Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and city government. The state budget is looking healthier, but there are problems looming in the future, Tony Strickland, Republican state controller candidate, predicted Friday. Health care costs for retirees could be a problem if nothing is done, Strickland said in a forum at the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce. “We do have a crisis before us,” Strickland said. “The governor isn’t talking about it. The Legislature isn’t talking about it.” “A lot of people say California is ungovernable,” he said. “I’d say it’s uncampaignable.” The problem is the state is so large and expensive to campaign, he said. A one-week purchase of television advertising can cost $1.5 million, nearly the amount he plans to spend on his entire race. AS ARNOLD GOES: “I think Arnold Schwarzenegger will do well and the better he does, the better I do,” Strickland said. “If Arnold doesn’t do well, I don’t win.” The comments came up when he was asked about what he thinks of Schwarzenegger. Many conservatives in the state have complained about Schwarzenegger’s signing of bills to increase the minimum wage and deal with global warming. But Strickland didn’t address any specifics. “I don’t always agree with what Arnold does, but I don’t always agree with my wife and she’s in the Legislature,” he said. Strickland’s wife, Audra, succeeded him after he was termed out in 2004. ESCUTIA HONORED: BREATHE California of Los Angeles County, Friday awarded its highest honor to state Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Norwalk, at its 2006 Breath of Life Awards Ceremony and Breakfast. Escutia was recognized for her commitment to children’s health and environmental initiatives, and her work in authoring the Children’s Breathing Rights Act (SB 1205), a piece of state legislation designed to raise awareness of the health impacts of air pollution from chronic polluters in California. TOP GRADE: Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, has received an A grade on Darfurscores.org, a congressional report card by the Genocide Intervention Network on efforts to stop the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. The organization awarded the A based on Sanchez’s co-sponsorship of the Genocide Accountability Act, the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, and House Resolution 723 (H. Res. 723), which calls for the United Nations (UN) and NATO to take action in protecting innocent civilians. Mail items for It’s Politics to the Whittier Daily News, P.O. Box 581, Whittier, CA 90608; fax (562) 698-0450; phone (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022; or e-mail to [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsStrickland is a former assemblyman from Thousand Oaks and a Whittier College graduate. A representative for his Democratic opponent, John Chiang, was invited, but didn’t show. The problem is that people are living longer, health care costs are rising and the large baby-boom generation is retiring, Strickland said. He said the state needs to start saving an additional $2 billion. Otherwise, it might not be able to pay for the health care of state employee retirees, he added. “The problem is that if you put in $2 billion, that $2 billion doesn’t exist for other programs,” he said. MORE STRICKLAND: Strickland also talked about the difficulty of campaigning in California.