Bob Chandra - Contributor
is a Bay Area Republican activist. He was involved as a strategist
for Linda Rae Hermann's campaign against Mike
Honda for California's 15th congressional district, and he
currently serves as a commissioner for the Saratoga library.
Revolt Goes On...
One down, a lot to go...
[Bob Chandra] 10/18/03
victory of Arnold Schwarzenegger in California should have
sent a clear
message to state legislators: "Quit
the petty partisanship and get work done for the people." The
recall passed by double digits and Arnold was elected over
his Democrat opponent by 17 points - a massive margin. If that
doesn't give him a mandate, it's not clear what would. Californians
are expecting Arnold to usher in a fresh brand of politics
that puts the people first. And they're expecting that the
legislature will work with him. Unfortunately, many Democrat
legislators have failed to hear that message.
struck a conciliatory note with his acceptance speech, pledging
to be the governor of all the people and stating, "I
will call all the leaders of the Legislature, both Democrats
and Republicans, and I will let them know that my door will always
be open. That I want to work with them together for the good
of California." While Arnold extended an olive branch, the
Democrat legislators would have none of it. Democrat State Senator
Shiela Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) said about Arnold's upcoming 'State
of the State' address, "I don't know if everybody is going
to go to the State of the State because frankly I don't think
there is going to be a lot of content that anyone's interested
in. What's this guy got to say to us about the state of the state?
Nothing." So much for bipartisanship. So much for putting
the interests of the people before partisan strife.
not all. Democrat State Senator John Vasconcellos (D-San Jose)
demonstrated the statesman-like qualities that Sacramento
Democrats are known for by calling Schwarzenegger "a boob".
Worse, he mocked the decision of California voters and said they
had "made a mistake". His Democrat colleague Kuehl
claimed that she must "save the state from ignorance".
The message of political elites like Vasconcellos and Kuehl is
clear: the Democrat elites know what's best and California voters
simply cannot be trusted.
But for sheer
sleaziness, Democrat assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)
than pledging to work with
the governor-elect, Leno said he would introduce a bill named "Arnold's
Law" to increase the punishment for sexual battery in the
workplace. Never mind that there is not one iota of proof that
Arnold committed sexual battery. While these appear to be the
shenanigans of children, these are unfortunately the actions
of our representatives in state government. Californians put
these kinds of career politicians on notice with the recall of
Gray Davis. It was meant to put an end to "puke politics" and
elitism. It was a clear message that "politics as usual" had
to end. But given their language, Sacramento Democrats haven't
taken the hint. They have gone right back to their usual tactics
of smearing their opponents and insulting the will of the people.
A key driver
of the recall was voter anger over Gray Davis's tripling of
tax. Arnold has made rescinding that tax
increase a first priority in office. However, leftists within
the state finance department are already claiming they'll fight
the governor-elect over the issue. And Democrat State Senate
leader John Burton is shaping up to be the chief obstructionist
in the legislature. About the car tax, he has said, "There
is not going to be any backfill from the state of California
to local government for any cuts in the VLF (Vehicle License
Fee) because we do not have the money." Translation: "Over
my dead body".
have voted for change. But that hasn't gotten through to Sacramento
Led by the crusty,
the state Democrats may well suffer the same fate of Gray Davis
if their antagonistic, obstructionist language translates into
obstructionist behavior. Sacramento Democrats appear tone-deaf
and eager to give us one thing: gridlock. In 2004, voters go
back to the polls. And with the recall under their belt, they
are confident of their own power to reshape the political landscape.
Democrat State Senator Vasconcellos said recently, "If people
want this actor to govern ... they don't need or deserve me." He's
absolutely right. Californians deserve much better.
2003 Bob Chandra