"State leaders Wednesday delayed immediate action to resolve California's latest budget woes as they approached Wall Street with some trepidation
seeking a short-term loan," reports Kevin Yamamura in the Bee.
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders
said they focused on the state's short-term cash needs in a Capitol meeting Wednesday but
plan to deal with California's multibillion-dollar revenue gap in subsequent weekly discussions.
"Department of Finance Director Mike Genest confirmed new projections that the state will take
in $3 billion less this fiscal year than anticipated in
the state budget Schwarzenegger signed two weeks ago.
"To deal with that fiscal problem, lawmakers likely
would have to convene a special midyear budget session.
"In a Treasurer's Office document, the Department of Finance outlines
an even worse scenario in which the state would receive
as much as $4.3 billion less in revenues and owe $300 million for inmate medical care, creating a $4.6 billion hole.
"But Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer
called that only a "worst-case scenario." The document states that in such a scenario, the state
would still have enough cash resources through internal
borrowing to pay off its bondholders."
Capitol Weekly looks at the fundraising and spending of the Proposition 11 campaign.
"Three years after Democrats in California and Washington
D.C. raised more than $10 million dollars to kill Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s redistricting ballot measure, the opponents of the
governor’s new redistricting proposal are out of money and more
than $300,000 in debt.
"Proponents for Proposition 11, meanwhile, are awash in campaign
cash, with more
than $2 million in the bank, and have employed a diverse team
of political consultants. Among them is the consulting
firm of Alice Huffman, president of the California
State Conference of the NAACP, which has endorsed the
Yes on 11 effort. Huffman’s firm, AC Public Affairs, has received more
than $158,000 in payments from the Yes on 11 committee, according to
records filed with the Secretary
"Records show the No side with just $16,000 in cash, and $322,000 in unpaid bills.
"The decision to leave the Congressional map-making process unchanged
seems to have frozen money
against the plan from Washington. In 2005, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
spearheaded a multi-million dollar effort to defeat the measure, with a
$4 million contribution from billionaire Steve Bing.
"In addition, state leaders led by Senate President
Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, and then-Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, led a parallel effort though the state
Democratic Party to defeat Proposition 77. In the end, the No campaign had more money than they
needed, and Nunez received a $4 million refund check from the Democratic Party.
"This time, it has fallen to Perata to lead the No campaign
essentially on his own."
CW's Malcolm Maclachlan takes one last look at the bills that were seemingly vetoed for no reason. "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a record percentage
of bills this year, including 136 that received only a generic veto message. Afterwards,
the Governor’s staff said these were bills the Governor would have
"But some around the Capitol have wondered why the list
included AB 2479 from Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-El Cerrito. This bill, which would have made a technical
change in how bottled water is labeled accumulated
only 10 total no votes in getting off the Assembly and Senate
floors. Though it was a late-session gut-and-amend, it faced no significant institutional opposition.
"Hancock’s was hardly the only innocuous-seeming bill to get the ax.
Numerous clean-up or technical change bills went down, along with
many more that passed with little or no opposition.
The administration has said that because of the late
budget, they only had 11 days to review the 875 bills passed by the
The Bee's Aurelio Rojas looks into the accuracy of polls on same-sex marriage.
"A new study of elections in 26 states – including California – found polls typically understate voter support for
"'Because the media portrays gay marriages as being politically
correct, people don't want to be seen by pollsters as being intolerant
– so they hide their views,' said Frank Schubert
, campaign manager for the Yes on 8 campaign, which conducted the study.
"As an example, Schubert cited Proposition 22, which California voters approved in 2000. The Field Poll showed the gay marriage ban – overturned in May by the state Supreme Court – was backed by 53 percent of voters right before the election. But when
the votes were counted, 61 percent of voters supported the initiative.
"The survey looked at measures banning same-sex marriage, dating back to the first such campaign
in Hawaii in 1998. According to the study, surveys published by news
media outlets before an election underestimated support
for traditional marriage by an average of seven percentage
"In only two of the 26 states did pre-election surveys accurately measure voter sentiment.
Support for traditional marriage was underestimated
in 23 states. In one state, Arizona, support dropped.
"Schubert believes the Proposition 8 race is much closer than the Field Poll shows – a contention that's not disputed by Steve Smith
, who is managing the No on 8 campaign."
"No matter what voters decide this November on same-sex marriage, the election will not change one fact: Over the last decade, California has become the nation's leader in providing legal protections to gays and
lesbians," write Maura Dolan and Jessica Garrison for the Times.
"This has happened not just because of high-profile gestures like San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to issue the nation's first same-sex marriage licenses in 2004 but also because of a carefully crafted campaign to
enact laws in the state Legislature and push for court
decisions to support and enhance the new rights.
"The changes have delighted some Californians and alarmed
"Gay rights have been expanded in 'little bites that people found hard to argue with at
the time,' said Matt McReynolds, staff attorney of the conservative
Pacific Justice Institute. 'And all of a sudden, we are at a point where gay rights
trump religious rights.'
"Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California,
a pro-gay rights group, disputes the allegation that gay
rights threaten religious liberties. But he doesn't disagree with McReynolds when it comes to what his
group and others have accomplished.
"'In work, at home, and in all aspects . . . we've had such great advancement,' he said."
While George Skelton sings the praises of Prop. 11, the LAT's Patrick McGreevy checks out Prop. 12. "With hundreds of veterans returning to California from
service in Iraq and Afghanistan, voters are being asked
to borrow $900 million to provide low-cost mortgages for those who served in the military.
"Californians have approved similar requests 26 times before, allocating $8.4 billion toward home loans for more than 420,000 veterans of World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam,
and Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The latest measure, Proposition 12 on the Nov. 4 ballot, "continues a long tradition of assisting veterans," said Sen. Mark Wyland (R-Escondido), the author, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee
on Veterans Affairs.
"'We owe something to folks who served us by defending
"Because there are interest charges on the borrowing,
the total amount that would have to be paid back over
30 years is $1.8 billion."
"The federal judge overseeing California's decrepit prison health system told reluctant state officials Wednesday to tell him
how soon they can provide $250 million to start building new hospitals for inmates, the first installment of an $8 billion construction plan," writes Bob Egelko in the Chron.
"U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco issued the order to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
and state Controller John Chiang, brushing aside their lawyers' argument that only the Legislature can commit state
funds to prison construction. Henderson said legislators
have already approved the $250 million, for unspecified "infrastructure" costs, as part of a prison expansion bill Schwarzenegger
signed more than a year ago.
"Henderson ordered state representatives to spell out
at a hearing Oct. 27 "their specific plans to transfer $250 million of previously appropriated and unencumbered
... funds" to Clark Kelso, the court-appointed receiver who is managing the prison health
"Kelso has asked the judge to hold Schwarzenegger and
Chiang in contempt of court if they refuse to pay for
new prison health facilities. Henderson said he issued
Wednesday's order, at Kelso's suggestion, 'as an intermediate step short of a contempt finding.'"
And finally a warning from your friends at The Roundup: Look out for shooting stoves. AP reports, "A woman in Washington state says her cast-iron stove shot her in the leg.
Cory Davis tells the Peninsula Daily News that she
had just stoked
the heating stove in her home Sunday when she heard
a loud bang and was
struck in her left calf.
"She says she initially thought 'that was one fast hot coal flying at me.'
"In fact, she was hit by part of a 22-gauge shotgun shell that she
had accidentally put into the stove with newspapers
she used to light
it. A box of shells had spilled nearby a few weeks