Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] re: PG joins labor & OT: Governor Arnold (long)

tfrommer at mindspring.com tfrommer at mindspring.com
Thu Jun 10 12:24:29 MDT 2004

Diana, Miron, Phil --

Many thanks for the replies, info and links. I find this all fascinating on several different levels. I cannot think of an American rocker who would not be laughed into the ocean if s/he pursued politics as a means to further his/her convictions. Those that do speak out have much, much smaller national profiles, i.e. none of them performed at the Salt Lake City Olympics. I'm still personally muddled on how I feel about PG's latest decision(s) though that's really of no consequence.

Re: Governor Terminator.

Yes Miron I am in California. Ahhh-nold's become something of populist hero to the surprise of many journalists, politicians and us normal folks. He basically won't take 'no' for an answer on things he truly believes in. Whether all of these issues are good for the state is another question entirely, but he has forced/forged some bi-partisan cooperation in the state houses of government that hasn't been seen in a long, long time. He's either on the longest political 'honeymoon' in recent memory or he genuinely has a gift for this. He asked the voters to approve an enormous bond measure to help the state with its fiscal crisis and it passed. A Democratic legislator summed up the proposal as a terrible solution, except for all of the other ones offered. Soon after, the state's bond rating was improved by the major financial institutions. However, that still leaves us ranked either 49 or 50 out of the 50 states in terms of creditworthiness. 

He's far to the left of many of his Republican brethren on social issues (he's pro a woman's right to choose and pro same-sex partnerships) but likely won't do a thing about either. In fact, when the barrage of gay marriage licenses were being issued here in San Francisco where I live, he instructed the state attorney general to halt the practice. He seems to genuinely care about improving the lot of the state's children and, more to Republican party roots, wants to help the state's small businesses that are suffering, particularly because of rising worker's compensation insurance costs (general insurance companies -- they're the worst generals of all you know). 

To put it mildly, California is a strange place. I've been here 8+ years, originally from NYC. In no way does Arnie's governorship indicate that the Republicans have made any inroads here politically. As a whole, the state has a solid democratic majority -- every other major state-wide office is held by a Democrat, our two Senators in Washington and 33 of the 53 representatives in the US House are all Democrats -- and the state will most certainly vote for Kerry in November. Term limits will force Arnie out of office after two terms if he doesn't leave earlier or be voted out earlier. By then, the US Constitution may be amended so non-US born citizens can become president. Should that day come, I'm moving to Oz.