Well, only two months late. Not bad for the paper that any day now may report that North Korea is a brutal dictatorship and Iran is led by a Hitlerian nutter.
To save the Times much agonized analysis, the root of buyer’s remorse with Arnold is that those of us who supported him thought we were getting a populist, not a Sacramento therapist.
Now Arnold’s rallies begin with that ’60s classic from the Five Stairsteps, “O-o Child, Things Are Going to Get Easier.”
Sacramento’s a swamp, where the greed of the public employee unions and their largesse towards electeds make Abramoff look like a piker.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association is just one of the giant influence operations at work in the Golden State:
The union has grown from a fledgling group of fewer than 2500 members in 1978 to a powerhouse of 31,000 members who contribute $21.9 million dollars a year. The union employs a 91 person staff including 20 full-time attorneys and uses the services of five lobbyists and a team of public relations consultants.
The CCPOA is a political behemoth, and because it oftens stands on the right side of initiatives and because its members are rightly esteemed by the public for their public safety work, it would need a larger-than-life political opponent to curb its appetite.
The California Teachers Association and the Tribes are even bigger players than CCPOA, and the culture of “legal graft” to borrow from Boss Tweed is pervasive. One of Abramoff’s big money clients, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians sent $10 million to the disgraced and soon to be jailed lobbyist, but that’s just the tip of the Tribal spending iceberg. The Tribes’ gaming operations brought in 3.4 billion in 2002 –if only 5% is plowed back into the legal influence operations that abound in California, that’s more than $150 million to spread around, every year!
Arnold was pledged to clean this up, and the twisted budget it prooduces and the corruption it breeds.
Turns out he had a glass jaw. He took one punch in November and apparently went down for the count.
It isn’t a complicated story, but don’t expect the Times to get it right. That would require the paper to take on its monied allies on the left.
Which it has never done and never will do. Because Democrat papers don’t take on Democrat donors.
And apparently neither do “Republican” governors. At least not for long.
Arnold has very little time to recognize the huge error that he made was not in trying for reform and losing, but in quitting. He’s got to get off the canvas, get rid of Susan Kennedy, and shake off the fog he’s in.