The day before the California Legislature passed the third patchwork version of California's budget in 10 months, Gov. Schwarzenegger took to "Flashreport," the state's leading conservative Web site, to claim "a huge win."
"(T)he biggest winner to emerge from our negotiations is California," the governor bragged, "our state's legacy, its priorities, and its budget stability."
Wrong, wrong, wrong!!
Schwarzenegger's triumphalist braying was little more than a one-step-ahead-of-the-posse exercise in spin control, a pathetically transparent bid to establish a positive narrative for the budget disaster over which he's presided, in hopes that voters and his suck-up pals in the national media will buy his story without bothering to check it out.
(Note To National Political Writers: Schwarzenegger did not solve or stabilize California's budget. Despite his assertion to the contrary, his budget -- passed in February and now revised twice -- actually raised taxes by $12.5 billion. With the latest revision, he threw off enough ballast to keep his hot air balloon afloat but in no particular direction.)
As Fred Keeley, the elected treasurer of Santa Cruz County, put it:
The governor set the standard when he said, at the start of the process, that this needs to be a complete solution. And then he violated his own standard by signing a budget which doesn't solve the problem this year or next year and in fact, according to the Legislative Analyst and the Department of Finance, is going to create a multi-billion-dollar deficit next year.
Keeley knows wherearnoldbuckof he speaks. He served on the Assembly Budget Committee for six years, was asked by former Gov. Gray Davis to be Finance Director and is a Senate appointee to the Governor's 21st Century Commission on the Economy.
In truth, Arnold's entire tenure has been one continuous failure of leadership. This is just the latest chapter.
By Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine, Calbuzz.
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