The Boston Globe's Raphael Lewis and Janette Neuwahl report that Democrats in the Bay State's legislature are predicting passage in both houses of a bill encouraging embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts (though it doesn't include the funding for it) by the end of this month. The question is whether or not they have the votes to override a veto by Gov. Mitt Romney. LINK
The Schwarzenegger era:
The Los Angeles Times' Evan Halper writes that with his plan for private accounts and personal investment retirement plans for state workers, Gov. Schwarzenegger is dealing with a version writ small of President Bush's Social Security fight. And Schwarzenegger is backing down on the demand for private accounts, saying he's open to a reasonable alternative from the legislature. In addition, the state attorney general's office found a problem with the initiative Schewarzenegger is pushing -- it could end cash payments to families of police and firefighters who die on the job. LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Robert Salladay writes that the tougher the Governator's rhetoric becomes, the more support for his agenda slips -- "[h]is new urgency has alienated many groups that were happy to make deals with him last year." LINK
Excerpting David Broder's semi-annual* column on the governors cannot do justice to the beauty of it. So we encourage to read it in full. At times, it's about the only thing worth waiting for after an NGA meeting. LINK
* = or so.
Eyebrows raised: Senate Minority Leader helps out Frank Luntz with a $5,000 payment to help settle a billing dispute with the state of Nevada, and Luntz gives money to ACT, Roll Call's Mark Preston reports. But only because Luntz is a Springsteen fan.
The Washington state Democratic Party has some financial messiness to clean up -- in the form of possibly thousands of dollars in fines for failing to file timely reports in 2004. Expect some sort of press release from Washington state Republicans today. LINK
Former congressman and Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson will become chairman of Venable LLP's homeland security practice, and will split his time between Washington DC and Little Rock. LINK
Who knew that Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was a monk?? Mindy and Katie from the RNC bring us that dish and more . . . LINK
Vince Morris, now formerly of the New York Post, is soon-to-be-currently DC Mayor Anthony Williams' communications director. LINK
Thank you, Mark Leibovich, for adding the phrase "civic melodramas" to our vocabulary. And say what? "'Kerry walked in about halfway through Bush's remarks. He wore a mustard-colored Timberland coat and took a seat near Ted Kennedy. 'Senator, welcome, good to see you,' Bush said. 'I like to see Senator Kerry, except when we're fixin' to debate. If you know what I mean.' It was unclear if any of the players actually did know what he meant." LINK