About time: Bipartisan anger over political use of public funds

Nov. 3, 2012

By Chris Reed

Everywhere one looks in California, school districts are openly using government resources to lobby for Prop. 30, and supporters of the tax-hike measure don’t care if it is against the law. Situational ethics on this issue are the norm in California and they have been for decades. No Democrat wants to get on the wrong side of the CTA. That’s why it’s nice to see bipartisan anger over a childish parting potshot at state lawmakers by a departing government executive:

“Two state senators — one Democrat and one Republican — demanded Thursday that the California State University system’s trustees tell them who authorized spending for a ‘legislative report card’ that rated lawmakers on how well they supported the system’s political goals.

“Sens. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, both received low marks in the CSU compilation of votes and other actions affecting the system’s political agenda this year.

“The report card was apparently a parting gesture by Chancellor Charles Reed, who has announced his retirement. No legislator earned an “A” grade in the report.

“‘The scorecard is to inform the public on lawmakers’ support of the CSU and public higher education,’ CSU said in a statement when it released the report on Oct. 17. ‘Just as California has charged the university with educating and graduating well-prepared students, the university holds state elected officials accountable for supporting that mission.’

“Yee and Anderson said was ‘a gross misuse’ of taxpayer funds and in a letter to Robert Linscheid, chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees, demanded to know how much was spent and who authorized the spending.”

What’s particularly nauseating here is that Reed’s main beef appears to be legislative griping over $400,000-plus salaries for CSU chancellors — not overall system funding. This makes his petulant exit gesture seem more elitist and self-serving — we educrats get no respect — than a populist salvo for students.

Full disclosure: I’m not related to Charles Reed. And am glad of it!


Related Articles

FPPC on ‘dark money’ witch hunt

Just in time for Halloween, the Fair Political Practices Commission completed a modern-day witch-hunt last week, looking for “dark money.”

Puerto Rico experiments with tax cuts

California is experimenting with high taxes. Seventeen months after voters passed Proposition 30, which raised taxes $7 billion a year,

Steve Poizner’s independent bid for state office finds traction

Is California now a deep blue state in which moderate conservatives no longer have a chance of victory in statewide