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« Looking Hard For The Union Label. | WILLisms.com | 2006 Could Confirm New Political Trends, Benefiting Republicans. »

Arnold Plays Hardball With California Liberals.

Speaking of union woes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting tough, yet again, with Calfornia liberals.

Arnold is a political juggernaut, and he seems intent on taking down the unions a peg in Calfornia. The new wisdom in California politics is that when Arnold sets his mind to something, he can win over even skeptical Californians to his side. His communications team is unparalleled. His popularity is consistently high. His style is that of an outsider, a reformer, and a populist. The Arnold Factor is undeniable. Standing between Governor Schwarzenegger and his mission is the easiest ticket to destruction.


Nonetheless, Arnold has a tough fight ahead of him in getting his plans for reform enacted. Because the Democrat-controlled California legislature, beholden to labor unions, has not cooperated, he is taking his case directly to the people, via ballot initiative.

John Fund:

"Arnold Schwarzenegger is a political moderate, but he has decided to lead a revolution against the unions and other interest groups blocking his package of four reform initiatives that will likely go before voters this fall.


'We're going right there where all the evil is, and we're going to fix this problem once and for all,' he thundered."

His four-part plan:

"First, the governor wants automatic spending cuts to be imposed when expenditures exceed revenue. Second, he wants to change government employee pensions from defined-benefit plans to 401(k)-type plans. He also calls for scrapping the 2001 bipartisan gerrymandering of the state's political districts. And he wants to link pay for teachers to their performance, while making it easier to fire bad ones."

The unions, predictably, are against merit pay and firing non-performing teachers. They are fighting hard, but likely fighting in vain, against the changes Arnold wants.

"The public-employee unions that exercise inordinate influence over the Democratic Legislature are spoiling for a fight this fall just as much as the governor is. On Saturday, some 120 shouting union activists disrupted speeches at the GOP convention by conservative leaders Grover Norquist and Ken Blackwell with piercing whistles and chants such as 'Arnie, Arnie, you can't hide. We can see your evil side.' Union spokeswoman Cathy Hackett told me the 'evil' lies with the governor's budget cuts that she says slash services to the poor, seniors and children."

The unions don't seem to understand they are living in Arnold's world. In a way, California is a large Schwarzenegger film; the unions are merely featured extras for Arnold to destroy on his way to box office cha-ching.

"'Those poor little guys,' he said of the attempts by teacher unions and others to run ads accusing him of budget cruelties 'They're trying very hard. . . . They may have a wonderful dream about that. But the reality is very sad for them."


WILLisms.com is betting on Arnold to win.
More to come on the Calfornia ballot initiatives, so stay tuned.

Posted by Will Franklin · 14 February 2005 03:23 PM


GO! Arnold...Terminate them!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 2, 2005 05:47 PM