Arnold Vote Explained

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Mickey Kaus struggles with Gropergate and explains why he held his nose and voted for Arnold. A snippet:

We know he's a pig. We're not going to love him. If he's going to keep our loyalty it will have to be by producing actual results: a slimmed down government, a balanced budget, better schools, a better business climate, etc.

And if he doesn't–hey, we can always recall him.

Kaus's rationale may explain Arnold's strong showing, especially among realistic liberals inclined to vote Democrat. His whole explanation here.

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  1. Note the illogic s.m. koppelman commits via definition: Groping allegations = Arnie is sexual predator. Enron insider = Arnie is a corporate criminal. (What? did he own a lot of stock or something?)

    “I reckon Arnold will devote his time to right-wing fiscal policy…so that’s less terrible than it might be.”

    How in the Hell could reducing Cals. government spending be “terrible” at all??

    Also, On the cause of Cal’s energy crisis: The major reasons were a sharply increased demand for energy, a ban on new power plants, and only a partial deregulation of electricity that broke the monopoly of local utilities but blocked increases in retail electricity prices. California’s power crisis was a failure of government, not of the market. Davis deserves the blame that came his way.

  2. Kaus “held his nose and voted for Arnold” presumably so he couldn’t be accused by max power of throwing away his vote.

    I love it when those who have institutionalized the use of “throwing away your vote” fail to recognize that there’s a larger war going on: the war for a change in party dynamics (you want 2 party dominance forever?). The only people who are throwing away their votes are the ones who throw them at individuals and parties in whom they don’t believe. Got it, max?

  3. Rick-

    You’re absolutely right. Even in Ca that is considered so liberal, when push comes to shove people like to keep their money and want smaller government. It only needs to get so bad, and then we see normally uninterested people mobilize. Most of these people don’t exist as far to the left as the left political machines loud mouth would have us believe. What now needs to be explained is why Ned Rosco can’t get any momentum. It remains to be seen if Arnold will stay true to his promises. Based on historical data I’ll call it a 50/50 chance. Libertarians need to do some soul searching as to why the message that voters are willing to hear isn’t being heard when delivered by Libertarians.

    In other news did anyone else find Cruz to be really disturbing last night?

    Mudflap

  4. Andrew, what is “believe”? Do you decide? Are you the Pope of Voting, who will excommunicate those that cast their votes for different motivations than what you use?

    People in real life don’t act that way. What Kaus is saying that some qualities with Arnold outweighted others. Disagree or agree with his judgement of priorties, but to acuse the man of hypocracy because we weighted different values is unfairly judgemental.

    IT appears that acussations of “hypocracy,” like “racism” and “Enron” is just a stick people use here to beat people into submission.

  5. Mudflap: THe LP is associated with wackjobs (blueskinned druids), anarchists and extremists.

    That being said vote the LP over Dean!

  6. So now I’m one of the guys who institutionalized the use of “throwing away your vote.” I love the name calling.

    I hate the two party system. I have routinely railed against the deadlock held by the two big parties. I have often advocated, via time, money, or both, third parties and alternate voting systems such as approval voting.

    Nonetheless, I have recognized that (except in certain rare situations) voting for third party canditates has absolutely no effect in terms of eroding the 2-party power base. It is, for better or worse, throwing away your vote.

    Got it, Andrew?

  7. I’m not aware of Arnold having business sense beyond have financial managers who give him enough money to keep the cash coming their way.

  8. How does one become a real estate magnate in downtown urban areas (like Arnold has) without knowing how to deal with politicians? Isn’t politics just making deals? A deal-maker is a deal-maker.

  9. Television talking heads were yapping about the “exceptional turnout” for last night’s election. I went to the California secretary of state’s elections website, http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections, and found some interesting things:

    Last night (with 99.3 precincts reporting), a total of 7,804,406 people voted either “Yes” or “No” on the recall. The “No on recall” (i.e., “Keep Davis”) vote was 3,513,921. The Green Party’s Camejo got 209,657 votes. Together, all three candidates listed as “Libertarian” on the ballot received only 5,126 votes.

    Looking back to 2002, 7,738,781 people participated in the gubernatorial election(including the quarter-million who went to the polls but did not vote for governor). A total of 3,433,490 people voted for Gray Davis (with opponent Bill Simon losing by fewer than 400,000 votes). Peter Camejo garnered 393,036 votes and even the Druid Libertarian, Gary Copeland, got 161,203 votes.

