Round 2-Arnold and the Legislature: Now That He's Won the Governorship, Arnold Schwarzenegger Has an Even Harder Fight on His Hands-Getting California Back on Track and Working with the Democrat-Controlled Legislature

By Weintraub, Daniel | State Legislatures, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Round 2-Arnold and the Legislature: Now That He's Won the Governorship, Arnold Schwarzenegger Has an Even Harder Fight on His Hands-Getting California Back on Track and Working with the Democrat-Controlled Legislature


Weintraub, Daniel, State Legislatures


Wrapping up his campaign for governor in the historic California recall election this fall, Arnold Schwarzenegger drew 10,000 people to a raucous rally on the steps of the state Capitol. As remnants of the rock band Twisted Sister blared the campaign's theme song--"We're not gonna take it"--Schwarzenegger wielded a broom to symbolize his drive to clean up the mess in Sacramento. Elect him governor, the actor promised his cheering supporters, and "we're going to kick some serious butt."

As Schwarzenneger spoke, onlookers filled the windows of the century-old Capitol building above him, the faces pressed against the glass, their eyes peering out at the thousands gathered below. It was as if a revolution had reached the palace gates, and the royalty was bracing for the final assault they knew was coming.

Two days later, it came. The recall ousted Governor Gray Davis convincingly, on a 55-45 vote, and Schwarzenegger triumphed easily in the separate race to replace the governor. The Republican action hero from Austria piled up 49 percent of the vote in a multi-candidate field, compared with just 32 percent for the leading Democrat, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. Counting support for conservative state Senator Tom McClintock, the Republicans took 62 percent of the vote in this Democrat-heavy state.

A CHANGE OF PACE

The message, according to Schwarzenegger and almost anybody who was watching: The voters want change. "For the people to win," Schwarzenegger said in his acceptance speech on election night, "politics as usual must lose."

Some who supported the recall and Schwarzenegger say his victory was only the beginning, that the Legislature will be the next target of the people if lawmakers don't fall in line behind the Schwarzenegger agenda. Indeed, the governor-elect, in his first press conference after the election, promised to appeal to the voters if the Democrats who still control the Legislature try to stymie him.

But inside the Capitol, reaction was mixed. Some Democrats were defiant. Others said they were looking to make peace with the new chief executive.

Angriest were those on the Democratic left. After five years of compromising with the centrist Davis, they were hoping that in his second and final term the Democratic governor would begin to agree with more of their agenda and help them enact it. Ironically, under pressure to consolidate his base with the recall approaching, Davis had begun to do just that in the days before the election. He signed landmark legislation granting marriage-like rights to same-sex partners, for instance, and a bill requiring employers of more than 50 people to provide health insurance for their workers.

Adding to their ideological ire was the fact that Schwarzenegger won the governor's office despite having no experience in government and while telling the voters little about how he would live up to his vow to balance the budget, cut taxes and protect education funding.

Democrat Senator Sheila Kuehl, who hopes to take over the Senate leadership next year, was contemptuous of Schwarzenegger as she watched the election returns come in from the Los Angeles hotel ballroom where Davis would later deliver his concession speech. The Senate, she said, would have to save the state from Schwarzenegger's ignorance.

"He doesn't know anything about running the state," Kuehl said. "So either he will propose a lot of stuff he can't do, and we'll have to govern, or he'll be pretty well manipulated by people who have an agenda--very much the way I think the president of the United States has been handled by people who are really telling him how to do these things. In which case we may have to counteract things that are worse than things he proposed on his own."

Asked if Schwarzenegger would be received civilly by legislative Democrats, Kuehl replied: "We have received everyone civilly." Then she added: "I don't know if everybody is going to go the State of the State [speech]. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Round 2-Arnold and the Legislature: Now That He's Won the Governorship, Arnold Schwarzenegger Has an Even Harder Fight on His Hands-Getting California Back on Track and Working with the Democrat-Controlled Legislature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.