"Thousands of struggling high school seniors are likely to be denied a diploma after the state Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated California's exit exam
, a hotly debated gauge of competency in math and English," reports Joel Rubin in the Times.
"'This is a clear victory for public education,' [Jack O'Connell
] said. 'The students who have worked very hard to pass this exam will be given a diploma that signifies their mastery of essential skills in reading and math.'"
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday stepped closer to saying he would carry out President Bush's plan to send National Guard troops to the Mexican border
but said he wants the administration to commit to an end date and funding before ordering the deployment," reports the AP's Aaron Davis.
"'I am prepared to commit the California National Guard troops in support of border patrol operations
, but, as I said, it has to be on a temporary basis,' Schwarzenegger said in advance of a state visit Thursday by Mexican President Vicente Fox
The Chron's Carla Marinucci looks at the governor's careful handling of the immigration issue
. "With Fox set to arrive in Northern California on Thursday, the governor's cautious effort to avoid alienating California voters across the political spectrum is another example of the complex election politics at play on both sides of the border.
"The visit is infused with politics. There's a presidential election in Mexico -- and Fox's visit is seen as part of the campaign in which Mexican voters will choose a new leader July 2."
The Mexican president will address a joint session of the Legislature this evening. That means an extra long day, and evening, for anybody on the Appropriations Committee in either the Senate or the Assembly...
Meanwhile, Peter Hecht reports on Steve Westly's contrasting campaign
. "Riding in a big orange bus -- adorned with his photo and the slogan "Hop on Board the Westly Wagon" -- the state controller made stops at community gatherings in Chico, Redding and Sacramento as he set out on a statewide tour leading up to the June 6 Democratic gubernatorial primary."
"His upbeat campaign swing, in which he vowed to connect with 'real people where they live and work,' offered a contrasting, parallel universe to a now-bruising primary race
. And it underscored Westly's efforts to recapture the early momentum of a feel-good campaign -- as he simultaneously airs negative commercials in an increasingly tense primary race."
"A new Public Policy Institute of California poll
, to be released today, showed Angelides showing a small, but statistically insignificant lead overWestly, 35 percent to 32 percent, with 33 percent of Democratic Party voters undecided
George Skelton looks at the poll results and finds that plenty of would-be primary voters are not inspired by either candidate
. "It's looking like this: a large number of undecided, combined with a barrage of depressing ads, resulting in millions of people thumbing their noses and not voting."
Dan Morain and Evan Halper look at the campaign filings of Phil Angelides
and find that some of the big money flowing in comes from people who want to do business with the state
"Over the years, state Treasurer Phil Angelides has taken $725,000 from the Silicon Valley glitterati who gathered to fete him at John and Rebecca Colligan
's Bay Area home one evening last month — and he has delivered for them."
"The Democratic candidate for governor is a self-styled crusader against corporate excess. But since taking office in 1999, he also has collected $4.5 million in campaign donations from money managers and others seeking to do business with the state's two major public pension systems
, an analysis of his campaign records shows."
"Angelides, like his Democratic gubernatorial rival, state Controller Steve Westly
, sits on the boards of the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, and the California State Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS, respectively the largest and third-largest pension funds in the nation."
"And like his rival, Angelides has taken donations within days or weeks of those boards' decisions to place money in funds managed by his contributors."
Speaking of retirement systems, Capitol Weekly's Shane Goldmacher writes a top adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
is offering to quit his job in the Horseshoe
if the Senate votes to keep him on the STRS board.
"'I was absolutely convinced that he was conflicted,' said [Sen. Don] Perata
after the hearing. "I told him I thought he should stay as the governor's adviser on economics. … I think it is a curious choice and I don't understand it."
The LAT's Deborah Schach gives a rundown of key L.A. area Democratic legislative primaries
Capitol Weekly's Max Taves profiles the race in LA's 43rd Assembly District
. "Seven local newspapers and four local television stations have closely covered the Assembly race in District 43--and those are just Armenian media.
The two candidates, Frank Quintero
and Paul Krekorian
, dueling to win the Democratic primary on June 6 have campaigned actively for the votes of the large and growing Armenian population in their district, which includes Glendale, Burbank and parts of northern Los Angeles including Los Feliz, Silver Lake and North Hollywood.
Regardless of who wins the right to appear on the November ballot, CW's Malcolm Maclachlan reports there will be no anti-gay rights initiative
alongside them. "None of the initiatives designed to roll back California's domestic-partnerships law will make it onto the November ballot, according to secretary of state filings and sources close to these initiative efforts. However, the sponsor of one of these initiatives said they were only filed as a "precaution" and were never even circulated for signatures.
, a candidate for the state Assembly and son of a San Bernardino congressman, said he is attending court-ordered alcohol treatment classes after pleading guilty in February to driving under the influence
The story broke in the Press-Enterprise yesterday, but the Roundup's log-in to the P-E's web site wouldn't work. When all else fails, blame the technology...
"A California Highway Patrol officer arrested Baca, 33, just after 2 a.m. on Nov. 12, on Interstate 10 in San Bernardino. He said he was on his way home to Rialto but would not disclose where he had been."
"'It's a mistake that I made, a mistake that I am not going to make again,' he said. 'I am going to take that experience and [tell] others not to drink and drive.'"
Meanwhile, "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto a bill
passed by the Senate and pending in the Assembly to revise California's school curriculum to include the contributions of gays and lesbians to the state and nation
, a gubernatorial spokesman said Wednesday," write Andy Furillo and Judy Lin in the Bee.
"'The governor believes that school curriculum should include all important historical figures, regardless of orientation,' said Schwarzenegger's director of communications, Adam Mendelsohn
. "However, he does not support the Legislature micromanaging curriculum.'"
The bill's author wouldn't take "no" for an answer. "'He hasn't made up his mind, I don't care what some underling might have said
,' [Senator Sheila] Kuehl
Capitol Weekly gives Dennis Mountjoy the astrology treatment
in this week's Political Fortune. "Uranus, his sun ruler, has many close stress aspects, inclining him to be too individualistic and too independent, giving him an excellent chart for running his own business but inclining toward difficulties in a legislative environment in which to be successful the spirit of compromise is usually necessary."