Schwarzenegger courts the right on pensions
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make public pensions one of the big issues in this, his final year in office.
And though the Republican governor has long had a rocky relationship with the conservative GOP base, his administration is doing some outreach to consolidate support from his party's right wing.
Such outreach makes sense. Schwarzenegger has long sought to rally conservatives when he happens to agree with them. And curbing benefits for public employees is one of the red meat issues for California Republicans.
Earlier this week, Schwarzenegger publicly warned of the looming "public pension bubble."
On Friday, Schwarzenegger penned an op-ed for the FlashReport, a widely read website run by state GOP vice chairman Jon Fleischman. It received the site’s top billing, along with Fleischman’s favorable note: “With his last year in office, the Governor takes up the most important issue facing the state....”
On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger stood side by side with conservative Senate GOP leader Dennis Hollingsworth to tout his pension legislation. Although the GOP base may distrust Schwarzenegger, Hollingsworth is held in higher regard. After all, the Murrieta Republican ascended to power in a midnight coup by ousting a Republican leader who had cut a budget deal with the governor.
--Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento