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Republican National Committee member Shawn Steel paints bleak picture of his party in California

October 16, 2019

 by Kevin Cody

Midway through Shawn Steel’s dark depiction of California politics, an impatient sounding listener shouted out from a table near the front of the Manhattan Country Club dining room, “How do we get the state back from the Democrats?”

The question reflected the fact that Democrats hold all six statewide offices, a supermajority (61 of 80 seats) in the State Assembly and 29 of 40 State Senate seats. Democrats also hold 46 of the state’s 53 Congressional seats.

Steel is a member of the California and National Republican committees. He was the keynote speaker at the annual South Bay Republican Party Awards Dinner at the country club last Saturday.

Steel’s response to the question shouted out to him was blunt.

“We’re not going to,” he said.

“We have a chance to win five California Congressional seats in 2020. My guess is we’ll win two. Four million Californians have fled the state since 1995. Two-thirds of them were Republicans,” he said.

California, under Democratic leadership, is not only dark, but getting darker, he suggested.

“We have rolling blackouts, like you’d get in Venezuela, or a war zone. We have burdensome taxes. Children can’t afford to buy the homes they were raised in. ‘Smash and grab’ criminals know if they steal less than $950 they’re issued a get out of jail ticket.”

“Homelessness is spreading like a cancer. We don’t have a homeless problem,” he said. “We have a transient problem. The state spends over $1 million [per year] on each transient and is considering giving them Uber vouchers. I’d put them on the beach and give them a valet. A valet at $80,000 a year would be cheaper,” he said, eliciting an uncomfortable chuckle from his beach city audience.

“One day, California will run out of money and there will be rioting by state employees,” he said.

Then circling back to how Republicans can “take back the state,” he observed, “I’m looking forward to those days.”

Steel defended his contrarian position by inviting a comparison of today’s California to 1910 when populist Republican Hiram Johnson was elected governor. The public, in the early 1900s, had become so angry with the legislature that they supported Johnson’s legislation to circumvent the legislature through initiatives, referendums and recalls. During Steel’s introduction Saturday evening by former State Assemblyman David Hadley, Hadley noted that Steel was the organizer and first signatory to the recall initiative against Gray Davis, which led to the election of Republican Governor Arnold Schwatzzneger in 2002.  
Following Hiram Johnson, Republicans remained in power for 70 years,” Steel noted.

Steel attributed the California Republicans’ dismal showing in the 2018 Congressional elections in 2018 to being out maneuvered and outspent. The Party lost seven seats to Democrats, including all four seats in Orange County, where Steel lives.

“I like Rohrabacher,” he said, referring to three-term Orange County Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who lost his seat in 2018 to Democrat Harley Rouda. “But pot and Putin were a bad combination. Dana should have kept them in the closet,” Steel said. During the 2018 election, Rohrabacher wore a baseball cap that read “Make Cannabis Great Again” and was dubbed Putin’s favorite Congressman. Rohrabacher once arm wrestled Putin and lost.

“Money doesn’t talk, it swears,” Steel said, after noting the Democrats poured $200 million into California Congressional races in 2018.

“In the 2020 Congressional elections, 15 Republicans are resigning.That’s a good thing. Because 12 are in safe districts and most of our candidates in those districts are women.” 
Earlier in the evening, South Bay Republican Club chair Janice Webb, who is black, spoke of the need for Republicans to shed their image as the party of old white men. “We are the party of diversity,” Webb said. As evidence, she pointed to the California Republican Party’s Latina chairperson Jessica Patterson, and to the California Republican Assembly’s first black president Johnnie Morgan.

Steel, during his comments about Trump, pointed out that nationally, 40 percent of voters are middle income whites. 
“Trump speaks to them in a way that hurts my ears,” he said. Later he said of Trump, “I can’t keep my eyes off of him. I don’t know what he’ll say next.”

Steel was a supporter of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign but told his listeners, it’s important to reelect Trump.

The impeachment effort, rather than hurt Trump’s reelection chances, will help, Steel argued.

“Democrats think an impeachment will drive up the president’s negative numbers. But voters are tired of the political games. After Clinton was impeached his approval numbers went up. Democrats don’t understand that,” he said.

After glancing at his cell phone, and reporting that USC was down 13 to 23 against Notre Dame, Steel invoked a football metaphor

“We can’t go up the middle. We need to know where to push.”.

Steel said his efforts during the 2020 election will be focused on reclaiming Rohrabacher’s Congressional seat. The Republican candidate for the seat is his Korean-born wife Michelle Eunjoo Park Steel, an Orange County Supervisor. Steel did not mention illegal immigration during his talk, but spoke favorably of the fact that 15 percent of the residents in the district his wife is seeking to represent are Vietnamese.

Steel left his guests with a reason to feel upbeat about at least one branch of government. Under Trump, two Supreme Court Justices and 43 Appellate Court judges have been appointed.

“Those judges will be in the political bloodstream for 25 years,” he said. ER

2019 Republican Of The Year

October 12, 2019

Shawn Steel, RNC California National Committeeman is in the South Bay this weekend!

October 10, 2019

RNC Unanimously Passes Resolution Opposing Forced Organ Harvesting in China

August 07, 2019

The Republican National Committee (RNC) called out China’s notorious human rights abuses by passing a resolutionto condemn the Chinese regime’s “vile practice” of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting, making it the first “on record” statement from a major U.S. political party on the issue.

