Arnold Schwarzenegger For Governor
Bill Simon has dropped out of the race.
Simon's candidacy would have taken votes away from Schwarzenegger, so this announcement only helps Arnold. The fewer serious Republican contenders, the greater Arnold's chances of succeeding Gray Davis.
The Democrats have said that the recall is just an attempt for Darrel Issa to buy the Governorship. Issa isn't running. They have said this is Simon's attempt to steal the office he couldn't win last year. He isn't running anymore, either. Maybe this will help convince the people that the recall is about Gray Davis and it is about his failures as Governor.
I'm not exactly how the process works, but I think that they have already printed the ballots. If they have, I guess Simon is still on the ballot, and will still probably get some votes. I wish there is something they could do about the ballots if they are already printed, because you can be sure some people will end up voting for Simon because they did last time or they heard the name before or their dog is named Simon, regardless of whether or not he is running. I mean, they did change the alphabet for the recall,
in order to remove the advantage of being among the first names on the ballot. This is acknowledging that some people will vote based on where a name is on the ballot. How's that for democracy.
I read a quote about Arnold's views on homosexuality
a while ago, but couldn't find it until recently. Here's what he says.
"'I have no sexual standards in my head that say this is good or this is bad,' he reportedly said. 'Homosexual — that only means to me that he enjoys sex with a man and I enjoy sex with a woman. It’s all legitimate to me.'"
That seems like the ideal viewpoint. Much better than Davis' agreeing with whatever polls well at the time or Bush's Christianity.
Here is the response from the Traditional Values Coalition.
"As Governor, Mr. Schwarzenegger would be a darker villain than any he has faced in his movies. And when it comes to the moral issues that Californians really care about - he gives us inaction not action."
I found out, thanks to Instapundit.com
that Cruz Bustamante is a racist.
I'm very surprised that this hasn't been in the news. If Arnold was in a group whose motto was "Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada (For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing)," the media would rip him to shreds. This is just another reason to add to the pile saying not to vote for Bustamante.
I've decided to respond to some viewer mail. Here is one from Wolfgang Manowski:
"I think it is very important that Arnold's campaign opens a MeetUp website. It would be a great way of mobilizing his supporters. Just look at the success the Dean campaign has had with Meetup."
Wolf brings up a good point. Dean has had a lot of success with Meetup. According to the Meetup website,
there are currently Meetup's for and against the recall, as well as supporting candidate Peter Ueberroth.
Meetup could help Arnold's campaign, but I'm not sure whether there is enough time before the election for a Meetup to gather enough steam. As of right now, Ueberroth's has 105 members, 31 members support the recall, and 219 oppose it. I don't know that much about starting a Meetup, but if it happens, it couldn't hurt.
Robin Reese sent me a letter to the Editor that was sent to both the SF Chronicle and the LA Times. I'll post it here:
While it's convenient to blame a governor and his liberal assembly, the residents of California need to take an equal share of the blame for the fiscal problems in the state. Forget about all the tax and spend programs for a minute and think about basic services like schools, mass transit, infrastructure and security. Shouldn't property owners and renters be the ones responsible for these? Just because tax payers got mad and voted to virtually stop the natural increase in taxes on their rapidly rising home values, doesn't mean the initiative isn't flawed. Sure, seniors can't get pushed out of their homes now and the benefit dies with them. But since we also threw out the inheritance and gift taxes with Prop 6 in 1982, the state can't even collect from an heir's windfall. With the largest percentage ever of soon-to-be-senior baby boomers now residing in their own homes, how on earth can we expect to pay for schools, transit and security for people starting out?
No one's suggesting we get rid of these two propositions but, hey, we'd be crazy not to closely examine them. For example, maybe back taxes should come off the sale of the house?
Very truly yours,
This is a more rational response to the Warren Buffet statements than I have seen in the media so far. Buffet only pointed out that the Prop 13 system doesn't make sense.
And it doesn't. Buffet said he pays $14,401 in annual property taxes on his $500,000 home in Omaha, Nebraska, but only $2,264 on his $4 million home in Laguna Beach. That doesn't make sense, and it was good for him to mention it.
For one thing, Arnold can't really do much about Prop 13, because it was voted in as a voter initiative. Besides, you have to be willing to discuss all part of the state economy if you are going to attempt to fix it. Besides, Arnold made it clear that he has personally supported Prop 13, and, as his campaign advisor said, "'Warren Buffett is speaking about his own philosophical position. The two of them are not going to agree on every single issue.'"
I'm not sure property owners and renters should be solely responsible for things like public education and mass transit, but they definitely deserve to pay their fair share.
PS. Here is Arnold's official statement
in response to the dispute about Prop 13.
Mark Kraft sent be a letter about a possible scandal:
"I wanted to pass this link along:
Arnold Schwarzenegger's longtime mistress Gigi Goyette finally admitted to the adulterous affair on British television -- an affair that began as statutory rape when she was 16.
This confirms rumors that were previously published in the National Enquirer
in 2001 -- rumors that were denied by both Gigi Goyette and Schwarzenegger."
