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    State of Play

    California: Davis Backtracks, Accepts 'Obscene' Pay Raise

    Friday, Dec. 18, 1998

    Gov.-elect Gray Davis (D) has ventured into dangerous political territory, wavering on an earlier pledge not to accept a pay raise that would bump his salary from $131,000 to $165,000. In his first Capitol news conference, Davis announced he would accept the new gubernatorial salary of $165,000 minus 5 percent. During the campaign Davis said it would be "obscene" to accept such a large raise when state workers hadn't seen a raise in three years. Davis' transition team said state employees may not get a raise this year either, thanks to a tight state budget.

    More State Political News From:
    Alaska | Minnesota | New Hampshire | Texas | Wisconsin

    Alaska: GOP Nominee Seeks to Settle Ethics Case


    John Lindauer, the embattled 1998 GOP gubernatorial nominee, said he is ready to settle the disclosure case brought against him by the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). Lindauer denied he broke the law, but agreed to pay a $1,460 fine to put the matter behind him. APOC charged that Lindauer and his wife failed to disclose business interests, income sources and loans as required by Alaska law. Another complaint, which accuses Lindauer of violating state campaign finance laws by accepting contributions disguised as gifts from his wife, is still under investigation. The commission is considering the settlement offer.

    Minnesota: Ventura Takes a Break Before Inauguration


    Gov.-elect Jesse Ventura left for a three-day vacation last week, telling reporters he needs to recharge after a grueling campaign and hectic schedule since his upset victory Nov. 3. Ventura told reporters he will continue his schedule of entertainment-based projects after he's sworn in, but will do them on his own time. Sources say Ventura verbally agreed to write an autobiography he hopes to turn into a TV movie, for which he reportedly would earn a mid-six figure check. He also has agreed to market himself as "Jesse Ventura" or Jesse "The Body" Ventura, but not "Governor Ventura" when doing outside projects. Ventura said he hasn't received a paycheck since July 21, when he left his daily talk show on KFAN radio out of equal-time considerations during the campaign. As governor, Ventura will earn slightly more than $120,000 a year.

    New Hampshire: Governor Fights for "First in the Nation" Status


    In an effort to preserve New Hampshire's first-in-the nation status for presidential primaries, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D) has asked all potential candidates for the 2000 presidential race to sign a pledge not to campaign in or commit to any primary election that is less than seven days after New Hampshire's. Three potential candidates, Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio), have already agreed to the request. Shaheen is concerned that the tight primary schedule will keep candidates from getting the free media boost that makes winning the New Hampshire primary so important. Also, smaller states could become less important in the race if states continue to move their primary dates closer together.

    Texas: Lawmakers Frantic to Make Fund-raising Deadline


    Many Texas lawmakers furiously campaigned across the state last week in an effort to recoup money spent on elections before this week's fund-raising deadline, which was set 30 days before the Jan. 12 start of the 1999 Legislature. A Dec. 8 fund-raiser held for Lt. Gov.-elect Rick Perry (R) at Austin's Four Seasons Hotel in Austin netted between $1,000 and $25,000 for ticket packages. Consumer watchdog groups are alarmed at the growing number of legislators soliciting funds to defray living costs, even though the Texas Ethics Commission is expected to raise legislators' daily living allowance from $24 to $119 during the session.

    Wisconsin: McCallum Comes Out Early for 2002 Contest


    Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum (R) is laying plans for a 2002 gubernatorial run in an effort to become the Republican front-runner and deter other hopefuls. McCallum, a former state senator whose visibility has been limited in the administration of Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), has announced two significant fund-raisers on inauguration day. Some strategists, however, contend that Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen ranks higher in the GOP food chain. Observers suspect Thompson will not complete his soon-to-begin-fourth term and will hand the reigns over to McCallum, which would give him a huge boost for 2002.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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