Capitol Weekly takes a look whether or not the governor has lost the personal
"Four years ago, Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson held a
party for himself to say goodbye to the Capitol Press
Corps. During the gathering, the newly elected Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped by to throw his arm around
Wesson and wish him well.
It was impressive. After five years of Gov. Gray Davis’ impersonal style – and his declaration that the Legislature existed only
to implement his will – it seemed a new era of personal politics was upon
us in Sacramento.
"But four years later, the personal bonds between the
governor and the Legislature have deteriorated. Not
a single new member of the Assembly Republican caucus
has received a congratulatory phone call from the governor
(though all new electeds did receive a gift of a small
replica of the Capitol with the governor’s signature). Last year, when the governor went to meet with the
Assembly Republican Caucus, the members wore name tags
to underscore the fact that they had no personal contact
with the governor.
"Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines, R-Clovis, said he has a
good relationship with the governor. But he said it
might be beneficial
if the governor did more to reach out to individual
"'I really do think there could be more personal involvement
from the governor,' Villines said. 'It would be helpful.'
who once worked for Gov. Pete Wilson, recalled Wilson
was diligent about
sending personal notes to legislators, inviting small
groups over to
his house for dinner, and remembering birthdays. 'Those are the small
things that in any business are just good practice,' Villines said. 'But more than that, the governor is a people guy. I
think he’d like
Yesterday, more details came out about the arrest of the son of the former Speaker for murder.
The Bee's Kim Minugh and Jim Sanders report: "Full of beer, rum and rage after being turned away
from a fraternity party, four Sacramento men – including the 19-year-old son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez – killed a San Diego college student and then tried
to destroy evidence, according to allegations contained
in court documents."
NBC L.A. has the documents.
"Esteban Núñez assured his friends that he would "take the rap for it" and expressed hope that his "dad would take care of it," according to an arrest warrant affidavit that detailed
interviews conducted by San Diego Police Department
"The four young men were transferred Wednesday from
Sacramento County, where they were arrested, to San
Diego. They are scheduled to be arraigned today on
murder and other charges.
"Rafael Isaac Garcia, 19; Leshanor Thomas, Jr., 19; Ryan Kelly Jett, 22; and Núñez each face one count of murder, three counts of assault
with a deadly weapon and one count of misdemeanor vandalism
in connection with the Oct. 4 slaying. If convicted of murder, they face a maximum
sentence of life in prison."
CW's John Howard takes a look at an LAO report blasting the ARB's plan to implement AB 32.
"California’s attempt to curb climate-changing greenhouse gases has been targeted in a sharply
worded analysis by the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser, who says the plan relies
in part on incomplete data and provides dubious analyses
of the cost-savings associated with the proposal.
"The LAO’s findings found support from business and industry
critics of the greenhouse gas law. They contend, like
Niello, that the proposal hasn’t been well thought out and could cripple the state’s economy by hamstringing industry."
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't think you should call potential federal aid to California
a bailout, handout or any other kind of out," reports Kevin Yamamura in the Bee.
"He prefers the term 'investment.'"
So do the banks and the automakers.
"The Republican governor emphasizes there is a distinction
between the type of money he desires – public works money for California construction projects,
as well as higher Medi-Cal reimbursements – and the type of direct budget aid that Assembly Speaker
Karen Bass has suggested.
"He sees his public works request as a $26 billion New Deal-type infusion into projects that create jobs and bolster
the economy, not as a budget solution. He says his
Medi-Cal request is a matter of fairness because California
sends more money to Washington than it receives."
"Voters' economic status and religious convictions played a greater role than race and age in determining
whether they supported the Nov. 4 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California, a new poll shows.
"The ban drew its strongest support from both evangelical
Christians and voters who didn't attend college, according to results released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.
"Age and race, meanwhile, were not as strong factors
as assumed. According to the poll, 56 percent of voters over age 55 and 57 percent of nonwhite voters cast a yes ballot for the
gay marriage ban.
"People who identified themselves as practicing Christians
were highly likely to support the constitutional amendment,
with 85 percent of evangelical Christians, 66 percent of Protestants and 60 percent of Roman Catholics favoring it.
"The poll also showed that the measure got strong backing
from voters who did not attend college (69 percent), voters who earned less than $40,000 a year (63 percent) and Latinos (61 percent)."
"San Francisco Catholic Archbishop George Niederauer, in his first extensive explanation about his role
in the passage of Proposition 8, on Wednesday defended the church's actions in the successful ballot initiative," reports Matthai Kuruvila in the Chron.
"'Religious leaders in America have the constitutional
right to speak out on issues of public policy,' Niederauer wrote in a statement posted on the archdiocese's Web site. 'Catholic bishops, specifically, also have a responsibility
to teach the faith, and our beliefs about marriage
and family are part of this faith.'
"During the campaign, Niederauer issued statements,
sent flyers and gave a videotaped interview posted
at www.marriagematterstokids.org. But Niederauer's most prominent action was drawing in the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members responded with intensive
grassroots organizing and an estimated $20 million in campaign contributions from individuals
that accounted for half of the Yes on 8 campaign's total."
"Political watchdog and open records groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force California
officials to provide the state computer database for tracking thousands of votes and pieces of legislation," reports Peter Hecht in the Bee.
"The California First Amendment Coalition and MAPLight.org
charged that the state legislative counsel's office is violating California's open records law by refusing to hand over the database.
"The legislative counsel maintains the California Legislation
Information Web site for all bills introduced in the
state Assembly and Senate.
"The First Amendment Coalition and MAPLight.org – a Berkeley group that follows money in politics – said the Web site doesn't allow sophisticated searches tracking lawmakers and
multiple bills. The groups filed public records requests
seeking access to the database used to compile the
"Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine refused the request, asserting in a letter to MAPLight.org
in July that the California Public Records Act 'does not require disclosure of the database itself.'"
"Potential candidates are jockeying to run for Xavier Becerra's congressional seat as word spreads that President-elect Barack Obama is considering him as U.S. trade
representative," writes Dan Morain and Phil Willon in the Times.
"Names include Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, state Sen. Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, each of whom represents parts of Becerra's district, which includes the heart of Los Angeles.
"'I am definitely considering it,' said Cedillo, who has represented the area for the
last decade as an assemblyman and senator.
"Garcetti said it was premature to speculate on a possible
run but did not rule it out.
"Molina could not be reached for comment.
"Other possible candidates include Assemblymen Kevin de Leon and John Perez."
And finally, from our Fish Tales Files , AP reports, "The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with
his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn.
"'My first reaction was — you gotta be kidding,' he said Wednesday.
fisherman who discovered the tarnished ring inside
his catch contacted
Richardson on Nov. 28 in Buna, about 100 miles northeast of Houston,
after tracking him down with help from the Internet.
His fisherman hero asked to remain anonymous.
"Richardson, 41, said he lost the ring about two weeks after his 1987 graduation from Universal Technical Institute in Houston.
His mom had bought it for about $200 and wasn't pleased when it went missing."