Sunday, August 10, 2008



Former Mayor Willie Brown poses for a portrait at his apa...Willie Brown 

Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle — Willie brown is that willie brown

Sunday,  August 10, 2008 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's handling of the budget impasse reminds me of a guy who goes deer hunting with a shotgun.

You blast and blast away, but you don't hit anything.

His call to roll back workers' pay to minimum wage until the Legislature comes up with a budget - bad idea. His refusal to sign any bills until the budget is done - no big deal.

What Schwarzenegger needs to do is take the legislative leaders into a room and not let them out until they have something that at least looks like a budget. Next, put the budget up for a vote to see who is for it and who is against it. That's when you take out the gun and start sharpshooting votes one by one.

A promised judgeship here. A new DMV office there. A state park in this district. A bill signing there. A cut here, a tuck there, until you have lined up the eight or nine votes needed for a two-thirds majority.

And this talk about raising taxes up front - not smart at all. Taxes are a closer, not an opener. You don't put something that onerous on the table until the very last minute. You wait until everyone can see that what they want is within their grasp - and all they have to do is hold their noses and pull the trigger.

But instead, Arnold is just blasting away. He may scare up the forest, but it's not going to bag him any deer.

Schwarzenegger's ham-handed budget moves

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