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ARNOLD!(32 posts)

Oct 7, 2003 7:38 PM
Voters fed up. Davis gets fired. Gubernator takes over.
39 daysmickey-mac
Oct 7, 2003 10:03 PM
I'll be interested to see whether Davis tries to pull any shenanigans during his final 39 days in office or attempts to go out with some measure of dignity and grace.
Congrats CA - You are now the most screwed up state!jose_Tex_mex
Oct 8, 2003 4:02 AM
Seriously, I used to argue a list of the worst states in the US. In order of worst: NJ, NY, CA, ... NY being there mainly due to NYC laws and regulations.

Anyhow, with this "recall," along with CA's inability to convict criminals, and disregard for the Constitution, I think you can safely say CA is by far the most "screwed" up state in the union.

Thanks CA for bringing us one step closer to the Barbarians at the gate.
That's sort of funnymickey-mac
Oct 8, 2003 5:57 AM
coming from a guy with "Tex" in his name. Yes, Texas, where half the legislature went into exile in New Mexico. Texas, where the state appealed Calvin Burdine's death sentence to the US Supreme Court despite the fact his attorney slept through much of the trial. Texas, where any party to litigation can gain an automatic trial continuance until the legislative session is over simply by hiring a legislator as "trial counsel." Texas, at least south Texas, home of some of the most outrageously high civil trial verdicts in the country.

Hey, we're not perfect here in California, but most of our "barbarians" are imports from other states.
All in a namejose_Tex_mex
Oct 8, 2003 2:31 PM
Believe it or not, I am not from TX, nor am I Mexican. While we are at it, my name is not Jose. To make a long story short the handle is a concatenation of what I always vote we do after cycling - eat Mexican/Texan food, drink Mexican Beer, and maybe go to Jose Tejas.

It fascinates me - the way people have automatically read in to the name - both racially and politically. Perhaps, I continue with it as a social experiment.

My list only had the top 3 - sorry if it offended you. I would expect TX and FL to be in the next few.

As for my opinion of CA, it does not change. Many Californians (especially those in power) appear to see themselves as Californians first and them Americans.

The expression "As CA goes so goes the nation" pretty much sums it up. Your state wants America to change around it rather than the other way.

Giving drivers licenses to illegals? Inability to prosecute the Menendez brothers/OJ, denying citizens their Second Ammendment Rights... The list goes on and on.

What exactly is happening in CA that is not going on in the rest of the country? CA hit it big with the dotcom's. When the bubble burst, who did you think get hit hardest? Nebraska?

But thanks for the historical Tidbits. Let's tweak the list CA, NJ, NY, TX, FL.
All in a namemickey-mac
Oct 8, 2003 6:07 PM
Obviously you have your mind made up about California, and I'm not going to change it. However, that "social experiment" sound fascinating. Maybe I'll start calling myself NY_Guido and snicker at all the people who assume I'm an Italian guy from New York. ;-)
largely correctDougSloan
Oct 9, 2003 7:25 AM
You are largely correct. However, with respect to: "Your state wants America to change around it rather than the other way," I don't agree. California doesn't give a rat's behind what goes on in the rest of the country. In fact, LA doesn't care what goes in the rest of the state (as long as it gets water), and same for the Bay area. Californian's typically believe that there is a vast vacuum between New York and Los Angeles, with nothing but desert and cows in between. It is sort of isolated geographically (mountains, deserts, ocean), has a relatively independent and diverse economy, and is all but its own country. Nothing outside California really matters to many people here.

you're nextmohair_chair
Oct 8, 2003 6:14 AM
The rabid jealousy with which some people regard California is really funny sometimes. Just wait. California has always been a trendsetter for the nation. The political change that just occurred in California will sweep across the nation within a few years. Laugh now, because tomorrow it's your turn.
it was a Jeffersonian revolution nmDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 6:30 AM
More of a Tory revolution.OldEdScott
Oct 8, 2003 6:47 AM
Initiated by conservatives, in hopes of returning to a parliamentary system complete with votes of no-confidence.

I just hate this. Not as a partisan thing -- hell I like AS a lot better than GD, who I think is an ass -- but as a good-government thing. Elections become meaningless exercises when you can upend them this way.
but this was an electionDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 7:09 AM
Last year's election was the one that was meaningless. Davis had a huge war chest. Before the primary, you should have seen it. Davis was running a hundred ads a day against Riordon, knowing he was the more dangerous candidate in the general. Negative, nasty, personal stuff. It was overwhelming. So, Simon gets the party bid, but he was a nothing candidate. Then, for 6 months Davis runs continous negative ads against Simon. We heard 50 times a day about Simon's legal troubles with this or that. Simon had no money and could not get media time to counter. It was pathetic.

