FROM Roger Salazar
Republicans Bring a Hatchet to the Budget Debate With the shortfall between spending and income growing day by day, Republicans yesterday offered their ideas for a balanced budget : $15.6 billion in cuts -- more than $10 billion from education -- and $6.5 billion in so-called "new" money. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Democrats scoffed at the plan, but conceded it was better than no plan at all. We get three perspectives.
Top Democrats Use Campaign Funds for Staff Pay, Legal Fees Democrat Don Perata of Oakland is president pro tem of the State Senate. He’s also been under federal investigation for four years. FBI agents have raided his home. E-mails and other documents have been subpoenaed. The Sacramento Bee says Perata’s legal expenses have added up to almost two million dollars. Now, the paper reports that the state Democratic Party has helped him out with 450,000 dollars from political contributions. Some party members are saying that money was supposed to be spent on campaigns against Republicans.
Indian Gaming Propositions Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger negotiated contracts with four California Indian tribes. Two of the tribes could have twice as many slot machines as the largest Las Vegas casinos; the two others could vastly expand their operations. In return, the tribes would increase the percent of the take they pay to the state from the current 7% to 13% percent, to 25% percent. The Democratic-controlled legislature approved the deals, but two other tribes, some labor unions and local governments were among those opposed. They raised enough signatures to put Propositions 94 , 95 , 96 and 97 on next month’s ballot. TV viewers have already seen that a very expensive campaign is under way.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?