Cal Politic

A weblog dedicated to California politics. A thriving democracy depends on an informed body politic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Who's the stupid, dirty, girlie-man?

Democrats came to the table on Propositions 57 and 58.

They helped negotiate a better deal on the pension obligation bonds--saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Democrats were instrumental in negotiating the gaming compacts and re-working the dysfunctional behemoth of the Californians Worker's Compensation system.

And what did Democrats get in return for listening to the people of California by negotiating in good faith and doing their jobs? A two-faced governor who smiles and thanks Democrats at one point, then in a wink of an eye turns to his populace bully pulpit and publicly trashes them minutes later, calling them schoolyard names and setting back his alleged bipartisan agenda to square one.

What this amateur actor-cum-politician doesn't understand is that every time he goes out and talks about gridlock, he creates more of the same. Read what George Skelton had to say:  

"But as the latest California budget war escalated Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed — as if reading from an old movie script — that "I will stay here and I will stay here and I will stay here and I will fight like a warrior for the people…. And anyone that pushes me around, I will push back, including the Democrats and the special interests. Trust me."Then, instead of "staying here" in the Capitol and trying to negotiate a budget agreement, the governor flew off in his jet to do what he seems to enjoy best about this job: hold rallies, soak up atta-boys and pump up public pressure on Democratic legislators."

We've all known Governor Awnuld has a glaring insensitive side. Whether it be calling gay men "fags," groping and humiliating women, or trying to embarrass members of the State Legislature into implementing his "vision." Sound familiar? It didn't work for Gray Davis, so why would Awnuld think it would work for him?

Republicans laugh off the "girlie-man" comment as Gov. Schwarzenegger poking fun of himself. What they conveniently ignore is that these childish comments directed at the legislature from the Chief Executive of the world's sixth largest economy--California--does have an impact on the everyday workings of the State. Had a Democratic-elected member of the legislature made similar comments, Republicans would be calling for their heads. Again, the duplicity of the California Republican Party is alarming--and sad.

Awnuld and his right-hand right-wing lackey Kevin McCarthy repeatedly charge that Democrats are in the pocket of special interests. So why are California Republicans holding up the budget on two issues that have nothing to do with the State budget? A recent LA Times report uncovered a direct link between the Republican Party and one of those issues, contracting school bus service with non-union out-of-state companies. Who is in the pocket of special interests, now? Dan Weintraub makes this point on one of Schwartzy's backroom deals:

"Finally, Schwarzenegger confronted the prison guards, demanding that they come to the table to renegotiate a five-year contract they had signed with the state when Davis was governor. The old contract promised salary increases now expected to total 37 percent. When Schwarzenegger was done with the guards, though, their raises under the revised deal were expected to total - yes, 37 percent. The guards agreed to take the money a little bit more slowly than they otherwise would have. And the governor, in exchange for this almost meaningless gesture, melted like butter on a Sacramento summer day. He promised them better health benefits, gave more time off to union bosses and expanded the use of seniority, rather than managers' judgment, in setting work schedules. So it's about time Schwarzenegger started demanding a tougher stand against the interest groups. Maybe that should start in the governor's office."

Yeah. Good luck.

Awnuld's Education Secretary, Richard Riordan, recently made another of his usual public gaffes when he told a six-year-old child her name, Isis, meant "stupid, dirty girl." The only excuse Riordan has is that he's older than the State of California and he apparently never learned tact, manners or the appropriateness of bad jokes. Awnuld has the same problem, but he has less of an excuse. He touted himself as a smart man, a business man, who directed his multi-million dollar empire with sound judgment and solid business skills. So, to prove that, Awnuld regularly meets with legislators, asks for their help, portrays himself as a humble servant of the people, then turns around and kicks them in the ass.

Nice going champ.

You're doing a bang up job so far.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Schwarzenegger Starts Summer Slamfest

Let the Games Begin!

Governor Schwarzenegger officially renegged on his campaign promise to end "politics as usual" in Sacramento by pouring gasoline on an already smoldering fire of political rhetoric over a state budget that is over one month late. Just days after comparing state legislators to kindergarteners, Schwarzenegger offered the following at a late afternoon press conference yesterday.

