Abel Maldonado and his toady Brandon Gesicki have been all over the news pushing the frame that Controller John Chiang is wasting a million dollars on office furniture:
The same day the governor vetoed the Democrats' budget proposal, the Controller's office requested $924,500,000 worth of new office furniture from this fiscal year! How is that acceptable? Here is an elected official who is in the press every day talking about cutting services, stopping checks to welfare recipients and issuing IOUs to hardworking Californians. But at the exact same time, he is requesting new office furniture. This disgusting and disingenuous behavior has to end.
This is, quite frankly, bullshit. The money was approved by then-Controller Steve Westly, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the State Legislature in December 2006 not for "furniture" but to bring the C Street office complex up to code. From a presentation the Controller's office sent out today:
• The current workstations were out of compliance with ADA, OSHA and SAM requirements.
• Current stations were 10-20 years old (80% were 20+ years old and replacement parts are no longer
• DGS confirms that there was not (and is not) enough used modular furniture available.
•In 2005, wires melted and smoked in one bank of cubicles, causing evacuation of the building, raising health and safety concerns.
So the office remodel isn't being done for vanity, but to reduce a hazard AND the risk that the state of California will face lawsuits that will rack up legal bills. And the whole plan actually saves Californians money:
Bottom Line: $3,982,000 savings from purchasing efficiencies
$1,500,000 savings from less expensive rent, in future years
How did Maldonado vote when this funding came up in summer 2007?
August 21, 2007, Senate approves C Street BCP contained in SB 77 (Budget Act for FY 07/08) [vote was] 27-12, Maldonado votes "aye"
Abel Maldonado is a dishonest and self-interested politician who only wants to cut budget deals that advance his career - even when they cost the state $5.5 million.