March 5, 2009
Kathay Feng, (310) 880-6668
Derek Cressman, (916) 760 1534
California Common Cause calls for full prosecution of Rosario Marin,
Laws ending outside income for state officials
Sacramento - News sources have reported that Rosario Marin, head of the California State and Consumer Services Agency, resigned on March 5, 2009, after it was revealed that she had received speaking fees from private companies regulated by her agency.
When hearing that Marin had received a $15,000 speakers fee from Pfizer and $13,500 in speaking fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb, two drug companies with lobbying interests before her, Derek Cressman, Western Regional States Director, commented, "How are these outrageous fees anything more than thinly veiled bribes? This is why we need to bright-line laws that ban state officials from accepting speaking fees, or otherwise moonlight. The public has a right to demand that our state officials serve the public's interest, not special interests." The LA Times reported that Marin's state salary is $175,000 a year.
Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause stated, "Resignation is not enough. We understand that Marin is currently under investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for various legal violations. We urge the fullest prosecution under the law. The public's trust is at stake."
The Marin resignation follows on the heels of reports that Carrie Lopez, the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, billed the state for transportation costs to attend a Justin Timberlake concert with her daughter. Feng stated, "Our state is in a fiscal crisis, but we have report after report of state officials playing fast and loose with taxpayers money and political insiders receiving questionable appointments to well-paid commission positions. It is heartbreaking to hear about these abuses when vital services are being cut. It is time to clean house."
California Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring an open, honest, and accountable government, also working to strengthen public participation and ensuring that political processes serve the public interest, rather than the special interests.
Office: California Common Cause
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.