This, ladies and gentlemen – I do mean Democrats – is how it is done. The LAT ran a front page profile today of Rose Ann DeMoro, the executive director of the California Nurses Assn., a 60,000-member labor union that has been giving Gov. Schwarzenegger hell, of late.
“He was on a roll, he was unassailable, and people told us we couldn’t take him on,” said DeMoro, sitting in a fourth-floor conference room at the association’s brick headquarters here. Two Schwarzenegger bobble-head dolls, one labeled “Governor Girlie Man,” roosted on her desk. “We take extreme credit for his poll numbers dropping like a rock,” DeMoro said.
Schwarzenegger’s once-soaring approval ratings have indeed plunged, and his sweeping proposals to revamp state government have stalled.
He can’t seem to attend a fundraiser free of boisterous union protesters, with chanting nurses often in the front ranks. And one of his favorite lines for diminishing his opponents — “I am always kicking their butts” — has come back to haunt him, thanks to angry RNs mobilized by DeMoro.
Although she was never a nurse – she used to organize for the Teamsters in Hollywood – during DeMoro’s 12 years heading the association, the union has defied labor-movement trends by tripling its membership, according to the Times article.
In her battle with the governor, the tide turned when Schwarzenegger egged on the nurses, and unleashed her fervor for street-level activism. “When Arnold attacked those nurses, he just fell into a trap, and there’s no doubt the nurses outflanked him,” said Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican strategist in Los Angeles.
DeMoro brands Schwarzenegger a “bullying” sexist. “I think he sees women as completely subservient,” she told the Times.