Friday, January 21, 2005

The ties that bind

Holy cow! What brought this on?

LAT devotes nearly half of today's article on Schwarzenegger to Grover Norquist and their relationship. Well, okay, it is buried on page 4 of the California section but still this is better than no coverage at all. Here's a bit:
Some of Washington's most conservative voices, who believe that government needs to be smaller, had been calling on the governor to make such a proposal. His plan has won their praise. "This is called good government," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who once said he would like to reduce government "to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

He is also credited with creating the "starve the beast" strategy, which is echoed in Schwarzenegger's starve-the-monster comment.

Norquist, however, says he has not personally advised the governor. He says he doesn't need to because Schwarzenegger's reforms are simply common sense.

"He isn't recommending anything that hasn't been done successfully somewhere else before," Norquist said. "What he's done is a survey of what works and what doesn't and he's chosen the things that work."

Among those ideas, Norquist said, are the governor's proposal to overhaul the pension system for government workers. Under the governor's plan, workers would no longer be guaranteed a payment of as much as 90% of their highest annual salary upon retirement. They would instead be given a 401(k)-style plan. Under such a plan, a worker and the state would contribute to an account and the worker would invest those funds in the financial markets.

Norquist, a key Bush administration ally, said the Democrats' complaints of interference from outsiders are silly and parochial. He compared it to Southerners after the Civil War complaining of carpetbaggers from the North.

But Democratic strategists continued to remind the media of Schwarzenegger's right-wing links throughout the day.
Here's where I like to pull up this info page on Grover Norquist.

I'm still waiting for a piece on how Schwarzenegger is dismantling public education in our state. And, for that matter, it would be very nice if it ends up on the front page.