    Now, I don’t know how the as-yet-uncounted votes (e.g., from the 0.7% of precincts remaining, and the absentee ballots) will swell the final total or change the standings, but at the moment the picture painted by the figures looks very different than the one you get from TV.

    Mr. Camejo is calling this election a “victory” because debate organizers had the courtesy to let him into debates including the “big one” with Arnold. Did he ever even clear the formal qualification hurdles for the big debate, or any of the smaller ones? Even so, with that big publicity push, and even though the election turnout was several tens of thousands greater than last November, Camejo lost nearly 200,000 votes, relative to his last showing. This is not a particularly convincing show of “Green” solidarity or strength, in my opinion.

    The Libertarians did far worse, however. Were any of their candidates in ANY televised debates? Hell, the California Broadcasters Association (organizers of the “big” debate) left a chair empty rather than give the unfilled slot to Libertarian party-endorsed candidate Ned Roscoe. Even a Druid was able to get over 100,000 votes last November, but all LP candidates combined (including the one who was listed as LP but thought of himself as “independent”) barely eked out 5,000 votes last night.

    The Green showing, as poor as it was, was the outstanding achievement of third-parties in this election. If you ask me, it came from party loyalty, as well as Camejo’s vigorous and fairly-well publicized campaign activities, which included the several televised debates. The Libertarians barely blipped in news coverage, and were ultimately unable even to get the same people who voted for a spitting Druid last November, to punch the card for more “sensible” libertarian alternatives this time around. What’s up with that?

    Despite the populist theme of this “historic” election, despite the unprecedented opportunity for citizen candidates and third-parties to make a big splash, and despite the hopes that previous abstainers would vote en masse this time, the truths of this election seem to be these:

    * The major party machines were validated — even the losing Democratic regime appeared to hold onto its recent voting strength.
    * Turnout remained relatively low, comparable with the last regular gubernatorial election — i.e., multitudes of disaffected voters were NOT brought into the process, although a few tens of thousands of additional people did show up at the polls.
    * Third parties lost ground in general (with the notable and debatable exception of Camejo’s appearance in televised debates, a courtesy that didn’t seem to do him much good on election night, and may not be extended to the Greens next time, owing to their relatively lackluster showings last November and even worse showing last night).

    Everyone is saying that the Democrats got spanked last night, and that some regrouping is now in order and long overdue. I agree in one sense, but in the sense that Gray got about as many votes last night as he did in November, I can’t see this as the “collapse” that so many pundits are trumpeting. On the other hand, the Libertarians (as a party) really WERE spanked, and the Greens had better not be so smug as to take their hype to heart, either. Camejo spun the results as Green strength, but the official numbers scream “decrepitude” to me.

    What do others think about all this?

  10. bennett, there’s a lot of truth to that, but the two are not precisely the same. How much carry over is there? Well, we’ll see, won’t we?

    “In other news did anyone else find Cruz to be really disturbing last night?” I found his “If it was my daughter, we’d settle it real quick” quote funny. Have you seen any full body photos of Cruz? Maybe he was going to unlease a flabbalanche.

    One news station in my neck of the woods reported this quote as “Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamonte is courting the Hispanic male vote by…” Because, you know, us white guys have no objections to having our daughters groped.

  11. Mudflap – in this particular election, AS used so much Libertarian rhetoric, it’s no wonder he sucked oxygen from the other L’s and small-l’s running (and there were at least a dozen of those, splitting with Roscoe). Heck, Camejo’s main message was fiscal conservatism and flat taxation, and McClintock went extremely light on the pro-life stuff (at least in the mainstream media that I saw).

    This was a 70-30 win for Lib messages. I don’t expect the actual execution to be so good, but the speechifying couldn’t be better for us. This should lessen the sting of the anointed candidate’s poor performance considerably.

  12. I think he had a number of successful business ventures, even prior to his acting.

  13. James Merritt-

    Nice analysis. Thanks!

  14. James–

    Good analysis. But remember, the LP is the only party for which any libertarian should even THINK about voting.

  15. James,

    Davis was a lousy standard bearer for the Dems, who only won his elections by having the good fortune to run against rightist bogey men. Against a candidate who didn’t scare the hell out of moderates and liberals, he got his ass handed to him. I’m sure this is bitter medicine for the California Democratic Party to swallow, but they’re better off for it in the long run.