Well, I don't know how much attention to pay to this. First, it is based on a story originally published by the National Enquirer. We all know how credible that publication is. Then, long after the girl had denied the affair, she admits to it on British television after Arnold has started his political campaign. That all in itself sounds suspect. I mean, have you ever watched British television? The only decent thing I have ever seen on British television is the Alan Partridge Show, and that isn't even that great.
I'm not going to put much faith in this one.
I'm not really in the mood to write much right now, so I'll just say a few things.
Gray Davis says that the recall is a Republican power grab.
I've already said almost all there is to say about this subject, but I felt like mentioning this. Seriously, Gray, stop whining about the recall. Over a million people signed petitions to put the recall on the ballot. It's going to be on the ballot. If you get recalled, it's because the people of California voted you out, not because some rich conservative like Darrel Issa contributed money to a recall campaign. You only get to be governor for another 49 days. At least try acting like one for that long.
Arianna Huffington said something that is said far too much.
"Huffington criticized Schwarzenegger for attacking Davis for being fiscally irresponsible, 'while he's actually ignoring the orgy of fiscally irresponsibility going on in Washington by the Republican Congress.'"
This concept is showing up everywhere, from political cartoons and letters to the editor in the papers, to news broadcasts, and even from other candidates like Huffington.
First of all, Arnold is running for Governor of California. He should ignore the fiscal irresponsibility going on in Washington. That is not his problem right now. That is not a California problem. This recall is dealing with California problems. Let's leave the President and Congress and the federal government out of state politics.
Besides, what could Schwarzenegger possibly do about the Federal budget deficit? He can't run for President because he wasn't born in the United States. He can't run for Senate or the House of Representatives because there isn't an upcoming election. He is running for Governor of California because the person currently holding the position has proven to be incompetent and cannot handle the task.
Wow. Any doubts I had about the scope of this recall were quelled when I received an e-mail from Greg Tingle. He sent me an article he had written about Arnold and the recall in general.
You can read his article by following that link. What impresses me the most is that Greg is from Australia. The idea that this California recall has reached an international level of influence is astounding, not to mention that somebody from Australia would be reading my ideas on the subject.
On a different subject, I discovered this article
while searching the internet. It details candidate Arianna Huffington's finances.
Huffington's campaign criticizes "'fat cats' who fail to shoulder a fair share of taxes." The article points out that she herself paid almost no income tax last year. The whole thing makes her seem kind of hypocritical, but I don't think she is much of a serious contender anyway.
I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I've been busy. Warren Buffet has joined Arnold's campaign
as an economic advisor. Buffet adds credibility to Arnold's campaign as an extremely talented investor and economist. His economic successes are well chronicled,
and his intelligence will be sure to assist Arnold is repairing California's economic problems.
Since he has joined the campaign, he has made statements that contradict Prop 13, a proposition that has been supported by Arnold for years. Schwarzenegger has since distanced himself from Buffet. I will write more in depth about Prop 13 when I research it further.
This post is about a lot of minor issues regarding many of the people involved in the recall.
In this article, Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante tries to differentiate himself from the other candidates.
He states, "I am an average guy trying to do an above-average job" and "...if you look at the folks on the other sides of the aisle, the other candidates, I am probably the only non-millionaire in the race."
Hmm. So he's telling everyone that he is an average guy. It seems like he is implying that he is under qualified for the job. Now, I don't believe that the qualifications for Governor are nearly as high as many people seem to think, and I definitely think that Cruz Bustamante would be able to perform as Governor. But I don't think it's good strategy to say things in a way that would make it seem to the public that you aren't up to the task.
As to his second statement, he must not have noticed that there are approximately 200 candidates running for Governor. I'm sure they aren't all millionaires. Now, if Bustamante is counting many of those candidates completely out of the race, his statement is understandable. But making such a blatant overstatement, especially with all the media coverage of the immense number of candidates, will make him appear foolish in the eyes of the voters.
In that same article,
"Davis insisted he has heard the discontent of his state's voters loud and clear and is working 'harder to solve people's problems.'" So, despite attacking the recall itself every time he speaks in public, even he admits that it puts pressure on him to try and actually govern. At the same time, he argues "the recall 'is an insult to the 8 million people who went to the polls last November.'" Let me see if I understand this. He's saying that the recall is making him work harder, but it is also an insult to the voters in the last election, less than half of which voted for him. That would correlate to him working harder because of the recall, insulting the voters who expected him to perform in his job regardless of his public opinion ratings.
So, it seems like both the Governor and Lt. Governor are trying to weaken their appearance in the eyes of the public. Either that, or they are as bad at campaigning as they are at running the state.
In other new, Republicans and Democrats alike have been targeting Schwarzenegger, attacking him on his ambiguity on issues. Now, maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see how targeting his political ambiguity can really hurt him. The people realize that Arnold is obviously not a politician, and his definitive positions on political issues won't be public knowledge. So, when he does give the public his responses on the issues, those who criticized his ambiguity will look foolish yet again.
It seems like they are campaigning against Arnold as if he was a fellow politician, when it is clear that he is not. The only way these attacks on his ambiguity could hurt him is if he never actually comes out with his own political statements. But, I highly doubt he would put all this effort into running for Governor and not even campaign.
