California Nightmare: Arnold Stalks for Bush 2004
by Harvey Wasserman
September 25, 2003
Arnold Schwarzenegger could insure another White House win for George W. Bush.
Especially now that the courts say it's ok for large numbers of citizens to have their votes not counted---votes that, in another tight election or two, could give Arnold and Bush final control of California and the nation.
Anyone who thinks that the White House and Karl Rove are not behind the Schwarzenegger assault is not paying attention.
The Republican juggernaut now controls the governorships of New York, Texas and Florida. With California they'd have the state houses of America's four biggest states, plus the White House, Congress, the Judiciary and the media. Is there another word for one party rule?
In 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush guaranteed his brother's grab of the White House. There were many twists and turns, but the core of the coup came with the systematic removal of more than 50,000 "convicted felons"---people of color and other suspected Democrats---from Florida's voting lists. Computer voting machine manipulations may have cost Al Gore thousands more votes with a few keystrokes. But ultimately, it was Jeb's control of the Florida state house that gave his brother the White House.
In Texas, Gov. Rick "Goodhair" Perry is now strongarming the legislature to give Republicans a deeper hold on the US House of Representatives. Redistricting normally occurs every ten years. But when the GOP took the Texas legislature in 2002, Perry began calling special sessions to ram through a redistricting plan that would all but eliminate Democrats from the Lone Star Congressional delegation.
House Democrats first foiled that plan by fleeing to Oklahoma. US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay sent Homeland Security after them, drawing widespread hoots from those who belive we still have a Bill of Rights in this country.
Then Senate Democrats derailed Perry's second special session by fleeing to Arizona, though one of them finally defected.
Despite widespread outcry, Perry has called a third special session, at an overall cost of more than $1.5 million to angry Texas taxpayers.
Now Schwarzenegger is set to bring the trifecta to California. Gov. Gray Davis did open the door by groveling at the feet of Southern California Edison and other utilities who gouged the state during the 2000-1 electric deregulation fiasco.
But that disaster's prime mover was none other than Schwarzenegger's Chief Advisor, Pete Wilson. As Governor, Wilson rammed the dereg bill through the legislature in 1996. Written by Southern California Edison, the infamous AB1890 handed some $30 billion in ratepayer and taxpayer charges to private utilities. It then opened the door to Enron, Reliant and other GOP gas dealers who grabbed another $60 billion. Among the beneficiaries was Kenneth "Kenny-boy" Lay, George W. Bush's Number One campaign contributor.
Despite all that, California's financial crisis is actually about average for the Age of Bush, in which virtually all the states are on the brink of bankruptcy.
Schwarzenegger is a clown candidate whose ignorance of the issues hides beneath the smokescreen of his bizarre celebrity. At the end of a dying film career, the Terminator's boorish sexism masks his foot soldier role in a totalitarian tragedy.
Make no mistake about it: Arnold is being spammed straight from the White House. He's there to purge those voter rolls, sabotage the state legislature, and do to California what's been done to Florida and Texas...and the nation.
Hasta la vista, American democracy.
Harvey Wasserman is senior editor of The Free Press (www.freepress.org) and author of The Last Energy War (Seven Stories Press). He helped start the No Nukes movement against atomic power. His newest book is Superpower of Peace v Bush Et. Al., co-authored with Bob Fitrakis (Free Press, 2003).