Senate Leader John Burton, on his negotiations with Gov. Schwarzenegger over workers compensation:
"I was fighting to make something that I didnít like palatable. Itís like somebody gives you a s--- sandwich. So you put the ketchup on, and you put the mustard on it, you put the Worcester on it, and a couple onions, and I was trying to make this thing palatable. And thatís not what really lifeís about to me. Itís making stuff thatís already good really good, itís not making bad stuff palatable."
Posted by dweintraub at 4:03 PM
Gov. Schwarzenegger held a press conference Friday afternoon to celebrate the passage of the workers compensation bill. Among other things, he was asked about his continued use of the threat of going to the ballot, and if he might start using a little "more carrot" and a little "less stick" in his negotiations with legislators. His response:
"You always have to understand their point of view, and they have to understand my point of view. If we understand each other, and we understand we have to do things, what is best for the state, then we can make decisions together.
"It's never exactly what I want, never exactly what they want, but we find a middle of the road kind of decision. But I like the idea of using the stick. I like the idea of using deadlines. Why would we hang here for the next two years and negotiate and debate over this issue?"
On his threat to sponsor a workers comp ballot issue, Schwarzenegger said his forces had collected 1.2 million signatures, and he was ready to go. And he said he will use that tactic again, if need be.
"The people are my partner," he said. "I always said, I am the people's governor. I want the people to help me. I want to do things together with them.
"In the end, the people were there, ready to go, if we didn't solve the problem here. And this was great to know. This is the way I will go, down the road. If I need something, I will go to the people if I don't get my way here."
Posted by dweintraub at 2:52 PM
SB 899, the workers comp bill, has passed both houses of the Legislature and is on its way to the governor's desk. The Assembly vote was 77-3 with Democrats Goldberg, Hancock and Jackson voting no. The Senate vote was 33-3. Democrats Alarcon, Dunn and Escutia were opposed.
Posted by dweintraub at 12:46 PM
I'm not the biggest fan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a holier-than-thou watchdog group that questions everyone's motives but refuses to reveal the source of its own financing. But the publicity gimmick the foundation is floating today is precious. The group is holding an "I Read It and I Get It" challenge for lawmakers on the workers comp deal, offering to contribute $1,000 to the favorite charity of any legislator (other than the bill's author) who certifies that he or she has read the entire bill and can answer correctly the foundation's ten questions about the measure's contents. The event will be held this morning at 9:30 a.m in the Capitol rotunda. Don't expect a long line of contestants.
Posted by dweintraub at 8:17 AM