Health Care Among Issues Facing Governor
Legislation to expand children's health insurance coverage is one of several issues that "could test" Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) "centrist strategy at a critical point in his re-election bid," the Contra Costa Times reports. The Legislature is expected to approve bills on children's health care, wages for low-income workers and greenhouse gases that could emerge as a "series of thorny decisions" for the governor, according to the Times.
Rob Stutzman, a communications and political consultant and former spokesperson for Schwarzenegger, said, "I do think the legislative Democrats will try to help Angelides by sending bills to the governor that are difficult to veto." He added, "But I don't think the governor will be solely defined by whether he signs or vetoes them."
Steve Maviglio, who is working on the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides after taking a leave of absence as chief of staff for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), said, "My sense is if there's a governor who's in a tight race in an election year and who doesn't want to offend independent or Democratic voters, legislators will take advantage of that."
According to the Times, Schwarzenegger has taken steps to mitigate criticism about his record on health care and other issues. For example, earlier this month the governor announced a prescription drug discount plan for some California residents and convened a health care summit.
However, the Times reports that Angelides "will be eager to pounce" on Schwarzenegger for any actions that could provide Angelides a boost in the campaign (Zapler, Contra Costa Times, 7/30).