The LA Times has the story:

"I will stay here until 2006. I will stay here, and I will fight like a warrior for the people," he said. "And there is no one that can stop me. If anyone pushes me around, I will push back, including the Democrats and the special interests. Trust me."

Trust him? Trust the guy who said he would change the tone of politics in Sacramento? Trust the guy who said he would bring in a new era of cooperation and bipartisanship?
I don't know about you, but trust is not something I'm willing to give this governor anymore. How many more promises will he break before his popularity starts to suffer? I think we need to start a list of the Governor's broken promises. Maybe we can convince Pacific John over at Gropinator to start a running list. He's done an excellent job of detailing every step and misstep made so far by Schwazenegger.

In your opinion, what is the worst broken promise made by Governor Schwarzenegger just 8 months into his term?

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Budget Guru or Budget Witch Doctor?

The people of California unceremoniously and zealously tossed out their democratically elected governor in an unprecedented and wildly successful recall campaign.

Fair enough.

That's what democracy is all about. Bill Clinton gave a consenting adult a blow-job and the country impeached him.

Consider them spanked.

Really hard.

But did we get what we asked for? Has Awnuld performed? Or do we have much of the same, tired ol' thang?
Even the stalwart, extremists have a word for the actor-turned-politician.

Hey, voters, ya happy?

Ultra-thin ego Gropinator takes a bow at every possible turn, imagining the Oscar red carpet that will never be. Even fellow egoist Dan Weintraub finally took a break from his adulation...

Schwarzenegger says he has a three-year plan to bring the budget back into balance. But if he keeps making progress at this rate, it will take him more like 30 years to get the job done.

Don't get me wrong. Weintraub, the "political expert," softened his blow by explaining (on behalf of Schwarzenegger) his motives. However, making excuses for an ingenue is OK in the theater. When thousands of students, parents, children, members of the disabled community, and middle-class taxpayer get the shaft, frankly, there are no excuses.

The 2004-2005 State budget is out very soon. Everyone will take a hit, especially those who can least afford it. Let's hope Democrats are really listening, not to the bogus polls that say voters hate them, but to their consciences, where ideas flourish and decency rules.

By the way, Awnuld has his day coming soon.

Welcome to politics, Gropinator.

Schwarzenegger's Honeymoon Over?

Republicans Squirming on Budget

Today's LA Times reports today on what many in the Capitol have been speculating for weeks. Will Republicans vote for a budget full of gimmicks and accounting tricks? Not that Democrats like to vote for a fiscally irresponsible budget, but if that's what Arnold wants to do, Democrats are more than willing to give him as much rope as he needs to hang himself.

Republican lawmakers, frustrated with the direction of talks over the $103-billion budget, are threatening not to vote for whatever plan emerges from the governor's office. They complain that he is yielding to too many Democratic demands, and that the budget is starting to resemble the kind of spending plan — marked by overspending, irresponsible borrowing and too many fees — that former Gov. Gray Davis would have crafted.

State Sen. Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) said "there remain for many of us some very serious questions about where we are." He praised the spending reforms contained in the governor's original January budget, but said those proposals "for the most part have been jettisoned in the process of the last several weeks."

Another veteran Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified, was blunter: "If this budget had the name Gray Davis on it, it wouldn't be supported. It walks on the wrong side of the issues relative to the Republican Party."

We always know when a Governor is losing his invulnerability when members of his own party begin to criticize him. That's what happened to Davis during the Energy crisis, and it may be happening now with Schwarzenegger's budget. Stay tuned for conservativbellwetherer, Tom McClintock's speech on the Senate floor when the budget passes sometime next week. McClintock is a true fiscal conservative (wouldn't spend tax money to save his own grandmother from a life of poverty and misery) and this budget of gimmickry stands for everthing McClintock hates. But McClintock is in aawkwardrd position because Schwarzenegger recently held a fund-raiser for him, and this is his party's governor's first budget.

Is it bad that I like to see Republicans squirm?