Its official, KOCE's special legislation to allow the Coast Community College District to sell the public broadcast station (one of three that serve Orange County) for less than market value is dead.
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill today.
Read the full story over at the Flash Report where publisher Jon Fleischman has been an outspoken leader in the battle against the bill that received not a singe GOP legislator's aye vote. Jon gave the bill (AB 523) the Golden Trash Can award and apparently that made a difference. Some legislators even suggested that Fleischman's commentary on the issue was at least part of their rational against the bill. See the OC Register article about the issue from Thursday here.
There is no word why the Governor vetoed the bill, but credit should also go to Scott Baugh who lobbied against the legislation. His client is offering to pay millions more to the college district for the station AND is offering to keep the original local content shows like Real Orange and Inside OC with Rick Reiff on the air. Those extra millions would be used for classroom education on the college campuses.
It also should not go without mentioning that legislation was written specifically to allow the KOCE Foundation. made up of numerous wealthy OC business people, to buy the station. Many of those who make up the board of the Foundation are great political and philanthropic givers. I don't think this effort was stupid--just poor public policy. And now that it has failed, they will probably just have to dig a little deeper.