Unanimously passed on Aug. 2 by the 168-member body, the bill was the latest action by Western entities to raise awareness about the issue. In 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning China for such practices.

RNC Committeeman for California Shawn Steel, who spearheaded the effort, said he felt motivated after a June 17 ruling by a London-based independent people’s tribunal that concluded forced organ harvesting—or the practice of extracting human organs forcibly from individuals for profitable transplant surgery—has taken place in China over the past two decades “on a significant scale.”

He said the tribunal was probably “the most important fact-finding group” that has “gotten to the heart of the matter” on the issue.

The tribunal, headed by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who previously led the prosecution of former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal, described forced organ harvesting as “unmatched wickedness, even compared—on a death-for-death basis—with the killings by mass crimes committed in the last century.”

'Unbelievably Cruel'

The tribunal ruling found that practitioners of Falun Gong (Falun Dafa), a spiritual discipline with moral teachings and meditative exercises that has been severely persecuted by the Chinese regime since 1999, are the principal victims of forced organ harvesting in China.

The adherents make up the majority of China’s prisoners of conscience. Hundreds of thousands are detained at one time inside China’s detention facilities, where they are often subject to torture and psychiatric abuse, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Many Falun Gong survivors, some who testified at the London tribunal, have recounted receiving medical examinations such as blood tests while in prison, despite continually being subjected to harsh treatment.

China performs about 60,000 to 90,000 transplants per year by conservative estimates, according to the tribunal. This is “far in excess of the number of their voluntary organ donations,” the resolution states. The tribunal had concluded that forced organ harvesting likely makes up the shortfall.

“Chinese hospitals are able to schedule transplants of major organs within two weeks, suggesting a nefarious intuition regarding the ‘donation’ of these organs,” the resolution states.

“You don’t get a vital human organ in two weeks in America. It takes a year, it takes a long time. People die every day waiting for a volunteer donor,” Steel said.

“It can’t go away because thousands of victims are being involved every year in China, that’s too big of a number to hide,” Steel said.

He called the medical examinations inside Chinese prisons for organ donation matches “unbelievably cruel,” and likened the practice to Nazi doctors such as Josef Mengele at German concentration camps who conducted medical experiments on Jewish prisoners’ bodies.

Raising Awareness

It took Steel some time to truly believe the organ harvesting allegations—until the tribunal’s findings became public.

Initially, he thought the horrific acts were an “anomaly,” he said. His first exposure to the issue was during a trip to Helsinki, Finland years ago, when a street exhibition by a group of local Falun Gong practitioners caught his notice. Steel said he was skeptical because it seemed “too incredible.”

“What kind of society would allow that to happen? … The story is so unbelievable that you mention this to most people—we have several doctors at the Republican National Committee, they didn’t believe it. They never imagined it.”

Steel said that passage of the resolution is just the first step in shedding light on the organ harvesting practice on an international stage.

The American universities, foundations, and doctors should disassociate themselves with Chinese medical entities or face penalties for collaborating with them on transplantation research, he said.

He also called for the United States government to follow the lead of Israel and Taiwan and enact laws preventing American citizens from traveling to China for organ transplant surgeries.

“They are getting it from young people who are being sacrificed … for their body parts,” he said.



California Democrats push bill allowing noncitizens to hold party leadership roles

July 02, 2019

By Andrew O'Reilly | Fox News

California state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, is spearheading a bill that would allow noncitizens to serve as state convention delegates and county committee leaders with the Democratic Party. 

California lawmakers proposed a bill last week that, if passed, would give noncitizens the chance to serve in state and local Democratic Party leadership positions.

While current state law limits the ability of noncitizens to participate in party politics, the new bill (SB288) would let them serve as state convention delegates and county committee leaders with the Democratic Party, allowing them to be involved in the party platform and other issues.

California state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco who was one of the lawmakers behind SB288, did not return Fox News’ request for comment but speaking to reporters last Friday said that the new bill was meant both as a way for noncitizens to have a say in the policies of the California Democratic Party -- and as a rebuke of the Trump administration’s hardline immigration stance.


“We need to continue to send a very, very loud message that we are ... going to embrace and uplift and support all American immigrant neighbors,” Wiener said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He added that the current White House has caused a great amount of "fear and anxiety" among many immigrants.

The bill would only be applicable to leadership and delegate positions within the Democratic Party, and would not apply to the California Republican Party.

Local Democratic officials, in discussing the bill, suggested it could apply to some undocumented immigrants including so-called Dreamers -- young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children who were given a temporary deportation reprieve under the Obama administration.

SB288 has been widely panned by Republicans in the state, who argue that the measure is less about helping immigrants and more about Democrats "pandering" to the party’s progressive base.

“It’s abject pandering and arrogance,” Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committeeman for California, told Fox News. “This is what happens when you have too much power…it’s just progressives trying to out-progressive each other.”

In an already liberal-leaning state, Democrats won supermajority control of both houses of the state legislature last November and retained control of the governor’s mansion when then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom easily defeated his Republican opponent, John Cox.

