Governor stirs up YC
Nurses, teachers and others outside Paradiso Restaurant in Yuba City protested Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed reforms Thursday, while supporters welcomed him inside.
Schwarzenegger spent the day raising money and pushing proposals slated for the November special election ballot.
Sign-waving protesters packed the corner outside of the restaurant at Bunce and Richland roads, whistling and chanting, "Shame on you," and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Schwarzenegger has got to go" upon the governor's arrival.
Those who paid $250 a seat to attend a birthday celebration reception inside the restaurant heard Schwarzenegger speak over the sound of protesters.
Kimberly Mitchell, president of the Yuba-Sutter Young Republicans Club, said he spoke of the upcoming special election and anticipated reforms, including redistricting.
Mitchell said the packed event went smoothly and the estimated 40 protesters did not seem to faze the governor.
"It's awesome to hear him speak. He inspired us to get out there and push for reform," she said.
The two issues currently on the Nov. 8 special election ballot include placing new restrictions on state spending and extending the probation period for new teachers.
Sandi Boone, with the California Teachers Association, said there is no reason for the probation period extension.
"It's not going to solve the problem he thinks it will," she said.
Dina Luetgens, president of the Yuba City Teachers Association, called the special election a waste of money.
"He promised us real reform, and he's not delivering," she said.
Pamela Luiz, with the California Nurses Association, said the governor is focused on fund-raising rather than the people of California.
"The only people he has listened to are the people willing to fork over big bucks," she said.
Those who attended the event contributed to the governor's campaign funds. Last week, the governor's primary ballot measure committee, the California Recovery Team, reported donations of more than $1.1 million and reported another $750,000 in contributions earlier this week.
A group in opposition to the proposed Enterprise Rancheria casino also turned out Thursday to wave their own signs. Yuba-Sutter Citizens Against the Casino are fighting against the tribe's effort to establish a casino and 170-room hotel near the intersection of Highway 65 and Forty Mile Road south of Olivehurst.
Lou Binninger said the governor can prevent the casino from being constructed.
"An off-reservation casino would set a precedent that we don't want in Yuba-Sutter," said Stephanie Steele, the group's coordinator.
About 50 demonstrators opposed to the governor's spending cap greeted him earlier in the day in Chico, where he attended the dedication of a hydrogen fuel cell that helps power the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Though it is not expected to appear on the November ballot, Schwarzenegger spoke of his redistricting proposal at a press conference in Redding on Thursday. The proposal was removed last week by a Sacramento judge who said supporters violated the state constitution by using two versions of the initiative in the qualifying process. That decision is being appealed.
Schwarzenegger said that even if the courts uphold the ruling, the election should go forward because he believes his budget cap measure is still critical.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Eve Hightower can be reached at 749-4724. You may e-mail her at email@example.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.