Letter to Governor
Governor Jerry Brown:
There are no guarantees in life except, in the
United States, the quest of life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. Oh, let's not forget Death and
However, there are those who believe life should
guarantee you a job with benefits and even tenure, a
guaranteed job. Where's your confidence? Aren't you
a great employee?
Over time, you have showboated the fact that you are
frugal for the citizens of California.
But, are you really?
You have said these would be frugal and austere
years for Californians. There are reports that you
may close more than 15 governor's offices around the
state. You have said you plan to eliminate 46,000
cell phones from state workers. I say "may" because
it hasn’t happened to my knowledge yet. But, is it
all talk for the news media? Just lip service to
restraint in this rotten California economy?
Through Facebook, during your gubernatorial campaign
I asked you and Meg Whitman to be fiscally honest
and accountable and to post all the state's finances
to the web on a daily basis, starting with your
governor's office and the California Lottery. Let's
see the numbers. Post the Finances Daily.
Well, so far, you have put out the window dressing
of frugality and thriftiness,
but are you really different this third time as
governor? Time will tell. But history shows
politicians don't change their spots.
Nevertheless, I would like to congratulate you on
becoming governor of this great state of California
for the third time and I appreciated the frugality
of your inauguration.
And, even though I had high hopes for former
Governor Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria
Shriver, a Republican and Democrat, clearly working
together, I was greatly disappointed they didn't
have the guts to post the state's finances.
Please don't let us down. Maybe a Democrat will do
it, but it is more likely a Republican will be the
first to implement my plan.
As you know, many thousands of us Californians,
along with the state of California, are struggling
to get out of a serious financial disaster.
You were known for your frugality. I urge you now to
take the next logical step in restoring the fiscal
health of California and make the necessary cuts and
especially post the state's finances daily to the
Also, I appreciate your willingness to throw back
services to the counties and cities but are you just
kicking the can of fiscal transparency down the
road? It's like telling your soldiers to scatter so
the bomb of fiscal transparency won't get them. But
it will, and it may be sooner rather than later.
I wish I could have had you throw your political
weight behind the Post the Finances initiative,
officially known as "State Revenue and Expenditures.
Initiative Statute," which I pioneered back in the
early 2000s. This initiative called for all
Californian government departments and agencies to
post all of their finances, every day, to the
Internet like an online checking account.
By the way, just as an aside, the manipulation of
wording done by the legal staff of the State was
horrifying. Call this initiative what it is: The
"State Shows Us All Our Money Law".
It's interesting to note that our local newspapers
write to the reading level of the average 6th
grader, while initiatives and laws are written for
lawyers and legal scholars who want to manipulate
the masses and obfuscate in order to do so, but at
times don't understand these laws completely
themselves. Hey, K. I. S. S. Keep it Simple, Stupid.
Post the Finances is like a daily, on-demand
people's audit. It will reduce wasteful spending,
fraud, duplicity and corruption in California's
It fits perfectly with your declared intention in
the budget to “to cut state operations by reducing
waste and redundancies and associated costs.”
In the wake of the scandal in the city of Bell,
California, politicians and bureaucrats are
realizing that they can no longer play around with
the taxpayers' money, because the taxpayers will be
able to watch their every move. It's not a matter of
if but when posting the finances will happen. Will
it happen under your watch?
Post the Finances will provide an unprecedented
opportunity for citizen oversight of their own
government. After all, it is our money that funds
the government and we have the right to know how it
is being spent.
In addition to your promise to audit the books, you
have also stated that if the legislature refuses to
break out of its habitual gridlock, you will create
referendums or initiatives to bypass the legislature
in the interests of the people of California.
Post the Finances, which has been resisted by the
Sacramento political establishment, is surely an
initiative that merits your support.
I, along with millions of other Californians,
believe that you are on the side of the people of
California, not the ideologues on either side or the
vested financial interests.
I believe that Post the Finances is a reform that
cannot be delayed. It is in the best interests of
every resident of California, and I urge you to give
your full support to the initiative officially known
as "State Revenue and Expenditures. Initiative
Will you use your next press conference to publicly
Everywhere I go in California I meet with
enthusiastic support for this initiative.
An endorsement from you, the Governor of California,
would show everyone that you mean what you say about
openness in government.
The wise leader listens to what the people are
saying. And more and more people in California are
saying, "Post the Finances for Fiscal Honesty."
Can we rely on you, the new governor of our state,
to hear us? And may I have an appointment with you
to discuss my idea in more detail?
I hope so.
Steve Mozena, Post the Finances, P.O. Box 92679, Long Beach, CA 90809,