California

Governator Schwarzenegger Completes Petition Drive on Legislative Redistricting Measure

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the completion today of a petition drive to change how legislative districts are drawn — the second of three measures he wants to put before voters in a proposed special election this fall.

The San Francisco Chronicle has the story here:

Supporters turned in about 215,000 signatures to county officials in Los Angeles, the first of nearly 1 million they expect to deliver to election offices statewide by Monday. The measure requires 600,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

In a public appearance, Schwarzenegger pressed for the redistricting measure that would put retired judges in charge of drawing boundaries instead of the Legislature.

“The politicians have divided neighborhoods, they’ve divided cities, towns and people — and that is what we want to eliminate,” he said. “The district lines were drawn to favor the incumbents rather than to favor the voters.”

Although the Legislature’s Democratic majority largely views the measure as targeting it, Schwarzenegger is selling the proposal as a nonpartisan issue.

The Governor submitted signatures for his teacher tenure reform proposal yesterday.

Without a fair and impartial redistricting the legislative, and Congressional district races will never be competitive and reflective of California voter sentiment.

Look for the Democrats in the California Legislature and the Republicans in Congress to attempt a compromise to save their current gerrymander.

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California

The Governator Goes on the Offensive

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California Governor Arnold Swarzenegger yesterday went on offense as he submitted signatures to qualify one of the first of several initiatives that may face voters in a fall special election. The San Francisco Chronicle has the story here:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved Wednesday to qualify the first of several initiatives that may face voters in a fall special election, at the same time asserting that there was “plenty of time” for Democratic lawmakers to negotiate with him to avoid a November ballot.

In separate appearances, the governor and Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez at times sounded themes of compromise, and officials in both camps said staff members were examining proposals and counter-proposals on various issues. The negotiations include the how and when public school teachers achieve tenure, Nuñez said.

Petitions turned in by Schwarzenegger at the Sacramento County registrar’s office Wednesday seek to qualify a ballot measure that would extend the period of time teachers must wait to receive tenure from two to five years. The governor maintains poorly performing teachers, deeply entrenched in public schools, are a key factor hobbling student performance.

Schwarzenegger aides say they plan to submit signatures for ballot measures that would change the way legislative districts are drawn and impose new controls on the state budget.

The Democrats’ counter-proposal on teacher tenure was not disclosed. Lengthening the tenure process has been hotly opposed by teacher unions, a key ally of Democrats.

Schwarzenegger, after unloading boxes of petitions with help from a small group of young children amid the jeers of protesters, said “there is plenty of time for us to work that out.”

“Our doors our open, and they have now, finally, started negotiating,” he said. “I’m sorry to say that it is four months late, but again, we are open for dialogue because we want to resolve this. We want to create changes.”

Schwarzenegger said Nuñez and others “complaining about our reforms are the ones that have created the problems in the first place.” Nuñez, while reiterating his party’s willingness to engage the governor, accused him of “leading the state into political chaos.”

“Hopefully, the governor stays at the negotiating table,” Nuñez said, meeting with reporters at the Capitol. “We have to go back to governing this state.”

No meetings between Schwarzenegger and key Democratic leaders have been planned.

Although there isn’t a firm deadline, state elections officials have recommended that all initiative backers submit their signatures by Friday, to allow officials time to qualify each measure for a November ballot, if one is called. Schwarzenegger has said he believes he must call an election by June 10.

Signature-gatherers of several initiatives hostile to Schwarzenegger’s administration claim they, too, are poised to put their measures across as soon as Friday. They include consumer-friendly referendums on electricity regulation, prescription drug costs and a measure to provide far-reaching protections for used-car buyers.

There will be no compromise with the Democrat legislature.

Get ready for another election season.

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California

California Ballot Watch

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Dan Weintraub and the Sacramento Bee (free registration required) provide a weekly update on proposed California state ballot measures for a special election this November:

A poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found that although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity is waning, there is support for two of the GOP governor’s proposed ballot initiatives. Likely voters support his proposal to make it harder for public school teachers to get tenure, 55 percent to 37 percent. His proposal to control state spending is ahead, 44 percent to 36 percent, the poll found.

With next Friday set as the secretary of state’s unofficial deadline to submit initiative signatures for a possible Nov. 8 special election, proponents of measures to change redistricting and teacher tenure, limit state spending and institute a voluntary drug price program said they were winding down their signature-gathering programs.

With late week developments on the Governator’s comments on illegal immigration, he should poll better with voters within a few weeks.

A Schwarzenegger – McClintock ticket will be a formidable duo in 2006. Add Paul Simon for California Treasuer vs Bill Lockyer and the Republicans have finally assembled a decent team to recapture at least the executive branch of California government.

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California

Tom McClintock to Run for California Lt. Governor

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My California State Senator (representing Thousand Oaks) and friend Tom McClintock gears up to run for Lt. Governor in 2006. Here is a story about his campaign:

California State Sen. Tom McClintock, the rock-ribbed conservative who made headlines two years ago when he ignored his fellow Republicans’ pleas to drop out of the race to replace Gov. Gray Davis and leave the field open for Arnold Schwarzenegger, is getting an early start in the 2006 race for lieutenant governor.

Campaigning in Orange County on Saturday, McClintock told members of the group Principles Over Politics that the job appeals to him because the lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate and is California’s chief executive whenever the governor is out of state.

“It places the office in the position of being a great generator of reforms,” McClintock said.

He defended Schwarzenegger against complaints that in recent weeks he has backed off efforts to overhaul the state’s pension system and institute tighter budget controls after his proposals came under sharp criticism.

“We have to bear in mind that political battles aren’t tidy affairs,” he said…..

…He is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor in 2006.
Three Democrats have indicated they will seek the office. They are state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and state Sens. Jackie Speier of Hillsborough and Liz Figueroa of Fremont.

Tom, of course, will have my Republican Primary endorsement.

Flap is looking forward to the Governator – McClintock ticket.

H/T SoCalPundit

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