Silly Season IV
If there was any doubt that the prospect of a special election in the fall has ushered in a four consecutive silly season (i.e., everyone is in full campaign mode) in Sacramento, they were shattered yesterday in Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuņez' hysterical response to a news report that one the campaign committee sponsoring Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's initiatives had subcontracted with a signature-verification firm that outsources the work to India.
To be sure, it was an embarrassing disclosure and there is a sort of rueful irony in a group called Citizens to Save California shipping off work to a third world country -- and, at that, work that involves shipping abroad the names and addresses of millions of California voters.
But Nuņez seized on the tidbit with Kenneth Starr-like zeal. He staged a news conference, launched an investigation, called the action "outrageous."
After 2002, 2003 and 2004, there was a small window of hope that 2005 could be a year in which California's elected officials could find a moment or two to put aside partisan combat. But this is going to be an election year after all, so there stunts like this will again be the order of the day, every day.