Governor Schwarzenegger  OCT 08 2003

Almost everyone I know is upset about Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected governor of California. Really upset. What is it exactly that bothers you about this? That Arnold is a womanizer? Hitler admirer? Orgy participant? That he hasn't revealed any of his views on any specific issues? That he's stupid? That the voters are stupid? That California is fucked up? That he's a Republican? That he's a moderate Republican? That you're a Democrat? That you'll think he'll help the power companies not repay California for overcharging them for electricity? That Davis was recalled? That the recall was initiated in the first place? That the power companies conspired with the Republicans to recall Davis so that their replacement candidate would cut the energy companies a break? That California law allows for election recalls in the first place? That the Democrats were helpless to do anything about it? That American politics in general are screwed up and the recall is just a maddening example? That it may have been unclear on the ballot that a "no" vote on the recall does not negate your vote for a replacement and this could have had an impact on the election? That the voting process is general is ridiculous? That far less than 100% of the eligible population turned out to vote? Please, share your frustrations.

All I ask is when you do, keep in mind that Davis was recalled by 55% of the voters and Schwarzenegger received 48% of the total vote among ~130 candidates, besting 2nd place Bustamante by more than 1.4 million votes. The state of California spoke loudly and clearly: we want Arnold Schwarzenegger to be our next governor. Why are you so upset with this decision, made in good faith by ~8 million people?

There are 116 reader comments

Ben14 08 2003 4:14PM

As an Englishman, I find it hilarious. But then we have Blair in charge, and could only wish for a recall process... And our national soccer team is threatening to go on strike, potentially ruining our chances in international competition for the next ten years

I need all the humour I can get.

CrippyCrashy16 08 2003 4:16PM

Because I, as a europerv, will now not be able to see Terminator 4 *with Arnie* in any decent amount of time? Ben Affleck as a robot is to close to reality to feel any good.
Arnie is smart, not that I know of Californian electoral, but I suppose there is still a recall process to count as a fine exit maneuver if Arnie figures realities of political life don't work?
Suffice to say, americans really need themselves a royal family pronto. It's not like this Kennedy clan isn't an obvious projectiuon of the need.
How about the saudi one?

Maciej Ceglowski19 08 2003 4:19PM

It bothers me to see a celebrity with no real political track record get elected without having to say more than "I will be a leader, and hire smart people to help me". It happened in 2000 with Bush, and now it has happened with Schwarzenegger.

He may be a good governor in the end. Or he may be a useless narcissist. The point is, nothing in the campaign tested him or required him to lay out specific proposals. The campaign was a beauty contest.

barlow27 08 2003 4:27PM

We could do a lot worse than have someone admit that he or she needs simply to hire smart people and navigate their advice. The alternative is a micromanager or a handwringer and we all know how successful they tend to be.

jkottke38 08 2003 4:38PM

The campaign was a beauty contest.

Aren't most state- and national-level political campaigns?

Mike42 08 2003 4:42PM

Maciej, the founders of this country envisioned that our leaders would be citizens first, and politicians second, meaning that a professional political class of the kind we have now is something they were not trying to achieve. Most states embrace the citizen-leader model, by haing part-time legislators who have real jobs ten months of the year, and report for duty for a relatively short time.

The fact that someone has political experience doesn't necessarily make them a good leader, but it might make them a good politician. The fact that someone who might be a good leader but has no political experience, by the same token, ought not to disqualify them.

There are plenty of examples in both parties of people who won elective office with no prior political experience, who did excellent jobs, and many more examples of professional politicians who mucked everything up. (Of course, the converse is also true.)

So I think the "political novice" argument is one that really shouldn't hold much water. Look to practical leadership experience, and consider whether that might carry over to the political world.

elvisthefish47 08 2003 4:47PM

I am glad that the winning candidate was elected by a respectable % of the vote -- it would have been embarrassing for someone who won with under 30% of the vote running one of the largest economies in the world.

Why am I upset? Because Schwarzenegger didn't articulate his positions -- neither he nor the media seemed to think it necessary. I'm upset that 45% of the voters voted for him, and nearly 2/3s of them doing so despite the fact that they felt he didn't articulate his issues. I'm upset that a vague, unaccomplished grouper/actor seems like the best alternative. I'm upset that this is what referendum-driven politics accomplishes.

Dahl51 08 2003 4:51PM

Well said Jason, I may be annoyed for many of those reasons, but he was elected by almost half of the voting public in California, so it wasn't as much of a sham as we all expected.

And Ben, I always thought you could essentially recall the PM in England by having a vote of no confidence - isn't that basically the same thing?

Michele52 08 2003 4:52PM

As someone who lives in a state that just got through being governed by an action figure I have a few thoughts.

1. People sometimes elect non-politicians because they are tired of politics. The problem is that states are chock full of career politicians who actually do the day to day running of things. Just because the person in charge does not have a political resume does not change the government structure.

2. When your state in is crisis its very difficult to watch the leader tend to his career as a celebrity. When you are dealing with rising jobless rates, homelessness, poverty, education disasters, etc., it is a bummer to see your leader on Leno. It makes you feel like maybe he is not totally focused.


Dave S.57 08 2003 4:57PM

What doesn't add up to me is that the majority of the voters didn't vote for Schwarzeneggar, they voted for Davis.

55% said yes. Of that 55%, 48% voted for AS, leaving him just over 26% of the total vote. A No vote was effectively a vote for Davis, so he got 45% of the total vote. 45% lost to 28%? Huh?

Okay, I realize there are two seperate issues here, but in fairness to the other candidates, shouldn't that have meant two separate votes?

Robin57 08 2003 4:57PM

This is what upsets me - this happened way too fast. What the fuck? Wasn't it just two months ago that he made his announcement? It's as if he put on a nice suit, made a few appearances on TV, did a few interviews, smiled a lot and now is running the second largest economy in the world. When does the director say cut? No, really.

jkottke57 08 2003 4:57PM

Mike, since you brought up the founders of our country, it's worth noting that when the US was founded, only those owning property were eligible to vote in the original 13 states. So in addition to a different class of people seeking office, we have a different citizenry voting for them.

Maciej Ceglowski59 08 2003 4:59PM

Mike, I should have said 'experience in any way relevant to politics' rather than 'political experience'. I agree that a good leader need not come out of the political class.

