** Taping Warren Olney’s Which Way, LA? radio show this afternoon, which was especially interesting for the top-rated Spanish language DJ who devoted many days of his show to drumming up the crowd for Saturday’s massive rally in downtown Los Angeles, I encountered a new euphemism for illegal immigration. A graduate student on the organizing committee of Saturday’s rally took exception to my use of the term, which is widely accepted outside the confines of the very politically correct left, saying it is designed to appeal “to the conservative base.” He also saw no potential backlash because, well, that wasn’t so clear. (As you might suppose, I’ve taken a scorching on a variety of left-wing web sites for my “nativism.” If they only knew.)
The new term of choice for those who illegally enter the United States in their attempts to emigrate here?
“Entry without inspection.”
Somehow, I don’t think that will catch on.
** Former California Governor and current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown had a second debate yesterday in his one-sided contest for California attorney general with Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. This one occurred in Santa Clara, at the convention of the liberal California Democratic Council, which afterwards voted overwhelmingly to endorse Brown just as the group before which they debated on Friday, the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers. According to reports, the debate concluded somewhat swiftly, with Delgadillo departing after fielding a question about his relationship with a backer who he helped take over a flourishing community farm project in South L.A. to convert to his own use.
According to the former governor, Delgadillo cited his son’s birthday as he left. There is a question as to whether his son’s birthday was actually several days earlier. Brown says it is. Delgadillo spokesman Roger Salazar isn’t sure, but says Delgadillo had needed to make more time for his family on the weekend, flying up to the Bay Area for the debate and back to L.A.
** Tomorrow, the first big public employees union that had long been expected to back Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides alone but will not will instead issue a dual endorsement of Angelides and rival Democratic candidate Steve Westly. That is AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Also endorsed by AFSCME will be former Governor Brown.
** Veteran Republican operative Lyn Nofziger, a longtime top aide to Ronald Reagan, passed away today of cancer. He was 81. What I remember about the rumpled Nofziger, a hard-drinking former journalist from the old school who was Reagan’s sidekick press secretary during his long ’60s drive for California’s governorship (which I do not remember) and a top hand during his governorship and presidency, is that he was not afraid to admit when things weren’t going well. And to do it in a direct and colorful way. He did that with Reagan, he did that afterward. That is very refreshing. It can also be very effective. Candor buys more patience and tolerance. Which, in a counterspin way, makes it spin! Who knew?
Seriously, Nofziger, who was as conservative as he was pithy, was one of the great characters of American politics. It’s too bad we don’t have more like him around now.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign is today announcing its first TV ad of his re-election drive. This was first revealed here five days ago.
Arnold chief strategist Matthew Dowd is holding a 1 PM media conference call.
Details and updates to follow.
UPDATE: Here is the Arnold TV spot, available online now at his web site.
Intriguingly, most of it is footage of cosmopolitan liberal Democratic San Francisco and some of it – the lunch room shots and the closing shot – looks very much like footage from Arnold’s 2003 recall campaign. (I have all his 2003 campaign ads on a reel.) And is that anywhere in California in the opening?
Here is the script:
“Tomorrow” is a 30-second TV ad featuring a narrator talking about the good news in California. The governor does not speak to the camera, but is pictured at the end.
“Tomorrow is going to be a little better than today for Californians …
Because we’ve pulled our state back from the brink of bankruptcy.
We’ve dramatically reduced the state’s deficit
Cut the unfair car tax …
Reformed the workers’ comp system …
And created 500,000 new jobs.”
“Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership is making California work again.”
UPDATE: Dowd, who served as chief strategist of George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign and pollster for his 2000 campaign, describes it as “a simple ad” that will “track his (Arnold’s) travels” around the state. Its purpose? To highlight the economy and its improvements. Why now? “The campaign is a narrative.” It will point to “improvements and achievements” of the governor’s.
BUT AS REVEALED HERE LATE LAST WEEK, the advertising buy – which the campaign confirmed today is in the Sacramento, Bakersfield, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco markets also reported here – is quite small. In fact, for example, as of a couple days ago, it was to air only a few times on San Diego and Sacramento stations. One well-informed Republican source places the size of the ad buy at about $20,000, although it may be somewhat higher than that. Other sources were in the same ballpark, or lower.
