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Oops--California Audit Finds Tons of “Lost” Cash
Townhall.com ^ | August 5, 2012 | Ann-Marie Murrell

Posted on 08/05/2012 7:14:19 AM PDT by Kaslin

Last May, Governor Jerry Brown threatened to close 70 state parks in order to help balance the budget and plug the holes of the sinking ship that is California. 

 

Immediately, park-loving activists went to work and through bake sales and donations, the public helped save 69 of the 70 parks.

But then, oops---California auditors recently looked under their government couch cushions and located over $286 million in “misplaced” funds.

From the L.A. Times (emphasis added):  “Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Friday announced that $119 million more in untapped money was found in a sweeping audit of state accounts, bringing to more than $286.5 million the sum lawmakers were unaware of as they repeatedly cut government services…The additional money that lawmakers were unaware of includes funds for healthcare programs, reimbursement of crime victims and cleanup of underground petroleum tanks.”

“Unaware of”??  Even if I won the lottery and became a gazillionaire, I can’t imagine not being aware of $286.5 million. 

A Mercury News review found at least 17 accounts that “appeared to have significantly more serve cash than what individual departments reported to the finance department.” 

This sudden bounty of cash is causing a few more headaches for Brown. 

For one, the activists, local governments and non-profits that collected money to save the state parks are now asking for refunds.

"There was a sense of betrayal," said Carolyn Schoff, head of the California League of Parks Associations, an alliance of nonprofits. "We're the ones in the trenches raising funds for state parks, and now there's a dark shadow over us."

Another problem is the obvious—how in the world can one state “misplace” so much money?  Lots of finger wagging is happening, with each department scrambling to place blame elsewhere.

One of the largest discrepancies occurred within the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates telecommunications and energy services.

A spokeswoman for the commission said the accounting discrepancies are probably only "recording errors."

Sigh.

Democrat lawmakers are saying the audit “would not have changed how the state pieced together its budget this year”—yet these same lawmakers have used the funds to pay bills and according to the Times, the Legislature now owes them $4.3 billion (with a ‘b’), “a nearly sixfold increase since 2008.” 

These major monetary discrepancies perfectly explain why Republicans are constantly screaming and shouting about “big government”.  Any state that is so out of control that it can misplace enormous amounts of money—making politicians and Union fat cats richer and richer while her cities are filing bankruptcy--needs a major dose of checks and balances.

The good news in all of this is that perhaps these mishaps will result in some job openings to help boost California’s rising unemployment rate.  I suggest they start by hiring a few good accountants--and maybe an Oversight Committee or two. 

On a personal note--because I live here in La La Land-- I remain ever hopeful that the good citizens of California will finally see the light and will stop voting for the same old Democrats who seem intent on running this beautiful state further into the abyss.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/05/2012 7:14:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Progressives accuse Conservatives of being liars, but if they packaged what is said by Progressives everywhere, and applied it to vegetable gardens, food shortages in the world would disappear.

IMHO


2 posted on 08/05/2012 7:31:34 AM PDT by ripley
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To: Kaslin

Kali-Fornia is bankrupt!

Unfortunately, everyone in the USA will have to pay to bail these progressives (nee, LIEberal/Socialist/Marxist/Fascist bastards) out.

I deeply resent having to pay for LIEberal mistakes!


3 posted on 08/05/2012 7:35:49 AM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: Kaslin

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re a bureaucrat in The Parks Service. (Or, the school system, or the public transport, etc.) Your agenda is to provide service to your constituents. If you report how much money you actually have, politicians higher up the food chain swoop down and take the money. So, you hide it inside the accounting mechanisms under your control. I did the same thing as a manager in a company. I needed to upgrade computers so I could finish the contracts I was responsible for. I piece-parted them under a “repairs” account at a much higher price than if I’d been allowed to go out and buy them. Had my boss known he’d have taken the money as he got to keep a tiny portion of the unspent budget as part of his personal bonus. (BTW, he usually bought a new car when he got his yearly bonus.) The fact that the company wouldn’t complete the contracts was irrelevant in his personal accounting.


