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Hundreds Protest CA Governor's Reform Plans

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by Brian Brian, ASN, RN (Member) Member

Brian has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A crowd of protesters estimated at more than 1,000 gathered outside a downtown Sacramento hotel Monday night, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was attending a pricey fund-raiser.

The angry protesters descended on the Sheraton Grand, surrounding the hotel and sometimes pouring out into the street, looking to send a message to the governor.

"We feel like we have been lied to," teacher Elizabeth Burdick said.

"My frustration with the governor is immense," teacher Maggie Ellis said.

The demonstrators were protesting Schwarzenegger's plan for reform on issues such as public pensions, Proposition 98 and paying teachers based on merit.

Protesters said they feel the governor is unfairly targeting teachers, nurses and retirement for public employees. Buy Monday on the MSNBC program "Hardball," Schwarzenegger denied that he is targeting anyone but special interests.

"I would never take on nurses. The same is also with teachers. But I am against the unions because the unions are the ones creating the big problem," Schwarzenegger told host Chris Matthews.

That statement enraged protesters.

Full Story: http://www.thekcrachannel.com/news/4286143/detail.html

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What's interesting is that protesters are showing up not only around California, but all over the country when Schwarzenegger travels ...

http://www.tampatribune.com/News/MGB4FSQJ46E.html

Apparently Schwarzenegger had to use the service entrance in New York and other places.

I not sure why people out-of-state are protesting, since these issues don't directly effect them, but it's interesting.

:coollook:

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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They DO resonate nationwide, Lizz. What is happening in California is setting precedents nationwide, regarding staffing ratio laws. All eyes are on Cali as I am sure others are thinking of motivating lawmakers to pass similar laws in their own states. So yes, this DOES affect us ALL.

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3,905 Posts; 10,339 Profile Views

They DO resonate nationwide, Lizz. What is happening in California is setting precedents nationwide, regarding staffing ratio laws. All eyes are on Cali as I am sure others are thinking of motivating lawmakers to pass similar laws in their own states. So yes, this DOES affect us ALL.

Well, it probably doesn't hurt that the firefighters and teachers are also protesting. And, he's a famous guy so, I guess people are paying attention.

Did you see the video? Wow ... there were a lot of people protesting. The Chris Matthews show sound bite was also interesting ...

I guess unions are special interests but big corporations aren't. That fundraiser was really pricey ... talk about special interests.

Gotta love California ... land of perpetual protests. That's why I live here.

:chuckle

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http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-arnold16mar16,0,1502680.story?coll=la-home-local

March 16, 2005

THE STATE

Gov. Faces Widening Network of Opposition

* A diverse band of foes is using a blend of tactics to put Schwarzenegger on the defensive.

SACRAMENTO-Inspired by what began as an isolated protest by California nurses, opponents of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are working in a loose but widening network to thwart his policy proposals.

They are deploying an aggressive blend of demonstrations, legal action and legislative maneuvers, forcing him to defend his agenda on multiple fronts....

...Firefighters and nurses are protesting outside his fundraising events. Democratic lawyers are going to court in an effort to curb the campaign money he's taking in. Teachers unions are airing TV commercials accusing him of pushing an education budget that shortchanges students....

..."There was a perception that this guy is too strong, too popular," said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. "He has a special ability to get press coverage and hog the cameras, and there was a sense you didn't want to fight him head-on.

"The [California Nurses Assn.] was not concerned about that," Holober said. "They were concerned about protecting patients.... They have shown other unions and other opponents of the governor's policies that when he is wrong, you have to confront him and stick to the issue. And you can beat him."...

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/n/a/2005/03/16/state/n193556S69.DTL

Union employees protest Schwarzenegger at LA fund-raiser

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Los Angeles (AP) --

Several hundred union employees outraged over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed changes to state pensions and teacher salaries protested Wednesday outside a hotel where the governor held a lavish fund-raiser to support his agenda.

Nurses, firefighters and teachers spilled into the street outside the Century City hotel, calling for the governor's ouster and waving placards that read, "California not for sale" and "Don't privatize retirement security."

The protest was the latest in a series of actions by a loosely affiliated group of union members, Democrats and others designed to frustrate Schwarzenegger's plans.

The governor has called for series of changes to everything from public employee pensions to how legislative districts are drawn. Opponents have challenged the governor's policies in court, run TV ads against him and staged street demonstrations.

The Republican governor has been organizing a statewide petition drive to get his proposals on a special election expected this fall, raising an estimated $50 million he said he needs for the campaign.

"The governor anticipated the special interests would start crying foul when he was trying to bring about reform," Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said. "Right now, the unions are fighting for their own interests. The governor is fighting for the people's interest."

On Wednesday, police temporarily shut the street outside the hotel as the crowd swelled to as many as 500 people, snarling afternoon rush hour traffic.

Paula Flynn, 45, who has taught elementary school for two decades in nearby Santa Monica, said she feared for her pension. Among his proposals, the governor wants to reorganize the pension system for state employees into a 401(k)-style plan.

She accused the governor of focusing his attention on raising money for pet causes while turning his back on education.

"A ticket to this affair is more than I make in a year," Flynn said, referring to the donation needed to be named a "state finance chair" at the governor's fund-raiser-$89,200, which includes perks such as photographs with Schwarzenegger and commemorative gifts.

The Education Coalition-an association of unions, school administrators and others-has opposed the governor's proposal for merit pay for teachers and accused him of shortchanging students.

The governor also has a had a long-running political feud with the 60,000-member California Nurses Association over the nation's only mandatory staffing levels for hospitals. The nurses, who have attacked the governor in media ads, recently prevailed in court when a judge ruled Schwarzenegger's administration improperly suspended a law requiring more nurses in hospitals.

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