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Sam Blakeslee

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2012 | By Evan Halper and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Sam Blakeslee said he was putting personal ambition aside. The maverick GOP lawmaker from San Luis Obispo announced he would leave politics to run a nonprofit bankrolled by a big donor. His only aim at the California Reform Institute would be to promote common-sense solutions to big policy problems vexing Sacramento. An early "Strategic Plan" for the nonprofit reviewed by The Times, however, lays out a different goal: "Devise and execute a plan that makes Blakeslee a politically viable candidate for Republican statewide office in 2014.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2012 | By Evan Halper and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Sam Blakeslee said he was putting personal ambition aside. The maverick GOP lawmaker from San Luis Obispo announced he would leave politics to run a nonprofit bankrolled by a big donor. His only aim at the California Reform Institute would be to promote common-sense solutions to big policy problems vexing Sacramento. An early "Strategic Plan" for the nonprofit reviewed by The Times, however, lays out a different goal: "Devise and execute a plan that makes Blakeslee a politically viable candidate for Republican statewide office in 2014.
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OPINION
June 25, 2011
The California Legislature has strict deadlines for proposing bills, moving them out of committee and getting them to the other house. And there are easy ways to abuse or circumvent those rules. For example, a lawmaker whose bill went down to defeat early in the session can revive it simply by stripping language from a more successful piece of proposed legislation that is headed to a vote and inserting the language from the bill that didn't make it the first time around. This tactic often seems sneaky and underhanded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2011 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee said Friday that he had reached into his own pocket to buy the luxury SUV originally purchased with public funds for his official use, including the commute between Sacramento and his San Luis Obispo district. After ordering the $39,975 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid with heated leather seats — one of the most expensive choices by a senator during these tough economic times, it turned out — Blakeslee apparently suffered buyer's remorse and wanted to drive something more modest.  But the dealership wouldn't take the car back.  So the Senate Rules Committee got stuck with the vehicle, using it as a high-end taxi to shuttle lawmakers to and from the airport.  A quick resale was ruled out because, like all new vehicles, the Lincoln lost a considerable amount of value as soon as it was driven off the lot. "To ensure a responsible resolution and no cost to the taxpayer, Blakeslee has personally bought the car from Senate Rules at the original purchase price," his spokeswoman, Erin Shaw, wrote in an email to The Times on Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2009 | Shane Goldmacher
As the hours ticked away on a budget solution that was about to slip from the Legislature's grasp, some lawmakers urged their online supporters to action. "36 hours until the deadline," said an e-mail from one. "16 Hours Left!" blared a missive from another. Except they weren't talking about the budget. They were begging for campaign cash as a deadline for reporting donations neared. That was last week, when lawmakers missed a chance to save $3 billion from an expiring fiscal year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher and Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
The handful of Republican lawmakers most likely to provide crucial votes for Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan are threatening to withhold their support without a dramatic rewriting of state environmental law. The demand, pushed in private talks with the governor, would curtail lawsuits against projects threatening ecological damage, grant waivers to big telecommunications companies and exempt many urban developments from environmental review....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2011 | By Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- The most powerful players in California's deep-blue Legislature these days may be a clutch of Republican senators known as the GOP Five. Amid party-line warfare over Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, they have bucked Republican leadership ? and risked their careers ? to wheel and deal with the Democratic governor, who needs two of their votes to pass his plan. Nearly every other Republican has snubbed Brown, largely because his spending blueprint includes billions of dollars in extended taxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2010 | By Michael Rothfeld
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday exhorted lawmakers to overhaul the funding system for state prisons and higher education, approve a jobs creation package and seek more money from Washington, even as he attacked the national healthcare plan. But his ideas received a mixed reaction, and it was unclear how much traction they might achieve in the face of the state's ongoing financial crisis. In his seventh and final State of the State address, the governor effectively offered a personal wish list for what he would hope to accomplish before leaving Sacramento at the end of the year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2011 | By Anthony York and Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
It's drive-time in Los Angeles, and that means radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou are riffing about state politicians. Within a matter of moments, they refer to various lawmakers as "traitorous pigs," "con artist" and "Republican dirt bag. " They use gruesome sound effects to suggest the mounting of one legislator's head on a stake ? his entry into the duo's hall of shame. The KFI-AM personalities, whose frequent targets are taxes, labor unions and illegal immigrants, not only reach more listeners than any other non-syndicated talk show in California but also have the ear ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2011 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee said Friday that he had reached into his own pocket to buy the luxury SUV originally purchased with public funds for his official use, including the commute between Sacramento and his San Luis Obispo district. After ordering the $39,975 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid with heated leather seats — one of the most expensive choices by a senator during these tough economic times, it turned out — Blakeslee apparently suffered buyer's remorse and wanted to drive something more modest.  But the dealership wouldn't take the car back.  So the Senate Rules Committee got stuck with the vehicle, using it as a high-end taxi to shuttle lawmakers to and from the airport.  A quick resale was ruled out because, like all new vehicles, the Lincoln lost a considerable amount of value as soon as it was driven off the lot. "To ensure a responsible resolution and no cost to the taxpayer, Blakeslee has personally bought the car from Senate Rules at the original purchase price," his spokeswoman, Erin Shaw, wrote in an email to The Times on Friday.