But unless I'm missing something, Arnold's professional career consists of bodybuilding, being a movie star, and serving on a Presidential physical fitness council. To me, that's not an adequate track record to justify running a nearly content-free campaign. Since Arnold can't point to his past accomplishments, I assumed he would have to somehow prove himself fit for office with real proposals, etc. Instead, it looks like he just floated in on the strength of his celebrity.

Jason: Of course there's a 'beauty contest' element to any campaign, but isn't this a little extreme?

I'm not saying Arnold won't be an excellent governor. My point is, no one knows, because we have no relevant information to go on.

The Phillipines have been down this road before:
http://www.atimes.com/editor/BC11Ba01.html

Scoop03 08 2003 5:03PM

Dave S. ,

Your math does not add up? Were you schooled in California?

As of 1:28pm on 10/8/03,

3,540,573 voted against the recall (effectively voting for Davis)
3,694,436 voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger

Zach04 08 2003 5:04PM

70% of registered voters voted yesterday in California. That's phenomenal, by any realistic standards. The Democrats have always complained about low voter turnout. Now do they whine that only stupid people got out to vote? I don't get it.

jkottke04 08 2003 5:04PM

What doesn't add up to me is that the majority of the voters didn't vote for Schwarzeneggar, they voted for Davis.

55% said yes. Of that 55%, 48% voted for AS, leaving him just over 26% of the total vote. A No vote was effectively a vote for Davis, so he got 45% of the total vote. 45% lost to 28%? Huh?

Crap, I forgot to mention this as one of the possible frustrations. Here's my question...could Davis have run in the recall election himself and if so, could he have won?

Zach05 08 2003 5:05PM

Jason -

No, Davis could not run as a candidate. That was changed in the 70's - it doesn't make much sense for the population vote to recall someone with 51% of the vote, then vote him right back into office with as little as 30% of the vote.

Anon12 08 2003 5:12PM

Hulk Hogan for Senate!

Geof12 08 2003 5:12PM

Jason, I'm not sure how much I care to read the comments for this [frankly, I'm not all that upset, mainly because I live in Alabama and foofy California politics only affect me in second- and third-order ways], but your introduction to this discussion was quite wonderful. It seems as if those that are upset are a vocal minority and those that voted on the prevailing side a mostly mute majority.

Of course, 'round here we might say that "a bit dog always hollers".

cheezedawg14 08 2003 5:14PM

55% said yes. Of that 55%, 48% voted for AS, leaving him just over 26% of the total vote. A No vote was effectively a vote for Davis, so he got 45% of the total vote. 45% lost to 28%? Huh?

Okay, I realize there are two seperate issues here, but in fairness to the other candidates, shouldn't that have meant two separate votes?


Um, it was a separate vote. The two questions (Yes/No on the recall, and a replacement) were separate. It was 48% of the population that voted for Arnold, not 48% of the people that voted yes on the recall. AS got about 150,000 more votes than people that voted No on the recall.

david18 08 2003 5:18PM

kottke.org: ~8 million people

Dave S.19 08 2003 5:19PM

Um, it was a separate vote. The two questions (Yes/No on the recall, and a replacement) were separate. It was 48% of the population that voted for Arnold, not 48% of the people that voted yes on the recall.

Oh. So that's how it works in California. Well there goes my argument. Democracy was served! Hooray!

Doug20 08 2003 5:20PM

I think the issue is that people outside of California want to decide on who Californians get to lead them. Those in California obviously voted for who they wanted, so I don't see why anyone should really care. It seems a little like offering one's opinion into a conversation they weren't even involved with in the first place.

Ben21 08 2003 5:21PM

It bothers me that name recognition trumps so many extremely more important qualities. At least my novelty governor, Jesse Ventura, said something in his campaign, and didn't resort to recognizable cliches (we're going to clothesline taxes off the top rope!) That may be the thing that bothers me the most: Arnold's blatant re-use of why he is popular (and, mostly likely, his assured future attempts to take him seriously even though that's not why he is known/elected.)

cheezedawg22 08 2003 5:22PM

BTW- my experience has been the opposite. Just about everybody I know voted for the recall and for Arnold, and we are all happy with the outcome. It was empowering to stand up and take control back from a government that has been farting around for so long. Gray Davis may have just been our punching bag because he was an available target, but it was a very clear message to ALL of the politicians, and not only in CA: shape up, because you are not a powerful as you think. I hope this can be an agent to change.

rog24 08 2003 5:24PM

Dave S. -- It's not "48% of the 55% voted for AS"; we voted for a candidate regardless of the vote for or against the recall. You can't correlate the numbers -- many democrats, I would assume, voted against the recall and voted for Bustamante. Some may have also voted against the recall and for Schwarzenegger, etc.

Todd27 08 2003 5:27PM

I think it's obvious that people did not want Davis in power anymore and were probably star struck by Arnold. They just wanted a change and he was the most recognizable runner.

The talking heads keep saying "As California goes, so goes the nation." Anyone have any ideas on how this will affect the rest of us in the near future?

Lucas W.33 08 2003 5:33PM

I don't understand why Democrats are so upset about Arnold. Just look at his views on political hot topics like gun control and abortion. The only thing conservative about him are his economic policies. Ignore that facet of his political views and I'd swear he was a moderate Democrat. In light of these observations, I predict that Gov. Schwarzenegger will do just fine maintaining the status quo. Truth be told, I would have like to see a real Republican run for office but we all know he or she would never have won that election.

frank37 08 2003 5:37PM

Why are you so upset with this decision, made in good faith by ~8 million people?


Just because 8 million people bought into this funded-by-the-guy-who-wanted-to-be-governor-
instead-and-then-got-bum-rushed madness doesn't mean it was right.

The votes in this case are a by-product of the absurd recall process and the media attention. Of course a ton of people turned out. It would be like an election where every voting booth also had a peep show running inside. A lot of people would think it was gross, and most people would go check it out.

To reduce it to the numbers obscures the real issues: democracy running too wild, the line between private action and partisan action, and the fact that people are so fucking sick of politics that half the cast of Total Recall has now been elected to public office.

Andrew37 08 2003 5:37PM

Assuming that most people who voted NO on the recall did not vote for Arnold in the second portion(and I think it's a fair assumption), Arnold won 48% of the 55% who voted YES onthe recall. Thats less than 30% of the Total Vote to Davis 45%

andrew39 08 2003 5:39PM

I think we'll probably see a lot more of these "just-in-time" elections in the future.

Even given the cost of this election, it was probably cheaper overall than a regular slog to November.

