The Scandal That Could Save San Bernardino

The overheated rhetoric from Sacramento about the so-called scandal at the state parks department continues unabated.

That "scandal" is that the parks managed to save $54 million in accounts that were thought to be empty, since the parks have been so broke they narrowly avoided the closure of 70 parks.

Gov. Jerry Brown was even asked to weigh in, and he responded in a calm, measured way that shows he may be the only person in the Capitol able to put this in perspective.

"This is the first problem I've ever seen where actually people in government saved money, and that's good, because we have the money and we can use it. How the heck it happened, we're trying to figure it out. And we will figure it out. We're looking at all the special funds."

Brown's sensible response provoked tut-tutting from the political class, who couldn't figure out why he was being so sanguine about what many consider a fraud.

Certainly, the parks did seek vehicle license fee money to keep parks open, and they were about to close parks for lack of money. And the department of finance should have known about the money. So something went wrong.

But finding money you didn't know you have isn't a scandal, at least in the world outside the 916 area code. The rest of us would call such circumstances good fortune.

For if this is a scandal and a fraud, it sure would nice if someone could perpetrate a similar fraud on bankrupt cities such as San Bernardino and Stockton, where officials would love nothing more to find tens of millions of dollars unexpectedly unspent.

Such money could save services and jobs.

Heck, it could do the same in the parks.

If this is a scandal, California could stand to be scandal-plagued.

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