The Weekly Roundup

Arambula in the dog house, Roach out of Congressional race

Thursday, May 4
Smelling blood in the water in an election year, “[T]hree members of the
state Senate Education Committee called for the resignation or firing of
University of California President Robert Dynes, saying the public trust in
his leadership has been broken by a compensation scandal over the past six
months,” writes Tanya Schevitz in the Chron.

“The criticism of UC’s administration was led by Senate Majority Leader
Gloria Romero and Sen. Abel Maldonado at a Capitol news conference at which
they urged Dynes to resign. Separately, Sen. Jeff Denham, who serves on the
11-member committee with Romero and Maldonado, encouraged Gerald Parsky,
chairman of UC’s governing Board of Regents, to fire Dynes.”
Friday, May 5
In the wee hours of the morning, the Legislature approved a $37 billion bond
package that should all but ensure Gov. Schwarzenegger’s re-election. Or so
Team Schwarzenegger is hoping.
“‘Today we made a giant step forward in terms of our commitment to the
state’s economy and in terms of strengthening our crumbling infrastructure,’
said Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland). ‘We also showed what
bipartisanship can look like.'”
Saturday, May 6
Perata apparently wasn’t talking about Juan Arambula. The Fresno Democrat
was stripped of his committee chairmanship and was moved to a Capitol broom
closet for having the audacity to not vote for the bond package.

Sunday, May 7
State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi accused automobile insurers of
“coercion, extortion and blackmail” for launching a $2.4 million campaign
attacking his proposed regulations that would cut the cost of some drivers’
coverage in crowded urban areas. He asked the FBI, the U.S. attorney and
state Attorney General Bill Lockyer to investigate his allegations.
Garamendi, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in the June 6
primary, said he was told that if he backed off pushing the regulation, he
would be spared an attack by insurers as Election Day neared.

Monday, May 8
George Skelton reviews the process of putting together the bond package
approved by the Legislature Friday morning. “It was not the way legislating
is described in poli sci classes. Nor was it the preferred way, if the world
were perfect.

“But last week the lawmaking process produced a package of proposed public
works that would be the largest in state history if approved by voters in
November: $37.3 billion in bonds, costing taxpayers $2.6 billion annually in
debt payments by 2013, according to Legislative Analyst Elizabeth G. Hill.

“In one way, this was a retro Legislature, returning to the old-fashioned
way–legislators doing the legislating.”

“Backroom deals. Very little sunshine. Old-time legislating. Ugly can be

Tuesday, May 9
With a recent poll showing Democrat Francine Busby with a sizable lead over
Republican Brian Bilbray for the June 6 runoff, the Orange County Register
reports “Republican businessman Eric Roach announced he would be ‘standing
down’ in the 50th District Congressional race and stop campaigning for the
seat to try to ensure a Republican victory.”

The special-election runoff will occur concurrently with the regular primary
for the seat. Roach was second among Republicans, behind Bilbray, and had
been campaigning to get the nod to be the Republican candidate for the
November general, regardless who won the special election.
“‘Maintaining the Republican majority in Congress is a vital goal this year,
and a loss here in the 50th Congressional district to a liberal Democrat
like Francine Busby would send the wrong signal across our great nation,’ he
announced in a statement read to reporters in a conference call.”

Wednesday, May 10
From our Beating a Dead Horse files, Mary Carey announced her candidacy for
governor yesterday. “Before I moved to California I thought that the whole
state was like Disneyland.” She must be alluding to the story above. …
Carey announced her new campaign slogan, “Finally, a politician that you
want to be screwed by.”
Um, we’ll pass, thanks.

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