Indeed, in this case, the bills were wildly popular. SB 218 passed the state Assembly and Senate with only 1 negative vote! But the Governor looked at it and realized how wrong it would be. SB 218 would have required the California State University - the largest publicly-funded university system in the world - to inform the public what it does with public funds. Specifically, it would have required CFA administrations to inform the public of the balances, investments, and amounts of money in their "foundations" - which is the public-university version of an endowment.
SB 86, which also received wide support, would have prohibited the CSU from giving raises to executives in years when the CSU budget is cut. Again, Schwarzenegger vetoed this wrong-headed bill, despite its popularity, since it would have prevented the CSU from rewarding administrators for making the hard decisions we pay administrators big bucks to make (in this case, the hard decision to pay administrators more big bucks).
Schwarzenegger was elected in the Gray Davis recall debacle on the promise of reforming government. He's certainly done that. This set of reforms sets a clear precedent for CSU execs, one consistent with the Governor's political ideology. Public university administrators, like their counterparts in corporate America, are
I think I know who's getting my next furlough letter.