I asked Dowd about this, posing the specific question of whether this is a demonstration buy or an attempt to move real numbers in the governor’s direction. Here is his answer: “All the early buys are done with no expectation to move numbers. The dynamic of the campaign won’t adjust until there is a choice between the governor and the Democrat. This is a way to communicate.”
“Some buys will be small. Some buys will be big. Some buys will start small and end up big. Some buys will start big and end up small. The fundamentals of the campaign won’t adjust until after the primary.”
There you have it.
I didn’t ask about why Arnold’s TV ad features somewhat romantic shots of San Francisco that look appropriate for a Bank of America commercial or a San Francisco mayoral campaign. Or why the visuals have nothing to do with what the announcer is saying about jobs and so forth. Or why they would be running an ad clearly featuring footage of San Francisco in parts of the state that despise San Francisco.
If Arnold is going to win, it will be in Inland California and Southern Calfornia outside L.A., places where shots of the Bay Bridge (reconstruction held up two years after the governor questioned the bidding), cable cars, the Financial District, and the shimmering nighttime skyline of The City By The Bay reflected on the bay do not “resonate.”
The explosive politics of illegal immigration, reflected in Saturday’s huge demonstration in downtown Los Angeles against a federal crackdown bill, has entered the California governor’s race. Right now, two out of the three major candidates are diving for the deck.
On Friday afternoon, the day before “Gran Marcha,” Univision TV correspondent Pablo Espinoza asked state Treasurer Phil Angelides, longtime front-running Democratic gubernatorial candidate, what his position is on HR 4437, the bill by Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) which was the main subject of the protests in L.A. and around the state and nation. Angelides said he didn’t know about it.
According to the Univision transcript, Espinoza told Angelides: “It’s the one at the center of the immigration reform debate, talks about criminalizing undocumented immigrants, it passed the House and it’s being discussed right now in the Senate.”
Angelides replied: “I’m not familiar with it, but if you send me some information today I can give you an answer later.”
Espinoza then asked: “What is your position regarding a guest worker program?” To which Angelides replied: “Depends on the details, I can talk to you about it later, let’s see if anyone here has any questions about what we are talking about here” (a teachers union rally outside the state Capitol denouncing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and demanding more education spending).
Ex-eBay honcho-turned-state Controller Steve Westly, the other Democratic candidate, returning from the East Coast, replied through his press secretary, Nick Velasquez. Westly speaks a passable Spanish and his high tech executive wife, Anita Yu Westly, came here legally from China as a child. Both their children are learning Chinese.
“He opposes it,” says Velasquez. “It criminalizes undocumented workers in this country, which isn’t good for public safety, the budget, or the problem of illegal immigration at all. The Controller believes we need sensible reforms of our immigration laws – not draconian approaches.”
And a guest worker program? “We should first address the status of immigrants already here. He (Westly) is open to a guest worker program for jobs that are difficult to fill. In the past he has indicated his support for guest worker legislation like Kennedy-McCain, which would have offered undocumented workers already here a path toward permanent status while at the same time strengthening border enforcement.”
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office didn’t have answers about the Sensenbrenner bill or a guest worker program for Univision. Nor did his political associates have answers for me when I asked.
Later, Angelides spokesman Brian Brokaw told Univision off camera that the treasurer “opposes it,” referring to the Sensenbrenner bill, offering to send along more specifics later on that and any position on a guest worker program, which Espinoza says he never received.
It’s rather surprising that, as the transcript reflects, Angelides said he didn’t know what the bill was, given its central role at rallies around the nation. But Espinoza says that it is not unknown for Anglo politicians to want to talk with the Spanish language network away from the rest of the press corps on controversial issues.
And this is certainly a highly controversial issue. Although it is not 1994, illegal immigration ranked as a major sore point in public and private public opinion polls even before the massive rallies put it in people’s living rooms. The Field Poll last month showed a strong majority of California voters believing that illegal immigration hurts the state. A Zogby poll had more than 60 percent nationally wanting tougher laws on illegal immigration. Republican sources say their private polls consistently show illegal immigration one of the top issues of concern.
Indeed, Schwarzenegger is trying to find his way on illegal immigration as he works his way toward a re-election message. His ending of the bill to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants was highly popular in November 2003 and internal polling shows it to be one of his most popular acts as governor.
