The Democrats' good cops, bad cops
In their responses to the "Kindergarten Cop" in the governor's office, Democrats in Sacramento are taking on more traditional cop-like roles. Treasurer Phil Angelides, Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell have been on the road assailing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan because they say it shorts public education and will hurt schoolchildren.
Schwarzenegger, as is his fashion in dismissing those who disagree with him, labled that trio "The Three Stooges" in an interview this week with the Sacramento Bee editorial board.
Today, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said he personally is not getting his hackles up over such name-calling. "I was a high school teacher," he said. "I took shots from my students that were really good."
Perata said he has had no problems thus far in dealing with the governor. "He's said fine things to me and treated me nicely." There may come a time, he said, when he, too, will decide to take the tact of the three constitutional officers. "You can always go to the tom-toms if you have to," he said.
For now, Senate Democrats are saying they want to do what Schwarzenegger says he wants to do -- come up with big ideas to fix the state budgeting system without raising taxes. Angelides and O'Connell have said that a fairer budget plan would ask affluent Californians to make sacrifices before asking 6.2 million California schoolchildren to take a hit in their education.
"The one thing we're not doing is asking for more money as a panacea to fix things," Perata said. "That flat out isn't there... As for what constitutionally elected officials should do, well, I'm only speaking for the Senate Democratic Caucus."