  16. I am slow at typing and so on, so I hadn’t read Mr. Merritt’s post, but I’ll stick with what I said.

    Regarding Bustamante: On 54, he sounded passionate to me (albeit wrong). I thought it was a real dick move for the AS campaign to cut in on his resignation speech.

    Speaking of Bustamante/Mr. Whipple, does McClintock remind anyone else of Andy Kaufman, or is it just me.

  17. The score card is:

    Rhetoric: Some of the more visible candidates moved their rhetoric in a slightly more libertarian direction. (McClintock toned down social conservatism, Arnold talked a good talk, even the Green talked about balancing the budget and flattening taxes, which by the Greens’ pathetic standards is remarkable!)

    Action: I’m not holding my breath.

    Oh, and I voted for Larry Flynt. There’s a self-made entrepreneur who has gone to bat for the First Amendment! And, like, a porn magnate as governor would be cool, heh heh 😉 Arnold might do action movies, but Flynt can deliver the hot chicks!

  18. I think one reason the libertarians didn’t get many votes is because a lot of them may have voted for McClintock. Most surprising to me was a graphic I saw on cnn last night that said McClintock was viewed the most favorably of any of the candidates (52% I believe it was). So if people would have voted for who they favored the most instead of “the lesser evil” or whatever, this might have been a very intersting election indeed.

  19. Can Warren spell out “Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” for us now as an encore?

  20. The smart voter prize in this debacle has to go to Latino voters who failed to flock to Bustamante. He was and is a poor candidate for executive office, despite his experience and knowledge of Cal. politics. I think he will make a good foil for Governor Ah-nold if he chooses to use his expertise to his advantage.

    There may be a message there for minority politicians who believe their ethnicity will guarantee them votes.

  21. “There may be a message there for minority politicians who believe their ethnicity will guarantee them votes.”

    Until a white Christian male politician can no longer count on getting 30% just for showing up, let’s keep the party favors in the box.

  22. joe –

    Depends on WHICH white male Christian you’re talking about at any given time. Remember Steve Issa, the guy who dreamed the whole thing up in the first place and went away crying? About 450 of his closest friends were kind enough to vote for him anyway, but that’s about it.

    Ah-nold is certainly white, inarguably male, (Christian? Who knows? Maybe the Methodists would claim him, but the Baptists sure wouldn’t.) but he’d have been screwed if he’d have had to depend on the Austrian-American vote. 😉

  23. Who’s Steve Issa ?

  24. Besides which, Bustamante did okay despite a lousy campaign and an iffy decision to take Indian gambling money. He got roughly a third of the votes. Had Latinos come out in full force for him, he’d have done better. I don’t think anyone has call to scream racism in this rodent-race. Could certainly scream a lot of other things, but not racism.

  25. Excuse me, Darrel.

  26. And his other brother, Darell. 😉

  27. Actually, Rick, California’s Energy Crisis was caused by the following:

    1) Enron and other power companies came up with a “deregulation” plan for California

    2) California’s legislature and governor pass the plan in a last minute, end-of-term vote.

    3) The power companies follow the dereg rules. The companies that wrote the rules for the market laugh internally because their rules allow for easy manipulation of the unsupervised power market.

    Then you get your stuff about the lack of new power generation and a severe power crunch. And the whole system comes falling down.

    Basically, Enron was trying unhook itself from being a gas and power company into become an energy market broker, the middleman in the world’s power market.

    It was a good plan with very, very slimy execution.

    (Obligatory Disclosure – I work for a company with a vested interest in Electric and Gas Deregulaion. Which is why I am fascinated by the California debacle.)

    Oh…my favorite deregulation website…

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/chg_str/regmap.html

  28. Gallagher was a white male. He didn’t get 30%. Time for the little horns and streamers, right?

  29. The 30% had their choice. And they (surprise, surprise) went for the big guy with all the guns that they saw on tv.

  30. Joe wrote: “Don, lots of governors have to deal with a leg. that is dominated by the other party, . . .”

    Yeah, but the Cali legislature is dominated by the Dem left wing. I think Arnold will be at his best in dealing with the Dems, actually. Maybe too good.

  31. Andrew Lynch wrote: “The only people who are throwing away their votes are the ones who throw them at individuals and parties in whom they don’t believe. Got it, max?”

