Rob Reiner Resigns from California Preschool Commission

Rob Reiner stepped down from the California preschool commission:

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Complaining of “personal political attacks,” Hollywood director Rob Reiner resigned Wednesday from a statewide preschool commission he helped create.

His organization, the California First 5 Commission, has been under scrutiny for its spending practices.

Two weeks ago, Reiner dismissed suggestions he step down from the chairmanship of the commission, which has collected nearly $4 billion in tobacco taxes to fund early childhood programs. “Everything I’ve done is completely legal,” he said.

But Reiner called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the weekend and resigned, said Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson.

In a letter to the governor, Reiner said: “We agreed that we cannot let personal political attacks get in the way of doing the very best we can for California’s children.”

Reiner’s political associate, Hector Ramirez, has taken his place:

Ramirez served on the executive committee of the First 5 LA’s Preschool For All Initiative, which was, as I reported earlier, Reiner and First 5’s initial attempt to institute a publicly-funded universal preschool program and served as a model for Prop 82. After it was discovered that the Prop 10 tobacco tax money was inadequate for the task, Reiner’s thoughts turned to a new statewide initiative to fund Preschool For All at the state level. That initiative is now Prop 82.

Ramirez is also a leading member of the National Council of La Raza (“The Race”), an advocacy organization on a variety of issues, including immigration reform, in which it is frequently opposed to Schwarzenegger’s policy. In the context of Latino politics, “La Raza” can also mean “The People.” In some circles, it has a rather poetic and mystical connotation as “La Raza Cosmica,” in which, to quote Wikipedia, “traditional concepts of race and nationality can be transcended in the name of humanity’s common destiny.”

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