Two state senators - one Democrat and one Republican - demanded Thursday that the California State University system's trustees tell them who authorized spending for a "legislative report card" that rated lawmakers on how well they supported the system's political goals.
Sens. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and Joel Anderson, R-Alpine, both received low marks in the CSU compilation of votes and other actions affecting the system's political agenda this year.
The report card was apparently a parting gesture by Chancellor Charles Reed, who has announced his retirement. No legislator earned an "A" grade in the report.
"The scorecard is to inform the public on lawmakers' support of the CSU and public higher education," CSU said in a statement when it released the report on Oct. 17. "Just as California has charged the university with educating and graduating well-prepared students, the university holds state elected officials accountable for supporting that mission."
Yee and Anderson said was "a gross misuse" of taxpayer funds and in a letter to Robert Linscheid, chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees, demanded to know how much was spent and who authorized the spending.
Yee was highly critical of the board for granting raises to top CSU administrators and carried legislation to limit them, earning him a "D" grade.
"Based on the chancellor's positions on legislation, I am proud of my D score on his report card," Yee said in a statement. "Rather than fighting for students and faculty, the CSU administration used taxpayer funds to advocate for themselves and their fellow top executives."
"It is incredibly upsetting to see such waste and misuse of CSU funds - especially at a time when tuition rates are skyrocketing and students are struggling just to get by," Anderson, who received an "F" grade, said.
Michael Uhlenkamp, a CSU spokesman, said of the Yee-Anderson request:
"The issuing of the CSU's legislative scorecard was approved by campus presidents, the executive staff at the chancellor's office and the chancellor.
"As with any decision coming from the chancellor's office, final approval of the scorecard came from Chancellor Reed. I would point out that while Senators Anderson and Yee apparently didn't receive the scorecard favorably, we have received positive feedback from student and alumni groups and legislators as well."
Editor's Note: Updated at 1:18 p.m, Nov. 1, 2012, . to include CSU response.