, the filmmaker and provocateur, rode to the Capitol on Tuesday
, delivering impassioned -- and sharply barbed -- pleas for guaranteed health care," write Bobby Caina Calvan, Aurelio Rojas and Carla Meyer in the Bee.
"He was embraced by throngs who bestowed on him the kind of hoopla usually given a rock star.
"It was an opportunity for Moore to promote "Sicko," his latest film to take a jab at a powerful American institution. This time: the health care industry.
"'There is no room for the concept of profits when taking care of people when they are sick
,' Moore told a crowd of nearly a thousand nurses who swarmed the west steps of the Capitol."
So, does this mean that everyone is going to get to testify before a Senate committee to promote their new movie?
The Bee's Dan Walters writes that even with the hoopla, a health care reform deal will be difficult
: "The politics of the situation, however, are Byzantine, with "who pays" the central stumbling block, thus making it a full-employment situation for Capitol lobbyists. Schwarzenegger has adopted a "shared burden" strategy that taps consumers, employers and health care providers but shuns general taxes while Núñez and Perata would hit employers, and Kuehl's plan relies on broad income tax increases.
"Even if one assumes that the countless political ramifications of health care could somehow be compromised -- a faint hope at best -- none of the principal political players wants to even talk about two immense legal impediments, one state and one federal, to any major expansion of health coverage in California."
Walters goes on to discuss the two-thirds vote requirement to levy taxes to pay for a plan and a court ruling last year that prohibited mandatory health coverage on large employers, citing federal preemption.
Meanwhile, from our His Kids Win Too
File: "The manager of "The Big Spin" television lottery show is under investigation for allegedly signing an unauthorized contract with the Hilton hotel in Glendale
, accruing tens of thousands of frequent-user points redeemable for free rooms or airline flights," reports Nancy Vogel in the Times.
"Officials at the California Lottery, who fired broadcasting director Richard Leeson
on Tuesday, are investigating whether he violated laws against bribery, conflicts of interest or other issues. A state Senate committee with jurisdiction over gambling issues held an inquiry into the matter Tuesday.
"Leeson signed a contract in August 2006 with the Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale to provide roughly 80 rooms a month for contestants on "The Big Spin," lottery officials told state senators Tuesday. The rooms cost $110 each per night, and the "Hilton Honors" points were accrued at point per dollar.
"Through the contract, lottery officials said, Leeson garnered more than 97,000 points
. He also collected points from the hotel in years predating the contract, they said, although they could not specify how many.
"The law prohibits a state employee from benefiting personally from arrangements made on the state's behalf, said Donald J. Currier, lottery chief counsel."
The Daily News's Steve Geissinger Reports "The development is the latest in a series of controversies to plague the state-run operation
, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is campaigning to privatize.
"'Who'd want to buy it?' asked Sen. Dean Florez
, a Fresno-area Democrat whose government organization committee oversees the lottery."
To which we say, "Well, how much?"
"Florez, who held an informational committee hearing Tuesday on the lottery contract with the Glendale Hilton, said afterward Leeson's arrangement was a "sweetheart
deal' and a 'true kickback in every sense of the word.'"
The U-T's Ed Mendel follows up on the governor's budget proposal to cut funds for public transit
. "Opponents of the governor's proposal say cutting funds for public transit conflicts with his national image as a leader in combating global warming, which relies heavily on reducing emissions from automobiles.
"'You can't pose for the cover of Newsweek as the savior of global warming one day and then turn around and slash funding for public transit the next
,' Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said famously after the governor issued a revised budget proposal last month.
"Public-transit funding is one of the biggest issues, in dollar terms, as a two-house committee works on a final version of the $145.9 billion budget proposed by Schwarzenegger for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
"'That's probably one of the closing issues in the budget,' said Assembly Budget Committee Chairman John Laird
, D-Santa Cruz, who is presiding over the two-house budget-writing committee this year.
"The Senate version of the budget would give transit all of the $1.3 billion that the governor wants to shift to other programs. The Assembly budget takes only part of the transit money sought by Schwarzenegger, $468 million.
"'There may be a need to use some of it, as the Assembly did, and figuring that out is the question,' said Senate Budget Chairwoman Denise Ducheny
, D-San Diego."
"This week the state treasurer's office began running a $250,000 print and radio advertising campaign in the Bay Area and Central Coast to promote the "Buy California Bond" Web site
-- the first state-run site of its kind in the nation -- to help Californians buy bonds by linking them with brokerage firms that can place individual orders," reports Judy Lin in the Bee.
"The site -- www.BuyCaliforniaBonds.com
-- is kicking off by offering individual investors a chance to place orders on a $2.5 billion general obligation bond set to go on sale next Wednesday. Investors can contact their brokers to place orders during an early two-day period next Monday and Tuesday.
Treasurer Bill "Lockyer
describes the bond as a tax-free, secure investment that will help build schools, roads and parks in California. The average California bond yield was a 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent annual rate at the end of May."
"Assemblyman Joel Anderson believes a free lifetime state parks pass is the least California can do to thank disabled veterans
," reports Michael Gardner in the Union-Tribune.
"'These men and women served valiantly and deserve a reward,' said Anderson, R-La Mesa.
"However, Anderson's obscure measure to eliminate a token, one-time $3.50 charge for the pass has suddenly raised new fiscal questions and could test some Democrats over the always hot-button issue of patriotism.
"Anderson pulled his legislation from the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee yesterday to buy time to lobby the Democratic chairman.
"Since 1979, California has offered the discount to veterans with at least a 50 percent disability.
"'They deserve more,' Anderson said."
"A Santa Clara County judge dismissed corruption charges Tuesday against former San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales
, one of his top aides and a garbage company over a 2000 contract to haul the city's waste, saying prosecutors had mistaken ordinary political back-scratching for bribery," reports the Chron's John Cote.
"Superior Court Judge John Herlihy said prosecutors had presented the grand jury that indicted Gonzales and the others with a flawed theory of what constituted bribery of a public official and had given "erroneous instructions" to the panel concerning bribery, labor law and the falsification of public records.
"Gonzales and his chief budget aide, Joe Guerra, were indicted June 21 for their part in negotiating a deal with Norcal Waste Systems Inc. for San Jose's trash-hauling contract
. They were accused of secretly agreeing to give Norcal an additional $11.25 million in public money in exchange for the company having its recycling subcontractor, California Waste Solutions, switch to the Teamsters union and pay employees more."
Looks like the Sopranos really is over...
And we've got another Countdown to resignation
in San Francisco as supervisor-for-the-time-being Ed Jew poses for a mug shot
"Embattled San Francisco Supervisor Ed Jew surrendered to Burlingame authorities Tuesday night after San Francisco's chief prosecutor filed criminal charges against him and issued a warrant for his arrest, saying the lawmaker lied about where he lives in order to run for office.
"Jew, who turned himself in with his bail bondsman at his side, posted $135,000 bail and was released."
Not the kind of photo op most politicians hope for.