Thursday, May 18, 2006

Meathead Money - Rob Reiner's Additional Million

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The Reiner family commits another million dollars (bringing the contribution total to $2,700,000) to the Yes on Proposition 82 cause that will tax a special class of our fellow citizens.

In a move to conceal the fact that "meathead money" is the main source of funding for the porposition, Rob Reiner's wife is credited with the lions share of the contribution.

Excerpts from LA Weekly - Bill Bradley's NEW WEST NOTES -

Reiner Antes Up, Again
May 18th, 2006

Movie director Rob Reiner has just put another million dollars into his universal preschool initiative on California’s June 6 ballot, Proposition 82. This brings the total to date from Reiner to some $2.2 million. His TV comedy pioneer father Carl Reiner has also previously contributed $500,000 to the campaign.

Also this week, Reiner public relations counsel Mark Fabiani, who ran damage control for the Clinton White House during the Whitewater controversy, confirmed that Reiner attended UCLA but did not earn a bachelor’s degree. This would make the Oscar-nominated director and Emmy-winning actor ineligible to be a preschool instructor. Under the terms of Reiner’s initiative, only those with bachelor’s degrees would be allowed to teach preschoolers their numbers, letters, and colors, a reason why many existing preschool programs oppose the initiative.

Prop 82 would levy a 1.7 percent tax surcharge on high-income Californians making over $400,000 a year to set up a $2.4 billion annual preschool program open to all 4-year olds. The initiative requires preschool instructors to have teaching credentials. Around two-thirds of 4-year olds already attend some kind of preschool program.

Reiner, who insisted that “This isn’t about me” during his unsuccessful attempt to defuse the controversy over his stewardship of the California Children and Families Commission at a March 14th appearance before the Sacramento Press Club, has disappeared from public view following his resignation under fire from the commission.
There is some gamesmanship in the form of the new million dollar Reiner contribution. $750,000 of the money is attributed to his wife, Michelle Singer Reiner. Her listed occupation is that of homemaker. According to the Internet Movie Database, she has one Hollywood credit, for a small role in the 1994 Steve Martin comedy Mixed Nuts, in which her husband co-starred.

By attributing most of this contribution to her, the Yes on 82 campaign could avoid describing Reiner as the initiative’s biggest backer on TV ad disclaimers.

Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current and former Senate Presidents Pro Tem Don Perata and John Burton, both Democrats, oppose Prop 82. Democratic gubernatorial candidates Phil Angelides and Steve Westly both support it.
The Yes on 82 campaign will also protest the No side’s use of actors to depict a teacher and principal in the opposition’s only TV ad. The No on 82 ad focuses on the creation of a new bureaucracy, the possible imposition of a “parent tax” (which is not explained) if the initiative is not providing enough money, and better uses for the funds to buttress the existing K-12 system. The opponents, however, generally oppose all tax increases and are not supporting a tax hike for that purpose.
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Well, at least this isn't the type of "Meathead Money" Rob Reiner was planning to use before he was forced to resign ... The monies that were potentially to be directed from his stewardship of the California Children and Families Commission in the form of PR and advertising contracts awarded and improperly dedicated to the YES on Proposition 82 campaign.

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