Given the party’s control in Sacramento and that the bill only pertains to the Democrat’s delegates and committees, SB288 appears poised to pass easily through the legislature and make its way to Newsom’s desk.

“Democrats can do whatever they want in California right now,” Steel said. “They think nobody is going to oppose them.”


Undercover video reveals brutal treatment of Falun Gong prisoners inside Chinese labor camps

May 20, 2019

By Bill Lelugin, FOX 11

A California family is taking their fight to the Chinese government after they say their loved one was tortured and killed inside of a Chinese labor camp nearly 20 years ago, simply for supporting the spiritual meditation practice known as Falun Gong. Now, never before seen undercover video given to FOX 11 is revealing what life is like for political prisoners inside of those Chinese labor camps.

In 1999, the Chinese government ordered the eradication Falun Gong, calling it a “heretical” organization that threatened social stability.

The communist government began arresting and imprisoning hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, and shipped them to labor camps where they were to be “re-educated”.

Yifei Wang was there with her sister that day. She’s a former journalist for the Chinese communist party, now living in California after fleeing her home country.

Wang and her sister were holding signs in support of Falun Gong. Both were arrested, separated, and imprisoned for doing so.

Yifei was eventually released thanks to a sympathetic guard, but her sister, Kefei, never made it out. After four months spent in a Chinese labor camp, her family was told Kefei died of a heart attack. But after seeing her condition at the hospital, they allege she was tortured to death. Now, almost 20 years later, they believe her body is still being held by the labor camp.

In 2015, Yifei’s husband, Gordon, traveled to China, and visited the Jilin women’s labor camp where Kefei died. There, he filmed undercover video, and waited an hour and a half with other family to meet with the new labor camp director.

“It’s been 15 years and we haven’t seen it, we just want to see the body,” a family member said. “We want to know if it’s still here, we write every year to request to see the body.”

“It’s still here,” the director replies. “We pay the morgue fees every year, I sign for it every year, every six months.”

During the course of the conversation, the director says the family can’t see the body.

“You want to see the body, I can do that, if you agree she died naturally,” the director says.

“You don’t have proof it was natural,” the family replies. “To put it simply, director, she didn’t die of normal causes!”

The family ended up leaving the camp empty handed, but Gordon tells FOX 11, he’ll never stop trying.

“I wanted to get the truth out about Kefei’s death,” he said. “And I wanted to get her body released. I want to be able to give testimony about the things that happened to my family. The government doesn’t follow any laws. I will never give up to get her body back.”

The ordeal has been a burden on Yifei and the family over the years. At the very mention of Kefei, she begins to sob.

“I can’t even think about her, because when I do, it always breaks my heart,” she said. “I think about when we were young and would play together, she was a brilliant girl.”

Ming Yu is a friend of the family who was also imprisoned for supporting Falun Gong.

“I was a very successful businessman, I had a clothing factory, I employed over 100 people, but after the persecution began, I lost my business,” he said.

Yu told FOX 11 he was able to shoot undercover video at a labor camp he was imprisoned at by bribing a guard.

He says he filmed it at a notorious labor camp during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, alleging it shows Falun Gong practitioners being forced to work extremely long hours to make products sold all over the world.

Yu says the workers were given no breaks, and some were so exhausted they fell asleep under the tables they were working on. He also filed video of a Falun Gong practitioner he says was severely injured by guards at the camp. The man is shackled to his bed, and underweight, with lesions on his skin.

“If you’re ever caught doing this kind of thing, videotaping the details of what’s happening in these camps, you would lose your life,” he said. “The Chinese Communist party has a quota of people to be killed, and I am one of the.”

Yu also used hidden cameras designed as different products, including car keys and a watch, to film other videos.

One was of a dying man shackled to his hospital bed. Yu says the man was incarcerated for supporting Falun Gong, and was beaten and tortured until he had a stroke. He died in a vegetative state, shackled to his bed, as his wife wept over him.

“These are people who are just trying to live,” said Kay Rubacek.

Rubacek is a producer with Swoop Films. The company is making a documentary called Finding Courage, which documents the government persecution of Falun Gong, and the family’s struggle to get Kefei’s body back.

“This is not someone who died of a heart attack,’ Rubacek said. “We’re talking about brutal torture, and for what? For standing up for freedom of belief, something we take for granted.

In Los Angeles, local Falun Gong practitioners rallied to call for the end of the persecution, some holding photos of those who are dead or imprisoned at the hands of the Chinese government.

And in New York City just last week, nearly 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners marched to also call for an end to the persecution, some held signs saying “Free Sister’s Body”, a reference to the remains of Kefei Wang.

“A heart attack on a 30-year-old woman is of course the typical like you get from totalitarian regimes,” said Shawn Steel.

Steel serves as Republican National Committeeman of California. His wife is Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose family fled their own brutal regime in North Korea.

“We’re talking about China, talking about them being an adversary for the 21st century, you’ve gotta talk about their human rights record,” Steel said.

And according to Amnesty International, that record is amongst the worst.

“Amnesty International has documented severe and widespread human rights violations against Falun  Gong practitioners,” said Francisco Bencosme, Asia Advocacy Manager for Amnesty International. “We have documented cases of torture, inhumane practices, lack of freedom of expression, and unfortunately they’re sort of out of sight, out of mind.”

