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The Weekly Roundup

Guv’s Rashomon breakfast; Condit, Reiner care for kids

Thursday, Jan. 12
Just when you thought it was safe to stop grumbling about Susan Kennedy, the
LA Times reports Kennedy will be on the campaign payroll with a job of
raising money for the governor’s reelection. “Schwarzenegger communications
director Rob Stutzman said Kennedy would take vacation days to meet donors
and work on the campaign, and would ‘absolutely’ separate her policy job
from the fundraising effort. He said that ‘her insight strategically on how
the campaign will proceed will be invaluable.'”

We’re not so sure most Republicans agree.

Also today, the state Legislative Analyst blasted the governor’s budget plan
as moving the state in the “wrong direction.”

The LAO said the governor spends too much on program expansion without
satisfactorily addressing the budget’s structural imbalance. “‘We’re
expanding spending at a time when we have a significant state budget
problem,’ said Legislative Analyst Liz Hill.

Friday, Jan. 13
Friday the 13th. What could possibly go wrong? Well, if your last name is
Condit, quite a lot actually. The FPPC filed a claim against Chad and Cadee
Condit, son and daughter of Arizona ice cream store owner Gary Condit, for
“illegally diverting PAC funds for personal use.”

The complaint claims Condit’s two children received $226,000 for “no
discernable work.” Apparently state law says you have to wait until after
you get elected to office before you can be paid for doing no discernable
work.

Saturday, Jan. 14
Rob Reiner’s tax the rich for preschool initiative officially qualified for
the June ballot. As some business groups prepare to formally oppose the
measure, the Preschool for All Act submitted far more than the 598,000
valid signatures to qualify for the next election.

The measure would impose a 1.7 percent tax on couples earning more than
$800,000 and individuals earning more than $400,000.

Monday, Jan. 16
Gov. Schwarzenegger’s appearance at a labor breakfast in San Francisco
apparently roiled some local labor activists, and led to two very different
interpretations of the event. The Chronicle said the governor was
well-received, while the San Jose Mercury News had another take.

“Schwarzenegger’s smooth sailing at a Democratic breakfast underscored not
only an uncanny knack for avoiding controversy, but his considerable
political skills,” wrote the Chronicle.

The Mercury News reported “the cool reception the governor received and the
fighting words his presence evoked from fellow speakers showed how hard it
will be for Schwarzenegger to win over Democratic constituencies that fought
him so bitterly and successfully last year.”

Tuesday, Jan. 17
If they’re using your middle name in a story about you on the evening news,
it’s probably not a good sign. So it was for Clarence Ray Allen, who was
executed at San Quentin shortly after midnight this morning. “Allen, who
turned 76 Monday, was by far the oldest of the 13 convicts executed in the
state since California restored the death penalty in 1977 and the second
oldest in the nation.”

Some liberal Democrats, including Assemblyman Paul Koretz, are calling for a
moratorium on the death penalty in California this year.

Wednesday, Jan. 18
Speaking of Allen, the Weekly Roundup’s Award for Most Ironic Performance by
a Spokesman goes San Quentin spokesman Vernell Crittendon. Allen had
apparently asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac
arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not
honor.”

“‘At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life,” said
Crittendon.

Well, right up until the moment they executed him, of course.


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