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Once more into the fray

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
October 2, 2003


"The "Promising Season" ends next Tuesday, and at about 8'oclock that same night, the "Alibi Season" opens and lasts the next four years." — Will Rogers

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a joke. A smug, uneducated, poorly spoken, dishonest media whore; Arnold was nonetheless provided a place in the limited televised debate instead of hundreds of other candidates with equal or superior credentials. Every time Arnold, (A.K.A "He Man Master of his Own Universe), speaks I cringe with the understanding there is a remote chance California will once again elect a fading movie star to lead the state. It's frightening.

California does not need a monosyllabic action hero if it is going to correctly address the crisis facing the fifth largest economy in the world. What California needs is a governor with a profound understanding of the problems brought about by corporate corruption and the pandering mismanagement of Gray Davis. Californians need a governor with a vision that reflects changing demographics in our state and the tumultuous state of the world. Californians need a leader willing to make tough decisions while retaining autonomy from the machinations of the Bush Administration. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not that person

Cruz Bustamante is not that person, nor is Tom McClintock or Larry Flynt.

California also needs a governor with an alternative to the shell game being played by entrenched special interests doing business under the banner of the Democrats and the Republicans. More of the same, is only going to get us more of the same. We need to hear about visions for the future. Instead of short-sighted political placebos, Californians require an individual with the ability to do an honest assessment of where we went wrong and how to make it right. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not that person

The fact that Arnold has been provided front-runner status due to his tabloid celebrity speaks more about the failure of the news media to offer in-depth investigative reporting of any of the candidates. I write this less than two weeks before an election that could cripple the California economy for decades, further diminishing the quality of life once unparalleled, and still the news media, both print and broadcast, continue to abdicate their responsibility for in favor of sound bite journalism. How much do we really know?

We have not heard where the actor stands on the myriad of issues confronting state officials. The media circus seems uninterested in where any of the candidates stand on issues other than driver licenses for undocumented immigrants. Where immigration policy should be debated in all its complexities, we also need to know where would-be governors stand in regards to our industrial prison system, corporate corruption, election reform, renewable energy, mass transit, farming and agriculture, universal healthcare, substandard schools, coastal erosion, industrial deforestation, unfunded federal mandates, over development, depleted fisheries, limited water resources.

Over population is something else that is not discussed. While talking about immigration why not discuss population and carrying capacity? How many people can Californian ecosystems reasonably support? Economically the state is faltering. That's a clue. Unemployment is up. Another clue. If school overcrowding and gridlocked freeways aren't clues nothing is? Does anyone know Tom or Arnold's position on mass transit funding? How about wilderness preservation and climate change?

The closer we get to this election the more I distrust the recall. Everyday this seems like another orchestrated attempt to undermine the election process. Florida and Texas come to mind. Recalling a duly elected governor is huge. Replacing him with a movie star, no matter how well connected, should not be done on a whim. We need answers, not warm platitudes and one-liners. Californians deserve better than Gray Davis. But do we deserve Arnold?

Yes, I wish Gray Davis never set eyes on Sacramento. Yes, I voted for Peter Camejo in 2002, and yes I will vote for him again. But I will also be voting against the recall.

It is not the remedy everyone thinks it is.

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