Is the governor's road show starting to wear thin among state lawmakers? The most surprising quote about the governor in any of the Sunday stories came buried in Mark Martin's piece in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"If he would spend more time talking to members, we might get more done, '' complained one legislator. That is the type of critique you'd expect from Speaker Fabian Nuñez
or Senate leader Don Perata,
but not Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado.
George Skelton certainly doesn't see the governor's proposals as "reform."
"It doesn't track. Using 'reform' and 'Humvee' in the same thought pattern — in the same sight line — is a clash of conflicting images. It's a visual non sequitur ... For now, let's just say that stripping all pensions from public employees and tightening teacher tenure has about as much to do with real reform as does a Humvee."
Dan Walters writes that, with all the talk of the state's budget crisis and reform, the state's transportation crisis is being ignored.
"This is a genuine crisis, one that affects virtually every Californian and that threatens the state's economic viability. Why it's not getting the serious, bipartisan political attention it deserves is an unfathomable mystery."
The only bipartisan agreement on transportation issues seems to be bipartisan criticism of Sunne Wright-McPeak
, the governor's secretary of Business, Housing and Transportation. "McPeak, a hard-charging former Contra Costa County supervisor, finds herself in a precarious position: The Democratic Cabinet secretary has upset her Bay Area allies and irritated the Republican governor's top aides," writes the Merc's Andrew LaMar. And though nobody went on the record with their criticism,
LaMar writes: "Sources in and around the administration say the governor's inner circle has grown weary of McPeak's handling of the Bay Bridge and her inability to forge agreements on key issues."
Though Democrats and Republicans alike may be willing to tinker with the state's environmental laws
in an effort to spur more housing development. "The Republican governor over the past month has appointed prominent community leaders to advisory panels tasked with providing input on legislation to change parts of the California Environmental Quality Act and related issues in order to spur housing construction," reports the LA Daily News.
"At the same time, Democrats in the Senate have begun crafting a package of bills designed to loosen aspects of the environmental law for certain developments and provide cities with incentives to focus on infill projects instead of sprawl."
It seems that few of the gaming interests are happy
following the $107 million ballot brawl last November between card rooms and some gaming tribes, and tribes, tracks and card clubs are looking forward to their next steps. "The state's horse racing industry is attempting to leverage concessions from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with a lawsuit that is blocking a $1 billion bond issue for transportation projects
," the Union-Tribune reports, while cardrooms are "resigned to the likelihood that they never will get slot machines."
At least one Republican doesn't like the governor's redistricting plan.
GOP redistricting guru Tony Quinn
writes in Sunday's Bee the plan "places the governor in the ridiculous position of giving redistricting to federal judges regularly denounced by his fellow Republicans as godless atheists and ultra liberals. "As soon as they finish taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, I want them to draw new districts." That's not a winning political message."
We're looking forward to the administration's redistricting video news release.
Speaking of VNRs, are they standard operating procedure or "covert propaganda"? Or both? The Merc takes a longer look at the recent mock news clips
from the governor's office, while the New York Times gives the Bush Administration's use of VNRs
the same treatment. Bottom line: At least part of the blame lies with lazy reporters.
They walk the toughest "Beat It" in the state: The Chron's Capitol Beat column looks at where Jacko might end up if convicted.
"Corrections Department officials say it's way too early to know, but suggest 'it's a likely possibility' that Jackson would end up at Corcoran State Prison in one of the most closely watched and protected housing units in the state's 32 prisons. There he would join other high-profile inmates such as mass murderer Charles Manson
; Sirhan Sirhan
, the killer of Robert F. Kennedy,
and Juan Corona,
who killed 25 farmworkers." Can't we just build a wall around Neverland?
Speaking of overpriced accommodations, the same column lets it be known that the governor's hotel bill hasn't been paid since November.
The SacBee's Jim Sanders writes the profile
on frosh Assemblywoman Karen Bass
, who many insiders see as a potential speaker. "'I would think that Karen Bass would never confess to running for speaker, but I think a lot of people would look to her as a possible speaker,' said Miguel Contreras,
executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor."
Meet our nominee for the Kathleen Harris Election Administration Award
: LA city clerk Frank Martinez.
In a strange twist in the Los Angeles mayoral election, Martinez is defending his decision to have staff mark blue highlighter
over ballots that were marked faintly or outside of the box.
And if you thought that was Steve Samuelian
walking around K street the past couple weeks, you were right. Of course, because of those pesky laws, when it comes to the Legislature he'll just be a "consultant to cities on how the legislative process works." And, of course, offer guided tours to the local farm bureau.