Arnold SchwarzeneggerCaliforniaPoliticsSpecial Election 2005

California Special Election: Deal Unlikely?

Do you think California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is still laughing? The Sacramento Bee has Núñez: Ballot accord doubtful.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez said Tuesday he’s “very, very skeptical” that Democrats can reach a compromise with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on a package of ballot measures for the November election.

The Los Angeles Democrat, who last month said he was optimistic “a deal on the whole enchilada can still be worked out,” told reporters that negotiations are deadlocked over Schwarzenegger’s so-called “Live Within Our Means” budget proposal.

“We are seas apart of where we need to be on Live Within Our Means,” Núñez said at a Capitol press conference. “The type of power the governor is looking for here is the power that no democratic leader in any democratic society currently has, and it’s too difficult to get there.”

Among other things, the measure would allow California governors to make unilateral budget cuts in times of economic crisis. Democrats have said they fear Schwarzenegger would cripple social programs, health care and other services if the measure passed. They also oppose provisions they believe would erode the Proposition 98 funding guarantee for schools.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, who later in the day joined Núñez for a meeting on the issue in Schwarzenegger’s office, agreed that there appears to be little hope for a deal.

“I told the governor I would like to continue working on this … but there’s no way we could do this fast enough,” Perata said after the meeting in Schwarzenegger’s office.

Conservatives have worried that Governor Arnold was getting squishy and would sell out already qualified ballot initiatives or cancel the election entirely. But, has this been a ruse to increase popularity? And is Schwarzenegger backing the legislative leaders into a corner?

Margita Thompson, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, agreed with the two Democrats that talks have stalled. But she said it’s up to the legislators to decide whether the budget needs reform.

“There’s a sticking point,” Thompson said. “They need to decide if they want to move forward. The governor always remains helpful, and the governor remains at the table and will provide the leadership for whatever is necessary to forge a bipartisan solution.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger has won if he stays the course and allows the voters decide on his reform agenda this November. California voters want government and fiscal reform. The Governinator will deliver it.

Flap is happy that he is not a GIRLIE-MAN.

Cross-posted to the Bear Flag League Special Election Page

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