People were frankly excited by the breakneck pace and anything-goes attitude; 70% turnout might be a better overall plus than Arnold is an overall negative.

Does anyone really believe that Schwarz will affect any meaningful change? Unless he wants to bail the state out from his own pocketbook, there are years and years of slow recovery ahead.

Mike54 08 2003 5:54PM

Jason, Davis could not have run to succeed himself: http://perpetualbeta.com/woifm/archive/002927.html
Your point about the different voting public is well-taken, but I'm not sure how you are trying to relate it.


Maciej, in addition to bodybuilder and movie star, Arnold apparently runs quite the business empire and is a pretty successful investor. Also, remember that he didn't just happen to be a successful bodybuilder and movie star, he came from another country to one where he barely spoke (speaks?) the language and did all that. I think those things are relevant as well. And if I didn't state before, I might as well now: were I a Californai voter, I probably would not have voted for Arnold, but for a libertarian candidate.

Andrew: Your assumption is wrong.
Approximately 7.7 million people voted on whether or not to recall Davis. Of those, 4.2 million voted to recall him.
Approximately 7.5 million people voted on who should succeed Davis. 3.6 million of those votes went to Arnold. By contrast, Cruz Bustamante only won 2.4 million votes. (Numbers from the Washington Post)

The flaw in your thinking is that people who voted NO on the recall mostly went on to vote for someone else; apparently, you thought they wouldn't.


cheezedawg57 08 2003 5:57PM

Assuming that most people who voted NO on the recall did not vote for Arnold in the second portion(and I think it's a fair assumption), Arnold won 48% of the 55% who voted YES onthe recall. Thats less than 30% of the Total Vote to Davis 45%

No. Once again, 3.6 million people voted for Arnold, and 3.5 million people voted against the recall. Arnold did not win 48% of the 55% who voted YES, he won 48% of EVERYBODY.

Its really not that complicated.

ess57 08 2003 5:57PM

Since you asked, I'm upset because:
1) do-overs are childish.
2) Arnold has never had what one would call a job

Where were these 8 million people during the first election?

buggalugga02 08 2003 6:02PM

Canada, here I come. I mean, for real. First we have a dumbass in the White House and now, concurrently, we must suffer a *fool* as the governor of CA... WTF???!

Maciej Ceglowski05 08 2003 6:05PM

...he came from another country to one where he barely spoke (speaks?) the language

Dude, big whoop. I did the same thing, and so did half the population of California. And look at me now: I'm commenting on Kottke!

Elect me for governor!


Dave Campbell08 08 2003 6:08PM

QUOTE:
-------------------------------------------------
The campaign was a beauty contest.

Aren't most state- and national-level political campaigns?
-------------------------------------------------

The Governor of our state (Arizona) is living proof that not all campaigns are beauty contests.

http://www.azpost.state.az.us/board_info/Photos/napolitono.JPG

Aye carumba.

Stefan Jones09 08 2003 6:09PM

I'm upset because I live in Oregon and we'll probably end up having to house refugees once Arnold reveals that he's balancing the budget by making everybody sell a kidney. (OTOH, many people would prefer that to those exorbitant auto registration fees.)

phil18 08 2003 6:18PM

all the issues you list are all factors jason.

i guess i feel disenfranchised? hell, almost 25% of the people in my county voted for McClintock. not arnold. he was too liberal for them....so i just feel sort of out-of-place.

the anarchist in me thinks its great that a non-politician is elected. the paranoid part of me thinks he will be president someday.

Dave Campbell22 08 2003 6:22PM

Oh, I don't know... K.I.T.T. is probably smarter than many Hollywood actors.

Ralph Philips25 08 2003 6:25PM

Napolitbureau gives me a queasy feeling in my gizzard. But I digest....

cheezedawg32 08 2003 6:32PM

Since you asked, I'm upset because:
1) do-overs are childish.
2) Arnold has never had what one would call a job


This "do-over" is a constitutional provision for the voters to keep the politicians in check. There have been recall attempts against pretty much every CA governor since the recall statutes were put in the books, but none of them got close. The fact that 1.6 million people signed the petition, and that 54% of the population voted for the recall, is pretty telling.

And Arnold is actually a very accomplished businessman. He was a millionaire before he even began his movie career. Shortly after he moved here with nothing, he started a construction company with a friend that was pretty successful, and he was able to use the revenue from that business to start a new mail order company to sell weight lifting materials. From there he started investing in real estate, and he built up quite a fortune through his hard work. I would call that a "real job".

Yes- he has little political experience. So what? Look what all of the experienced politicians have done to CA over the past few years? He seems to have his head on straight about economic issues, and time will tell if he is able to transfer that to effective governing.

mike49 08 2003 6:49PM

I'm upset that the Democrats couldn't/wouldn't field a better candidate than Cruz Bustamante. I'm upset that Davis, in the midst of the recall campaign, thought it would be a good idea to sign legislation giving illegal aliens drivers licences. I'm upset the public's genuine frustration was taken advantage of by a couple of partisan rich guys looking to game the system. I'm upset that there are people who still believe this recall was a 'people's revolt' after the guy who paid to make it happen (Issa) recommended people vote against it when it looked like his prefered candidate (Arnold) might lose.

bajar13 08 2003 7:13PM

well, i think people who vote to schwarzenegger is crazy, he is a actor, he isnt ready to be the governor of California, we will have to wait to see what happen...

Gabe42 08 2003 7:42PM

Here's another reason to be upset (well I guess it fits into your original ideas): This election brought out about three times the normal turnout for elections in California. That means that the media circus with Arnold at its center was the driving factor behind the high turnout. Furthermore, it seems quite likely that many of the people that voted for him would therefore never vote in a 'normal' election.

Now we all know Arnold is a media master. He keeps tight controls on every aspect of his publicity. With this in mind, the lack of substantive interviews with Arnold paints a picture of a public that is being manipulated just the same as if glued to the tube watching the latest season of Survivor. It makes the (already ailing) political process seem that much more canned, stamped, and sold to the masses. Let's face it, the science of marketing has reduced the public to a system of percentages that can be manipulated by simple mass media moves. Sure there's some guesswork, but the fact is that the percentage of the population that cares enough about politics to seek out independent sources and think critically is so far in the minority that they are basically irrelevant.

