Today is Day 6 of the state's budget standoff with no apparent end
in sight. But Democratic leaders took to the radio
waves together this weekend pushing for their new,
unified budget outline, while Republican leaders countered
with calls for more cuts. We'll call you when something
Susan Ferriss reports Darrell Steinberg is caught in a Deomcratic crossfire.
"Lately, some of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's
liberal allies are the ones hammering him. They are
goading him to get
tougher in hand-to-hand combat with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and
Republicans over a $19.1 billion budget deficit.
"Not only must
Steinberg find common ground with Republicans – who are demanding
another round of deep cuts and insist they won't vote
for higher taxes –
he has to attend to the desires of his fellow Senate
elected him leader and to the party's base voters.
And he has to live up
to the expectations of his caucus that he will help
elected to the state Senate.
"Steinberg's future as leader could hinge on the budget,
but also on
pending Senate races that could solidify Democratic
power in that house –
or erode it and spell trouble for Steinberg politically."
The Bay Citizen looks at Whitman's last three years at EBay, when the company's stock price tumbled.
"There are three things Meg Whitman doesn’t discuss much on the
campaign trail: 2005, 2006 and 2007.
"Those were Whitman’s last full years as CEO of eBay. Over that
period, eBay’s stock price was cut in half, a loss of $30 billion in
market value, as investors reacted to a string of troubled
initiated by Whitman and the prospect that Google or
others might up-end
the online auction business.
"But Whitman's early success was not matched later
on, when the maturing
company faced weakness in its core business and new
types of competitive
threats. Two actions in particular — the purchase of Skype, the
Internet phone service, and a foray into China that
ended in defeat —
turned out to be major mistakes that helped crush eBay’s stock price and
even led to some quarterly losses. From a historic
high on December 29,
2004, until March 31, 2008, the day Whitman retired from the company,
eBay shares dropped by 54 percent. Over the same period, the Nasdaq
technology index, which includes eBay, finished up
A Whitman spokesperson said, “If you look at eBay’s earnings reports from Q4 2004 until she left in
Q1 2008, the company posted net profits in eleven out of fourteen
quarters – often rising by more than 30 percent compared to the prior
year. The decisions she made were designed to make
eBay a stronger
company built for the long haul, not just to make quarterly
estimates -- although she did a pretty good job of that, too. To
that she did not run eBay with a firm fiscal conservative
hand is just
Meanwhile, the hand wringing continues among California
Democrats about Jerry
Brown's late-blooming campaign."
"The combination of Whitman's wealth and a distinct
lack of energy by
Brown is making California Democrats nervous about
prospects in the fall.
"If you're going to run for governor, you have to do
what it takes. You
can't tell yourself or tell everyone else there is
some special way for
you to do this that is completely outside the norms
that apply to
everyone else," said Democratic strategist Garry South,
who advised San
Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in his combative primary
bid against Brown.
"A Brown spokesman said such anxiety is misplaced.
"We are confident that the Brown campaign is doing
the things that need
to be done and we're in the position we want to be
in," said spokesman
Sterling Clifford. "I think that kind of worry is in
the DNA of the
Or at least among campaign consultants whoare not getting
paid on this year's gubernatorial gravy train.
Alexandra Zavis looks at the state's food-stamp policy which does not permit elderly or disabled residents
who receive federal benefits receive the food vouchers.
"California is the only state that does not allow its
recipients of federal Supplemental Security Income
to apply for the
benefit. The state decided in 1974 to increase its matching grant —
known as the State Supplementary Payment — by $10 a month in place of
administering food stamps for them. This additional
amount has not
changed in more than three decades.
"When the state created the rule, many Supplemental
recipients qualified only for the minimum food stamp
was then $10. Augmenting cash payments by that amount helped the
reduce its administration costs and relieved elderly
and disabled people
of the regular paperwork and other steps required
to receive food
However, a recent increase in food stamp benefits and
cuts to the cash assistance program have raised concern
that some of the
state's poorest and most vulnerable residents are
shortchanged by the policy."
Six members of Councilman Richard Alarcon's staff have
been ordered to testify before a grand jury as part of an ongoing investigation about whether
or not the councilman lives in his district. David
Zanhiser reports, "Six employees of Los Angeles City
Councilman Richard Alarcon have been
ordered to appear before a grand jury this week, six
prosecutors obtained search warrants to determine whether
has been living at his legal residence.
"Alarcon said Monday that his chief of staff, Saeed
Ali, and five other
workers in his office have received subpoenas instructing
testify on Wednesday.
"Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's office received permission
in January to
search two homes owned by Alarcon's wife, Flora Montes
de Oca -- one on
Nordhoff Street in Panorama City, the other on Sheldon
Street in Sun
Valley. Alarcon contends that he resides at the house
on Nordhoff Street
and that he moved his family to another address, one
in the district
represented by Councilman Paul Krekorian, after a transient
his home and changed the locks on the doors."
And finally, if you don't see us on Monday you know
we've gone to the Pittsburgh Zoo for Mullet Monday."The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium gave reduced
admission Monday to those sporting the business-in-front, party-in-back
"On Monday, the person with the best mullet won a
behind-the-scenes zoo tour. And the prize for the runners-up? A chance for a free