Note: I work for the Courage Campaign

Sometime next week California is going to begin running out of money, and instead of sending checks that to people that are owed tax rebates, financial aid, or other forms of state assistance, they will either have their payment delayed or receive an IOU. This will make our recession even worse, and will make it more difficult for the state to begin economic recovery.

The budget crisis has many fathers, but one in particular stands out – Arnold Schwarzengger. For five years he railed against taxes and government spending, and because he failed to lead the state toward a stable budget, California is going broke. Yet the media persists in speaking of Arnold as a strong post-partisan leader. They don’t tell Californians that he is a failure, that he is more responsible than anyone for the IOUs – particularly since he vetoed the Democratic majority vote budget plan that would have finally neutralized the 2/3 rule.

Progressive Californians need to engage in many forms of activism to respond to this crisis – and one of those forms is good old fashioned agitprop. And that’s what the Courage Campaign has done with Arnoldbucks. – our term for the IOUs that are almost inevitably going to be sent soon to Californians.

We made a video that answers the question of “what happens when Californians actually try to use an Arnoldbuck?” The result is frustrating and humorous, and hopefully it can help show Californians that this crisis literally has Arnold’s name all over it. And we also created our own version of the Arnoldbucks for Californians to download, print, and give to their friends.

Obviously the impact of Arnoldbucks, if and when they are actually sent to Californians instead of the payments they are owed, will not always be funny. Disabled families, health care clinics, and schools will be hit extremely hard by the state’s inability to meet its financial obligations. That will require a multifaceted response – including an effort to educate the public as to who is responsible for this mess. Our video campaign is one attempt to do exactly that.

So have a look at our Arnoldbucks video and share it with your friends – and help us push back against a media that refuses to hold Arnold accountable.

Below is the text of the email we sent to our members:

Dear Robert,

Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse…

California faces financial “Armageddon,” as Arnold Schwarzenegger bluntly stated a few weeks ago. And yet Arnold and his fellow Republicans rejected compromises by Democrats to rescue our state from a catastrophic budget crisis, unparalleled in the history of California.

Because of the ridiculous 2/3rds budget rule — the super-majority required to pass a budget in the California state legislature — and Arnold’s failure to deliver even one vote from a small cabal of obstructionist Republicans, Californians may be getting IOUs in the mail next week instead of financial aid checks or tax refunds.

Many Californians are so overwhelmed by this paralyzing crisis that they’ve just tuned it out. As a result, Arnold is not being held accountable for his failure to lead.

That’s why we decided to try something a bit unorthodox — raise awareness by using humor to highlight the absurdity of these IOU’s, or what we are calling “Arnoldbucks.”

We asked one of our members to see what would happen if he tried to use “Arnoldbucks” as legal tender at a few businesses in the area. You won’t believe what happened. It’s all caught on camera — even a few security cams.

Take the edge off and check it out:…

Know a friend who might need a laugh? Share this video with them, download your own Arnoldbucks, then tell us your ideas. We’d love to know what you plan to do with your Arnoldbucks:…

We’re looking forward to hearing about your adventures with Arnoldbucks.

Rick Jacobs


5 thoughts on “Arnoldbucks”

  1. usually these things, be they from move on or whatever are kinda goofy but this one is funny AND makes a point. good job!

  2. My blogging friend at California Greening, Alex Walker,  did not make a video, but he did come up with a meatier image to go with his rant today.  

  3. …most folks love ’em.

    One man was too scared to take one from me.

    A perfect example of how the ReThugs campaign of, ‘Hate your neighbor, hate teh gay, hate anyone different or who has a different opinion…, has succeeded.

    But this guy was a tiny minority. A precursor of the George Orwell Party’s fate.

    Many folks in my area now have Arnold Bucks. I plan to pay my tax liability with them!

    Good political theater and fun to boot.

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