The Skinny

Well, it’s official. Diane Cummins, who has served as budget director under John Burton and Don Perata is leaving the building. Cummins, who worked in Gov. Pete Wilson’s department of finance, was one of the Capitol’s most respected voices on all things budget. We hear it may be one of the Capitol’s other most respected budget voices, Craig Cornett, who currently has the gig in the Speaker’s office will move over to the Senate…Speaking of transitions, look out for those last-minute appointments. Perata is out the door, and there’s some open seats on the Integrated Waste Management Board, which has long been a $100,000-per-year haven for former legislators. We hear there is a certain San Francisco state Senator who did not get reelected who may get the gig…Another soon-to-be former lawmaker, John Laird, has been linked to the waste board as well as a possible appointee. But that may depend, like everything else, on Barack Obama. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that two Bay Area Congressmembers – Mike Honda  and Anna Eshoo, are being considered for appointments by the new prez-elect. If that happens, Sen. Joe Simitian would likely run for either of those seats. And if Simitian runs for Congress, Laird could take a shot at running for state Senate. But after the 2001 redraw, when Santa Cruz was drawn out of what is now the Abel Maldonado, it might be tough for Laird to take on Sally Lieber or Ira Ruskin or another Assemblymember with peninsula roots.

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