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Auction Governor could turn San Quentin into tourist trap

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POSTED August 11, 2009 1:25 a.m.

It’s clear that California is such a bad credit risk that not even Cash Call.com – the payday loan servcie with sky high interest rates that Gary Coleman, one of Arnold’s former 1,001 opponents in the recall election, serves as a pitchman – will loan Sacramento money.


That’s why Arnold Schwarzenegger may be on to something in his bid to morph from the “Action Governor” into the “Auction Governor” by proposing to sell off some state property as well as close a number of state parks.


It would make more sense, though, instead of selling San Quentin – one of the assets he wants to let go to the highest bidder – California should keep it and turn it over to the state park system.


Let’s face it. Arnold’s plan to terminate justice in California by releasing 30,000 state prisoners as part of the rip-off of public trust that is the sham called a state budget means there won’t be much use for San Quentin. Besides, federal judges want the prisoner release number upped to 40,000 due to overcrowding.


If NUMNI shuts down its auto assembly plant in Fremont that means they’ll be 40,000 career criminals competing with 40,000 assembly workers and employees at firms that provide parts for Toyotas  jockeying for jobs. These soon-to-be released prisoners have to find some type of work or police forces that are being whacked back due to the state stealing revenue left and right from cities are going to be overwhelmed.
That is where San Quentin and a couple dozen or so strategically placed closed state parks come into play.


First, California needs to convert San Quentin into a tourist attraction and charge $20 a pop. If you think this is crazy try booking a spot on a tour of Alcatraz Island. It is now arguably San Francisco’s No. 1 tourist attraction requiring the booking of tickets several weeks out.
Let Arnold’s buddies in Hollywood make a couple of films similar to “The Rock” which whipped up an international mystic for the former federal penitentiary in the middle of San Francisco Bay and San Quentin could be the next big thing.


The state could one up the federal attraction by hiring 4,000 of the prisoners they release to actually live 24/7 in San Quentin to give tour groups a glimpse at what it is really like. If French and Japanese tourists will pay $20 a pop to walk through an empty federal prison, imagine what they’d pay to tour one staffed with real criminals?


Heck, you could even use San Quentin as a venue for a Johnny Cash sound-alike concert.


Cashing in on crime is not one-dimensional.


A week doesn’t go by that there isn’t a story of law enforcement of agents harvesting tens of millions dollars of illegally grown pot in a remote location of various state parks.


Why not simply eliminate the middle man? You have 30,000 potential employees with a high concentration of people with skills in growing the stuff that are going to need jobs in the coming months. The state could hire them to take over state parks to grow pot.


While both suggestions are tongue in cheek and growing pot is illegal both fit right in with the shenanigans going on up in Sacramento these days under the guise of responsible governance.


Pot growing is illegal but so is financial fraud and violating constitutional mandates. If Sacramento has no problem breaking those laws what’s the big deal about the State of California trafficking in pot?

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com



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