The politicians are continuing to act like politicians, and they are the ones who have dug California into the hole it is now in. Arnold is not a politician. They can't beat Arnold by treating him like one.
After my first post, which explained the validity of the recall, there are two major issues for me to deal with. They involve why Gray Davis should be recalled from office, and why Arnold Schwarzenegger is the best replacement option. There are many facets to each of those issues, so I shall address them both over time, leading up to the actual vote.
Gray Davis seems to like reminding everybody he can that the recall will cost something like 67 million dollars. I don't know what he expects to accomplish from this. The recall is already approved. It's going to happen. None of the candidates running against him are the people who actually caused the recall initiative to go to ballot.
For a long time, Davis thought that Republican Darrel Issa would be his chief opponent in the recall. Issa paid for most of the signature gathering effort. As you could expect, Davis and his supporters soon began their smear campaign against Issa.
This site was started months before the required signatures to put the recall on the ballot were gathered. In typical Davis style, he tried as hard as he could to ruin the reputation of his opponent.
However, his problem this time was that Issa decided not to run for governor
during the recall. So, now Davis' most sincere efforts to ruin Issa and condemn the recall as a result of Issa’s contributions make him look foolish. Every time he brings up the cost of the recall, it only helps Arnold’s case to be governor. When he reminds the public that the recall is going to cost a large amount of money, he also reminds them that his inadequacies as governor have brought about this recall. He also forgets that his opponents in the election aren’t responsible for the election taking place. Davis is trying to make his opponents look bad because the recall is taking place, when he is solely responsible.
I think that the people of California are smart enough to realize what Davis is doing.
I remember seeing a quote from Davis several weeks ago, saying that he was going to fight the recall “like a Bengal tiger.” I was under the impression that Bengal tigers were endangered, and on the verge of extinction. Actually, I guess it was a good comparison by Davis.
Today's post is not about Arnold in particular, but rather the validity of the recall election. Gray Davis has repeatedly challenged the validity of the recall, and the courts ruled against him.
(From the article) "Davis had also asked the high court to let him run as his own replacement and raised the issue of whether Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante should take over if the recall vote goes against the governor. Other challenges were also filed and denied by the court."
Apparently, Davis hasn't read the California Constitution (available on the internet
). If he had, he would have noticed that the recall of public officials is clearly written in Article II. It comes only after the Constitution guarantees rights and explains voting procedures. Recall is clearly intended as a recourse of the public in response to a political officer. The general concept of recalling the Governor should not come in to question. This is specifically shown in Article II Section 17, which states, "If recall of the Governor or Secretary of State is initiated, the recall duties of that office shall be performed by the Lieutenant Governor or Controller, respectively." The issue of who performs the recall duties is irrelevant. What is important is that the section specifically acknowledges the recall of the Governor. There should be no more debate on whether the people of California should be able to recall their governor.
As for Davis' specific challenges to the recall procedure, the answers are clearly outlined in law and follow logically with the intent of the recall process.
As to letting him run as his own replacement, Article II Section 15 part c, which states, "If the majority vote on the question is to recall, the officer is removed and, if there is a candidate, the candidate who receives a plurality is the successor. The officer may not be a candidate, nor shall there be any candidacy for an office filled pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 16 of Article VI." Seems clear to me.
As to Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante taking over as Governor should the recall go against Davis, Article II Section 15 part a answers: "An election to determine whether to recall an officer and, if appropriate, to elect a successor shall be called by the Governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures." This situation would seem appropriate to actually elect a successor for Davis, and not allow the Lieutenant Governor to assume the role, simply because the Governor and Lieutenant Governor don't run on the same ticket. Unlike the national Presidential election, where the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates run on a ticket together, where the voters place their votes for a particular ticket, California Governor and Lieutenant Governor elections are held separately. Voters who chose Gray Davis for their Governor may not have chosen Cruz Bustamante, and he should not take over the position if Davis were to be recalled.
Davis and his supporters have maintained that one of their major concerns lies with the possibility that 49% of the voters could choose for Davis to remain in office, and another candidate could win the Governorship with a simple plurality, such as 20% of the vote. He believes that this would negate the will of the people.
There are several problems with this. First, in the 2002 election, Davis won with 3,469,025 votes (47.4%). (complete 2002 results available here
). He himself was elected without receiving a majority vote. In addition to receiving less than 50% of the vote, with California having a population of 33,871,648 (according to the 2000 census
), only about 10% of the people in the state actually voted for Davis. So, Davis is opposed to the recall, because it might allow a candidate to become Governor with only a small percentage of the vote, which is actually how Davis won in the first place.
Now, it is obviously preferable for a winner to receive a majority of the vote. But in the case of this Recall election, if a majority votes to remove Davis from office, becoming Governor with a simple plurality will not be such a bad thing for California politics.
This recall is as valid as any election, and Davis and his supporters should stop arguing with its obvious validity and accept that the election should and will take place in October.
I am starting this blog today in response to Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement today to run for governor of California in the recall election. Arnold is not only the best choice among many candidates running in this election, but one of the best political candidates I have seen in my lifetime, and I intend to explain to everybody why he should be California's new governor.