CW's Malcolm Maclachlan looks ahead to the end of this
year's legislative year, and some of the last-minute deals that are sure to arise. Among them is
a play by the Morongo tribe and card clubs to push a state-only Internet poker program.
"As the countdown to the 2009 legislative session begins, a consortium of Indian
tribes and card clubs hope to offer online poker– a move that rivals say could jeopardize tribal gambling
The Legislature returns to action next week after a
three-week recess, and the push for Internet poker has emerged
as one of several last-minute proposals that interest groups will try to jam
through before the end of the legislative year in September.
The push pits one tribe – the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, against a group
of other tribes, including members of the California
Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA)."
CW also looks at how and why Darrell Steinberg's lawsuit against Gov. Schwarzenegger is good politics.
"But the case against the governor is as much a political
one as it is a constitutional one. And Schwarzenegger’s decision to cut
more than $400 million from state programs in the 11th hour of last
month’s budget battle has given Steinberg an opportunity
to articulate a formal and coherent political opposition
to the Republican governor.It also allows Democrats
to blame the governor for
the recently passed budget. With the conversation focused
on the $400 million in cuts made unilaterally by Schwarzenegger,
it allows Democrats to deflect conversation away from
the $11 billion or so in cuts they just agreed to in last
month’s budget revision.
Whether he wins or loses the legal battle, the benefits
for Steinberg are manifold. It allows Steinberg to
get back into the graces of Democratic interest groups,
who have watched Democrats approve deep budget cuts.
It also gives Democrats a political opening to hammer
Schwarzenegger, whose approval ratings are already
at an all-time low."
Maryam Ali looks at the fight to get UC and CSU open the financial books
on billions of dollars woth of university-affiliated foundations.
"Free-speech groups are trying to force the state’s public universities to disclose financial relationships
worth more than $6.25 billion. At issue are scores of nonprofit foundations
linked to the schools. The University of California
and the California State University say unveiling the
finances would cost millions of dollars in staff time.
"The quest for details of the nonprofits’ money – where the money comes
from and how it is spent – follows a series of disputed financial
at schools across the state.
"For example, the Sonoma State University Academic Foundation’s $1.25 million loan to former board member Clem Carinalli
has come under scrutiny.
Also last month, Philip Day Jr., former chancellor
of City College of San Francisco, faced eight felony
counts and one misdemeanor count related to the misappropriation
of $150,000 of public money."
Gay marriage advocates are opting to wait a while to try to repeal Proposition
Jack Chang reports, "Bowing to the
advice of political consultants and pollsters, officials
from a major
gay rights advocacy group announced Wednesday that
they will wait until
2012 to return to California voters with an initiative
to legalize gay marriage.
"The leaders of Equality California
which calls itself the largest gay rights advocacy
group in the state,
said they would sit out the 2010 ballot despite demands from many gay
and lesbian activists seeking quicker movement on the
issue. Equality California helped lead last year's battle against Proposition 8 the voter-approved initiative that banned same-sex marriage.
John Marelius looks at what awaits the next governor.
"The next governor of California will face a financial
undetermined magnitude, but most of the candidates
for the job have
offered scant clues as to what they would do about
Candidates have a lot to say about boosting state tax
creating jobs or saving money by streamlining government,
but not much
about how they would wrestle with what seems certain
to be another
multibillion-dollar deficit when the next governor takes office
“Most of them have avoided budget talk like it was the
kind of disappointing,” said Larry Gerston, a political science
professor at San Jose State University. “I'm not sure any of them right
now has passed the test of leadership.”
John Ortiz looks at the lawsuits over state worker furloughs.
"Local 1000 has been a party in several furlough lawsuits. Its
in-house lawyers have handled the litigation, so the union
a breakdown of its furlough lawsuit costs.
"SEIU and several other
state worker unions together and separately have launched
at least a
dozen furlough lawsuits in San Francisco, Alameda and
Sacramento courts. All contend that Schwarzenegger's furloughs are either illegal pay cuts or are misapplied.
current three-day furloughs reduce the pay of about 215,000 state
workers by about 14 percent, so the lawsuits have millions of dollars
The LA Times looks at the Republicans' prisons plan, which will be another of the end-of-session big political fights.
"Girding for a showdown next week over cuts in the state
Republican lawmakers said Wednesday that there is enough
fat in the
corrections budget to avert any early release of prisoners
The Legislature agreed recently to cut prison spending
by $1.2 billion
but deferred a decision on how to do it until this
will return to work Monday following their summer break.
Republicans said a plan by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
support, to reduce the prison population by 37,000 inmates is
unnecessary and would send thousands of offenders into
before their sentences were completed. The plan includes
some sentences and diversion of many nonviolent offenders
jails, home detention and community probation programs.
"We believe you can attain those cuts in dollars without
release program," said Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster). "You can find
And from our Zipadee Doo Da files, "The 3-foot-long alligator on a bicyclist's shoulders was a real
attention-getter. St. Charles Parish sheriff's deputies stopped the
cyclist. He allegedly ran, leaving both wheels and
his toothy little
rider. Capt. Pat Yoes, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said
deputies booked 38-year-old Terron D. Ingram on Friday with resisting arrest,
possessing drug paraphanalia, and cruelty to animals by abandonment."