"Within 48 hours this week, two independent committees were formed
that could fundamentally change the way political campaigns
are run in California.
"Spooked by the prospect of running against a Republican
gubernatorial candidate with virtually unlimited resources,
allies of Attorney General Jerry Brown have pledged
up to $40 million in two separate independent expenditure committees
to boost Brown’s gubernatorial ambitions.
"The creation of the two committees is a tacit admission
that, within the current confines of California’s campaign finance law, Democrats felt they would not
be able to compete with the vast personal resources
of former EBay CEO Meg Whitman or Insurance Commissioner
“Clearly, it’s in reponse to Whitman’s money,” said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental
Studies “She’s upping the ante there. If she were not spending this
much money, I don’t think you’d see this kind of activity.”
But Stern said the large independent expenditure committees
come with potential risks for Brown as well.
“If voters don’t like the ads coming from these committees, they won’t get mad at Burkle or
the carpenters. They’ll get mad at Brown.”
"In a Capitol known for treachery, trauma and turmoil,
the Legislative Analyst’s Office, or LAO, is an anomaly. Created in 1941 after suspicious lawmakers were fed up relying on
the governor’s office to provide accurate budget information, the
legislative analyst has developed into a Capitol institution.
Taylor is only the fifth person to hold the job in
nearly 70 years; one of his predecessors, A. Alan Post, served for
28 years, and Taylor’s immediate predecessor, Elizabeth Hill, served for
23 years. Taylor was appointed 16 months ago."
Sen. Abel Maldonado's nomination as lieutenant governor
will be on
the Assembly floor this morning, and the Central Coast
an uphill battle for confirmation.
A Senate committee will continue its hearings on the state budget, as Democrats are expected to show their hand on some
major counter-proposals to Gov. Arnold Scwharzenegger's spending
state senators pushed the first budget cuts of 2010 through a key
committee Wednesday, slicing government payroll costs
by 5% and cutting
$811 million from the prisons' healthcare budget.
The votes were the first on budget matters since Gov.
Schwarzenegger called a special session last month
California's roughly $20-billion deficit. Lawmakers deferred decisions
on how much to cut from California schools and social
services -- the
state's costliest programs -- until summer budget talks.
"This is kind of like the easy part," said Sen. Bob
Cucamonga), vice chairman of the budget panel that passed the
Rep. Diane Watson will officially announce her retirement
and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass is expected to announce
to replace Watson.The maneuvering formalizes what's
around the Capitol for weeks, and maybe explains why
the Speaker has
spent so much time in D.C. over the past year...
"One current example of the need for an open primary
and less party
partisanship is the Assembly Democrats' lining up against
confirmation of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nominee
governor, Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria.
"Ironically, Maldonado is responsible for pushing Prop.
14 onto the
ballot. And that's particularly offensive to Democratic
"An open primary "will be unlikely to change California
overnight," McGhee writes. "There may be a long period
before the state arrives at a new, potentially more
"Fine. The body politic is sick and suffering. Let
the healing begin."
"I find these expenditures to be an insult and very
to every furloughed state employee, to every taxpayer
who has been
working very hard to make ends meet, who is driving
an old car on its
last legs when this state chooses not to do the same,"
Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), vice chairwoman of
the committee investigating the spending.
And finally, from our Don't Taze Me Bro Files, AP reports,
"A Wisconsin man was accused of repeatedly shocking a male dance instructor with a stun gun, claiming the instructor was a "sinner" who "defiles
married women." A Dane County prosecutor
said the suspect, 59, hastily arranged a dance lesson at the
instructor's Madison home and showed up with a stun
sledgehammer last Friday. The criminal complaint said
the man told a
detective that his church does not condone touching
while dancing and
that he was going to scare the instructor "and tell
him to leave the
We see another reality show idea, or at least a way
to jazz up the next season of Dancing With the Stars...