Politics has come so far that these days a politician is basically an actor. The only difference is that a politician plays a politician, and people are beginning to see through that. You get a real movie star like Arnold, and suddenly all the acting he's done in movies influences people's opinion of him. It's just the usual political act with 100 times the polish, and 10,000 times the budget. This is the wave of the future folks, and it's not very bright.

sjc51 08 2003 7:51PM

I'm upset that there are people who still believe this recall was a 'people's revolt' after the guy who paid to make it happen (Issa) recommended people vote against it when it looked like his prefered candidate (Arnold) might lose.

Actually, Issa wanted people to vote against it because he was afraid that Schwarzenegger and McClintock would split the Republican vote and thus get Cruz Bustamante in office. Ahnold was by no means Issa's preferred candidate, being that Issa is hard right-wing; Issa's preferred candidate was himself, and he wept stinging, bitter tears when Schwarzenegger announced his candicacy.

As for why I might be upset: because 8 million people acting in anger is not a good thing. I have no idea what sort of governor Schwarzenegger will be, but the fact that he capitalized on the "throw the bums out!" anger (so, most likely, he would not have to face a primary election or an extended campaign, both of which would work against him) doesn't make him the best person for the job.

But the People have spoken, and obviously such a noble gesture can't possibly be wrong.

matt08 08 2003 8:08PM

Why am I upset? One word, "Schwarzeneggonomics".

Zach10 08 2003 8:10PM

Man, I haven't seen this many sour grapes from the left since Algore got beat. Face it democrats - Californians spoke loud and clear: You Lose. Maybe now would be a good time to examine why the "once oh so great" democrat party has been getting trounced in the last few years and come up with a plan on how to fix it, rather than whining and moaning. It was old in 1999, and it's even older now.

May16 08 2003 8:16PM

All I can say is Arnold did well to thank his wife. True, he may not be highly credentialed or articulate...but no man stands alone in office and I imagine regular family brunches with the Shrivers and Kennedys are bound to make him a quick study. One could do worse.

Instead, it looks like he just floated in on the strength of his celebrity.

Attaining the kind of celebrity he has is no small feat. I'd venture to say it's FAR more difficult and tricky and challenging than "talking about issues" which we all seem to be pretty adept at doing. Maciej - you and probably half of California, like Arnold, have come to the U.S. as immigrants from fairly humble circumstances, but none of us are as famous or wealthy or influential! Not even if we tried!

scarabic20 08 2003 8:20PM

What I find upsetting is that after he voted, a reporter walked up and asked him:

"Arnold, is it going to be close?"

and he responded:

"It's all up to the God now."

Anyone who thinks that God decides an election doesn't have the faintest grasp on Democracy. What an insult to the people who supported him, and the rest of us as well.

Thanks to everyone who took a moment today to laugh at California. Your schadenfreude is really dignified. And despite what you may think, a lot of us here fought the good fight to the bitter end, and I for one am sick of hearing "I can't believe what you did to yourself, you idiot." *I* didn't do it.

When our constitution is ammended to allow this clown to become president, we'll all be in deep shit together.

cheezedawg29 08 2003 8:29PM

Hey scarabic, try to take a deep breath and relax. You have already written off Schwarzenegger as a failure, and he hasn't even taken office yet! The bitter partisanship that you are displaying is EXACTLY what is wrong with politics in this country.

Keef47 08 2003 8:47PM

The fact that 8 million Californians thought nothing about putting an ACTOR- and an actor without even LOCAL COUNCIL experience- in such an important gevernment position is a testament to how screwed up 8 million people are. It gives hope to every man and his monkey that THEY TOO can be Governor, just like in the movies...
The truth is he ran a campaign on ether for no apparent motive besides meaning well and the danger is Americans will be governed by a bunch of Lackeys (a lot like Rovenites) with a very bad actor as a puppethead- history repeating itself.
Maybe he can make a movie after his governorship called "Dave II".

nick01 08 2003 9:01PM

zach: "stop complaing" is not a good attitude to have when dealing with criticism. complaining is exactly why there was a recall election yesterday. constructive complaining is good - it makes people aware of problems. complaining about how the presidential election helps avoid problems in the future. complaining about how your representative is doing makes him do a better job. complaints against a king's rule were how our revolution was started. telling people this is just "sour grapes" is not beneficial for anyone. that's really a grade-school mentality. everyone is "sick" of hearing people make the same comments about certain topics, but there are a lot of people that might share the same views. you have to be tolerant to that, and you have to be able to defend criticism, with more than a "you are just bitter" style argument.

jkottke02 08 2003 9:02PM

Your point about the different voting public is well-taken, but I'm not sure how you are trying to relate it.

Just that you had to be of a certain stature in society to vote...presumably most of the land owning white folks were educated and had a different agenda when voting than do the voters of today.

Lucas W.12 08 2003 9:12PM

Phil Said: "...the paranoid part of me thinks he will be president someday." I hate to disapoint you, Phil but Arnold will NEVER be president because he was not born righ ther in the U.S.A. Pay a little more attention in your civics class.

Jonathan33 08 2003 9:33PM

Well, at least we now know how easy it is for idiots to be bought

Adam Rakunas01 08 200310:01PM

I'm mad because my state has just turned into Springfield. After all, there's no justice like angry mob justice.

I'm mad because the recall movement was not grassroots, despite what Issa spouted on CNN last night. He shelled out the money to gather signatures. A real grassroots movement would have had volunteers doing the legwork, gathering donations for filing costs, etc. Issa bankrolled all that. Some millionaire jerkoff has the power to override my vote because it doesn't align with his views. Bull.

I'm mad because Issa is going to be hailed as some kind of folk hero, when he was nothing but useful idiot.

I'm mad because the recall is another event in chain strung together by Republicans who are no longer interested in governing and want to rule instead.

I'm mad because Schwartzenegger got a free ride from the press. His meeting with Ken Lay should have been put on the autopsy table of public opinion and examined through and through. Instead, we had reporters wetting themselves in ecstasy over the movie-star candidate.

I'm mad because our local news coverage of what goes on in Sacramento sucks ass. If we'd known what the hell was going on with our state business, we might have kept the legislature and the governor in line with phone calls and letters and pressure groups and all the other crap that works if you keep it up. Instead, everyone got lazy, and no one cared until it was too late.

Which brings us right back to Springfield.

Adam Rakunas02 08 200310:02PM

That should be a useful idiot.

That's what I get for posting before dinnertime.

jkottke26 08 200310:26PM

I hate to disapoint you, Phil but Arnold will NEVER be president because he was not born righ ther in the U.S.A.

