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Dutton, Governor's Office Trade Shots Over Budget

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dutton says Republicans were willing to let voters decide on the governor's proposed tax extensions, in exchange for a spending cap and pension and regulatory changes.

Dutton: "Where we left off, I think there would've been three or four votes in my caucus to put something on the ballot, about an 18-month period, with a minimum amount of reforms that I understood was in agreeance (sic)."

Dutton defended the list of 53 items he gave the Governor late last week - a list widely mocked by Democrats.

Dutton:  "These weren't demands.  These would've been things that were actually discussed so we could see if there's any room for compromise."

And Dutton expressed frustration that he wasn't invited to take part in budget talks with the governor until the last minute - and when he did …

Dutton: "Frankly, I was yelled at more than I was talked to.  And mostly by Mrs. Brown, not even Governor Brown."

The governor's office wasted little time in pushing back.

Duran: "Bob Dutton is increasingly irrational and irrelevant.  And erratic, I should say."

Brown Press Secretary Gil Duran called Dutton "sensitive" and said the senator chose not to be part of the budget talks. 

Duran: "We don't really have time to talk about Bob Dutton's feelings. He needs to put his big boy pants on and lead."

Duran did not directly respond to whether First Lady Anne Gust Brown yelled at Senator Dutton, instead deflecting the question by bringing up the governor's dog:

Duran: "Next, he'll be saying that Sutter Brown barked at him."

Senator Dutton says there's still no support for extending taxes in his caucus.  Duran says the governor will now pursue alternatives - though when asked what those were, all he would say is:

Duran: "Stay tuned."

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