The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Arnie's odd moves on California prisons

First, for the hoped-for renegotiation of the fat (makes John Goodman look like Lara Flynn Boyle) contract that CCPOA punk Gray Davis gave away, the negotiator on the management side will be none other than Tim Virga.

Tim who?

According to the San Jose Mercury-News (March 5), Tim Virga was
A former president of the Folsom chapter of the guard union

I am not clear whether Virga was still in charge at the time of the Folsom Prison Riot of 2002 - which Schwarzenegger has asked the US Attorney to investigate (piece of February 7).

Second, Arnie has appointed former governor George Deukmejian (a name to copy/paste if ever there was one!) to head a panel to enquire into the state of California's prisons.

A wise choice? According to the same SJM-N piece, GD has been
Described as the father of the modern prison system in California, -- a characterization Deukmejian chuckled over...

Nicknamed the "Iron Duke,'' Deukmejian vowed in his successful 1982 gubernatorial campaign to crack down on crime.

Not, it seems, an idle boast:
He then presided over a rapid expansion of prisons, in which the number of inmates increased from about 35,000 to 90,000. Since then, it has reached 161,000. Likewise, the prison guard union grew, turning into a major campaign donor and potent political force in the halls of Sacramento.

Res ipsa loquitur? Is a fistful of bearer bonds heading for the Cayman Islands as I write? Is Arnie playing ball with capo Mike Jimenez and the 'Administration'?

We have some track record: Arnie was going to shrink the Office of the Inspector-General - prisons watchdog - but decided against it. Perhaps he'll think better of his latest masterstrokes.

Or perhaps he has a cunning plan? (And not in the Baldrick sense.)

[Also, an AP piece.]

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