It’s almost 9 p.m. and I’ve been sitting in the hallway outside Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office for almost on eight hours now.
The giant sculpted gold bear in front of the guv’s door has a microphone perched on it. The press corps is sitting around on laptops and borrowed desk chairs from nearby offices, which is an improvement over the cold granite tiled floor.
The Big Five was supposed to go back into a third round of talks at 8 p.m. but they didn’t show up until a few minutes ago.
The Dems say they have a document for the Republicans to review. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman says we should expect a statement in an hour as to the status of the negotiations and what the governor intends to do about the roughly 350 bills he is holding hostage pending the outcome of a water deal.
Will there be a water deal tonight? It’s hard to say. What legislators say in the hallway outside negotiations and what they say to each other behind closed doors is often a major divide. Neither side wants to give ground in the court of public opinion. Whatever they come out with, if they come out with anything, will be claimed as victory by both sides.
In the meantime, one of the top aides has offered me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Another aide came through with pizza. I can’t accept gifts valued more than $5. How much is a PB&J worth?