Spoiling the Victors

Published on

Orange County Register

A number of newspapers have run stories recently about how at least 21 of Gov. Gray Davis‘ aides from his recent reelection campaign now have comfortable state government jobs – sometimes positions close to Gov. Davis. The kicker is that their salary comes not out of Gov. Davis’ administrative budget, but out of the budgets of departments slated to take spending cuts this year.

For example, Amber Pasricha is the governor’s spokesperson on Indian gaming issues, but her $60,000 annual salary is paid by the California Environmental Protection Agency. The $90,000 annual salary paid to Davis deputy communications director Carol Dahmen comes from the Department of Conservation budget.

And on and on.

Dudgeon is high, generated to some degree by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a good-government outfit based in Santa Monica.

We don’t know whether to be outraged or relieved. In the midst of crisis, politics goes on as usual, a game of self-dealing at taxpayer expense. Davis spokesman Steve Maviglio claims former Gov. Pete Wilson was more blatant about putting campaign aides on the state payroll.

And so it goes.

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