Schwarzenegger Prepares to Do Battle in Calif

  1. Is it only a game to him?
    For patients who lose their lives, students who fail to get a proper education unless they can afford private schools, people with pensions that have been handed over for abuse like Enron, they are lives in the balance.

    Schwarzenegger Prepares to Do Battle in Calif.
    GOP Governor Increasingly Partisan, Opponents Say

    Monday, March 28, 2005; Page A01

    SACRAMENTO -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came to office 16 months ago determined to shake the political system to the core, but few envisioned the boldness of his ambition. Today, he is girding for what could be the most contentious political confrontation the nation's most populous state has seen in years.

    The battle, between the Republican governor and a coalition of public-sector unions and their Democratic allies in the legislature, might yet be avoided.
    Schwarzenegger maintained last week that his door is open to negotiation on an agenda that includes political, budgetary and education reforms.

    But during an interview in his spacious Capitol office, the celebrity governor gave every indication that he relishes the opportunity to defeat, not compromise with, his opponents. When it was suggested that Schwarzenegger sounded as though he would be disappointed if a face-off were averted by compromise, he responded without hesitation. "There's something very attractive about it," he said. "You're absolutely right."...

    ...The battle started in January, when Schwarzenegger used his State of the State address to aim a series of thunderbolts at the political establishment. He spent his first years grappling with California's budget deficit, which remains severe despite a rebounding economy. In January, rather than keeping his focus strictly on the budget, he opened up a multi-front war, to the surprise and consternation of his opponents.

    Schwarzenegger is challenging the status quo and the Democrats' coalition on several fronts. He wants a rigid limit on state expenditures that would impose across-the-board cuts when spending exceeds revenue. He proposes to change the state pension system by replacing defined benefits with individual accounts for newly hired workers, patterned after private-sector 401(k) accounts and in the spirit of Bush's Social Security plan.

    He is defying the education establishment and the California Teachers Association by backing merit pay for teachers and a change in tenure requirements. He is at war with the California Nurses Association over staffing ratios at hospitals. And in a battle other states are watching closely, Schwarzenegger wants to take the power to draw legislative and congressional district boundaries away from the legislature and put an independent panel of judges in charge of redistricting. ...

    ...Schwarzenegger has roused widespread opposition. Now when he travels the state, in addition to crowds of enthusiastic supporters, he is met with protesters: nurses, teachers, firefighters, police and correctional officers, PTA leaders. Schwarzenegger labels them all special interests and inflamed matters when he dismissed the protests of nurses at a women's event last December. "The special interests don't like me in Sacramento because I am always kicking their butts," he said.

    The battles have begun to take a toll on his image. The Field Poll reported in February that Schwarzenegger's approval rating had fallen from 65 percent in September to 54 percent, with particular erosion among Democrats and independents. A poll completed last week for the teachers association put his approval rating at 42 percent, pollster Mark Mellman said.

    "I don't think I've ever seen a governor who has caused such visceral division, attacking nurses, teachers, police officers and firefighters," said state Treasurer Phil Angelides, a longtime critic who is running for the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. "This state is now deeply divided, and emotionally so."...

    ...Seated at the head of a long table in his gubernatorial office last week, Schwarzenegger declined to talk about 2006. But he exuded the confidence of a man who surmounted great odds to become a world champion bodybuilder and later one of Hollywood's most popular actors and who knows he is the state's dominant political figure.

    Schwarzenegger revels in the theatrics of the competition. "The whole thing is a big stage play," he said with amusement as he talked about his opponents. "They are all very important characters in this play, in order to carry out this play. It's wonderful. . . . Since they are all part of the play, you have to appreciate all those pieces and all those characters."

    "And your role?" he was asked.

    "Leading role," he said with a bright smile. "Above-the-title billing."
    Political researcher Brian Faler in Washington contributed to this report.
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    About pickledpepperRN

    Joined: Mar '99; Posts: 13,361; Likes: 1,375


  3. by   Thunderwolf
    Someone needs to show Arnie "stage left"....with a big hook.
    2006...I don't think so.
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from spacenurse
    A poll completed last week for the teachers association put his approval rating at 42 percent, pollster Mark Mellman said.
    Whoah. If accurate, that's a big drop ... another 13 points from the last poll, where he was down 11 points.

    It will be interesting to see if other polls confirm this.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 29, '05
  5. by   Kabin
    Californians gave good riddance to the last governor disaster so why not another?
  6. by   MryRose
    We need to get him out of this state!!!
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from MryRose
    We need to get him out of this state!!!

