May 11, 2010
On May 4th I issued a press release and a Huffington Post blog titled "Schwarzenegger Won't Back Bill to Bring Jobs and Contracts to California." I was complaining about the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger's office promised they would support a bill I wrote once it was introduced to Congress, and now they have gone back on that promise. The bill, H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, would bring over $12 billion a year in new federal small business contracts to California and create nearly 500,000 new jobs in the state.
Yesterday the Governor's office responded on the Huffington Post through Marty Keller. Mr. Keller is the Deputy Director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
After reading Mr. Keller's rebuttal to my press release and Huffington Post blog, I had to laugh. They completely ignored the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger promised to back the bill and then broke that promise. Nowhere in their response do they even mention the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act. They don't deny Governor Schwarzenegger promised to back the bill. They didn't try to deny the fact that Governor Schwarzenegger now refuses to support a simple bill that could bring billions of dollars in additional federal contracts and jobs to California, which would help to solve the state's financial crisis.
That must mean, "Schwarzenegger Won't Back Bill to Bring Jobs and Contracts to California."
The most glaring exclusion from Mr. Keller's defense of the governor's record on small business is any explanation of why, "Schwarzenegger Won't Back Bill to Bring Jobs and Contracts to California." So it looks to me like they are clearly not even trying to deny (in any way) my accusation that, "Schwarzenegger Won't Back Bill to Bring Jobs and Contracts to California."
Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found billions of dollars a month in federal small business contracts diverted to Fortune 500 firms. The investigations have been covered by most of the major newspapers in the country including the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee. Research by the American Small Business League (ASBL) estimates that California firms are losing over a billion dollars a month in federal small business contracts because of these abuses. I have been fighting to stop the rampant abuses and I wrote a simple bill, H.R. 2568, which would halt the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants. The bill currently has the support of 25 members in the U.S. House of Representatives.
I would imagine that 99.9 percent of people in California, and every other state would agree that Fortune 500 firms should not be allowed to hijack federal funds, which by law should be going to legitimate small businesses.
So why is Governor Schwarzenegger refusing to back the legislation? Our state is suffering a dire financial crisis. Ten to twelve billion dollars a year in additional federal small business contracts would create between 400,000 and 500,000 new jobs in California. In February, Governor Schwarzenegger stated that we must, "do everything that we can to do -- to create jobs, jobs, jobs. To get the economy back and to create those jobs, because that is the important thing." (http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-gov-arnold-schwarzenegger-gov-edward-rendell/story?id=9887630)
So what's the problem? Everyone agrees, Fortune 500 firms should not be hijacking federal small business contracts, and California desperately needs the contracts and the jobs. I don't think anyone from the mainstream media has even asked the governor why he is refusing to back the bill.
I think the governor owes every Californian an answer to the question, why is it that "Schwarzenegger Won't Back Bill to Bring Jobs and Contracts to California."