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First Take: Lots of negotiating, but no budget yet. Wright indicted on charges of fraud, perjury. Padilla returns PG&E money

As the state moves into its longest-ever budget standoff, both Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown say they can end the budget gridlock in Sacramento.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was back in Sacramento Thursday, meeting with legislative leaders. And for a brief moment, it looked like we might be on the verge of a budget deal.

State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) was indicted on charges of voter fraud and perjury stemming from allegations he does not live in his state Senate district.

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) returned a $35,000 contribution from Pacific Gas & Electric. Padilla, chairman of the Senate Utilities Committee, will lead hearings into the deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.

Independent groups, most of them labor unions, continue to pour big money into Jerry Brown's campaign, even after Brown himself is on the air with campaign commercials.

-- Anthony York

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