The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 16, 2009
Senate recesses, back tomorrow at 10 a.m.
If you missed the debate on the Senate floor tonight (Channel 2 on Comcast), you missed some fine theater.

Republicans came out in force to remind Democrats that they have dissed the GOP for years, and are now paying the price for it. Lots of whining, etc. etc.

The most interesting and statesmanlike speeches came from Republicans Abel Maldonado and Dave Cox. They continue to say they are no votes for the budget package, even though they acknowledge considerable pressure to vote otherwise.

Maldonado took aim at Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's early promise of a "Budget of 40" -- meaning, 40 senators all working together to devise a budget. Instead, he and other legislators were frozen out of the Big Five meetings that were held behind closed doors.

"Maldo" -- as he is being called -- went public with his demand for an end to pay raises for legislators during budget impasses, and an end to pet spending projects for certain legislators. He didn't mention Lou Correa by name, but everyone knew who he was taking about.

For his part, Dave Cox accidentally sparked the floor debate by doing a procedural maneuver that allowed Dennis Hollingsworth to talk. That led to a fascinating outpour by several senators, ranging from Rod Wright (a Demo) to George Runner (a Rep.).

Cox, in his comments, didn't hold out much hope he would vote for the budget package, but he effectively dinged Steinberg for quietly pushing through SB 1, which would expand eligibility for kids in Medi-Cal.

In normal times, such a push by a Democratic senate leader would go unnoticed, but with the state facing budget crisis, Cox made his point very clear.

Steinberg was the last to speak. He acknowledged the points that Maldonado and Cox were making, and on the latter point, said that the SB 1 stuff had been shelved.

So Cox and Maldo seem to be in the driver's seat. We wait until 10 a.m tomorrow to see if they are driving the state in the right direction, or ,,,,right off the cliff.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter