Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
As California's budget shortfall continues to climb well past the $10 billion mark, some of the state's leading politicians are still fighting over last year's budget. Democrats have spent $600,000 on a recall effort designed to unseat and punish GOP Sen. Jeff Dunham for refusing to break party ranks and vote for that budget.
The effort is being led by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. Dunham tells the SF Chronicle:
"I voted against what I saw as an unbalanced budget that I knew would bring huge financial problems in the future," said Denham. "Now we have someone from another area of the state coming down here and trying to tell the district how to vote."
Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is paying a price for having made such a big deal out of universal health coverage last year. Schwarzenegger convinced the Assembly to pass a big bill, but it died in Senate committee.
Schwarzenegger also did a good job in convincing the public that the state's health care system is broken -- which is why his numbers are down in a new poll. He has not only failed to deliver on a new package, but is actually cutting coverage due to the state's budget problems.
Schwarzenegger's poll ratings aren't as bad as those of legislators, however, notes Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters. "Schwarzenegger had a moment on health care. The moment has passed, leaving only the sour residue of failure."
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