Star chamber

Mar 4, 2011

The big budget news wasn't in the Capitol, it came from the state Chamber of Commerce, where prez Allan Zaremberg said his buisiness group will financially support any lawmakers who have to make tough votes on the budget -- such as Reeps voting for tax extensions. Steve Harmon of the Contra Costa Times has the story.


"There are going to be, I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican, some difficult votes that people are going to have to make," Zaremberg said in a briefing with a handful of reporters. "Some are going to be subject to more criticism than others. ... It's important for them to know there's going to be support for them."

"A fear among many Republicans and some Democrats is that voters in conservative districts might retaliate against legislators who even put a question of taxes on the ballot. Financial support from the Chamber could help them explain their vote in the next campaign."

Meanwhile, the budget conference committee approved a spending plan that includes the elimination of the redevelopment agencies demanded by Gov. Brown.

From the LAT's Shane Goldmacher: "The panel’s action sets the stage for a potential vote on both floors of the Legislature next week on a budget plan. The proposal that Democratic legislators adopted over Republican objections hews closely to the plan Gov. Jerry Brown outlined in January. "

"Brown, in a written statement, praised lawmakers for making “some bold decisions. I commend their work and their willingness to face the tough challenges that this year’s budget presents,” the governor said."

The Bee's Dan Walters and other liberal columnists say Republicans are in a prime position to negotiate major concessions from Democrats, but have yet to take advantage of it.

"It's a one-time shot. Last November, voters changed the legislative vote margin on budgets from two-thirds to a simple majority, which means GOP votes are no longer needed for a budget. But at least four Republicans would have to vote for the constitutional amendment that Brown proposes to extend some temporary taxes for an additional five years and divert the money to local governments and schools."


"Since it's the only time in the foreseeable future that Republicans would have the budget leverage they previously had every year, they could shoot the moon, seeking concessions so onerous to unions and other Democratic constituencies that they might drive a serious wedge between their political rivals."


Oakland is the latest town to lock up its redevelopment money before the state moves to eliminate the redevelopment programs. From Sean  Maher in the Oakland Tribune.


"Though the city has known something like this was coming for two months, the legal details of Brown's proposal wasn't available until last week, which is why city staff said plans weren't ready to go until now."


"I would have preferred we would have more time to work on this," said Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large). "Basically we did it when the gun was to our head."


And for those of you who are tired of politics, budgets and newsies, look up and smile: The moon is nigh.


"In a fortnight Earth will experience the biggest moon it has seen in nearly two decades."


"As well as providing some unique photo opportunities, some astronomers - well, one - are already predicting it may bring more worrying disruptions to the Earth’s climate patterns.

Earthquakes are not out of the question. More about that later."


"For now, all you need to know is that on March 19th the moon will be at its closest point to Earth in 18 years, an event that is known as a “lunar perigee”. Or the much more exciting “SuperMoon”, as one astrologer called it."




Get the daily Roundup
free in your e-mail

The Roundup is a daily look at the news from the editors of Capitol Weekly and
Privacy Policy