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Keyword: meatheadgate

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  • State's fumble on preschool tax energizes foes of Props. 86, 87

    11/07/2006 7:51:35 AM PST · by SmithL · 6 replies · 450+ views
    MediaNews ^ | 11/7/6 | Steve Geissinger
    SACRAMENTO - State mishandling of voter-approved, tax-increase funds for a children's program has pumped powerful, 11th-hour ammunition into close, expensive battles over two similar cigarette and oil-tax boosting measures on Tuesday's ballot. After an audit revealed multimillion-dollar improprieties in the use of Proposition 10 preschool funding, foes of Props. 86 and 87 attacked the two new tax measures Wednesday as creating the same type of bureaucracies -- except with loopholes ripe for exploitation. "The audit confirms what many have been saying all along about tax initiatives creating reckless, out-of-control spending of tax dollars through unaccountable government agencies," said Larry McCarthy,...
  • Audit: First 5 Commission's oversight was lax (Meathead's me$$y affair)

    10/31/2006 5:30:42 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 549+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 10/31/06 | Juliet Williams - ap
    A taxpayer-funded commission headed by Hollywood producer Rob Reiner awarded media contracts totaling more than $77 million without sufficiently reviewing their costs and was lax in overseeing its deals, California's state auditor reported Tuesday. Poor oversight of its bills also led the California Children and Families Commission, or First 5, to pay $673,000 in fees and expenses that were prohibited under its own contract and make "questionable payments to contractors for items such as laptop computers valued at $10,000, food catering costs, and monthly parking fees," the report found. But the auditor concluded the commission did not violate state law...
  • Auditor reports contract lapses by Reiner panel (Meathead spent the tobacco settlement on friends)

    10/31/2006 12:51:28 PM PST · by BurbankKarl · 11 replies · 700+ views
    LA Times ^ | 10/31/06 | By Dan Morain, Times Staff Writer
    state commission chaired by Hollywood entertainer Rob Reiner suffered from lapses in its contracting, failed to properly award millions of dollars and did not adequately justify many of its payments, according to a state audit released today. The nonpartisan California Bureau of State Audits found that the California Children and Families Commission, also known as the California First 5 Commission, used tax money to overpay for some services and failed to follow state rules when it awarded some contracts. Among its findings, the audit said the commission: Did not follow state policy when it used a competitive process to award...
  • CA: Celebrity justice? - DA's probe of First 5 had better be thorough (MeatHeadGate)

    08/02/2006 10:53:55 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 727+ views
    San Diego Union - Tribune ^ | 8/2/06 | Editorial
    In her 11 years as Sacramento County district attorney, Jan Scully has cultivated a reputation as a no-nonsense law-and-order type. California taxpayers are about to find out if it's a reputation she deserves. In March, Attorney General Bill Lockyer – citing a conflict of interest – turned to Scully and asked her to review the First 5 California Children and Families Commission's use of $23 million for TV ads promoting “preschool for all” at the same time a “preschool for all” initiative was seeking placement on the ballot and voter support. State law makes it a felony to use public...
  • Santa Monica Firm Settles Suit Over Ad Campaign for Preschool (Prop 82 - Meatheadgate)

    06/10/2006 3:37:03 PM PDT · by calcowgirl · 14 replies · 374+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | June 10, 2006
    SACRAMENTO — A Santa Monica advertising firm that produced a tax-funded $23-million ad program touting the benefits of preschool settled a suit after one of its subcontractors made $2.5 million in payments, the firms have announced. GMMB Inc. alleged in a suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in April that the subcontractor, Durazo Communications, failed to pay some television stations that aired the commercials, which were funded by the First 5 California Children and Families Commission. (snip) The suit attracted attention when Hector Ramirez, the commission's chairman, called on the Los Angeles Police Department and the state Bureau...
  • Meatheadgate (Rob Reiner's sagging political fortunes)

    05/29/2006 12:49:30 PM PDT · by RWR8189 · 23 replies · 1,378+ views
    The Weekly Standard ^ | June 5, 2006 | Bill Whalen
    YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO rich or too thin, the saying goes, and it certainly holds true for California's June 6 primary. State Controller Steve Westly, a former eBay executive and Democratic candidate for governor, has spent $34.5 million of his own fortune in hopes of earning the right to face Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this fall. The other Democrat in the race, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, would certainly be out of the running by now but for a wealthy friend who spent $6 million on an "independent" expenditure to prop up his flagging campaign. As for the Governator, he's not...
  • 'First 5' Probes for Missing $3 Million (Where is the cash, Meathead?)

