"Truth Syrum" Unmasks Lawmaker Fabian Nunez
Here's the interview:
Q--How do you explain your huge expenditures on luxuries?
A--I love to live high off the hog and when I achieved my present legislative position I decided that now was an opportunity to do it at others' expense.
Q--But is this a proper use of campaign contributions?
A--In my office, we don't call them contributions. We use the word "bribes." And those can be used for anything.
Q--But what about your fiduciary duties to the people of California?
A--Fiduciary? I've never heard of that word. But, often, if you mean, defending the public interest, I've done that. It's true, for instance, that I spent $2,562 at Louis Vuitton in Paris for gifts for people who hosted me on my high-speed rail trip to Europe. But they had succeeded in convincing me the TGV trains were too good for California, and by coming out against building such lines when I returned, I saved my constituents billions of dollars of construction costs.
Q-- What purpose, then, was served by your spending $8,745 at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona?
A--Actually, a lot of that went for party girls. I don't like to be without female companionship and since a woman ditched me for someone else, I've felt very lonely on these foreign trips. I'm frequently jet-lagged. I need a little pick-me-up.
Q--I see you spent $5,149 on a "meeting" at Cave L'Avant Garde, a wine seller in Bordeaux. What was that all about?
A--I only bought cheap wines for my companions on that excursion. It was the 150-year-old bottles I bought for myself that ran up the bill.
Q--And how about the $1,480 tab you accumulated at a "meeting" at the Llao Llao Hotel & Restaurant in Bariloche, Argentina?
A--I can't remember too much about that, because I blacked out. All I recall is that the Argentine women are beautiful. Most of them are of Italian descent, you know.
Q--And the $848 "meeting" at the French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley?
A--We got off cheap, because we only had hors' d'oeuvres. That's when the woman broke up with me. She said any decent man would have paid for a full meal. But my contributions had fallen short for once, and I follow one rule religiously: I never spend my own money when I can possibly help it.
Q--What about the $250 you spent at Mike's Bikes in Sacramento?
A--I don't remember the little expenditures.
Q--I see that Vogel is quoting you as saying you may have "put my foot in my mouth a little bit" when you compared your life style to "how most middle class people live."
A--Yes, I was warned by a relative that that statement could get me shot in the Los Angeles barrio. So I thought it was prudent to retreat a bit.
Q--You paid $1,000 for office cookies?
A--Yes, nothing is too good for the contributors who visit me at my office. My mother used to make almond cookies, but these are ever so much better. And these chumps give me so much.
Q--If you can remember, what was the $317 for at a Sacramento shoe store?
A--I do remember that. Imelda Marcos was coming to town and I wanted to show her I could wear nice shoes too.
Q--What is your reaction to the decision by the State Fair Political Practices Commission to audit your campaign accounts?
A--If these do-gooders get in my face, we'll legislate them out of business by withdrawing all money for their budget.
Q--Who do you think has spent the most, you or Gov. Schwarzenegger?
A--I hope I have, but I can't be certain. He's got corrupt people on his staff I would never dream of hiring, and he pays them extra out of campaign funds. Just today, I hear the governor vetoed our bill to require that infection and death rates at California hospitals be made public. I would never cater to the hospital lobby in that way. Now, that is real corruption.
Q-- I see you've said you may not accept invitations to visit Mexico and Asia.
A--Yes, once you've been to Paris and Barcelona, Mexico and Asia seem like small potatoes.
Q--What on Earth will you do when you are term-limited out?
A--Well I see my friend Richard Alatorre is now lobbying the Los Angeles City Council. You can't keep a good dog down.
A--Thank you. That truth serum certainly smells good. Where do you think I can get some more to sniff occasionally?
Labels: State government