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Daniel Weintraub

California Insider

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Sacramento Bee Columnist Daniel Weintraub

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« Lost centrism | | 'Bread and circuses' »
November 9, 2005

Wishful thinking

The consensus from pundits and pols this morning seems to be that Californians rejected the idea of governing by ballot box and sent a message to the governor and the Legislature to solve these problems in the Capitol. That may indeed by the message people intended to send. But it's doubtful it will be the message received in Sacramento. The governor went to the ballot because Democrats wouldn't negotiate with him on his proposals. He offered his ideas in January, invited the Democrats to negotiate, and held out the possibility of a special election if they did not. They called his bluff and when he showed his hand, he had nothing. If you're a Democrat in the Legislature, the message from that result is not that you should negotiate with the governor, be more accommodating. It's just the opposite: hold the line. Give no ground. Before, Schwarzenegger at least had the threat of going over their heads directly to the people. Now that option is gone, at least for the time being. Why would they take that development as a signal that it is time to compromise?

 
 

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