Tales from the Trail

Schwarzenegger sours on politics; eyes memoirs, movies?

arnold Memoirs, maybe movies, but no political office.

That’s what the immediate future holds for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s leaving office in January.

After seven years running the most populous state the in country, Schwarzenegger seems to have soured on politics and partisanship.

“Politics destroys everybody,” he said in an “ABC World News” interview on Wednesday. “The more you can take the politics out of things, the more you can accomplish. Because otherwise, it becomes kind of like, ‘I’m representing my party. My party is not happy with this. We’re doing it this way.’”

Schwarzenegger called politicians in Washington “wimps” for not tackling energy and environment policy and he spoke against Proposition 23.

Here’s a video clip from the interview.

If approved, the measure on next Tuesday’s California ballot would scuttle many of the governor’s clean energy and environmental policies. Specifically Proposition 23 would suspend California’s landmark climate change law until the state unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or lower for one year.

Lawyer promises new bombshell in Whitman housekeeper flap

USA-ELECTIONS/WHITMAN

The political flap over what California Republican Meg Whitman knew about her former housekeeper’s illegal immigration status — and when she knew it — appears to be heading for a new climax.

The woman’s lawyer says she will release evidence today that Whitman lied when she denied knowing her ex-employee was an undocumented worker.
    
Nicky Diaz, who worked for Whitman from 2000 to 2007, emerged this week to air tearful allegations that the Republican gubernatorial nominee knowingly employed her illegally and treated her poorly.

Whitman supporters say the allegations are a political smear timed to surface in the closing weeks of her campaign against Democratic rival Jerry Brown.
    
Whitman says Diaz is lying and maintains the former housekeeper provided a Social Security card and other documents to show she could work legally in the United States when she was hired. 
    
The former eBay executive says she first learned of Diaz’ illegal status in 2009, after she had begun her run for governor, and fired the woman on the spot.

California gay marriage ruling has candidates quickly taking sides

With a pair of too-close-to-call political campaigns heating up in California — for governor and for Democrat Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat – the candidates wasted no time in staking out their positions after a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s ban on gay marriages.

jerrybrownIn a case that most believe the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately have to decide, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Wednesday ruled that California’s voter-approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it unfairly singled out gay and lesbian couples as being forbidden to legally wed, violating their rights to due process and equal protection under the Constitution.

For Democrat Jerry Brown, who is running against Republican Meg Whitman for governor, the case offered a natural opening: As the state’s attorney general, he has refused to defend Proposition 8 in court, instead filing a brief with the state Supreme Court to overturn it in a move that raised eyebrows among legal scholars but won him support among gay  and civil rights rights activists.

California city’s mess a golden opportunity for Jerry Brown?

Democrat Jerry Brown has taken some heat, even within his own party, for his seemingly minimalist campaign for California Jerry_Browngovernor — which so far has involved few rallies, speeches or even TV commercials — and which some say has allowed Republican Meg Whitman to make critical inroads with Latinos and other voting blocs in a race with national political implications.

Meanwhile supporters are quick to point out that Brown, the state’s attorney general, must husband his resources against Whitman, a billionaire who is  largely bankrolling her own campaign — and can’t possibly hope to match the former eBay CEO ad for ad all the way until the November election.

But political experts say a scandal involving the the massive salaries being paid to local officials in the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell, California — while potentially bad news for state and even local taxpayers – may have given Brown just the shot in the arm he needs.

Schwarzenegger swears F-word in veto letter ‘wild coincidence’

USA/California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger swears that the profanity spelled out when looking at his veto letter a certain way was pure coincidence.

The Republican governor was in Washington for an event with Vice President Joe Biden to praise the economic stimulus package as having successfully created jobs. He spoke afterward with reporters in front of the White House West Wing to tout it some more.

One question was about the veto letter he sent to members of the California State Assembly. Upon closer inspection, the first letters on each line in the second and third paragraphs spell out an epithet using the four-letter F-word that is usually hurled in anger.