    Frankly, I didn’t see much in the way of third party alternatives. The best alternative to Arnold was another Republican. And, in any case, Cali is the reality I live. Making some statement that might work into some future third party gains is a low priority when you are looking at a potential Gov. Bustamante.

  32. James wrote: “The Libertarians barely blipped in news coverage, and were ultimately unable even to get the same people who voted for a spitting Druid last November, to punch the card for more “sensible” libertarian alternatives this time around. What’s up with that?”

    My guess is that the libertarians were all voting Arnold or Tom. Keeping Bustamante out was the big issue.

  33. Uhh… Don? Didn’t you pay attention to Camejo? He actually made the most sense when it came to fiscal and electoral reform, debated rather than grandstanded and came across as passionate and knowlegeable about the issues, rather than just parroting the policy positions programmed into him by paid advisors with long and deep connections to the status quo.

    I continue to be amazed at how easily people can be razzle-dazzled by fast talk and glitzy production.

    A hit musical-made-into-movie can trot it out, call it by its true name, shove it in your face, and make fun of it, and you still fall for it?

    California deserves what it gets.

  34. Oh, and matt… I concluded long ago that more people are concerned about “not throwing their vote away” than voting their consicence. There’s something in the human psychological makeup that drives most people to feel the need to cast their vote for the candidate that they think is going to win, rather than the one who they think has the best policy.

    They think that if they vote for someone who doesn’t win, that they’re losers.

    So, it becomes easy to perpetuate a two-party system by repeating the message over and over again “no one can win who isn’t a representative of one of these two parties. Independant candidiates never win.”

    And in some cases, it even becomes possible to engineer an outcome by repeating the message over and over again “this candidate is unbeatable.” Even when the candidate has major faults that would otherwise make him unelectable.

    Hypothetically speaking, of course…

  35. Bughunter, you bag on people for being fast-talked and but you yourself seem to have swallowed Camejo’s absurd economic policy ideas. If simply increasing taxes fixed everything then CA wouldn’t have been broken in the first place.

  36. ACK! All the lazy moralist Republicans have the Hillary Syndrome. Arnold Schwazenwhoozits: suspected drug user, gay orgy participator, sex offender, abortionist, lite-liberal ™, but HEY, he has some good fiscal tricks for Holloween!!! Come out of the closet you wacky Republicans to the homoeconomic celebration that is waiting for YOU!!!!

  37. We’re not republicans, you idiot.

  38. I slandered and libelled someone? Who? And how?

    Arnold did nothing to contest the sexual assault allegations–25-plus years’ worth–when they ran in Premiere two years ago, and he did nothing of the sort when the LAT rehashed and elaborated on them last week. Indeed, he went so far as to issue a mushmouthed, halfhearted apology. These are not the actions of someone with good lawyers on retainer who’s been slandered.

    His Enron connection goes well beyond stock ownership, and as we now know, there was no energy shortage or grid failure in California.

    Getting back to the notion of Arnold’s personal relationship with Milton Friedman trumping his 30-year trail of uninvited gropes and propositions in workplaces, gyms, TV studios, parking lots and elevators, which continued right up through the “Terminator 3” publicity campaign this year: Would the Reason contributors who held their noses have voted the same way if one of the complaints had come from their sister, girlfriend or wife?

  39. max, first of all you obviously can’t get past your own biases to actually listen to what Camejo was saying.

    His positions were sound, straightforward, and logical. Unfortuately, they are also very unpopular with entrenched Democrats and Republicans, because they call for reversing tax breaks for their wealthiest campaign contributors.

    Secondly, my post was in response to an earlier one stating that there was no viable third party candidate. I suggest only that Camejo’s positions were worthy of consideration equal to that of Arnold’s and Cruz’s…

    And third, if voodoo economics worked, the nation wouldn’t be in this fiscal crisis it’s in… again!

    Dispense with the namecalling and discuss the issues already.

    Oh, but wait, modern conservatism is all about namecalling and browbeating to distract us from the fact that their policies are unsound. Sorry, my mistake.

  40. OK, so to address the issues:

    The reason why the state economy is so bad in CA is because they’re not collecting taxes.

