Reiner Campaign Activity Draws Criticism
Film director Rob Reiner said on Tuesday he will not resign as chair of the First 5 California Children and Families Commission -- which administers proceeds of a state tax to fund children's health care and education programs -- after allegations that the commission improperly funded a campaign to promote universal preschool, the Orange County Register reports (Nelson, Orange County Register, 3/14).
In a March 1 letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) the 14 Republican state senators called for Reiner's replacement as chair of the commission (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 3/15).
Reiner's term as chair has expired, but he will continue to serve unless Schwarzenegger appoints a replacement (Kurtzman, Bakersfield Californian, 3/15).
Reiner recently took leave as chair of the commission to campaign for Proposition 82, a measure on the June ballot that would fund universal preschool in California. Last week, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted to conduct an audit of First 5 after the commission was criticized for an ad campaign supporting universal preschool.
State Auditor Elaine Howle said the audit will examine First 5 spending on advertising, contracting and whether there was coordination between the $23-million First 5 media campaign and the Proposition 82 political campaign (California Healthline, 3/9).
Reiner has welcomed the audit and maintains that First 5 funding of the ad campaign was legitimate (Los Angeles Times, 3/15).
Several newspapers on Tuesday published articles addressing criticism of
- "Compared With Politics, Comedy's Easy" (Daunt, Los Angeles Times, 3/14).
- "Embattled Reiner Slams His Critics" (Mecoy, Sacramento Bee, 3/14).
- "Filmmaker Rob Reiner Criticized Over Ads" (Kasindorf, USA Today, 3/14).