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‘Total Recall’ takes on new meaning

Announcement board on USS Midway, San Diego

Announcement board on USS Midway, San Diego

I toured the USS Midway museum in San Diego on Tuesday and laughed out loud when I saw this period announcement board in one of the exhibits of a crew lounge: “Tonight’s movie: Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone.”

That’s probably what the California Correctional Peace Officers Association has in mind with its recall petition targeting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

(I highly recommend a visit to the Midway, a remarkably restored aircraft carrier. We spent a few days sailing in San Diego — a post-convention break — and had extra time before we had to catch our plane. Plan to spend at least two or three hours at the ship.)

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Houston offers state budget stance

Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon

Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon

Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, sent over his favorable opinion (see it below) on the draft state budget that lawmakers passed earlier this week after months of delays and bickering.

Houston may be the last remaining Republican in a partisan seat in the Bay Area, but his view runs counter to that of GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The governor has said he will veto the budget in an unprecedented move, calling its reforms inadequate to deal with the state’s long-term deficit. The Democrat-controlled Legislature vows to override the veto. And the governor says if that happens, he will veto all those bills still sitting on his desk.

Sigh.

Here’s what Houston wrote:

Why We Did Not Raise Taxes and Why That is the Right Thing for California

Why would raising taxes be the short-sighted, ill-conceived way to close our state’s budget deficit? – because you already pay too much!

The Legislature finally passed a budget at 3 AM on September 16th, although Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promises to veto it. The compromise budget did not include any new taxes or tax increases, instead responsibly relying on $9.6 Billion in spending cuts.

When I was elected to the State Assembly in 2002, the 2003-04 budget included $71 billion dollars in General Fund spending.  As I wrap up my last year in the Assembly, the 2007-08 budget grew to $103 billion-a 31 % increase in just six years. Continue Reading

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Governor: No budget, no bills

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today vowed to veto all legislation that crosses his desk prior to receiving an acceptable budget from state lawmakers.

Hey, unlike that pesky plan to cut state workers’ salaries, which will take six months to reprogram the payroll computer system, the governor holds the power over his own pen.

Click here to read the governor’s comments or watch the press conference on video.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass had this to say about it: “Like the governor, we want to reach agreement on a budget that’s responsible and balanced, and 110 percent of our focus is on that. The Governor’s action today is yet another distraction that won’t have much impact other than the possible veto of public policy that moves our state forward.”

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Public gives governor and legislators the gong

Ouch.

The new Field Poll out today gives poor marks to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature, according to a story by Mike Zapler in the Mercury News:

SACRAMENTO – Only two in five voters give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger positive marks for his job performance, a sharp decline from his ratings late last year but virtually unchanged from a month ago, according to a California Field Poll.

The state Legislature is viewed favorably by just over one in four voters, and only one in five believe the state is heading in the right direction – half the number who said the state was on the right track six months ago.

And while two-thirds of respondents view the state budget deficit as serious, they aren’t very confident in the ability of the governor and Legislature to resolve it, the poll showed. Only 14 percent said they have a “great deal” of confidence in Schwarzenegger to “do what is right” to fix the budget; the corresponding figure for the Legislature was 4 percent.

Did we really need a poll to tell us this?

There’s no budget and the prospects for a budget include tax hikes, cuts in our schools and other services or maybe both. Everyone in Sacramento points the finger of blame at someone else but the public has its (index) finger aimed in the right direction.

I like the governor’s idea: Lock up the lawmakers in a room and don’t let them out until they come up with a budget that not only addresses this year’s problems but the ongoing structural deficit. If nothing else, it will cut down on all those useless press conferences where they puff out their chests and send verbal bombs across the aisle.

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Compare California schools on-line in new site

The power of the Internet continues.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled today the California School Finder, a web site that allows you to compare side-by-side schools’ test scores, graduation rates, course offerings and other data. It’s all information that was previously available to the public but not in a single location.

The state partnered with Microsoft and Google to put it together.

Read more for the governor’s press release. Continue Reading