be fooled by the right wing spin machine. Republicans
are trying frantically to pretend that the Gropinator's
win in the recall represents a shift in values
in California to the right. From the drug-addled
Rush to the slimy Ann Coulter, the Voice of the
Right howls that the recall shows a failure of
liberal politics, and that California has rejected
the Democratic party.
most things the right wing claims, this is sheer
nonsense. Yes, the voters did reject Gray Davis,
and while he was in part a victim of the machinations
of Enron, Dick Cheney, FERC and all those criminals,
he was also slow to deal with the energy crisis,
and for a politician, surprisingly hard to like.
When we canvassed the club in July as to what
stance should be taken, the unanimous choice was
to oppose the recall and reluctantly support Davis.
self-destructed with his fund-raising games. Republicans
used the fact that he was taking donations from
the gaming tribes to appeal to people's latent
racism, but he lost ground in his own Democratic
base because a majority of Democrats are appalled
and sickened by our corrupt and anti-democratic
methods of campaign fund-raising. Even worse,
when he said he would return the money and then
only returned $71,000 of the $3.1 million, he
sealed his fate.
if you really want to gauge Republican strength
in the state, Tom McClintock's 13% of the vote
was a far more reliable indicator of voter sympathies
than Arnie's 48%. McClintock, after all, was the
only significant conservative candidate. And Republicans
who supported McClintock aren't going to support
Arnie unless he sells his tail to them. Nobody
knows if Arnie will do that or not, but if he
does, he loses the liberal and moderate support
that he had in the election.
he did have support from our side. One in four
of his votes came from Democratic voters, according
to Sacramento Bee exit polls. It may be depressing
to think that there are so many custard heads
in our ranks, but it's definitely better than
to believe the whole state has suddenly and unexpectedly
embraced neo-fascism. In point of fact, Arnie
embraces quite a few Democratic ideals. He's pro
choice. He favors gun control. He is for gay rights.
He is strongly for education. He spoke out against
the Clinton witchhunts.
to liberal candidates got roughly 83% of the vote.
No, California may have had an attack of the stupids,
but they haven't abandoned the liberal values
that are America's foundation and strength.
deserves a fair shot at governing. We aren't Republicans.
We won't shoot him down on the premise that partie
is uber alles and anyone who is not in lockstep
must be crushed. Arnie is going to be getting
that from the Republican right, who, of course,
-do-think that way.
said, there are concerns about Arnie that Democrats,
as well as all Californians, should be wary of.
his sleazy attitude toward women. Will that reflect
itself in policy? Probably not, but it's something
to watch for.
isn't real honest. He ran, among other things,
on a vow not to take money from special interests,
and then promptly received millions of dollars
from ranchers, farmers, banks, developers, and
a host of other vested, mostly GOP, interests.
That he's a Republican taking money from other
Republicans is not notable. That he lied about
it is. He even boasted that he was rich, and therefore
nobody could buy him. It's the same fatuous nonsense
that every millionaire dilettante running for
office spews, and it's nonsense. A rich person's
interests reflect those factors that made him
rich, and he's just as bought as the guy working
the rubber chicken circuit for donations. When
a rich man's interests don't coincide with yours,
don't expect him to take your side over his own.
Class warriors are bought, not made.
Arnie is not the honest fresh face to politics
that he pretends to be.
thing to be particularly wary of. Arnie has been
accused of working a fiddle with Ken Lay and other
energy regulators. If he becomes governor, California
takes the heat off those people who cheated the
state out of tens of billions of dollars (and
who adroitly shifted the blame for the fallout
to Davis) and in return, Arnie completely deregulates
and privatizes the states power system.
outlandish? Go to http://www.joinarnold.com/en/agenda/#C1
and read for yourself. "As governor, I will create
a working wholesale power market based on the
lessons learned from other states and the (Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission) standard market
design. California is one of several states that
adopted electricity restructuring. However, only
California's restructuring caused severe price
hikes and energy shortages. It is time to learn
from other successful restructurings enacted by
Texas, the New England states, and the Mid-Atlantic
States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.
In addition, California should also look to the
standard market design created by FERC."
way to tell quickly if Arnie is a right wing plant
there to sell us out to the energy providers is
to watch what he does with the pending state suits
against Enron and the other thieves. If he drops
them, you'll know why all those right wingers
were so anxious to get the "moderate" Arnie in
office. One imponderable is how far Arnie will
go with the "conservative" economic policies of
the GOP. We've seen a huge disaster unfolding
on the federal level due to Putsch's lunatic notions
that big tax cuts for the rich will cause them
to invest and thus spur the economy (the rich
ALREADY had lots of money invested that's what
made them rich in the first place!), combined
with the idiocy of "starve the beast." This is
best described as controlling government spending
by slashing government revenue. It failed miserably
under Reagan, it's failing miserably under Putsch
(who has actually increased government spending
at a rate higher than any president since FDR),
and it will be catastrophic under Arnie, since
much of the state's spending is non-discretionary,
in the form of items that must be paid, such as
bonds, pensions, and funding for propositions.
Another huge chunk comes from legislative mandates,
the nutty notion that if you tell the budget makers
they MUST spend a certain amount on something
it will make the budget easier and more flexible.
In fact, it does the opposite.
wants to cut taxes and balance the budget. Fortunately,
he can't start a war or run an arms race. Arnie
will quickly learn that about the only area left
that can be cut is in education. He'll either
have to raise taxes or do something like close
last note of cheer for Democrats. Both the Propositions
on the state ballot were soundly thrashed. Prop
53 was another one of those "feel good" initiatives,
mandating the government spend X percent of the
budget on infrastructure. Infrastructure is important.
But so is budgeting flexibility. And Prop 54,
backed by the vile Ward Connerly and designed
to eliminate any evidence of racism in hiring
or admissions, was similarly crushed at the polls.
even though Arnie may or may not be a GOOD choice
for California, his victory does not signal that
the state has suddenly gone to the far right.
one thing to watch for. Diebold Machines, the
voting machines that have no paper trail and thus
cannot be used for recounts or for random checks
for accuracy, were used in various parts of the
state. In Tulare County, several of the more obscure
candidates running for governor got a majority
of the alleged vote. None of the three lived in
Tulare County, and none took strong stands on
agricultural issues, the paramount concern in
that county. One had never even BEEN to Tulare
County, yet 91% of his statewide vote was from
no way to go back and find out through hand counts
what the voters there really intended. As mentioned,
Diebold, a company owned by Christian Reconstructionalists
who have vowed to work for the reelection of Putsch,
leaves no paper trail.
October 13, 2003