Governor Loses Big
Campus nixes ballot props
November 10, 2005 8:36 PM
Many voters who turned out for this month’s special election saw the loss of eight initiatives as a victory over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s agenda and a sure sign of weakness in the republican governor’s re-election campaign.
“ … If I would do another Terminator movie I would have Terminator travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have a special election,” Schwarzenegger said in a press conference held on Nov. 10.
“He intimidated the Democratic controlled Legislature – now they’re ready to tear him to pieces,” said Martel. "Because of his star power he came in with a tremendous amount of political clout. But he tried to destroy the power of the unions and the Democrats, and he won’t get the cooperation of the Legislature after he attacked them so aggressively.
“He has a tendency to blame teachers and state employees who are not responsible for California’s problems,” Martel went on, “the special election shows Schwarzenegger’s contempt for the bi-partisan process.”
Schwarzenegger, acknowledged the defeat of his initiatives during the conference, but said that the special election propositions were not influenced by republican ideals at all.
“I'm willing to work hard … to show (Californians) that I'm not to the right or to the left, that I just see things what is best for California, and (the last thing I think of) when I make a decision is, is this a Republican idea or is this a Democratic idea? I don't think this way. I just think about, what is the right idea for California?
“The message that we got from this special election was very clear … that the people want us to take care of the job right here in (the Capitol) building, and not to go to them if things don't work out,” said Schwarzenegger.
Public employees including the California Faculty Association (the union representing California State University employees) saw the special election loss of eight initiatives as a victory over Governor Schwarzenegger's agenda.
Some voters cited Proposition 73 as what motivated them to go to the polls. Frances Miller, 26, a fine arts/textiles senior, said she reluctantly voted no on Proposition 73 so 17-year-old girls do not have to notify their parents if they seek an abortion.
“All women of all ages should choose what they want to do with their own bodies,” said Miller.
“Abortion is frightening for any girl to go through. I think the measure was a good one to explore and I’m sure we’ll come back to it.”
Evan Ledesma, a 22-year-old art history junior, said he voted “no” on most of the propositions except for 79 (the enforceable prescription drug discount measure). However, he did admit that he could have been better prepared for voting.
“I had the opportunity to know more in my voter guide,” said Ledesma. “I have a friend in a union and he said ‘vote no on 75’ so I did.”
Along with the majority, Dell Brooks, 34, a political science senior, gave thumbs down to Propositions 73 through 78. Yet he said he was sad to see Proposition 80 (which would have re-regulated California’s energy markets) did not pass.
“I don’t see a plethora of companies springing up to put us on the road to using viable alternative energy sources,” said Brooks. “So as long as we’re dependant upon PG&E, I’d rather see them regulated.”
Physics graduate student Bill Caudy, 23, said the teacher tenure issue was the governor’s means to find a scapegoat for budget problems.
“The problem is not with being able to fire teachers but funding schools,” said Caudy. “I don’t want (Schwarzenegger) re-elected, but unfortunately people are susceptible to iconography. The fact that Schwarzenegger got elected in the first place shows that anything can happen. But he is definitely weaker now.”
The Republican Party’s domination of electoral politics is on the wane, said SF State Professor Anita Axt, a foreign language and literature department instructor.
“These two governorships (New Jersey and Virginia) maybe a very good sign that Democrats are getting elected,” said Axt. “This may be a trend for 2006.”
Ever since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 (initiative that limited taxes for home owners who purchased then), the initiative process has done more to paralyze California’s government than solve its problems said SF State history Professor Jules Tygiel. Initiatives take away options from the Legislature and the governor, which is why state government is often deadlocked, he said.
“I don’t see any realistic options for California,” said Tygiel. “One thing is to do away with the initiative process but I don’t see that happening. I would love to see the Democrats not bask in the electoral victory but come up with some real programs to solve problems such as education. You can only accomplish so much by being negative.”
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University