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On Girlie Men and Our Manly Governor

S. LO’S

CALIFORNIA INDEX

JULY 21, 2004

Chance that a state budget agreement is reached by day’s end: 60%.

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Chance an agreement is reached by week’s end: 80%.

Chance your grandchildren will get stuck with the bill for all the borrowing and gimmickry in the budget: 100%.

Number of times Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promised an on-time budget in the last year: Too many to count.

Number of days that have passed since the budget deadline: 21.

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Total dollar amount of the 2003-04 budget signed by ex-Gov. Gray Davis: $99.1 billion.

Total amount of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first budget after promising to shrink government: $103 billion.

Number of percentage points by which Schwarzenegger’s popularity exceeds Ronald Reagan’s highest rating as California governor: 5.

Number of times Gov. Schwarzenegger used the term “girlie men” to describe state legislators during a 16-minute speech at an Ontario mall: Twice.

Number of star-struck legislators who have cuddled up to Schwarzenegger for months and deserve the title: Dozens.

Ratio of time Schwarzenegger has spent applying makeup to time spent by all the female legislators: 3:1.

Last national celebrity with hair the color of Schwarzenegger’s: Woody Woodpecker.

Number of budget deadlines missed by Woody Woodpecker: Zero.

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Number of employees on Gov. Schwarzenegger’s staff who make $100,000 or more: 14.

Number of employees on Gov. Davis’ staff who made $100,000 or more: 8.

Pay concessions Gov. Schwarzenegger vowed to extract by playing hardball with the California prison guards union: $300 million.

Amount of pay concessions actually negotiated by Schwarzenegger with the prison union: $108 million.

Number of weeks it took before a federal judge lambasted Schwarzenegger’s prison guard deal for hindering reform: 3.

Amount by which annual payments from Indian casinos will fall short of Schwarzenegger’s projections: 30%.

Schwarzenegger’s whereabouts just hours after vowing to stay in Sacramento and fight like a warrior to end the budget stalemate: Beverly Hills fund-raiser.

Amount raised at Beverly Hills fund-raiser by Schwarzenegger, who earlier promised to end fund-raising during budget season: Roughly $400,000.

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Nickname that best applies to ex-Gov. Davis when comparing his fund-raising prowess to Schwarzenegger’s: Girlie man.

Number of the top 100 donations to Schwarzenegger that came from businesses or their executives: 87.

Amount Schwarzenegger has raised for himself and committees he controls since the day he said he doesn’t need anyone’s money because he has his own: $30 million.

Number of people at Stockton mall food court who cheered Schwarzenegger’s criticism of legislators beholden to special interests: Hundreds.

Tragic effects of junk food diet: Obesity, sloth, celebrity obsession, impaired brain function, memory loss.

Today’s stop on the Girlie Man tour: Cheesecake Factory, San Diego.

Bon appetit.

*

Steve Lopez writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at steve.lopez@latimes and read previous columns at latimes.com/lopez.


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