Thursday, June 4, 2009

Your (Local) Tax Dollars at Work

So here's a nice little gig, if you can swing it. Charlene Tressler, was until recently, the Commissioner of San Diego County's First 5 Commission. These commissions were set up to distribute Prop 10 largess to favored constituencies around the state,... sorry, I meant to say to save the children with tobacco tax money. On top of her busy schedule running the commission, she also ran a charity and a preschool, making her the perfect kind of person to be looking out for the welfare of San Diego's wee ones. In fact, she was so awesome that the First 5 Commission paid out $8.3 million in grants to her organizations. Hooray, the children are SAVED!

For once, our local paper is breaking a story of interest. Charlene wasn't the only one on the commission doing well by doing good. Turns out that being on the advisory committe was better than a paying gig and that $67 million (or 44% of all grants) over three years was paid out to members of the commission's advisory committee. I'd like to be giving that kind of advice myself.

Just like the gun turn-in program detailed below, local government shows itself to be just as brilliant at conflicts of interest and lunacy as the feds. And who pays for this madness? The typically low income folks who still purchase cigarettes legally.

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