Reiner takes 5 from First 5 to campaign

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Hollywood director Rob Reiner has taken a leave as chairman of a state commission that spent $23 million on ads touting the value of early education programs while he is promoting a statewide preschool initiative. In a letter Friday to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reiner said the leave will last until June 7, the day after voters cast ballots on Proposition 82. The proposition would establish a state constitutional right to preschool for all 4-year-olds and raise income taxes for wealthier households to fund preschool programs. Reiner is stepping down from the state’s First 5 California Children and Families Commission, a state agency that uses tobacco taxes for early childhood development programs. He has chaired the commission since its inception in 1999. Reiner has said he and the commission have done nothing wrong, but he is stepping aside for the good of the commission. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant State Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman, of Irvine, and Assemblyman Dario Frommer, D-Glendale, a candidate for state controller, urged Controller Steve Westly on Friday to audit the commission. They cited concerns that the panel used tax money to aid the preschool initiative. Tony Strickland, a Republican also running for controller, also called for an audit earlier this week. Westly, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, has ordered a review and will use that to determine whether to conduct an audit, his spokesman, Yusef Robb, said Saturday. From November to January, the First 5 commission, which was created by a 1998 initiative that increased taxes on a pack of cigarettes by 50 cents, spent $23 million on television ads promoting preschool. The ads aired as Reiner was launching the Proposition 82 initiative for the June ballot. If successful, it would raise taxes by $2.4 billion a year to pay for universal preschool. State law prohibits the use of public funds for campaign activities.last_img read more