San Jose State economics professor and amateur powerlifter Lydia Ortega says she’ll fight for everyday people if elected to state office.
San Jose’s top casino cop has had enough. In his first interview since Casino M8trix filed lawsuits in February against the city of San Jose, Richard Teng, the San Jose Police Department’s gaming administrator, called accusations against him “a political nightmare.” There is history in this dispute.
As the year winds down, you can almost hear the collective sigh coming from City Hall. Or maybe that’s an echoing whoosh from councilmembers, the mayor, city manager and their staffs, who hightailed it for the holidays. Either way, 2011 was a tumultuous year, fierce in the manner civic actors clashed over pension reform, public safety, pot, a potential ballpark, ballot measures, pay cuts, occupations of city property and other issues of varying degrees of importance.
The biggest story in the news Tuesday is word that action star and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child out of wedlock a decade ago. An interesting question is: What would California look like today if voters had known the truth about Schwarzenegger’s actions before he was elected governor in a 2003 recall election. Infidelity is generally a career-killer in politics, and Schwarzenegger had basically no experience before coming into office.
“Values Fade In Face Of Budget Cuts.” So read the title of a recent column by the Mercury News’ Patty Fisher. “What do we value?” she asked, soon after Governor Schwarzenegger’s office released its revised budget outline replete with cuts to social programs.
“With a $19 billion gap to close, obviously the governor had tough choices to make. But there was a pattern to his choices. He chose to eliminate welfare altogether and cut childcare for low-income families, in-home supportive services, Medi-Cal and mental health. Programs established to help the neediest among us: the poor, the sick, the elderly.”
Calling Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith “an absolute jewel,” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the elected official’s behalf at a May 5 Los Gatos fundraiser that may have raised close to $100,000 by some early estimates. Smith called it her most successful fundraiser ever.
Former Assembly member John Laird and current Assembly member Sam Blakeslee may have officially announced their candidacies and are preparing for a shotgun wedding-style campaign for recently confirmed Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado’s 15th district senate seat – but hooold your horses, cowboys! A lawsuit filed this morning is trying to delay the June 22 special election and names one of the counties in the district, Monterey, as a defendant. The document says the special election ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last month would put Monterey County in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Hours after Sen. Abel Maldonado officially became California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the election to fill his now-vacant Assembly seat will be held in an August special ballot.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) called the decision a “bonehead move” that will cost the counties that make up District 15—Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo—up to $2.5 million. But the real problem seems to be that the late summer timing puts a Democratic candidate at a serious disadvantage. The Dems had hoped to see the vote consolidated with the November general election.
The New York Times report following the release of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget plan yesterday summarized the harsh facts succinctly: “Mr. Schwarzenegger … has proposed eliminating the state’s $1 billion welfare program for families with children, ending a $126 million health insurance program for children, reducing the state’s Medicaid eligibility to the minimum to save over $500 million, and ending the state’s network of subsidized home health care providers for the poor.”
California believes that it can save as much as $1 billion by releasing non-violent inmates from prison. Santa Clara County DA Dolores Carr admits that, but says that in practice it amounts to decriminalizing property crimes—such as car theft, grand theft, commercial burglary, and writing bad checks—by reducing them to misdemeanors. “This is really going to cause an increase in crime in our local communities,” she wrote in a letter to the governor.