Brown was responding to lawmakers angered with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s threats to veto hundreds of bills by Sunday’s deadline if they don’t produce a water bill. Such a threat, they suggested in a letter to Brown, must surely amount to extortion.
Nope, Brown replied in his own letter today (.pdf). The governor’s veto is a long-recognized and powerful executive tool, the state’s top lawyer wrote. The separation of powers doctrine “counsels against” questioning the legality of the governor’s threats.
Brown goes on to cite several scholars and even quotes 19th century German President Otto van Bismark: “There are two things you don’t want to see being made – sausage and legislation.”
Brown’s closing line is the kicker, however. “Compromise in the rough-and-tumble legislative process is not achieved by doilies and tea.”
Spoken like a former, and would-be again, governor.
— Cheryl Miller