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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

A Weblog by
Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« March 6, 2006 | | March 8, 2006 »
March 7, 2006

Illegal immigrants

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in the country has reached 12 million.

Posted by dweintraub at 11:57 AM

Business as usual

The Dems say they have a unified infrastructure plan they are presenting to the governor, but representatives of both the speaker and the Senate leader say they won't or can't make it public at this time. They apparently fear that doing so would jeopardize the negotiations. The Senate leader's office won't even confirm reports that Perata met with the governor last night. That kind of secrecy is usually a sign that a deal is very close, or at least people think they are close to making a deal. It's unfortunate, though, that the leaders of the state's majority party don't feel as if they can make this stuff public before a final deal is reached. Sounds like we might be headed toward another one of those back-room, dark-of-night deals that the governor promised to end but has embraced as his modus operendi.

Posted by dweintraub at 11:48 AM

First 5

In this letter, to Sen. Chuck Poochigian, Attorney General Bill Lockyer says he agrees that "a prompt review" is warranted of allegations that the First 5 commission misused public funds with its $23 million ad campaign in support of preschool at the same time that Rob Reiner and allies were collecting signatures for Prop. 82. Lockyer says his office has a conflict because it has an attorney-client relationship with the commission, so he has referred the matter to the Sacramento district attorney. He said his referral in no way means he has concluded that the law was violated.

Posted by dweintraub at 11:33 AM

Giving a dictator the power to equalize us

David Schmidtz on inequality, and power:

Here is a truism about the wealth of nations: Zero-sum games do not increase it. Historically, the welfare of the poor always—always—depends on putting people in a position where their best shot at prosperity is to find a way of making other people better off. The key to long-run welfare never has been and never will be a matter of making sure the game’s best players lose. When we insist on creating enough power to beat the best players in zero-sum games, it is just a matter of time before the best players capture the very power we created in the hope of using it against them. We are never so unequal, or so oppressed, as when we give a dictator the power to equalize us.

From an essay on Cato Unbound.

Posted by dweintraub at 8:14 AM

Prison reform

The LA Times takes a look at what went wrong with Schwarzenegger's attempt to reform the state prison system. The story documents how the governor or at least his aides went hot and cold on various reform ideas depending on his political standing and his perceived ability to withstand opposition and criticism of those efforts. He should have fought harder. But I also think this is another example of how Schwarzenegger has hurt himself by refusing to publicly admit defeat or acknowledge how the "special interests" he says he's fighting are more powerful than he is. By either declaring victory for half-loaves or slinking away quietly rather than admitting defeat when he's beaten, he's lost opportunities to educate the public about how difficult it is to change anything in Sacramento, and why.

Posted by dweintraub at 7:38 AM

Field Poll

The latest Field Poll, released today, has some interesting nuggets.

Feinstein looks like a lock to win re-election. No surprise there.

Prop. 82 is ahead, but not by a monster margin, at 55-34. And it still has the support of 36 percent of Republicans. If that drops another 10 points or so, the measure might be in trouble. Also, the people who have heard of it have a slightly less favorable take than the people who were not aware of the measure before being called by the pollster. That suggests an active opposition campaign could cause it some trouble.

And finally, Phil Angelides had to gulp when he saw this number: Sen. Barbara Boxer's approval rating, at 41-34, is about as low as it's ever been, tying the average marks set in 1993 and 1997. Boxer was the star of the treasurer's introductory ad for governor rolled out last week.

Posted by dweintraub at 7:31 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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