'Reform' fight strikes a nerve

  1. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he needs to raise $50 million if he's going to beat back a $200 million juggernaut of union members from across the country intent on stopping his reform issues on the ballot in a special election this fall.

    But so far at least, it appears that it's the governor who is raising the most money, much of it from outside the state.
    Campaign finance reports show that the Political Action Committee associated with the governor's ballot initiatives, Citizens to Save California, has raised $5.2 million. The largest PAC opposing the governor, Alliance for a Better California, has raised just $1.8 million.

    The slow start to the fundraising on either side may be the result of recent talk about a compromise in the Capitol, where there is a growing sense that the governor is in trouble. This perception is drawn from polls that show the governor's popularity is on a slide, and from the large and growing protests that have turned out for the governor's recent visits outside Sacramento.

    Full Story: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7378185/
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  3. by   pickledpepperRN

    Posted on Thu, Apr. 07, 2005

    Schwarzenegger backs off pension privatization plan

    Associated Press

    SACRAMENTO - In a dramatic policy reversal Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger backed off his plan to privatize California's public employee pension system, saying "misconceptions" by firefighters and police officers that it would strip them of death and disability benefits had come to dominate the issue.

    Schwarzenegger, who launched an aggressive pension reform initiative in January, said he would wait until the June 2006 election to put it on the ballot if lawmakers didn't craft a compromise measure in coming months.

    "Let's pull it back and do it better," said Schwarzenegger, who was flanked by more than a dozen police, fire and local government leaders. "That's what this is about. We're saying, 'Let's do it better.'"

    The move followed days of meetings with police and fire chiefs and survivors of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty, all of whom expressed concerns that the ballot language opened possibilities of employees losing death and disability payments.

    Schwarzenegger said that was not his intention, but noted that most public safety officials perceived it as a potential result. The attorney general's office, analyzing the proposed ballot language, had earlier reached the same conclusion.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN

    April 7, 2005
    Contact: Chuck Idelson 510-273-2246 or 415-449-8991

    California Nurses Say Governor's Pension Retreat
    Should be First Step to Enacting Real Reform

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision this morning to retreat on his 2005 planned initiative on privatizing public pensions should be the first step to reversing his other attacks on the health, safety and living standards of Californians, the California Nurses Association said today.

    Next, the governor should scrap all plans for a wasteful special election this year, allocate the tens of millions of corporate dollars he has raised for genuine public needs, and inaugurate a program of real reforms, said CNA.

    "It's notable that this announcement came just two days after thousands rallied in San Francisco, the largest protest yet in a growing movement against the governor's policies and efforts to auction off California to his corporate donors," said CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

    "Californians across the state have rejected this governor's draconian proposals and his corruption of public policy with corporate fundraising. Increasingly he looks like a typical politician on the run from widespread discontent over unpopular conservative corporatist policies," DeMoro said.

    CNA "is proud that the nurses of California have exposed the disparity between the governor's rhetoric of bogus reform and his record of promoting an agenda that solely benefits his corporate donors at the expense of all Californians," she added.

    "This is the third time in three months this governor's reckless initiatives have been rejected," DeMoro noted.

    In February, Schwarzenegger was forced to withdraw his proposal to eliminate 88 independent boards and commissions, including the Board of Registered Nursing. In March, a Sacramento Superior Court threw out his illegal emergency regulation suspending key portions of the state's law mandating safe registered nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. In April, he has reversed course on pensions.

    Now, said DeMoro, Gov. Schwarzenegger should "end his efforts to rollback patient safety standards in hospitals, cease his attack on public education, and stop his cynical manipulation of the initiative process and emergency regulations."