As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Schwarzenegger's Slip Shows

As the special election swirls the bowl, I think one of the enduring memories I will have is the late-campaign decision on the part of the Governor to ignore the current budget deficit. That's right, ignore.

In the final sprint to Tuesday's election, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has warned day after day of teacher layoffs, fire-station shutdowns and other dire consequences if voters fail to pass budget measures that would produce almost $6 billion to ease California's fiscal crisis.

Yet Schwarzenegger and his allies have abandoned TV advertising -- the main vehicle for reaching voters statewide -- on the three measures that would generate that money: Propositions 1C, 1D and 1E.

Instead, they are running TV ads solely for Propositions 1A and 1B, measures that would do nothing to slow California's slide toward insolvency this summer, but in future years could help the budget's bottom line and Schwarzenegger's political image.

It's really all you need to know about this special election - at a time when the Governor is flailing madly, casting about for things to sell like someone rummaging through his things for a garage sale, and threatening all sorts of cuts and mass prisoner release and 100 other options for closing the current budget gap, his campaign committee pushes the only measure on the ballot that would do NOTHING to close the current budget gap. He just wants his long-sought spending cap and unilateral executive authority to make budget cuts. It's all, as said above, about image.

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