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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« April 30, 2005 | | May 3, 2005 »
May 2, 2005

Reform, then rebuild

By the way, the tagline on Schwarzenegger's new ad seems pretty close to perfect to me. Whether you like his proposals or hate them, I think he has found an excellent hook that will resonate:

"Help me reform California so that together we can rebuild it."

It's the potential opener for the story line his campaign has been lacking so far.

Posted by dweintraub at 5:09 PM

New ad from the governor

The Schwarzenegger team today rolled out a new television ad they're describing as the beginning of his campaign to restore his standing with the voters and urge approval of the reforms he's proposed for 2005. I'm not a fan of the "lunchroom" style ads that show the governor talking while workers nod approval. I find all those other faces on camera distracting. But this one does have a pretty strong script -- from Schwarzenegger's point of view, anyway. You can view the ad and see the script here, at the gov's private Web site.

Posted by dweintraub at 3:16 PM

April returns up 30 percent

April went out like a lion for state tax collectors. The Franchise Tax Board reports that personal income tax returns opened Friday brought in another $700 million, for a monthly total of more than $8 billion (not counting withholding from wages). After refunds, the April numbers are up $1.5 billion over April, 2004, a year-over-year increase of 30 percent.

Part of that comes from the new tax surcharge on the wealthy to pay for mental health programs, but even with that figured in, the April take was still about $1 billion more than the governor’s budget projected in January, and more even than the Legislative Analyst’s more optimistic projection expected. Finally, just to put a little icing on that cake, it looks as if a bit more of April’s money might have drifted into May, as today’s returns brought in more than $300 million, compared to about $62 million for the first business day of May last year.

Now let the battle begin over how, or whether, to spend it. The governor's revised budget is due out on Friday the 13th.

Posted by dweintraub at 3:03 PM

New pick for the PUC

Schwarzenegger has appointed former Moody's Investment Services CEO John Bohn to the Public Utilities Commission, to take the job once slotted for Steve Poizner, the high-tech entrepreneur who bailed out after criticism of his extensive telecommunications business ties.

Bohn's bio, according to the governor's office:

Bohn has served as chairman of GlobalNet Venture Partners, a global financial advising and consulting firm, since 2001. He was previously the co-founder and executive chairman of Chematch (now Chemconnect), an internet-based petrochemical trading exchange, from 1997 to 2000, and a managing director of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller from 1997 to 1998. Bohn also served for over seven years as president and chief executive officer of Moody's Investors Service, beginning his tenure in 1989. Prior to joining Moody's, he was appointed special assistant to United States Treasury Secretary Don Regan in 1981 and was subsequently made U.S. Ambassador and executive director of the Asian Development Bank. In 1984, Bohn was appointed vice chairman of the Export Import Bank of the United States and in 1985 was made chairman, president and CEO. He was an international banker for Wells Fargo from 1967 to 1981 and practiced law in California, Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific from 1964 to 1967. Bohn is chairman of the board of directors of The Center for International Private Enterprise, a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment of Democracy and the United States Chamber of Commerce that funds and assists the development of market-based democratic institutions throughout the developing world. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations of New York, a director of the World Affairs Council in San Francisco and a director and member of the executive committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Posted by dweintraub at 2:03 PM

36.8 million and counting

The Department of Finance is out with a new report that pegs the state's population at 36.8 million and lists growth numbers in the past year for each of the cities and counties. The summary report with links to the detail is here.

Posted by dweintraub at 10:38 AM



At Crossroads, a panel of experts and the public debate the future of health care in California. We'd like you to join the conversation.

Daniel Weintraub


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