Orrin Hatch introduced a Constitutional Amendment to the Senate in July called the "Equal Opportunity to Govern" Amendment that woulld make it legal for non-native born citizens of 20+ years to hold the office of President. The rationale for it -- that the native born requirement is antiquated -- is fairly convincing.

Pay a little more attention in your civics class.

Come on, Lucas, there's no call for that. Just make your point and don't worry about busting anyone's ass.

ryan powers22 08 200311:22PM

DK updated
http://www.brassmonkey.com/CalEEforkneahh_Uber_Alles.txt

John16 09 200312:16AM

First, the critics said the election wasn't legitimate, as if giving the voters too many choices is somehow undemocratic. And now, I am hearing people complain that too many voters turned out yesterday. Progressives like to say they are in favor of democracy, but that only lasts until they get results they don't like. 'Power to the people' only lasts until their self-appointed guardians realize that the people are too stupid to know what's good for them.

I used to like to trash-talk "democracy" with the simple observation that we don't live in one- the US is a republic. But I think I like this democracy thing. It gets rid of worthless careerists like Gray.

I also think it's amusing that Arnold got more votes than Gray in the last election.

PG22 09 200312:22AM

"Those in California obviously voted for who they wanted, so I don't see why anyone should really care."

As a non-Californian and Democrat, I cared about the results of the election because I don't want to see Bush get carte blanche to campaign in a traditionally liberal stronghold in 2004. As a Texan, I cared about the media circus that was the CA recall because it siphoned national attention from our re-redistricting issue, one which has national implications no matter how one slices it.

PG23 09 200312:23AM

(whoops. Actually, it was Doug who made the statement in quotation marks.)

dtetto10 09 2003 1:10AM



There was a lot of back-and-forth about numbers in the thread, but is the information publically available that we could do an analysis?

If you could get the right statistics, you could do a nice analysis: assuming all that the 3,559,436 that voted "No" against the recall were in essence voting for Davis (they were), let's throw their alternative candidate choice out the window. According to CNN's exit polls, 22% who voted "no" on the recall voted for Arnie (18% of Arnie's voters checked a box self-identifying themselves as Democrats).

Therefore, from Arnold's 3,744,132 votes we'll throw out 20% (to round down a little), or 748,826 of his votes. That means that not including the overlap no-recall votes (which, if there was no runoff, would be Davis votes) Arnie likely garnered only 2,995,306 votes.

This means that a full 16% more voters would have preferred to stick with Davis than swap over to Schwarzenegger.

Ro16 09 2003 1:16AM

...only those owning property were eligible to vote...

I haven't researched anything, but I suppose owning land today holds much more of a connotation now than it did, you know, way-back-when.

I'm thinking of people that were working the land to survive, and probably were not so worldly. Perhaps inherited their plots from prior generations who did nothing more than erect a fence around a few unoccupied acres.

Scott24 09 2003 1:24AM

I'm not mad — I don't live in California. I'm just surprised that nobody's related a past celebrity governor to this issue.

paul lawson55 09 2003 1:55AM

Florida it was not. California it is--and with 70% participation.
Stranger things have happened. In 1988, with a 46% participation rate,a Democrat won a Reps seat in Santa Barbara.

Presumably that Democrat was the person the few who cared then preferred. In 2003 an unusual number cared. They have their clear collective preference as Governor-elect. As should be.

How will he perform? Kaus suggests the character flaws he detects might make Schwarzenegger a good Governor. Not nice, but...

A year from now we'll know. He has few hostages to fortune and no discernible policy. Perhaps moving the state capital to Anaheim could prolong the entertainment.

May01 09 2003 3:01AM

Lawrence Lessig puts it well:

"...the results last night are as a democracy should be. A clear majority voted to recall the governor. And more people than supported Davis voted to elect Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He wasn’t my first choice. But it is interesting that the two top candidates “started” their life in the US in poverty. Anyone who gets as far as either did deserves our respect. And we Californians can hope that some of the benefit of the hard work and luck that has marked Mr. Schwarzenegger’s life might now pass to California."



Moss20 09 2003 3:20AM

I'm upset for a couple of reasons.

First of all, as a general rule, I think too much direct democracy is a bad idea. The whole population of a state can't act as a properly deliberative body, because it's too large for real discussion to take place, and because most people don't have time to give these questions the serious consideration they deserve. This election felt rushed. I didn't have time to get a real sense of what sort of governor Schwarzenegger would be, and I get the sense that other people didn't either.

Beyond this, based on what I do know of Schwarzenegger, I'm really not convinced that he'll be a good governor. He has the wrong opinions on some major issues, and, more than this, it's not clear that he'll be a competent leader, whatever his positions. So, in addition to my general problems with the process by which he was elected, I think that electing him was a bad decision.

This doesn't mean I think his election was illegitimate. Schwarzenegger was duly elected according to the laws of the state of California, and it is clearly the will of the majority that he should replace Davis. But I think the majority made the wrong decision. It's happened many times before, and it will no doubt happen again. Democracy, broadly speaking, is the best form of government we have yet found, but it is hardly infallible, or even particularly reliable.

(I would quibble with the statement that 8 million people decided to elect him. Yes, the total number of voters was around 8 million, but it hardly seems fair to credit his victory to those who voted against him.)

Michael Heilemann24 09 2003 4:24AM

Who cares anyway?

After Bush is any change good?

The Pageman47 09 2003 4:47AM

Who cares anyway?
- well good thing Arnie won, if he had lost, he would have
had to say : "I'll be Back!" hehehe

The Pageman50 09 2003 4:50AM

(I would quibble with the statement that 8 million people decided to elect him. Yes, the total number of voters was around 8 million, but it hardly seems fair to credit his victory to those who voted against him.)

- if you don't exercise your right to vote then presumably you
abdicate your right to influence the whole vote. combinatorial bidding, anyone?

Lee Bryant10 09 2003 5:10AM

People have been debating recently whether the the USA is actually undergoing a period of fascism (no legal or moral limits on the exercise of its military power, openly committing war crimes whilst refusing to be part of the ICC, the Patriot act, Guantanamo Bay, an empty vessel President with ultra-right-wing hands up his ass in league with out of control corporations, public witch hunts, politics dumbed down to the point of "are you with us or against us?"etc).

Surely this just proves the point?

