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Maldonado's Demands on Controller's Office - Costly, Risky, Stupid

by: Robert Cruickshank

Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 12:51:09 PM PST

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.

Robert Cruickshank :: Maldonado's Demands on Controller's Office - Costly, Risky, Stupid
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Kinda figured (0.00 / 0)
I've been in enough state offices around here to know that they're generally not what you'd call lavish, especially compared with most of the private industry office setups I've seen.

My partner regularly shows me stuff she's using that she found around her workplace that is literally 30-40 years old. It's kind of fun to see pencil box design from the 70's, actually, but it usually goes way beyond office supplies -- not unusual to see furniture and equipment that's well older than I am.

The problem IMO really is that it's really easy to spread the idea that state workers are living some kind of fat, comfortable, lazy lifestyle from the backs of the hardworking populace; Maldonado probably figured he was just playing into the wasteful public servant image, one that has been cemented into the public consciousness with years of rightwing BS. It effectively rallies the troops to pick on state workers, if the comments sections at the Bee are any indication. Reality is that many of the on-the-ground departments here in Sacto are making do with far less most people think, but then reality seldom sells as well.


Indeed... (0.00 / 0)
...this is classic 'conservative' ReichWing propaganda.

Funny how yer a low life scumbag if you can't make your credit card payments but all is very, very good if you go decade after decade not paying the bills required to keep the state running.


I ain't laughing.

[ Parent ]
Here is the lesson that every Republican learned today (0.00 / 0)

The Republicans will never forgive you, or your children, or your children's children.  They will not forgive.  They will not forget.

It's possible that the Democrats will forget you someday, but don't expect anything resembling appreciation for ending the stalemate.  

Expect to be accused of crimes.  Expect to see pictures of your head on a stick.  Expect to be recalled.

Some Republicans may offer sympathy and say that you got the best deal you could and that there was no other option.  But most Republicans will only see higher taxes.

Some Democrats may offer sympathy and say that you went against your core beliefs because a compromise was necessary.  But most Democrats will say that the compromise only show your dishonesty and self-interest.

So, Republicans--watch and learn.

before long (0.00 / 0)
they won't have to make that awful, awful decision to actually pass a budget. returning things to majority rules will allow republicans to stand on principle without wrecking the state in the process. win-win for everyone, really.

[ Parent ]
Why is this only coming out now? (0.00 / 0)
Mal Donato has been hammering on the furniture for a couple of weeks now.  The information that he is in fact costing the state money with his grandstanding would have been bloody handy information.

I'm happy this information is coming out now.  But why the hell did the source not throw this one out earlier?

Mostly I've been reasonably impressed with Chiang, who strikes me as one of the few adults in this whole sorry mess.  It's possible that he lacks a killer political instinct, which from a purely human standpoint, may not be a flaw.  It might be an occupational disadvantage, but not something you need to apologize for.

Still, it would have helped a lot if this got leaked to somebody (even the likes of us here) earlier.  Certainly, Mal Donato had it coming.

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