Sacramento – The Alliance for a Better California, the coalition that led the effort to defeat Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Special Election Agenda last year, today released two new television ads focusing on Schwarzenegger’s broken promises and questioning his trustworthiness. The ads’ release coincides with the second year anniversary of the women’s conference where the Governor attacked union members, declaring “I’m always kicking their butts.”
The 30-second commercials featuring teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police officers (available online at www.betterca.com) begin airing today in television markets statewide. The ads cite Schwarzenegger’s broken promises on funding public education and other issues, and question the Governor’s integrity based on his policy reversals, including his promise to be different.
“The Alliance is continuing its efforts to protect working men and women because we don’t know what Arnold Schwarzenegger really believes,” said Gale Kaufman, consultant to the Alliance for a Better California. “There is no evidence of what his core values are. Time and time again we’ve seen him try to reinvent himself in an effort to gain advantage in the polls and to fool voters into thinking he’s not just another politician.”
“These ads remind voters of some very basic things – this Governor will say whatever it takes to get re-elected and that for this Governor talk is cheap. He has no record of holding up his end of the bargain. How can voters trust that next year, should he be re-elected, they would have any idea what his policies will be?” Kaufman said.
Glendale teacher Sandra Fink, who appears in the ad, says, “Governor Schwarzenegger is again promising to make education his top priority because it’s election time and he knows that’s what voters want to hear. But how can we trust him? What happens if the governor who broke his promises to our students and schools – the governor teachers had to sue just to get back the billions he borrowed from education – shows up again next year? We can’t trust this governor. He hasn’t earned it.”
“Integrity is something California’s firefighters don’t take lightly, and we have been profoundly disappointed in Governor Schwarzenegger,” said Brian Rice, a Sacramento firefighter also featured in the ad. “He wasted all of last year on a divisive Special Election on issues that attacked working people. He lost our trust. How can we trust him to not go back to being the Governor who attacked working men and women?”
Why is the Alliance continuing their efforts to protect working men and women? Because we don’t know who Arnold Schwarzenegger really is and we have no way of knowing what he really believes. Time and time again we’ve seen him try to reinvent himself to be able to gain advantage in polling numbers, fool the voters into thinking he’s not just another politician, and spend taxpayers’ money on wasteful big stunts.
“We’re currently on Arnold #4, by my calculations. So, the Alliance asks, which Governor would show up after re-election, after the votes are counted? Why would we want to wait to find out?” Kaufman concluded.
Arnold #1: Election Day 2003 – Promised a New Beginning
“I do not have to bow to any special interest,” Schwarzenegger said shortly after announcing his candidacy last week on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I have plenty of money. No one can buy me off. Trust me.”
The Boston Globe
August 10, 2003
Schwarzenegger has taken more special interest money than any Governor in history, blowing all previous fundraising records out of the water.
Arnold #2: Blowing up the Boxes
“Every Governor proposes moving boxes around to reorganize government. I don’t want to move the boxes around; I want to blow them up.”
State of the State
January 6, 2004
No boxes were blown up at all. Schwarzenegger moved on.
Arnold #3: Assault on public employees:
Schwarzenegger needed someone to blame for all his inaction. He attacked Teachers, Firefighters, Nurses, Police and all other public employee workers in a disastrous Special Election that took aim at the very workers Californians trust most. That Special Election cost taxpayers $70 million. He sought to privatize pensions and blatantly catered to the hospital executives’ interests by opposing higher staffing ratios for nurses. His proposals would have cut death and disability payments to the families of fallen firefighters and law-enforcement officials, and changed teachers’ pay rates and delayed their tenure rights even as he broke his promise to “fully fund” education by withholding $2 billion owed to the public schools budget.
His 2005 campaign team outlined a strategy to create a “phenomenon of anger” among voters toward public employee unions. The process was described as “like peeling an onion,” a “multi-step plan for persuading voters that public-worker unions are ‘motivated by economic self-interest’ instead of ‘doing the best job for the state’.”
Los Angeles Times
June 5, 2005
“The Governor has used caustic language to describe union power, once calling it ‘evil’.”
Los Angeles Times
November 10, 2005
"When you think about what is derailing California, and what has been for years, it's the public employee unions."
October 14, 2005
He was soundly defeated in the Special Election. While he said “I didn’t hear the majority of Californians when they were telling me they didn’t like the Special Election1”, he has never clarified his position relative to working men and women who belong to public employee unions.
Arnold #4: Re-election Governor:
GOVERNOR RAISES MINIMUM WAGE
September 13, 2006
CALIFORNIANS TO GET DISCOUNTS ON DRUGS
Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lawmakers Reach Deal on Prescription Drug Discount Plan
August 25, 2006
But In Reality:
Schwarzenegger has vetoed the Minimum Wage bill twice.
“Schwarzenegger remains philosophically opposed to a minimum-wage hike, although he generally does not take positions on specific legislation until it reaches his desk, an aide said.”
January 3, 2005
Schwarzenegger has vetoed 10 prescription drug bills between 2004 and 2005.
“For all his criticisms of his predecessor's acceptance of special-interest money, Schwarzenegger has not turned off the spigot. He received a reported $337,000 from pharmaceutical companies before vetoing industry-opposed legislation to bring cheaper Canadian prescription drugs into California.”
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial
October 4, 2004
We in the Alliance can't stand by and just wait for the next iteration of Arnold that shows up for work next year, should he be re-elected. We have no confidence, no history, no evidence of core values that would reflect a Governor who will show up after the election working in partnership with the Democratic Legislature, working in concert with working men and women to finish the work needed for real health insurance, long-term funding solutions for education, or protecting workers.
We've seen no evidence of any consistent behavior that would warrant our trust. We simply can't trust him.