Capitol Alert

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The Capitol stinks - literally.

And that hold-your-nose situation today has nothing to do with the state budget.

Blame the skunk.

A wayward four-legged stinker wandered into the Capitol garage early this morning and decided to stick around for a few hours, leaving a distinct aroma that won't be mistaken for cologne. It was not clear whether the critter was Democrat or Republican.

CHP officers said the skunk entered the Capitol garage no later than 6 a.m. and ultimately curled itself into a ball near the governor's elevator, where it quietly waited about 8:45 a.m. for animal control officers to arrive and send it packing.

Eddie Wright, who provides information and shoeshines at the Capitol, said he was not aware of the skunk's visit but that he knew the odor filling the ground floor was not detergent.

"I can profusely smell it now," Wright said after being asked about the tiny, uninvited guest. "With every breath, I can smell it."

Assembly administrator Jon Waldie laughed when asked why he thought the skunk chose a Capitol visit.

"Maybe it thought Arnold was still here," he quipped.


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