Culture Of Arnold Claims First Victim
I wrote last week about the growing scandal among Schwarzenegger cabinet officials, who were living very well on the public dole while the rest of the state sunk into a deep recession and double-digit unemployment. Well, after additional disclosures, the scandal has claimed its first victim.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee Rosario Marin resigned Thursday from her post as secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency after accepting tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees in defiance of administration policy and possibly state law.
Marin faces an investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission after declaring the speaking fees on income statements she must file as a public official.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Pfizer paid $15,000 in 2007 for Marin to speak, while Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $13,500 in 2008 for another speech. Both companies indicated on state forms that they had business before departments under Marin's authority.
It's amusing that taking speaking fees from pharmaceuticals was enough to force a resignation - and I agree that it's unseemly and possibly illegal - but there's no mention of the same cabinet official and practically all the others stealing, essentially, from the state treasury to finance their lifestyles. That's because in the culture of Arnold, such largesse is completely acceptable.
This is one reason why the Governor has worn out his welcome with the people of California and can't poll above 31% in a Republican primary anymore. He has lost the trust of the electorate. He also happens to be a piss-poor lawmaker who has pushed the state to the brink of collapse. But you know that.