Believe what you want, but I think the governor is getting a bad rap on this coded veto message thing.

Let’s stipulate that the governor of California has a bawdy Austrian’s sense of humor.

And that he does use bad words every once in a while.

Maybe more than every once in a while, OK.

Except it’s hard for me to imagine that he himself would ever do something as sophomoric as embedding a nasty phrase in a coded veto message. It’s such a hack trick, used by bored and desperate writers, to say something with the first letter of each line or paragraph of a piece.

So what are we to make of this speculation that the governor did just that?

Tom Ammiano, the author of the vetoed bill (something about the port in San Francisco—hey, I thought the Bay Area port was in Oakland), had yelled at the governor during an impromptu appearance at a Democratic event in San Francisco. But I can’t imagine that the yelling bothered the governor.

Amusing, or at least mildly so, is probably how he found it.

Frankly, the governor I covered would never do such a thing. And if he knew someone was trying to put a code into his veto messages, he’d stop it. Just as I would if an editor tried to do something like that with one of my pieces.

For now, I think we should wait until we know more, and in the meantime refrain from pointing fingers.