CTA rep Joe Nunez celebrates the day after voters rejected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's policy agenda in November. Schwarzenegger reappointed Nunez to the state Board of Education Wednesday, and today, Nunez celebrated a labor coalition's victory in court over the governor and his political committees. See below. Photo from AP.
The governor and his allies got slammed pretty hard today in a Court of Appeal ruling on their failure to fully report in a timely fashion contributions last fall in the campaigns for Props. 74, 75, 76 and 77. It looks as if the matter will now go to the Fair Political Practices Commission to decide if the campaign should be fined, and, if so, how much.
The case was brought by groups that opposed Schwarzenegger's proposals on the ballot last year. The governor's lawyers claimed that the violations were technical and meaningless. The court forcefully disagreed. And now the Alliance for a Better California, a coalition of labor groups that has opposed Schwarzenegger, is pressing the FPPC to levy up to $25 million in fines for the violations.
I've always supported requirements for full and immediate disclosure of campaign contributions, so I applaud the Alliance for pursuing this case to the FPPC, though I'd guess that the eventual fines will be much smaller than those sought.
As an aside, it's worth noting that in the Alliance press release touting the decision on its Web site today, the first person quoted was the group's chairman, California Teachers Assn. rep Joe Nunez:
"We’ve known all along that the Governor’s team has been breaking the law, and the Court of Appeals agreed with us,” said Joe Nunez, chairperson of the Alliance for a Better California. “We will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure that the Governor’s campaign is held accountable for their egregious violations of the law.”
This is the same Joe Nunez who was reappointed Wednesday by Schwarzenegger to another term on the state Board of Education. When I commented on that appointment yesterday, I mentioned Nunez's role in the CTA, and the CTA's role in the Alliance. I didn't realize Nunez was chairman of the Alliance.
This is the equivalent of George Bush appointing Michael Moore as his ambassador to Iraq. Either Schwarzenegger has figured out a very creative way to shore up his relationship with the CTA or he has very strange judgment in appointments. And given the Nunez quote in today's press release, it doesn't look as if the governor's guy is building many bridges. Bizarre.
Posted by dweintraub at 2:41 PM
Phil Angelides proposes a multi-part plan to help the schools recruit more teachers as retirements deplete the education work force. He wants to pay teachers more; increase financial aid for students training to be teachers who agree to serve low-performing schools; and spend more on teacher training and support. He also notes earlier proposals to roll back tuition in higher education and double the number of high school counselors. It's not clear whether Angelides intends his new spending priorities to be within Prop. 98 -- and thus taking from other priorities that local districts might have -- or on top of the constitutional minimum, meaning they would be funded by raising taxes or cutting other state programs.
Posted by dweintraub at 12:53 PM
Steve Westly is launching an audit of the prison system's health care operation. The prison system, by the way, is the one part of state government spending that polls consistently show the voters would like to cut.
Posted by dweintraub at 11:32 AM
The student walk-outs seem to have ended in Los Angeles.
Posted by dweintraub at 10:34 AM
Prop. 82 has a 52-41 lead in the latest PPIC poll.
Here is my column on what the poll means for Schwarzenegger and his race for reelection.
Posted by dweintraub at 8:31 AM
Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, in Washington Wednesday, warns Schwarzenegger and his fellow Republicans not to try to use immigration as a wedge issue.
Posted by dweintraub at 7:47 AM