The governor tried to don his outsider mantle today when he chastised the legislature for trying to hold onto power by extending their terms with Prop 93. Voters kicked the bums out after an unproductive, if not devastating, legislative year and the looming $14.5 billion state budget deficit. As Arnold told reporters: "I think it’s very clear that the people felt that the legislators have not performed well enough that they deserve a change there.”
Lame duck Senate leader Don Perata shot back at the governor: "And I just remind everyone that he is no longer a citizen politician. He is a real, for real politician, just like the rest of us.”
No surprise to me. I passed out postcards to people on the street in Sacramento on November 17, 2003, the day Arnold was inaugurated, fresh from his recall victory and promising to be the people’s governor. He had already broken his promise not to take special interest money. The cards reminded the governor what ‘special interest’ really means (as did our mobile billboard that circled the inauguration). Still, I suppose Senator Perata should get a pat on the back for figuring out in just four years that the peoples’ governor was more of a fictional character than Conan. Arnold came as close to admitting it as he ever will with his endorsement of Prop 93 just a few short weeks ago.