You know the Drill, I find interesting stuff and cram them together:
- Well, the Healthcare Plan has passed the Assembly. It's unclear when it will be taken up in the Senate, but the Speaker and the Gang would still need to gather signatures to get this thing on the ballot. For more on that, see John Myers well-titled post “Trying to Reason with Signature Gatherin' Season.” The clock is a-ticking on that. But apparently, the GOP is not impressed with GOP Fresno Mayor Alan Autry for playing nice with the Governor. It still is kind of funny to me that Arnold is now radioactive to the GOP base, too bad he's still implimenting a far-right agenda.
- Speaking of that far-right agenda, there's his horrible Worker's Compensation plan that he foisted upon the Legislature at the threat of a ballot initiative. Turns out that it not only shafts workers, but it also does so in a discriminatory way. Yay! From the good folks at DenialOfCare.org, we learn that if you are a women with low bone density, well, it's your own damn fault! In one case, a teacher broke her back when she was pulled down by an out-of-control student. When the teacher filed for worker's compensation, her claim was deducted b/c she was “vulnerable.” The bone density condition did not hamper her job performance, but apparently it was enough to reduce her permanent disability settlement by about a half. Before the “deforms” (SB 899) and under most areas of tort law, damages can not be reduced b/c the injured party was vulnerable. Well, apparently a thousand years of common law didn't work so well for Arnold and the Insurers (that would be a great band name). So, lesson for all you workers: don't get old. Or be a woman. Or be a minority. That press release is here.
- Mike Gipson, the losing candidate in last week's special election for the Assembly, apparently decided that it would be a good idea to raffle off Target gift cards to voters who brought in their stub. Reminds me of chicken dinners in the East Bay.
BTW, check out that link, you'll learn a bit about Frank Russo's time as a progressive champion in an election in the East Bay. IMHO, dude should have won. It's another reason why our special election system should be the top two vote getters going to the runoff, not necessarily representatives of each party. Frank Russo could have held the seat, and would have been a real fighter for progressivie change in the Assembly. Instead, Audie Bock (a Green, I believe) won the special and then lost the next regular election to Wilma Chan. BTW, Audie Bock then went on to mount a primary challenge to Barbara Lee, from the RIGHT, saying Rep. Lee's vote against the War in Afghanistan was anti-patriotic.
- More voting woes, this time in the Central Valley. San Joaquin County wil be going back to paper ballots for the most part, beginning in the February. THe funny part is the vendor that they are buying the paper ballot machines from. ANy guesses? Well, if you guessed a subsidiary of Diebold, you're right! I guess they win either way.
- A bunch of legislators rejected the pay hikes that were granted for next year. Make of that what you will…