4 posted on 08/05/2012 7:37:53 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Kaslin

California sad circus. I really feel bad for the conservatives living there. The libs? They are reaping what they have sown. Let ‘em drown. Let ‘em stew in their own juices. Just deserts, etc.


5 posted on 08/05/2012 7:40:26 AM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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To: Kaslin
Happened in Indiana under Mitch "I wanted to run for President but my wife won't let me" Daniels; a larger amount in a much smaller state:

"Gov. Mitch Daniels announced last December that the state lost track of $320 million in corporate tax collections. State Budget Director Adam Horst then announced in April the state owed $206 million to Indiana's counties. Three top Indiana revenue officials resigned following the revelations."

6 posted on 08/05/2012 7:50:55 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (2008 + IN, NC, FL, VA, OH, NV o/r IA = 271EV)
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To: Kaslin
Keep searching -- there's a gold mine at the end of that rainbow.

HINT: It's spelled CALPERS.

7 posted on 08/05/2012 7:52:18 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Kaslin

“Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration on Friday announced that $119 million more in untapped money was found in a sweeping audit of state accounts, bringing to more than $286.5 million the sum lawmakers were unaware of as they repeatedly cut government services…The additional money that lawmakers were unaware of includes funds for healthcare programs, reimbursement of crime victims and cleanup of underground petroleum tanks.”

Hmmmmm. Was this misplaced on purpose, to be distributed to...at a later date.


8 posted on 08/05/2012 7:53:47 AM PDT by chainsaw ("Two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.")
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To: Kaslin

Someone needs to check the white hut’s couch cushions before November.


9 posted on 08/05/2012 7:54:40 AM PDT by bgill
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To: ripley

That’s amount to about 6% of the total California budget that was misplaced....


10 posted on 08/05/2012 8:00:18 AM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: nevergore

“That’s amount to about 6% of the total California budget that was misplaced...?

One wonders in which or whose bank accounts the funds were “misplaced”?

Just asking.


11 posted on 08/05/2012 8:07:00 AM PDT by ripley
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To: upchuck

“The Libs? They are reaping what they have sown.”

And, if Obama wins in November, the taxpayers will be reaping what has been sown by Libs. (As usual.)

IMHO


12 posted on 08/05/2012 8:09:32 AM PDT by ripley
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To: Kaslin

I just bet they did. More money to scam.


13 posted on 08/05/2012 8:21:45 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Kaslin; StAnDeliver
Happened in Virginia, too.

Tim Kaine, Democrat running for U.S. Senate, closed 11 rest areas around Virginia while $1.5 BILLION sat idly in the coffers. Bob McDonnell, the current VA governor, found the money and reopened the rest areas.

I’d love to see how much $$$ is hidden in Federal agency accounts.

14 posted on 08/05/2012 8:29:58 AM PDT by ethel rascel (Lurk Mostly)
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To: Kaslin
Oops--California Audit Finds Tons of “Lost” Cash

Check the politician's bank accounts.

15 posted on 08/05/2012 8:29:58 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ("Get that evil, foreign, muslim, usurping bastard out of MY White House!" FUBO GTFO!)
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To: Kaslin

The departments in which that ‘lost’ cash was found obviously didn’t need that money to operate last year, so their budgets for next year should be reduced by those amounts. That way, they won’t have to worry about that leftover money at the end of the next fiscal year.


16 posted on 08/05/2012 8:33:19 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Gen.Blather

” Your agenda is to provide service to your constituents.”

Ok. You see where you went wrong, there?


17 posted on 08/05/2012 8:35:56 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (OWS = The Great American Snivel War)
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To: Kaslin
Says the naive author...I remain ever hopeful that the good citizens of California will finally see the light and will stop voting for the same old Democrats...

And I remain ever hopeful that Leprechauns will leave a pot of gold at the foot of my bed.

18 posted on 08/05/2012 8:52:20 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Kaslin

In a “Hope and Change” moment, I looked under my couch cushions.....all I found was some lint, a toothpick a dime and a penny. I need a better class of couch!!


19 posted on 08/05/2012 8:55:29 AM PDT by Donkey Odious (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: Kaslin

Big deal. That’ll just be considered a windfall and spent on more BS giveaway entitlement programs.


