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Leaders of both parties in the state Assembly passed out raises to staff members in February and April. The raises could cost us taxpayers something like $500,000 over the next year.
Fortunately, they rescinded the raises late Wednesday afternoon.
Haven’t they been telling us we need to implement tax hikes and spending cuts to keep the state budget in balance?
More than 10 percent of Californians are out of work. Yet the shiftless bureaucrats who have run this state into the ground handed out taxpayer money for a few weeks like it was candy that fell out of a piata shaped like Joe Taxpayer’s pockets.
Even worse, both Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and her Republican counterpart defended the pay raises with mumbo-jumbo about how it’s somehow saving money.
The reason for pulling back seems even more cynical: the raises could taken out of context and used as ammunition in the fight against the May 19 ballot measures.
Something seriously smells in Sacramento. It’s not the breeze wafting north from Coalinga either.
My guess is it’s a foul combination of hubris and arrogance. And it’s only getting worse.
“I see people out of work and the only jobs saved in this budget are the jobs of bureaucrats,” former state Sen. Dick Mountjoy said Wednesday.
Mountjoy, 77, is so sick of the whole mess he’s supporting the recall of Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams. He said he will even throw his hat in the ring to replace Adams if the recall ever makes the ballot.
It was Adams’ vote in favor of a state budget which raised taxes and fees that sealed the deal for Mountjoy, a Republican who represented the same district from 1980 until 1994.
Despite term limit legislation that prevented Mountjoy from serving in the state Senate beyond 2000, he still has a term to give in the state Assembly.
In Mountjoy’s opinion, California is so broken the state needs to go broke before it can be fixed.
“We begged for the day this thing would run out of money,” Mountjoy said.
Pointing to spending increases built into the state budget, he added, “It’s stupidity.”
Adams appeared at an Earth Day celebration in Glendora on Wednesday at the side of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. But he did not reply to a request for comment on the recall. It marked the second time in recent weeks that the two appeared side-by-side.
The last time the Taxinator showed up at an Adams event, the assemblyman got served with recall papers. Mountjoy dismissed Arnold as a lame duck without much political capital.
“I don’t think too many people pay attention to him. He’s not the most popular person in the world right now,” Mountjoy said.
The only reason Adams and Musclehead became friends in the first place stems from Adams’ support of Schwarzenegger’s ridiculous tax-and-spend budget plan, Mountjoy said.
Giving up retirement to return to Sacramento would be tough for Mountjoy. And he admits it. But seeing friends in and around his hometown of Monrovia suffer because of higher taxes has made him fighting mad.
“I need the job like Custer needs another Indian,” Mountjoy said.
As for the prospects of running one more time, Mountjoy was hopeful: “I think the recall has a good chance. It’s doable.”