In five years, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone from a glad-handing governor hosting lawmakers in his smoking tent to one whose appearance at an Assembly Republican caucus in September prompted legislators to wear name tags.
Facing an $11.2 billion shortfall, the governor this month proposed a budget plan that includes tax increases and spending cuts. But it's not Democrats who are giving Schwarzenegger troubles, it's his fellow Republicans.
While Democrats hold a comfortable majority in both houses, a two-thirds vote is required to pass the state budget, which means at least two GOP votes in the Senate and six in the Assembly until the next legislative session begins Dec. 1.
One of the governor's favorite lines – used almost daily – is how "Democrats and Republicans are working together" under his leadership. But Republican lawmakers bristle at that phrase, saying Democrats are working with only one Republican in town — the governor.
"Post-partisan was the governor plus the Democrats," said Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine. "He threw away the opportunity to work with us and establish a good working relationship in 2007 by not even seeing us at all. We got the message loud and clear."
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