    – Prop 13 has prevented real estate taxes from keeping up with inflation

    – Career politicians keep cutting taxes for their rich campaign contributors

    – Corporations keep getting more and more tax loopholes

    – Nobody has the cojones to tax indian gaming profits

    At some point, when you keep garnering favor by not taxing people, your tax income is not going to be adequate to operate the state government. You can pass laws to siphon real estate tax funds away from local governments into the state coffers, but even that’s only going to last so long.

    How broken does it have to be before you fix it?

  41. “The reason why the state economy is so bad in CA is because they’re not collecting taxes.”

    Jesus. Did you used to call yourself “Lefty?”

  42. It always makes me laugh when people say California’s problem is not enough taxes. It’s like flat-earthers — it’s almost too stupid to argue with, when you look at how much the state’s revenues have skyrocketed.

    First, Indian gaming profits aren’t taxed because Indian reservations are not part of the state of California. They’re soveriegn nations, and in the federal govt’s eyes, they have about the same standing at the states themselves. They do pay millions in fees to offset the impacts of casino development and gambling.

    I’m also baffled by how many people don’t understand Prop 13. If you bought your house for $50,000, and now it’s worth $1 million, you’d be sleeping in the street if you had to pay 20x as much property tax. If you do anything to profit from the increase in your home value, like selling it or refinancing, you’ll pay more taxes. But if you do nothing but live there, why should your taxes go up?

    People say that shouldn’t apply to commercial property, but why not? If you own a storefront, isn’t the principal just the same?

  43. Sorry I didn’t read this thread earlier.

    Steve this ones for you…

    DODO DOOT DODO DOOT DO DO DOOT DOOT DOODLE DOO DOO DODO DOOT DUN DUNT DUNT DUN DUN DA DA DUNT

    A BLE BLE BLE BLE BLEEEP A THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

  44. My big disappointment isn’t that the Libertarian(s) lost (again!), but that in an election of nearly 8 million votes, they couldn’t get their guy into the debates prior to the election, and they couldn’t get 1 in ten of the people who voted for a Libertarian governor last November to vote that way in yesterday’s election. (Actually, if you count only Roscoe’s total, it’s more like 1 in 20!)

    The CA GOP, on the other hand, was considered moribund coming out of the 2002 election. What a turnaround! It’s a come-from-behind scenario worthy of World Wrestling Entertainment. Consider what the GOP needed to have happen in this recall, in order to enjoy total victory:

    1. Sitting Demo governor gone. DONE.
    2. Replacement is GOP governor. DONE.
    3. Recall approval and vote percentage for replacement governor must both be majorities, or at least the plurality for replacement must be larger than sitting governor’s plurality and substantially larger than challenger’s totals. DONE.
    4. Primary alternative party to the Democrats, the Greens, split Democratic vote and is in a better competitive position to do it again in the future. DONE.
    5. The primary gadfly and perceived rivals for the Republicans, the Libertarian Party, is crushed, humiliated and relegated to fringe status for foreseeable future. DONE.
    6. Third party approaches in general are dealt a crippling blow. The only third party now taken seriously is the one that most harms the Democrats. DONE.

    “Conan, what is best in life?” “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!”

    Here’s the thing about Arnold. He has a lot of smart Hollywood scriptwriters in his pocket, and any one of them can plot theatre such as we have seen recently, far better than any political hack in the Davis camp (or the DNC, I’d wager). California bought the ticket. I hope the show is worth it, but I’ll be damned before I pay the sky high prices for popcorn at the snack bar! (If that makes any sense.)

  45. Again from the right, I see more name calling than depth on the issues.

    – Indian Gaming. States cannot tax indian gaming because of federal law, not due to some inherent, inviolable rights. If the states wanted to tax gaming, then they could petition Congress to change the law. But no one is. Why is that? It sure would solve a lot of states’ problems. It’s a small segment of the population making a huge amount of money.

    Wait, what’s that you say? Every other small, wealthy minority that makes huge profits has some way or another to avoid paying taxes? Offshore tax havens? Repeal of the inheritance tax?

    Damn. I fucked up, I guess. Please excuse me for not coming to terms with the concept that the disgustingly wealthy should be immune from taxation.

    – Prop 13. I understand the numbers. Any idiot can understand those numbers. That’s why it’s never been amended.

    The point is: the effect of not raising property taxes AT ALL is beginning to severely imbalance state income with respect to expenditures.

    Something needs to be done, and it’s not an easy problem to solve. I admit I can’t offer a solution, nor have I heard a reasonable one. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.

