Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to the Sacramento Press Club on Wednesday and it was immediately clear to this reporter – who was witnessing a Schwarzenegger press conference for the first time since the recall – why Arnold enjoys holds onto popularity and why the GOP agenda is advancing. … Schwarzenegger has elevated simple manipulation to an art form. His pitches are perfect for TV and radio because he comes back to the same simple themes time and time again. (“I was not sent to Sacramento to represent both parties. I was sent to represent the people.”) And even when he’s bashing the legislature and unions he does so obliquely and intersperses his remarks with olive branches. … It’s all very Hollywood, with Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer, with movie star looks in a dark suit, offering a rebuttal for the press core after the luncheon. … In his short speech, Schwarzenegger pitched his goal of reforming public pensions, district lines and teacher incentives as a battle of “the people of California and the governor” vs. the legislators and the special interests (who can be recognized by their purple shirts, Schwarzenegger said, in a not-so-subtle dig at SEIU). Even as legislative committees met in the Capitol, Schwarzenegger charged that the senators and assembly members have been simply “hanging” in Sacramento since he called a special session three weeks ago. … “I gave the legislators a chance to be my partners,” he said. … But coaxed by reporters, he refused to criticize easy target Democrats Sec. of State Kevin Shelley – saying his position should continued to be elected by party – or Sen. Barbara Boxer – who he said is free to speak her mind as she sees fit – and said he’s interested in getting his reform work done, not speculating about a 2006 re-election bid. “I don’t pay any attention to what they (potential Democratic challengers) are doing. That’s a sideshow.” … “I have my eye on the ball.” … Schwarzenegger, who has laid out general lines of reform without yet presenting specific legislative proposals for his concepts, also dittoed George Bush with a plea for anyone with alternatives to come work with him directly instead of trying to get him to give ground in a vacuum: “I’m not about to go and negotiate with myself.” … Schwarzenegger wooed the audience with a story of giving back a $100,000 contribution to a donor who kept insisting on a meeting, and said the negative polling on his proposals is action by special interests doing anything they can “to make people believe I am doing a terrible job.” … One thing is clear, though, and until the state’s political players realize it they are going to continue to play defense: Whatever the polling says, this governor is serious about changing the climate of Sacramento, and he still has the charisma and message to cut through media punditry and Capitol shadowboxing by taking his message to the Costco parking lot. And that’s what anyone who takes time to take the public pulse will tell you. …

3 thoughts on “

  1. I’m not so sure Mr. Doofinator is changing anything in Sacramento at all. He got elected promising to repeal a car tax “increase” that was a deal cut by his mentor, Pete Wilson.

    He suggests a new way to build the Bay Bridge as a cost saving measure – oddly enough the firm that would do the new plan is a donor of his, and odder still, we find that the plan doesn’t save a dime.

    He bashed Davis for coin-op government – then proceeds to raise more money from more special interests than any politician in California history. He plays shell games with money and committees that would make Bustamante blush.

    He bashed “coin op government” and pledged to open up government – yet conducted the California Performance Review in secret, paid for by corporate donors, who oddly enough, benefit from the “reforms” in the CPR.

    Worst of all, he cut deals with people, saying that he was a man of his word and not a typical politician – then we find out less than a year later he had no intention of keeping his word to anyone at all.

    Changing the culture? Changing Sacramento? Maybe if by that we mean changing a swamp into an open sewer. The former was bad enough, but the latter stinks worse – and it’s a shame Mr. Doofinator chose this route, never using his movie idol popularity to really do something for regular people, and not just the millionaires and corporations that prop him up.

  2. Schadelmann’s attempt to mislead readers, cover the play-to-pay policies of Gray Davis and the Democrat controlled legislature, and project these failures to Governor Schwarzenegger is laughable. The fact is that the Davis/Democrat polices have lead to the worst California economy in modern times. Schadelmann starts with an insult and moves to a half-truth – that the Governor’s platform consisted of one plank – to eliminate the car tax. The platform consisted of much more such as reforming worker’s comp insurance, budget reform, and the “blowing up the boxes.” (See for details.) The governor is off to an excellent start. Comp reform was his first accomplishments. He is consolidating or eliminating redundant state commissions, boards and departments (blowing up the boxes.) He is insisting on accountability from state employees while taking on the states largest special interest group – government employee unions. In addition to being an actor Gov. Schwarzenegger is a successful business person. He is using that much-needed business prospective to reform state government, something the die-hard Democrats hate.

    Howard Epstein
    Vice Chair Communications
    San Francisco Republican Party

  3. Howard

    I’m happy to debate the pros and cons of Mr. Governor’s administration, but I’d appreciate it if you would not mis-represent what I said. But then again, the style of the political attack dog is to mis-represent, repeat often, then offer a “my guy right or wrong” defense, regardless of the facts.

    I never defended Governor Davis’ administration in my remarks – to say I am is ridiculous. I’ve never been a fan of Davis – but I guess being a knee-jerk attack dog makes it hard for you to actually read what I say. Even your buddy Mike DeNunzio is at least intelligent enough to read something before commenting on it. Take his lead, buddy.

    The facts remain as such: This Governor has raised more money in a year than Davis ever did, and he ties those contributions to access to key parts of the Governor’s decision making apparatus. To deny it only shows that in the 21st Century, the GOP mantra is “It’s OK to do something if it’s our guy – if it’s their guy then it’s not.”

    You’ll pardon me if I’m not impressed. Next time try reading what someone says before going into attack mode. I invite you to read my site at and you’ll find that I’m not the straw man you created for your little posting.

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