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Skelton: Special interests give Brown free ride to China

April 11, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff
  • Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by Chinese delegates after a dialogue session for the China-California on Energy Innovation and Low Carbon Development at the Tsinghua University in Beijing on Thursday.
Gov. Jerry Brown is surrounded by Chinese delegates after a dialogue session… (Andy Wong / Associated Press )

Gov. Jerry Brown's trip to China isn't being paid for by taxpayers. The governor isn't footing the bill either. Instead, the cost is covered by the roughly 90 people traveling with Brown, some of them representing special interests.

It's one of several things about the governor's trip that rubs George Skelton the wrong way.

"It just looks unseemly — a pack of lobbyists and other favor-seekers paying big bucks to traipse after the governor, schmoozing and gaining invaluable access," he writes in Thursday's column.

Gov. George Deukmejian used state money for his five foreign trips during his two terms in the governor's office.

"He thought it was inappropriate to use private money to pay for any of the public officials. He wanted to avoid any possible conflict with private interests," said his former chief of state, Steve Merksamer.

All of Skelton's columns are here

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