Friday, April 29, 2011

Corrupt California Bureaucrats, Friday Morning Edition

You have to get up pretty early in the morning nowadays to sneak these things past us. Today brings us two stories suggesting that, despite the received wisdom of California's Democrats and the LA Times editorial board, there is still some wasteful spending to be cut before tax increases become necessary to balance the state's budget.

We haven't seen a mother-son relationship this disturbing since 'Manchurian Candidate'.
You may recall our dismay a couple days ago at the Legislature's failure to rein in the salaries of bureaucrats sitting on various state commissions. Not only are many of these salaries exorbitant considering the amount of work involved, but the appointment process is easy to abuse. For an example of this, we need look no further than the small Kern County town of Shafter. According to the Sacramento Bee, the California Senate has appointed a Shafter woman named Frances Flores to a $56,000/year post on the state's Medical Assistance Commission. To be clear, that's $56,000 for about 24 total days of work. Why is this odd? Well, because Sacramento insider and former Senator Dean Flores is her son.

In addition to that, we have the curious case of J. Clark Kelso, the appointed head of the prison system's medical program. Now, as an appointee of a federal judge, Kelso draws his $225,000 annual base pay from the federal government. So, while Kelso is in CalPERS from prior work for the state, it wouldn't make much sense to count his current work toward his state pension. Well, that's exactly what's happening, because he's worked out a sweet deal in which he technically serves as a consultant to the state-level Administrative Office of the Courts. He's been named in a lawsuit that's currently unfolding against CalPERS, so we'll see where this going, but to us it looks like a clear case of pension spiking.


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