Fishwrap: CA Firesale, Chinese Wine & Cheese, Central Coast Fratricide


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 auctihearstcastle-712894on 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.

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There are 8 comments for this post

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    The Lt. Gov office has never been a properly functioning office because it is not coupled with the Gov on the ballot, as a team.

    It would make far more sense to let each Gov candidate chose their running mate and elect them together. Structurally the LG would have a statutory salary but no staff or budget. The LG would be a part of the Office of the Governor budget, funded in whatever ways the Gov wants from his own budget. Then the LG might actually be useful to the Gov, and could be trusted to make gubernatorial decisions when the Gov is out of the state.

    Or you could just eliminate the whole thing. But if you do that you’d want to change the constitution such that the Gov retains all his powers when he is out of state. (Which, in this era of instant global communication, is probably an appropriate thing.)

  2. avatar Richard Robinson says:

    Number 7–Ouch. 10–very funny, but the site is way too large for the shrinking party. Maybe they can find a studio apartment in Colusa County. As I recall–as Colusa County goes–so goes the state. 🙂

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    # 11 [proposed] = Sell buildings on CSU campii to highest non-profit or charitable sponsor, thus allowing reductions in tuition and fees.

    # 12 [prosposed] = Allow corporations to name a UC building, campus drive or parkway after AMWAY. Selling soap is a good thing, sort of like the NFL stadium naming blitz – when San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium [named for a hallowed local sports writer] fell to corporate bidding war.

    # 13 = Still working on a proposed fund raiser.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Naming opportunity: Require propositions to be listed on the ballot along with the name of their largest contributor, e.g., “Chevron/CTA Proposition 1A.” “GTECH Proposition 1C.” Etc. Companies that did not want to be named in this way could make a $5 million contribution to state revenue.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    Actually Jack Murphy’s name was not removed in a “corporate bidding war.” (That would have resulted in far more than the paltry $18 million San Diego got for the 20 year naming rights.) In true San Diego fashion, Qualcomm got the name in a no-bid, sole-source, back-room deal back in 1997.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    This just in – Last report I had from my beloved son-in-law in Santee (North San Diego County) – QualComm no longer has the moniker for that Mission Valley Stadium – formerly known as Jack Murphy …! It’s been sold, again! Or is that the downtown, bay-front baseball stadium? It’s been so long …! I HAVE ALL I CAN DO to find my way to Las Vegas’ Cashman Field – just to watch the LV 51s semi-pro baseball team down there.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    Actually, Petco Park is still the name of the Pades’ downtown ballpark and Qualcomm Stadium will keep its current name until 2017. (How much longer the Chargers will remain in San Diego is an open question.)

    Your son-in-law might have been referring to the recent renaming of SDSU’s basketball arena from “Cox” to “Viejas.”

    Interestingly, Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman is a Chargers season ticket holder and was trying to lure them to move to Vegas two years ago, before the Vegas economy tanked.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    TNX ANON – it was SDSU, since my beloved daughter [mother of equally beloved two grand-daughters] is a graduate from their, with her CA teaching credential from National U. SO – VIEJAS couldn't get the cruise ship program going off-shore, but stay-at-home advertising is just as good — great shopping at outlet stores @ the "V" in East County. Concerts, too. Oscar's season ticket likely from a 'new best bud' Fr. JOE CARROLL of St. Vin's Homeless Shelter downtown — I had a small role in their introduction when Joe came to meet 'O' to re-negotiate a deal for shelter in LV. GREAT LINE from LV Sun columnist & LV Channel 8 news [KLAS] commentator Jon Ralston: "You gotta love the political contributions or both LV and NV: Vegas is the only town where the town drunk becomes mayor; Nevada is the old state where the village idiot becomes governor"! 😉

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