    To knee-jerk react whenever someone says Prop 13 has problems and say “the average homeowner would go broke” is willfully ignorant at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

  46. s.m. koppelman claims that Arnie’s “Enron connection goes well beyond stock ownership” In his 11:01 post he maintains that this relationship makes Arnie a “Enron insider” and thus a “corporate criminal”

    In the link s.m. koppelman provides in his 6:23 post to back these attacks up, details of meetings with Ken Lay, Arnie and others are provided in which Ken lay is pitching ideas. A direct quote from the link:

    “It?s unclear whether Schwarzenegger held a stake in Enron at the time or if he followed through on Lay?s request.”

    Yet, this is the story s.m. koppelman uses to justify calling Arnie an “Enron insider” and “corporate criminal”!! Shoddy koppelman. Very shoddy.

  47. Better start working on that recall, I don’t see Arnie doing much until the economy picks up a little more.

  48. Arnold is totally out of his league. He will get rolled by the Democrats, and the Republicans in the leg. won’t stand up for him, because he’s not one of them, either philosophically or in terms of having paid dues and worked in the trenches.

    Governor, Senator, and President are not meant to be the first political office someone holds.

  49. “Governor, Senator, and President are not meant to be the first political office someone holds.”

    Why not? The last thing we need is more lifetime beaurocrats.

    You are probably correct, though, that Arnold will have a tough time with the Democrat controlled legislature.

  50. “Governor, Senator, and President are not meant to be the first political office someone holds.”

    Why not? The last thing we need is more lifetime beaurocrats.

    You are probably correct, though, that Arnold will have a tough time with the Democrat controlled legislature.

  51. If he’s going to keep our loyalty it will have to be by producing actual results: a slimmed down government, a balanced budget, better schools, a better business climate, etc.

    Puh-lease. I voted for Arnold too, but doesn’t a moment this unusual deserve something better than the same steaming pile of platitudes about results and streamlined government we hear every election?

  52. I agree with joe. This is going to be a very short honeymoon.

  53. PLC, you are aware that elected officials and career civil servants aren’t the same thing, right?

  54. If you consider that he is already the head of a rather large real-estate empire (he does or used to own half of downtown Denver, for example), the man knows how to play politics. He probably also knows how to act as an administrator and manager of people also.

  55. Career elected officials and career civil servants are one and the same.

  56. The important thing is that for the first time since Jesse Ventura left office we have a governor who starred in Predator. What’s Carl Weathers up to?

  57. Mickey Kaus is a liberal?

    Liberals make “slimmed-down goverment” (conservativese for “social spending cuts”) a priority?

    California could have done worse: it could have gotten a rigid right-wing theorcrat like Jeb Bush in the person of McClintock–who I’ll grant at least had a platform. I reckon Arnold will devote his time to right-wing fiscal policy but won’t spend too much time on right-wing social policy, so that’s less terrible than it might be. Still, it’s telling to see a consensus among California-based Reason staffers “holding their noses” in favor not only of a sexual predator but also someone who was an Enron insider during the very manufactured energy crisis that Davis was somehow blamed for, giving the recall momentum in the first place. Libertarian my ass. The guy does the intro for a Milton Friedman video and shows up to a couple of your dinners and boom, now you’re apologists for corporate criminals, no better than the WSJ editorial-page staff and the RNC. Look in the mirror. Somewhere along the way you got old and soft and became Republican.

    You want to decriminalize pot. Such rebels. Big deal.

  58. s.m. screams “Enron”!!!!! while committing slander and libel and expects to scare people into submission.

    sorry, but it didn’t work last week and, if yesterday is any indication, it won’t work again.

  59. “Career elected officials and career civil servants are one and the same.”

    That must be why they hold us in such high esteem. Not.

    Say goodnight Gracie.

  60. And the joes of the world wonder why the Democrats have ceased to be the populist party….never seen so many delusional elitists…

  61. Elitist? I observed (as does every poli-sci textbook ever produces, left right and center) that the two groups behave differently and serve different functions in the political arena.

