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The effort is being done on the government's dime — an irony not lost on the designers whose salaries are paid by the state of California.
"There are many, many areas in which every American would say I don't like the way my tax dollars are being spent. Our answer to that is an in-your-face, so what?" says UCSD lecturer Brett Stalbaum, 33, a self-described news junkie who likens his role to chief technology officer.