Democratic assemblyman to Schwarzenegger: 'You lie!'
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made an unannounced stop at a San Francisco Democratic Party gala Wednesday night -- and wasn’t exactly greeted with open arms.
When the Republican governor took the podium and began to speak, San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano shouted, "You lie!"
It was a West Coast reprisal of GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s now-infamous outburst during a congressional address by President Obama last month.
Asked today about his own outburst, Ammiano, a liberal Democrat, said: “It’s not like you’re in a [legislative] chamber and you sit there and suffer. It’s our house, it’s our event.”
“When he got up to the podium, it was totally inappropriate,” Ammiano continued. “He was booed and people walked out.”
Tensions are running high these days between Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers. The governor is threatening to veto the 700 bills he must act upon by Sunday night if legislative leaders don’t strike a deal on upgrading California's water system.
How did the Republican governor end up in front of a Democratic Party event in the first place? He happened to be in the same hotel for a dinner celebrating the President’s Cup golf tournament and heard that Willie Brown, a Democratic former mayor of San Francisco and friend of the governor, was in the building, said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.
“Brown invited the governor to say a few words at the event so the governor talked about the importance of bipartisanship for a few minutes,” McLear said in an e-mail.
Ammiano, once a stand-up comedian, was not amused. “It was really rude,” he said.
McLear said of the commotion, “We never heard any hecklers.”
-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento
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