Greetings, readers. With not much happening in California today, we've decided to take The Roundup to the Big Apple! Well, actually, for just one story
"Gov. Eliot Spitzer continued to weigh whether to resign early Tuesday, a day after law enforcement officials said he was a client of a high-end prostitution ring broken up last week by federal authorities
," reports Danny Hakim and William Rashbaum in the New York Times.
"Mr. Spitzer received counsel from his advisers late Monday at his Fifth Avenue apartment, and had not emerged as of early Tuesday morning. A top administration official said Tuesday morning that no announcement had been scheduled."
"The disclosure of Mr. Spitzer's involvement with the prostitution operation threatened to end his career and turned the state's political world upside down.
"His involvement came to light in court papers filed last week, the officials said, as federal prosecutors charged four people with operating the service, Emperor's Club V.I.P. Mr. Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap discussing payments and arranging to meet a prostitute in a Washington hotel room last month. The affidavit, which did not identify Mr. Spitzer by name, indicated that he had used the prostitution service before, although it was not clear how often."
And, yes, the Emperor's Club also offered services in Los Angeles
. And the Smoking Gun has all of your lunchtime reading material on the subject
Meanwhile, back in the Golden State, the governor was taking questions about his Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint
. The LAT runs the transcript of the governor's answer. "I explained that one already. To me it's very important that I serve the people of California, but also at the same time that I serve my family. And so in order to do both I fly two or three times a week up here to Sacramento and fly back again so I can be at night with my family, can do the homework with the kids, can spend time with my wife and everything, which is extremely important. I promised that to them and I promised to the people of California I would take care of the job. And that's what I do. That's why I fly up to Sacramento and all over the state."
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell
yesterday endorsed a proposed Alameda County parcel tax aimed at mitigating budget cuts
"The emergency parcel tax that will go before Alameda voters in June will help prevent cuts in the classroom and in school district programs, the state's top educator said
"Superintendent Jack O'Connell also called for lawmakers to change the law that requires the tax to receive a two-thirds majority to pass.
"The Alameda school board decided to put the measure on the ballot as a way to help make up a projected $4.5 million shortfall in state money.
"Along with calling for a new tax, trustees cut money for sports, music and other programs.
"'Without (the tax), we have little if any chance to preserve these programs
,' O'Connell said when he came to Alameda on Friday."
Dan Walters asks whether cuts to schools would have the impacts educators and advocates say they would
"Other factors such as poverty, peer and familial pressure, and cultural values all play roles in academic outcomes that merely spending more money doesn't alter. Unfortunately, however, the Capitol is incapable of debating education in any terms other than money."
"Higher fees, reduced access and bigger class sizes are potential outcomes of the proposed budget cuts to higher education
, according to administrators, staff and students who gathered yesterday at Cal State San Marcos," reports Sherry Saavedra in the Union-Tribune.
"More than 200 people converged as part of a campus-by-campus campaign from San Francisco to San Diego to fight imminent cuts.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed $386 million less than the amount California State University trustees say they need in 2008-09. This includes an assumed 10 percent student fee increase in the nation's largest public, four-year higher education system. The CSU serves about 450,000 students on 23 campuses."
Dan Weintraub argues that, while it'll be difficult to get agreement, the Legislature should adopt Liz Hill's recommendation to create a rainy-day fund in good budget years
"Hill's recommendations on the budget reserve, however, are solid and doable. Republicans who want to shrink the size of government would rather have a true spending limit, but that does not seem likely in California's current political climate. Democrats who believe in bigger government don't like the idea of setting aside money when the economy surges. But the destructive effect of the state's boom and bust cycles on programs and the constituents who depend on them should show liberal lawmakers that moderation would be an improvement.
"If Schwarzenegger were to adopt Hill's proposal as his own, it might actually have a chance of passing in the Legislature as part of a larger budget-balancing solution."
And what ever happened to that big budget reserve proposal we heard about in the State of the State address?
"The state Assembly tried to send some relief to local governments reeling from higher interest costs Monday with approval of a bill that allows cities, counties and other bond issuers to buy back their own bonds
," reports John Hill in the Bee.
"The Assembly approved Senate Bill 344 by Sen. Mike Machado
, D-Linden, on a vote of 67 to 1. The bill will now go to the Senate.
"Markets for two types of municipal bonds have been hit with turmoil in recent weeks as a side effect of the meltdown in subprime mortgages. The bonds are sold at short intervals, from weekly to monthly, to investors looking for short-term returns.
"But when the companies that insure the bonds were shaken by losses in mortgage-based securities, the municipal market was also rattled, leading to higher interest rates.
"SB 344 makes it clear that local entities – including governments, hospitals, utilities and universities -- can shelter themselves from the interest-rate volatility by buying back their own bonds without "extinguishing" the debt."
The Chronice profiles Tom Ammiano, who is running virtually unopposed in the race to replace Mark Leno
He "is well known for the messages on his home answering machine. On Monday, Ammiano declared in his outgoing message, "Alert! Alert! Ammiano runs unopposed for Assembly seat! Remain calm, do not panic. Lock all your doors and windows until told otherwise by (anti-war group) Code Pink."
And it looks like Delaware has a telemarketer with some nostalgia for 80s music
. AP reports, "Some people getting late night and early morning telemarketing calls in the Wilmington area have been doing a double take when they see the number on their caller ID: 867-5309. That's part of the title of a 1980s hit -- "867-5309/Jenny
" -- by the band Tommy Tutone
of the Pike Creek got one of the calls at 4:20 a.m. Sunday. She answered, fearing the call was about a family emergency, but got a mortgage refinancing pitch."