The Weekly Roundup

When unions attack, the war in Iraq, Bing’s personal cash

Thursday, September 21
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and 80-year-old Lodian Byng Forsberg played
their celebrated pingpong match in Stockton on Thursday, but what had been
conceived as an event to raise awareness for cancer research had to end in a
private game played at Stockton Metropolitan Airport,” writes Hank Shaw in
the Stockton Record.

“Blame a tight campaign schedule and demands by scores of television
stations to cover the event, some from as far away as Japan. Schwarzenegger
officials said they wanted to avoid what they suspected would have become an
international media circus.

“So they closed the game to the media, although spokeswoman Julie Soderlund
did relay the events to The Record, which had a hand in setting up the

“According to Soderlund and Forsberg, they played at the airport for about a
half-hour, mostly rallying back and forth. They didn’t keep score.
“‘It was a friendly game,’ Soderlund said.”


Friday, September 22
“Movie producer Stephen L. Bing set a new California campaign contribution
record with his announcement that he has donated $40 million to Proposition
87, the oil tax initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot.

“While other wealthy activists have contributed large sums to their own
political campaigns, campaign finance experts said no individual has ever
contributed this much to a California proposition.

“‘This is completely unprecedented to have an individual pump this much
money into a ballot measure,’ said Robert Stern, Center for Governmental
Studies president.”

Saturday, September 23
In a move to bolster his appeal among Democrats, state Treasurer Phil
said Saturday night that on his first day as governor, he would
call on President Bush to withdraw California’s National Guard troops from
the war in Iraq. The Democratic nominee for governor said, in a telephone
interview with the Los Angeles Times, that he would take court action
against Bush if necessary to extract the state’s National Guard members from
Iraq. He said he would also urge other governors and members of Congress to
join his effort.

Publicity stunt? Desperation move? You be the judge.

Sunday, September 24
From our What’s Under Your Robe files: “Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III
of Clearwater (Fla.) apologized today for repeatedly viewed pornography on a
computer in his chambers.

“At a hearing this morning before the Florida Supreme Court, Downey said he
was sorry and was begged for forgiveness. The Court publicly reprimanded
him. The Supreme Court accepted an agreement in which the judge admitted
accessing pornographic Internet sites but allows him to remain on the bench
until his term expires January first.”

The porn, however, will become property of the state.

Monday, September 25
“Hoping to prop up state treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil
, public employee unions plan to launch statewide television ads
that resemble the spots they used to inflict major political damage on Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger last year,” report Michael Finnegan and Dan Morain in
the Times.

“The spots renew labor’s attack on Schwarzenegger’s character, with a nurse,
firefighter, police officer and several teachers portraying him as

“Like the ads that helped kill Schwarzenegger’s initiatives in the special
election last November, the new commercials accuse him of breaking promises
to stand up to special interests. They also suggest he is not a champion of
public schools.”

Tuesday, September 26
So, who’s next? The pope? The Dalai Lama is the latest prominent figure to
get an election-time photo op with the governor as the religious leader
attends the state conference on women, per Maria Shriver‘s request.

Wednesday, September 27
“Two new statewide polls show Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger widening
his lead over Democrat Phil Angelides with just six weeks to go before the
election,” reports Tom Chorneau in the Chron.

“Dominating the news in recent weeks with splashy bill-signing ceremonies
and celebrity news events, Schwarzenegger has jumped to a 17
percentage-point advantage over the state treasurer, according to a survey
from the Public Policy Institute of California–an increase of 4 points since

Meanwhile, every single Democrat in the state seemed to get into a photo
with the guv today at two separate bill-signing ceremonies for AB 32.

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