OPINION
June 25, 2011
The California Legislature has strict deadlines for proposing bills, moving them out of committee and getting them to the other house. And there are easy ways to abuse or circumvent those rules. For example, a lawmaker whose bill went down to defeat early in the session can revive it simply by stripping language from a more successful piece of proposed legislation that is headed to a vote and inserting the language from the bill that didn't make it the first time around. This tactic often seems sneaky and underhanded.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2011 | By Michael J. Mishak and Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- The most powerful players in California's deep-blue Legislature these days may be a clutch of Republican senators known as the GOP Five. Amid party-line warfare over Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, they have bucked Republican leadership ? and risked their careers ? to wheel and deal with the Democratic governor, who needs two of their votes to pass his plan. Nearly every other Republican has snubbed Brown, largely because his spending blueprint includes billions of dollars in extended taxes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher and Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times
The handful of Republican lawmakers most likely to provide crucial votes for Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan are threatening to withhold their support without a dramatic rewriting of state environmental law. The demand, pushed in private talks with the governor, would curtail lawsuits against projects threatening ecological damage, grant waivers to big telecommunications companies and exempt many urban developments from environmental review....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2011 | By Anthony York and Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
It's drive-time in Los Angeles, and that means radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou are riffing about state politicians. Within a matter of moments, they refer to various lawmakers as "traitorous pigs," "con artist" and "Republican dirt bag. " They use gruesome sound effects to suggest the mounting of one legislator's head on a stake ? his entry into the duo's hall of shame. The KFI-AM personalities, whose frequent targets are taxes, labor unions and illegal immigrants, not only reach more listeners than any other non-syndicated talk show in California but also have the ear ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2010 | By Michael Rothfeld
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday exhorted lawmakers to overhaul the funding system for state prisons and higher education, approve a jobs creation package and seek more money from Washington, even as he attacked the national healthcare plan. But his ideas received a mixed reaction, and it was unclear how much traction they might achieve in the face of the state's ongoing financial crisis. In his seventh and final State of the State address, the governor effectively offered a personal wish list for what he would hope to accomplish before leaving Sacramento at the end of the year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2009 | Shane Goldmacher
As the hours ticked away on a budget solution that was about to slip from the Legislature's grasp, some lawmakers urged their online supporters to action. "36 hours until the deadline," said an e-mail from one. "16 Hours Left!" blared a missive from another. Except they weren't talking about the budget. They were begging for campaign cash as a deadline for reporting donations neared. That was last week, when lawmakers missed a chance to save $3 billion from an expiring fiscal year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2009 | Eric Bailey
Assembly Republicans picked Sam Blakeslee as their new leader Thursday, choosing a coastal lawmaker known as a fiscal conservative with environmental leanings to lead them through what could be a long season of budget talks. The 53-year-old Blakeslee, from San Luis Obispo, will replace Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis) on June 1. Villines came under fire from fellow Republicans for helping push through a February budget deal that included a $12.5-billion tax hike.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2008 | Michael Rothfeld, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressing frustration with lawmakers' failure to approve a state budget, ordered his administration Thursday to lay off thousands of part-time employees and moved to temporarily slash the pay of most full-time staff. The governor, a Republican, apologized to state employees, many of whom, he acknowledged, are already struggling in a difficult economy. But he said he had no choice in the absence of a budget one month into the fiscal year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2009 | Eric Bailey
Assembly Republicans picked Sam Blakeslee as their new leader Thursday, choosing a coastal lawmaker known as a fiscal conservative with environmental leanings to lead them through what could be a long season of budget talks. The 53-year-old Blakeslee, from San Luis Obispo, will replace Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis) on June 1. Villines came under fire from fellow Republicans for helping push through a February budget deal that included a $12.5-billion tax hike.
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