Aug 16 - 31, 2003





August 16, 2003 - A new field poll today shows that not only has California Governor wannabe Arnold Schwarzenegger's lead diminished, it is gone.  The new frontrunner is Democratic Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, by 25 to 22 percent.

So, where are the headlines?  For weeks now the idea that Arnold is invincible and leading in the polls - that his election, like Bush's, will be inevitable - has been top story on every station, in every paper, and on the cover of most magazines.

Now, within a week or so, his lead is gone, and the possibility of California having a Latino Governor who is a Democrat appears possible.  This should be top story - Arnold's lead is going, the Terminator is fading, a Latino might run the biggest state - and a Democratic one at that, seriously hurting the Bush team's attempt to assert that Latinos and Republicans are buddy buddy.

However, this story is nowhere in the headlines.

That the carrotman has chosen Rob Lowe - famed for being caught on tape (by himself) having sex a while back, and having no experience in anything but fictional TV government - this is headlines.

Not in the headlines is that Arnold met - right in the middle of the California energy crisis - in a private meeting with the man responsible for conspiring to create the crisis, then-Enron Chairman Ken Lay.  As Salon reports:

"According to William Bradley, the L.A. Weekly's sharp political columnist who wrote about Enron for the American Prospect, the meeting revolved around Lay's plans to "preserve deregulation" in California. The L.A. Times noted that Lay was seeking the support of Schwarzenegger and the other GOP luminaries for even greater deregulation. Apparently Lay wanted help in saving a lousy system, squeezing the unfortunate Californians even more, and avoiding accountability for their plight."

It gets better.

Many of you may have heard by now that the man Schwarzenegger brought on as top economic advisor - billionaire Warren Buffet - has suggested getting rid of Prop 13, which - for those of you unfamiliar with it - holds property tax increases to a minimal one percent.  Warren wants to raise them - something Californians - especially Republicans - would revolt against.

And then there is the matter brought up by Terry Neal of The Washington Post, about Arnold's position on the board of a group called U.S. English, an extremist, anti-immigrant group that uses making English the nation's only language as a front to promote a hateful, racist, immigrant-bashing agenda.

So, what does Arnold have to say about these things?

In general, he says, nothing.

You see this again and again in today's stories.  In the LA Times, when they try to find out if Arnold agrees with his advisor Buffet about raising property taxes, they say Arnold's people did not respond to calls asking for comment.

The above Washington Post story about Arnold's ties to the racist, anti-immigrant U.S. English reports, "Schwarzenegger campaign officials did not respond to three phone calls made this week for this column."  Ignoring three calls from the Washington Post?

Even FOX News reports, "Schwarzenegger campaign officials were unavailable for comment," about their article on the latest poll showing Bustamante in the lead.  His people are avoiding FOX News?  Things must be bad.  In fact, FOX News is the one network giving some play to the story about Bustamante taking the lead in the poll - I guess the right dislikes Arnold as much as the left and the middle.

Arnold did offer a comment on one of the issues - the one regarding the meeting with Ken Lay.  "I don't remember."  Yes, he said he has lots of meeting with lots of people and can't remember them all.

Right, and Clinton shared lots of cigars with lots of women and couldn't remember the a silly one named Lewinsky.

This is Ken Lay.  The former head on Enron.  The man who not just ripped off his shareholders, not just bankrupted the company for personal gain, but blacked out and bilked California for billions - intentionally.  And Arnold and few other select Republicans met with him in the middle of this crisis to hear his pitch to keep California open to bilking, and even make it more open so Lay and his company could rip it off more - and Arnold doesn't remember?  This is the man who strives to replace Davis in large part because of Davis' poor handling of the energy crisis?

Anyway, while we were down in Texas we talked with the woman who blew the whistle on Ken Lay and the rest of Enron.  That's right.  And we will tell you what she had to say in a story to be posted early this week.  Stay tuned...




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