Fresno, meet Sacramento

Perhaps there will be consequences after all. In the continuing fallout from Fresno State University’s “Revolutionary Environmentalism” conference (being held today and tomorrow), state legislators in Sacramento have begun asking a very good question: in the midst of a budget crisis, how can a public university spare the extra funds to hold such an event?

California State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth released a public statement today, bringing this question into focus. “I have been opposing these extremists for the last 11 years,” Hollingsworth said. “I have friends and acquaintances who have had their property destroyed, been threatened, and even killed by their ilk. They should all be behind bars, not feted at taxpayer expense. If Fresno State has so much money as to throw it away on this kind of garbage, then they can obviously stand a cut to their funding.”

Fresno State continues to insist that the entire event cost less than $8,000 — conveniently omitting the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on extra security by state and local law enforcement (to say nothing of local businesses). Fresno natives speaking to the Center for Consumer Freedom today described a significant law enforcement presence including both Fresno Police and the County Sheriff’s Office. The Associated Press is reporting that the California Highway Patrol has also been called in to patrol Fresno State’s 1,083-acre crop and livestock farm.

Hollingsworth and State Senator Roy Ashburn sent a joint letter today to the Chair of the California Senate Budget Committee, asking for a reduction in Fresno State’s funding for the coming year. The two senators lamented that Californians’ tax dollars “are being spent to host members of organizations responsible for burning and bombing roads, bridges, research laboratories, and public buildings.” They are demanding that the Senate “immediately reduce any funds to Fresno State University by an amount equal to that, which will be spent hosting this so-called conference. Obviously they have surplus funds at their disposal.”

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