    Even noting different shades of black is too much for some people…

  62. Check out what happened: First; Arnie announces for governor with a message of controlling government as a solution to Cal’s problems. The opinion polls are for him are positive. Then, Arnie announces Warren Buffett will be an economic advisor. Buffett postulates that perhaps the state needs to throw even more money at some of it’s problems and higher taxes may have to be part of the economic fix. The polls turn against Arnie. In reaction, Arnie allows how that every Buffett pronouncement is not a policy position, especially that one about higher taxes. The polls start to look better. As the Campaign continues Arnie’s message becomes more and more anti-government. He complains that: “All they know how to do in Sacramento is spend, spend, spend.” And, he says “No raising taxes! In the election, Arnie terminates the competition. If he really does follow thru with a “shrink the government” agenda odds are good that Arnie will land the roll for the sequel. The lesson for Republicans is clear: The anti government message still yields a very positive public response.

  63. May I, Kevin?

    “I’m going to cut taxes whether those bureaucrats in the state capital like it or not!”

    Montgomery Burns, populist.

  64. Oh yeah, add in Tom McClintock’s 13% (who’s message was more anti-government then Arnies) and it’s an over 60% termination!

  65. Arnold’s real-world buisness experience is more impressive than Davis and Curz’s political experience. Joe is probably right that Arnold will have trouble–not because of lack of experience, but because he has to deal with left wing Democrats in the lesgislature and the courts.

    Aside from that, Californians showed good decision making rejecting Davis & Cruz. I heard some exit poll results (second hand) that suggested people would vote “NO” on the recall if it looked like Cruz was going to win. If that is true, a strong showing by Cruz would have helped Davis significantly–maybe Davis could have held on to the seat if he had pumped up Cruz? Lesser of two evils, and all of that . . .

  66. Don, lots of governors have to deal with a leg. that is dominated by the other party, including here in Mass. It takes a certain amount of political skill and an ability to work across the aisle to do it well. It also helps to have relationships with officeholders from the other party. These attributes are unlikely in a governor with no political background.

  67. FYI,

    In addition to Predator, Arnold and Jesse also co-starred in The Running Man. Ventura also had a cameo role in Batman & Robin, in which Schwarzenegger played Mr. Freeze. In fact, that movie also casted a real living US senator.

    Hours well wasted at the Internet Movie DataBase.

  68. s.m. koppelman:

    Just what would you have us do?

    There were basically only two choices we could make: yes or no on the recall, and Cruz or Arnold as the replacement. Everything else would be throwing away a vote. Sorry, but that’s the reality of the situation. So are you implying that we should have voted “no” on the recall, or that we should have voted Bustamante into office? Or what?

    Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I understand the point of your post, except maybe to engage in some name-calling.

  69. “The reason why the state economy is so bad in CA is because they’re not collecting taxes.

    – Prop 13 has prevented real estate taxes from keeping up with inflation

    – Career politicians keep cutting taxes for their rich campaign contributors

    – Corporations keep getting more and more tax loopholes

    – Nobody has the cojones to tax indian gaming profits”

    Low taxes don’t hurt the economy. In fact, low taxes HELP the economy. The corporate “tax loopholes” simply indicate that there is TOO MUCH TAXATION. And, economically speaking corporations never pay taxes: the government simply uses corporations as an agent to tax consumers, employees, and investors, without these people realizing that they are being taxed. ALL corporate taxes are passed on to individuals.

    One might argue that low taxes contribute to the deficit. But the problem with the deficit is that it represents FUTURE taxes. In other words, the deficit and taxation are really the same evil thing, the deficit is just a little worse because: it is hidden; and there is interest. The only reason deficits are bad is that you eventually have to pay for them via taxes.

    But all taxes hurt the economy. They can’t do otherwise, since they conviscate money from those who created real wealth, and put it at the governments disposal for redistribution. The confiscation reduces the gain of real wealth creation. And the redistribution is inherently flawed since it isn’t done based upon real market values–the fatal flaw that brought down the Soviet Union.

  70. Re: Prop 13 “People say that shouldn’t apply to commercial property, but why not? If you own a storefront, isn’t the principal just the same?”

    Of course, companies don’t pay taxes, they just pass them on. Increasing the property tax on companies will make Cali companies less competative with out of state companies, put smaller companies out of buisness, etc. Those Cali companies that can still compete will be charging consumers more, paying employees less, etc. Who will suffer from this increased taxation? California consumers and workers.

  71. Bughunter says, “The point is: the effect of not raising property taxes AT ALL is beginning to severely imbalance state income with respect to expenditures.”