“It’s unbelievable, It’s almost too much for television,” Steel said. “But it’s such an important story, because there’s millions of peple involved, but it’s also personal, it’s Los Angeles, it’s California, it’s what people in this state have been living with for years and finally the story is getting out. If we put a spotlight on it, maybe we can actually help save the lives of many people we don’t even know.”

Steel told FOX 11 he will be reaching out to the Trump administration regarding this issue, and plans to make a presentation about the persecution of Falun Gong at the Republican National Committee next spring.

A request for comment left with the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. was not returned.

If you'd like to learn more, visit the Finding Courage Movie website.

You and the Law: Should I change lawyers?

April 30, 2019


“I was in a car accident several months ago and hired a personal injury attorney almost immediately. Initially, she was very responsive, returned my calls promptly, keeping me informed of everything. Then, suddenly, silence. I leave messages, am promised a call back, but nothing! Treatment for my injuries is on a lien basis with bills to be paid when the case is resolved, but now I don’t know what to do. Should I change lawyers? Thanks, Darlene.”

Unhappy or pressured to change lawyers?

I ran Darlene’s question by a friend of this column, southern California personal injury attorney Shawn Steel. His law practice is unique in that he not only represents accident victims, but also health care professionals “who have been badly dealt with by lawyers refusing to honor their contracts with doctors to pay their bills when the case settles.”

Steel provided practical advice for health care providers facing that situation in a recent article I wrote, “When lawyers refuse to pay a client’s doctor bill.”

As he explained, the question of “to change or not to change lawyers” comes up under two different scenarios: 1) You’ve hired a lawyer on a contingent fee basis, but are not satisfied with the legal services provided; 2) You are being pressured into changing lawyers by friends, family members or some other attorney who wants your case (which is illegal in most states).

Steel set out four questions clients often ask:

• Do I have to give a reason before changing lawyers?

• Will I owe the first lawyer for time spent on my case?

• Should I wait and see if things get better?

• I signed a lien with the lawyer to pay bills, but if I change attorneys, what happens to that lien?

“You do not need a reason to change lawyers, and what your reader has described is one of the most common — a failure to communicate, ignoring you,” Steel points out. “But don’t fire your lawyer just because your phone call wasn’t returned immediately! You’ve got to be reasonable. And keep in mind that your old attorney has a right to be paid by the new attorney out of settlement proceeds. When you feel the relationship is a bad fit, end it immediately. Two or three months is no problem. Lawyers will take your case as not much of a fee has been earned in that short amount of time. Simply stated, the older the case, the less desirable it is to the new attorney and even good cases get rejected for that reason.”

What happens to the lien I signed with the first lawyer to pay my bills?

Financially an auto accident can become a nightmare lasting years if medical and chiropractic bills aren’t paid. Clients often think, “But as I had a lien with the first lawyer, it automatically transfers to the second lawyer, right?”

“Unfortunately, that’s not the law,” Steel emphasizes. “Changing lawyers extinguishes the lien. Unless a new lien is signed by everyone, a potential costly problem for the patient is around the corner, and this is my advice to health care professionals and their patients: Health care providers: When becoming aware your patient has a new lawyer, immediately get a new lien signed. If the attorney refuses, bill the client at once, don’t wait! Also, occasionally ask patients if they have the same lawyer. Patients: It is potentially damaging to your credit, and even to the ability of getting a job in some circumstances, if your case has been settled without the health care providers being paid and you wind up being sued. If you change lawyers, immediately notify all of your health care providers of this fact, with the name, address and phone number of the new lawyer. If you do not, you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket and could be hounded by a collection agency or taken to court.”

Resist pressure to change lawyers

Everyone has a know-it-all relative who will claim to know more than your lawyer, or has “a friend” who is an attorney, “So just drop the lawyer you hired and go with my guy!”

“Clients hear that often,” Steel notes, and warns his own clients that before doing anything, when hearing such advice from family members, “Just talk with me.”

“But that’s tame by comparison to lawyers who illegally attempt to steal cases involving serious injury, where the settlement value can be extremely high,” he observes. “There are predators out there, people who work for lawyers and get an illegal kickback. If you get approached, call your lawyer right away, as it is illegal for anyone from another law firm to contact you if you are already represented.”

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and welcomes comments and questions from readers, which may be faxed to 661-323-7993, or e-mailed to And be sure to visit


In 2020, can California GOP retake seats lost in 2018?

April 28, 2019

Posted by Leslie Eastman

RNC officials hope a “green wave,” “shy” Trump voters, and ballot security measures can reverse 2018 losses

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that as mail-in and absentee ballots were counted after the November 2018  election Republicans lost several seats in California districts.  The losses include seven in Orange Country, a former reliably red area of the state.

Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel lives in Orange County. He indicates that the the GOP’s 2020 goal includes reversing the 2018 loses, noting that first-term members of Congress tend to be vulnerable.

There is a good case that “purple” districts could be reclaimed, especially in light of the socialism flavoring the platforms of many potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Based on this analysis, there is some reason to be optimistic that California representation could be a shade redder at the end of the evening on Nov. 3, 2020. To start with, polls about Trump’s popularity are notoriously unreliable, and the best of them (Rasmussen) has been showing him hovering around 50%.

