California voters give Brown mixed reviews, but they
like the idea of a special election to decide the state
budget, and they show some support for Gov. Brown's mix of taxes
and cuts, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute
of California. Dan Weintraub in HealthyCal offers this
"Interestingly, the poll found that Brown’s public
approval rating is below 50 percent, his honeymoon apparently cut short by the
severity of the state’s problems and the divergent views of a sharply divided
electorate. Among all adults, just 41 percent said they approved of his
performance so far, while 19 percent disapprove and 39 percent said they were
unsure. Brown did better among likely voters, with
47 percent approving of his
performance. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats, 27 percent of Republicans and 44
percent of independents approve of Brown’s performance."
"Voters’ general reaction to his budget was similarly
tepid. But when asked about some of the specific proposals,
more positive. And the first reaction to his plan to
take the issue to a
special election in June was also positive."
The same PPIC poll, by the way, shows voters in favor of abolishing redevelopment agencies,
a key piece of Brown's budget. The agencies also came under fire from state data,
which shows that their claims of job creation are suspect, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise's Jim Miller.
"Many redevelopment agencies' recent reports to the
list few, if any, jobs created and little in the way
of new construction or
building rehabilitation, according to state data."
has been a major issue since Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled
a proposed budget that
phases out the program and puts $1.7 billion of its revenue toward closing a
$25.4 billion gap through June 2012"
Speaking of redevelopment, the big-city mayors don't like Brown's budget-cutting plans and told him so. The LAT's Mike Mishak has the story.
"Cities across the state have angrily denounced
Brown's idea and rushed to shield the funds from any
state raids. Hours before
the mayors of the state's nine largest cities met with
Brown on Wednesday, the
Los Angeles City Council voted to spend up to $52 million in redevelopment
funds on public improvements around a planned downtown
"Redevelopment has become a flashpoint in the
budget debate. State Controller John Chiang announced
this week that his office
would dispatch auditors to review the books of 18 redevelopment agencies.
Cities say the agencies create jobs and transform blighted
areas. But projects
often involve subsidies that some labor unions call
State lawmakers, meanwhile, expressed frustration over
the cost of prison health care, including the spending by a federally appointed receiver
who is running the troubled program, notes Jack Dolan in the LA Times.
"Amid California's budget crisis, the receiver put
in charge of the prison health system by a federal
judge has spent $82 million on blueprints for medical facilities that
have been largely scrapped, more than $50,000 a month on an architectural consultant and millions
hiring medical professionals — more per inmate than in many other states.
"After four years of pouring money into the system,
however, receiver J. Clark Kelso told legislators Wednesday
that he didn't know when the federal oversight might
stop and suggested early release of chronically sick
inmates as one quick way to cut costs."
Brown's flurry of appointments to the state PUC and the Energy
Commission left one issue hanging -- the presidency of the PUC.
From Capitol Weekly's John Howard: "The current PUC president is
Michael Peevey, a former president of Southern California
Edison and Edison
International. He has headed the PUC for nearly a decade,
and he has been a
regulatory figure of unusual influence. His connections
at the highest levels
of the administrations of Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger
power at the PUC, where he was accompanied by political
But now the political landscape
has shifted dramatically. Both of Brown’s appointments are viewed as
aggressively pro-consumer – ratepayer activist Michael Florio, 58, a lawyer
with The Utility Reform Network, and Catherine Sandoval,
50, a Santa Clara
University law school professor and communications
expert, and a Rhodes
And from our "Vast Wasteland"
file comes the tale of the former TV executive who
wound up getting snockered and jumping onto the tavern
counter, where she did a striptease.
"Ex-Channel 7 honcho Randi Goldklank — who resigned from
the Boston station after a booze-fueled, airport tirade in 2008 — was arrested
in Florida Sunday night after dancing like a stripper
in a restaurant and
threatening to put the arresting officer on the news,
"Delray Beach police were called to The Office at 9:35
p.m. because an intoxicated woman was “doing innappropriate acts” and refused
to leave, according to the police report, obtained
by the Herald. Restaurant staff called police, saying Goldklank was
“touching herself, removing her top and dancing on a
pole like a stripper,” according
to the report."
Literally, bellying up to the bar...