Well, if you live outside of California, you may not have heard about our idiot governor's latest brilliant plan to get the state legislature to bend to his will regarding the state budget. In a nutshell, as of today, Ah-nuld is cutting the pay of state workers to the minimum wage. To add insult to injury, wages will be cut to the national minimum wage of $6.55 an hour, as opposed to California's minimum wage of $8 an hour.
Why would he do such an obviously steroid-induced act? Well, it's a classic GOP temper tantrum. Unless the California State Legislature agrees to Ah-nuld's version of the budget, he won't pay the workers their due. Oh, sure, they'll get it all back once the budget's signed. So what's the harm? So, some workers lose their homes, can't buy enough groceries to feed the kids, or can't put gas in their cars to get to work...no big deal, according to Ah-nuld.
Actually, I started getting phone calls from other teachers wanting to know if our pay has now been cut. So, not being able to find any concrete answers online on either the State of California's website, the Governor's office's site, or the California Teacher's Association's site, I called Ah-nuld directly. Hey, if he isn't giving anyone information, what's the harm in trying? Besides, he works for us, in theory...
I dialed the number for the Governor's office in Sacramento. After pushing several combinations of buttons to get to a human being (I'll list the number and the "secret combination" below), I was summarily placed on hold. After about 8 minutes, a very courteous gal came on the phone. I told her I was a teacher, and trying to find out if my friends' and my pay would be cut. She stated that the Governor's Executive Order would not affect teachers or other public school staff. We are exempt by order of the California Constitution. I asked who it actually did apply to, then, and she stated that it applied to direct agencies of the state government, such as CalTrans (Dept. of Transportation), the Department of Motor Vehicles (hey, it may be the crabbiest place on earth, but I wouldn't even wish this on them!), and those who work directly in the state offices in Sacramento. She was hard-pressed to give me any more specifics than that, and could not give me any source of an inclusive list or guide as to who is affected.
Before hanging up, this lovely young lady took the time to remind me that "The Governor isn't doing anything unconstitutional, and he is within his rights to do this." When I asked her if something not being illegal makes it the right or moral thing to do, she did not respond. I asked her to make my objections known, that he'd never have my vote in a million years, and wished her luck paying her bills, as she one of the folks directly affected.
It is truly appalling that the farce we have of a governor is using the monthly income of state workers as a political football. Everywhere you look, folks in California and the rest of our nation are having a hard time. The folks who do difficult, physical work fixing our freeways, the folks who register our cars, and the secretaries that take the calls Ah-nuld won't - those are the people who will be hurting. Yeah, balaincing the budget on the backs of those folks is really fair, Gubernor Ah-nuld. That's the right and moral thing to do. Time to deflate your head, ya big boob. What's that, Ah-nold? "Vell, vhat shoood I dooo, den, Mees Lee-ber-all Know-it-all?"
Glad you asked, my pea-brained, barely elected official. You lock yourself and all the legislators in a room, throw in some sleeping bags, some cases of Diet Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea for staying power, and the number for the local pizza place. (Skip the pizza chains, Ah-nie. Help the local economy!) Then you guys hash it out until it's done. And noobody leaves, NOOOO-body, until you have a balanced budget and you rescing that stupid publicity stunt of an Executive Order. Period. Now that's how you get it done. More brain, less muscle. I know that's a new concept, Steroid-Boy, but mull it over awhile and read it out loud one more time, and maybe it'll seep in.
Through it all, there has been one sane voice in the wilderness, that of State Controller John Chiang. Maybe he cares about what's right, and doesn't want to settle the budgets on the backs of workers. Or, maybe he's got a political bid in mind for next season. Well, hey, either way, he's got my vote. He stated late today that this ridiculous move would only save the state about 1 billion a month, a drop in the bucket of the state's finanacial woes. He continued, saying simply, that the people of this state need to come first, and that he is refusing to folow the Executive Order to cut the pay of working Californians. Well, how about that? Somebody in Sacramento still has a set of balls. Way to go, John! You get the Momma Politico Hero of The Day award. Give Ah-nuld hell, buddy!
If you'd like to do the same and let Ah-nuld know what a manipulative, partisan bastard he's being, or if you'd like to tell him how truly stupid and underhanded he is being, feel free to call him at any of the numbers below. Many thanks to Courage Campaign for the phone numbers and their vigilance!
Sacramento: 916-445-2841 (press 1, 2, and 0 to speak to a live person-secret combination!)
Fresno: 559-445-5295 (a live person should answer your call)
Los Angeles: 213-897-0322 (a live person should answer your call)
Riverside: 951-680-6860 (a live person should answer your call)
San Diego: 619-525-4641 (a live person should answer your call)
San Francisco: 415-703-2218 (a live person should answer your call)
Washington D.C.: 202-624-5270 (press 0 to leave a general message)
Ah-nuld, get your act together. You know this'll all be settled before you really have to cut worker's pay next month...that's why you signed it on payday! We've all seen the emperor's new clothes, and your aging, sagging physique isn't doin' it for anyone. For once, surprise us all and do the right thing. Quit playing games. None of us has time for all this nonsense.
Fellow Dems and Loyal Readers, if you do call you-know-who, please post a comment and let us know what the Governor's office said. We can all use a few more laughs in these tough times!