"Don't read their lips when California's Republican lawmakers say 'no new taxes' – they've put it in writing, signed their names, essentially inviting their own
party to oust them if they renege," reports Jim Sanders in the Bee.
"Every GOP lawmaker except Fair Oaks Assemblyman Roger Niello has signed the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" this year, casting a shadow on budget talks by making
any vote to raise taxes a potential career killer.
"'If you break the pledge, the people who voted for you
will say, 'Excuse me, not only did you raise my taxes but you
lied to me,' ' said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, in Washington,
D.C., which conducts the pledge drive nationwide.
"The tax pledge, whose signers are publicized on the
group's Web site, is a written promise to voters that "I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts
to increase taxes."
"Opponents argue that such vows can torpedo budget talks
by making the outcome intensely personal and hamper
efforts to find tradeoffs in bridging the state's $15.2 billion deficit."
"With Republicans running so far to the right and Democrats
to the left, the governor complained, 'they can't meet in the middle.'
"Schwarzenegger also said he'd like to see California return to an open primary.
Ours was declared unconstitutional after both parties
fought it in court. But the U.S. Supreme Court in March
approved an open primary in the state of Washington,
in which there are no party nominations. Candidates
from all political stripes run on the same primary
ballot. The two top vote-getters -- regardless of party -- advance to the general election. This forces candidates
to run more to the middle.
"'Between the redistricting and open primaries it would
change the whole situation,' the governor contended.
"And he'd also loosen up term limits.
"'Term limits has not worked as far as I'm concerned at all,' he said, citing inexperience in budgeting. 'Legislators come up to me all the time and say, 'I've only done one budget. . . . I've never done a budget.' '
"'Look at Karen,' he continued, referring to Assembly Speaker Karen
Bass (D-Los Angeles). 'As leader, it's her first budget. I mean, poor girl. She gets thrown
into this. . . . It makes it very, very difficult when
people start from scratch all the time. . . ."
There's a new PPIC poll out today, covering a few ballot measures and a variety
of state issues:
"Those were two of the main findings of a poll conducted
by the Public Policy Institute of California and released
"However, the biggest concern among Californians today
is the economy, the poll found.
"The results suggest that 54 percent of likely voters will say no to Proposition
8, the proposal to ban same-sex marriage, come November.
"Jennifer Kerns, communications director for Prop. 8, said the survey is not surprising, considering the
controversies lately over the language of the November
ballot measure. She said the survey also suggests the
issue is far more important to those who support the
proposition than to those who don't. That might make a big difference on election day,
"'Last time Californians voted on this issue, they were
overwhelmingly in support' of banning marriage between members of the same sex,
she said. 'We expect the same this time around.'"
Meanwhile, the Chron's Rachel Gordon reports:
"Lesbian rights pioneer Del Martin, whose trailblazing activism spanned more than five
decades, most recently in the battle for same-sex marriage, died Wednesday, just two months after she made history again by
wedding her longtime partner in San Francisco City
"The California Correctional Peace Officers Association
has donated most of the money in the final month of
the legislative session. The cash likely will fuel
a Perata effort to defeat Proposition 11, a Schwarzenegger-backed initiative to change the way the state draws
its political districts, according to the union.
"CCPOA is making a late-session bid in the Capitol for a pay raise after union
employees have worked without a contract for more than
"'First of all, let me just say that this money exchange
is terrible for the people of California,' Schwarzenegger said in Los Angeles in response to
a Bee story about the contributions.
"The Republican governor spoke Wednesday in Los Angeles
at a news conference with local government officials
to pressure lawmakers into rejecting borrowing options
to resolve the state's $15.2 billion budget shortfall.
"CCPOA spokesman Lance Corcoran said "there is absolutely no connection" between the union's fight for a new contract and its donations.
"'It's an easy assumption, but it is absolutely ridiculous,' Corcoran said. 'What we are attempting to do is help leadership lead.
This is a state with 36 million people, and campaigns are not cheap.'"
"The No on Proposition 5 Campaign announced Wednesday that Sheen would serve
as its co-chairman and as the most prominent figure in the battle
against the November ballot measure. The opponents
said the initiative is too soft on addicts because
it would expand the pool of offenders who could be
diverted from serving jail or prison time by undergoing
"Sheen, in publicly describing his battles with alcoholism
and efforts to help his son, actor Charlie Sheen, to
stop abusing drugs, has said the threat of jail time
by a judge is needed to force addicts to commit to
"'Fighting drug addiction is very close to my heart,' Sheen, who was not available for an interview, said
in a statement released by the campaign. 'I believe in rehabilitation and not incarceration.
But successful rehabilitation needs accountability
and so often demands direct intervention in the life
of someone who is addicted to drugs.'"
"The law, passed in April, forbids hypodermic needles
– or "sharps" – from being thrown away in residential garbage, including
recycling and green waste bins, according to a news
release by Waste Management Inc.
"California is one of the first states to ban hypodermic
needles from residential garbage.
"Beginning Monday, needles must be disposed of in an
approved container at a hazardous waste facility, a
medical waste generator facility or a facility that
manages a needle mail-back program, the release states."