Governor Arnold says California should sell off some of its iconic real estate assets like San Quentin, the Cow Palace and the Los Angeles Coliseum, to help balance the budget.
While this may not help much in the short run – it would likely take two to five years to close deals this big – Calbuzz has some ideas on 10 other properties the state can auction off, along with some possible buyers, to keep the fire sale revenue stream flowing for years.
1- Hearst Castle: Media News mogul Dean Singleton, an unscrupulous news business titan just like the original owner, could throw lavish parties to entertain all the Bay Area journalists he’s put out of work.
2-The Golden Gate Bridge: Dianne Feinstein and Dick Blum, who already own a swell place in nearby Presidio Terrace, could buy the bridge and close it from 9 pm-9 am to help keep the neighborhood quiet.
3- The Historic Governor’s Mansion: Jerry Brown is already eyeing it, while waxing nostalgic for his old bedroom on the second floor; best to get some up front cash now, before he gets a chance to move in for free.
4-Asilomar: Clint Eastwood, the former mayor of nearby Carmel-by-the Sea, would have plenty of room in the spacious Monterey Peninsula conference center to exercise his core political belief: “Everyone leaves everyone else alone.”
5-Fort Tejon: Flush with cash, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians or the Morongo Band of Mission Indians might snap up the historic Army fort, originally used to wage war on Native Americans, in a nice bit of historic payback.
6-Old Town San Diego: The Federation for Immigration Reform could celebrate the Bear Flag Revolt every day in the historic district, an ideal base for furthering their nativist views about Mexico.
7-The State Capitol: Ipoh Ltd, redevelopers of the famed Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, have a lot of experience converting historic buildings into shopping centers. Besides, the governor and legislature aren’t really using it for much.
8-Angel Island: Just think what Steve Wynn, world’s most imaginative casino developer, could build on all that wasted open space in this little slice of heaven in San Francisco Bay. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
9-Will Rogers State Park: On their way out the door, the governor and First Lady Maria Shriver could do their small part to erase the budget deficit by retiring in splendor, and keeping the show biz vibe alive, at this Santa Monica showplace.
10-La Brea Tar Pits: Okay, the state doesn’t officially own the pits, but General Services could seize it by eminent domain and sell it to the senate Republican caucus; those guys are all free enterprise fans and, anyway, what more appropriate site for party headquarters?
Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: With great pride and enthusiasm, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, in his role as (all rise) chairman of the California Commission for Economic Development, this week announced “the formation of the California Wine and Cheese Expo in Shanghai Pudong’s Wai Gaoqiao Free Trade Zone.”
Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.
“At the Commission for Economic Development, we craft strategies to help improve California ’s economy and business climate, and beneficial international trade relationships are an essential part of that equation,” said Garamendi. “China ’s white collar population is expanding rapidly, and demand for quality wines and cheeses is on the rise. ” Who knew?
Memo to Arnold: In cutting the budget, maybe start by eliminating the lieutenant governor’s office altogether.
No tranquility at Tranquillon: The Terminator’s bid to overturn the State Lands Commission’s veto of a new offshore oil drilling lease at Tranquillon Ridge off Santa Barbara County has added fuel to an already heated Democratic legislative primary.
The commission’s January vote, which torpedoed a deal negotiated between coastal advocates and oil company PXP, bitterly divided local environmentalists, and led to to the contested primary. Longtime enviro Susan Jordan, who’s running to succeed husband Pedro Nava in the 35th AD, staked out a lonely stance opposing the deal, while most of her erstwhile allies, including city councilman Das Williams, backed it.
Williams who had earlier pledged to support Jordan, cited her position on Tranquillon as his key reason for making an about-face entry into the race. The issue had finally died down when Schwarzenegger resurrected the lease deal as part of his May revise budget plan.