So Long, Senator Burton

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Boxes are being packed and goodbyes said as several well-known lawmakers leave office this week. The two-year legislative session officially ended at midnight.

And it's safe to say that no departure will be more notable than that of Senate President Pro Tempore John L. Burton.

Burton always says what he thinks, whether it's clever or crass. But he also has a soft side for the issues and people he cares about... more on this Wenesday morning on The California Report.

In the meantime, here are a few parting thoughts from the final Capitol news conference of the profound... profane... and sometimes perplexing... John Burton:

On leaving office: "The only tough part about this day... is getting my stuff together. I've got a lot of stuff."

On reports of an FBI investigation into business associates of the incoming Pro Tem, Senator Don Perata (D-Oakland): "There's no reason I would second-guess Don's explanation."

On fixing California's budget problems: "We can't just hope that the economy gets, quote, better."

On possible sources of new revenue: "They could maybe be taxes, they could maybe be robbing a bank, they could maybe buy a lottery ticket. They could maybe be literally finding out almost all of the members of the Legislature have some Native American blood, we could open a casino and try to cut a deal with Governor Schwarzenegger."

On Schwarzenegger, and then some: "He gets in front of a crowd and man it's like, someone snorting up two lines of coke. He's off! Crowds are to him like it used to be fundraising calls were to Gray [Davis]."

On his own well-publicized gruffness: "I am really, despite what people think, an absolute wuss."

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new California Politics & Government Desk. He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades, serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and most recently as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. In 2014, he was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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