Friday, December 22, 2006

Schwarzenegger Ought To Fire Susan Kennedy

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger were as honest a political figure as he claims to be, he would have fired his corrupt executive secretary, Susan Kennedy, a long time ago.

Kennedy appeared in two separate stories on Page 1 of the L.A. Times California section yesterday as engaged in crooked deals. Together, the reports constituted a double whammy against a lady who has long dishonored high staff positions.

The lead story, by Jenifer Warren, quotes two former chiefs of the California prison system as testifying in federal court that moves orchestrated by Kennedy, cow towing to the notorious prison guards union, had stymied their efforts to reform the state's crisis-ridden prison situation.

It was Kennedy's vow to take a hand in negotiating the prison guards' contract in the middle of last year's Schwarzenegger reelection campaign that tipped off the prison chiefs that the guards would hold a veto power over badly needed changes. Both stepped down from their jobs.

(The day after this was posted, the L.A. Times reported in a Page 1 story that under a contract signed in the Gray Davis governorship, 6,000 guards are receiving compensation of more than $100,000 due to overtime pay. Kennedy was corrupting other fields in the Davis administration, but unfortunately the Schwarzenegger Administration has toadied to the guards as well. They are treated far better than the state's teachers, to the disgrace of both the Davis and Schwarzenegger administrations).

In a second story on the same page as the original prison story, Jordan Rau reports that Kennedy, who ran roughshod on consumer interests on behalf of the big utilities, when she was a Davis-appointee on the Public Utilities Commission, now is seeking the appointment of another utilities' stooge, Rachelle Chong, to that same commission.

Kennedy has now worked for three leading California officials, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, and made all of them less than they were. She is a black mark on all three, although, in justice to Feinstein, the full corruption of Kennedy was not evident when she worked for her.

Kennedy's specialty is catering to special interests, as a means of inducing campaign contributions, and she seldom sees one she doesn't like.

Some people in government rove from one commission to another, from one malfeasance to another, and Kennedy has certainly proved herself to be one of them.

Outgoing PUC Commissioner Geoffrey Brown describes that commission as "routinely deferential" to the industry it is supposed to be regulating, while consumers continue to pay outrageous rates.

In the prison inquiry, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson has limited the scope of the investigation, declining pleas that he call Kennedy and former Schwarzenegger Cabinet Secretary Fred Agular to testify, despite the findings of a special master that they had conspired to let the prison guards union block reform efforts in an apparent move to insure their campaign contributions to Schwarzenegger.

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