Dan Weintraub, the Sacramento Bee columnist-blogger (California Insider) whose take on Arnold Schwarzenegger during the campaign and his first months in office has been largely favorable, seems to be turning more dubious.
[His] claim the other day that he intended all along to repay campaign loans with his own money, rather than raising it from interest groups, was hard to believe. Now the lawyer who sued Schwarzenegger for violating campaign finance laws says the governor is simply lying, and he insists there are bank documents sealed in the case that would prove it. Here is the story in the Bee.
More broadly, the governor's statement -- describing a court ruling against him as "fantastic" news -- fits an increasingly disturbing pattern of Schwarzenegger trying desperately to put a good spin on everything that happens on his watch. With each step down that road, his credibility drops another notch. It's one thing to be relentlessly optimistic. It's another to deny reality. At some point it would be nice to hear him admit defeat on something, and simply say, "You win some, you lose some. I lost this one."
Earlier in the week, he noted that it's been business as usual on Schwarzenegger's watch when it comes to secrecy in government. Separately, Weintraub has the news today that longtime George Bush aide Mindy Tucker Fletcher is joining Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide as senior vice president in Sacramento.
Also, Times columnist George Skelton found the governor's speech to the Sacramento Press Club this week -- in which Arnold applauded (literally) the reporters for helping to publicize his ideas -- a bit odd.