In Los Angeles, everyone is talking about the L.A. Dodgers and the owner Frank McCourt. The Commissioner of Major League Baseball who took over control of the team some time ago from McCourt disapproved a new Fox Sports television contract which may precipitate a sale of the team, lawsuits, and/or a bankruptcy filing. Likely, there will be all of the above, but most folks in L.A. want McCourt and his wife to be gone and the Dodgers to concentrate on baseball.
Oh yeah and McCourt owns the Los Angeles Marathon too. I might just have to run in Pasadena next Spring.
OK – on to the links:
Steinberg raises legal questions over pay issue
Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, made it clear that there are legal implications — lawsuit, anyone? — with the decision on legislative pay that state Controller John Chiang is expected to make Tuesday.
Steinberg suggested that any decision by the Controller would be legally questionable.
The question that got Steinberg reverting back to the lawyer that he is: Will you be able to hold out and negotiate all summer if your members are not being paid.
The unspoken suggestion: that legislators would cave on demands of $2 billion to $6 billion more in cuts to schools, universities and public safety to ensure they get their salary and daily expenses.
“It is a bad precedent for anybody in the executive branch to question the quality of a budget passed by the Legislature,” he told reporters after a quick Senate session Monday. “Because to do so is to shift the balance of power … in a way that is dangerous.
“Think about if there was a governor, a treasurer or controller from the other party and they were unhappy with the quality of the budget the Legislature passed, they would have the ability — if Proposition 25 is interpreted in a way some suggest — to say it’s not good enough, we withhold your pay until you make all of the decisions and and all of the cuts that we believe are appropriate.”
The follow-up question: Could withholding legislators’ pay “tip the balance” to legislators accepting the governor’s cuts?
“If it is an attempt to tip the balance, then it is a conflict of interest like California has never seen,” Steinberg said.
Salary matters are best decided by the Citizens Compensation Commission, Steinberg said, and legislators should not be forced to determine their vote based on whether or not they would be paid.
Why McCourt must go, from one baseball blogger
Many kudos on baseball websites today for blogger Larry Behrendt’s detailing of the case against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, from the interlocking companies that mean the Dodgers now pay rent for their own stadium and parking lots, to the ticket revenue that gets drained elsewhere, to the huge debt and lavish personal spending. Behrendt posted before commissioner Bud Selig stepped in today to nix the deal with Fox. But that’s exactly what Behrendt felt Selig must do…..
Over the next two weeks, Bud Selig will face the defining moment of his career as Commissioner of Major League Baseball….
There is no doubt: Commissioner Selig should reject the Dodgers-Fox contract, seize control of the Dodgers, and sell the team to a responsible owner who will (with the grateful help of millions of my fellow left coasters) restore the team to its former greatness. Selig must act to prevent Frank McCourt from continuing to plunder the team. Selig must act before the team is saddled with even greater debt, while the team’s reputation can still be salvaged and the team is still marketable to a worthy owner….
How much have the McCourts managed to extract from the Dodgers? Well, if we ignore the debt the Dodgers took on so that the McCourts could buy the Dodgers but include the McCourt salaries, the McCourts have withdrawn from the Dodgers anywhere from $109 million (Frank McCourt’s estimate) to $141 million (Jamie McCourt’s estimate). The truth is, the real amount the McCourts plundered from the Dodgers may be more than $141 million – at the moment, all we have to go on is what each McCourt has been willing to admit to.
I(In case you were wondering, during their ownership of the Dodgers the McCourts have paid not one penny in income tax.)
Is Lynn Woolsey retiring? Is Gavin Newsom interested in that seat?
We’re getting the distinct feeling that something is up. Just got an “advisory” that Rep. Lynn Woolsey will hold a press conference at her home Monday in Petaluma “joined by Rep. Barbara Lee and friends and family.”
Hmmm. Remember, back in December Woolsey’s peeps told us she was “thinking of” retiring and they’d let us know by June. Tick…tock…tick…
All that Woolsey spokesperson Bart Acocella will say is: “I can tell you that she will make an announcement on the 27th about her future plans.”
Even with the state’s new redistricting plan likely to create a very-different looking 6th District, there’s already a line forming to snag the super-safe Democratic seat-for-life, starting with termed out Assemblyman Jared Huffman and activist and author Norman Solomon, Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane.
Here’s another name to toss in the mix: What about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom?
Yes, we know the duties of Lt. Gov. are…uh…pressing. Especially when he has to walk the Governor’s dog. But eyebrows raised when Newsom just moved to…wait for it…Marin County to live with his in-laws after they had their second child.
Enjoy your morning!