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Alleged Arizona break has Brown in hot water

November 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
More budget problems for California. Thursday evening, Governor Schwarzenegger announced he is calling a special legislative session to address a new $6-billion hole in the state budget. The shortfall was identified by non-partisan analysts Wednesday.The announcement comes just weeks after the legislature passed a new budget following the longest impasse in state history. Governor-elect Jerry Brown is on vacation in Arizona.

Brown's campaign team insists this week is Brown's week. He hasn't had a vacation in two years. Critics wonder whether his destination was the best choice.

Brown is under fire from Republicans, who wonder why he chose Arizona when his supporters oppose that state's tough new immigration law.

After a long, hard-fought campaign, Brown said he would take a vacation before tackling the enormous job of fixing the state's problems.

"I am going to take a week off, starting Sunday, through Sunday. Then I expect to be in Sacramento," said Brown on Nov. 2.

The Sacramento Bee reported Brown took his vacation in Arizona, the state that passed a controversial immigration law seen by many, especially Latinos, as racist.

In protest, numerous California communities voted to boycott Arizona until the state rescinds the law.

Brown's campaign staff isn't putting out the fire, refusing to confirm or deny that Brown is vacationing in Arizona, saying they are respecting his privacy.

Brown said throughout the campaign he opposes the Arizona law.

At a Mexican-American Veterans Day celebration near the Capitol, there were many Brown supporters. Some thought it was a slap in the face for the next governor to choose Arizona, since Latinos overwhelming supported Brown this election.

"Traditionally, the Hispanic voters have supported Jerry Brown, and they certainly helped put him over the top this time," said David Pacheco, who voted for Brown. "It is offensive. I wouldn't go to Arizona right now for anything."

But the Arizona vacation doesn't bother state Assemblywoman Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista).

"To me, I'm not a supporter of a boycott that would be ineffective and does no good. So if Jerry Brown wants to vacation in Arizona, he deserves it," said Salas. "It was a tough campaign."

A former Meg Whitman strategist thinks Brown should have vacationed somewhere else.

"Why did he go to Arizona, especially after he aligned himself with a group of individuals who opposed anyone traveling to Arizona? It's obvious that now that he's got their votes, why does it even matter?" said Republican strategist Hector Barajas.

It's not done being legally challenged, but a federal judge this summer set aside key provisions of the Arizona law, and that caused Latino lawmakers at the Capitol to back off on a state resolution to boycott Arizona.

Thursday evening, Schwarzenegger and Brown talked about the special budget session the governor called for, and Brown was supportive of it.


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