Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

California Gubernatorial Election 2006 or All Politics is Local

Of course, many of us on this blog are Californians, at least by residence. The campaign is between the incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Phil Angelides (D). I have expressed my strong disaste for Angelides, despite my being a lifelong Democrat. If Arnie were running as an independent, I would vote for him. Today, the LA Times reported that among registered Dems who are likely voters, Angelides support is only 63%.

Why is Angelides struggling? First - no message. His campaign website lists platitudes, like "strengthen health care." That and $2.50 will buy you a latte. Jeez.

Second, being the anti-Arnold isn't worth all that much, when he's been busy mending fences and sounding moderate. Even for gay marriage, he went out of his way to veto on technical grounds rather than endorsing a hetero-only view of marriage. Of course, that veto is why he won renomination by the Republicans. Otherwise he would have faced and lost a primary challenge. And Angelides would be sliding into office. Arnie has disappointed me by failing to do things I want, but other than the gay marriage veto, has done very little I oppose in the past year.

Third, he and LA Mayor Villaraigosa are known not to be friendly. Villaraigosa is depending on Arnie to sign the bill giving Villaraigosa a big hand in governing the LAUSD (school district). Arnie has agreed, and they are seen on TV together. Angelides has 'no public position' on the matter, meaning he would work against it for the benefit of the teacher's union -- which Villaraigosa is taking on, rather boldly. I voted for Villaraigosa reluctantly, but I'm a big fan now that he's shown real guts and commitment to this city, something I doubted. Reforming LAUSD is so important, I hesitate to overturn the applecart with a hostile machine politician.

Fourth, Angelides has spent $0 so far as I can tell on ads. I saw an Arnie ad last night touting his only actual accomplishment, NO NEW TAXES. It's believable, he's done it. Angelides has proposed new taxes. If that's the only difference between them, Angelides is going down.

Fifth, Arnie has opposed right wingnuts on immigration, which is an issue that Angelides could have used to rouse the Latino population.

So what can Angelides do? Answer: get a real message.

Right now he's talking about "saving the middle class rather than the privileged few." Well, that's more progressive than he sounded in the Democratic primary, which is a mistake. How about talking about public transportation, fuel efficiency, and fixing the health insurance crisis in CA?

Any advice for Phil Angelides on this blog? For those who want to see Arnie out of office, what can Angelides emphasize in his campaign to convince his own party that he's worth voting for?


Anonymous said...

Here is why I, if I still lived in California, would not for Arnold, and would vote for nearly any opponent, EVEN IF HE WERE A DEMOCRAT.

1) Schwarzenegger's open praise and support for the "Minute Men" vigilante group . So the "standing up to the wingnuts" defense of the Governator is not a slam dunk to put it mildly.

2) Schwarzenegger's "war on education". He's cut university and community college budgets to the bone after promising not to touch education. Why? No new taxes.

3) Schwarzenegger's borrowing. While he has delievered on his pledge to protect the wealthy from taxation, Zee Governator has been forced to borrow heavily to keep the state afloat.

4) Schwarzenegger is a slave to the Prison Industry. While cutting education with abandon, this supposedly reasonable moderate has been on a spending spree for the prison industry...more prisons, more prisoners, less reform, more waste.

5) Schwarzenegger met and communicated frequently with Ken Lay before the recal was even a major issue. He has since advocated further deregulation of the energy market.

6) Having a Republican governor will help other Republican candidates in California in both 2006 and 2008.

LTG, why do you dislike Angelides other than his assumed opposition to Villaraigosa's proposed take over of LAUSD.

He is certainly a weak candidate (as was his oppoent in the Democratic primary) but that's no reason to vote for a real opportunist / sneaky Wingnut like Schwarzenegger.

In conclusion, I believe being the anti-Schwarzenegger is more than enough. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

More than enough to win your vote, sure, but to win the state? Arnie is viewed as not corrupt, even if dumb. So Angelides - who smells a little - has his work cut out for him. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

Ah, the normative versus the positive.

I don't think it's enough to win just be the un-Arnold. But making excuses for Arnold - who is both smarter than he looks and more corrupt - won't help matters. 

// posted by RBR

Anonymous said...

