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May 27, 2004 - 04:25 PM

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Terminate 'Em

by Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
 
The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that buried in Governor Schwarzenegger's budget proposal is a $1 million reduction in the budget of the state political ethics board, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). That $1 mil cut would eliminate 15% of the agency's overall budget, and 45% of the discretionary funding it received last year. That means less enforcement of the laws that try to keep politicians honest....including Arnold himself.

In January, a court ruled that the Governor had violated the Political Reform Act by loaning his campaign $4.5 million with the intention of fundraising to pay back the money, and he would have to cover the contribution himself. The FPPC is charged with enforcing the provisions of the Political Reform Act. In February, our group filed a complaint with the FPPC because Arnold's complex of campaign committees allowed him to hide the true source of funding for his bond & budget measures on the March ballot, 57 & 58, by funneling money between committees. Read the complaint. Just last week we received a call from the FPPC that made it clear that the Commission is still investigating.

Instead of sweeping Sacramento clean, the governor is cutting the janitorial staff.

Arnold's "If you can't beat 'em, terminate 'em" philosophy also seems to apply to the high price of gasoline. He's set to cut critical posts at the California Energy Commission, rather than assign it to deal with the oil industry practices leading to the high price of gasoline. Read the letter we sent to Arnold today.

Cleaning up government doesn't mean throwing it out.




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