The gov launches a tour of the
state today -- in a green bus wrapped with snow-capped California
mountain vistas -- hoping to persuade California voters he is a green
machine. But a spiffy new green and white website and lots of green
bunting are not enough to greenwash Arnold.
His record speaks for itself. Arnold:
* Was the celebrity spokesman for Proposition 64, the November '04
ballot initiative that environmental organizations see as eliminating
the ability of the public to go after polluters and stop corporations
from putting profits ahead of public health and safety.
* Filled important environmental posts with people from regulated
industries: A former utility executive was made environmental advocate
on the Energy Commission; a former lumber executive was appointed
deputy secretary at CalEPA; and, a longtime lobbyist for polluting
industries was nominated to run the Air Resources Board (a nomination
blocked by the state Senate).
* Dropped his campaign promises for smart land use and growth
monitoring, while his staff drafted legislation that would have
seriously harmed the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which
protects against local environmental damage from development.
* Proposed loosening regulatory oversight of logging operations and has
failed to defend a national conservation ruling by former President
Clinton that protects 58.5 million acres from road building and
* Vetoed scores of environmental and public health bills, including: SB
455 to strengthen enforcement of pesticide protection laws; SB 600 to
monitor environmental toxin levels in members of the public; and, AB
2042 to prohibit air pollution at the ports of Long Beach and Los
Angeles from exceeding baseline levels.
* Cynically ignored a promise to run his gas-guzzling Hummers on
vegetable fuel, after he faked filling another Hummer with hydrogen
fuel to get a good photo op.
* Received $2.9 million from energy and oil companies, $92,230 directly
from lumber and logging companies, and $13.8 million from real estate
moguls and developers. And in one recent week, he got $52,000 from the
trucking industry, which is trying to influence new regulation of
deadly diesel emissions.
Arnold has bragged about his ability to sell anything, even tickets to
his monumental 1985 sci-fi flop, Red Sonja. That movie's U.S. gross was
just one-third of its $18 milliion production cost. Given the
governor's environmental history, it's not likely anyone will buy him
as the hero of "Green Sonja," either.