California has had several incidents of people being attacked for MAGA hats and Trump t-shirts. So, I suspect there are plenty of “shy Trump” voters in the Golden State who will vote Republican in 2020 in the privacy of the voting booth.

Additionally, there will be plenty of “green” for this wave. Republican National Committee (RNC) raised a record-breaking $14.6 million in February, the most it ever has collected in a non-election year month and its second-best February in its history.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a moratorium on the state death penalty and looks poised to gut our oil and gas industry—two issues that are not endearing him to the majority of Californians. In 2020, California voters may look to send a message to Sacramento by their choices in national representation.

Finally, following accusations of voting irregularities in key races in several states (including California), the RNC approved a major new working group to focus on ballot security measures and support for candidates facing election challenges.

I am normally an optimistic person. However, I refuse to get emotionally invested in the outcome of this election until we are a little closer to Nov. 2020. I suspect much will depend on the economy and on whom the Democrats choose for the top of their ticket.

When Lawyers Refuse to Pay a Client's Doctor Bill

February 07, 2019


It's more common than you might think in personal injury lawsuits, and doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists don't have to stand for it.

By H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.

Today's story will be of special interest to two groups of readers who are linked together by what is known as a lien, which I'll explain in a moment. They are:

(1) People who were injured in an auto accident who lack good health insurance or adequate amounts of auto medical payments coverage but need treatment from a chiropractor, doctor or physical therapist. They hire an attorney to file an insurance claim against the responsible party.

(2) Chiropractors, doctors or physical therapists who provide treatment, and, as Los Angeles based attorney Shawn Steel adds, "contractually - on a lien basis - agreeing to wait for payment of their services when the case is settled."

An Enforceable Contract

Specializing in personal injury cases and representing chiropractors for over 35 years, Steel explains that a lien, "It is a binding, enforceable, written contract signed by the patient, attorney and health care provider requiring bills to be paid from the proceeds of settlement prior to the individual receiving any funds."

But he was quick to point out, "That's how it is supposed to work. It is what the law requires, but in my experience, over three-quarters of lawyers who handle personal cases on a lien basis flagrantly refuse to honor the lien, and far too many health care professionals just don't know what to do when they are stiffed, or their bill is cut to shreds."

The recent example of our client, "Dr. S." is typical.

'My Polite Requests to Pay Our Bill was Ignored!'

I have a soft spot in my heart for chiropractors and respect their abilities. Years ago, a chiropractor delivered me from the worst and most painful stiff neck imaginable. I became a believer, and we referred our auto accident clients to him for years, always receiving positive feedback. So, when a chiropractor is badly dealt with by a lawyer, I take that personally ... and that's what happened to Dr. S.

His lien was signed by both longtime local attorney "L" and the patient, but when the case was settled the lawyer refused to pay the chiropractor's bill. "We placed call after call to the lawyer's office and did not even receive the courtesy of a return phone call," Dr. S. explained, not only frustrated, but hurt.

I set up a conference call with both the attorney and chiropractor, asked why the bill - which had been attached to the chiro's report and was necessary in order to settle the case - had not been paid.

Instead of hearing, "Sorry, I will look into it and get right back to you," there was denial of ever receiving it and a claim that the file was in storage, away from his office. Finally, L yelled, "So sue me!"

"Nobody wants to sue you," I replied. "Just find the file and pay the bill. You know the consequences. You have 48 hours to have a check delivered to the chiro's office or find yourself in court."

Needless to say, the bill was paid at once - in full. But this should not have dragged on for so long, and that is Steel's message to all health care providers who treat on a lien basis: "Understand your rights and the attorney's legal obligation."

The Lawyer Is a Fiduciary - Do Not Let Anyone Browbeat You Down!

"In all 50 states," Steel points out, "the Doctor's Lien, or Letter of Protection as it is also called in some states, creates a fiduciary relationship, making the lawyer trustee of settlement funds for the benefit of the client, the doctor and, finally, the attorney.

"I find repeatedly lawyers insisting that the doctor cut his bill, but the attorney refuses to reduce his own bill when the settlement is not as high as was expected - or that is what the lawyer tells the doctor. In the typical case this is inherently unfair, as the doctor has spent weeks or months in treating the patient, while the lawyer perhaps saw the client once and made two phone calls.

"There is nothing wrong with everyone taking a little less than full payment if the money just isn't there, Steel says, "but I urge my doctor clients to stand up to strong-arm tactics." He recommends the following steps:

Get it in writing.

"When you get a phone call asking that you cut your bill, 'because the settlement was too low and I can only get you $1, 000,' reply by stating, 'Please send me a copy of the draft, settlement agreement and client's proposed disbursement.'

"Remember, a lawyer can easily lie on the phone, but will hesitate to do so in writing. You have the legal right to see all of those documents and how funds are to be distributed."

Be persistent.

If that information is not provided, then, Steel recommends:

  • Send a demand letter to the lawyer with a seven-day deadline. Attach the lien, your report and bill. In your letter state, "I am sure you are familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct."

  • On the eighth day, file a complaint with the state's Bar Association, send the attorney a copy of it and file your suit in Small Claims Court.

"You will get paid - and, if it goes to court, judges almost always rule in favor of the doctor," Steel concludes.

