The Bee's Buzz reports: "It probably didn't come as a surprise to a governor who seems to be
more and more estranged from his party's hierarchy, but the California Republican Party board
on Friday voted 14-2 to condemn Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's tax increase proposals. The resolution said the state's $11.2 billion deficit has resulted from "massive overspending" and calls on the governor to withdraw the proposal,
which it calls 'not only injurious to our state's economy but to the Republican Party.'"
And, our friends, that's about it for the news this weekend.
The Republican Party's leadership doesn't like the governor's tax cuts.
Dan Walters writes that legislative Democrats, legislative
Republicans and the governor are all supporting flawed fixes to the state's structural budget problem.
"None of the approaches would truly solve the fiscal
dilemma. Bringing income and outgo into balance without
tricks will take much more difficult decisions than
any politician has been willing to make, not only real
spending cuts and real revenue, but such steps as a
total overhaul of the revenue system to end boom-and-bust budgeting, or restructuring school finance to
give local school officials more flexibility."
Meanwhile, the governor is getting some outside input. The LAT's Cyndia Zwahlen reports, "
"top 11" list doesn't have the zing of a "top 10," but that's how many
items were squeezed onto the wish list voted on last
small-business owners and others who met to decide how California
refuel its economic engine of 3.2 million small firms.
"The ideas, finalized during the two-day Governor's Conference on Small
Business and Entrepreneurship at a Los Angeles hotel,
will be presented
to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to guide his legislative
agenda over the
next two years.
"State legislators are expected to also take up some
of the ideas as the basis for possible laws or regulations.
"The 11 final proposals are posted online."
"Sitting in a leather chair in his state Capitol office,
his feet up on an ornate wooden table, Senate President
Pro Tem Don Perata said he's ready to leave his post as the second most-powerful official in state government," report Matthew Yi and Christopher Heredia in the Chron.
"Like 34 state lawmakers facing term limits, the 63-year-old Perata's last day in the spacious corner suite is Sunday,
when the legislative session officially comes to a
close the day before newly elected lawmakers are sworn
in Dec. 1.
"'I have another week, then I'm going to be a critic,' the Oakland Democrat, in his signature double-breasted suit, quipped in an interview Friday with
Is "critic" revolving-door speak for "lobbyist"?
"He's repeated the phrase often in recent weeks to show
his exasperation when asked how he would help solve
the state's deepening fiscal crisis. Perata is among five legislative
leaders working with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this
month in a special legislative session aimed at closing
a budget deficit that could grow to $28 billion in two years.
"'It's been pretty demoralizing the last month, what's going on internationally and in the nation, and California
is really in very tough, tough financial shape,' Perata said, adding that it's bittersweet to leave without solving what has been
the state's biggest problem for two years.
"'There's going to be a lot of pain in the time ahead,' he said."
"The group that persuaded California voters this month
to pass Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, now is fighting its friends as well as its foes," reports John Wildermuth in the Chron.
"Other conservative groups that loudly backed Prop.
8 are being targeted as too extreme and off-putting by ProtectMarriage.com, which put the constitutional
amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot and hopes to help persuade the state Supreme
Court to uphold the measure.
"'We represent the people who got things done, who got
Prop. 8 passed,' said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. 'An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.'
"Pugno, for example, persuaded the Supreme Court last
week to bar the Campaign for California Families from
intervening in the court case over the validity of
Prop. 8 and the same-sex marriage ban.
"''That organization represents the extreme fringe and
is not representative of the coalition that got it
passed,' Pugno said. 'They didn't even support Prop. 8 until sometime in the summer.'
"People associated with the group didn't expect the Prop. 8 campaign's efforts to push them to the sidelines.
"'I'm surprised, because we've litigated beside each other for 4 1/2 years' in the unsuccessful effort to keep the Supreme Court
from overturning Prop. 22 same-sex marriage ban in 2000, said Mathew Staver
, founder of Liberty Counsel, which represents the
Campaign for California Families. 'We have the same goal, which is to defend Prop. 8.'"
From our Let There Be Light files: "The University of California plans to review hundreds of double-dipping pensioners, many of whom were rehired for their old jobs - occasionally at a higher salary than before they retired," writes Tanya Schevitz in the Chron.
"The university's use of retirees drew attention in April after UC
Berkeley Police Chief Victoria Harrison left with a lump sum $2.1 million retirement package and then was immediately
rehired for her old job - with a pay raise.
"Some months later, UC's governing Board of Regents adopted stricter regulations
on who may be rehired and for how long.
"According to a university database reviewed by The
Chronicle, there were 1,900 pensioners on the payrolls of the 10 campuses and the university's headquarters last February. The review also found
widespread violations of guidelines that limited retired
workers to no more than one year of re-employment and generally no more than about 19 hours of work each week."
Meanwhile, 1,000 UC students marched yesterday against budget cuts and fee increases.
The LAT's Ari Bloomekatz reports:
"The student protesters had been attending the annual
Student of Color Conference, which is held each year
at a different University of California campus and
concentrates on how minority students can succeed in
the university system."
The students, who had just finished their two-day conference at UCLA, marched from the campus to
the nearby Federal Building outside Westwood Village,
where they continued their public appeal."
And finally, if your holiday travels are taking you
to New York City, have no fear, delux porta-potties are here. "The plush potties feature flat-screen televisions, attendants dressed in tuxedos and
plenty of Charmin.
loos are so luxurious that Charmin promises Times Square
feel like kings sitting on their thrones before making
their royal flushes.
"The toilets are being inaugurated Monday with a ceremonial
first flush by pop singer and Broadway star Joey Fatone."
We can't believe we're going to miss that one...