than a few voters, Republican or Democrat or whatever, would have put him in the race for governor if they'd had the chance, and by any reckoning he would have been the best candidate. He also would have been the most unusual.

Horn knows governance as a political scientist, a historian and a politician: in theory, in fact, in context and in reality. Yet he always approached governance as an idealist: responding, often personally, to the most mundane pleas of his constituents; assigning himself the unglamorous but fruitful task of overseeing government efficiency; and refusing to accept "soft" money, thereby risking his political career at every election as a matter of principle.

Soft money, as probably few of his constituents really understood, is the most corruptive influence in our noble but vulnerable system of government. Soft money also lends itself to no easy remedy. Therefore soft money has few real opponents among politicians, and even fewer who refuse to collect it.

That is so like Horn. He is fully able intellectually and emotionally to manage the human as well as the practical challenges of government, but he never takes the easy way unless it is also the right way. For that, he has willingly paid a price.

When he served as president of Cal State University, from 1970 to 1988, it was somewhat the same. Horn was unyielding in his determination to raise that institution from its modest beginnings as a teachers' college to an academic status previously unimagined. His efforts caused serious damage to relations with his faculty, but he got the job done.

Some of the problems with faculty were Horn's fault. Nobody's perfect. But whatever his faults, they have nothing to do with his personal relationships. Among the thousands who eagerly volunteered to help him at the university and later in his political work, none were more lovingly dedicated than his gracious wife of 48 years, Nini; and the steadfast manager of his campaigns, Steve Horn Jr. As for his staff members, as a letter to the editor on this page suggests, they adore him.

If you haven't had the good fortune to get acquainted personally with Steve (as he likes to be known, despite all his pedigrees), you might like to read his last column, which appears on the facing page. You will find, without surprise, that it is an honest account. If you have had the good fortune to know him well, you probably will find something closer to your heart.