Schwarzenegger sends obscene veto

October 28, 2009 7:22:04 PM PDT
Coincidental or intentional? State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano thinks the veto message Gov. Armold Schwarzenegger sent him was no accident.

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The governor's stated message says he is vetoing Ammiano's San Francisco port bill because legislators failed to tackle big issues, like water management.

But if the reader takes the first letter of each line and reads down, a not-so-subtle play on words becomes apparent -- a common four-letter vulgarity followed by the letters "y-o-u."

Read Schwarzenegger's full veto letter

The freshman Democrat, a former stand-up comedian, gave the governor credit for being clever and definitely thinks the hidden message was intentional.

"I feel that there was a point to the way it was designed, yes; to me, it's part of 'Welcome to Sacramento,' I thought it was a very creative way of exercising veto power," Ammiano said.

The governor's office says it was purely coincidental, and that the lines of other veto messages also happen to spell out words.

The veto for Senate Bill 115, for instance, spells out 'ear;' SB 674 spells out 'soap' and AB 1276 spells out "poet."

Bob Stern/Center for Governmental Studies: "We can't be too serious about everything; the choice of words was not great, obviously, but let's not overplay that, I think they were having a little fun with it," Bob Stern of the Center for Governmental Studies said.

An ABC News pollster puts the odds of it being coincidental somewhere in the neighborhood of one in 10 billion.

The hidden message may be pay back for Ammiano's heckling during the governor's surprise cameo at a Democratic event last month.

But a group that is tired of Sacramento's dysfunction turned in citizen initiatives today that would reform government through a Constitutional Convention.

Members lament it is no wonder nothing gets done in California with childish games among leaders.

"The Legislature itself should be a collegial body where members of the Legislature work together to solve problems and they should work with the executive branch to make it all happen, that just doesn't seem to be the way things are in California," Jim Wunderman of Repair California said.

In all, Ammiano had six of eight bills vetoed this year. He says he is going to re-introduce the one that got the controversial message again next year because the Port of San Francisco could use the financing help.

Ammiano is calling the spat between him and the governor 'even' and hopes to start the New Year with a clean slate.

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