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103116508JS002_GOV_SCHWARZE.JPGThe closer Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to leaving office and the longer the budget stalemate drags out, the more frank he seems to become.

Speaking today at the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Republican governor had no qualms about attacking public employee unions, whom he blamed for high costs everywhere in government.

In a perfect Schwarzenegger world, courtroom cameras would replace court reporters, courthouses would use private security guards and schools would hire local gardeners rather than union employees to mow the lawn.

On court reporters: "We have court reporters. That's old fashioned. We don't need a court reporter anymore that is typing away. We have now the cameras, we have the recording devices, we have everything. But because labor insists on keeping them even though we don't need them, it costs us hundreds of millions of dollars every year extra."

On court security: "It's done by the sheriffs. Now I don't have anything against sheriffs, but I think there's a more competitive way of going and bid it out. And you will see all of a sudden we will save hundreds of millions of dollars on keeping our court buildings safe if it is a competitive process rather than having a locked in system where the sheriffs get this money."

On pension costs:
"All of a sudden you have to take money away from prisons, all of a sudden you have to take money away from higher education, from child care, from In-Home Supportive Services. From all of those programs that are very important, they are being robbed blind by the pensions of public employees."

On school functions: "Why do we have it that a civil servant has to perform any service in the schools? A school is not allowed to contract out and call the local landscaper and say, 'Mow my lawn.' No, it is to be a civil servant. So therefore we have an extra $500 million a year of expenditure because it has to be a civil servant rather than some local one that you contract out for fixing the roof or fixing the pipes or fixing the plumbing or fixing the bathroom or mowing your lawn."

On Democratic legislators: "We are not talking about stupid people. They are very smart in Sacramento. Very talented. But of course it makes it very difficult because they're beholden, a lot of them, to labor. As much as Republicans are beholden to businesses. So you have all those constituents that you have to answer to. It certainly makes it very difficult, the whole negotiations."

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks Aug. 6 in Santa Clara in front of a chart showing the difference between public and private sector job losses during a two-year period. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images)


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