Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Must Read: Jerry Brown Hides After “Whore” Story; State Budget Deal Is a Sham

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 7:10 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Jerry Brown went into hiding over the weekend following the disclosure that at least one of his aides called Meg Whitman a “whore” for allegedly striking a deal with law enforcement unions to protect their pensions in exchange for endorsements, the LA Times reports. Brown apparently blew off a get-out-the-vote event on Saturday and has not been seen since the Times broke the story Thursday. As for Whitman, reporters have yet to ask her about the alleged deal she struck with the law enforcement unions after making pension reform a key part of her candidacy. Instead, when they asked Whitman about being called a “whore,” she replied: “It’s a slur and I’m not going to dignify it with a response.” The “whore” story also has shifted the focus of the campaign off Whitman’s housekeeper scandal.

2. After a record 100-day-stalemate, state lawmakers passed a budget deal on Friday that relies on smoke and mirrors, longtime Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters notes. The budget package is only “balanced” because it depends on unrealistic revenue projections and puts off spending until next year. The deal was reached after Republicans refused to raise taxes and Democrats blocked deeper spending cuts. Governor Schwarzenegger, however, later slashed nearly $1 billion in spending from the deal, and he immediately came under criticism because the cuts were targeted at low-income residents, reports Daniel Weintraub of HeatlthyCal.org.

3. A protest over the weekend at UC Berkeley sparked thirteen arrests, the Trib reports. The demonstrators protested the opening of the new $18 million Richard C. Blum building on campus named after the UC regent and husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who also was on hand. The protesters were upset because building is intended to house a global center on world poverty at a time when the UC system has been dramatically raising student fees and laying off workers.

4. SunCal, the former developer of Alameda Point, is definitely not going quietly into the night. The company, apparently bent on influencing the upcoming Alameda city elections so that its plans for the point can reemerge, sent out a hit-piece mailer, attacking Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant and Mayor Beverly Johnson, who is running for city council. However, the mailer may have backfired, because SunCal’s favored mayoral candidate, Marie Gilmore, told the Chron that the hit piece was “the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.”

5. Voters beware when a candidate says he’s been endorsed by someone in this era of ranked choice voting. The Chron reports that an increasing number of candidates are telling voters they’ve been “endorsed” by some well-known person or group when they were actually the second or third choice. Under ranked choice voting, voters get to pick their top three candidates, and many endorsers are ranking their favored candidates as first, second, or third choices.

6. And by this time next week, the San Francisco 49ers could be 0-6 because the Oakland Raiders have a legitimate shot at beating their cross-bay rivals after defeating the San Diego Chargers yesterday. The 49ers lost their fifth straight game last night, losing to Philadelphia.

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