Advice for Clients/Patients Caught in the Middle

It's important for patients to understand that they are obligated for the professional services they've received. So, a good idea is to keep in frequent contact with your lawyer, and when it's time to settle the case, go into the office if possible and go over payment of the outstanding bills.

If your lawyer negotiates a reduced fee for the doctor's bill, that's fine, and you want to see proof in writing. The take-away from this story for patients is to realize you could be on the hook for unpaid bills related to your accident if the lawyer refuses to pay your health care provider. Signing a lien simply means that the doctor agrees to wait for payment - from the lawyer - when the case settles.

And if the case doesn't settle, or the lawyer drops you? You are still responsible to pay the bills of your health care provider, so stay on top of how your case is coming along.

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge.



Ballot Harvesting: Democrats' New Vote-Rig Scheme

February 01, 2019

Gov. Jerry Brown and Lorena Gonzalez

“Election night was painful for California Republicans, but it was nothing compared to the slow torture we’ve endured ever since. For … agonizing weeks, Republicans have watched registrars update their tallies with late absentee and provisional ballots. From Orange County to the Bay Area, it’s the same story playing out with different candidates: Democrats flipping seats with late ballots …  What is unusual is the scale of the carnage.” — Shawn Steel, California committeeman for the rnc and former California gop chair, The Orange County Register, 12/1/18


The state where Ronaldus Magnus won two terms as governor is not just a Democrat hellhole nowadays. Its election system has devolved into a one-party banana republic, complete with rampant election rigging, vote fraud, and ballot-stuffing. But make no mistake: the insidious tactics Democrats are trying out on the left coast will soon migrate across the fruited plain. If Republicans don’t attack the left’s new “ballot-harvesting” ploy with everything they have, guess what’s coming to a precinct near you:




  • “When planning for the November 2018 election, California’s Democrats … were bent on eliminating every Republican congressman they possibly could, and they did pretty well [only 7 gop congressmen remain out of 14] … The way they did this was to pass laws designed to rig the system. Three laws in particular combined to stack the deck against Republicans. First came the Motor Voter law … Second, the state legislature authorized counties … to send absentee ballots to voters even if they had not requested those ballots. Third, the rules governing ballot custody were changed so that anyone could turn in absentee ballots … According to a Republican campaign worker who operated in … Orange County … for a week prior to November 6, the Democrats had over 1,000 people on the ground, going door to door, collecting ballots … [from] registered Democrats … For each congressional district in play, the cost-per-thousand full-time paid vote harvesters was approximately $125,000 per day. The Democrats spent tens of millions.” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “I came here to pick up your ballot … we’re offering this new service for only people who are supporting the Democratic Party … where we pick up your ballot and show you how to do it if you don’t know.” — “Lulu,” Democrat ballot harvester in Santa Clarita, caught on video, YouTube, 10/16/18
  • “[dreamer] Gabriela Cruz, who was brought to the U.S. illegally when she was one, couldn’t vote, but in the final hours before the Nov. 6 election, she was making one last run to get people to the polls … [S]he found Ronald Silva, 41, smoking a cigarette … behind a group home … [S]he reminded him he had a right that she as an immigrant without citizenship didn’t have … Half an hour later, she was helping Silva [with ballot] … he said. ‘I was going to leave [my ballot] in my drawer.’” — The Los Angeles Times, 1/1/19
  • “[O]nly a fool would think [Ms. Cruz] didn’t tell the indifferent [Silva] who to vote for, effectively voting by proxy. Which … amounts to foreign nationals voting, without any fear of prosecution … Today, noncitizens vote by getting hold of indifferent Americans and filling in the ballots by proxy, no fingerprints visible.” — American Thinker, 1/2/19
  • “California’s 2015 ‘Motor Voter’ law empowered the Department of Motor Vehicles automatically to register as voters those who get driver’s licenses. Secretary of State Alex Padilla claimed that protocols and ‘firewalls’ would keep ineligibles from voting, but there was room for reasonable doubt. After the 2016 election, Padilla refused to release any information to a federal probe of voter fraud … by March 2018, the dmvhad issued licenses to more than one million illegals and from April to August registered 182,000 ‘new voters.’ Padilla isn’t saying how many illegals actually voted or how many illegal ballots were among those ‘harvested’ to flip close races for Democrats.” — “Crock the Vote: Grand Theft Election in California,” FrontPage, 12/4/18
  • In addition to ballot harvesting and Motor Voter, dubious tactics California enacted in the last two years to guarantee Democrat wins: noncitizen voting in San Francisco and elsewhere; “taxpayer-funded voter registration drives in county jails to register a record number of inmates”; a downgrade of numerous felonies to misdemeanors to skirt rules that disallow convicted criminals on parole to vote; an adoption of same-day voter registration, or “conditional voting.” — Shawn Steel, in The Washington Times, 11/27/18