I am not referring to Arnie's admiration for Hitler, which is merely incidental (though deeply offensive), but rather the fact that the ultimate strongman with literally ZERO content in terms of knowledge, skills, experience of politics has come to power in California whilst claiming that he acts "for the people" against "politics as usual".

California uber alles, indeed. You couldn't make it up!!

"I play Terminator, but you guys are the true terminators," the muscle-bound actor and political aspirant told the soldiers on a lightning trip [to Iraq] to raise morale on US Independence Day.

This is funny, of course, but don't forget that at least 10k innocent Iraqis have been killed this year alone, and yet your war-without-end will continue for some time yet.

Charles S.30 09 2003 5:30AM

Anyone think that maybe a recall vote should require more than a simple majority, 2/3 instead? And I'm not writing this because I'm not a far lefty who doesn't want Arnold in office (but I am).

However, it does seem like a situation where maybe a higher percentage would be proper to instate - as the usual official election has already taken place, it would seem we would want an extraordinary amount of people to vote in favor of a recall. I would liken it to a president not being able to veto a bill which receives 2/3 majority... Seems like a similar procedure, in my mind anyways.

Oh, and I think it would be wise if we would instate Instant Runoff Voting for such situations.

Jack45 09 2003 5:45AM

As others have said, I find it more than a little disturbing that people voted for a candidate who (observing from across the Atlantic) didn't actually seem to have any policies, and no track records in politics.

I just can't imagine voting in an election without reading the manifesto of each party (well, most of them) and checking out the record of the candidates on the issues that I care most about. Call me old fashioned, but a lot of people fought hard for universal suffrage, and I think we owe it to them to see excercising the right to vote as a duty, and a serious one - turning up to make your mark because a famous man has been on the telly a lot recently isn't good enough, really.

raena49 09 2003 5:49AM

'Instant runoff' is close to what we use in Australia. At least our votes actually count for something.

I'm also one of these uptight cows who believes that voting isn't just a right, it's an obligatin, and has no problem whatsoever with mandatory voting. If you're registered, you oughta get your ass into that booth.

Jason Fried12 09 2003 9:12AM

The so called qualified experts / career politicians fucked it up good. Remember that nearly every problem you have with this country was caused by career politicians. I have no problem giving an amateur like Arnold a shot.

jkottke09 09 200310:09AM

I have no problem giving an amateur like Arnold a shot.

In theory or in reality? Arnold in particular or just any amateur? What if Arnold were a Democrat, a far-right Republican, or a Communist? I guess what I'm asking is anyone with a pulse preferable to a career politician or is Arnold the particular amateur for the job?

mark30 09 200310:30AM

It think it is plain that Arnold was elected based upon his celebrity, not based upon merit, or ability to govern, and isn't that what we are talking about here, people voting for candidates who have the ability to govern. The disturbing thing is that people vote on flash and style, and not on substance. If Bill Clinton was as flat as Al Gore, I have a hard time imagining his political career would have gone as far.

Democracy is not easy, and it does not come free, and casting votes on celebrities because they are familiar and flashy seems antithetical to democracy.

In the end, Jason makes a valid point, 'the people have spoken'...but then again, so did the people of Germany. It doesn't mean it wasn't/isn't a mistake.

amutch37 09 200310:37AM

Jason, you should be concerned that Arnold isn't going to address the budget problems that need to be addressed in CA. His promises to roll back the car tax, not raise taxes and solve the budget problems by eliminating "waste" is the sign of a politician more interested in telling the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

We had a very similar situation here in Michigan where the outgoing Republican governor and Republican controlled legislature managed to make a hash of the State's budget to the tune of a 2 billion dollar deficit. The current Governor, a Democrat, has managed to balance the state budget without raising taxes [which also proves that you don't have to be a Republican to balance a budget without raising taxes]. But it has taken cuts in state government that have affected all areas of the government except schools and increased fees for all kinds of services. Now the State is facing another $800 million dollars in deficit due to the poor state of the economy. Again, the Governor is going to try and cut spending and not raise taxes. Residents have generally accepted these cuts because the Governor was up-front and honest with them about the loss of services that they were going to endure. Is Arnold willing to take the same steps? So far, nothing he's said indicates that he will.

I've heard several CA politicians say the biggest budget problem in CA is that California residents want top-dollar State services but don't want to pay for them. Until CA residents come to grips with that contradiction, to many of us out here in the heartland, the recall just looks like a big temper-tantrum by people who want everything but aren't willing to pay for it.

alstki45 09 200310:45AM

I think the whole concept of the recall is incredibly stupid in a country that has constitutionally scheduled elections.

Having said that, I don't really see how having Arnold in power is going to make any difference. Given the choices California had to make, it was a matter of picking the best of a bad lot. (Isn't that always the case with elections?)

mb52 09 200310:52AM

Jason's list is like a delicious menu of discontent. Can I have more than one serving? Really, the whole recall/election was so screwed up I'm gonna need the all-you-can-eat special meal deal.

M54 09 200310:54AM

Lucas said:
I hate to disapoint you, Phil but Arnold will NEVER be president because he was not born righ ther in the U.S.A.

Legislators are working on an amendment to change that, my friend.

m57 09 200310:57AM

oops. guess i should refresh the page before i post.

D. Achilleus20 09 200311:20AM

Excellent point, Lee Bryant:

"California uber alles"* - I am not from California, but wasn't Pete Wilson one of the worst of the worst? And he was in charge of Arnold's campaign?
What about the private investors and corporate execs leading Arnold's econ policy? Henry Ford he is not. Putting policy decisions in the hands of a shadow board of puppeteers...large reason why so many are p o'd about "Pres." Shrub.
Good luck CA!
*Disposable Heroes of Hypopricy

Brian35 09 200311:35AM

Remember that California also had another actor serve as governor. Ronald Reagan. Funny enough, he is the only California governor who went on to become President. Not that I am comparing the two.

I look at it this way, voters wanted Davis out, they elected Schwarzenegger. It is as simple as that. If you voted to keep Davis in, then you should be upset. If not, then you have to live with your vote and see how Arnie works out.

Can someone explain to me why someone who doesn't live in California would be so upset about this? How does this affect you?

epersonae27 09 200312:27PM

not to be a pedant, D. Achilleus, but "California Uber Alles" was a Dead Kennedys song first. (ah, the days of Jerry Brown....)

L312 09 2003 1:12PM

I don't live in CA, but I was born and raised there. I care because I want to like California again. The recall encapsulates everything that I hate about what California has become. What upsets me is complete refusal to take responsibility for their state. The problems in California have been building up for decades. The shit just hit the fan on Davis' watch. They elected him two terms in a row for god's sake.

