Speculation Surrounds Governor’s Endorsement of Term Limits Measure
In a Los Angeles Times opinion piece, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) endorsed a ballot measure to rework California's term limits law, raising speculation that the governor pledged to support the measure if its top proponent, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), agreed to a deal on health care reform, the Sacramento Bee reports.
If approved, provisions of the term limits initiative would allow Núñez to remain in the Assembly an additional six years (Sanders/Smith, Sacramento Bee, 1/15). Otherwise, Núñez would be forced out of his seat this year (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 1/15).
Schwarzenegger had opposed reworking legislative term limits unless the initiative was paired with a redistricting measure, but he now maintains that revising term limits is "a good public policy ... and will go a long way toward improving the quality of state government in California."
Kevin Spillane, spokesperson for a campaign opposing the initiative, claimed Schwarzenegger's endorsement was part of a deal in which Núñez agreed to support a plan (ABX1 1) to overhaul California's health care system.
Spillane said his allegations stem from "multiple sources" (Sacramento Bee, 1/15).
Last month, the governor denied that such a deal was made (Los Angeles Times, 1/15). On Monday, spokespersons for Schwarzenegger and Núñez also denied any deal (Sacramento Bee, 1/15).
Meanwhile, Tony Quinn, a former Republican consultant, said if the governor's support for Núñez's term limits measure "is a quid pro quo for health care, which every single Republican in the Legislature opposed, this is going to only make them more alienated and make it more difficult to" reach a solution on a state budget (Los Angeles Times, 1/15).