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It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

The “Budget Reform Now” campaign for the six state-budget-related measures on the May 19 special election ballot issued a news release last night quoting Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner, the California State Sheriffs’ Assocaition’s president, on the Public Policy Institute of California’s latest poll:

“It is clear from this poll that Californians are less than satisfied with the status quo when it comes to our economy and our government – Props 1A through 1F are aimed at putting an end to the dysfunctional business as usual in Sacramento. As a county sheriff charged with protecting my community I know first hand the harm our budget rollercoaster does to the resources law enforcement needs to do our jobs. We are confident that as voters learn more about how Props 1A through 1F work together to address California’s budget problems both in the short and long term they will join us and the hundreds of thousands of teachers, seniors, workers, taxpayer advocates and many other Californians in voting yes on Props 1A-1F on May 19.”

It’s nice to be confident. The poll, however, showed not only that a majority of voters aren’t in favor of five of the six measures, but also that the Legislature’s and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity are near or at record lows. And with the election looming seven weeks from this coming Tuesday, there’s not much time left in which to find somebody high-profile and popular who can effectively make a case for these measures.

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Under: Elections, General, May 2009 special election, state budget | No Comments »

More from Schwarzenegger’s SF speech

The governor visited San Francisco today mainly to stump for the May special election budget-reform agenda, but lots of other topics came up during a question-and-answer period as well.

For example, he said he’s “absolutely” in favor of extending Legislative term limits; former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez had the right idea with last year’s Proposition 93, but would’ve fared better with voters if he’d packaged term limits with redistricting reform to prove he wasn’t “acting out of selfish reasons.” Nunez, along with then-state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, were among lawmakers who would’ve been “grandfathered” into longer tenures had the measure passed.

Lawmakers need two or three years just to learn the ropes and get up to speed, Schwarzenegger said today; under current rules, that’s half the time someone can spend in the Assembly. “I think it’s a disservice to the California people,” he said.

Lots more, after the jump…
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Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009
Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger, economy, education, Fabian Nunez, Global warming, May 2009 special election, State Prisons | No Comments »

Preview: Arnold’s speech on the budget package

I’ll be in San Francisco at noon to hear Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tell the Commonwealth Club of California about the importance of passing the measures on the May 19 special election ballot, which were part of the deal struck to break the state budget deadlock. The campaign for the ballot measures already has sent out excerpts of what he’ll say there:

“Our state capital is a town that feeds on dysfunction. The special interests, left and right, need the process to be dysfunctional. That is how they control Sacramento. That is how they prevent change.”

[snip]

“But now we have an agreement, passed by two-thirds of the legislature, that puts on the ballot serious budget reform, including a spending limit and a rainy day fund.

“And the very interests, the far left and the far right, that prefer dysfunction over change have already launched a campaign to confuse people and defeat the reform. But this time they are not going to succeed.”

That, of course, is a direct throw-down against people such as state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, who already are contending the spending cap contained in Proposition 1A would cripple California’s ability to rebuild from deep education, social-service and other cuts already suffered, and make it impossible to make any progress in improving these services in the future.

(UPDATE @ 10:18 A.M. – Former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly has thrown his support behind the entire special-election agenda: “During my tenure as State Controller, I witnessed firsthand the destruction our unpredictable and unstable budget process causes to California’s taxpayers, small businesses and people who rely on state services. Proposition 1A along with these other measures will do away with the dysfunctional budget system we have today and replace it with a system that will provide more stability and accountability. Prop 1A will instill much needed fiscal discipline so that vital services like education, healthcare, and public safety aren’t put through the budget wringer every year.”)

More Schwarzenegger speech excerpts, after the jump…
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Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009
Under: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Loni Hancock, May 2009 special election, state budget | No Comments »