Davis delayed exposing the true condition of the state budget until after the election. It was far worse than anyone expected, or at least could prove.

Davis never should have been re-elected. I think what happened is that the normal Democrats turned out, but there was no excitement for Simon whatsoever. The Republican turnout was pathetic. To win, Republicans absolutely must turn out when starting a million voters down in the state.

This election has a 30% higher turnout than when Davis was re-elected. That will tell you something. They were saying we screwed up last year.
Look, you can justify anything on the specifics, whenOldEdScott
Oct 8, 2003 7:36 AM
the specifics are bad enough. No doubt all you say is true. I have no fondness for GD, who has been poison for the Democratic Party on many levels.

But as a GENERAL PRINCIPLE, recalls are bad public policy. Occasionally (well, frequently) elections turn out badly. That's a shame, but that's just the way it goes. You can't keep having election after election until everyone agrees you got it right.

There is a matter of predictability, stability and even sanctity in being elected to a term, serving the term, and standing for re-election at the appointed time or leaving. The alternative is chaos.

If there were a national recall in place, George Bush would have been subject to one 37 seconds after the Supreme Court ruling, and we'd have had yet another presidential election immediately after the first one. The mind reels. It's TERRIBLE policy, however satisfying you, me or anyone else may find it in a specific instance.
still uncertain about that -- it's democraticDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 8:10 AM
I had been under the belief that the recall was started by a populist Democrat. Wrong. It was a "Progressive Republican," arguably somewhat similar to Arnold. Below is some history of the process and the initial proponent, Hiram Johnson.

The recall came in with the initiative and referendum, a "power to the people" constitutional movement. It skews the system from purely representative to more democratic government. It makes the politicans stay on their toes and responsive. I'm not sure that's a bad thing. How can you argue that "government by the people..." is bad, at least on a state or local level?

I wouldn't worry about the "slippery slope" effect. This has only happened once, despite 31 tries, and the conditions were just perfect for it now.

The recall mechanism for statewide officers and legislators in California first appeared as a constitutional amendment in 1911, one of several reform measures put in place by the Progressive administration of Governor Hiram Johnson. The most controversial provision of the amendment was the inclusion of judges, and the justices of the state Supreme Court in particular, among the state officers subject to recall. Proponents favored the amendment as another mechanism to fight graft and corruption in government. Opponents criticized it as a device that extremists and malcontents would employ to harass and remove honest officials.

Recalls have often been attempted in California against statewide elected officials and legislators. All governors in the last 30 years have faced some level of recall attempt. In 2003 Governor Gray Davis became the first statewide official to face a recall election. Recall efforts against state legislators have reached the voting stage, and four were actually recalled. Senator Marshall Black (R-Santa Clara County) was recalled in 1913, followed by Senator Edwin Grant (D-San Franisco) in 1914, and by Assembly members Paul Horcher (R-Los Angeles County) and Doris Allen (R-Orange County) in 1995. There have been many successful recall attempts at the local government level in California.

At the national level, essentially this power rests with the legislature and Supreme Court, through impeachment. Not the same, I realize, but at least there is a method for removing officials.

yeah, but...mohair_chair
Oct 8, 2003 8:22 AM
I agree that the California recall was a bad idea, in general, because it's a poorly written law. But it's basically the same thing as a no confidence vote in a parliamentary system, it just takes a lot longer and costs a lot more.

I think we need more no confidence votes in our system. In my fantasy Capra-esque world of politics, politicians who find themselves wildly out of touch with the electorate should do the right thing and step aside. Sadly, most of them are too stupid or too arrogant to notice. It's probably a truism that any politician wise and honorable enough to step aside in this manner is just the kind of politician we have to keep!

I think the California law will change, as everyone has seen major flaws in it, but the idea of recall is certainly sound when there has been malfeasance and misfeasance. Changing your mind or developing a strong distaste for the person you elected should not be reason enough.
If there's mal- or misfeasance, impeach 'em.OldEdScott
Oct 8, 2003 8:28 AM
That's the better option, because it requires proof of some hideous transgression. Not just, as you say, developing a distaste for someone you duly elected.

Obviously there are arguments on both sides. I just prefer our orderly system to the parliamentary one, which is where recall elections lead.
As long as there's a Texas, California won't be worst... (nm)The Walrus
Oct 8, 2003 11:19 AM
Thank Maria. She savedOldEdScott
Oct 8, 2003 4:37 AM
his ass. If Clinton had had Maria instead of Hillary, Ken Starr would still be a little known pornographer plying his trade in obscurity.

