Schwarzenegger's Special Election Should Receive Negative Votes
I was glad to see the Los Angeles Times editorial page oppose Gov. Schwarzenegger's November special election the same day he formally proposed it, and wish to associate myself with the Times' position.
It is dishonest of the governor to schedule yet another election at an inconvenient time when he feels he can count on a more substantial Republican turnout, thus negating the state's recent customary Democratic majority. Although I am a registered Republican, I prefer to win, if winning is merited, fair and square.
Also, I doubt very much whether winning is merited, particularly when one of the governor's proposals is to lengthen the time before teachers' tenure would be awarded.
The California Teachers Union has already taken steps to increase dues by $50 million this year to fight against the special election, and this is certainly advisable, since if the teachers do not fight for themselves, they cannot count on others to do so.
As Californians who love their children and grandchildren, we have a major stake in the work satisfaction of our teachers.
As Californians too, we owe the teachers a great deal more for steadfastly trying to keep educational standards high than we do the governor, who as Times columnist George Skelton has pointed out, has welched on his promise to pay back $2 billion he borrowed from education last year.
California public education has unfortunately been made the whipping boy for the state's budgetary problems, and as a result standards have further diminished. The governor is not supporting education as he ought to, and this alone is reason enough to oppose him on the special election.
But other proposals he has made would unbalance state government, diminish the role of the Legislature and install him as a kind of dictator reminescent of his own birthplace.
It is to be hoped that if Californians reject his proposals in the special election, he may decide not to stand for reelection next year. He has turned out to not be much of an improvement over Gray Davis, who was corrupt and had to be replaced. Fear of another successful Schwarzenegger candidacy has kept Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, perhaps the best qualified candidate, from making plans to run next year for governor.
It is particularly unfair of the governor, too, to seek to curtail the power of the state employee unions to raise money to fight election battles. This would give the Republicans and conservatives an unfair advantage. Altogether, the Schwarzenegger proposals are not in the interest of our great state, and should be rejected in their entirety.