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More commentary in response to ethics issues in the Golden State

March 7th, 2009 · 3 Comments

On Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger imposed new rules for his administration about reporting travel, gifts, and outside income after Rosario Marin’s resignation. One of our readers, Amerinica, was particularly disturbed by the expenses being claimed by some of these public officials, especially when California and the country as a whole are being forced to be more frugal. She wrote the following in response to this LA Times article from earlier in the week:

It seems like every day, we are bombarded by examples of how a good number of our current business and political leadership lack ethics and/or common sense.  We were driven by our current economic crisis by a vicious circle of greed, corruption, self-entitlement, and ignorance/naiveté. 

Yes, I heard the stories of consumers that wanted to buy into the American dream and buy a home at any cost.  They overstated income hoping that once they built equity they would be able to refinance at a lower rate.  However, the broker also was motivated to look the other way; they were selling the loan to another lender, passing the problem while making a nice commission (win/win in their eyes, they justified the action because they were helping a family achieve their American dream).  Now, we are bailing out the same individuals whose mentality was to make a quick buck at any cost and don’t get me wrong, I understand the economic ramifications of not coming to the aid of such companies as AIG.  However, pumping money is not going to resolve the entitlement cancer within the leadership of these organizations.

On the political front, a recent article by the LA Times, outlines how over the last two years, top California administration officials have made free use of government expense accounts with little oversight, and, in some cases, no documentation.  The reasons posed by some were outright ignorance of the state regulations on traveling expenses and/or it was the oversight of an incompetent assistant.  How many times have you heard that excuse?  Should we not expect a certain level of sophistication from our leadership in its ability to hire and train competent staff, especially those handling sensitive matters and understanding of the rules and regulations of the positions they are accepting?

It seems that one additional requirement that should be enforced by our government is that all top administrators and leadership of companies that are getting tax payers assistance be required to attend ethic classes along with courses that explain rules and regulations of what is permissible spending to avoid allegations of ignorance by top administrators in the State of California and such companies as Northern Trust Corp., a bank that received $1.6 billion in government funds, and faced scrutiny for hosting parties and other events connected to its sponsorship of a professional golf tournament. 

Photo Credit: undated photo of Rosario Marin with President George W. Bush, from LatinAmericanStudies.org

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Tags: ethics · Government Accountability · Rosario Marin

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