In what looks to be a close election this fall, Arnold associates view illegal immigration as a major wild card issue that could redound to their candidate’s benefit. They just haven’t figured out the play yet.
Meanwhile, Univision will have the two Democratic candidates, Westly and Angelides, on its statewide pubic affairs show hosted by Espinoza, Voz y Voto, next month. I’ll be covering the taping.
… One (Slate and New Republic veteran Mickey Kaus) agreeing with me that there just might be a backlash from this. And one old friend (Nation and LA Weekly veteran Marc Cooper) saying, rather emotionally, that there is no problem at all.
[11:40 PM UPDATE: Mickey Kaus over at Slate reports that the Los Angeles Times has amended its original story - which mentioned marchers with American flags at the top and marchers with Mexican flags late in the piece -- to omit any reference to Mexican flags at all. Isn't that nice?]
What we have here is an enormous rally, the largest of many around the country, seeking to justify and in essence legalize what has been a massive wave of illegal immigration into this country. If there was someone joining the ralliers in downtown Los Angeles yesterday who does not support that massive wave of illegal immigration, that person was quite lost. But support for the illegal immigration was the minimum requirement for participation. There were also some who favor an open border, which would make what we have seen so far, controversial enough, seem small.
I am no expert on immigration policy, nor on Latin America. But I have been participating in and analyzing California politics and Presidential politics for a few decades. Illegal immigration has been a significant factor in those politics for a long time. I first began writing about the potential impacts of illegal immigration on California politics in 1991. However one might wish it otherwise and rationalize it away, it is difficult to be a serious political analyst and not acknowledge the potentially significant impacts on, among other things, the California governor’s race, of such events. We saw it here in dramatic fashion in 1994, after all. Even the late Miguel Contreras, L.A.’s famous left-liberal labor chieftain, saw the danger and tried to persuade his protege Fabian Nunez not to participate.
We’re not in the middle of a recession now but we are in the midst of a period of significant economic anxiety. Illegal immigration has rated consistently high on a list of concerns in public opinion polling, but it has not been a hot button issue. Events like yesterday’s can change that.
Updates and perspective coming on today’s big pro-illegal immigration rally in downtown Los Angeles …
I don’t refer to illegal immigrants as undocumented workers and I don’t call riots civil disturbances.
The rally has drawn somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000-plus participants. The latter estimate contained in a pro-rally article filed this afternoon in the Los Angeles Times, which describes the participants thus: “The marchers included both longtime residents and the newly arrived, bound by a desire for a better life and a love for this country.”
That is a very romantic view. This rally, like others around the country, is to oppose a U.S. House bill that would crack down on illegal immigration. The purpose of the rally is to enable people who have already broken the law in their coming to California and America to stay here. People came here illegally out of self-interest. They seek to stay here illegally out of self-interest.
The rally seems definitely larger than the famous event in the fall of 1994, in which some 100,000 marched in L.A. in opposition to Proposition 187, the ballot measure backed by then Governor Pete Wilson. As a senior advisor to the Democratic Party, along with others, I advised that the party’s candidates, from gubernatorial nominee Kathleen Brown on down but especially Kathleen, actively oppose Prop 187, for several reasons; in short form, because the initiative was mean-spirited (tossing children out of school is always a bad idea) and because of long-range politics.
She did so, because she saw that Prop 187 was a draconian device. The net effect was two-fold: She lost the election (which by that point she was probably going to lose anyway) and the Republican Party lost the Latino vote. Incidentally, there were top Democrats who wanted her and the slate to stay neutral or at least quiet about Prop 187.
During that campaign, there was a moment in which support for Prop 187 faltered and slipped. The giant rally in L.A. against it mobilized the pro-illegal immigrant community but also had the effect of stimulating a reaction against their cause from the far larger community of American citizens who want people to respect the law.
Last summer, I discussed this with one of those 1994 marchers who today spoke at the rally, then labor organizer/now California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
““I know I come from an advocacy background,” says Nuñez. “But I learned a lot about negotiation with Miguel (Contreras, the late Los Angeles labor chieftain) and the labor movement. It wasn’t all protest. You know when we had the big march in L.A. against [the anti-illegal immigrant] Proposition 187 in ’94, Miguel tried to talk me out of it. ‘Are you guys crazy?’ he said. But I wanted to march.”
