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Steve Lunetta: The great betrayal

Posted: May 10, 2009 9:40 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.
By now, the entire baseball world is aware that Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug hCG.

Human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, is a female reproductive chemical that stimulates the production of testosterone in males.

Steroid users must restart testosterone production after a course of treatment. So, hCG use is the "smoking gun" that indicates someone has been breaking the rules.

Lame excuses and spinning to the contrary, Manny was breaking the rules. All of those amazing numbers that he posted with the Dodgers were inflated by altering his body chemistry so that he could perform at a higher level.

And this did not happen five years ago. Initial reports indicate the sample that came up hot was collected during spring training, a mere few weeks ago.

Ramirez has betrayed a Dodger organization that just gave him a remarkable contract.

Ramirez betrayed his team, made up largely of talented young players who looked up to him as their leader.

Ramirez betrayed the fans who held up signs that said "Mannywood" and wore dreadlocks to Chavez Ravine.

Finally, Ramirez betrayed the city of Los Angeles that had opened its arms to him after his difficulties in Boston.

The state of California appears to be full of betrayers these days. Unfortunately, the Ramirez situation pales in comparison to the betrayal of the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Governator is the biggest supporter of the ludicrous ballot Propositions 1A through 1E. As discussed previously in this column these propositions do not address the fundamental issues surrounding our state: high taxes, out of control spending and enslavement to special interests (unions).

Remarkably, even liberals in The Signal's Opinion pages oppose Propositions 1A-1E.

The Governator's lies and deceptions are truly remarkable. On May 6, Schwarzenegger said, "I don't use scare tactics" and then told us, "We owe it to the people of California to tell what the consequences are. Fire protection, without any doubt, will suffer if the measures don't pass" (Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee).

No scare tactics? Telling us that our fire protection will be decreased is not a threat? Is he kidding?

Also note the classic politician reversal in a single sentence. It's like saying, "I don't do performance-enhancing drugs" with the needle still sticking out of your arm.

Back in February, the Governator told the state's largest employee union, Service Employees International Union Local 1000 (SEIU), that he would protect union member's jobs.

He then negotiated a new tentative bargaining agreement that gives SEIU members preferences for job reassignments (Associated Press, Feb. 17, 2009).

Just so we all understand, the SEIU represents clerks, analysts, librarians, cooks, nurses, custodians and food service workers.

Yvonne Walker, president of SEIU, said, "This is just another way to give people certainty in this time of utter uncertainty."

Our Governator appears to be more than willing to "give certainty" to the jobs of librarians and custodians, but does not seem to have the same warm place in his heart for firefighters. How does this make sense? How did our state government's priorities get so out of touch with reality?

Further, the Governator appears ready to betray local governments by withholding $2 billion through the suspension of a 2004 constitutional initiative protecting city and county revenues (Capital Notes, May 5, 2009).

By threatening our city and county, Arnold hopes to force them onto his team to get propositions 1A-1E to pass.

Unfortunately, all he is doing is showing the gross ineptitude of his tenure in office. This is simply another "smoke and mirrors" trick that avoids solving the real problems in Sacramento.

Can't balance the budget in Sacto? Let's force the problem onto local governments and let them deal with it.

Make them cut police and fire protection. Make them cut city services. The sarcasm is astounding.

The arrogance from Sacramento is also monumental. The Governator's office said "critics of the measures need to be specific about where they would find the money to solve the state's budget woes" (Capital Notes, op cit).

Here's one: Stop sucking up to the unions that are strangling us. All state employee union contracts should be renegotiated immediately, removing the sweetheart retirement deals and numerous work rules that make it impossible for state managers to run cost-efficient operations.

Here is another: Stop programs that are abused and create tremendous waste. Let's look hard at the school meal program. Is this simply hurting families by removing responsibility for providing for their kids and shifting it to the state?

By many accounts, the program is a failure with tons of food wasted and children who are not in need participating.

Nice try, Governator. The test result just came back and it's "positive." We caught you. We saw through the fear-mongering, lies and deception. Fix the true problems and be the governor we hoped you would be when we sent you to Sacramento.

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right About Now" runs Mondays in The Signal.


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