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Skelton: Accounting problems a political hurdle for Jerry Brown

August 2, 2012 |  7:00 am

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget

Skelton hedRecent revelations about loose accounting could undermine Gov. Jerry Brown's campaign for tax increases, George Skelton writes in Thursday's column. It doesn't matter whether the governor knew about the problem or not.

"The astute old pol — who sold wisdom and experience as his credentials for a third term as governor — says he didn’t know the jars existed. And that’s completely believable," Skelton writes. "But it’s also irrelevant. It’s a governor’s job to know — at least his job to have appointed the eagle-eyes who could have told him sooner than 19 months into his term."

Last month the state announced that the parks department had $54 million more than previously reported. Although extra money is usually good news, the problem is that the department had been soliciting donations because it claimed to be too broke to fund 70 parks around the state.

Part of the problem, Skelton says, is the way state accountants track California's money.

"The finance department and the controller’s office account for special funds differently. Big mistake," he writes. "It shouldn’t be expecting too much for the state to keep a common set of books."

You can read all of Skelton's columns here.

California parks face a $54-million question

California parks department finds $54-million surplus

Millions of dollars may lie dormant in California's special funds

Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown discussing his budget proposal in the Capitol in January. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

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