I’m not just saying that these politicians are using their taxpayer-funded salary to buy their vehicles. The state has rental car fleet that state politicians and agents use. They’re updating the fleet to include more “environmentally friendly” vehicles like Ford Fusion Hybrids. And at the same time, state lawmakers are proposing more and higher taxes to cover roads. This is just one reason the Left Coast of California is in the red. Breitbart reported:
California splurged by spending $540,000 on new Ford Fusion Hybrids for members of the state Senate angering tax payer advocates.
Lew Uhler, president of the California-based National Tax Limitation Committee said that he is infuriated with the way the state lawmakers operate. “The excesses and absurdities never seem to end with government,” he lamented.
State officials contend that it’s all normal operating procedures and they are simply exchanging older cars in the state Senate motor pool with more eco-friendly vehicles, reported the Los Angeles Times.
“What we did was just say, ‘Hey, DGS (Department of General Services) do you have Fusions?’ We weren’t saying buy new ones or anything like that. That wasn’t our intent. So it was really like if we have cars, make sure they are all Fusions,” said the Senate’s top administrator, Secretary Danny Alvarez.
DGS spokesman Brian Ferguson said that, “The majority of the vehicles that were rotated out were older-model full-size sedans that were replaced by newer hybrid vehicles as part of the continuing effort to green the state’s vehicle fleet.”
California has 4,435 vehicles in its rental fleet used by state agencies and other offices. It added 278 hybrid vehicles to the fleet in 2014, according to the Times. In 2012 Gov. Jerry Brown mandated that by 2015 at least 10% of non-emergency vehicles be electric.
Last year, the Senate bought a pre-owned 2014 Chevy Suburban for $40,117 to drive around Senate Pro tem Kevin De León and other worthy lawmakers.
Not to be outdone, House Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) gets to drive two cars that cost over $42,000 courtesy of taxpayers. She drives a new $42,694 Buick LaCrosse to get around Sacramento and a 2012 Chevy Suburban to bustle about her district.
Jon Coupal, taxpayers president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. points out that Atkins is asking California motorists to cough up more tax money to repair roads and freeways while she is driving in style. “This is the kind of thing that drives citizen taxpayers crazy,” he said.
They have their very own rental fleet. If they were operating at a surplus, I guess that wouldn’t be too bad. But for a state that’s in as much debt as California, somewhere around $778 billion, you’d think that this would be just one of thousands of programs that would need to be cut in order to save money. But no. These politicians don’t care about the debt or serving the public. They got into politics so they could live like celebrities at taxpayer expense.