Saturday, September 15, 2007

Schwarzenegger Again Proves He Is A Phony

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger only pretends to be a progressive middle-of-the-roader. Actually, he is all too often a patsy for reactionaries, a creature of the lobbyists and an employer of corrupt aides, like Susan Kennedy and Dan Dunmoyer.

We see that again on the environmental issue, where for the second time in just 10 weeks, Schwarzenegger has moved to rid his Administration of someone who showed a modicum of devotion to the public interest and a spark of independence.

The latest victim, as outlined in a story in Friday's Los Angeles Times byEvan Halper and Nancy Vogel, is R. Judd Hanna, a member of the state Fish and Game Commission who was forced to resign for having the temerity to suggest that allowing lead bullets in the state was having the indirect effect of killing off California's remaining 129 wild condors. The condors eat the remains of small animals shot by hunters, thereby ingesting the lead in the bullets and poisoning themselves.

The Legislature has adopted a bill outlawing the use of lead in the bullets, and it rests now on the governor's desk. But now that he has bowed to Republican legislators and the National Rifle Assn. in getting rid of Hanna, it seems clear the governor will veto the bill.

It is commendable that Hanna has not gone quietly. He is quoted in the Times story as warning those who sought his ouster that "poisoning the California condor is neither honorable nor ethical."

And it is neither honorable nor ethical, I might add, for the governor to force the resignation of a Fish and Game commissioner who shows himself to be devoted to protecting the state's fish and game. This is a cheap, sleazy thing to do, and the governor should be just as ashamed of himself as he should have been in July when he ousted the Air Resources Board chairman, Robert F. Sawyer, after Sawyer failed to give big Schwarzenegger campaign contributors a break in enforcing the state's air pollution laws.

No, Schwarzenegger is a hypocrite. He claims to be an environmentalist on an issue like global warming, he claims to be independent, he occasionally slights the GOP members of the Legislature on budgetary matters. But when it comes down to specific issues, he is just as obsequious to the far right as the GOP legislators he pretends to question.

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It is most revealing that the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court, Ronald M. George, turns up in a Times article this morning by Garrett Therolf and Maura Dolan as one of those who have been lobbying behind the scenes against the appointment of the distinguished law professor, Erwin Chemerinsky, as dean of the new U.C. Irvine Law School, because Chemerinsky is considered too out-spokenly liberal.

One would expect Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who is just as much a petty fascist as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to oppose Chemerinsky's appointment, but George usually, like Schwarzenegger, pretends to be respectable. I see him every summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. But I had not realized that the chief justice must have been rooting for MacBeth, not deploring his conduct.

The story on Chemerinsky also quotes a prominent Orange County attorney, Tom Malcolm, this morning as urging that Chemerinsky be reconsidered for appointment as the dean as long as Chemerinsky agrees to tone down his frequent advocacy in newspaper and other articles of liberal issues positions.

How generous of this lawyerly snake, Malcolm. Yes, he is willing to take Chemerinsky as long as he agrees to emasculate himself.

I presume Chemerinsky will have enough integrity to tell Malcolm and others of his ilk to go screw themselves. Why shouldn't he? If Chemerinsky holds fast and continues teaching at the Duke University Law School, and the Democrats win the 2008 election, he just may find himself appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Turn about is fair play and he could then reverse California Chief Justice George's frequent irrational decisions.

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