20 posted on 08/05/2012 8:59:45 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: Kaslin

Great... Another gimmick to use at budget time.
Now the scum can add a line: “cash unaware of” and put in any number they want.


21 posted on 08/05/2012 9:06:02 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Kaslin

One of the funds that they ‘found’ money in is the Off Highway Vehicle Fund... this is money collected from off-road users of motorcycles, ATV, and probably 4x4’s to acquire land for their usage, develop riding areas and repair damage, etc.

This money can only be used for those purposes... this is mandated in the law.

Note that the Parks Department has failed to use this money for it’s required usage and has instead allowed it to pile up in the bank.

Now that Sacramento has ‘found’ it note the pressure to take it and use it for other purposes - never mind what the law says it MUST be used for.

Considering how leftist green the Parks Department probably is, this may have been their agenda all along... they don’t like the dirt bikes/ATVs/4x4’s so they tax them to provide them riding opportunities and then fail to provide them.

So this is a cautionary tale... just because the government sets up a ‘closed’ fund that collects money for some purpose DOESN’T mean the money will be used for that purpose.

Think Social Security, gas taxes, cigarette taxes, etc.


22 posted on 08/05/2012 9:27:49 AM PDT by NorthernTraveler
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To: Kaslin
Immediately, park-loving activists went to work and through bake sales and donations, the public helped save 69 of the 70 parks.

OK, let me get this right - the state screws up, and taxpayers need to set the screwup straight by donating even more of their own time and energy to clean up the state government's mess? Does this seem more than a little odd to anyone else?

23 posted on 08/05/2012 9:28:51 AM PDT by Sarajevo (Don't think for a minute that this excuse for a President has America's best interest in mind.)
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To: Kaslin

Dysfunctional junctions of programs involving more than one level of the state government, and/or more than one level of government (state to county to local) are rampant in California.

As the state has involved itself in more and more local matters, and as it has made more and more mandates on localities, and established its own local state entities among the localities, and designed programs that may involve all of the above at once - “where’s the money” can be like a “Rube Goldberg” puzzle.


24 posted on 08/05/2012 9:45:34 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: Kaslin

Let me take a wild guess here... The powers that be CA now want to be able to spend this “found” cash on other pet projects, not the parks etc. it was originally budgeted and allocated for...


25 posted on 08/05/2012 9:47:42 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: Kaslin

What if.....the Democrats needed lots of money for the 2008 campaign and took it out of state funds in California? Now it’s being paid back, probably by drug dealers. How would you explain it? Remember the Democrat campaign fund manager who went to prison because of all that “lost” Democrat campaign money? And California elects every liberal on the ballot, but votes down legalizing marijuana? Drug money owns the California Democrat party.


26 posted on 08/05/2012 9:58:26 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Kaslin

$286 million in “misplaced” funds.

Wraped up in plastic and stored in the freezer? that kind of “misplaced” funds??


27 posted on 08/05/2012 11:51:30 AM PDT by bikerman (Obama lied,economy died.)
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To: Sarajevo
California needs to fire the whole bunch of accountants, my grand daughter was drawing unemployment up until a few month ago..the company she worked for left this thieving state, and this week she got a notice from the great state that thy had over paid her to the tune of $1350.00 in one letter they sent and then the next letter they revised it and said she owed $650.00 dollars more, and all kinds of wrath will come down on her if this is not repaid.. apparently the state employees cannot read the chart that says how much you are to be paid, it is simpler than a bus schedule, they have no data entry skills, and cannot figure out how may weeks one is eligible to be on it..but they make the error and you must pay them back...of course work is very hard to find in california, so this bill will be sent to collection as they bullied and said in two separate letters .. ruining her attempt to establish some credit
28 posted on 08/05/2012 12:45:42 PM PDT by JoanneSD (TEA PARTY VERSES TEE TIME)
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To: Kaslin

Municipal accounting rules are very different from corporate accounting. Until the rules for municipal accounting change there will continue to be lost pockets of money. These funds are ripe for misuse/theft/graft...


29 posted on 08/05/2012 5:23:32 PM PDT by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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