The California Nurses Association is demanding that Fabian Nuñez abstain from voting on any health-care related legislation because his wife works for Californians for Patient Care, a non-profit organization funded by the hospital industry. Seems like a real obvious connection to me, but you know that highfalutin Fabian will probably tell us that he doesn’t talk to his wife about health care reform and such since he spends so much time being a steward of the public and of course, living it up in LA half the time in his luxury quarters. Perhaps the extent that his wife’s organization is funded by hospitals could be the issue that this conflict of issue turns on. If Californians for Patient Care had other funding sources beyond industry insiders, then maybe this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the Sacramento Bee is reporting that the non-profit received more than 98% of its revenue from the California Hospital Association in 2004 and 2005.
Maria Robles, Fabian’s wife, is an RN and supervises a staff of two at Californians for Patient Care. She is charged with creating a database of health care resources for the uninsured and with fundraising responsibilities. Ms. Robles has declined to disclose her salary, but she replaced an employee who was earning $140,000 per year. Seems like a nice chunk of change for a relatively small operation, so much for a middle class existence, huh? Also worth noting, last year, Maria Robles consulted for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Nuñez abstained from voting on a bill related to railroad emissions bill so this isn’t the first time a potential conflict of interest with the couple’s income has been brought up. It sounds like Ms. Robles is being compensated extra for her accessibility to the policymakers, doesn’t it?