Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Termination Time

California (g)overnor Arnold Schwarzengger is having a tough time of it (if media reports are to be believed).
Of course, this strophe might just be a flavor-of-the-week set-up permitting a later rising from ashes of death, phoenix-like, by the movie star (g)overnor.
Anyway, Dan Walters in the "Sacramento Bee" says Schwarzenegger’s "fumbles" are giving the game over to his foes.
The columnist says the (g)overnor, by announcing his plan for reforms and a possible special election to achieve them, was in control of the clock and the rules, but failed to capitalize.
Because he doesn’t know whether he’s going to need a special election or not - and he should know he will - the governor’s forces were late in drafting initiatives.
Now he’s got something of a nightmare on his hands, because there isn’t a lot of time to gather signatures, and the time that passed was used by his opponents to negatively frame the reforms.
Another report in a California paper, the name of which escapes the scribe presently, said even (r)epublicans are worried about Schwarzenegger, whose polls are tanking, especially where independents and crossover democrats seduced by his Hollyweird sheen are concerned.
They say [the (r)epublicans] that Schwarzenegger has bitten off more than a guy without a working legislative majority can chew, that he’s attempting way too much, and lacks a clear message.
In other words, it turns out you have to do more than hate politics and its practitioners to run a state California's size.
Meanwhile, out on the streets, the union movement was hoping to field as many as 10,000 people last night outside a hotel where one of the (g)overnor’s many fund raisers (wasn’t that the gripe against the guy he replaced?) will be taking place.
The idea is to make things so loud the (g)overnor won’t be able to speak.
Meanwhile, opponents are attacking Schwarzenegger’s tendency to declare "emergencies" in order to bypass the legislative and/or rulemaking processes and get laws he deems necessary on the books.
A few months ago he declared an emergency and tried to rush rules making it harder to get lunch and rest breaks at work. A court shot him down.
Last month Schwarzenegger declared an emergency and suspended new rules lowering the number of patients-to-nurses in hospitals required by law. Nurses had worked for years to get the regulations and went to court following the (g)overnor’s move. He lost again.
Explaining that nurses are following him around the state with protests because "I’m always kicking their asses," the usually staid "L.A. Times" said, "Looks like they kicked his," in reference to the court ruling.
Now he has used the same "technique" as it were to slam through rules permitting state seizure of Medi-Cal recipients’ assets after they die, as repayment.
Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D- Alameda) is doing what Democrats in Congress can’t; she’s holding hearings into what kind of emergency is going on at Medi-Cal to warrant such unfriendly measures from the state.
"A lot of these things are basically power grabs," she told the "The Times." "I don’t see how this fits into the definition of emergency."
Maybe if Chan were in the (g)overnor’s sinking shoes she would.

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