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The 'win and a do-over' scenario

Just about everyone in and around California's Capitol these days has a scenario for how this year's potentially earth-shattering, special-election political showdown will play out. I've asked dozens of folks over the last week or two to handicap the possibility of a full-scale initiative war coming to pass, and most put the prospects somewhere between 65 percent and 75 percent.

So, if the conventional wisdom is that there is a 25 percent to 35 percent chance of averting a war, how might the truce be reached?

The most intriguing scenario is one a former Capitol staff offered yesterday. It goes like this: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, sensing one or more of his ballot proposals now circulating may be fatally flawed and headed for likely defeat, will look for a way out. Democratic groups, led by public employee labor unions, will develop at least a slight case of sticker shock as the date approaches to pull the trigger on a $100 million campaign spending spree. The two sides will then make a deal on what seem to be the easier issues: redistricting and teacher tenure. A deal that would turn over redistricting to a bipartisan third party, but to wait until 2011 to do so, is doable. So is a deal that would slightly extend the teacher probationary period, giving school administrators a little more time to assess new teachers before giving them permanent job protection.

With that, Schwarzenegger could declare victory -- and it would in fact be a significant victory, because Republican governors have been trying for decades in California to take redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature.

And what about the other issues -- overhauling public employee pensions and putting a cap on state spending? Well, Schwarzenegger's people could go back to the drawing boards, put together new measures that fix the political weaknesses of the current ones (notably, the absence of a provision for death and disability benefits for public safety workers) and go back on the streets to qualify those measures for the June 2006 election.

That would give Schwarzenegger a victory and a do-over. It's the most plausible exit strategy I've heard yet.



A plausible scenario and a strong one for California Republicans.

What is better for electoral gains than an initiative campaign for June and November 2006 when the legislators stand for election.

I say a partial deal is in the Republican game plan.


If Arnold admits he was WRONG about the death and disability for cops and firefighters, he can't get redistricting until after he LEAVES office and he won't get performance pay for teachers....

isn't that a loss?


Bought a reasonably undesirable burn with my personal supply. I was placing some sort of curry within the cooker & dad came upward driving myself & fit the cigarette smoking from our adjustable rate mortgage.

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at
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