Squid Fry for Jan 31, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Scream Of A Dream… Squid had a dream about state Sen. Jeff Denham the other night. Squid was in a meeting with Weekly publisher Erik Cushman, making Squid’s monthly pitch for a raise, when all hell broke loose. Squid was just reviewing page 157 of Squid’s brilliant achievements for January when Denham walked in. “Say no to raises, Squid,” Denham shrieked. “I did it. You can, too!”
Squid vowed to get to the bottom of the No New Raises song Denham keeps singing in Squid’s dreams.
Denham’s camp made sure everyone knew he had accepted a 5 percent pay cut when he took office in 2002. Then just before the November 2006 election, Denham (R-Merced) refused a 12 percent hike. Squid wondered if he would seek sainthood.
And then Squid got to the fine print in Denham’s salary history. After securing re-election, Denham wrote a letter to his bosses that essentially said, “Yo, Babe. I won. Gonna need that 12 percent raise after all. Oh, and I wanna rescind that noble 5 percent pay cut I took in ’02.” In 2007, he turns down another 2.75 percent, sings about it to constituents, then requests 2 percent a month later.
Squid doesn’t remember getting a news release. So now instead of 19 percent less than his colleagues, Denham makes $113,00 to their $116,000.
Health Reform Is Dead… State health-care reform, which was barely clinging to life, or had possibly even flat lined, died a quick, albeit painful, death in the California Senate Health Committee on Jan. 28. (Or maybe it went out with a bang, blown to bits – by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s report that said the $14.9 billion annual plan might be underfunded by billions and by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata’s announcement that he couldn’t support the plan.) For the record, Squid’s not sure which part of this makes Squid more sad: The fact that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Year of Health Care Reform produced nothing or that Squid no longer can use clever medical terms when writing about the governor’s now-failed health-care plan.
The plan, ABX 1 1, negotiated between Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, would make the state’s projected $14.5 billion deficit even worse, opponents said. In Squid’s opinion, one good thing did come out of the committee hearing. It’s a photo, which ran in the Sacramento Bee, showing Núñez sitting in the front row at the hearing, head in one hand and cell phone in the other. He looks like he’s texting – maybe something along the lines of, “Sen. Sheila Kuehl [chairwoman of the committee who didn’t support ABX 1 1 and has her own health-care plan in the hopper], payback’s a bitch.”