    04/13/2006 4:55:18 PM PDT · by BurbankKarl · 16 replies · 856+ views
    LA Times ^ | 4/13/06 | Dan Morain, Times Staff Writer
    California's First 5 commission is investigating the apparent disappearance of nearly $3 million in tax money owed to television stations that aired its recent preschool ads, the commission chairman said today. Hector Ramirez, First 5 California Children and Families Commission chairman, also called on the Los Angeles Police Department and California Bureau of State Audits to find out what became of $2.8 million given to the Los Angeles public relations and advertising firm Durazo Communications. The firm was supposed to use the money to pay the TV stations. "What we're going to be doing is just conducting a full investigation...
  • New PPIC Survey: Prop. 82 Sinking Fast in Latest Poll (Meathead's Universal Preschool Initiative)

    03/30/2006 5:06:07 PM PST · by CounterCounterCulture · 10 replies · 611+ views
    No on 82 e-mail | 30 March 2006
    New PPIC Survey: Prop. 82 Sinking Fast in Latest Poll In what can only be interpreted as very bad news for the Yes on 82 camp, a new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey shows voter support for the measure has plummeted 14 percent since the last PPIC poll in January, while opposition grew 10 percent. According to the poll, 52 percent currently support the measure and 41 oppose. It’s clear that once educated with the facts, voters understand that Prop. 82 is not a vote for or against preschool. It’s a vote about whether Prop. 82 is the...
  • Rob Reiner quits panel on children -- Assemblyman seeks wider political probe {Meathead Alert]

    03/30/2006 7:48:09 AM PST · by SmithL · 24 replies · 590+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/30/6 | Mark Martin
    Sacramento -- Film director Rob Reiner resigned Wednesday as chairman of the state children's commission he helped create, and a Democratic lawmaker said he would ask state auditors to broaden an investigation to look at what he called "a potential pattern of coordination between a political agenda and the commission's work.'' Reiner and the First 5 California Children and Families Commission are under scrutiny for a publicly funded advertising campaign last year touting the benefits of preschool that partially coincided with Reiner's effort to gather signatures for a June ballot measure that would provide free preschool to all 4-year-olds. Lawmakers...
  • Rob Reiner steps down from California preschool commission (Dead Meathead Walking)

    03/29/2006 3:58:58 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 35 replies · 1,027+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 3/29/06 | Michael R. Blood - ap
    Complaining of "personal political attacks," Hollywood director Rob Reiner resigned Wednesday as chairman of a statewide preschool commission he helped create that's under scrutiny for $23 million in advertising spending. Just two weeks ago, Reiner dismissed suggestions that he should step down from the California First 5 Commission, which has collected nearly $4 billion in tobacco taxes to fund early childhood programs. "Everything I've done is completely legal," he said at the time. But Reiner called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the weekend and resigned, said Margita Thompson, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman. In a letter to the governor Wednesday, Reiner said, "We...
  • Embattled Reiner Steps Down as 'First 5' Chairman [meat-head]

    03/29/2006 11:59:49 AM PST · by mathprof · 34 replies · 1,081+ views
    la times ^ | 3/28/06
    Amidst continuing partisan furor, Hollywood producer Rob Reiner today resigned his seat on a state commission he helped found, and was replaced by another Democrat. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised Reiner's service while accepting the resignation, which Reiner two weeks ago said he would not submit. Schwarzenegger named Hector Ramirez, 38, of La Mirada, as Reiner's successor. Republican state senators had campaigned against the noted liberal Reiner, accusing him of abusing his position as chairman of the First 5 California Children and Families Commission to further passage of Proposition 82, an initiative on the June ballot that would create universal preschool....
  • Pro-preschool campaign well ahead in fundraising (Meathead's Proposition 82)

    03/25/2006 1:46:41 PM PST · by CounterCounterCulture · 20 replies · 656+ views
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 25 March 2006 | Dana Hull
    Pro-preschool campaign well ahead in fundraising The campaign for Proposition 82, the Preschool for All Act, raised $2 million between Jan. 1 and March 17, according to campaign-finance records released this week. That's 10 times as much as the $196,000 raised by the ``No on 82'' campaign. The no campaign has $81,000 in remaining cash on hand; the pro-82 campaign, $1.6 million. Rob Reiner, who at nearly $657,000 is the campaign's biggest donor, has also become the focal point for its opposition. Much of the controversy surrounds conflict-of-interest charges stemming from Reiner's role as chair of a state commission, First...
  • Preschool Campaign Gets an Ethics Issue /Reiner may be the issue, for now…but its still a bad idea

    03/24/2006 9:05:25 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 449+ views ^ | 3/24/06 | K. Lloyd Billingsley
    Rob Reiner claims that opponents of Proposition 82, his ballot initiative for universal government-run preschool in California, are making him the issue because they are incapable of arguing against the measure on its merits. In recent days, Reiner has become the issue, but for reasons related to his first political production. The child of show-biz magnate Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner made his television debut as a motorcycle hood in a "Partridge Family" episode in 1970. The following year, Norman Lear cast him as the verbose liberal Michael Stivik in "All in the Family." His fame secured, Reiner went on to...
  • CA: Arnold's Top Associates Deeply Involved With Reiner Commission - Meathead's Mob

