California Governor says he will call special election - page 3
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday he would call a special election "very soon,'' even as he prepared to meet today with legislative leaders for the first time to discuss an agenda he has pledged... Read More
Mar 25, '05http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/11227119.htm
Posted on Fri, Mar. 25, 2005
1,000-strong protest greets governor at S.J. fundraiser
By Dan Reed and Kate Folmar
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fundraising tour hit San Jose on Thursday evening, and while his wealthy backers dined inside the Fairmont Hotel, more than 1,000 nurses, teachers and others who oppose his agenda clamored outside, waving signs and generally raising a ruckus.
Boy, were they ticked.
``We're extremely mad,'' said Malinda Markowitz, a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and a secretary for the California Nurses Association.
``We're fighting mad, and we're not going to let this go. He's got to stop this.''
``This'' is a plan, according to protesters, to gut benefits for workers while sucking up to corporate interests.
Thursday's fundraiser benefited Citizens to Save California, a group of Schwarzenegger's business friends who are promoting his agenda for overhauling parts of state government at the ballot. So far, the group has collected nearly $5 million; Schwarzenegger is trying to raise $50 million to promote his plans: having judges redraw the state's political map; paying teachers according to performance, not seniority; overhauling pensions for public employees; and limiting how much the state can spend.
The governor has also been collecting donations for his re-election committee, even though he has not announced if he is running in 2006.
Teachers, nurses, parents and others have swarmed Schwarzenegger's recent fundraisers across the country -- from Ohio to the East Coast and back to California.
Some are angry about his agenda.
Others are miffed that the governor's definition of ``special interests'' seems to include union members but exclude big business donors. Still others are appalled at how his fundraising has outpaced that of Gov. Gray Davis, the man Schwarzenegger ousted.
But while many at the protest were willing to speak publicly about their concerns, those connected to the fundraiser were absent.
Hotel officials said they were directed not to talk to the press and insisted no one from the governor's camp was available there. A call to a contact number was not returned. The governor's press secretary declined to comment and referred a reporter to another press officer, who could not be reached.
Nonetheless, those outside the Fairmont -- a mass of chanting, sign-carrying demonstrators who lined the sidewalk for a quarter-mile -- were all too happy to get their message out.
Which was, in part: ``Hey hey, ho ho, the Terminator's got to go!''
Melissa Yamashita, a teacher at Mount Pleasant High School in San Jose, held a sign that read: ``Only girly men break promises to children.''
A teacher for seven years, Yamashita said she came out ``to be heard. I want to protect Proposition 98,'' which mandates a certain level of funding to education.
Mary Gonzales, a kindergarten teacher for Alum Rock Union Elementary School District, objects to, among other things, the governor's plan for teachers' merit pay, which she thinks would favor instructors in affluent districts and not those in more troubled schools.
Eighteen of Gonzales' 20 students do not speak English as their primary language. Overall, she said, Schwarzenegger's plans are ``a direct attack on collective bargaining.''
Mar 29, '05Quote from ThunderwolfYes, there is talk about attempting to amend the Constitution to allow non-natives to run for the most important office in the land. Luckily, I think Governor Ahnie is about to find out Middle America isn't as starstruck as California voters seem to be, and that it is going to be harder to overturn 218 years of Constitutional law just to put another actor in the White House than he seems to think!Arnold as Pres? Good God. Our country would go belly up.