Incensed by Richmond’s resolution calling for his impeachment and its lawsuit challenging his authority to reduce federal funding for so-called “sanctuary cities,” President Trump fired off a series of Tweets aimed directly at the City of Richmond.
It seems that Trump more or less expected California’s wealthier enclaves like San Francisco and Santa Clara County to defy him, but the sheer audacity of a small and relatively poor community like Richmond was simply too much. It caused the Trump train to leave the rails.
And it wasn’t just Trump. His staff and cabinet acted swiftly to rain punishment on Richmond before the courts have a chance to even consider a temporary injunction.
On March 27, in the Washington Post article, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeats Trump threat that ‘sanctuary cities’ could lose Justice Department grants,” Sessions said, ”local agencies must comply with federal rules when it comes to deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. Sessions said jurisdictions would not be eligible for grant money if they could not certify compliance with a law against blocking the sharing of information about a person’s immigration status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Sessions specifically addressed Richmond, saying, “Communities like Richmond, CA, that have not only defied us but have initiated litigation to thwart us will be the first to suffer removal of their law enforcement grants. I’m demanding they begin by turning in their Federal grant-financed body cameras next week. We paid for those, and we will find a more receptive police department to give them to.”
In an interview with Fox News today, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson told Sean Hannity that he had ordered the entire assets of the Richmond Housing Authority and the $27 million annual operating subsidy transferred to the Contra Costa County Housing Authority by the end of the first week of April.
“Contra Costa County has its s**t together,” said Carson. Unlike Richmond’s misguided police chief, Sheriff David Livingston understands the need to both incarcerate and deport undocumented immigrants to restore law and order.”
“He [Livingston] also knows where the money is coming from,” added Carson. “He rakes in $6 million a year from the Federal government housing ICE detainees in his county jail, and he’s going to build an even bigger jail so he can take in even more. He’s the kind of law enforcement guy we can do business with.”
Richmond Housing Authority Director Tim Jones, seeing the Trump-writing on the wall, resigned from Richmond on March 22 to take a job with the San Jose Housing Department. “HUD has always been a challenge,: said Jones, “ and if Carson thinks he is punishing Richmond by transferring our Housing Authority, he is deceiving himself. His action would be like throwing B’rer Rabbit in the briar patch.”
Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis told Breitbart News today that the Department of the Navy would be moving swiftly to reclaim Point Molate. Mattis noted that the Dellums legislation permitted the conveyance of Point Molate to the City of Richmond at no cost but included the condition that it be used for “economic development.”
“Here is exactly what the legislation says,” cited Mattis. “The conveyance authorized under subsection (a) shall be subject to the condition that the City, directly or through an agreement with a public or private entity, use the conveyed property (or offer the conveyed property or use) for economic redevelopment to replace all or a part of the economic activity being lost at the parcel.”
“The City of Richmond has been sitting on Point Molate for over 15 years,” explained Mattis, “and the only economic development we’ve seen has been the stolen copper wire sold for scrap.
“They had a perfectly good opportunity to build a casino, and they blew it. My boss, President Trump, knows a thing or two about casinos, and I believe he is going to make sure that Point Molate now gets the casino it deserves.”
Perhaps the biggest blow is the plan of Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to close down and relocate Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. ”Those idiots in Richmond don’t deserve a national park,” complained Zinke. “I respect Rosie the Riveter and I honor the Home Front, but I am going to move that park to a red state that supported Trump and respects law and order.”
“We are thinking either Louisiana or Montana,” said Zinke. “Those people know what patriotism looks like. At this time, New Orleans is in the lead. We are thinking of moving Rosie next door to the WWII Museum, sort of a twofer.”
In an interview this morning with the East Bay Times, Iconic Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin said, “At my age, relocating will be a strain, but I have roots in New Orleans, and a tolerance for heat and humidity is in my genes. If I have to do it, I’ll do it.”
“I’ve had [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions investigate these [Richmond] people, and what I found out is that they have been bullying and hectoring their local Chevron refinery for years, extorting their hard-earned profits through punitive taxes and exactions. This is endangering America’s energy supply, and it must be stopped.”
“Didn’t they read my March 28 Executive Order on ‘Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth? Asked Trump. Oil, coal and nuclear are in; solar, wind and energy conservation are out. The new direction is ‘burn, baby, burn!’”
“Secretary Tillerson agrees with me. He knows the Chevron people from his days at Exxon and meetings of the Western States Petroleum Association, and he tells me there isn’t a finer group of leaders and innovators anywhere.”
Trump also told Fox News that Richmond had been trying to stop coal trains and oil trains carrying volatile shale oil from traveling through the community. “We’ll see about that,” Trump bragged, I just unstuck the Keystone Pipeline, and I will go after oil and coal trains next. Secretary Chao, who oversees the Federal Railroad Administration, will get those trains rolling immediately.
The Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) convened an emergency meeting last night to discuss the situation. Council Member Melvin Willis vowed, “We have to fight this. ACCE will lead a group of protesters to Washington, DC. Next week. We will picket the White House, and we won’t leave until Trump backs down.”
SEIU, CNA and AFSCME volunteered to pay for a fleet of buses to make the trip and to arrange home stays with sympathetic locals for the activists while they are in Washington. Seats are limited, so reserve early at 510-620-6581 to make the trip to Washington, DC.
Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway told a group of Republican Congressmen, “If those so-called judges of the Ninth Circuit enjoin us to delay enforcement, it will be too late. The money will be gone. Even if Richmond appeals to the Supreme Court, we will have Gorsuch in place by then and beat them. In the end, there is no way they can win this – no way they can beat Trump.”
And so it goes on April 1, 2017.