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The California State Senate is scheduled today to bring up the confirmation vote of Herbert Carter to the California State University Board of Trustees. Originally an appointee of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carter has been nominated to a second term by Governor Jerry Brown. Since 2009 Carter has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Carter’s “clock” is running out — his reappointment must be confirmed by the Senate within one calendar year, which would be the end of this month. Carter’s reappointment came before the State Senate Rules Committee where he was approved by the three Democrats who make up the majority of the committee, was opposed by one of the Republican Senators, and the remaining GOP Senator abstained.
It’s worth taking a moment, if you haven’t to read John Hrabe’s analysis of Carter’s reappointment situation that ran over on the CalWatchdog website yesterday.
This afternoon newly minted State Senate Republican Leader threw down the proverbial gauntlet, putting out a strong release opposing the confirmation of Carter to a second term…
Statement from Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff Regarding the Pending Senate Confirmation Vote for Herbert Carter for the California State University Board of Trustees
SACRAMENTO: Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) issued the following statement today on the pending Senate confirmation vote for Herbert Carter to the California State University Board of Trustees:
“On July 12, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown wrote to Herbert Carter, the Chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees regarding administrative pay packages. In that letter, the governor stated:
‘It is in this context, and prompted by the salary decision you are about to make today, that I write to express my concern about the ever-escalating pay packages awarded to your top administrators.’
The governor also wrote:
‘I fear your approach to compensation is setting a pattern for public service that we cannot afford.’
The governor closed his letter with the following request:
‘These are difficult times and difficult choices must be made. I ask that you rethink the criteria for setting administrators’ salaries.’
Members of the Senate Republican Caucus shared the governor’s concerns regarding administrative pay packages. The governor’s concerns and his specific request were not addressed.
On the same day that the CSU Board of Trustees voted to increase administrators’ salaries, they also voted to increase student fees.
I cannot recommend that Trustee Carter’s nomination be confirmed by the Senate until such time as Californians see real evidence that the CSU Trustees are making the tough decisions needed to control escalating costs that are being passed onto students and their families.”
For Senator Huff, this is really the first flag that Senate Republicans have planted in the ground since he became leader. How the vote goes will demonstrate the strength of his leadership on the GOP side, and the unity of Republicans in the upper chamber.
This matters because appointments to the CSU Board of Trustees require a 2/3rds vote of the Senate. So if Republicans stand behind their new leader they can sound a loud and clear message, and they can see that Carter’s tenure on the CSU Board of Trustees comes to a close.
Republican Senators, lead by Senator Huff, are in the right on this issue. Carter’s performance as a Trustee does not merit his being confirmed to a second term. Shame on Governor Brown for putting him forward, and thank you to Senate Republicans for stepping up to do the right thing – or so we hope!