Hell week

May 10, 2010

Well, boys and girls, this is it. On Friday afternoon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will unveil the  dreaded May Revise, and the arguing and posturing can begin in earnest. Lucky for us, this is an election year, which should make the budget process run that much more smoothly. Right?


In the meantime, Michael Rothfeld looks at how both Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are using exaggerated claims in their attack ads against one another.


"An examination of the facts shows that most of the charges on both sides are puffed up. The candidates' profiles aren't so different. Each has acted in the past as a fairly moderate, pragmatic Republican who supported Democrats while trying to make money in the business world.

"Although both campaigns exaggerate, Whitman's ads appear to stretch the truth more."


From our Now We've Seen it All FIles, Meg Whitman is taking to the air with a new immigration ad starring ... Pete Wilson? The move apparently comes in response to Steve Poizner's new immigration ad.


CalBuzz reports, "Whitman’s anticipatory response on radio has Wilson – who was known on the streets of Mexico for his anti-immigrant policies as “hijo de puta” – assuring voters: “Meg will be tough as nails on illegal immigration. She’ll fight to secure our border and go after sanctuary cities.”


Susan Ferriss looks at the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, and its implications for November.


"The power of gender and geography could loom even larger in November, and influence the governor's race, some Democratic strategists and neutral analysts say.


"That could be especially true if Republican voters in June choose Meg Whitman and Abel Maldonado as the GOP's nominees, respectively, for governor and lieutenant governor, and showcase them as a diversity ticket.


"Wouldn't that be interesting if the Republican Party had a ticket with a woman and a Latino – while the Democrats were two white men?" mused Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a veteran political analyst at the University of Southern California.


"The Democrats' presumptive gubernatorial nominee is Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor and mayor of Oakland. If Newsom wins the primary, two men from the Bay Area would represent the top of the Democrats' slate."


The Service Employees International Union has a new leader. "Pledging to "restore relations with the American labor movement," Mary Kay Henry was named president Saturday of the Service Employees International Union, becoming the first woman to head the massive and politically influential group.


"Henry's election by the group's governing board follows a period of explosive SEIU growth that contrasts sharply with a decades-long slide in union membership in the United States, where fewer than 1 in 10 private-sector workers are now unionized.


"Despite Henry's promise Saturday to reach out and heal rifts with other labor unions, interviews indicated that California's hospitals and nursing homes would remain one of organized labor's most contentious battlegrounds.


"Henry said she had "no plans whatsoever" to engage with the "rival organization" — referring to the National Union of Healthcare Workers — that is battling the SEIU in California. She also told reporters in a telephone conference that she had no intention of leading the SEIU back into the AFL-CIO, which the SEIU left in 2005 to form a separate coalition, Change to Win."


Shane Goldmacher looks at the races for the four seats on the Board of Equalization.


"The three Republicans are competing to represent a sprawling inland district that stretches from northern Los Angeles County to the Oregon border. The district's expanse, combined with the general anonymity of the tax board, renders most campaign tactics moot. It's either too time-consuming or too expensive to reach 9 million residents.

Much of the political jockeying has involved the job title that candidates list on the ballot. For most voters, "all you're going to see is the name and three words" — the maximum allowed, Nakanishi said. "So it's important."

Barbara Alby, thanks to Bill Leonard's resignation, has perhaps the most enviable designation: "acting Equalization board member." She said her mentor's resignation "was a shock to me" and not part of any preplanned political calculation.


The state's tourism board projects visitors will be returning in larger numbers to the Golden State, the LAT reports. 



"Get ready. Those photo-snapping, beach-strolling, souvenir-shopping tourists are returning to California in greater numbers.And they're expected to spend a bit more than in the past."


Hey, great, maybe we can pass a budget this year contingent upon increased tourism revenue of, oh, I dunno, say, $25 billion or so...


And finally, from our Aroma Therapy Files, "Fans of White Castle's oniony hamburgers have a new way to indulge without any calorie guilt: a scented candle  infused with the burgers' aroma.


"The Columbus, Ohio-based fast-food chain this week introduced candles that smell like its Slider burgers in a promotion with Autism Speaks. Proceeds from the sale of the $10 candles will benefit the New York-based charity."

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