It wasn't long ago that Republicans planned to try and amend the constitution so that Arnold could run for President in 2008. There was a whole ad campaign based around it and even political TV pundits were discussing it as if it had a chance.
May 20, 2011

It wasn't long ago that Republicans planned to try and amend the constitution so that Arnold could run for President in 2008. There was a whole ad campaign based around it and even political TV pundits were discussing it as if it had a chance.

Television ads supporting a constitutional amendment that would allow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other foreign-born citizens to run for president will begin appearing next week on cable stations across California, a newly formed group based in Silicon Valley announced Friday.

The ads feature Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, a mutual fund manager from the Bay Area and major donor to Schwarzenegger's campaign, telling viewers: "You cannot choose the land of your birth. You can choose the land you love."

Arnold Schwarzenegger's quest for power and his cover up of his lovechild not only seriously hurt his own family to the core, but also destroyed California's state budget in the process. If it has become public he never would have been elected in that Daryl Issa cooked up recall nightmare and then he would have been toast against a badly run Democratic contender named Phil Angelides. Watching Arnold win his first election was as embarrassed to be a Californian as I've ever been. Electing The Terminator as a phony moderate Republican only highlighted the worst of this great state.

Digby writes: Cyborg legacy

The Republicans, Darrel Issa in particular, brought that circus to town but you can't blame it all on them. Californians made utter imbeciles of themselves during that ridiculous campaign all because Gray Davis was "boring" and they wanted a totally kewl Movie Star to be the Governor. It was an American Idol election of the silliest variety and it had very serious consequences for this state. But hey -- it's not like we didn't deserve what we got.

And it played out in the fight to save our state budget and the welfare of its citizens as he chose Norquist over his vaunted moderate approach. In 2009 I wrote that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget cuts will finally finish off our state.
In 2010, Susie wrote: Arnold: I'm Not A Liberal Republican Though I Play One On TV. Aid to Women, Children Slashed in Newest Budget Cuts!

The extra cuts the governor made Tuesday -- $489 million -- took nearly $80 million that pays for workers who help abused and neglected children; $50 million from Healthy Families, which provides healthcare to children in low-income families; $50 million from services for developmentally delayed children under age 3; $16 million from domestic-violence programs; and $6.3 million from services for the elderly. Among other reductions was $6.2 million more from parks, which could result in the closure of 100, rather than 50, of California's 279 state parks.

In addition, Schwarzenegger effectively gutted a program that provides local governments with funding to encourage property owners to preserve open space and to use land for agriculture.

Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, an advocacy group, called the cut to Healthy Families "particularly galling." He said a coalition, including his group, is spearheading a campaign to put a universal children's healthcare measure on the fall 2010 ballot.

"A struggling family puts their kids first," Lempert said. "What the governor and what the state has done is the opposite."

Kevin Drum nails it by writing:

The reason the stories ran so late is because the special election was only six weeks long. If it had been any ordinary election, the Times would have spent far more time on its reporting and the story would likely have broken months before election day. In the event, though, the accusations were out work putting together a hugely complex story under tight deadline pressure. As far as I know, the accuracy of their reporting hasn't been seriously challenged to this day.

And what about Arnold? He insisted that this stuff was so far in the dim past that he could barely remember it. But it wasn't. Today we learn that he had cheated on his wife and had a child out of wedlock just a few years before. His megawatt-smile denials were pure pap, and if knowledge of his affair had been public it's almost a dead certainty that the recall would have failed and Gray Davis would have remained governor. The car tax would have stayed in place, no bonds would have been issued to make up for it, and California's deficit problems would have been less than half as bad as they turned out to be under Schwarzenegger.

That's what comes of running a politically motivated snap election with weird rules in six weeks: you don't really know what you're getting. In the end, the Times was right about Schwarzenegger, and his folksy boys-will-be-boys denials were lies. We've paid a pretty high price for that.

And the state of California will be paying a high price probably for decades to come.

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