Ken Leighton 7:59 a.m., May 22
We continue to hear about the dire financial shape California is in. We had to close state parks, we had to lay off teachers, we had to eliminate lifeguards and other public safety employees and yet low and behold there is this super easy way to generate billions in revenues by just closing a tax loophole for out-of-state businesses. So what does the state do? Do they rehire the teachers or reopen the parks? NOPE. They create a brand new spending program and allocate all the money from that loophole to that program.
That is what "Venture Capitalist" Tom Steyer is doing by bankrolling this proposition. Everyone loves the term "closing a tax loophole" and they love the term "green energy" so this is a no-brainer right?
Not so fast California voters! This proposition smells like a rat. We have a Goldman Sachs Venture Capitalist Hedge-fund manager (the same guy lecturing around the country about natural gas as clean energy) pushing it, we have billions of dollars being diverted from schools and parks and other state programs to what amounts to a giant slush fund with no protections against conflicts of interests whatsoever for the taxpayers.
But don't worry there is an "oversight committee"....we all know how well those work and Tom Steyer has said he won't make a penny from it....really? You really don't think all Steyer's Cayman Island funds won't profit? You don't think Steyer will make sure all his investments in natural gas won't profit from this money?
Here is the bottom line on this proposition:
Proposition 39 is a recipe for waste and corruption. It spends up to $22 million on a new bureaucracy and special interest commission. It gives Sacramento politicians a blank check to spend billions without real accountability or taxpayer protections against conflicts of interest.
$2.5 billion that could go to schools, health and welfare, environmental protection or public safety is instead diverted to a new government commission with fat salaries and little accountability. Our state budget deficit today is nearly $16 billion and Prop. 39 makes things worse by wasting money on a new unnecessary bureaucracy.
You’ve heard it before. Sacramento has a plan to create jobs. We give them money to create a commission of political appointees with an appealing name like Citizens Oversight Board. They get a blank check to spend (or waste) tax dollars. Under Prop. 39, money is spent to give contracts to so-called 'Green Energy' programs. Who is likely to get those contracts? Big campaign contributors, that’s who.
Come join the No on Prop 39 Facebook page. it's up to us non-billionaires to fight this giveaway.