Gifts for the Governor’s Staff Raise Concerns
Re “Gifts Flow, as Does the Access,” Nov. 7: So Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s staff is accepting gifts from entities with business before the state. I am shocked, shocked, shocked!
Schwarzenegger was the guy who was going to clean house in Sacramento, the guy who criticized Gray Davis and his “pay-to-play” politics. What a hypocrite!
It’s time to write our state Senate and Assembly members and demand a law that outlaws all gifts. Period.
Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, Margita Thompson, states that it would impose an unfair burden on the governor’s staff to forgo lavish gifts in order to maintain cozy relations with business interests. After all, she says, the staff works hard and should not have to pay for these things out of their own pockets.
I agree. Although our country is at war and our state is in the midst of a severe economic downturn, nobody should be forced to do without NBA playoff tickets, fancy steak dinners, etc. What is really worrisome, however, is the extra burden this places on businesses that must foot the bill for these all-too-necessary expenses.
We Californians should step up to the plate and borrow just a little extra (or make cuts in health, education or public safety) to pay these costs on behalf of hard-pressed corporations. And while we are at it, maybe we could figure out a way to get Schwarzenegger’s staff some time off. I mean, doesn’t it affect their ability to think coherently if they, as Thompson claims, “work 24 hours a day, seven days a week”?