We're back to the budget deficit.
On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we look at this week's budget news... small steps towards closing the $20 billion gap, but steps nonetheless.
Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I pore over the proposals that cleared the Legislature, as well as those that didn't. We also look back at Governor Schwarzenegger's big trip to DC, complete with air time on network TV and face time with the Prez.
"The Budget Debate Is Over. Long Live The Budget Debate!"
A California version of the rally cry of the perpetual monarchy seems appropriate, as the constitutional clock on the extra special fiscal Armageddon emergency session has expired... and yet here we are still at it. Why? Because the ratified solutions, at this point, only amount to about 10% of the looming deficit.
The next statewide election is still 109 days away, but you'd be hard pressed to know that given the battle lines already going up in some of the state's biggest contests.
On this week's Capital Notes Podcast, we head back to the drama over the nominee for lieutenant governor. We also discuss the buzz of a possible late entrant in that race. And... the newly announced strike squads taking aim at the Republican nominee for governor (whoever that turns out to be).
But wait, there's more! Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I also note the demise of one big effort at government reform in 2010.
And with that, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put his arm around Abel Maldonado today, and pushed the Republican back out into the political free-for-all over his nomination to be California's next lieutenant governor.
Schwarzenegger's decision to withdraw the original Maldo nomination and submit a brand new one does two things: it resets the clock on how long the Legislature has to act, and it reignites the questions for Assembly Democrats about whether they have enough votes to end all speculation -- one way or the other -- about Maldo's fate.
As we prepare for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement later today that he's renominating Abel Maldonado to be lieutenant governor, it's good to set the record straight on who voted which way in the Assembly's weird and wild ride last Thursday.
There's nothing like a day in politics where different sides say the outcome means different things... and neither may end up with the final word.
Confused? Us, too.
This week's Capital Notes Podcast is solely devoted to Thursday's oddball events in the nomination of Abel Maldonado to be lieutenant governor, events that might send the whole thing to court.
Capitol Weekly's Anthony York and I examine what happened... why we think it happened (and let's face it, we don't really know)... and what might happen next.
It was a day full of partisan bickering, political maneuvering, and threatened legal action. In short... the kind of day that's helped fuel the perception that California's statehouse is stuck in never-ending dysfunction.
And through all that, by day's end there still was no real clarity as to whether Abel Maldonado took a big step towards becoming the next lieutenant governor... lost the fight altogether... or is stuck somewhere in between.
Welcome, students, to Constitutional Law 101. Interpret the following passage from Article V of the California Constitution:
"In the event the nominee is neither confirmed nor refused confirmation by both the Senate and the Assembly within 90 days of the submission of the nomination, the nominee shall take office as if he or she had been confirmed by a majority of the Senate and Assembly."
What does it mean to be "refused confirmation"? Failing to get a majority of the house (in this case, the Assembly) to vote 'Yes'? Or having a majority of the chamber cast a 'No' vote?
It's still an awfully long way from the June election, where voters will be asked to revamp the system by which candidates for elected office are chosen by voters. But perhaps that's exactly the right time for some nonpartisan analysis of that proposal, a chance to ponder the proposal before the air is thick with campaign rhetoric.
And the bottom line in the new Public Policy Institute of California's examination of Proposition 14 is that the measure will probably help elect more moderates to the Legislature and Congress... but not so many that partisanship as we know it will disappear.
The political campaign organized to convene a constitutional convention in California is, in the words of a top campaign official, "pausing" its efforts to get the measure on the November ballot.