“Up In Smoke”: Courage Campaign Goes After Arnold Schwarzenegger

Today has become an impromptu but very much needed day of action targeting Arnold Schwarzenegger and his insistence on massive budget cuts. The California Labor Fed hosted a series of rallies around the state, including an Arnold dunk tank in Fresno. As the budget negotiations are seemingly coming down to the final hours (although how close they can really be with Prop 98 still a wide-open question is unclear), progressive activists get how important it is to push back against Arnold’s messaging. Californians don’t want massive cuts, and they do want a truly shared sacrifice.

That’s why we at the Courage Campaign commissioned this video, “Up in Smoke,” from noted political video producers Truth and Hope. It plays off Arnold’s notorious “jacuzzi and stogie” comment to inspire our members to take action and call the governor to demand the budget not be balanced on the backs of the poor and working families.

We all know the numerous and structural reasons for the crisis in Sacramento. And we know how difficult it is to produce anything other than a regressive right-wing outcome on the budget. Yet Arnold holds a significant amount of responsibility for the present mess as well, particularly in his refusal to embrace shared sacrifices that would, oh I don’t know, actually require the wealthy and corporations to share in the sacrifice?

If we’re going to overturn 30 years of right-wing framing, we have to be persistent about it. This video and our call the governor action are part of that strategy.

Over the flip is the email Marqueece Harris Dawson of the Community Coalition of South LA sent to our members this afternoon.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Executive Director of the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles — one of the leading social and economic justice organizations in our state — asked us to share this email with the Courage Campaign community. He is witnessing first-hand the suffering that cuts to public services are causing across California.

Please also check out the video we produced, which highlights Gov. Schwarzenegger’s priorities at this dire moment. With rumors of a budget deal happening in the next 24 hours, we need you to call the Governor now.

Rick Jacobs

Chair, Courage Campaign

Dear Robert —

Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to let our state go up in smoke. But you can stop him.

I’ve never seen things this bad. Millions of ordinary Californians are on the brink of losing health insurance for their children, care for their sick, elderly or disabled parents, experiencing deep cuts to school funding and struggling to put food on their tables.

The one person who should be providing the most leadership to guide the state out of this unprecedented fiscal crisis seems to be the person least concerned.

Governor Schwarzenegger has shown both a lack of genuine, responsible leadership and of empathy to the effects of the fiscal crisis on ordinary working families. He recently boasted to a New York Times reporter that he was “perfectly fine” and that he could still go home and “sit down in my Jacuzzi” and “lay back with a stogie.”

With budget negotiations heating up today, we need to let the Governor know that while he may be fine, millions of Californians are not. Watch the Courage Campaign’s new online video and then call the Governor at (916) 445-2841. And report the results of your call:


Even worse — in a feeble attempt to distract the public from his leadership failures, the Governor is using charges of “fraud, waste, and abuse” as a cover for attacks on poor people, working families, and the vital public services that they use.

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s so-called “reform” proposals — like fingerprinting in-home care service providers — are punitive and have little to do with the budget. All while California loses millions and lives are jeopardized with each passing day without a budget.

We can’t let these attacks on working people go unanswered. We can’t let ordinary Californians drown in the fiscal crisis while the Governor sits in his jacuzzi and smokes a stogie.

That’s why — with budget negotiations reaching a critical point today — I’m asking you to take action right now. Call Governor Schwarzenegger at (916) 445-2841 right now and let him know that you oppose balancing budgets on the back of the poor:


Thank you for joining me and the Courage Campaign in making your voice heard today.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Community Coalition of South LA

One thought on ““Up In Smoke”: Courage Campaign Goes After Arnold Schwarzenegger”

  1. is that it does NOT actually require a 2/3 vote per se.  It’s already been passed, and revisions need only a simple majority.  However, that would take 90 days to take effect.  Only with a 2/3 vote would revisions take effect immediately.

    However, even with that lag, you could design majority-vote solutions, if the Governor cared about pulling the state back from the brink, and all they would require was his signature.  For example, the stop-gap that would have stopped the issuance of IOUs.  

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