“Nuñez acknowledges that the march, notoriously replete with Mexican flags (which he opposed), may have helped fuel 187’s landslide victory. “But it was the right thing to do. And we mobilized people who had felt powerless under attack,” he notes, arguing that it sowed the seeds for future victory.”
Will today’s massive pro-illegal immigrant rally in L.A., like others elsewhere in the country, sow the seeds for future victory? And what would that victory be? Or will it reap a backlash from the still far larger numbers of Americans who oppose illegal immigration and worry about its economic and cultural effects?
Was this rally necessary to defeat a bill that George W. Bush does not support? Will it make illegal immigration — an issue which consistently ranks high in the polls but not necessarily a hot button issue — a front and center issue in the California governor’s race? And which message-less candidate do we think that would benefit at this point?
Like Nunez and the others in 1994, a massive number of pro-illegal immigrant ralliers today “wanted to march.” We’ll see what the effect of it is.
We can use a real debate in this country about illegal immigration. As it is now, the Border Patrol is more a regulatory agency than a real law enforcement agency, making an effort to moderate the number of people coming here and staying here illegally, not to actually end the practice.
The dirty little secret is that California and America both benefit from and are hurt by illegal immigration. Having a large and growing pool of low-paid workers is good from an economic efficiency standpoint. It is bad from the standpoint of propping up wages in an era of globalized competition. (Among other things, it has played a huge role in the decline of the United Farm Workers.) Illegal immigrants both pay taxes, in many though hardly all cases, and are large consumers of public services. There are also major cultural impacts. I’d like to see an informed discussion about this. I don’t see it.
CLEARING UP THAT DEBATE “AGREEMENT”: While I was on the road yesterday, it was reported in a few places that an agreement has just been reached for California’s two Democratic gubernatorial candidates to debate before the League of Conservation Voters on May 3rd. Well, yes. And no. Actually, that agreement was reached weeks ago. So while it has been reached, it has not just been reached, making it old news. What have not been established — even now — are the ground rules. The posturing between the two campaigns around debates is reaching a new level. With a press release from Phil Angelides, who had previously rejected another debate accepted by Steve Westly, announcing the already agreed to environmental debate and two others he has decided to accept, among the many invitations the candidates receive.
There will be debates, of course. Almost certainly the environmental one, now that Westly has joined Angelides in gaining endorsement from the Sierra Club, although that may be unwise, and perhaps one or two others. But the history of Democratic gubernatorial primary debates is not a wildly extensive one. Two in 1994 featuring Kathleen Brown, John Garamendi, and Tom Hayden (widely viewed as the debates’ winner, but the 3rd place finisher in the primary). One in 1998 featuring Gray Davis, Jane Harman, and Al Checchi. No one was viewed as the clear winner in that debate, although amusingly many reporters wrote that Republican Dan Lungren, who also participated in the open primary format, was very impressive and a serious threat for the fall. Davis buried him in a 20-point landslide, and also wiped out his Democratic rivals in the primary despite the inconclusive nature of the debate among the three.
** A few, make that a very few, readers have asked why I’m not giving much coverage to the Democratic primary race for state attorney general between former California Governor and current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. The answer is simple. I will cover it if it becomes a race. The two debated yesterday in the Bay Area.
Delgadillo, who trails by large margins in the polls and in fundraising — although his consulting firm told me that Delgadillo would be the biggest non-gubernatorial fundraiser in the latest reporting period by far (he actually trailed Brown even in the recent period) — reportedly threw a number of charges at Brown. Brown parried forcefully but did not respond in kind. The L.A. Weekly has covered Delgadillo’s woes as a city official, in his current office and as Republican Richard Riordan‘s deputy mayor, in Los Angeles. No need to go into them now.
California-based Democratic political consultant Gale Kaufman has won the National Campaign Manager of the Year Award from the Association of American Political Consultants.
Kaufman won the award for her role in defeating all four of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Year of Reform” initiatives in the special election he called for November 2004. She was chief strategist for the Alliance for a Better California (ABC) labor coalition, a unique effort bringing together a number of unions which had not previously coordinated their political activities. The campaign Kaufman played the lead role in developing and directing utilized aggressive attack PR tactics, on-the-ground organization, and very effective media advertising to help bring the former action superstar’s once record popularity ratings into the cellar and to shoot down his four initiatives.
In 2004, Kaufman, who is also chief political strategist for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, played a similar role in helping defeat the Schwarzenegger slate of legislative candidates.
On a personal note, there are a number of things I’ve disagreed with her about, but even when she’s wrong, she makes sense. Seriously, I would be hard pressed to think of anything she said about those elections of 2004 and 2005 which did not prove to be accurate. Which is not entirely common.
Winners of this award in past years include Californians Garry South, Kam Kuwata, and George Gorton.
Just like that.
** The new Steve Westly for Governor TV ad is slated to hit the airwaves at noon today. I haven’t seen it yet and will post a web link to the spot when I have one.
** Meanwhile, at this late morning hour, Westly’s Democratic opponent, Treasurer Phil Angelides, is joining leaders and members of the California Federation of Teachers for a protest march and rally at the State Capitol calling for more education spending and, yes, the ouster of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
** Here is the Westly TV ad featuring the just announced Sierra Club endorsement, airing now in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento markets. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that this spot is a recut version of the previously seen glossy environmental montage ad which closes with the controller standing before a mountain lake talking to viewers through the camera. Angelides has made no change in his television.
For many months, most political insiders, especially those in rather insular Sacramento, have fully expected state Treasurer Phil Angelides to be the Democratic nominee for governor of California. He was getting all the Democratic interest group endorsements, he was leading in all the polls, and as a wealthy developer, Sacramento native, and capital fixture who was a very successful state Democratic Party chairman and a two-term treasurer, he was much better known to insiders than his Democratic rival, eBay honcho-turned-state Controller Steve Westly, whose natural haunts are Stanford and Silicon Valley. But with ten-and-a-half weeks to go until California’s June primary, things are changing.
Later this morning, the Sierra Club, which Angelides had long expected to choose him, according to inside sources, will endorse Westly and Angelides together. This follows on the heels of another symbolically important endorsement, that of the National Organization for Women, which was also expected to endorse Angelides alone but instead endorsed the two men. And, since Westly will have a lot more money to run TV ads touting his endorsement by the Sierra Club, more California voters will consider him to be the environmental choice than the long perceived frontrunner.
That leads into another element of what may be a turning of the tide in what has in reality been a wide open Democratic primary race for months. Westly, as noted in reports here and in many other publications, had a significant financial edge in the latest campaign reports covering January 1 to March 17. He entered the year with a sizable edge over Angelides, who has been raising money for this race for the past few years, with $24 million in cash on hand to Angelides’ $17 million. Now his $7 million edge has increased to $8.5 million, with $23 million to Angelides $14.5 million.
The tone in daily newspaper reports about the two changed this week in the wake of the financial reports (although conventional wisdom persists), with Angelides cast in the catch up position. Although he raised a little more than twice the money Westly collected, Westly’s financial advantage increased even as he spent more money on TV advertising than the Democratic frontrunner. That’s because Westly, one of the big winners in the dotcom boom for his role in helping steer the globally famous cyber commerce pioneer eBay, simply has a lot more money to employ on behalf of his candidacy. Expect that edge to continue and probably increase as his TV advertising broadens to all media markets in the state beyond the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento markets in which he and Angelides are currently competing.
If neither Democratic campaign got any more money, Westly could out-spend Angelides on the air by about a two to one margin. Since Westly has been buying more time in advance than Angelides, hence paying less and getting more, that edge is a little greater. Of course, both campaigns will have more money.
The Westly financial and advertising edge is already being seen in a few private polls, even though Angelides continues to have a higher name ID factor. Not that Angelides is very well known among actual voters. And interest group leaders aware of this, including in organized labor, express no hostility toward the former Stanford business school lecturer and student activist.
Not that either Democrat can draw much of a crowd. Most Californians are becoming aware of them only now. But Arnold doesn’t draw nearly the crowds he used, to either. Election fatigue is deep.
Team Schwarzenegger is not unaware of these developments. Speaking on background, some around the governor admit that they have long prepared for a race against the more liberal and partisan Angelides, and say they have relished the opportunity. But now they know they may not get that “opportunity.” They are not pleased.
Arnold is in an interesting place now. As I’ve reported, he is booking a limited TV ad buy next week in Sacramento, Bakersfield, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. But although he is currently flush, at least relative to his deficit situation after last year’s special election, he doesn’t have the cash in his account to mount a big advertising drive at this point. So he relies mainly on an independent expenditure effort on his behalf by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, previously reported here, cast in the guise of an issue advocacy campaign to shield the identity of contributors even though the ads now running do nothing but extol Arnold’s record in contrast to the Gray Davis years.
But the rise of the national chamber to Arnold’s defense is matched by the return of the Alliance for a Better California (ABC) labor coalition to Arnold’s life. ABC devastated Schwarzenegger’s “Year of Reform” agenda last year and shredded his image. They will be dogging him at his big fundraising events now. And we should not be surprised if we see ABC TV ads criticizing Arnold as a failed governor in the near future.
The former action superstar is still trying to recoup from his failed bid to get some version of his Big Bang Bonds infrastructure package on the June ballot. He held a “Big Five” meeting with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders Wednesday night. Democrats say he “punted” the ball back to them. Nothing has happened since the meeting.
In Schwarzenegger’s view, according to inside sources, the push for the June election bonds package failed through no fault of his own. Nor was it a matter of Republican legislators not coming through for him. Instead, the setback boiled down to feuding between Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata getting in the way of a deal.
Of course, that’s not quite what happened. Until the governor understands his role in the setback, he is unlikely to have much more success.
** THAT ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TV AD BUY I reported yesterday is looking a bit unusual. In addition to limited buys in the Sacramento and Bakersfield markets next Monday and Tuesday, I’ve learned today that he also has a TV ad buy in the San Diego market. A very small buy. Don’t blink.
9:30 PM UPDATE: Informed sources say that the Schwarzenegger campaign has also made small TV ad buys in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets.
** How happy do we think the chief of staff is? After serious negotiations with the governor over her extra pay — her famous quote in the San Francisco Chronicle, “I’m a 45-year old woman with a mortgage” — controversial Democratic operative-turned-Schwarzenegger supremo Susan Kennedy is getting IOUs from Arnold in lieu of her $7500 a month campaign consulting fee which supplements her $130,000-plus salary from the taxpayers. Meanwhile, newbie campaign manager Steve Schmidt, still finding his way around upstate California, is raking in a cool $52,500 a month. Which, when you add in a possible winner’s bonus, does not make the report I was given when he was hired — that his deal with Arnold is for an amazing million bucks — as crazy talk as I thought. It looks like the boys still get all the money, as some Democrat working for California’s most famous Republican once put it.
** Last night’s “Big Five” meeting reported here, between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic and Republican legislative leaders on their next steps for moving some version of the big infrastructure bonds package forward, seems to have come up with little so far. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata summed up afterward saying the governor was urging a legislative solution. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez continues to hold out some hope for the school construction and levee repair bonds passed in his house. Republican sources say their caucuses are less than enthused.
6 PM UPDATE: Our friend Sac Bee columnist Dan Weintraub has a different spin on this, that the “Little Four” of Democratic and Republican legislative leaders are working on a package to present the governor. The Democratic version, since you insist, sans euphemism, of the reality coming out of last night’s “Big Five” meeting with Arnold is that the governor has “punted” the issue back to the Legislature. A deal will happen when it happens. Nothing happened today. Don’t wait up.
** That Survey USA poll reported here the other day showing Arnold with a 36% job approval and 61% job disapproval rate also ranks the nation’s 50 governors and their scores. Schwarzenegger, once the biggest movie star on the planet, ranks 46th out of 50. He is only two points ahead of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, widely panned for her performance during that little crisis called Hurricane Katrina. In another index of Republican trouble around the country this year, Blanco was the only Democrat in the Bottom Five.
** Our ABC labor coalition friends are scandalized by the Arnold campaign spending $340,000 on jets in two-and-a-half months. Ah, that is what the campaign spends. Yet here is another take: “Waddaya want to be, some $400,000 a year working stiff, flying first class? No. What you want to be is … Liquid. With enough money not to waste time!”
The first person to identify the source of that quote wins a prize to be determined later.
AND THE WINNER IS: Earl Warren. Governor, for your perspicacity in swiftly identifying the source of this quote, you are now the proud owner of … Blue Star Airlines. Yes, congratulations! Now, it might not be quite as cool a prize as the job everybody wants, that of checking Arnold’s speeches to make sure they sound like Arnold, but it will keep you flying in style throughout the 20th century.