Arnold “Terminator” Schwarzenegger is the new governor of California.
So how exactly does this impact me? It doesn’t at all ... I'm just having a really off night and have nothing else better to report.
(as reported in Yahoo News)
Davis Out, Schwarzenegger Wins in Calif.
By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES - Seething over taxes and red ink, voters dumped the unpopular Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with political novice Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, the recall was favored by 4,092,411 voters or 54.3 percent, and opposed by 3,438,424 voters or 45.7 percent.
Among the replacement candidates, Schwarzenegger was ahead with 3,500,184 votes, or 47.9 percent of the vote; Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante had 2,361,466 votes, or 32.3 percent; Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock had 965,095 votes, or 13.2 percent; and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo had 205,861 votes, or 2.8 percent.
Davis, the Democrat who presided over California's economy as it careened from boom to bust, was recalled Tuesday less than a year into his second term. According to partial returns, more than 54 percent of voters called for his ouster.
Schwarzenegger, a moderate Republican with tons of charisma but virtually no political experience, was easily elected among candidates to replace Davis just two months after shocking even his closest aides when he declared his candidacy on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
The action movie hero may find that the hardest part is yet to come. He will need to quickly assemble an administration and work with a Democrat-controlled Legislature to close a projected $8 billion shortfall for next fiscal year. Schwarzenegger scheduled an afternoon press conference Wednesday to discuss the transition.
"We have tough choices ahead," Schwarzenegger said in declaring victory. "The first choice that we must make is the one that will determine our success. Shall we rebuild our state together or shall we fight amongst ourselves, create even deeper divisions and fail the people of California? Well, let me tell you something — the answer is clear. For the people to win, politics as usual must lose."
"Tonight, the voters did decide it's time for someone else to serve, and I accept their judgment," said Davis, the career public servant who became the first California governor and the second in the nation ever to be recalled.
"I'm calling on everyone ... to put the chaos and division of the recall behind us and do what's right for this great state of California," Davis said.
Barring a legal challenge, Schwarzenegger will be sworn in no later than Nov. 16 to serve out the remaining three years of Davis' term. First the vote must be certified, a process that can take more than a month. He would then be up for re-election in 2006.
Schwarzenegger prevailed despite a flurry of negative publicity in the campaign's final days, including allegations of inappropriate conduct toward women.
"The truth of the matter is the voters never took their eye off the ball," Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Schwarzenegger will need to turn in a budget plan by Jan. 10, giving him just a few months to deliver on campaign-trail promises not to raise taxes or cut education spending, which consumes roughly 40 percent of California's budget. Throughout the campaign, Schwarzenegger refused to say what he would cut and promised to repeal this year's tripling of the state vehicle license fee, although he has not said how he would make up the $4 billion that would cost.
Schwarzenegger must work with Democrats, who are a majority of both houses in the Legislature and hold all statewide offices except his newly won governorship.
He dismissed the problem on the campaign trail, saying he knew how to work with Democrats because he's married to one — Kennedy relative Maria Shriver.
Despite the rancorous recall, Bustamante and other Democrats quickly pledged to put partisanship behind them and work with the new governor.
"As I see it, we campaign as partisans but we govern as Californians," said Bustamante, whose term expires in 2006. "I know how to balance a budget and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work."
Schwarzenegger, 56, weathered last-minute allegations from 16 women who said he groped them or made unwanted sexual advances, and accusations that as a young man he spoke admiringly of Adolf Hitler.
He denied the Hitler claims and dismissed some of the groping allegations as lies while admitting he "behaved badly sometimes."
By the time those charges surfaced, voters' desire to oust the deeply unpopular Davis was too sharp to curb.
Exit polling showed that many Hispanics and union members — two key groups in Davis' past electoral successes — deserted him as he suffered extraordinarily low job approval ratings amid widespread discontent about the state's economy, according to voter surveys conducted for The Associated Press and other news organizations by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
But the recall was more than a message to Davis, said former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, who called it a warning shot to all officeholders.
"It's a revolt of people who are increasingly angry at the crises that face them, and at the failure of leadership," Panetta said. "If I were a Republican, I wouldn't get too cocky about what happened."
Schwarzenegger's improbable rise to political power played out before a rapt international audience. He campaigned as an outsider, borrowing a line from the movie "Network" to tell charged-up supporters, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!"
The 135 candidates included a parade of bit players, including Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, former child actor Gary Coleman and a porn actress who wanted to tax breast implants. But to many Californians, it was serious business.
"I'm horrified at the thought that Schwarzenegger can be our governor," said Gretchen Purser, 25, of Berkeley, who voted against recall. "I'm sick of Republicans trying to take over the state."
Jim Hall, 62, voted yes for the recall and for Schwarzenegger. "Call him the governator or the gropenator, we're going to see some action now," Hall said early Wednesday as he passed through the weight room at 24 Hour Fitness Sport in Camarillo.
"For the first time, we'll have somebody who will probably listen to the people and figure out what it is that has to be done, not the same old thing the way politics goes."
Voters also rejected Proposition 54, a contentious initiative that would have banned state and local governments from tracking race in everything from preschools to police work. Californians also said no to Proposition 53, which would have set aside up to 3 percent of the state budget every year to build and rebuild infrastructure
Wednesday, October 08, 2003