“He supports the War on Terror,” spokesman Aaron McLear said. “He supports the men and women in uniform. He believes we need to do all we can to be successful in Iraq. He also supports a timeline for withdrawal.” The bill is scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the Senate Rules Committee, which Perata chairs. It’s likely to reach the governor’s desk because Democrats have majorities in both houses of the Legislature. Heather Morton, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said California is the only state she is aware of that is contemplating a referendum on Iraq. Perata said the bill is his attempt to bring an end to a war that has lasted too long and cost too many lives. But some political analysts see the proposed ballot measure as an attempt to increase the turnout of voters who also would be likely to support a term-limits initiative that is intended for the February ballot. The initiative would shorten the overall time that most legislators could spend in office while allowing some lame duck lawmakers, including Perata, to run for re-election in 2008 or 2010. SACRAMENTO – The debate over the United States’ involvement in Iraq reaches the California Senate this week. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, is the author of a bill that would put a measure on the state’s Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot asking California voters if they want an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The vote would only be advisory, but it could ratchet up the pressure on President Bush to set some kind of timetable for removing troops. The bill also could put Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the spot. The Republican governor hasn’t taken a position on the bill, but he seems to be searching for a middle ground in the increasingly heated debate. “I’m not a mind reader, but my gut feeling is they’re strategizing as much as they can to energize their base vote” to support the initiative, said Allan Hoffenblum, publisher of the California Target Book, which analyzes legislative and congressional races. “(But) that could also bring out a lot of conservatives.” Perata acknowledges the war vote could increase Democratic turnout, but denies that it is intended to help pass the term limits proposal. Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman, R-Tustin, said the Perata bill is “wholly inappropriate.” “First of all, the state legislators don’t make foreign policy,” he said. “We shouldn’t be spending our time and effort doing that when we have a lot of other serious issues.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!