** AND NOW FOR CALIFORNIA POLITICS AS RUSSIAN HISTORY. Trust my old friend Harold Meyerson to find the metaphor for the California governor’s race you have not heard. Meyerson, as big a journalistic admirer of the labor-left and Phil Angelides as exists in this space-time continuum, pens his Washington Post column for today and finds that it may just be Steve Westly time. And in so doing pegs Angelides as the Nikolai Bukharin for our time. As in the guy who was most appropriate by the party standard (Communist Party, in that case) to replace Lenin as party head. Yet who lost out to someone else. Who I recall being Rykov. I asked Harold if he meant Rykov and darned if he didn’t actually have Stalin in mind. Koba (Boss) Steve Westly. Hmm, maybe not. But you never know. He seems like such a nice fellow.
Would that also make Gray Davis … V.I. Lenin? And who would be Zinoviev?
UPDATE: Incidentally, I remember Phil Angelides when he was not a figure of the labor-left but the hardball chief of staff for pro-business Assembly Majority Leader Mike Roos. And a fast-rising Sacramento developer. But in a different life before that … as the friend of the renters’ rights movement at Governor Jerry Brown‘s Department of Housing & Community Development. And as a volunteer so excited to be driving Jane Fonda around that he got in an accident.
** THE RETURN OF THE VILLAGE PEOPLE! They’re baaaack. The cop, the firefighter, the teacher, the nurse, the union boss … (Oops, edit final character from commercial.) Those political icons who bedevil California’s once beloved governor in his nightmares. “But, but I vuz a firefighter in Collateral Damage! I vuz a cop in End of Days! I vuz a teacher in Kindergarten Cop! I vuz a nurse in, uh, ve didn’t make dat picture. Vy do they hate me so?!”
Those lovable madcaps from ABC, the Alliance for a Better California for public employees (couldn’t resist, folks) return to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life tomorrow at 4:30 PM. At his home! His home away from home, actually, the fabulous Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park. Just a short motorcade ride across the street from the State Capitol. Arnold lives upstairs. The scene will be downstairs, in front of and surrounding the building. The governor’s fundraiser will be in the ballroom. Look up for falling paparazzi. Look down for the $100,000 check you dropped.
(QUIZ: Where does the term “paparazzi” come from?)
** A VERY GOOD REPUBLICAN SOURCE SAYS KARL ROVE IS A GRAND JURY “TARGET.” The George W. Bush political maven and White House deputy chief of staff is under the gun for possibly outing a CIA agent in retaliation for her husband’s debunking of an administration claim that helped establish the WMD (weapons of mass destruction) rationale for the Iraq War. My friend and sometime colleague, MSNBC analyst and West Wing producer Lawrence O’Donnell, has analysis.
If Rove is indicted, given the central role he has played in the career of Governor and President Bush, that makes the situation for Republicans across the country, and especially in California, all the more difficult.
** THE ACTION GOVERNOR TAKES ACTION ON THE MINIMUM WAGE. With his raise-the-minimum-wage-with-no-cost-of-living-escalator bill sponsored by Republican state Senator Abel Maldonado going nowhere, and faced with the prospect of a Democratic bill with a bigger hike and the escalator, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is reviving a defunded commission that his California Performance Review recommended for destruction to do it his way by fiat. Never mind that he wants his own staff to get the escalator treatment. Schwarzenegger will use the Industrial Welfare Commission to order the minimum wage increase, bypassing the Legislature as he did in January with his “million solar roofs” measure via the Public Utilities Commission.