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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.