Bi-coastal mud slinging: Arnold vs. DiFi

Governor Schwarzenegger’s final State of the State has sent waves of consternation across the country on issues from from health care to California’s budget crisis.

All those words have led to a very public fight with Senator Feinstein:

Just hours after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made an impassioned argument for more federal funds — noting that the state gets back just 78 cents for every dollar it sends to Washington, D.C. — Senator Dianne Feinstein fired back. And she didn’t mince words.

“It sounds like the Governor is looking for someone else to blame for California’s budget. California’s budget crisis was created in Sacramento, not Washington. These problems are not going away until there is wholesale reform of the state’s budget process,” she said in a statement.

No olive branch was extended by the Governor to the Senator on his views on healthcare either:

[Healthcare will] “push more costs onto states that are already struggling while other states are getting sweetheart deals.” He also said the state’s congressional delegation should vote against the bill or fight for one of those “sweetheart deals.

Seems the Governor is a bit jealous of Sen.Ben Nelson’s “sweetheart” deal: an estimated $100 million was added to the Senate health bill in the form of Nebraska never having to pay for the added Medicaid costs states would incur under the measure.
This has really stuck in his craw, from his speech:

California’s congressional delegation should either vote against this bill that is a disaster for California or get in there and fight for the same sweetheart deal that Senator Nelson of Nebraska got for the Cornhusker State. Because that senator got for the Cornhusker State the corn and we got the husk.

Senator?

California is facing a $20 billion deficit now, whether or not national healthcare reform is passed. The Governor’s comparison of the most populous state in the nation to a small rural state is a red herring. The Nebraska provision he mentioned wouldn’t take effect until 2017 and would do nothing to help with California’s current budget problems. I am open to working with state leaders to find ways to help California in these tough times, but pointing fingers is not constructive.

Feinstein also says that she and California’s other senator, Barbara Boxer, did some of their own horse trading on this bill:

They got an additional $165 million a year added to help prop up the state’s public hospitals. And they talked the Obama administration into agreeing to three years of full funding for the Medicaid expansion, which was more than was included in the original Senate version.

But, Arnold was hardly done, again in his speech:

Health care reform, which started as noble and needed legislation, has become a trough of bribes, deals and loopholes. Yet you’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere. Well, this is health care to nowhere.

Thanks for one more phrase to nowhere.

I think we can look for more public rough-housing if Senator Feinstein finally makes a decision as to whether the she is running for governor. The next act should be coming up shortly.


Naomi has built her career on transforming start-up advocacy organizations into powerhouses of opinion and social change. She has played a pivotal role in ending the careers of some of the most corrupt members of Congress, exposing front groups and the corporate interests behind them and systematically rooting out misinformation in the media. Naomi launched and directed the communications operations of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Media Matters for America. Naomi has taken on the most aggressive conservatives of our time. She was a scourge of the gun lobby, exposing deceptive industry tactics through her undercover work at NRA conventions and gun shows; confronted Bill O’Reilly face-to-face; and was instrumental in persuading MSNBC to drop Frank Luntz as a campaign commentator for the 2004 elections. Naomi has been a commentator on national media, including, CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, The Wall Street Journal, and the AP. Naomi is a partner with the Truman National Security Network and has worked extensively on Capitol Hill. She is President of Seligman Consulting in Santa Monica, CA.

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