Meta-narrative alert! This week, reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle and other Bay Area outlets once again showed up at a Meg Whitman “press” event, Flip Camera in tow, where, once again, the GOP gubernatorial front-runner invited the press out only to refuse  to take questions. To be fair, Whitman did make the rounds last week, giving some one-on-one interviews to some California political reporters. But she’s yet to face the press in all it’s pack-hunting glory at an open Q&A session since her disastrous ‘voting record’ avail several months go. Now, this column is the first to admit the press has an inflated sense of its own importance, and the press as an institution does not have the sway it once did. But at some point, Whitman’s going to have to face the thundering herd, thinned though it may be. Let’s see if this weekend’s GOP convention is that point, or whether the Meg as Press Conference Dodger narrative begins to really take hold…Meanwhile could legislative salaries become a bargaining chip in this year’s budget negotiations? We know the commission that decides lawmaker pay is “independent,” but all appointees do serve at the pleasure of the governor. With another 10 percent pay cut on the agenda just as budget talks get hot again, let’s see if there’s any connection between the two parallel tracks.

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