Santa Monica, CA — Below is the statement of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights concerning Tuesday’s election results:
“Californians rejected Governor Schwarzenegger’s measures, his unnecessary election and the governor himself when they defeated every one of the measures on yesterday’s ballot. The election was a denunciation of the concept of governor as celebrity marketer. It was the repudiation of corporate campaign cash and a dramatic rejection of corporations’ and politicians’ attempts to steal the initiative process from the people.
“Schwarzenegger needs to apologize to Californians. Not just for wasting $50 million of the taxpayers’ money, but also for claiming he did not need anyone else’s money and then collecting $70 million in corporate contributions. He needs to apologize for accepting cash from interest groups who had business on his desk and for flying around the country to fundraise when he should have been governing. He has to apologize for turning into the politician he encouraged Californians to throw out two years ago.
“Governor Schwarzenegger rose and fell based on the power of populism. The nurses, cops, teachers, and firefighters beat Arnold by displaying their humanity. Californians didn’t buy the Governor’s attacks against public servants. Instead Californians said these public servants are the true action heroes who protect the public. Voters weren’t willing to relinquish power to a celebrity governor with a grudge and 70 million dollars in corporate cash.
“In turning back Schwarzenegger’s initiatives, Californians also denied the corporate and ideological conservatives an opportunity to claim popular allegiance to their agenda. Both the Chamber of Commerce and national right-wing activists hoped to use this election as a galvanizing tool for initiatives throughout the country and further rollbacks of citizen, consumer and worker rights. With a resounding ‘no,’ big industry was told that even a hundred million dollars can’t sell their out-of-the-mainstream agenda.
“Now, a real reform agenda must be embraced. And the Governor as well as Democrats and Republicans in the statehouse, must address the issues that Californians actually care about, but the politicians are afraid to talk about: the need for getting money out of politics and publicly financing elections; the high cost of healthcare and the lack of universal health coverage; gas prices; the real problems with public education and our broken energy system.
“If Governor Schwarzenegger walks away from the election to more world-record fundraising and cash-register politics, then it will be clear he does not understand what the voters said in the 2003 recall and reiterated last night.”
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