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The Weekly Roundup

Reiner the resigner, “bipartisan” bonds, guv back in black

Thursday, March 23
Looks like there is some competition to see who builds the Bay Bridge after
all. “The seemingly cursed effort to build a new eastern span of the Bay
Bridge ran into good fortune Wednesday when Caltrans received two bids to
build the single-tower suspension span to complete the bridge–and the low
offer was $1.43 billion, slightly less than estimated,” reports the San
Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Cabanatuan.

Friday, March 24
Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s fund raising accelerated beyond his two main rivals
during the first pre-election filing period, writes Dan Morain in the Los
Angeles Times. “Schwarzenegger showed his fund raising prowess, receiving
significantly more money than his Democratic rivals. He raised $5.2 million
between January 1 and Friday.”

“That sum was sufficient to place his re-election campaign $3 million in the
black. He had started the year $410,000 in debt.”

“State Treasurer Phil Angelides, seeking the Democratic nomination for
governor, raised $2.3 million during that period. Democratic state
Controller Steve Westly raised $1.1 million. Also, $2.5 million came from
his own wallet.”

What will they do with all that dough? Spend it on television, of course.
“Since the start of the year, Angelides has spent nearly $6 million and
Westly has spent $6.3 million,” writes Kevin Yamamura in the Sacramento Bee.
“Most of Angelides’ money has gone toward television commercials airing
statewide, typically the most costly part of any gubernatorial campaign. The
candidates intend to stay on the air throughout the three months leading
into the primary.”

Saturday, March 25
An estimated 500,000 protesters turned out in Los Angeles to protest an
immigration-reform package before Congress. The Union-Tribune takes a look
at the legislation itself, and reports “against a background of rising
political tension, protests and public frustration, members of the Senate
Judiciary Committee will attempt to come up with a plan tomorrow to overhaul
an immigration system that has spiraled out of control.

“The push for ‘comprehensive reform’ has become so ambitious that opponents
predict it will collapse under its own weight.”

Hmmm, where have we heard that one before?

Sunday, March 26
The Chron’s Greg Lucas reports bond talks will begin again, but without the
governor. “Democrat and Republican legislative leaders, choosing to act
independently of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will resume talks this week
aimed at placing a bipartisan public works bond deal on the November
ballot.”

The move is a show of independence by the Legislature by not involving
Schwarzenegger in their search for a compromise.

“We know what the governor’s interests are,” Perata said. “If we need him,
we’ll call him.”

Ouch.

Monday, March 27
The governor unveiled his first spot of the 2006 campaign, a dreamy little
profile piece called “Tomorrow.” As for the real tomorrow, that’s when we’re
expecting some tough ads from the governor’s campaign, now that the governor
has brought on Alex Castellanos to make his political ads.

Castellanos, who is based in Alexandria, Va., has a reputation for being a
hard-nosed media maven. Castellanos also was hired by the Bush campaign in
2004, and has worked for the president’s brother Jeb in his first campaign
for Florida governor. Castellanos, considered one of the GOP’s top media
consultants, perhaps is best known for the infamous “Hands” spot on behalf
of Jesse Helms in his 1990 re-election bid, attacking racial quotas, reports
Capitol Weekly.

Tuesday, March 28
Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a bill by Sen. Jim Battin today that would “send
millions of dollars to about two dozen California counties that are home to
Indian casinos,” reports the Associated Press.

The bill “restores $20 million to the Special Distribution Fund, which helps
non-gambling tribes and reimburses counties with casinos for extra police
and fire services and road improvements. About 40 percent of the money would
go to Riverside County, home to several of the state’s most lucrative tribal
casinos …”

… and Jim Battin.

Wednesday, March 29
“We agreed that we cannot let personal political attacks get in the way of
doing the very best we can for California’s children.” With that, Rob Reiner
resigned his post as head of California’s First Five commission, the
commission created by Proposition 10, an initiative Reiner sponsored in
1998.

Reiner had become a lightning rod for criticism in recent weeks, but the
governor refused to fire his fellow actor and “friend,” despite the urging
from conservatives.

Schwarzenegger replaced Reiner with Hector Ramirez, the Chief Operating
Officer of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Para Los Ni

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