California special election: Arnold takes a beating

The Governator put his political life on the line in the lead-up to yesterday’s special election. Unfortunately for him, every one of his propositions was defeated. (Arnold was pushing Props. 74, 75, 76, and 77.)

There’s been much talk that the Governor veered hard to the conservative side in this election (mostly by liberals), and nearly as much talk about how the Guv is a centrist (mostly by conservatives). Consider that three initiatives (74, 75, & 76) are targeting public employees (traditionally Democratic), while Prop. 77 is politically neutral — I have to wonder how this stance could be interpreted as anything other than pro-Republican.

On the non-existant chance that the Governor wants my advice, I offer the following:

  1. Nobody trusts a hypocrite. Back when you were running for Governor, you claimed to be immune from special interest money because you already had plenty of cash. You unseated former Gov. “Pay to Play” Davis by (justly) going after his fundraising, but now you make him look like an amateur!
  2. Next time, if you want to appear centrist, make a point of backing some liberal initiatives (e.g. pro-consumer ones such as 79 and 80 on yesterday’s ballot).
  3. Need an easy fix for California’s perennial budget problem? Simply do away with the 2/3 supermajority needed to pass a budget! A simple majority might err in the other direction, but how about approving the budget if 55% of Legislators pass it? The radical right won’t be happy about this, but see previous point.
  4. Next time you feel like going after a public-employee union, start with the prison guards’ union.
  5. Allowing the Legislature to draw their own districts is foolish, and we all know it. But we need a better plan than Prop. 77 to correct this problem.

An aside: I was on an out-of-state phone call a few days ago, and the person on the other end asked why Californians are so informal that they refer to the Governor by his first name. I told her it was because nobody could spell “Schwarzenegger”

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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