California politicians are getting a hefty raise. I couldn’t think of anyone less deserving. I’m declining mine and calling on Gavin Newsom to do the same.
But it appears Newsom, already the nation’s highest paid governor, will gladly take the extra $8,809 awarded by his own appointees. Last year, Newsom nobly promised to take a pay cut – then a Public Records Act request revealed he didn’t actually do it.
Worst yet, a Sac Bee investigation has revealed another major boost to Newsom’s personal income: Special Interests like PG&E are paying his wife a large salary through a nonprofit. Then they send their lobbyists to Newsom’s office to write policy.
As for Legislators, the raise comes despite taking most of last year off. On top of their salaries, Legislators get a $40,000 tax-free per diem (which I decline every year). Many also enjoy lavish junkets, including one last year in Hawaii in the thick of the lockdowns.
The Recall is about upending this culture of corruption. More than any one policy, it’s about a new paradigm for our public life based on integrity and service. That’s how we’ll fix all the failed policies.
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