News

2008 Year In Review

Ah, 2008. We’ve come so far. The year began with the state facing a deepening deficit, paralyzed by partisan rancor. And now, after twelve long months of negotiating, three new legislative leaders, we have …  a deepening deficit as we are paralyzed by partisan rancor.
Perhaps it is a metaphor for the cyclical nature of the year, and of life. Or perhaps simply a metaphor about the inability of government to work. That, we suppose, depends on your outlook on life, and your political persuasion.


But as they say, life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And what a journey. We saw presidential front-runners emerge and get dethroned. Voters rejected changes to term limits, but approved changes to the way legislative districts will be drawn.


Arnold Schwarenegger fired his cousin, John Burton was sued for sexual harassment and Carole Migden lost her Senate seat. We elected the first black president, the first black female speaker and a new Senate leader from Sacramento. Jackie Speier went to Congress, as did Laura Richardson, but only one of them kept up with her mortgage payments.


We had the longest budget standoff in state history, finally passed a budget, and were immediately billions of dollars in the red.
California burned, gay marriage was legalized, then made illegal, and Bo Derek got a political appointment. Lloyd Levine got married, Dennis Cardoza got lucky and Don Perata’s carjacker got indicted. Californians went to the polls in record numbers, as Democrats picked up seats, and Gov. Schwarzenegger lost key members of his administration.


Here’s are look back at the year 2008 in California politics…

JANUARY
Obama and Huckabee take Iowa… Schwarzenegger/Núñez health plan dies in the Senate…Sheriff Mike Carona resigns…Nunez heads to Iowa for Hillary Clinton; Governor proposes cuts, spending cap in budget rollout .. Californians begin early primary voting; John Doolittle bows out; Gavin Newsom begins second term as SF mayor; Budget includes park closures, 10 percent cuts across the board; John McCain, Clinton bounce back in New Hampshire; Ed Jew quits SF Board of Supes; Schwarzenegger backs term limits initiative; Toll road fight in San Onofre; Núñez in hot water over non-profit funds; John Burton sued for sexual harassment; Meg Whitman talks about possible governor run; Senate rejects Schwarzenegger’s CARB appointee

Also: The Fonz is immortalized; Furloughs in Los Angeles; CHP whistleblower fallout; RIP: Carl Karcher, Alberto Torrico’s mortgage bill

FEBRUARY
Hillary, McCain wins California; Term limits measure fails; Steinberg elected Seante leader-in-waiting; voters approve new gaming compacts; Warren Furutani sworn in; Denham recall moves ahead; Coastal Commission rejects San Onofre toll road; Legislator junket spending investigated; Joe Nation announces Senate bid; Aaron Peskin’s drunken phone calls; Fight over rescissions; Sharon Runner reveals lung disease; Senate approves $1 billion cuts; Calderon smells the roses; Simitian stripped of chairmanship; Burke backs Parks; The defecit grows; The race for speaker is on; Beef recall; Gov orders hiring freeze; Tom McClintock for Congress?; Cogdill elected Senate GOP leader; Bass elected Assembly Speaker

Also: RIP: Tom Lantos; Kareem gets a blog; Brown out at CHP; Mexican president comes to Capitol; Cunningham aide gets 12 years; California’s 527 for Clinton; Chamber, DiFi talk water bond;

MARCH
McClintock announces; Ose jumps in; Migden sues FPPC; KJ announces for Sacramento mayor; Steve Lopez stalks Villaraigosa; Canciamilla drops out of Senate race; Immigration problems for state GOP; Courts crack down on homeschooling; Client #9 resigns as New York governor; Teachers get layoff notices; Bonnie Garcia for veep?; Horton says no to Senate run; SEIU protests the Bee; De la Torre, Portantino stripped of committees; Liz Hill calls it quits; FPPC fines Migden; Gov fires Clint Eastwood, Bobby Shriver; Dems gather in San Jose; Yudof in at U.C.

Also: Moses on acid? Olympic torch fracas in SF; Gov’s approval rate plunges to 44 percent; Fabian offers staff a golden handshake

APRIL
Portantino reinstated; Gary Webb, the movie; Maviglio elected as Clinton delegate; Speier elected to Congress; Half Moon Bay fight comes to Sacramento; Maria’s medical records hacked; Labor vs. Fabian over $4 million in political cash; Legislature fight over balloons; Software problems at tribal casinos; Salmon season cancelled; Clark Kelso steps in; James Tilton resigns; Gas hits $4 per gallon; Defecit hits $14 billion; Architects vs. pillow fluffers; CalPERS fund manager quits; Gay marriage ban heads to ballot; Gov. pushes redistricting reform

Also: Cabaldon gets the boot; Egg-laying measure qualifies for ballot. RIP: Joe Schell, State Tomato Board

MAY
Bass takes the gavel; Dem registration jumps; State reveals cash crisis; Maze seeks to ban lapdogs; Vallejo goes bankrupt; Denham recall bid abandoned; LA supes crack down on taco trucks; Migden vs. Leno heats up; New $17 billion budget hole revealed;  Bay Meadows announces closure … Guv dumps early inmate release plan; UC, CSU move to raise tuition; Supremes overturn gay marriage ban; FPPC requires more campaign spending disclosure; Laura Richardson’s foreclosure trouble; Prison bed plan rejected

