Everybody Hates Arnold

Worst governor ever:

More Californians disapprove of the job performance of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger than any governor in modern state history including Gray Davis, who was ousted by Schwarzenegger in a popular uprising, according to a Field Poll released today.

Seventy-one percent of California voters surveyed said they disapprove of Schwarzenegger’s handling of the job, while 23 percent approve. The low ratings are shared across all demographics including party affiliation, region of the state, age and race or ethnicity.

The Field Poll shows Arnold has seen an 11 point swing against him since January, with his unfavorables rising from 64% to 71%.

As Calitics alum David Dayen noted, Californians figured this out all on their own, with no help from the media, who have continued to treat Arnold as a formidable power in state politics instead of explaining how his policies over the last seven years are largely responsible for the state’s current budget crisis.

Schwarzenegger ignored advice from folks like Warren Buffett that a tax increase was needed in 2003-04, and instead did nothing to address the state’s ongoing inability to raise enough money to fund its core services. When the bubble economy burst in 2007, the state immediately was thrown into recession. Arnold’s massively unpopular response was to embrace destructive cuts to services Californians need, and the only taxes he’s embraced have been the most regressive kind – sales taxes and fee increases for higher education students.

This appears to have been part of a very deliberate plan to turn the state over to the wealthy and the large corporations and implementing a shock doctrine attack on the poor and the middle class by seeking to privatize or eliminate the services they need.

Here’s an example. In February 2009, Arnold demanded and won a massive $9 billion cut to K-12 education. Federal stimulus funds helped blunt some of the impact of that cut, as 16,000 of the 30,000 laid off teachers were rehired. But as the stimulus funds are stupidly expiring this year, 20,000 more teachers are going to be fired. More and more schools are closing across the state.

What’s one result of these cuts? A much greater movement across the state for charter schools. That gives private companies the “in” they’ve long desired to our public education system. Through his budget cuts, Arnold has set the state for the mass privatization of public education in this state.

Finally, it is absolutely worth noting that Meg Whitman plans to continue almost all of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s policies, but will be even further to the right than he was. That might be something Jerry Brown would want to repeat early and often.

3 thoughts on “Everybody Hates Arnold”

  1.   If Democrats had actually put together a drive, it would

    be on the ballot in 3 months.  Brown would have engaged

    earlier, won the recall in June, and would have signed

    the majority rule fee increase/tax swap (probably would

    have asked it to be put to the voters to affirm (which they would, if the tax increases were all upper-income) to uphold his campaign pledge of not increasing taxes without a vote

    of the voters), but it would have gone into effect immediately.  People would have been so relieved that

    their schools weren’t collapsing that they would affirmed.

     Democrats aren’t proactive and can’t think ahead.  This

    is, more than anything else, what kills our party.

  2. Everybody in California may hate Arnold, but the Hudson Riverkeeper is honoring Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the “Fish Terminator,” for his “environmental advocacy.” What wacky parallel universe does the “leadership” of the Riverkeeper inhabit?

    The guy now has a 71 percent unfavorable rating – and if the poll had asked only California fishermen, environmentalists and tribal members – he probably would have received close to a 99 percent unfavorable rating. My question is: who are the people in California that approve of the worst Governor in California history? Anyway, here’s my article:

    Riverkeeper Greenwashes Schwarzenegger’s Abysmal Environmental Record

    by Dan Bacher

    The Hudson Riverkeeper is honoring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in California history, for his “environmental advocacy” at the “Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball” on April 14. ” This is absurd as Henry Kissinger receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, it’s akin to giving Pol Pot an award for his human rights record!

    I have been a member of the Klamath Riverkeeper since the organization started and was a strong, outspoken supporter of the DeltaKeeper organization throughout its existence. I am livid over this move by the Hudson Riverkeeper to honor a guy that makes former California Governors Gray Davis and Pete Wilson look like veritable John Muirs in comparison.

    More than any journalist in the country, I have documented in article after article Schwarzenegger’s crimes against fish and the environment when most corporate media sources and some “environmental” NGOs have greenwashed the Governor’s record. The Riverkeeper must be condemned for honoring the guy who has presided over the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, green sturgeon and other California fish populations.

    How can the Hudson Riverkeeper possibly honor the Governor who continually campaigns for the construction of a peripheral canal and more dams, who has constantly slashed the budget for Department of Fish and Game biologists and game wardens, who has attacked Endangered Species Act protections for Delta smelt and Central Valley salmon and who has eviscerated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)?

    I suspect that Schwarzenegger may be receiving the award because of his close relationship to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Vice Chair and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Riverkeeper and Chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and other Kennedy family members through his marriage to Maria Shriver. However, honoring Schwarzenegger, when he is the worst enemy of fishery restoration in California, provides “green cover” for the Governor’s attack on Central Valley salmon and the Delta ecosystem.

    “Riverkeeper is honoring the guy for his ‘environmental stewardship’ who said on the Sean Hannity’ show ‘we gotta stop putting the interest of the salmon and the smelt above the interests of the people’- at a ‘fishermen’s ball” no less!” said Mike Hudson, executive director of SalmonAid (http://www.salmonaid.org). “These guys must be out of their minds!”

    Everybody who cares about the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and California’s collapsing fish populations must let the Riverkeeper leadership know that they will lose public support and their credibility by honoring the “Fish Terminator.” I don’t know of any fishermen – recreational, commercial or tribal – in California who support the Schwarzenegger regime’s war on fish and the environment. I suggest that the Riverkeeper change the name of their event from “Riverkeeper’s Annual Fishermen’s Ball” to “Riverkeeper’s Annual Greenwasher’s Ball” to more properly reflect the reality of their “classic Riverkeeper style.”

    If the Riverkeeper leadership has any integrity, they should withdraw their invitation to Schwarzenegger to be “honored” at their event. They should then apologize to the recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, California Indian Tribes, Delta farmers, conservationists and environmental justice advocates who have suffered from Schwarzenegger’s continuous attacks on fish, fishermen and the environment! Finally, when RFK, Jr., goes to California next time he should meet with fishermen and other fish restoration advocates to find out the truth about what Schwarzenegger’s “environmental advocacy” has done to Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations and fishing communities throughout the state.

    I urge you to write, call and email the Riverkeeper to let you know them how you feel about the Riverkeeper’s honoring of the “Fish Terminator” at: 828 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, Phone: 800-21-RIVER, Email: info [at] riverkeeper.org.

    Here’s the link and announcement of the event honoring the “Fish Terminator”:


    The Fishermen’s Ball

    Wednesday, April 14: Cocktails 6:30pm / Dinner 7:30pm, On the Hudson at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, NYC

    Mark your calendar and plan to join Riverkeeper at our annual Fishermen’s Ball on Wednesday, April 14, 2010! Our gala celebration on the Hudson River at Pier 60 will honor the environmental advocacy of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and HBO in classic Riverkeeper style. Advance tickets and tables can be purchased online or by calling Event Associates at 212-245-6570 X23. We look forward to welcoming you to the Fishermen’s Ball on April 14th!

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