Why Arnold's In DC Today
It has nothing to do with the announcement on fuel efficiency standards, which by the way is very welcome news, basically bringing the nation under the California standard while still giving the state the flexibility to strengthen those standards after 2016. But no, Arnold didn't need to be at that announcement.
And he's not in Washington because Dick Cheney's undisclosed location beats hanging out in California to watch his special election go down in flames. That's a collateral benefit.
No, contrary to his own rhetoric, he's already given up on the special election. The next move is to convince the Obama Administration to loosen the rules regarding stimulus money. Buried in this article about the Governor skipping town on Election Day is this nugget:
Schwarzenegger planned to meet with Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and members of the California House delegation Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state's fiscal crisis.
On Wednesday morning, he plans to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before heading back to California. The governor plans to ask Sebelius for special permission to make $750 million in cuts to the state's Medi-Cal program.
Let me reiterate what Robert and Brian are saying - the Obama Administration needs to just say no here. The reason that rules were set for stimulus eligibility were to encourage a basic level of funding to counter any counter-cyclical spending cuts, which would prohibit a recovery. You can't just waive those rules at this point. California remains locked in a recessionary spiral and Arnold's slash and burn techniques would only make things worse. California may need a bailout, but allowing the state to keep funds while cutting spending does not represent one.