Vice President Joseph Biden cannot manage his own mouth, leading to speculation that he could be replaced on the Democratic ticket within the next three weeks. Such a move would be an admission that Barack Obama chose poorly four years ago, and that Biden is every inch the fool that some of us have been saying he is for years.
California’s parks system begs for cash to keep the gates open, while it turns out that the system’s managers secretly squirreled away millions and millions of dollars. This admission calls everything about California’s state management into question.
California’s prized park system — from the Sierra Nevada to the golden southern beaches is facing big problems as a high-priority audit gets underway to learn how officials stashed a $54 million secret surplus while soliciting money from local governments and others to stay afloat.
The independent state audit is scheduled to begin immediately and produce findings within the next few months, said GOP Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, who helped win bipartisan approval for the probe.
“These parks define us as Californians,” Gaines told FoxNews.com. “And this is a victory for transparency in California state government.”
The park system’s director, Ruth Coleman, resigned Friday after officials discovered the money, which had not been reported to the state’s finance department. And the system’s second-in-command, acting Chief Deputy Director Michael Harris, was fired in the wake of the scandal.
The state’s Department of Parks and Recreation has been facing hard questions about its handling of taxpayer money since at least May 2011, when officials announced a plan to close 70 of their 278 parks due to budget cuts. However, they narrowly avoided that scenario through foundation money, help from municipalities and corporate-management agreements.
Gaines said Monday the $54 million has been in state coffers for as long as 12 years, and she thinks government financiers intentionally hid the money.
“They use sticky notes” as record-keeping, she said.
State officials have not responded to requests for comment.
The audit was announced just days before three high-ranking parks officials were disciplined for their part in an unauthorized vacation-buyout program that cost state taxpayers more than $271,000.
In the vacation scheme, officials broke laws to pad people’s taxpayer-funded buyouts. Read the whole thing.