Bee Editorial Ignores Honig's Appointment

Katy Grimes: Friday, The Sacramento Bee went out on a limb lauding Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent political appointments, specifically patting Brown on the back for naming Democrat John Laird , amongst others, as Natural Resources Secretary. Laird, was just rejected by voters in a Senate race for the 15th Senate District (San Luis Obispo), but will enjoy a lofty political appointment now.

The Bee also applauds the reappointment of Mary Nichols to the California Air Resources Board. Nichols is nothing if not controversial, refusing to terminate Hien Tran, author of the report that resulted in the state’s draconian diesel regulations, resulting in many business closures or moves out of state. The CARB touted Tran’s Ph.D. in statistics from UC Davis, only his advanced degree was not legitimate. Tran’s Ph.D. appeared to have been “ordered” from Thornhill University, located in a New York City office of the United Parcel Service (UPS). His study was completely discredited by legitimate scholars including Dr. S. Stanley Young, assistant director of Bioinformatics at the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. Young told a CARB board member that the reasoning in Tran’s report was “too flawed to be done by a capable statistician.”

But the most egregious flaw in the Bee’s editorial was the omission of noting Bill Honig’s appointment to the California State Board of Education. The Bee notes other Education Board appointments, so it’s difficult not to assume the omission of Honig’s name, was deliberate.

Honig served as state Superintendent of Public Instruction for ten years, until being convicted of four “felony” conflict of interest charges for illegally diverting public money to an education firm run by his wife. Honig throughout his trial insisted that he didn’t know his actions were illegal. Honig holds a law degree from Berkeley, and he clerked at the California Supreme Court. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors in 1996, allowing him to retain his law license.

Brown’s appointments, including naming California Teachers Association lobbyist Patricia Rucker to the Board of Education is particularly telling for the direction of the state.

Gifts to friends, unions and cronies is a “deja vu all over again” with Gov. Brown.

Things are going to get really ugly in California with the election of Brown, his politically motivated appointments, union domination, and a Democratically controlled Senate and Assembly. Who is left to pay the state’s bills?

JAN. 8, 2011

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  1. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 8 January, 2011, 12:41

    Where were you when Arnold appointed corporate lobbyists, chamber of commerce types to all sorts of positions?
    That was OK, right. But when Governor Brown appoints a member of a TEACHERS union to an EDUCATION position, all hell breaks loose.

    Things became really ugly in California with the election of Schwarzenegger, his ideologically motivated appointments, business domination, and a partisan band of ideological zealots in the legislature who blocked any effective way to close the state’s budget gap.

    Just for once, can’t you be consistent? Either ALL politically motivated appointments are wrong, or none of them are.

    Reply this comment
  2. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 8 January, 2011, 12:42

    Where were you when Arnold appointed corporate lobbyists, chamber of commerce types, and other uber-partisans to all sorts of positions? That was OK, right. But when Governor Brown appoints a member of a TEACHERS union to an EDUCATION position, all hell breaks loose.

    “Things became really ugly in California with the election of Schwarzenegger, his ideologically motivated appointments, business domination, and a partisan band of ideological zealots in the legislature who blocked any effective way to close the state’s budget gap.”

    Just for once, can’t you be consistent? Either ALL politically motivated appointments are wrong, or none of them are.

    Reply this comment
  3. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 8 January, 2011, 14:33

    I have always been critical of former Governor Schwarzenegger’s staff and political appointment choices, Steve.

    But you missed the point of the story – the largest newspaper in Northern California demonstrated a substantial bias in its editorial about Brown’s appointments, with the omission of any mention of Honig to the Board of Education, as well as a real lack of objectivity about the other appointees. The editorial may as well have been penned by the governor’s office.

    -Katy Grimes

    Reply this comment
  4. John Seiler
    John Seiler 9 January, 2011, 23:27

    Stevefromsacto:

    CalWatchDog.com is only a year old. As I’m sure you have noticed, we were ceaseless in criticizing him.

    Before coming here, I know Steven Greenhut and I at The Orange County Register criticized almost everything Arnold did. And what, exactly, is the difference? Arnold was a Gray Davis clone; who was a Jerry Brown clone. Jerry II is a clone of Jerry I, Davis, and Arnold.

    Nothing ever changes.

    Reply this comment

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