Skip to comments.CA: Tony Strickland: Governor Must Immediately Replace Reiner
Posted on 02/22/2006 11:50:35 PM PST by CounterCounterCulture
Sacramento, CA Taxpayer Advocate Tony Strickland today called upon Governor Schwarzenegger to immediately replace Rob Reiner on the First 5 California Children and Families Commission. His term has expired and nothing prevents the Governor from selecting an appointee who will restore the transparency and credibility to taxpayers when it comes to how government spends their tax dollars.
The firestorm of controversy has continued unabated since a Los Angeles Times story on Monday exposed a series of abuses orchestrated by Reiner and a small cadre of paid consultants, said Strickland. Tax dollars specifically collected to improve childrens education have ended up in the pockets of paid political operatives without bids, without oversight and without accountability."
When the Labor and Workforce Development Agency spent several thousand dollars last March to send out a video news release, State Controller Steve Westly immediately announced plans to conduct an audit to stop the misappropriation of public funds for political purposes. Surely, when the funds in question run into the hundreds of millions, Mr. Westly will do no less. He has the power to not sign checks when there is evidence that public funds are being misappropriated. It is time for him to use that power, and freeze any further expenditure of public funds until a full audit gets to the bottom of this mess. Strickland listed four areas that should be the focus of the Controllers audit:
1) Political use of public funds Investigate the exact trail of decisions that led to an expenditure of more than $34 million of tax money on television ads to promote Preschool for All, a media campaign that coincided precisely with circulation of the Reiner Preschool for All initiative petitions. The Commission has existed for years. Who made the decision to spend such a huge part of the budget, all in 2005, and all coinciding with the Reiner initiative of the same name?
2) Cronyism Who made the decision to pay Reiners political campaign advisers $206,000 out of public funds? Where are the contracts? What services were rendered? Were these advisers working for the taxpayers, or working for Reiners political committee, and only being paid by the taxpayers?
3) Did Reiner steer more than $170 million in contracts to the same firm that was involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 10? Is this firm, or any of its employees, involved in Reiners current political campaign on behalf of Proposition 82, Reiners Preschool for All Tax Increase initiative?
4) What plan currently exists for future expenditures of funds allocated to First 5? Are there, or were there, plans to expend further public funds to coincide with the election campaign for Proposition 82?
These are questions that can, and must, be answered, and its the Controllers job to find those answers, said Strickland, a candidate for Controller in 2006. The people have a right to know how their money is being spent, and if it is being spent illegally, the guilty need to be exposed.
Thread already posted here...
TV Ads Put Focus on Reiner [Meathead uses taxpayer funds to push "free preschool" ballot initiative]
I'm also happy to see that he has a nice list of endorsements building.