January 19, 2005


California Executes Confessed Murderer (Rone Tempest, January 19, 2005, LA Times)

Last-minute court appeals rejected and clemency vigorously denied by the governor, Donald Beardslee was executed early this morning, 24 years after he confessed to the slayings of two Bay Area women.

As about 300 opponents of the death penalty held a vigil outside the prison, Beardslee, 61, was strapped to a gurney and injected with a fatal cocktail of drugs.

In an extraordinarily detailed statement Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "Nothing in his petition or the record of his case convinces me that he did not understand the gravity of his actions or that these heinous murders were wrong."

At least in Europe, that'll put an end to the stories casting Arnold as a liberal Republican. And, if that doesn't, this will, Unions Protest Governor's Proposals: As nurses gather in the Capitol, labor leaders say it's the start of a fight to keep pay and benefits. (Robert Salladay, January 19, 2005, LA Times)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faced one of the biggest protests of his political career Tuesday, when about 1,500 nurses marched on the Capitol behind black coffins and a New Orleans jazz band playing a death march.

They were upset about Schwarzenegger's emergency edict cutting back on the number of nurses required by law in hospitals and emergency rooms. The governor has said a nursing shortage required him to suspend the law, but the action has mobilized thousands against him.

Union leaders say Tuesday's protest was just the start of a large and coordinated movement against the governor. Schwarzenegger has made organized labor across the state — including road construction crews, hospital nurses, public school teachers and welfare bureaucrats — his biggest budget-cutting targets this year.

Under several Schwarzenegger proposals, private and public employee unions would face less pay, fewer vacation days, longer hours and bigger pension costs. Particularly with his plan to turn California's public pension system into a 401(k) plan fueled by employee contributions, he has unleashed one of the most aggressive campaigns targeting unions since the administration of former Gov. Pete Wilson.

Unions consider Schwarzenegger their biggest enemy and have begun organizing for an expensive fight. Both sides — union leaders and Schwarzenegger's political allies — are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars to run a series of TV ads in the months ahead pitching their agendas or defending themselves. Many of the governor's proposals must be put before voters, most likely in a special election this fall.

Both also solidify his standing with conservative Republicans.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2005 8:58 AM
Comments for this post are closed.