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4.29.2008
Bad Manners

Bad Manners

Politics is a nasty, brutal contact sport played in nice threads, an observation I’ve made a number of times by me as both a newspaperman and a blogger. 

But it should always be conducted with good manners is the corollary to that maxim provided by my friend John Mockler. 

One of the people with the best manners and best reputation in the state Capitol and around Sacramento is Dennis Mangers who celebrated his retirement as president of the California Cable & Telecommunication Association Monday evening at the Sacramento Sheraton.     Read more »

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4.29.2008
More Good Budget News

More Good Budget News

The Horseshoe, as insiders call the governor’s office, has to be happy.  So does the Legislature. 

With one more day to go, personal income tax collections for April stand at $12.6 billion — $500 million more than the Schwarzenegger administration predicted in the governor’s January budget plan. 

Although the better-than-anticipated receipts won’t erase the state budget’s $7.4 billion gap between revenue and spending commitments, the additional cash will cause that fiscal hole to not grow as much as budget analysts previously expected.     Read more »

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4.28.2008
April Tax Collections Make Budget Woes Slightly Less Bad

April Tax Collections Make Budget Woes Slightly Less Bad

The sigh of relief by the Schwarzenegger administration over the past weekend’s record $2.8 billion in April tax collections could easily have been heard upstairs in the Legislature. 

While the state’s deteriorating economy will likely drive the existing $7.4 billion budget shortfall to more than $10 billion when the GOP governor unveils his revised spending plan in May, less-than-predicted tax receipts in April – the state’s biggest revenue month – would have significantly worsened the problem.     Read more »

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4.22.2008
Where Have You Gone, Gil Ferguson. The Assembly Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You. Whoo-Whoo-Whoo

Where Have You Gone, Gil Ferguson. The Assembly Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You. Whoo-Whoo-Whoo

The only California politician spinning faster in their grave than Hiram Johnson has to be Gil Ferguson. 

Johnson was the state’s progressive governor at the turn of the 20th Century. He created California’s workers compensation system and the initiative process, among other things. Johnson’s politics – and agenda – were comparable to those of his contemporary, President Teddy Roosevelt.     Read more »

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4.16.2008
The Tortured Life of Lobbyists

The Tortured Life of Lobbyists

Life ain’t easy for a powerful special interest lobbyist. 

First, lobbyists are compelled to interact with politicians – often several times in each day – and are forced to constantly treat them nicely.  

Second, the public has a lousy perception of lobbying, viewing it as basically a kissing cousin to the world’s oldest profession.    Read more »

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4.14.2008
Two Zingers from Jim Abourezk

Two Zingers from Jim Abourezk

 Here are a couple of oft-requested quotes John Burton recalls of his friend, Jim Abourezk of South Dakota, a congressman from 1971 to 1973 and U.S. Senator from 1973 through 1979: 

Accused of his opponent of knowing nothing about agriculture, Abourezk admitted it was a valid charge — he knew very little about farming.     Read more »

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4.11.2008
A Different Former Actor for Governor

A Different Former Actor for Governor

 

Let’s say, hypothetically, California has a different former actor as its governor. 

Let’s say that former actor is Charlton Heston, who had a role in the current chief executive’s film, True Lies, and said of himself, “I’ve played three presidents, three saints and two geniuses – and that’s probably enough for any man.” 

 How might Chuck have wrestled with our $16 billion budget gap?    Read more »

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4.10.2008
Vote Early, Vote Often

Vote Early, Vote Often

A couple of good Capitol eggs want to be elected delegates to the Democratic National Convention from Sacramento Fifth Congressional District. 

Karen Skelton, a former Bill Clinton and Al Gore staffer now with Dewey Square and Steve Maviglio, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’s communications director, are trolling for votes. 

The election is this Sunday at the Sacramento Public Library on 8th and I at 2 p.m.    Read more »

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4.08.2008
The Latest Sub Prime Mortgage Victim — Student Loans

The Latest Sub Prime Mortgage Victim — Student Loans

As a result of the sub prime mortgage crisis and skittish lenders, the federal government is expected to declare Thursday that California’s Student Aid Commission will become the state’s lender of last resort for federal student loans. 

The increasing reluctance of some private lenders to remain in the student loan market comes at the time applicants are receiving their letters of acceptance from colleges around the country.     Read more »

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4.07.2008

Ann Veneman, UNICEF’s executive director

Ann Veneman, UNICEF’s executive director, has just returned from a trip to Sierra Leone and Liberia where she met Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman president of Liberia and the first elected woman president in Africa.

“It was a fabulous meeting, a good substantive discussion. We talked about redevelopment, agriculture, health care, nutrition and how all of that comes together.    Read more »

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