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Donors who bailed out California state parks want their money back
San Jose Mercury News ^ | 07/26/2012 05:43:29 PM PDT | By Paul Rogers

Posted on 07/28/2012 11:29:00 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

Betrayed by the discovery of $54 million hidden in two state parks accounts, groups that donated money to keep California state parks from closing this year now say they want a refund -- or at least a binding promise from lawmakers to spend the extra money on parks.

"They sort of came to us under false pretenses. They cried wolf, and we responded," said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Sempervirens Fund. "An elegant solution would be for them to refund the nonprofits, and put whatever is left into parks."

State Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned Friday and her top deputy was fired after Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced the state parks department had kept $54 million in two accounts without reporting it to the state Department of Finance.

Brown announced last year that the state was so short of cash that 70 state parks -- one-quarter of the entire system -- had to be closed by July 1 to save $22 million. Critics called the threat a political gimmick to convince middle-class voters to support Brown's tax increase measure on the upcoming November ballot.

What happened?

Reportedly, $20.4 million of the unreported money was from state park entry fees traditionally used to fund parks. Another $33.5 million comes from registration of off-highway vehicles and used to fund parks for motorcycles and dune buggies.

"The $20 million, that money came from folks visiting the parks, spending money at the parks. It's obvious it should be used for state parks."

State legislative leaders were noncommittal on Thursday.

"There's no determination at this point," said a spokesman for state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "The priority is to get to the bottom of the situation and figure out what happened. And then we go from there."

(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: fraud; goldenstate; moonbeam; taxdollarsatwork

1 posted on 07/28/2012 11:29:06 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

California, Here I Con.


2 posted on 07/28/2012 11:38:06 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I’ll bet he gets a refund check on Monday.


3 posted on 07/28/2012 11:41:51 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Anyone who gave money to bail out the parks can only be called stupid.


4 posted on 07/28/2012 11:45:00 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Old Jer is going to give a free ride on the high speed railroad to everyone who donated money to the parks.


5 posted on 07/28/2012 11:45:44 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Hard to say what qualifies as the most stupid:

- trusting Democrat politicians in California

- actually believing that state parks would close down without donations

- enabling fiscal malfeasance by contributing money to the financial basket case that is the state of California

I always thought the lottery was the way to extract money from the stupid - apparently California has gone that scam one better.


6 posted on 07/28/2012 11:48:19 AM PDT by Stosh
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Dough, oh dear, we're in arrears. Pay, you Californian scum. Fee, a cost you charge yourself. Bah, you guys are really dumb. So, you wheedle begging bread. LA, the place you like to tread. Gee, you think without a head. Which is why you'll vote for O!

7 posted on 07/28/2012 11:52:04 AM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: blueunicorn6
Old Jer is going to give a free ride on the high speed railroad to everyone who donated money to the parks.

So anyone who pi$$...I mean gave their money to the parks preservation are going to be railroaded?

8 posted on 07/28/2012 11:58:51 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Darn...I wish I’d gotten to them first. I have a bridge...


9 posted on 07/28/2012 12:10:02 PM PDT by moovova (Chic-fil-A is good...and right.)
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To: I see my hands
Response from daughter: Nice!

Response from wife: That's really bad!

10 posted on 07/28/2012 12:13:10 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Keep the wife, educate the daughter, lol.

11 posted on 07/28/2012 12:23:46 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Now that one of the Government Agency’s of California has been caught lying about it’s finances I find myself wondering out loud, “How many others are doing the same thing?”


12 posted on 07/28/2012 12:27:44 PM PDT by The Working Man
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The California state fish is the Sucker.


13 posted on 07/28/2012 12:32:43 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

And yes, I do know that Barney Frank is not from California.


14 posted on 07/28/2012 12:34:04 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Which is precisely why the government should not get an additional dime from anybody.

They are always crying wolf to get more of our money.


15 posted on 07/28/2012 12:39:43 PM PDT by thefoundersrock (Democrats - Destroying the family, the Constitution and the economy since the 1930's!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Something tells me the CA Dept of Education benefited from this scam, somehow. They can smell ‘revenue’ a mile away.


16 posted on 07/28/2012 12:44:25 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: thefoundersrock

Here in NJ & NY the beaches and parks are held hostage; rather than close them they just increase the fees (as they do the tolls, both of which are OK by me).


17 posted on 07/28/2012 12:57:19 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
There should be criminal prosecution for this all too common "progressive" arrogance. No such person should EVER be appointed or allowed to serve the people under any circumstances.
Any politician who causes that to happen again in the future should be likewise humiliated.

The elected California criminals at all levels of government have been playing that game too long. It should be automatic cause for losing your position, elected or otherwise:

When there is a budget shortfall, they immediately eliminate the services most essential for the health and welfare of EVERYONE... sewage treatment, water supply, trash pickup, street sweeping, street lights, traffic lights, police and fire services, but maintain funding to other discretionery and useless programs and agencies.

We, the people, must find a way to eliminate that. Permanently. And insist on an adequate reserve in times of plenty, and reduce all taxes when tere is a real surplus.
Today, taxes are NEVER reduced. If there is a surplus, THEY IMMEDIATELY LOOK AROUND FOR SOMETHING TO SPEND IT ON. Ever wonder why budgets can never be lower?

Why have we settled for governance by spoiled teenagers?

18 posted on 07/28/2012 2:18:39 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: The Working Man
Now that one of the Government Agency’s of California has been caught lying about it’s finances I find myself wondering out loud, “How many others are doing the same thing?”

Safe bet--- All of them!

19 posted on 07/28/2012 2:28:45 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The Washington Monument syndrome. Dippy Libs fall for it every time.


20 posted on 07/28/2012 9:44:07 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I went camping last week with about 35 other people, family and friends, just got back.

To a wilderness area in No Calif, a state park actually.

There were signs saying the park is not maintained, if you pack it in, pack it out.

Fine, no problem.

There are outhouses there too, and they don’t pump them either. Pretty dicey.

Funny, back in the day, there was a town there.

After a day or so, coming back from the beach to camp, I saw a ranger’s truck. They were at a campsite. I didn’t know what they were doing.

Found out soon enough. There was a sign when entering the park that there was a fee. Heh, never paid one in the past.

Soon the Rangers came to our camp, they were there to collect the fees.

25 bucks a day for the first vehicle, 8 a day for the rest.

We ended up paying about $250 after figuring out how may days each vehicle was going to be there.

What a ripoff, especially now that they “found” millions of dollars they could use to maintain the parks.

My son asked what they are charging the fee for, if they don’t do anyhing to keep the park up.

We figured it out.

The fees must go to their pay for coming and getting the money from us.

Other than that, we all had a great time. Surf fishing, fishing, boating, dirt bike riding and going in the ocean.

We had a great camp, over 20 tents.

Cooked surf fish over the campfire, and every area had someone cooking almost all the time.


21 posted on 07/31/2012 8:48:54 PM PDT by Syncro (Sarah Palin, the unofficial Tea Party candidate for president--Virtual Jerusalem)
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