D. Achilleus30 09 2003 2:30PM

I think people not in CA care about whats going on for good reasons: eventually we will all feel some kind of impact, whether its in the upcoming presidential election, state-state economies, etc. Do you guys honestly believe that the policies of a state like CA could not effect us all in some way (if even small ways)?
Heck, I live in Missouri and we all voted for a dead man to show how displeased we were with our other option. Little did we know he was top of the list for Attorney General. That vote kind of effected you didn't it?

re: dead kennedys - and to avoid any ad hominum - I would sit corrected except I never stated which came first - only which version I was thinking of at the time (small analogy for political discourse in general?)

Moss04 09 2003 3:04PM

The Pageman: if you don't exercise your right to vote then presumably you
abdicate your right to influence the whole vote.


Sounds fair enough, but I wasn't referring to those who didn't vote. 3.7 million people voted for Schwarzenegger. 3.5 million people voted to keep Davis in office. To me, that doesn't say "8 million people chose to elect Schwarzenegger."

Vibe53 09 2003 4:53PM

The only thing I like about the govenor elect is that most of his fellow republicans don't like him.

I'll Tell You Why I'm Mad19 09 2003 5:19PM

I am a California resident and I voted no on the recall and for Cruz Bustamante in the event that the recall passed. As a victims' rights advocate for victims of sexual assault at a women's shelter, I'm upset that I live in a state where Schwarzenegger's alledged incidents of sexual battery and sexual harassment appear to be of no consequence to the majority of the voting population. This sends an inaccurate message to women throughout the world that sexual assault is acceptable - do you really want your mother, sister, and girlfriend to feel that way?

Additionally I have a personal bias, and I acknowlege that it is bias, against Schwarzenegger in that his movie image has been based on characters that equate manliness with violence. Obviously, those were just characters. However, I truly believe that many of the voters of this state voted for Schwarzenegger not because of his potential qualifications for governor (such as the economic management skills described in previous posts here), but because of his media image based on his action film roles. Or possibly they voted him because they were high and found it just too hilariously ridiculous to resist?

So really, I guess I'm not really upset that Schwarzenegger won the vote. I'm upset to realize that I'm surrounded by folks who voted for him.

Molly Timmins52 09 2003 5:52PM

Arnold Schwarzenegger is currently refining the details of the sale of California to the Bush administration, so the multinational corporate powers that leveled Iraq can level our mountains in search of oil, pollute our air by deregulating vehicle emissions and deepen the economic divide that has already made California a virtual plantation economy.

The Bush team has long been frustrated in its aims to tear up the Los Padres National Forest for oil exploration. It has explicitly longed to loosen up many of the controls on coal burning and gas-hogging that keep our air from becoming completely toxic. So far the California electorate has stood in its way.

Schwarzenegger duped the voters by presenting himself as a moderate Republican. So did George Bush. We found out differently then, and we'll find out differently now.

You just wait.

Dan07 09 2003 6:07PM

Jason Fried: The so called qualified experts / career politicians fucked it up good. Remember that nearly every problem you have with this country was caused by career politicians. I have no problem giving an amateur like Arnold a shot.

Well, lots of people die in hospitals, too.

This is an interesting perspective coming from a partner in 37Signals, a design agency which lauds its thoughtful competence, expertise and experience in user-interface design. If you hold expertise and careerism so cheap, why is the #2 Reason to Hire 37Signals:

"World-Class Experience. Hire 37signals and you'll get a team of experts with tons of experience. We've successfully launched projects for clients who lead their respective industries. We speak at major design and business conferences, lecture at universities, publish columns and white papers on usability, and are frequently profiled in national publications. We'll bring this know how to your project."

How do you defend against charges that 37Signals is itself a group of career artists, overcharging for services that any 16-year-old with Dreamweaver and Bryce can do faster and without the elitist pose? Just because you went to design school, and spent all that time in secret, closed-door meetings with other designers, does that make you think you're smarter and better than the rest of us?

(The answer to that last one is "yes." 37Signals is a great design firm.)

So what makes you think that civic life is less complex than any other part of life (including UI design), and thus demanding of less expertise?

Competence at the task isn't a prerequisite? To me that's a scary thought.

paul lawson47 09 2003 6:47PM

We should all care about the health (or its lack) of the 5th largest economy in the world.

[Insufficient, and insufficiently timely, caring about the economy of--Austria--in 1931 helped trigger unfortunate consequences.]

Roll on the audit. What is wrong?

Is(are) the problem(s) the hole(s)? Or the bucket?

An analysis and prescription from a Brad DeLong might assist. All wisdom does not lie with Warren Buffet.

Presumably, the Governor-elect (and team) have little idea of what to do next, except to drape themselves in flags. Pennant and bunting makers must be enjoying a boom.

Nature abhors...an opportunity exists. Write in citizens and residents (legal or not) of CA. Request of the 'newbies' the governance required. Turf 'em out if they are not up to the task.

No one wuz robbed in this election. Many could be in the next three years. Through lack of caring.

Bob56 09 2003 6:56PM

The concern with Arnold is partly that he won't be competent but mostly that we don't have any idea what he's going to do. The "plans" he outlined were little more than abstract goals with no clear method of how we get from here to there. Reminiscient of the pre-Iraq rhetoric, we were only told that he was going to restore CA eduction, improve the economy, create jobs, and not raise taxes. Who can argue with that? It's like arguing FOR Hussein FOR terrorism AGAINST education or FOR taxes. Everybody has the same goals. There's nothing controversial or hard there. The question is how are you going to achieve them and Arnold has simply failed to give us ANY indication of how he is going to "pump up Sacramento". Unfortunately we've just sold ourselves into the great uknown with the hope that things will get better.

Jason Fried36 09 2003 7:36PM

Just because you went to design school, and spent all that time in secret, closed-door meetings with other designers, does that make you think you're smarter and better than the rest of us?

Wrong. None of us at 37signals ever went to design school. No one that has ever worked for 37signals had formal design training. We were/are business majors. Jazz Performance Majors. Biology majors. Political Science majors. Some of us never even went to college. We were self taught amateurs who were fed up with the web design profession and set out to change things -- to do things our way.

And further, we aren't in charge of running a state with a billion dollar budget deficit so I'm not sure how we got dragged into this.

And finally... closed-door meetings? You must not know us.

