As the conclave reached an accord in the Vatican, the political powers attempting to negotiate a settlement that would avoid a fall special election remain at an impasse. But, signs of compromise were in the air Tuesday.
In a sign that another pillar of the governor's reform package is crumbling, Schwarzenegger appears to be willing to move to providing teachers in underperforming schools "combat pay" rather than merit pay.
Meanwhile, Democrats are holding a media confab in an attempt to blow up the governor's spending limit
proposal. "Assembly budget experts will be on hand to discuss the impact of the initiative, how it compares to the legislative proposal, and to answer your questions on the implications of the other 14 pages of the initiative," reads a press release from the Speaker's office.
In his recent profile of Schwarzenegger chief of staff Pat Clarey
, LA Times reporter Peter Nicholas outlined Clarey's three rules for Schwarzenegger. The team may want to consider a fourth rule, that stems from the rule that allows "Arnold to be Arnold": Go out there and clean it up.
That was the job given to press secretary Margita Thompson
after the governor did some thinking out loud at a speech before the Newspaper Association of America.
"[I]t is just unfair to have all those people coming across and have the border open the way it is...," Schwarzenegger said, insisting that the feds need to "close the borders in California and all across — within Mexico and the United States
." After consulting the spin translation dictionary, Thompson clarified the governor's statements: "He wants to make sure that our borders are secured so that we don't have illegal entry."
Or maybe he really is
channelling Pete Wilson.
Speaker Fabian Nuñez
pounced on the remarks yesterday. "The Governor should ratchet down his rhetoric and retreat from this narrow-minded approach to immigration policy. Closing our borders to commerce and culture is an idea that comes from political extremists, not rational policymakers. Even President Bush
rejects the idea of a closed border with Mexico."
The L.A. Times's Robert Salladay takes a look at the world of initiative signature gatherers.
"In front of the Manhattan Beach Target Greatland, Carolyn Lavilla
signed a half-dozen petitions lined up at one of two tables. The customer service representative for United Airlines signed petitions that are being promoted by unions, Democrats, Schwarzenegger and others. ... Lavilla, a Democrat, said she had little patience with unions, corporations or government employees. 'Nobody ever does anything about anything. Since all these things are making people mad, they might be good
,' she said."
Somewhere, Hiram Johnson
The Contra Costa Times reports the governor is meeting personally with top signature gatherers for his ballot initiatives
as a way of saying "thank you." Democratic consultant Gale Kaufman
has a slightly different take. "'Thank them, my ass,' responded Democratic political consultant Gale Kaufman. 'Believe me, if they didn't need to be doing this, they wouldn't be doing it. This is just another in a long line of the governor's Hollywood gimmicks.'"
And in Long, Hot Summer
news, Nuñez says he wants reform of last year's workers' comp reform
to be part of a budget agreement. "Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez said he'll demand the GOP governor reverse cutbacks in benefits for disabled workers
as the price for a state budget agreement this summer."Bob Stern
, who heads the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies, was in Sacramento testify in on Loni Hancock's AB 583
, which would provide public financing for campaigns.
The Bee reports "'In my view, the most important area is public financing, of all the reforms that are needed,' Stern said Tuesday in an interview with The Bee Capitol Bureau on a wide range of campaign finance topics. 'There would be more competitive elections
, there would be less influence from special interests
. ... It would make a major difference in the way campaigns are run and the way government is perceived.'"
More competitive elections and less influence from special interests? That bill is DOA.
And you thought Carole Migden
ran a tight ship: A Los Angeles judge fined a juror $1,000 for loudly yawning
while waiting to be assigned to a panel.More Pensions
: The LA Times takes a look at the Orange County pension system
, and says increasing benefits could cost the county millions. "Orange County may have to budget at least $110 million annually
beginning in July for retiree medical benefits — nearly five times the current plan
— because it must soon show how it will cover the benefits for the next 30 years, officials said Tuesday."
And finally, from our Also-Ran files: Guess which candidate for governor in 2003 was arrested for violating an ordinance on inappropriate touching? If you guessed Cruz Bustamante
, you'd be ... wrong. Porn star and recall candidate Mary Carey
was among those arrested in Washington state, "accused of violating the local adult cabaret ordinance, some by getting too close to customers and others -- including Carey -- by touching themselves in a sexual manner. No accusations were made of prostitution or other sex acts."
Accusations of inappropriate touching? Hey, one more thing Carey has in common with the governor.