The governor announced that the cornerstone of tomorrow's revised budget plan will be reversing the proposed $1.3 billion cut to state transportation programs.
"'We're going to create an infrastructure that reduces the gridlock on our roads, builds the facilities that our cities need, speeds up the movement of goods in our state and creates more jobs,' Schwarzenegger told a gathering of the League of California Cities. 'I want a California where people spend less time sitting on the freeway and more time with their families at home.'"
The Bee reports
"Democratic lawmakers applauded the move Tuesday but said they hope the governor also restores cutbacks he proposed in January to seniors, disabled people and schools.
"If we could just get the same commitment on seniors, education and a structurally balanced budget, we'd be a happy crew," said Assembly budget chairman John Laird
, D-Santa Cruz."
And if we could make that Santa Claus
thing happen for real, and get some Tooth Fairy
funding we'd get out of here by June 30 for sure.
Of course, there's praise, and then there's praise. Compare these two Democrats' reaction to the news, and see if you can guess which one is running for governor.Democrat No. 1
: “I’m encouraged the Governor changed his mind. Transportation is an economic priority and a middle class crisis. We look forward to working with the Governor on transportation solutions beyond this budget year."Democrat No. 2
"What the Governor restores with one hand, he is proposing to take away with the other. California, a state that ranks 48th in per capita transportation investment, must stop borrowing from its transportation funds to cover General Fund budget deficits.
The first response comes from Don Perata
. The second from Phil Angelides
For all you parsers of political propaganda, Perata's comments may indicate the May Revise could help ratchet down the rhetoric between the governor and the Legislature, and help negotiations aimed at avoiding a special election.
But tea leaf readers could look at the latest round of bickering between the speaker and the governor
as a sign that inter-branch relations are still a bit rocky. The OC Register's Kimberly Kindy reports a "Sacramento watchdog group" called the Association of COmmunity Organizations for Reform Now has filed a complaint against the governor,
charging his office used state resources for campaign purposes.
"The watchdog group, known as ACORN, and the California Democratic Party, said they believe Schwarzenegger's conduct is illegal. They are asking the state Attorney General's Office, the Sacramento District Attorney's Office and the Fair Political Practices Commission to conduct investigations to determine if any violations took place. Fines and jail time are potential penalties."
Here's the kicker: "Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson
called the complaint "meritless" but said similar actions on the part of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez
were "real and clear violations." The California Republican Party has called for an investigation into the speaker for posting his weekly radio address on his Web site.
Wait, no, here's the real kicker: "[Duf] Sundheim
, the state Republican Party chairman, declined to comment on Schwarzenegger's activities."
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, Angelides continues on in full campaign mode.
Earlier in the day, the treasurer gathered top economists on a conference call to caution reporters that the state's economic recovery was still fragile. Today, as the governor remakes his transportation announcement for the television cameras
, the treasurer will be in the Bay Area "to urge the Governor to abandon his plans to raise taxes on elderly, blind and disabled
Californians living on fixed incomes."
Angelides isn't the only one criticizing the governor. George Skelton takes the guv to task
for his comments in an interview over the weekend that his current political woes are "like a script in a movie. You start the hero [at] the top. Then you take him down so the people [are] rooting for you. And then you take him up again. And then there's an end to this arc."
Skelton writes: "In writing script lines, it's enough just to bounce ideas around a table. In developing public policy, details should be researched and tested
— and vetted to see how they play politically. Schwarzenegger did not bother with any of that
in adopting his 'reform' agenda."
But in politics, as in Hollywood, everybody's a critic. The Bee reports on one of the most vocal opponents to the governor's potential special election
, Yolo County Clerk Freddie Oakley
. The former lobbyist who was appointed to the board of supervisors by Pete Wilson
(and subsequently beaten by Lois Wolk
) has said that she won't conduct an election unless the state provides cash to pay for it up front. "'I can see myself defying this governor,' she said. 'I would stand nose to nose with him and tell him what a terrible idea this is. It's a waste of state money if the state pays for it, but I'll run his election if the state does pay.' ... 'I'll defy this governor,' she added, 'but I don't know if I could defy a Superior Court judge.'
"Road less traveled
Sharon Runner hopes to require minors to get their parents permission before obtaining piercings.
passed out of Assembly Public Safety, with only Jackie Goldberg
's opposition. "'I don't think it's a health issue; it's a lifestyle issue,' Goldberg said. 'Kids are going to do things to show their independence from their parents. I just don't think we should go down that road.
'"Take my base ... please
At least one California community wants its local military base to be on the Pentagon's closure list.
"Closing the 63-year-old Concord Naval Weapons Station would have "tremendous benefits for the city of Concord and the Department of the Defense," Mayor Laura Hoffmeister
wrote in a letter to Navy officials."Reality TV
The Contra Costa Times reports on a Hercules high school bathroom beating
broadcast on the Internet, while the Daily News reports on a police chase ending with the shooting of the suspect on live TV.