Also: Roger Niello in bike accident; rocket launcher found at Turlock Jack In The Box; RIP: Mike Gotch

JUNE
Primaries galore; Leno beats Migden; Michael Peavy’s $600 million plan; Gay marriages begin; California on fire; Court okays inmate exports; Henry Nicholas indicted; Budget standoff begins; lawmakers avoid a pay cut; Showdown over diesel rules; LAUSD makes layoffs; Alcopops tax increased; Schwarzenegger declares a draught; Feds prepare prison takeover; Republicans propose spending cap; Foreclosures take hold; text messaging ban proposed, ARB unveils AB 32 implementation plan; Metal theft deal reached

Also: UC provost resigns; Westly joins Arnold – again; Dennis Cardoza hits the jackpot in Estonia; Levine gives up neutering fight. RIP: George Carlin

JULY
Ban begins on using cell phones while driving; Gavin explores governor run; Tom Campbell declares his candidacy; insurers pay up for illegal health coverage cancellations; Party pays Perata’s legal bills; Nunez gets another $600,000; Algebra for 8th graders; DiFi floats water bond; Trans-fat ban passed; Disgruntled employee takes over SF computer system; Legislature approves container fee; Obama opens lead over McCain; Green building standards approved; SD mayor comes out against Prop. 8; Steinberg takes plunge to save 4-year-old; Gov. reduces state worker pay
Also: UC plans two new med schools; Bo Derek appointed to horse board; Rough and Tumble goes dark for one week;

AUGUST
Budget stalemate continues; Governor proposes sales-tax hike; Parra makes her budget demands; Chiang refuses pay cut order; Dems gather in Denver; Obama picks Biden;  Schwarzenegger makes veto threat; High-speed rail deal reached; State hits credit crunch; Gay marriage ballot fight goes to court; Governor sues controller; Chick vs. Delgadillo; Perata carjacker indicted; Tribes vs. bingo machines; Parra booted from Capitol; Guv’s German interview revealed; Sarah who?

Also: Escutia fined by FPPC; Paris Hilton vs. McCain; Richardson’s home declared a nuisance; Feinstein breaks her ankle. RIP: Isaac Hayes

SEPTEMBER
Reeps gather in Minnesota; Gov cancels on McCain; Bills, bills, bills;  New record for budget futility; Steve Schmidt, the savior; McCain pulls ahead; Prison guards launch Schwarzenegger recall
; Tree sitters end Berkeley holdout; After veto threat, finally, a budget; Legislature approval at 15 percent; Another education secretary quits; UC pensions are back; CTA bows out of Opportunity PAC; Gay marriage initiative money rolls in; Burton for Dem Party chair; Wall St. in free-fall; McCain suspends campaign; Mortgage bills vetoed; Menu labeling signed; Campaign ads begin

Also: Fresno sausage assault; Mike Jimenez reelected at CCPOA; Rebecca Cohn for law school president; Levine gets married

OCTOBER
Budget already in the red; Florez wants to tap pensions;  Gay weddings flood the state; Recall Schwarzenegger effort fizzles; Meg Whitman opens her wallet; McCain’s numbers take a dive; Perata hangs on; Ballot full of propositions; Buy the bonds; Enter the Mormons; CTA gives $1 million to No on 8; Yes on 8 campaign uses Gavin Newsom as pitch man; Gov promises a special session, calls for tax cuts; PERS takes a hit;

Also: Julie Lee sent to prison; Schwarzenegger campaigns in Ohio; Dems pour money into Eisenhut; Enter Mac Taylor; Stark, Baca make Worst In Congress list; Lawmakers get a raise.

NOVEMBER
Obama’s California landslide; The schizophrenic California voter; Proposition 8 causes national uproar; Into the courts; Dems pick up three Assembly seats; Gilmore beats Florez; Strickland holds on; Huber pulls it out; Buchanan, Block and Perez win; McClintock elected; Proposition 11 passes; Voters approve high-speed rail; Ridley-Thomas wins; A new budget stalemate; Fiscal hole grows; Gov’s new sales tax plan; Dems counter; Republicans criticize; DeVore for Senate; Kamala for A.G.; Schmidt, Whitman part ways …Supreme Court recall?;  Thompson, Becerra among those rumored for Obama cabinet.

Also: Danny Eaton gets an appointment; Laird, Keuhl, Migden to Waste Board; new California budget blog; The guv’s global photo op; Adolph Hitler, one-nut wonder. RIP: Bill Stall

DECEMBER
The Legislature returns; Schwarzenegger meets with Obama; Steinberg finally takes over; Special session opens; Chu, Solis tapped by Obama; Still no budget deal; Return of the car tax?; Esteban Nunez arrested; ARB adopts greenhouse gas plan and new diesel rules;  Mormons vs. gays; State threatens IOUs; Voter turnout at 30-year high; Reeps introduce budget plan; Governor takes show on the road; LAO blasts greenhouse gas plan …Fiscal wonks lecture lawmakers; Calling in gay; Governor threatens furloughs and layoffs; Brown urges Proposition 8 be thrown out; Bass threatens lockdown; Stalemate prevails

Also: Antonio stays put; Zingale, Dunmoyer, Kahn move on;  LA Times declares bankruptcy; Gray raises money for Jerry. RIP: PolitickerCA
 


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