Well, since I live in the state, I have to say thank you to LTG. I have to say that I have also noticed Arnie's change. And I have actually appreciated some of his practical questioning of things. And I am glad that I am not alone in my thoughts that voting for him may not be that bad. Of course, I would never admit it to anyone if I were to vote for Arnie, not that I will.

Like LTG, I am not hot on Angelidies and for many of the same reasons. I, like LTG, am tired of platitudes. Where is the high speed train between LA and SF that voters asked for and agreed to pay for? And why not crack some of the influence of teacher's unions who aren't doing anything to improve the lot of California's students. And why hasn't California been more aggressive in promoting alternative energies? Why haven't we reformed the property tax system in this state?

RBR, what Arnie did was ask the voters to basically consolidate California's debt. It was debt we would have had anyway. And all the states were in the same situation at the time. So I am not too concerned about that.

I am concerned about school funding. But I haven't heard a single candidate address that in a rational way. And that situation won't be solved until someone is ready to address the property tax issue, which is the 3rd rail of California politics. And I am not in favor of voting for someone in order to vote against someone else. And LTG is right that Democrats can't just run against incumbents. We need the vision thing.

That said, I do fear that Arnie is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I wasn't dissatisfied with Grey Davis and I wasn't in favor of the recall. Arnie is, for now, a very moderate Republican. This is due to either his prudence, his respect for the reality of CA politics, or to a strategy to gain trust so that he can slowly ratchet up the conservatism later. I am not sure. This is why I am cautious. He stumped for Bush, after all. I am not certain that the philosophical basis of his politics is that well established.

In any case, I am sick and tired of the CA Democratic party dominated by the (and excuse me but it is the truth) Latino old guard like Cruz Bustamante (He in particular bugs me this election season just because I am tired of seeing his ineffectual mug). Can we recruit Gavin Newsome? I want youth, energy, and fresh ideas that work with the values of my generation. In short, no one interests me.

// posted by USWest

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what you said, USWest (in part because you agreed with me...) but I'm not so down on Cruz Bustamante. He's actually not the Latino Old Guard as I see it, but a moderate from the Central Valley repping a district that might otherwise swing right. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

In the words of "Deep Throat" "follow the money." Teachers' Unions aren't the ones with the dominant influence these days - although they are still a force to be reckoned with. The prison industry is. Even when the state was virtually bankrupt (because of the actions of Enron who was protected by Bush and Cheney), Schwarzennegger has been raising spending on prisons and cutting spending on all levels of education despite promising to do the opposite. Prisons were the only part of the budget to get more money in Arnie's first budgets! And he borrowed a lot more money to do it than he would have had to if he were willing to raise taxes back to their mid-1990s levels.

Who benefited? Prisons industry people and fans of high incarceration rates and the high end of the income distribution. Who lost? Public schools, colleges and universities and the people who depend on them to get ahead.

// posted by Raised By Republicans

US West said...

Public schools always loose to prisons. The same damn thing happened back in 1990. It has been a long, slow slide since then.

I agree that prison spending isn't helping and we need prison reform. RBR keeps harping on the promises that were made and broken to schools and universities. But they weren't the only ones who were cheated. Local governments were cheated as well. Money was taken from them and then the number of unfunded mandates increased.

Until California voters agree to resend the 2/3rds rule for raising taxes and passing budgets (defeated in March 2004, Prop 56, 34-65%), we will continue to struggle. And until they repeal 3 strikes laws and lower the prison population and focus on rehabilitation rather than retribution (reforms to 3 strikes, defeated in Nov. 2004, prop 66, 47-53%), then we will continue to misplace our priorities.

In short, it just ain't about the governor. It is about the entire state government here. Everyone knows what has to be done, no one wants to do it.

This is a bit off topic, but has come up in our local papers. And I think it demonstrates a greater problem that goes beyond government to social attitudes. In our area, there is a local hospital that is threatened with closure. It is a hospital vital to your community, and everyone agrees. They came up with a great plan to save the hospital, but it would require passage of a half cent sales tax. I agreed it was worth it. It was tax money well spent for a change. Last ballot, it missed passing by 1%. Last ballot, there was a bond measure proposed so that local government could fix our schools. Buying bonds is voluntary. That was defeated. The lesson: everyone wants the services, no one wants to pay for them.