If you can't beat em, join em. That seems to be the approach of Gov. Schwarzenegger as he and Democratic leaders prepare a massive infrastructure bond that could top $50 billion
, according to the LAT's Evan Halper. "The governor hopes to join with Democratic leaders and businesses to address Californians' growing frustration with clogged roadways, polluted water, hospital shortages, overcrowded schools and, in the wake of the devastation in New Orleans, inadequate disaster preparedness."
In the process of rebuilding the state's infrastructure, Schwarzenegger can also rebuild his image as a moderate, but neither one will come cheap. "Business groups acknowledge that the state may not be able to sell such a large bond issue unless lawmakers and voters alike go along with a tax increase to back it up — perhaps a quarter-cent or half-cent sales tax or billions of dollars in new user fees that could affect businesses
Speaking of rebuilding, the governor took a big step toward making peace with his rivals Friday when he dropped the appeal to the court challenge seeking to impose nurse staffing ratios
in California's hospitals. His decision to fight the law earlier this year is what led to the galvanization of the California Nurses Association, and helped drag down the governor's poll numbers.
Meanwhile, the groups supporting at least two of the initiatives backed by the governor plan to push them again
next year, writes Harrison Shephard in the Inland Valley Daily Tribune.
"Supporters of Proposition 75 said they began looking at new proposals to restrict unions' ability to use dues for political purposes as soon as Election Day ended."
"'We will be relentless in pursuit of that,' said Lew Uhler
, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. 'The public-employee unions better get ready for another round of efforts and maybe they ought to come to grips with the reality of the demands of a good portion of their members.
Perhaps the new election strategy is to bleed labor of $100 million every couple of years to shrink their candidate warchests...
George Skelton says there's reason to be optimistic
that Democratic leaders and the governor can work together. While Don Perata
has tried to move beyond the special election, Speaker Fabian Nuñez
doesn't seem quite so eager. "He's a lot younger, 38, and angrier than Perata
"'In politics, you're only as good as your last election
,' the speaker told reporters, snidely referring to the weakened governor. 'Before we get to the 'Kumbaya' stage, let's stop for a moment and reflect on what just happened here
Looks like the governor has some company in China this week
, as President Bush heads to the country to meet with Chinese leaders. Maybe now Schwarzenegger will find some time to hang out with the president after snubbing Bush last month in California.
But Willie Brown
says the China trip is part of a 2006 reelection strategy. "'Arnold won't be just selling California in China,' predicted former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who has made five trips to China in an official capacity. "He will be selling Arnold -- to Asian American voters
"Schwarzenegger, by virtue of his movie star status, has 'a chance to have a greater presence in the Asian community than any other Republican has had in a very long time,' Brown said. 'The Asian voter is not an identifiable party voter; he's voting in the interests of what affects his community. And Arnold, going to China, first and foremost shows great respect for the Chinese community. And that will have residual benefits.'"
Hmm...not questioning the former speaker's political analysis, but that does seem like a stretch, particularly when the politically active Asian-American voting communities include strongly anti-communist Taiwanese and Vietnamese.
The Merc's Kate Folmar has another take
"While abroad, Schwarzenegger could restore some of his political luster
, especially if he seals meaningful business deals. 'It's important for us to go to China right now because it's an economy that is growing so rapidly,' said Schwarzenegger press secretary Margita Thompson
. 'And California is so uniquely positioned to have a competitive advantage by being the gateway to the Pacific.'"
The Register's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson checks in with Warren Beatty
to see if last week's success has made him want to run for governor.
He continues to say that he does not plan to run for governor, but...
"'You're not getting rid of me so quickly by having me say I don't have a right to change my mind,' the "Bulworth" star said during a two-hour interview Friday at his Mulholland Drive home."
If he isn't running for governor, why then did he spent so much time campaigning against the governor's initiatives?
"'I sort of get a narcissistic pleasure at speaking out
,' he later joked. But his fame and fortune also compel him to get involved when he feels people are being led astray, Beatty said, just as he did against the special election. 'There were a number of initiatives that seemed kind of interesting on the surface, but were like Trojan horses when you delved into them,' he said. 'I think it required someone who was known to bring attention to their fallacies.'"
The U-T's Dana Wilkie talks about the movement in Congress to split up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
"Backers say the plan would make the court more speedy and efficient, and perhaps less inclined to produce rulings that are often overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The move is dismissed by opponents as a Republican ruse to break up a court that has the reputation of being the nation's most liberal circuit.
"'There are some very powerful people who are pushing this,' said Arthur Hellman
, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and a leading expert on the 9th Circuit. 'And they are doing it in a way that makes it more difficult for opponents to fight it.'"
To mark the governor's trip to China, we have provided a list, first published in Spy Magazine back in 1995, of some Schwarzenegger movie titles in China, and translated back into English. And we've added a few other titles for good measure.The Film
: The Chinese TitleThe Terminator
: Devil TerminatorTotal Recall
: Devil MobilizedKindergarten Cop
: Devil King of ChildrenJunior
: Devil Jr.True Lies
: Devil Emperor True LiesDemolition Man
: Super Warrior PoliceJudge Dredd
: Super Warrior Police of All TimesIndecent Proposal
: Peach Colored TransactionDisclosure
: Peach Colored Top SecretThe Shawshank Redemption
: Excitement 1995