California

California Governor to Call for Special Election Tomorrow

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will call a special election Monday to bring what he believes are urgent reforms to the state, his top aide told a Republican gathering Saturday.

We are on our way to a historic special election in an off-year,” Schwarzenegger chief of staff Pat Clarey told attendees at the Firestone Weekend, an annual GOP retreat. “His reforms will bring California back to where we belong, the envy of the country. We need to bring the fiscal state back together.”

Clarey insisted that nothing was official until Schwarzenegger makes his own announcement regarding the special election on Monday, when the governor has scheduled a 5 p.m. address from his Capitol office. But she left little doubt that Schwarzenegger and his team will be in full campaign mode soon on behalf of three initiatives, all of which have qualified for a November election.

The three include a cap on state spending, a measure to redraw legislative and congressional districts, and a proposal to extend the time it takes teachers to gain tenure. The spending initiative will be among the most contentious, opposed by teachers and other public employees who fear it would lead to massive cuts. Schwarzenegger, however, says California cannot afford many of the state’s mandatory spending programs.

There most probably will be additonal measures which qualify for the Special Election Ballot:

Requiring parental notification for abortion

Paycheck Protection – making it harder for public employee unions to raise political cash – would bar public employee labor unions from using union dues or fees for political contributions unless their members provide written consent.

Democrat-backed measures re-regulating the power industry and offering discounts for prescription drugs are nearing ballot approval, as is a separate prescription drug measure sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.

It’s hard to see any downside to calling the special election,” said Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant. “At the very worst, (Schwarzenegger) comes out with the status quo.”

The special election “is an absolutely essential thing to do at this point of the public discussion that began with the recall,” said state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks. “I told the governor after his election that the same Legislature that got us into this mess won’t get us out.”

Agreed….. bring on the election!

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