As we reported last week , an advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was overheard in a phone conversation with the governor’s fat-cat donors to say that the push for a special election this fall would start with a campaign to create a “phenomenon of anger” among the state’s voters toward teachers, firemen and the state legislature. Schwarzengger’s campaign to foment hatred will begin on Monday, according to USA Today:
“I was sent by the people,” says the man who won his office in the recall election that ousted Democrat Gray Davis in 2003. “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any longer.”
His solutions are to make it harder for teachers to get tenure, to strip legislators of the ability to draw their own districts and to give the governor vast new powers to cut spending. The results could resonate beyond California, because other states often follow its lead…
An independent public poll shows 33% of California adults support such an election. The governor himself is at 40% job approval in public polls and just above 50% in his own internal polls. Not the strongest position from which to try to upend the political processes of the nation’s largest state. But this is a celebrity with little self-doubt and even less to lose, even if the initiatives are defeated.
“What is going to happen if everything fails? Life goes on,” Schwarzenegger said during a 45-minute interview Wednesday. “What do you think, I’m worried about that? I’m only thinking of one thing: victory for the people of California. … I’ve done my trip to glorify myself, to do all my things, and to shine. I’m doing this because it gives me a chance to give something back.”
The cost to hold the special election is estimated at $80 million. California in debt for $15 billion that Schwarzenegger borrowed to resolve the budget deficit last year – a strategy he was highly critical of during his campaign to become governor.