California legislators' car perk results in some buyer's remorse - latimes.com
As of this spring, about 80 of the Legislature's 120 members were taking advantage of the program. But Blakeslee's decision not to take delivery of the car was unusual. It also meant that his $197.21-share of the monthly payments was going unpaid. Taxpayers were footing the rest of the bill.
After being asked about the situation by The Times, Blakeslee's office said he had decided to pay his portion each month going forward, and $986.05 retroactively.
A similar chain of events landed a 2011 Buick LaCrosse, bought for Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), in mothballs in a Sacramento-area warehouse.
Within days of picking up the $39,109 vehicle in January, De Leon tried to return it, said Dan Reeves, his chief of staff. But the dealership wouldn't take it back.
So Schmidt begrudgingly took possession of the sedan and has stowed it in a warehouse under lockand key — "probably a tarp over it," he said — until he can figure out what to do next.
Blakeslee decided to drive his family car after determining that "it was perfectly adequate" for his commute between San Luis Obispo and the capital, his chief of staff, Christine Robertson, said in a statement.
De Leon now uses a Senate pool car, a 2008 Toyota Prius, free of charge, according to his office. He made his portion of the Buick payments, $186.83, for two months.
Both lawmakers declined to comment for this story. Together, their cases of buyer's remorse cost taxpayers close to $80,000.