Public Records Act Request Denied By Gov, CHP
Santa Monica, CA -- Governor Schwarzenegger has denied a Public Records Act request asking the Schwarzenegger administration to disclose the cost to taxpayers of his California Highway Patrol security detail, including the cost of a recent trip to Japan, said the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
FTCR requested public records pertaining to the cost of the governor's security since he took office on February 15. According to the Los Angeles Times, the governor's press secretary said that "such [security] details would only be revealed through a formal public-records request." FTCR's request was denied and referred to the CHP, which refused to provide the information yesterday.
"Governor Schwarzenegger, who pledged to 'Open the Government Up to Sunshine,' has no excuse for hiding his use of public funds. The governor should immediately reveal how much money taxpayers pay for the CHP to guard him at political rallies, on out-of-state fundraising trips and for international junkets," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with FTCR.
FTCR's request asked for records identifying "costs associated with providing security" for the governor and his family, within California and on trips out of state, but did not request specific details regarding security procedures and operations.
Trips on which the CHP provided security include Schwarzenegger's excursion to Japan last November, where the governor's staff stayed at the luxury Grand Hyatt Tokyo at an average cost of $470 per night. CHP also traveled with the governor on fundraising and business trips to the East Coast, as well as to political rallies across California.
The governor's office claims it has no public information on the cost of the governor's security detail, and the CHP refuses to reveal those costs "for reasons of security." The Public Records Act, Government Code Sec. 6254(f), allows law enforcement information to be withheld if it involves "records of intelligence information or security procedures," but does not exempt costs or expenditures of the CHP from disclosure.
Read the governor and CHP's refusals: http://www.arnoldwatch.org/political_reform/govchp.pdf
Read the Public Records Act requests: http://www.arnoldwatch.org/political_reform/govchppra.pdf