Peter Nicholas takes a look at the rumors of which of the governor's senior aides will stay and which will go
. Nicholas writes that Mike Murphy
is safe, but the rumors of Patricia Clarey
leaving will likely be true after January's State of the State address.
"If Clarey were to move, it could have a domino effect."
"Conservatives could remain dominant if Clarey leaves and her successor is, say, Fred Aguiar
, a Republican member of Schwarzenegger's cabinet who is said to be a candidate."
"But [former Speaker Robert] Hertzberg
is also considered to be in the mix. So is Susan Kennedy
, a top aide to former Gov. Gray Davis
. If a Democrat comes in, it could spur an exodus among Republicans who owe their jobs to Clarey."
"That, in turn, could elevate Team Arnold's liberal faction: cabinet secretary Terry Tamminen
and senior advisor Bonnie Reiss
. By many accounts, Reiss and Tamminen have been marginalized, outmaneuvered by the superior numbers and bureaucratic savvy of the conservatives, led by Clarey."
Economists are warning that the great budget news released by Legislative Analyst Liz Hill
on Wednesday is likely a one-time phenomenon
, writes the LAT's Evan Halper.
"'It is all extraordinary factors,' [economist Stephen Levy
] said. 'The economy hasn't ratcheted up that much. What has ratcheted up are one-time gains from the housing market, corporate profits and stock market earnings.
Haven't we heard that somewhere before?
, a former chief state economist, cites the 'Google effect.'
He said that single company, based in the Bay Area city of Mountain View, produced so much stock market income for Californians in recent months that the capital gains taxes investors paid were probably a 'huge factor' in the surge of state revenue
Further putting a damper on the LAO's report, a Sacramento judge ruled yesterday that the governor's plan to issue bonds to pay a portion of the state's retirement contributions is illegal
"The immediate effect of the ruling by Judge Raymond Cadei
is that the state will have to find another way to pay the $525 million that would have been covered by a 20-year 'pension obligation bond' included in the budget approved this summer."
And in more bad news, the Union-Trib reports "the state's list of polluted streams, lakes and beaches continues to grow
, prompting water experts to warn that the contamination will cost Californians billions of dollars to clean up and require changes in their routines.
"In Southern California, water quality could be restored in several decades if every household were to pay an additional $4 to $5 per month
, said John Robertus, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board."
Prison guards are joining the PR fight over the impending execution
of Crips founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams
, who is scheduled to be executed next month.
Williams has been painted by suppporters as the cover boy for the reformed inmate. But the prison guards don't see it that way. "The corrections department earlier this month posted a news release on its Web site
about the upcoming execution, detailing Williams' crimes and asserting that he has continued to be a gang leader while on death row at San Quentin Prison
San Quentin spokesman Vernell Crittendon
, speaking on behalf of the department, went further in an interview last week, saying he suspects Williams is orchestrating gangland crimes from his cell
.'I just don't know that his heart is changed,' Crittendon said."
And since we've been following Pit Bull stories for you, we'll end with a story from Florida, where the state's Supreme Court ruled a television ad by a law firm comparing its lawyers to pit bulls was an affront to the legal profession
. "The advertisements 'demean all lawyers and thereby harm both the legal profession and the public's trust and confidence in our system of justice,' Chief Justice Barbara Pariente
scolded a unanimous decision. (And to think, the presidency of the United States once rested in this court's hands...)
The pit bulls have filed a counter suit saying the comparison to lawyers demeans their breed.