Friday, September 29, 2006

Phoniness Abounds In California Governor's Race

Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his challenger, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, are proving themselves to be terrible phonies in the California governor's race, and it is hard to know which of them is the poorest choice.

Schwarzenegger, who has catered to many unsavory lobbies and picked a sleazy executive secretary in Susan Kennedy, now has a mailing out to the voters headlined, "Governor Schwarzenegger Says NO to Higher Taxes." In fact, Schwarzenegger is supporting $37 billion in bond issues that, with interest, would add $80 billion to the state debt, an amount the taxpayers would owe. In short, he wants taxes to go way up.

It may be that at least the transportation bonds in this package are worth it, that's up to the voters to decide. What I object to is the governor's absolutely phony claim that he is opposed to higher taxes when, in fact, these bond issues would ultimately result in the highest tax increase in state history.

As for Angelides, now, he says that if he is elected, he will bring California National Guardsmen currently fighting in Iraq home.

Guardsmen ordered to Iraq have been federalized and are beyond the authority of the Governor's office, while they are serving with the regular armed forces. Angelides absolutely, on his own, cannot bring them back home, no matter how much he chooses to enlist in the "cut and run" crowd that wants to surrender in the war.

Altogether, Angelides has waged a horrible campaign, and is almost certainly going to lose to Schwarzenegger, who in some respects has moved adeptly toward the political center. But, still, the governor does not command much respect.

There are good candidates for state office, including John Garamendi for lieutenant governor and Jerry Brown for attorney general, both Democrats. And U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein certainly should be reelected.

But no vote for governor can be truly satisfying to those who make it. I wonder if there are any decent third party candidates on the ballot.

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