Call him Governor Viola Swamp if you must, because Jerry Brown just ordered an astounding 48,000 government-paid cell phones - that's around half of those used by government employees - be returned by June 1. Hrumph. Yes, the texting party is over for an estimated 96,000 cell phone users whose bills are fronted by state taxpayers.

"It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones," Brown said in a written statement. "Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding."

Facing a horrific budget crisis, Brown estimates that the cell phone reduction will save the state $20 million a year.

[Sacto Bee]