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State assemblyman wants to override Schwarzenegger veto

September 11, 2009 |  1:30 pm

State lawmakers are considering the first override of a California governor's veto in three decades today as the hours tick away before the year's lawmaking deadline.

Earlier this week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill to have a day to honor Vietnam veterans.

"I'm going to get this done, come hell or high water," said Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley), a Vietnam veteran and author of the bill.

The governor had threatened to veto every bill on his desk -- more than 70 in total -- if lawmakers did not withdraw them. In an e-mail to Democratic staff, the chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) wrote that the governor demanded action on his priorities before signing the other legislation. The lawmakers removed all the bills but one. Schwarzenegger vetoed it. Now, Cook said he's "ready to go to war" over the issue.

A one-on-one meeting with Schwarzenegger did nothing to calm Cook, a former Marine colonel who admitted, "I was probably a little disrespectful." The GOP lawmaker said he is rounding up votes for an override. He plans to work the issue until tonight's midnight deadline. "If my political career ends on this," he said, "so be it."

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento