The Sacramento Bee reported earlier today that budget negotiations had broken down between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republican leaders, with Republican legislators blaming the Republican governor for compromising the process.
It seems GOP leaders were enraged in anticipation of this Los Angeles Times report that says Assembly Republican Leader Mike Villines had considered a tax increase as a way to close a $14 billion budget gap - California Republicans are duty bound to oppose all thoughts of tax increases.
This leak to the Times could also explain why Villines struck such a cocky posture earlier this week in a visit to the Bee's Capitol Bureau, where he demanded Democrats accede to a host of GOP demands before his caucus would even begin to consider any Democratic proposals for solving the budget crisis.
*UPDATED: Apparently yesterday's leak about Villines wasn't what got Republicans angry at the governor. Instead, it seems to be the big ticking clocks on the governor's website and in the Capitol that are tallying by day and by dollar the Legislature's "Failure to Act." However, the idea that Republicans might have to swallow new taxes remains the reason for the split between the governor and GOP lawmakers. As for Villines and the Bee Capitol Bureau, that appears to be his normal swagger.