May Revise: "Waste, Fraud, & Abuse"

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That was undoubtedly one of the most common catch-phrase issues of the 2003 recall campaign. And the anger behind wasteful state spending was part of what the Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign rode all the way to election day.

So what happened to all of those efforts to ferret out all of that profligate spending? Schwarzenegger's recall campaign website was even quoted as saying the waste was in the "hundreds of millions" of dollars. But his 2004 massive government reform plan, the California Performance Review, was largely scrapped, after promises that it would save the state as much as $32 billion dollars.

At the budget press conference, I asked the governor what happened to his belief that state government was riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse. His answer:

"We did not find the kind of things, we found some things, but we did not find the kind of abuse that I thought there is."

However, Schwarzenegger also said he has instructed all of the departments to go through and look at things "line by line." And he said the search, regardless of whether it comes up empty, should be done every year.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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