There's a big special election today in California, aimed at trying to save the sinking fiscal ship that is the Golden State.
O Captain, O Captain, where can you be? On the other side of the country, sipping tea.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, rebuffed with extreme prejudice a few years back during a different slate of ballot initiatives, has opted to leave the state for a photo-op with President Barack Obama:
In a last-minute twist, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will miss his own special election today.
The governor flew to Washington, D.C., Monday night in order to appear this morning with President Barack Obama and other leaders to announce a change in the nation's automobile emission rules.
"Gov. Schwarzenegger has been leading the fight for California and 13 other states to regulate vehicle emissions," said gubernatorial spokesman Aaron McLear.
"(The) historic announcement will include a three-party agreement between California, the Obama administration and the automakers that not only allows California to regulate our emissions but also establishes a national standard."
The governor has also been leading the fight to pass six ballot measures that would help address the state's budget woes. Polls have shown that five of the six are in deep trouble with voters, particularly Proposition 1C, which would allow the state to borrow $5 billion from future California Lottery revenues.
For Reason Foundation's analysis of the propositions on today's ballot, go here.
For an analysis of how state after state, including and especially California in its post-Gray Davis era, got themselves into terrible fiscal shape, read Reason's great recent cover story, "Failed States."
And to learn just how bad the situation is—and the role of Schwarzenegger, public-sector unions, and others in bringing it all down—watch this video below (and go here for related materials, links, audio and podcast versions, embed code and more). "Hasta La Vista, Arnold: What California's Economic Mess Means for America" is about 10 minutes long and feature screen villains far more memorable than Richard Dawson in Running Man or Sinbad in Jingle All the Way: