Speculation that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is using his leverage to threaten or punish legislators with paycuts grew a little stronger today when the governor-appointed Citizens Compensation Commission scheduled its annual meeting for June 16.
The commission dramatically cut lawmakers' pay last year, immediately after Schwarzenegger filled a couple vacancies with folks who favored that idea. This year, some lawmakers accused Schwarzenegger of covertly threatening another paycut if they did not confirm his nominee for lieutenant governor, Abel Maldonado.
And now the commission has scheduled its meeting for June 16 -- the after the seldom-met constiutional deadline of June 15 for the Legislature to pass a budget. The commission has to act by July 1 so that its legislator-pay decision can be factored in by the beginning of the fiscal year on that date.
Now, lawmakers have got to be thinking that if there is no budget by June 15 they will be facing another paycut the following day. The same commission, by the way, also sets the governor's pay -- something that is of no concern to this multimillionaire governor, who accepts no salary for his state job.
What a system. President Obama must look upon it with great envy. Wouldn't he love to be in a position to appoint people who punish members of Congress by taking money out of their wallets whenever they didn't do as he pleased?