    Yet Gray Davis’ own budget figures showed that California’s tax receipts have grown ahead of both inflation and the rate of population increase for the last decade or so. Even the “drop” in receipts after the popping of the dot-com bubble still left overall tax revenues higher than the previously established straight-line growth trend. If one ignored the windfall recepits of the two bubble-boom years, California’s tax revenues grew steadily and healthily, year after year; if one included the windfalls, we clearly got a MASSIVE injection of cash for two years running. Any way you look at it, we had a wonderful cushion of BILLIONS from our prosperity.

    So, although Bughunter’s statement is technically true, that is actually because the excessive state EXPENDITURES are extremely unbalanced to start. It is our GOVERNMENT SPENDING that is way out of line, consuming the “regular” revenue growth of the past few years, the “windfall” revenues of the dot-com bubble years, and billions more besides.

    Even with the economic downturn, California today pulls in tens of BILLIONS more in tax revenues than it did in 1998. Yet in 1998, we were keeping our schools open and taking care of other aspects of government — many of the same schools and programs that are being shut down today. What happened in just five years? Did inflation destroy the dollar’s purchasing power? Was government actually about to go bankrupt in 1998 but we didn’t know it? Was all the extra money in the ensuing five years used to bring government spending up to merely “normal”? Or did our officials perhaps, betting that the boom years would continue forever, add employees, services, and entitlements into the budget like crazy — expenses we could barely afford at the height of the boom and must now cut so deeply that some leftists think we’re hitting bone?

    I would recommend to Arnold that he take a look at how big government was in 1998, and use that as a base year. Then, examine all government growth that has happened since, with an eye toward rolling back any spending or headcount that isn’t actually made necessary by inflation, population growth, or constitutional fiat.

    I think if Arnold can get California back to just 1998 spending levels (and who thought we didn’t have enough government just five years ago?), we can end the financial “crisis.” This could buy Arnold some time to contemplate further structural cuts in government size and scope, as well as his plans for making the state more competitive from a business perspective.

  72. “My guess is that the libertarians were all voting Arnold or Tom. Keeping Bustamante out was the big issue.”

    Careful there, Don. That’s the thinking that got the Democrats stuck with Davis in the first place.

  73. Bughunter

    Get your facts straight. Prop 13 raises property tax 2 percent a year. YOU do not understand the numbers. Housing prices in Ca are astronomical. More property tax is paid in Ca than any other state. Without prop 13 a 1300 sq ft house in the bay area would run you $7500 a year. Every time a house is sold it gets re-assessed and the taxes are raised accordingly. In the last ten years housing prices have nearly tripled and a lot of houses have changed hands. This is all unexpected income for the state. They have squandered it.

    To knee-jerk react whenever someone says Prop 13 has problems and say “the average homeowner would go broke” is willfully ignorant at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

    Your statement above is just plain stupid. My neighbor is retired and on a fixed income of 36 thou a year. His house is easily worth 3/4 mil. It’s just a 3 bed 2 bath. He would have to sell the home he raised a family in if he got hit with a $7500 bill every year.

    But all of that is beside the point. How do you justify taking someone’s money just because they own a house. Why not base it on penis size or I.Q. or age? Someone explain to me how any type of property tax is moral?

    I save and buy a house so I pay taxes. You spend your money on hunting bugs in Argentina, and pay no anual tax. Sorry, but fuck that.

    Mudflap

  74. “Conan, what is best in life?” “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!”

    Based upon a Gengis Khan quote, except it originally had something about making love to your enemies women.

    John Milius was big into Gengis Khan back then.

  75. “Uhh… Don? Didn’t you pay attention to Camejo?”

    Yeah, I paid attention. One Camejo falicy: he claimed that the recession was caused by crimes committed by CEOs. That’s false. The only CEO crimes he can point to RESULTED from the recession–they were covering up their companies losses, THAT was their criminal act.

  76. “At some point, when you keep garnering favor by not taxing people, your tax income is not going to be adequate to operate the state government.”

    Californians are taxed more than ever before. What California needs is deep spending cuts.

  77. I should add to the above: Davis, Bustamante, and Camejo all are just like an irresponsible consumer, running up a credit card bill. Except, the bill is going to be paid with someone else’s money. So, I guess they are really like a teenager running up a bill on daddies credit card. The problem is run away spending, not insufficient taxes.

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