  • “In California, voting doesn’t stop on Election Day. Absentee ballots need only be postmarked by Election Day, with ballots counted that arrive up to three days late. If ballots are sent to the wrong county, the ballot is valid for an additional four days.” — The Washington Times, 11/27/18
  • “Young Kim was poised to become the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. Her 14-point lead [on election night] evaporate[d].” — Shawn Steel, The Washington Times, 11/27/18
  • “In Orange County, Republican Rep. Mimi Walters of Irvine saw her 6,074-vote lead over Democrat Katie Porter turn into an 11,866-vote deficit.” — The San Francisco Chronicle, 11/30/18
  • “In Orange County alone, where every House seat went Democratic, ‘the number of Election Day vote-by-mail dropoffs was unprecedented — over 250,000,’ Fred Whitaker, chairman of the county Republican Party, said in a note to supporters. ‘This is a direct result of ballot harvesting allowed under California law for the first time. That directly caused the switch from being ahead on election night to losing two weeks later.’” — The San Francisco Chronicle, 11/30/18
  • “In California, 40 percent of the votes were tabulated after election night. Who were these 40 percent? Why is it they were overwhelmingly supporting Democrats?” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “This process of vote-harvesting swept across California, funded by well-heeled public sector unions (which collect dues in excess of $800 millionper year in California), and by leftist billionaires such as California’s own Tom Steyer.” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “For weeks, Republicans seized on [Rep. David Valadao’s] survival as a rare glimmer of good news from Election Day. But as election officials counted mail-in votes over the following weeks, Mr. Cox [erased] Mr. Valadao’s lead.” — “David Valadao Concedes House Race in Another Setback for California Republicans,” The New York Times, 12/6/18


  • “An analysis of data from eight states … found the Latino vote grew by an estimated 96 percent from 2014 to 2018 … [and] helped move 20 House districts held by Republicans to Democratic control in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, New Jersey, and New York … [The] increase in Latino voter turnout contributed to flipping six gop-held congressional seats in California — four in the once conservative bastion of Orange County and two in the Central Valley that have long eluded Democrats.” — The Los Angeles Times, 1/1/19
  • “[C]alifornia’s famed ballot-harvesters, who flipped places such as Orange County blue in the last midterm … did it by ‘helping’ voters fill out, and turn in, and continue to turn in, ballots from otherwise uncommitted voters until they got the result they wanted.” — American Thinker, 1/2/19
  • “In eight states, the Hispanic vote doubled in four years? … Let’s be clear. The Democratic Party employed the manpower of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of foreigners living in the United States to affect the outcome of an election … Further, there were no controls on the actions of those involved with ballot harvesting … in how they handle ballots … In most states, laws require political activity at polling places to be a certain distance from … voting to limit undue political pressure. But in ballot harvesting, there is no such thing. Quite the opposite, with people hunting down registered voters who had not voted … [to turn] out Democrat votes by people too indifferent to … vote until someone knocks on their door and essentially does it for them.” — Rod Thomson, host of Tampa Bay Business, 1/7/19

Ballot Harvesting Cartoon 



The Catalyst: AB 1921

  • “In [September] 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law [Assembly Bill 1921,] a change to Section 3017 of the Election Code that allows any person [as opposed to those living in the voter’s household] to collect a mail-in ballot from [unlimited numbers of] voters … ‘After marking the ballot, the vote-by-mail voter shall do any of the following: (1) return the ballot by mail or in person to the elections official from whom it came, (2) return the ballot in person to a member of a precinct board at a polling place within the jurisdiction, or (3) return the ballot to the elections official from whom it came at a vote-by-mail ballot drop-off location … However, a vote-by-mail voter who is unable to return the ballot may designate any person to return the ballot…’” —new wording of California election code allowing ballot harvesting, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/10/18

They Were Warned

  • ab 1921 would allow anybody to walk into an elections office and hand over truckloads of vote-by-mail envelopes with ballots inside, no questions asked, no verified records kept. It amounts to an open invitation to large-scale vote buying, voter coercion, ‘granny farming,’ and automated forgery.” — Counted As Cast, watchdog group, after the passage of ab 1921
  • “Many organizations have digital copies of millions of signatures … It’s not hard to create copies of vbm [vote-by-mail] envelopes and ballots … All you need is to vote in place of people who don’t vote. That’s not hard to find out, because whether or not you voted is a public record. Just comb through the records to find the people who are registered, but don’t vote. Get out the vote [gotv] campaigns … find out, legally, who has not voted by, say 5 p.m. on Election Day, so that the campaign can call … the person … [and if] they are not going to vote, you’ve got their signature, and everything else you need. Just vote in place of the nonvoters. Truckloads of them.” — Counted As Cast
  • “The voter has to sign the outside of the envelope … That doesn’t prevent the harvester from telling the voter which candidate to vote for or even lying about what the issues on the ballot are. Harvesters can be compensated — by campaigns, even.” — Red State, 10/16/18

GOP Fail

  • “…Republicans could have taken advantage of these same corrupt laws to harvest votes from registered Republicans. But not only did the Republicans rely primarily on a vastly outnumbered handful of unpaid volunteers, they didn’t even bother to provide their volunteer canvassers with up-to-date data…” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “Why did the gop permit this? Why did the gop not have poll watchers at every polling station in California on Election Day? Why are there no lawsuits? Why has there been no demand for a Department of Justice civil rights investigation into California’s many elections issues? Where is the cagop?” — Katy Grimes, investigative reporter, Canada Free Press, 12/8/18
  • “[W]hile Democrats are reveling in the California Blue Tsunami, Republicans throughout California … are asking ‘What Happened?’ Yet nary a word since Election Day from California’s Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte … on the staggering Republican losses.” — Canada Free Press, 12/8/18
  • “In November, Blood-Orange County seemed to turn blue, but the denizens still are blood-orange. Alas, Republicans were caught flat-footed … They blew it on immigration, daca, and the wall. They fell on a sword for reducing Form 1040 deductions for property taxes and home-mortgage interest. And the same hapless state gop … went awol when the Democrats of California changed balloting rules so that votes could be delivered by Harvest Moonbeam volunteers, opening the door to other forms of election fraud.” — The American Spectator, 12/14/18

