As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update From Lockdown

President Pro Tem Steinberg has brought the Senate into session but there's no breakthrough to report. Steinberg had a conversation with Dave Cox, who is seeing lots of his constituents in Sacramento County get pink slips today, and he is encouraged that something will get done today:

"We're going to get there today," Steinberg predicted. "I can't tell you exactly who (will vote for the budget package). We all know who the candidates are. ...Today has to be the day." [...]

Steinberg did not elaborate on his meeting with Cox, who was once thought to be the deciding vote but has since said he could not in good conscience vote for the tax increases.

"Dave and I have known each other for almost 20 years, and we have always had a good relationship," Steinberg said.

On Monday, Steinberg first said he would put up the tax bill at 10 a.m. this morning and keep the roll open -- for hours, if necessary -- to pressure the final vote.

"There are caucuses and conversations that led me to hold off until noon," he said.

Anthony Wright and John Myers at Capitol Notes are still Twittering from the chamber. Myers reports on a talk with the Governor's press secretary about Abel Maldonado's ransom note wish list:

McLear: guv willing to look at ways to "augment" budget deal if it gets the 2/3 vote... But won't comment on specifically adding Sen. Maldonado's requests... Guv does support, though, both proposals: open primary, legis pay.

I'm more and more convinced that Maldonado is the Governor's sock puppet. Arnold has been talking about the same "good government" reforms for quite a while, in particular open primaries. It's not that these reforms are completely nutty - no pay for lawmakers without a budget and no legislative pay or per diem raises in bad economic times is fine, I guess - but they are pointless compared to what is needed. Clearly making Yacht Party lawmakers feel bad or hitting their salaries isn't going to upend the anti-tax jihad. And the only definitive outcome of open primaries to this point is a confusingly long ballot and decreased participation, not automatic moderate candidates. These aren't germane, and they are just a way to hold up the process to extract more concessions.

You can read the letter that 20,000 state employees got today here. These are real lives that the Yacht Party is messing with. And they're wasting taxpayer dollars by delaying the process in about 10 different ways.

Thanks to everyone around the blogosphere linking to Calitics in the past couple days as we report this out. In addition, I'll be on the Bay Area's KPFA morning show with Aimee Allison tomorrow at 7:00am to discuss the latest.

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