** The respective Democratic and Republican leaders of the California State Senate and Assembly have just been meeting for the first time in days on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s protean call for a major infrastructure bond package. Having failed in the process of dealing individually and serially with the governor on his late-breaking drive to put some version of a package on California’s June ballot, the legislative leaders are at last talking among themselves to see what they can come up with for California’s November ballot. Expect nothing today. But next week? Stay tuned.
** State Controller Steve Westly, the ex-eBay honcho-turned-leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, today announced that his office will conduct an investigation of California’s troubled prisons system. The probe will focus on the system’s malfunctioning health care system, where spending has doubled over the past half-decade. “The taxpayers have nothing to show for the billions spent on prison healthcare. Instead, we’ve seen the first federal takeover of a state agency in California history,” Westly said. “My audit will get to the bottom of this management meltdown and ensure that the people of California get a full accounting of their tax dollars.”
** State Treasurer Phil Angelides, the former state Democratic chairman and endorsed choice of most of the state’s Democratic establishment, announced another program in alliance with the state’s teachers unions, this for teacher recruitment. It is unclear how this is to be paid for:
“Restoring and expanding California’s teaching fellowship program to attract bright young people and mid-career adults to teaching.
Rolling back Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fee increases on teacher training.
Identifying the pay and incentives California needs to attract and retain talented teachers.
Restoring funding for teacher support.
Doubling the number of public school counselors to support teachers in the classroom.
Expanding homeownership assistance for teachers.”
** Governor Schwarzenegger has proclaimed tomorrow’s Cesar Chavez Day a day in advance. “As one of the century’s most remarkable civil libertarians, Cesar Estrada Chavez will always be remembered for working to safeguard and expand the rights of farm workers.”
Good for him in this charged moment in our history. Although it is amusing that he remembered Cesar’s day but forgot that little thing called Ronald Reagan Day until reminded of it here on NWN.
** Sac Bee columnist Dan Weintraub has an amusing item on Arnold appointing teachers union official Joe Nunez, the chairman of the Alliance for a Better California (ABC) — which is merely dedicating a couple hundred million dollars to his political destruction — to the state Board of Education. What next? Gale Kaufman to the Cabinet? Warren Beatty to the University of California Board of Regents?
Perhaps this is a new idea. Keep your friends close and your assassins closer.