    Ti those who agree: We can write a letter to the editor and/or attend a public event.

    Governor's team taking ballot reins

    'They're going to face everything we've got,' Schwarzenegger aide warns Democrats.

    By Gary Delsohn -- Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 2:15 am PST Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's political team is moving to take over his special election campaign after last week's court ruling that allows politicians to raise unlimited money for ballot measure efforts at the same time they fully control them.

    Before a Sacramento court judge ruled in Schwarzenegger's favor, his political committee was limited to how much it could raise from individual donors. A business committee with close ties to the Republican governor could raise unlimited funds as long as Schwarzenegger didn't direct its activities.

    "Any advantage the Democrats thought they'd have because of the bifurcated nature of the campaign has evaporated," Mike Murphy, Schwarzenegger's top political adviser, said in an interview Tuesday. "Now they're going to face everything we've got. If I were them, I'd make a deal."
    Democrats say they're not cowed by Murphy's bravado, arguing that Schwarzenegger's popularity is slipping and that his so-called "reform" agenda is not appealing to rank-and-file voters....

    ...With the court victory, campaign fund raising for his proposed government overhaul initiatives - and how that money ultimately is spent - can now be commandeered without a legal cloud by Schwarzenegger's own campaign committee, the so-called California Recovery Team.

    It ran his winning campaigns last year, before the FPPC rules took effect, for Propositions 57 and 58, which refinanced $15 billion in state debt and required a balanced budget.

    Murphy and the rest of the political team Schwarzenegger relies on also ran his election campaign during the 2003 recall and in a short campaign sold the former movie star to voters as a credible alternative to Davis.

    Before the regulations were tossed out by Chang, Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team could only accept individual donations of $22,300 or less. To get around the limit, a business committee with close ties to Schwarzenegger, Citizens to Save California, was established to help raise what he has said will be $50 million from contributors around the nation. But the committee had to keep arm's length from Schwarzenegger and his political operatives.

    Co-chaired by Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, and Joel Fox, an anti-tax activist who is also president of the Small Business Action Committee, the CSC is free to pull in individual donations of several hundred thousand dollars or more, which it has been doing.

    But because the FPPC rules said the contributor limits would apply if such committees are run by politicians, Schwarzenegger's lawyers gave strict instructions for the governor and his team to keep their distance. They could offer advice and guidance, the rules said, but they couldn't be in charge. That meant Murphy, a campaign consultant who has helped elect more than a dozen U.S. senators and governors, including Schwarzenegger and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, could not call the shots for the committee that was raising and spending most of the money.

    Don Sipple, a seasoned television and radio ad expert preferred by Schwarzenegger, was told by lawyers to steer clear of the business committee.

    Sipple cut an ad for Schwarzenegger's education proposals that is on TV now, but it was paid for by the state Republican Party.
    Schwarzenegger also had to stay somewhat removed. He could appear at CSC fund-raisers, but he couldn't tell the committee which initiatives to endorse or how to spend its money.

    Wilson, his chief fund-raiser, had been raising money primarily for a Schwarzenegger 2006 re-election committee, even though Schwarzenegger has said he's not yet decided whether he'll run.

    "What this does now is put the governor's own committee back in the driver's seat," Wilson said. "There were also problems with some potential contributors sitting on the fence because the litigation was having a chilling effect. Removing that cloud will certainly help."

    Still, South said, when Schwarzenegger campaigned successfully for Propositions 57 and 58 last year, Democrats such as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Controller Steve Westly supported him.

    "Now you have a governor that every time he steps out of his suite at the Hyatt or his house in Pacific Palisades, there are 300 protesters hooting, hollering and dogging him," South said. "These are far different circumstances than they were for him a year ago."
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Mar 30, '05 : Reason: too long. link included.
  8. by   Kabin
    Go on the offensive and organize a recall election. That would keep him busy defending himself.
  9. by   pickledpepperRN,141...789266,00.html

    Nurses need support

    Now that the Governator has finally grasped the concept that bullying nurses, teachers and firefighters is not all that good for one's public image, we're hearing a new mantra from him and his allies: "Teachers are good, nurses are good, firefighters are wonderful, we love them all, it's just those nasty unions that are bad." Well, nurses have news for Herr Gropinator: We are the union.

