The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 13, 2009
Friday the 13th -- lucky or unlucky for a budget deal?
heads on stick.jpgThe deal to close California's $40 billion budget hole will either live or die today, depending on what happens this afternoon and tonight. And, of course, it is purely coincidence that it all comes down to Friday the 13th.

Now that details of the plan have leaked out, the special interests on all sides are flailing their knives and trying to gut the package. Apparently they are willing to let California run out of money.

On the right are the Flash Report, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' League and the John & Ken Show. The latter has an entertaining web site that shows various state leaders with their heads on sticks, shown above.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has joined in this dubious spear chucking with this op-ed.

On the left, the California Teachers Association is urging its thousands of members to call legislators to scuttle parts of the deal giving school administrators more flexibility over spending. Transit groups and others are also raising hell about potential cuts.

It will all come down to three and three. That is, three Republican votes in the Assembly and three in the Senate.

But those trios will only stick their necks out (with heads to be hung on John & Ken's poles) if Democrats put up all their votes for a tax increase. That's a big if.

Meanwhile, the expected legislative votes tomorrow will coincide with the opening prologue of the Tour of California, which will bring tens of thousands to the Capitol, closing streets and surrounding lawmakers with hordes of cycling fans. If bicycle advocates had their acts together, they could storm the Capitol and demand more spending for bike lanes.

To make it even more interesting, the day's convergence of events could be interrupted by lightning, thunder, high winds and dousing rain. In other words, a perfect storm could follow a dangerous day for the superstitious. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his buddies in Hollywood couldn't have scripted it better.

Photo courtesy of KFI-a.m. 640. 

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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