On politics in the Golden State
September 3, 2010 | 12:29 pm
[Updated at 4:40 p.m.] The president of University of California and the chancellor of the California community college system has resigned in protest from the California Chamber of Commerce board of directors after the organization backed Meg Whitman’s bid for governor.
Jack Scott, a former Democratic state senator from Pasadena who was appointed as chancellor by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his resignation in a letter to chamber President Allan Zaremberg after the endorsement vote Friday.
“Although it would have been my preference to remain on the board, in light of the Chamber’s action today to engage in electioneering, remaining on the board is no longer possible,” Scott wrote in the letter. “As I expressed to the board during the Chamber’s open meeting, I do not believe the board is using sound judgment by catapulting the California Chamber of Commerce into the center of a fierce political contest for California’s next governor. It is a constructive act when the Chamber weighs in on matters of public policy that impacts California businesses, but it is destructive to the Chamber’s core mission and the businesses it represents when it becomes a partisan operation.”
[Updated at 4:40 p.m.] Mark Yudof, president of the University of California, also suspended his membership on the chamber board last week in anticipation of Friday’s vote.
“As the president of a public university, I cannot take sides in electoral politics,” Yudof wrote in a letter to chamber president Allan Zaremerg. “I must preserve my politically agnostic status.” Yudof said, “it is my hope that in December, the board will find a way to create a category of non-voting, ex officio members, which I would be pleased, if asked, to join.”
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