The Los Angeles Times strikes back at its critics, and gets rung up by the blogosphrere (again).12:00 AM, Oct 16, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
LIKE MOST CALIFORNIANS, I am sick of discussing the Los Angeles Times.
I had intended to write this week about the sudden crystallization of the Democratic party around the campaign theme "Higher Taxes, Lower Defenses." This combination of Mondale economics with McGovernite foreign policy is without precedent in American political history and deserves close examination. The appearances of Joe Biden and Jay Rockefeller on the weekend talk shows presented even more opportunities to ruminate on the collapse of coherence within Democratic ranks.
But the Times keeps asking for more.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to repeal the car tax, cut the deficit, expand education spending, and not raise taxes. Good Luck.12:00 AM, Oct 14, 2003 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER and Hollywood's premier tough guy have similar advice for California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tony Blair once said that campaigning is a lot more fun and a lot easier than governing.
Memo to Arnold: Get tough on spending and don't raise taxes.Oct 20, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 06 • By FRED BARNES
CAN ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER govern California? Of course he can, so long as he adheres to rule number one for Republican governors: Don't raise taxes without first making a heroic effort to wipe out a deficit by spending cuts alone. If spending cuts won't suffice, borrow to cover the shortfall. And if borrowing isn't an option, make sure any tax hike is tiny and temporary. Two conservative Republican governors, Bob Riley of Alabama and Kenny Guinn of Nevada, have violated this important rule of political survival and now their governorships are in ruins.
What the California recall tells us about the Democrats.Oct 20, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 06 • By NOEMIE EMERY
GOVERNOR ARNOLD is bad news for the Democrats. Republicans now hold the statehouses in the four largest states. But the really bad news is that the Democrats running for the honor of contesting George W. Bush in the 2004 showdown are being picked by a primary audience that is so out of sync with the national mainstream that the two of them barely converge.
Proposition 187 has painted Democrats into a corner.Oct 20, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 06 • By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS
IT IS AN ARTICLE OF FAITH among political journalists that Proposition 187, the 1994 initiative approved by California voters to deny illegal immigrants state benefits, was poison to the Republican party. Somehow the measure, though endorsed by 59 percent of voters and many GOP candidates, is bad politics. So it was inevitable that when Arnold Schwarzenegger ventured into the governor's race, the Los Angeles Times would blare: "Actor voted for the divisive '94 initiative, a move that could alienateLatinos.
From the October 20, 2003 issue: The wild, final days of the Schwarzenegger campaign.Oct 20, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 06 • By MATT LABASH
Arnold hands in his transition lineup card. It's got a few surprises . . .1:00 PM, Oct 10, 2003 • By BILL WHALEN
FOR THE FIRST TIME in a long time, California isn't the crazy aunt of the western states: not as dysfunctional as last night's presidential debate in Arizona; nor as anxiety-ridden as those Oregon Democrats huddling this weekend to figure how to keep the state from acting Bush league in 2004.
As for Nevada, all that's happening there is a recall against the governor. Conservatives have until the end of November to collect 128,109 signatures and trigger a referendum on Republican governor Kenny Guinn.
The Democratic spin is that recall was bad for Bush, but a look at the numbers suggests otherwise.7:50 AM, Oct 10, 2003 • By FRED BARNES
WHEN POLITICAL OPERATIVES TALK, they have three options. They can tell the truth. They can spin, which means twisting the truth. Or they can indulge in absolutely laughable spin they don't believe for even a nanosecond but put out anyway. The claim by Democrats that the recall of Gray Davis spells trouble for President Bush in 2004 falls into this third category.
Democrats argue the recall signals incumbents are vulnerable, especially the man responsible for the state of the economy, the president.
After the big loss on Tuesday, California Democrats have to decide if they want to work with Arnold, or try to duke it out with the Terminator.9:00 AM, Oct 9, 2003 • By BILL WHALEN
HERE'S AN UNLIKELY recall winner: George Schwartzman. The San Diego businessman ran as an independent on Tuesday's ballot, wanting to ban cookies and soda pop from public school vending machines (child obesity is, ahem, a growing concern in California). What makes Schwartzman notable? He finished ninth in the race to replace Gray Davis--undoubtedly because the first six letters of his last name coincide with that of the governor-elect's. Let us give thanks that Tom Arnold and Arnold Ziffel sat this one out.
On the day after recall, Arnold Schwarzenegger's mandate grew clearer.
A look at how the Democratic spinners got on message on recall night, and how they see the future.8:10 AM, Oct 9, 2003 • By KATHERINE MANGU-WARD
DNC CHIEF Terry McAuliffe trotted out the Democratic talking points on last night's recall vote with twenty minutes to go before the polls closed: "The signal coming out of California would be, with the economic conditions there, George Bush should be very nervous. People are angry in California.
Aside from the obvious, there were lots of victors and vanquished last night.12:00 PM, Oct 8, 2003 • By FRED BARNES
WE KNOW the big winner and loser in the California gubernatorial recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not only the governor-elect, he got a higher percentage (48.1) of the vote among 135 candidates to replace Gray Davis than Davis himself got (45.3) on the separate ballot on whether he should be recalled. And when you combine Schwarzenegger's vote with Tom McClintock's (13.3), it adds up to a Republican landslide.
But there were other winners and losers in the recall that may not be so obvious.
Democrats think the recall revolution was about incumbents and the economy. Their reaction last night suggests they're in for a surprise in 2004.8:07 AM, Oct 8, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
WITHIN MINUTES of the release of exit polls from California last night, Democrats had wheeled as one and began the hopeless attempt to spin the disastrous verdict. Senator Dianne Feinstein led the charge, but the refrain echoed throughout the party: This was a verdict on Davis's handling of the budget, a handling very similar to the fiscal mismanagement on the national level.
Howard Dean had the message on his website 18 minutes after the polls closed:
"Today's recall election in California was not about Gray Davis or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Why Californians chose to roll the dice on a political unknown and dump the state establishment.8:05 AM, Oct 8, 2003 • By BILL WHALEN
AND SO recall comes full circle. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered his victory speech after being introduced by Jay Leno, on whose show Arnold announced his candidacy two months ago. All of that occurred at Los Angeles' Century Park Hotel--local Republicans call it the "Reagan Hotel," since it was the scene of the former president's election-night victories. It was the perfect stage for the soon-to-be-former actor, 37 years after stealing Reagan's act.
Arnold's victory was swift and severe. I spent part of last night doing election analysis for a local San Francisco TV affiliate.
What a Schwarzenegger victory will mean for the Democratic party.8:00 AM, Oct 7, 2003 • By HUGH HEWITT
THIS IS THE PART in the movie when the battering rams smash through the besieged town's much-reinforced-but-nevertheless-crumbling wooden gates, and the outsiders pour through the breach and then over the walls to loot and pillage at will.
Arnold and his forces are at Sacramento's gates. Think Alexander and Thebes. The gutter politics of the last few days won't make the hand-over pretty.
Some thoughts on recall math, Mary Carey, and tonight's bellwether county.7:50 AM, Oct 7, 2003 • By BILL WHALEN
IT'S VOTING TIME IN CALIFORNIA. While you wait for the results, some postcards from the edge of recall:
Pay to Play to the End. Governor Gray Davis marked the final day of campaigning with a big rally in downtown San Francisco. He did the same event last November, at the end of his reelection effort. A year ago, Davis operatives had to pay the local homeless $50 a head to come out to the rally, to build up the crowd (no word yet if the Davis team was handing out cash this time around). Davis did draw a large crowd of firefighters at his rally.