    03/23/2006 9:19:57 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 35 replies · 742+ views
    New West Notes ^ | 3/23/06 | Bill Bradley
    As dismay grows in his own party and among many observers over Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s seemingly surprising embrace and defense of left-liberal Democrat Rob Reiner and his tenure as chairman of the California Children and Families Commission, it is becoming evident that some of Schwarzenegger’s highest ranking appointees and advisors have long been involved with the controversial commission and the movie director/initiative promoter himself and have played key roles in the direction the program has taken. “The First 5 Commission,” says one Schwarzenegger friend using the Reiner commission’s nickname, “and Reiner himself have been much closer to the governor...
  • CA: Governor won't oust Reiner from commission. Governor standing by his "friend"

    03/22/2006 11:18:12 AM PST · by John Jorsett · 19 replies · 541+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | Mar 22, 2006 | Laura Mecoy
    LOS ANGELES - Defying Senate Republicans' wishes, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday said he would not replace director Rob Reiner from the chairmanship of the state agency First 5 California. The governor told the Fresno Bee's editorial board that he was standing by his "friend" Reiner until there is evidence of wrongdoing. "Innocent until proven guilty," Schwarzenegger said. Senate Republicans had asked the governor to replace Reiner in the chairman's job because the agency spent $23 million in tax dollars on an ad campaign promoting preschool while Reiner was qualifying a universal preschool initiative - Proposition 82 - for the...
  • CA: It's Time to Send "PreSchool for All" Back to the Drawing Boards

    03/21/2006 7:19:22 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 12 replies · 643+ views ^ | 3/21/06 | Jon Coupal and Tony Strickland
    It is remarkable how a committee of so many well-intentioned people can produce a disaster as uniformly flawed as Proposition 82, the "PreSchool for All" ballot measure on this November's California ballot. If there is fault to be found -- and there is -- it rests squarely on the shoulders of Proposition 82's huckster-in-chief Rob Reiner. While no one can deny Reiner's commitment to his utopian schemes, like many who presume to know what's best for the rest of us, Reiner has scarcely encountered a corner he hasn't cut. To date, he stands accused of: 1) Funnelling $23 million of...
  • CA: Why Hasn’t Arnold Replaced Reiner?

    03/20/2006 3:27:36 PM PST · by calcowgirl · 32 replies · 542+ views
    LA Weekly - New West Notes ^ | March 20, 2006 | Bill Bradley
    Why hasn’t Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced controversial movie director/initiative promoter Rob Reiner as chairman of the California Children and Families Commission? That’s the question that has many, especially Schwarzenegger’s fellow Republicans, perplexed. Reiner has stepped away, taken a “leave of absence” from his post at the so-called “First Five Commission” in the wake of revelations about its highly questionable spending practices under his leadership. But he intends to return to the chairmanship after his Proposition 82 universal preschool initiative is voted on in June, even though his term in office expired in 2004. Many Republicans thought they understood Schwarzenegger’s motivation...
  • Arnold won't terminate Reiner

    03/21/2006 6:01:59 PM PST · by Amerigomag · 22 replies · 518+ views
    Fresno Bee ^ | 03-21-06 | Gail Marshall
    During an editorial board meeting with The Fresno Bee today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he won't fire Democratic activist Rob Reiner, a director and fellow actor, as chairman of the California Children and Families Commission. Reiner has taken a leave of absence from the First Five Commission after reports of questionable spending under his tenure. He 's pushing Proposition 82, the universal preschool initiative on the June ballot. The commission reportedly used $23 million in tax dollars for advertisements supporting universal preschool while Reiner was collecting signatures to get his preschool initiative on the ballot. Schwarzenegger said there is only...
  • CA: Timing of Preschool Ads at Issue (Meatheadgate)

    03/21/2006 9:25:49 AM PST · by The Capitalist Avenger · 1 replies · 290+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | March 21, 2006 | Laura Mecoy
    LOS ANGELES - The state agency under fire for using tax dollars to promote preschool as a preschool initiative was qualifying for the June ballot has a history of hitting the airwaves while voters are considering measures that could change its programs. First 5 California Children and Families Commission launched its first ad campaign - a $14 million bilingual media buy - just six weeks before a March 7, 2000, vote on a ballot measure to repeal Proposition 10, the initiative that created the agency. The ads said nothing about Proposition 28, the initiative seeking to repeal Proposition 10. But...
  • CA: GOP's State Senators Urge Reiner's Ouster (Reiner won't quit)

    03/15/2006 9:49:41 AM PST · by calcowgirl · 16 replies · 582+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | March 15, 2006 | Dan Morain
    All 14 Republican state senators have called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Hollywood producer Rob Reiner on a commission the filmmaker helped found — and Reiner flatly rejected the suggestion Tuesday. A letter to Schwarzenegger signed by the Republicans accused Reiner, a Democrat, of using his position as chairman of the First 5 California Children and Families Commission to further a political goal: winning passage of Proposition 82, an initiative on the June ballot that would create universal preschool. The commission used public funds for an ad campaign touting the benefits of preschool at the same time Reiner launched...