Governor stumps for props in Marina.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Speaking to an invitation-only crowd of mostly construction workers in Marina Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger staged a carefully-crafted public appearance (reporters sat quietly behind an iron fence with no questions allowed) stumping for his “special election” propositions and painting himself as a man of the people.
“I find it an insult if they call me another politician,” he said. “I say, ‘No I’m not, I’m a governor and servant of the people.’”
For a non-politician, however, Schwarzenegger was awfully adept at spinning every question into a case-in-point explanation of how his propositions are good for California. Even when the question had little to do with any of the propositions.
One Salinas woman, for example, asked the governor what voters could do about the fact that her “so-called city leaders” have squandered the city’s budget to the point of risking Salinas’ libraries.
“One thing you could do is vote them out of office,” Schwarzenegger replied. “That’s why it’s so important for everyone to support Prop. 77, which stops politicians from drawing their own electoral districts and making it almost impossible to vote them out of office.”
A sea of nodding heads filled the room as Schwarzenegger moved to take the next question. Few seemed to take note of the fact that Prop. 77 would in no way affect city council districts.
This oversight seemed to make little difference to Andy Williams, a Marina resident and subcontractor for Monterey Peninsula Engineering, where the town hall-type event was held.
“I’m convinced,” Williams said moments after Schwarzenegger left the property and reporters were let out of the make-shift corral. “I’m the kind of person you have to come to in person to explain things to. This is the first time I’ve seen him up close and I like how he presented himself.”
Williams added he’s more inclined to vote “yes” on the propositions after seeing Schwarzenegger, but he’s keeping his options open.
Sitting near Schwarzenegger during his talk was Michael Morrison, a two-term Marina city councilman who three weeks ago announced his candidacy for the state’s 27th Assembly District seat, currently held by John Laird, a Democrat.
Describing himself as a “very liberal Republican,” Morrison expressed praise for what Schwarzenegger is doing.
“What I’m most proud of is the fact that he’s rocking the boat,” Morrison said. “This Legislature is broken, the whole system is broken, and the governor is shaking things up.”
<>Having learned of the governor’s visit to Marina only a few hours before he arrived, about a dozen Service Employees International Union and other union members gathered to protest against Prop. 75 on the sidewalk, about 100 feet from where the governor was speaking.>
If approved, Prop. 75 would require unions to ask its members for permission before using their union dues for political contributions.
“Why doesn’t he require the same thing for shareholders of companies who make political contributions?” asked Frauke Loewensen, a Spanish professor at CSU Monterey Bay and a union member. “If it did that, too, I would support the proposition, but the way it is now is totally misleading.”
Before leaving to stump some more somewhere else, Schwarzenegger pressed the flesh with a few guests at the private affair as two photographers—presumably working for the governor’s office—snapped a few more upbeat shots from up close.
Apparently, if most California voters could see the governor in person like this, it might boost his slumping poll numbers, and even help get his propositions passed. Unfortunately for him, that isn’t possible.
<>Doubly unfortunate for Schwarzenegger is the fact that most sequels never do as well as the originals. >