...And in other news, the governor called an historic special election. That's the way the news played almost everywhere this morning, as Arnold Schwarzenegger
was trumped by news of the acquittal one of the few celebrities more famous than the governor.
We can't help but feel for the governor's media team on this one.
But now that it's official, let's see how much money we can all spend
over the next 147 days. "'An estimate of $200 million from all parties
, I would call that table stakes,' said Marty Wilson
, Schwarzenegger's main fundraiser. 'My guess is that the pot grows from there.'"
Some of that money will be coming from CCPOA, which is asking their members to pony up a bit more cash to fight the governor. "The 30,000-member prison officers' union expects to tally results early next week of its members' vote on a $33 fee increase that is aimed at generating $17.8 million
over a 17-month period. 'We're a small labor organization trying to get our message out in a state of 33 million people,' said Lance Corcoran
, the prison guards' union executive vice president. 'So, no, we had no choice.'"
Everyone, it seemed, had something to say about the special election
yesterday. The governor's allies argued the next few months could provide a much-needed civics lesson for many Californians.
"'You look at the [Public Policy Institute] poll and you realize the public could benefit from a five-month discussion about how the budget functions in California
,' said Allan Zaremberg
, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, which helped place Schwarzenegger's initiatives on the ballot."
Yes, in between "Dancing with the Stars" and "American Idol," we can have a fantastic dialog about Proposition 98 and general fund growth rates.
As USC's Marty Kaplan
put it, "In this galaxy, anything [Schwarzenegger] could say today about redistricting would be overshadowed by Michael Jackson
For those of you who are in to formal documents, you can read the text of the governor's proclamation here.
Treasurer Phil Angelides
called yesterday "a sad day for this state," and called Schwarzenegger "the most divisive governor in our history
." But perhaps the treasurer overreached just a smidge
when he compared the special election to the war in Iraq.
"That war has brought this country nothing but grief and heartache and, in the end, the governor's initiatives will bring nothing but division and heartache to this state,'' said Angelides, who is running for governor next year.
Meanwhile, the Legislature is ready to vote on a budget by Wednesday
. The budget strategy of legislative Democrats became clearer yesterday, as Pro Tem Don Perata
spelled out their plans for a two-step process: Bring up the budget on Wednesday and then try to peel off Republican votes for a tax increase
over the summer.
"'Let's get a balanced budget to the governor, let's vote on it, let's put that aside,' said Perata, an Oakland Democrat. 'And then let's spend the next six to eight weeks debating real education reform ... and then let's see if we can't put something before the voters in November.'"
Unfortunately, Mike Briggs
and Dick Dickerson
were unavailable for comment.Ackerman Out
After GOP groups moved quickly to avoid the possibility of a split conservative vote that could elect Marilyn Brewer
to the likely vacancy in Chris Cox's CD 48, Dick Ackerman dropped out of the race yesterday
. "'It became clear with John Campbell
getting in that this would be a full-time campaign, and I wouldn't have time to work on other things in the upcoming months,' Ackerman said. 'I said, 'Would I rather deal with the (state) budget or be campaigning?''"
And you thought Ackerman had no sense of humor.
All of this has gotta be bad news for Jim Battin
, who appeared to be oh-so-close to lining up support for a job that is no longer open. But kudos to the hack n' flack Blog
who not only appear to have broken the news, at least online, but are also the first to report that former Assembly Republican Leader Scott Baugh
will run for Campbell's seat, if the senator is elected to Congress.
Blogger Judson Welliver reports: "If Baugh wins this State Senate seat, [Assemblymen Chuck] DeVore
and [Van] Tran
have no place to run at the end of their term. Based on that fact, I think both must think long and hard about running for this seat, with Tran being the more likely person to go for it
Speaking of getting ahead of ourselves, The L.A. Times checks in with Assemblyman Mike Gordon
, who continues to battle a brain tumor
. Few details are available about his condition and there is no indication if he will return to Sacramento.
"Two Republicans have filed papers to challenge Gordon in 2006: [Greg] Hill
, his previous opponent, and Paul Nowatka
, a retired Torrance police lieutenant and Torrance city councilman. ... Democrats were prepared to back Torrance City Councilman Ted Lieu
, a vice president at the financial services firm UBS, if Gordon resigned and the governor called a special election to replace him, [Republican consultant Allan] Hoffenblum
"Thanks to modern medicine and prayer," Lieu wrote in an e-mail, "people do bounce back, and Mike's the kind of fighter that I believe will recover."
And thanks to blind ambition, there are a number of people ready to pounce if he can't run again.In other news
An appellate court ruling in San Francisco could send shockwaves through the world of Internet commerce.
AP reports the ruling "sets a precedent that could enable California to force some major Internet retailers to start paying state sales tax
for books, music and other goods sold online to state residents."
Budget-writers, get out your pencils.