George Skelton has a new theory about why Arnold Schwarzenegger sometimes seems to contradict himself.
"'There are times when I see the second-language issue manifest itself,' says Schwarzenegger's communications director, Rob Stutzman
Speaking of English language learners, Jill Stewart,
has a fresh batch of whoop-ass for schools chief Jack O'Connell.
"O'Connell shares tremendous blame for the fact that Latino children are being warehoused in these training-wheels classes long after they can read and write in English," she writes. "If the public could get its hands on the information O’Connell is protecting, we’d see an end to this coy debate over whether kids are learning English better by being taught in English."
In "So Much for That Idea" news, the governor plans to ditch the plan to eliminate boards and commissions.
"My initial reaction is that this thing was so clearly political and poorly thought out that this is a tactical retreat from a battle that the governor would look like a fool if he pursued," said Richard Holober
, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California.Sean Harrigan
may be out at the PERS board, but the new chief, school employee union board member Rob Feckner
, doesn't appear to be any more receptive to the governor's pension privatization plan. "In an interview Wednesday, Feckner said he intends to continue using CalPERS's $182 billion in holdings as a bully pulpit to push corporate reform issues. Certainly, the premise will be the same," he said in an interview with the Chron's Christian Berthelsen.
"We're going to be striving for corporate governance, corporate reform, curbing excessive executive compensation."
The news comes as the governor and legislative leaders are off in DC, on a publicity tour in which they will ostensibly be lobbying for more federal money for the state.
While in DC, both the governor and Democratic legislative leaders will maintain schedules that will make them busier than a grilled sandwich.
John Myers is blogging from DC
about their visit.
But some people are not optimistic about their efforts to shake the DC money tree
. "People ask me how to quickly improve their return on the federal tax dollar . . . and I joke that you need to ratchet up your poverty rate, drastically reduce incomes and recruit old and sick people," says Matt Kane
, senior policy analyst with the Northeast-Midwest Institute, which advocates for states in those regions.
So, why does California pay more money than they get back fromthe feds? Wilkie writes: "Californians earn higher wages and salaries than most others in the country, so they also pay high federal income taxes. For another, Californians tend on average to be younger than people in other states, so relatively few of them get Social Security and Medicaid benefits – the federal retirement and health care programs for the elderly and poor."
Hey, if the lobbying doesn't work out, there's always secession. Common Cause
has found something in common with the governor: his redistricting plan.
But the folks at Arnold Watch
aren't convinced. "Tomorrow he is expected to hold a press conference at 3 PM EST with the group announcing support for a "compromise" model plan on redistricting - a plan very different from the redistricting ballot initiative for which Arnold is fundraising up and down the state. A conversation with staffers at the group confirms Common Cause opposes the redistricting ballot initiatives on file to be circulated for the November special election. They even oppose a key provision of the "compromise" plan that allows mid-decade redistricting."
Speaking of the governor's critics, Arianna Huffington
uses her latest column to compare the guv to Michael Eisner
. "Eisner is the Disneyland doppelgänger of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's all right there: the unremitting duplicity, the penchant for saying one thing then doing another, the gift for irrational invective, the way both men forge personal bonds with others, then turn around and stab them in the back -- often just hours later."
LA Weekly's Harold Myerson says Jim Hahn may not even make the runoff in the LA mayor's race.
One of the reasons? Organized labor is sitting on their hands. "Hahn has labor’s backing this time around, having delivered to the unions — public-sector unions most especially — almost all that they asked for, but as of last week, the Hahn lawn signs stacked up at union headquarters remain largely untouched. Union members remain as cool to Hahn’s appeal as non-members — a fact that union leaders recognize only too well." Jenny Oropeza
wants to rewrite the rules
for the Legislature's favorite piggy bank --the state transportation fund. The fund has been raided every year it has been in existence to pay for non-transportation projects.
The Bush Administration wants the state to name 310 school districts as failures,
setting the stage for their governing boards and superintendents to be removed (and for more finger-pointing between the Education Coalition and the governor).
Finally, Joe Canciamilla
wants to link redistricting reform with a term limits extension.
With wife and school board member Laura Canciamilla
considering a run in 2006, does this make things a little tense at the Canciamilla kitchen table?