Wow. A liberal Republican as governor of Caleefornia. Gotta say, a pretty delicious scenario.
He will be unable to do anything.dr hoo
Oct 8, 2003 4:54 AM
Let's put aside the fact that he has not said what he will try to do with any specificity for a minute, and try to predict what will happen when he tries to govern. The best model would be Minnesota and Jesse Ventura.

Like Jesse, he will have no support in the government. The democrats will oppose his moves. The small republican minority will not support him much, given his liberal stance on gay rights, abortion, gun control, etc.

Like Jesse, he is talking about "cleaning things up" and not being a politician. Like Jesse, he is known for being a famous individual, NOT for working with others. Will he try to build coalitions to get legislation passed, or will he try to strongarm his policies through? Can he forge coalitions if he tries? Jesse failed at this, Arnold most likely will too.

Even worse, unlike Jesse he is coming into power with scandal dogging his heels. Groping, potential questions about Enron meetings, and a few others. Will he have to spend all of his time dealing with those issues, and how much will that distract him from governing?

Jesse also had the benefit of booming economic times. Arnold does not. Arnold also will be governing a state where the budget is locked up by initiatives, court decrees and referenda, to the point that only a small fraction of the budget is discretionary.

At best, he will be mediocre like Jesse. At worst, a miserable failure.
Yeah, but if he succeeds or isOldEdScott
Oct 8, 2003 5:19 AM
at least perceived as heroically failing against long odds, he may represent a rising tide of Republican liberalism!

Frankly (and here's a trade secret) Arnold's election is a HUGE and worrisome development. The Repubs have done a great job of building their base in this country, but they have peaked out (just as the Dems have bottomed out). The country is 50-50 (give or take a few points, depending on the prevailing winds that day) and will not budge. The ONLY thing that will move it in either direction decisively is for one of the parties to reach across the divide and snatch a chunk of the other's base.

Dems have no credibility when they try to be conservatives, even when they ARE conservative. People just don't believe it. So the Dems only hope is to keep the base jacked up and enthused, and shoot for 51 percent.

The Repubs' dilemma is, they just can't seem to stomach any stench of liberalism in their politics. They have, stupidly in my view, positioned themselves so rigidly that they too are doomed to hover around 50 percent.

But ...

Arnold absolutely breaks the mold. Admittedly, it's California. But still, California is a rock-solid Democrat state, and a Repub is now its governor! That is an earthquake in the Dem-Repub calculus of parity. And if the Repubs have any pragmatic sense, they will (I fear) learn a lesson here that could tip the whole balance decisively.

The Repubs aren't stupid. They know this too. It will be interesting to see if they can bring themselves to act on it. Watch local and state elections next year to see if they run a few test campaigns using tax cutters who support gay rights ...
The opposite spin:dr hoo
Oct 8, 2003 6:02 AM
The country still wants Clinton. Womanizer, social liberal, fiscal moderate to conservative.

Also, the dems are saying that the message that worked against Davis should work against Bush.

Your points are well taken, and I can see how that might turn out to be the case. However, I think the most certain effect will be forcing democrats not to take CA for granted in the national race for the white house. With the fund raising disparity, resources funneled into CA might make the difference in other key states.

We live in interesting times.
I think you're right, andDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 6:19 AM
This was largely an "anti-Gray Davis" vote, made all the more interesting by Arnold.

Arnold will have a tough time in Sacramento, but, considering the overwhelming mandate Arnold has received, the legislators better get a clue and work with him. If not, he'll be in the press every day telling us how he'd trying to do what we want, and these damn legislators won't help. We might see some more recalls of them, or at least a change of power come next general election.

I saw that over 25% of Democrats who voted voted for Arnold. That tells us that they want change. Everyone is fed up with high taxes, arrogant leadership, and the anti-business mentality that is running jobs out of California.

Arnold was certainly the most electable Republican. I like him, because he's about as close to a Libertarian we'll likely ever have. Fiscal conservative and social liberal -- isn't that fundamentally Libertarian policy? That makes him much more palatable to most Californians than a typical true Conservative, even if it means he loses some right-wing base. I think, however, that the right wing is wised up enough to know that someone like Arnold is better than a Gray Davis. Take what you can get.

I had a friend, actually a political guy like yourself, from Missouri and tell me that California is now the coolest state in the Union. Funny. We went from Eddy Haskell to the Fonz over night.

a premature forecast of doomStarliner
Oct 8, 2003 1:01 PM
Arnold and Jesse came in as outsiders, both from the entertainment industry, but there are a lot of differences which you have to consider.

