"California's legislators and other top elected officials -- already among the nation's highest paid -- received annual salary increases Monday ranging from $3,110 to $8,776
," reports Jim Sanders in the Bee.
"Attorney General Jerry Brown
and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell
received the highest pay hikes, 5 percent, jumping their salaries to $184,301.
"Pay for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, state lawmakers and all other constitutional officers rose by 2.75 percent, a little less than the state's cost of living in 2006, records show.
"The pay increases were approved 6-0 by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, an independent panel of gubernatorial appointees created by voter approval of Proposition 112 in 1990.
"The higher salaries will take effect Dec. 3."
Get ready for the sea of stories about those who bravely reject the pay increases -- only to accept them once the media glare has focused elsewhere...
Meanwhile, in Tinsel Town, "Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo acknowledged Monday that his wife was driving his city-owned SUV with a suspended license
when it was damaged in a 2004 accident and later repaired at taxpayer expense," reports Matt Lait in the Times.
"At a City Hall news conference, Delgadillo said he should have come forward immediately last week when a Times report raised questions about the accident. But, he said, he stalled because he was trying to protect his family from the 'public eye.' He characterized his conduct as a breach of 'the public trust.'
"'I mishandled the situation, and I apologize,' he said. 'I take full responsibility.
"But even after his news conference, Delgadillo's staff worked into the evening to correct misstatements that the city attorney had made.
"Among the main clarifications:
"Despite initially denying that he drove without the automobile insurance required of all California drivers, Delgadillo actually was an uninsured motorist from June 2005 to July 2006.
"And, contrary to his assertion that his wife was insured when she left the scene of a separate accident in 2004 involving the couple's jointly registered personal car, she was, in fact, also uninsured."
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, "City Attorney Dennis Herrera
's request Monday for permission from the state attorney general to file a lawsuit that could force Supervisor Ed Jew out of office
is a legal tactic rarely used in California and believed to be unprecedented in San Francisco," write Cecilia Vega and Wyatt Buchanan in the Chron.
"Saying his office's investigation into Jew's residency found overwhelming evidence that Jew has not been living in the Sunset neighborhood he represents, Herrera asked Attorney General Jerry Brown
for approval to sue Jew so that the freshman lawmaker can be ousted from his seat on the Board of Supervisors.
"It is the first time in modern San Francisco history such a request has been made on behalf of the city against a sitting supervisor. On only a handful of occasions has the legal maneuver been used in recent years to remove an elected official from office in California."
"Casino workers and labor leaders plan to rally on the steps of the State Capitol today to call attention to the pending Indian gaming deals
before the California legislature," reports the Desert Sun's Debra Gruszecki.
"'These compacts guarantee billion-dollar monopoly gaming rights to the few
,' said Art Pulaski
, executive secretary of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. 'The Legislature has an obligation to send the governor back to the negotiating table with a simple message: All Californians deserve the right to a voice at work.'
"As rally plans unfolded Monday, the Palm Springs-based Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians called attention to separate June 7 letters by two California labor unions to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez
, D-Los Angeles, urging ratification of that tribe's amended compact."
"Californians could receive at least $1 billion in refunds from energy companies
that allegedly gouged the state in 2000 as federal regulators stood by
, under a ruling that survived an appeal Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court," reports the Chron's Bob Egelko.
"State officials are pressing for the payments in a lawsuit challenging the rates that energy suppliers charged California utilities from May to October 2000, a period of rolling blackouts and soaring prices.
"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission initially denied the refunds, saying it lacked authority to order repayments for any period before October 2000 and did not believe it had grounds to do so in any case."
And it looks like political payback will be on trial in the O.C.
. The LAT's Christian Berthelsen has the details.
"A former Orange County Sheriff's lieutenant sued the county and Sheriff Michael S. Carona
on Monday, saying he was unfairly demoted for criticizing the sheriff while campaigning against him for the department's top job last year
"Bill Hunt was placed on administrative leave the day after the June 6, 2006, election in which Carona was reelected, narrowly avoiding a runoff with 50.9% of the vote. Hunt placed second in the four-way race, with 26.5%.
"Hunt, a 21-year veteran of the department who had been serving as the sheriff's chief of police services in San Clemente, quit six months after the election rather than accept his demotion to patrol officer in Stanton."
And down in the valley, the latest would-be wannabe made his pilgrimage to Google, which seems to have become California's equivalent of South Carolina's Bob Jones University -- the one place every presidential candidate must appear.
The latest to make the trek was New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who continues to try to stoke the fires that he may be running for president.
"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for reversing America's "wrong-headed course" and healing Washington's partisan gashes on a day he sidestepped questions about whether he might enter the 2008 presidential race.
The AP reports, "During California appearances Monday, the Republican mayor delivered a stinging critique of politics-as-usual that echoed assessments heard along the campaign trail
"At stops at Google Inc. in Mountain View and later at a conference in Los Angeles, Bloomberg never singled out President Bush or congressional leaders by name but blamed Washington gridlock for a litany of unresolved issues, from immigration reform to fixing Social Security
Personally, we liked the real Ross Perot a lot better...