Left-Narrative: Trump’s Fault

  • “Laboring against a strong tide of disdain, and even disgust, for President Donald Trump, Republicans lost their grip on the wealthy enclaves along the coast in northern Orange County that comprise the district held by 15-term Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. They lost by a much larger margin along the coast farther south in the district of retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, which includes the San Clemente home where Richard Nixon holed up to write his memoirs after resigning from the White House.” — cnn, 11/16/18
  • “Instead of investigating, the state’s slavishly pro-Democrat establishment media pins the results on anti-Trump backlash.” — FrontPage, 12/4/18
  • “Democrat Secretary of State Alex Padilla mocked Republican concerns, telling Politico: ‘What they call strange and bizarre, we call democracy.’ But it is democracy as practiced almost nowhere else in the world — except for one-party banana republics in failed third-world states, where the sight of ruling party apparatchiks dropping off bundles of ballots is not unusual.” — Albuquerque Journal, 12/30/18


  • “This election, a 14-point lead wasn’t enough for a Republican victory [for candidates like Young Kim]. By 2020, a 20-point lead on Election Night won’t be safe.” — The Washington Times, 11/27/18
  • “Come to California to see what’s going to roll out across America in time to guarantee a progressive landslide in 2020. It may be perfectly legal. But it’s so rigged it would make Boss Tweed blush.” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “The Democrats passed laws in California that allowed them to harvest hundreds of thousands, if not millions of votes from people who are the least engaged politically. They have built a system that harvests millions of votes from the most apathetic, most easily manipulated, low-information voters in the electorate. And that strategy, because it worked so well, is on its way to every state in America. Count on it happening fast — wherever Democrats control a state legislature, California’s new election rules will become law. In those states, using government union money and foot-soldiers, augmented with limitless funds from globalist left-wing billionaires, Republicans will be wiped out forever. The massacre will not spare countless battleground congressional districts currently held by Republicans.” — American Greatness, 12/4/18
  • “At least three distinct kinds of fraud can occur when political operatives ‘assist’ in returning absentee ballots [i.e., ballot harvesting]. First, those collecting the ballots can intentionally discard (or conveniently lose or misplace) any ballots they suspect or know (perhaps even by opening the ballot envelopes) have been cast in favor of the ‘wrong’ candidate(s). Second, those collecting the ballots can open the ballot envelopes and change or alter whatever votes the voter originally recorded. Third, those collecting the ballots can collect unvoted ballots (or partially voted ballots) and complete the ballots themselves.” — Steven F. Huefner, law professor, Ohio State website, 12/9/18
  • “Imagine … the ‘possibilities’ if you’re a Dem. What happens if, for example, [a ballot harvester’s] … house visit has a ‘Make America Great Again’ flag planted in the front yard? Could [the operative] go there, pretend to be a Republican, then toss the completed ballot in the trash on the way to Ben & Jerry’s? Of course she could, and the likelihood of getting caught would be next to zero. Could she then go to someone’s home who had no intention of voting, then ‘convince’ them to vote Democrat and give their ballot to her or else their next Social Security check won’t be coming? Again, yes she could.” — Townhall, 12/3/18
  • “[T]he Democrats set themselves up for … allegations [of fraud] when they passed what really is an overly permissive ballot collection law. It was written without sufficient safeguards, and suspicions of abuse were inevitable. But … [ballot harvesting] does open the door to coercion and fraud and should be fixed or repealed before the next election … The potential for misuse first became apparent in a special election in Los Angeles last year between two Democrats for an open seat in the state Assembly. In the final weeks of the race, complaints surfaced about aggressive campaign workers pressuring voters to hand over ballots on behalf of [the candidate] who ultimately won the race … Doesn’t it also encourage ballot collectors to gather the ballots and then ‘lose’ them — oops! — on the way to the dropoff? Isn’t there the possibility that they might pay voters to hand over their unfilled mail ballots?” — The Los Angeles Times editorial, in a rare media rebuke of California’s ballot harvesting scheme, 12/7/18

As we all know, Democrats cheat to win. It’s what they do. Still, what is the remedy when a state authorizes cheating by law? The Republicans’ only option is to declare legal war.

And there is some good news on that front: In 2016, Arizona made vote-harvesting a felony, with penalties, according to The Arizona Capitol Times, of up to a year in prison and a $150,000 fine. Although the full circuit court has just announced a review, a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circus (of all places) has upheld Arizona’s anti-harvesting law — twice.

The California ballot-harvesting debacle must have energetic challenges from California Republicans and others, with the ultimate goal of a Supreme Court slapdown. The fate of our Republic depends on it.


Photo ©2019 Nick Ut/AP/Shutterstock; cartoon ©2018 Lisa Benson/Dist. by The Washington Post Writers Group