Obama's 1st 100 days good for California


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"That inauguration, it was no accident Dianne Feinstein was heading it up, it was no accident Nancy Pelosi was right behind the president; so, that was really an absolute power turn for California," former California Democratic Party President Art Torres said.

California's leading edge on stem cell research got a boost when President Barack Obama lifted the ban on the use of embryonic stem cells in federally-funded research. Now, scientists can collaborate on finding cures.

The environment benefited, too, when Mr. Obama signed legislation protecting 750,000 acres of forestland in the state. His administration is also poised to allow California to clean its air by regulating tailpipe emissions.

Those issues are close to Gov. Schwarzenegger's heart; the Republican is relieved to have a friend in the White House.

"We have to work together; I will give him a great mark for the great work he has done the first hundred days," Schwarzenegger said.

But not everyone in California is happy with the early days of the Obama Presidency, given the state is still haunted by two big problems.

"Actions speak louder than words, and all we're getting right now is pure empty words from Barack Obama," California Republican Hector Barajas said. "California still has about 2 million people unemployed and that number continues to rise. They've already spent over a trillion dollars on this housing problem, and yet, no money has gone to the homeowners to protect them and help them stay in their home."

While the administration continues to work with lenders on the foreclosure problem, economic stimulus money is supposed to help put people back to work. Of the estimated $50 billion California could receive, only a quarter has been allocated, with even less actually spent.

The voter-approved high speed rail, along with other public works projects, will get going. The state's new Inspector General overseeing the stimulus money says people just have to be patient.

"It's going to take a while to trickle down and turn into jobs for everyday folks," Laura Chick said. "I see, at the end of the next year or so, California is going to be strutting its stuff."

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