Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, might be a freshman but she’s not letting any grass grow under her feet: She’s the first Democratic lawmaker to air an advertisement taking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to task for failing to get any Republican votes for any budget revisions to solve California’s budget deficit and cash crisis.
Skinner’s office says the ad will be running on cable television in the East Bay this Thursday and Friday on CNN, MSNBC, CNN Headline News, CNBC, Fox News, and Comedy Central (during the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, of course).
“I’d prefer that Democratic and Republican lawmakers act together to solve this budget crisis,” Skinner said in her news release. “But my Republican colleagues have refused to vote on any proposals — even their own. Accepting the enormity of the immediate problems we are facing, I and my fellow Democrats acted and put a majority vote solution, a balanced package of spending cuts and new revenues, on the Governor’s desk.”
Schwarzenegger’s veto of the Democrats’ plan to swap around some taxes in order to pump more money into the general fund — which Republicans have decried as an end run around the constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote on budget and tax bills — puts the onus on him to leverage some GOP votes for a workable plan, Skinner said.
“I reject the Governor’s assertion that we need to suspend environmental and worker protections to move infrastructure projects. There are shovel-ready projects that could be restarted immediately, re-employing workers up and down the state, if we act now,” she said. “Californians need to talk to our Governor and let him know we can fix the budget with a balanced package of cuts and revenues, without suspending environmental and worker protections or devastating our schools.”
(UPDATE @ 5:11 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Asked and answered, says Schwarzenegger press secretary Aaron McLear. The governor said Jan. 7 that “Democrats have never put up any of the proposals that will get any votes by the Republicans, including myself. Everything that we have seen so far and the budget proposals, or the bills that they have sent me yesterday, wouldn’t get any Republican votes, not even my own. So therefore, as I have explained to Senator Steinberg and to Speaker Bass, I cannot go out and get Republican votes when I wouldn’t vote for it. I would never do that.” McLear also notes the governor said the same day that Democrats have “never agreed to the kind of economic stimulus package that we need, to the kind of job creation that we need, to the kind of legislation that will keep people longer in their homes if there is foreclosure, which we need. All of those things – to make the necessary and really serious cuts and to make government run more efficiently—all of those things they have fallen short on.”)
Read a transcript of Skinner’s ad, after the jump…
“As your State Assemblymember from the East Bay, I am concerned about how the economic downturn is affecting our California communities. Job loss and foreclosures are at an all time high and our neighborhoods are hurting.
“In Sacramento, I am working with state leaders on budget solutions that will preserve vital services, protect our children’s schools, and restore funding to shovel ready infrastructure projects that can put people back to work up and down our state.
“With the enormity of California’s budget deficit such a solution requires a balanced package of spending cuts and new revenues.
“But Governor Schwarzenegger has not been able to lead his own party to a reasonable compromise.
“We can do better.
“Join me, tell the Governor we can fix California’s budget problems without rollbacks to worker and environmental protections or devastating our schools.
“Together let’s move California forward.”