FROM Mark Leno
Is California Facing a Financial Armageddon? Following yesterday’s special election , Governor Schwarzenegger was scheduled back in Sacramento this afternoon to talk to legislative leaders about what to do now. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says the state will need to borrow to pay its bills. To establish credit, it will need a new budget no later than mid-July. We speak with State Senators Jeff Denham, Republican from the Central Valley, and Democrat Mark Leno of San Francisco, who sits on the Budget Committee.
Money and Power in Sacramento Lobbyists outnumber legislators in Sacramento by 8 to 1. Lobbying is a growth industry. In 1975, interest groups hiring lobbyists numbered 682; now it's 2,365. Since 1990, lobbyist spending has risen from $193 million to $550 million. Another reason that lobbyists get what they want is that they've been there a lot longer.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.