O. Lawless17 09 2003 8:17PM

I'm upset that G. Davis didn't get elected because he was the best candidate but because the Dems didn't have the nuts to put up a -better- candidate and for some reason the Republicans decided that Bill Simon would be their man. Where the hell was Arnold during the -last- election if he wanted in so much. That and that this was clearly a power grab on Issa's part that failed. Had Issa his way, -he'd- be governor right now.

It sets a rather depressing precedence for the future.

Dan25 09 2003 9:25PM

Wrong.

I know. I understand where you and 37signals are coming from. My point, made badly, is that y'all are now experts, that knowledge and experience are good things, and that we all ought to be careful when we declare the experts to be the enemy.

When things go wrong on the operating table, they don't hand the scalpel to the janitor, no matter how charismatic he is.

pb15 09 200310:15PM

A recall is virtually the only way a real moderate can get elected. There's a huge group of people who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative (i.e., Arnold) and don't find a home in either party. Arnold could never have won a republican primary because he is far too liberal. People who dismiss him as a dumb actor are kidding themselves,

Jason M00 10 200312:00AM

Democracy is grossly overrated.

Gerard19 10 2003 2:19AM

Okay, what else you got? Rule by Jason M?

Bobby02 10 200311:02AM

This "do-over" is a constitutional provision for the voters to keep the politicians in check. There have been recall attempts against pretty much every CA governor since the recall statutes were put in the books, but none of them got close. The fact that 1.6 million people signed the petition, and that 54% of the population voted for the recall, is pretty telling.

And Arnold is actually a very accomplished businessman. He was a millionaire before he even began his movie career. Shortly after he moved here with nothing, he started a construction company with a friend that was pretty successful, and he was able to use the revenue from that business to start a new mail order company to sell weight lifting materials. From there he started investing in real estate, and he built up quite a fortune through his hard work. I would call that a "real job".

Yes- he has little political experience. So what? Look what all of the experienced politicians have done to CA over the past few years? He seems to have his head on straight about economic issues, and time will tell if he is able to transfer that to effective governing.


Very well put cheesedawg. I find it hilarious how liberals are now going to try to spin these numbers around, reminds me of the Presidential elections, except this time Arnold won with a *landslide*!

Why is everyone saying he's unqualified? Because he's an actor? Because he has an accent? Because weight lifters are considered "dumb"? And here I thought conservatives were the stereotypical classists. Davis put us $35 billion into the hole, Arnold's biggest campaign point was getting us out. He has a proven track record of raising money, both in his personal and his political career. You better believe he's getting my vote.

sacre_bleu23 10 200311:23AM

I live in New York State, which has been slowly strangling for a decade or more in the grip of a state political quagmire no one has had the strength or courage to break. Three men run state government, we have a deficit this year of about $10 billion, and schools in poorer cities are laying of teachers, etc. because there's no state aid to save them any more. (The NY Times series of editorials on the problems are here.

As much as I detest the idea of an unqualified GOP celebrity being elected governor of California, I absolutely identify with the anger of voters who would do ANYTHING to break the mold.

Orson20 10 200312:20PM

Hey Californian Democrats, I have an idea. You could have a recall of the recall election. It worked for the Republicans, right? Maybe you could be like Al Gore or Janet Reno and file a lawsuit because you didn't get your way. You lost, get over it.

Bobby38 10 200312:38PM

Davis already conceded, anyway, so you can't put him back in office now.

For those wondering what exactly has Arnold said he's gonna do in office: http://www.joinarnold.com/en/agenda/

nick24 10 2003 1:24PM

As Alexander Pope put it, revising vox populi, vox dei:

"The People's Voice is odd:
It is -- and it is not -- the Voice of GOD."

That's how California spoke.

Geof11 10 2003 3:11PM

An interesting discussion. Amutch noted:

"I've heard several CA politicians say the biggest budget problem in CA is that California residents want top-dollar State services but don't want to pay for them. Until CA residents come to grips with that contradiction, to many of us out here in the heartland, the recall just looks like a big temper-tantrum by people who want everything but aren't willing to pay for it."

That's pretty much everyone. We've taken a consumer mentality to government as well--we want as much as we can get for as little as we can get it. That governments can afford to spend at a deficit in volumes that no ordinary consumer [or business entity] can do makes things quite interesting in this regard.

Both sides in Washington have been applying the screws to the states for the last 15 years, a story that's really not getting enough play. The Feds have been cutting back how much they contribute into state/federal combined projects, leaving the states holding the bag. Why? It allows them to keep overall spending and taxes down while allowing each side to do their short-sighted political things [the Republicans cutting taxes, the Democrats shifting spending from some areas to others] to keep getting elected while passing the buck to the states.

This came during good times for the general economy in a post-Cold War time when social spending could afford to increase as it has; when the business cycle went the other way, the state folks--who'd been happy to dole out money just like their idols in Washington, because it keeps them in office, too--got left holding the bag.

The problem is in not holding governmental officials accountable for their actions. As amutch said on the state level, so also happens on the level below that--screw the guys in the next county, get as much money as we can right here in my backyard. When everyone gets selfish, well, it goes to hell in a handbasket, now doesn't it?

The ol' Preamble sez: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The union? Probably as perfect as we can make it today, and we'll work on it for tomorrow.

Justice? Whew. Questionable, but it's always been questionable ... it just gets more press now.

Tranquility? No rioting in the streets. Crime's down on the whole.

Common defense? The one part the GOP always gets right.

General welfare? Whoa, who threw that banana peel out there?

ctm308 10 2003 4:08PM

I like him because hes not a politician and Kalifornia has nothing to lose.

amutch20 10 2003 9:20PM

"Kalifornia has nothing to lose"

Wrong. California can end up like Mississippi or Alabama. Those states are the ideal of those who believe that the less you spend on state government, the better. The end result are backwater states (no offense to residents of those states but in just about every category, you score at the bottom) that provide the bare minimum in services and are places most people would never think of moving to live.

I don't want to see my tax dollars wasted. But I also don't believe in a free lunch. So if I want to have good roads, good schools and a high quality of life, I'm going to have to cough up some dollars for that to happen. I surely don't believe in Santa Claus or anyone else who promises me something for nothing.

Any excellent exercise would be for someone to put together an online calculator that would allow you to pick and choose your priorities and your taxes and see if YOU can balance them. I'm guessing most people would find that people who promise both programs and tax cuts are decieving them.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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