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Gubernatorial Debate

Wednesday, September 24th, 2003 · 3 Comments

The California gubernatorial debate with Peter Camejo, Arianna Huffington, Cruz Bustamante, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tom McClintock just ended. A “free-for-all” is what one of the KRON 4 anchors called it. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate assessment.

The candidates repeatedly spoke over one another, particularly Arianna and Arnold, who obviously hate each other (see The Special Interest Brothel via iProtest). During one of the many interruptions:

Arianna: “This is the way you treat women, we know that, but not now.”

Moderator: “Arnold, that was a direct attack on you. Your response?”

Arnold: “I just realized that I have a perfect part for you in Terminator 4.”

Camejo was calm, collected, and right on. He had some compelling statistics about taxes, such as that the average Californian is taxed at around 9% and the wealthiest 5% are taxed at only 7%. If the rich paid the same taxes as the rest of us, Camejo said, we would have a budget surplus in this state. So what are we waiting for? Camejo then challenged Arnold and McClintock on that point to say, “You’re right, Peter. Tax the wealthy.” Of course neither said anything since they themselves are wealthy.

There was far too much talk of the economy, taxes, business, and workers’ comp. We get it. The economy’s an issue. Jen and I were both pissed that the environment — in a California debate — was never addressed. Business will always be here, jobs will come and go, but we only have one Earth. Let’s get serious about it. (On that note, Arnold made some snide remark about driving his Hummer over or through something, but it was hard to hear since he was yelling over Arianna.)

Camejo mentioned in his closing remarks that the League of Women Voters is trying to prevent the Green party (him) from participating in future debates. Jen and I were shocked and abhorred to hear that. One of the great things about this debate, as Camejo said in his opening remarks, is that third-party candidates were permitted to participate.

Following this debate, as with the last one, I’m leaning more and more toward Camejo (but no on recall, of course). Yes, I hear ya, Dan, remember Florida… but as Ben puts it: “Maybe I’m too much of an Idealist, but I feel like in a Democracy you should vote for what/who you believe in, and not compromise by voting for someone you absolutely do not trust (Bustamante?).” Well said, my friend. If we’re going to effect change in the system, we’ve got to vote with our hearts.

In other election news this week, the same bastard who bankrolled the effort to recall Davis is now urging Republicans to vote against the recall (if Arnold and McClintock both remain in the race, which they will).

Tags: politics

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jordan // Sep 25, 2003 at 6:57 am

    There’s a certain irony going on where many of my republican friends are thinking of voting No on the recall under the realization the state will likely go from moderate liberal Davis to insane liberal Bustamante.

    There was also a wonderful article in USA Today a few days back pointing out that the California economy is performing noticably better than the national average… hmmm… guess Davis isn’t screwing up all that badly after all, if we ignore a deficit that’s larger than 47 other states combined budget…

  • 2 ben // Sep 25, 2003 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the quote, Gabe.

    You know the very odd thing about this entire debate structure is that Davis is not allowed to join in. Seems unfair to me, since he is in affect running on this ballot as well.

  • 3 Beerzie Boy // Sep 25, 2003 at 2:38 pm

    > were both pissed that the environment — in a California debate — was never addressed.

    That’s my beef, too. It is even more marginalized in the National Debate.