It's only two months before the March 12 filing deadline, and the game of political musical
chairs is getting fast and furious.
Silicon Valley congressman Tom Campbell will announce Thursday that
he's dropping out of the California governor's race to run
Boxer's U.S. Senate seat, a move that will upend both races and
reverberate across the Golden State's political landscape,"
Mike Zapler and Ken McLaughlin report.
insiders were split Tuesday as to whether Campbell's
shift is a
brilliant tactical move — or a desperate bid to keep his political
Count Mac Taylor among those who don't believe the foundation of Gov. Schwarzenegger's
budget -- at least when it comes to federal dollars.
The Merc's Denis Thierault reports, "Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to cobble together a budget
projections and billions in presumed — but "very unlikely" — federal
aid means California could face even deeper spending cuts than
anticipated, according to a review released Tuesday by the state's
nonpartisan budget analyst.
In all, Legislative Analyst Mac
Taylor called the governor's plan only a "reasonable
for efforts to plug California's $20 billion budget gap. If the revenue
and savings targets laid out by the governor aren't
met, billions more
in budget challenges loom for the Capitol.
"We may just have to get by another year" — finding more stopgap solutions, he said, "and hope
the economy rebounds."
Time for another game of kick the can...
Malcolm Maclachlan reports a bill to legalize marijuana passed an Assembly committee
"The vote represents “the first time
a legislative body has ever voted to repeal MJ prohibition,” according
to a press release issued shortly afterwards by California
group which advocates for marijuana legalization.
The bill, AB 390, by Assemblyman
Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, moves to Assembly Health, where it is
expected to remain, perhaps without a vote."
Looks like there's another furlough fight coming to a head -- this time over prison guards.
LAT's Michael Rothfeld reports, "State
Controller John Chiang told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration
today that he intends to end forced furloughs for state correctional
officers this month, prompting a threat from the governor’s office to
dock other pay from state prison workers and resort
"If Chiang follows through on his decision and it is
the prison guards would be the largest group of state
workers to have
succeeded in overturning the forced furloughs that
have been in effect
for a year and amount to a 15% reduction in pay.
Meanwhile, a federal judicial panel has accepted the governor's prison overcrowding plan. But the fight over judicial authority to release
state prisoners still looms.
Rothfeld reports, "A panel of three federal judges
Tuesday approved a court-ordered plan
submitted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce overcrowding
California prisons by 40,000 inmates within two years.
judges ruled against the state in August in two lawsuits
by inmates who
argued that overcrowding was the main cause of inadequate
mental health care in the prisons.
"Schwarzenegger has appealed
that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but he was ordered
meantime to come up with a plan to fix the problems.
Judges Thelton Henderson and Lawrence Karlton and 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt make up the panel.
"The nation's high court is expected to decide as early
whether to take up the matter. Schwarzenegger's spokesman,
McLear, said in a statement that administration officials
the U.S. Supreme Court will hear our appeal on whether
have the authority to order the early release of prisoners
"If the state loses, the judges said, officials will
to meet interim population targets every six months,
progress reports, before completing the plan within
Congrats to the state's newest Assemblyman-elect, Chris Norby, who easily won a run-off election to replace Mike Duvall Tuesday.
Matier and Ross chart Don Perata's "money machine."
Perata's Hope 2010 committee, which amassed nearly $1.2 million
last year, contributed $150,000 to the initiative in November, after
separately signing councilman and labor organizer Ignacio De La Fuente to a
$25,000 contract in August to help qualify the measure for
Coincidentally, De La Fuente's contract came as the
was considering shifting to an instant-runoff system for the mayor's
race - something Perata and De La Fuente opposed. Perata
connection, saying any inference of vote-buying was "insulting."
"Such payouts do little to diminish Perata's reputation
for playing it
close to the line - a practice that made him the target of a five-year
FBI investigation during his days in Sacramento.
And finally, Capitol Weekly has the sad news of the
day that shook the Capitol -- the passing of Senate staffer Will Smith. "Smith, chief of staff to state Sen. George Runner,
died unexpectedly while playing basketball at a local
church. He was 41.
"Smith had just finished coaching his daughter’s basketball game at the Riverside Wesleyan Church
Monday night and had stayed around to play a pickup
game when he was stricken. His family was not present
when he collapsed.
"Runner said Smith never regained consciousness. Attempts
to revive him were unsuccessful and he was taken to
Sutter Hospital in East Sacramento.
"Smith is survived by his wife, Anissa, and their four
children. Funeral services were pending."
You'll be missed, Will.