Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Republican State Sen. John Benoit to fill a vacancy on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. This will create yet another special election cycle, but as David Dayen reminded us, he was already equivalent to an empty chair, since he already votes “no” on budget bills.
Benoit had been lobbying Arnold hard for the job…but that wasn’t why he voted for all of the water bills. You know, that was because he’s totally down with the peripheral canal.
Earlier in the week, Benoit said there was no connection between his desire for the supervisor’s job and his support of the water package, which includes an $11.1 billion bond.
“One thing they told me is that they’re not going to do anything until after (water) is done, because it’s a critical issue facing California,” Benoit said of the governor’s office Monday. “I’m expecting nothing to happen until after this is done.
“Tying the two together is not right, no.” (P-E 11/4/09)
As for the Senate seat, SD-37 includes about half of Palm Springs, so the registration advantage isn’t that huge for Republicans at about 4 percentage points (41-37). And in fact, Obama won the district, 50-48. As for who could take a stab at the seat, the most obvious Dem candidate would be Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet. However, he’s currently running against Mary Bono Mack. There are a slew of Republicans looking at the seat, but has anybody heard about any Democratic interest?