    When thousands of nurses turned out to march on the Capitol building, when hundreds of nurses stand in the rain outside his $10,000-a-ticket fund-raising event, when dozens of nurses fly across the country to confront him at his Wall Street event, those are not "union operatives." Those are the very same nurses who care for people and their loved ones when they get sick. We use some of our all-too-precious free time to go make our voices heard because we understand the issues. We understand that Schwarzenegger's agenda for "Caleefornya" is much bigger than cutting back staffing ratios. It is an all-out assault on the health and well-being of every patient, every consumer and every working person for the benefit of a tiny super rich elite.

    I'm sure that when Schwarzenegger decided to role back staffing ratios, he figured nurses would be an easy target. He has learned otherwise. Nurses are persistent and we care about our patients and our practice. We're in this fight to stay we need the public's support.

    David Welch, Chico
  10. by   barefootlady
    Every California nurse deserves the support of every nurse in the country.
    I truly believe one day the ratios the nurses there have fought so hard to preserve will be accepted nationwide.
    If I haven't said it loudly or clearly enough before now, I thank each and every one of you for the fight you are waging. I support each and every one of you. If I had the time and the money I would fly out there to hold a sign and march in support of you.
    I will pray for you though. I know some of you have sacraficed to support your cause.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from barefootlady
    Every California nurse deserves the support of every nurse in the country.
    I truly believe one day the ratios the nurses there have fought so hard to preserve will be accepted nationwide.
    If I haven't said it loudly or clearly enough before now, I thank each and every one of you for the fight you are waging. I support each and every one of you. If I had the time and the money I would fly out there to hold a sign and march in support of you.
    I will pray for you though. I know some of you have sacraficed to support your cause.
    Thank you!
    Your belief and prayers are appreciated.

    We need prayer to continue. Lots of us feel so tired but go carry a sign.
    I too believe safe staffing can and will be aceived.

    It means more than I can say.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN

    Arnold mania fades

    By Bill Bradley -- Special To The Bee
    Published 2:15 am PDT Sunday, April 10, 2005
    After more than a year of flying high with near record job approval ratings, Arnold Schwarzenegger's governorship is on the edge. It's all gone suddenly sour.

    His seemingly far-reaching "reform" agenda of potential ballot measures deeply worries some of his own people and leaves Democrats unimpressed and, in some ways, jubilant. Although Democrats have actually developed alternatives to his proposals, they simply aren't bothering to present them. Indeed, Schwarzenegger has already backed off his dreadfully conceived pension initiative.

    What a change from the beginning of this year, when Schwarzenegger seemingly bestrode California's politics like a colossus. Then, his job approval rating was upward of 60 percent. Now, Democratic polls have him down below 50 percent, which Schwarzenegger's people privately do not dispute....

    ...Then there is the ever-present California Nurses Association. I learned as consulting producer of "See Arnold Run" that CNA's vow to buy anti-Arnold ads during airings of the biopic dissuaded the cable network from repeated showings of the picture.

    Schwarzenegger expected protesters at his events.
    Indeed, he hoped for them - to spur the drama of his proclaimed "Year of Reform." But not like this.

    The ragtag band he wanted as his theatrical foils has turned into a legion of nurses, teachers, firefighters, some parents and police officers. Even the state's sheriffs have come out against the Schwarzenegger public pension reform proposal. The sheriffs!

    When I was running around with him in 2002 as he campaigned for the Proposition 49 after-school programs initiative, Schwarzenegger engaged in friendly sessions with sheriffs everywhere he went.

    He did not expect any of this. Nor did he expect his polls to go down.

    "These poor little guys," he declared in February, referring to his Democratic opponents, "they want to tear me down. But they can't."

    Whoops. In a way, he should be glad that he is drawing so many protesters. Much of the press, tired of months of prefab, highly choreographed events, is beginning to ignore his press events...

    ...On the Republican side, there is deep concern about the governor's agenda within Schwarzenegger's own camp. It is a hastily developed, hazily defined, sometimes harshly partisan smorgasbord that came together late, despite months of lead time.
    The most obvious problem was a fatal political flaw in the drafting of the pension reform initiative, which had Republican consultants very worried about how the entire Arnold agenda would play out in a media campaign. The debate at the Capitol was whether death and disability benefits for the surviving spouses and orphans of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty would be cut off by the initiative.

    Although the governor and his allies denied any such intent, they also agreed to seek separate legislation to shore up the benefits. But top consultants knew the initiative was a loser, a reality which the governator, who did not want to hear it, finally embraced.

    With all of these difficulties and no resolution to the ongoing budget crisis, those halcyon days of Arnold mania suddenly seem long ago.
  13. by   oramar
    I think the nurses are going to win this one.
  14. by   homesteadlite
    Last edit by homesteadlite on Apr 18, '05