Different backgrounds, different temperments, and different connections. I find it interesting that Arnold married into the most prominent political family in America, yet has set up camp in the other party. Could this mean he will be the leader he claims he will be, that he will entertain ideas and utilize expertise from both sides of the aisle. He's not the ideologue that Reagan was, but he does seem to have this forthright energy to get to work and to get things done anyway he can. Time will tell.
Let the recall begin.MR_GRUMPY
Oct 8, 2003 5:05 AM
It's going to be like South America in the early 20th century....Here today, gone tomorrow.
won't happen nmDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 6:19 AM
Agreed but the vultures will still pull at his fleshjtolleson
Oct 8, 2003 6:40 AM
I don't think anyone has the time, money, or stomache for a recall repeat, but those who are out to get Arnold most certainly won't go away. My guess is that even more will come out on the sexual harassment allegations and the pressure to answer them specifically will mount.

It won't result in a mid-term bounce from office but the risk of reputation-ending egg-on-the-face is substantial in my book.

Combine that with any ineffectiveness politically (which is almost a given for the reasons others have already described) and this guy's got a tough, tough road ahead of him.
Oct 8, 2003 6:57 AM
Yes, no one is going to allow Arnold to clean house unfettered. The LA Times certainly has an axe to grind, now, and it will hound him to his political grave.

However, unless the harrassment allegations amount to a crime or even a tort, inside the statutes of limitations (don't know if the women were his employees, also), there's not much that can be done legally. In the political arena, Bill Clinton has effectively given politicians a free pass on these issues now. His supporters, many of whom are key California figures, stood behind him and argued that his private/social life had nothing to do with governing, that it was no one's business, and the allegations were purely politically motivated. I can't see them credibly doing a 180 now. They got what they wanted with Clinton, and now have to live with that precedent.

Even Davis last night said don't do another recall. That would be hard to counter from his own party now.

I'm not sure he'll be politically ineffective. I think there is a clear mandate here to change things in Sacramento. If we got nothing else out of this process, we should know that. Those unreasonably opposing him do so at their own risk of ending their political careers.

Oct 8, 2003 7:13 AM
Mayor Willie Brown (San Francisco), who is a brilliant political animal and die-hard Democrat, made a lot of very astute comments last night on the news. One memorable one was that the state assemblymen and senators (of both parties) who were laughing at Arnold and saying he couldn't get anything done now have to look very seriously at the results in their districts.

This was the highest voter turnout in 20 years (upwards of 70%!!!), and Arnold got almost 50% of the vote. If these guys think they can ignore the will of 50% of the people in their districts, a lot of them aren't going to be around next election. Not working with Arnold on making real change could be a career ender.
yup nmDougSloan
Oct 8, 2003 7:27 AM
I hear the four horsemen approaching.... (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 8, 2003 6:50 AM
Confession from an angry voterStarliner
Oct 8, 2003 8:35 AM
Up to the last moment, I was no on recall and ?? on governor (due to Ueberroth having dropped out). But my positions were soft - I wasn't a big fan of Grey Davis, but he was not a crook, which was pretty much my acid test for recalling the guv.

But then came the last minute "revelations" of sexual harrassment and the attempted smear that followed. These kind of accusations are like milk, they have a short shelf life before they start smelling like the sleazy, slanderous crap that they are. The timing of them, and the fact that they appeared long after the fact was enough reason for me to dismiss them as the a bogus attempt at a political smear that they were.

As the smear campaign attempted to get legs through Gray Davis's efforts, and through the efforts of the media, I got angry.

The more I thought about it, the more things came up that fed the anger.... my digust with the the Republican's attempted Presidential coup because Clinton lied about his personal life, and now it was deja vu on the flip side.... Davis' continual fundraising, and his smear campaign to get the main challenger to his reelection bid last year defeated in the primaries......... the newspapers referring to the "Actor" in their headlines......

Manipulation, manipulation, manipulation. My breaking point had been reached. As I was listening to this talk show host on Monday morning try to stir things up over the sexual harrassment crap, I made my decision to cast what amounted to my f*** you vote to all that I was fed up with - yes on recall, yes on Arnold.

So now we have Arnold, and I have a hangover, and I'm not terribly happy. But tomorrow will come and there's always hope that it'll be a better day.
Confession from an angry voterbic
Oct 8, 2003 5:05 PM
Gee you live in CA and have no idea that G.D. is one of the most crooked and sleaziest politicians?
Arnold's first objective: Roadmap to Hollywood marriageHot Carl
Oct 8, 2003 3:02 PM
Even as we speak, Arnold has set up a peace summit. He has summoned both Jennifer Lopez and Benny A. to his private estate in Switzerland. The troubled pair will rely on Arnold's vast experience in conflict resolution to save their engagement. Many believe Gov. Davis failed to do enough to keep "The Beautiful Couple" on track.

The people of California have spoken. They want peace. The state's collective heart was broken when the marriage was put on hold. Further delays could send the state into therapy.