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by RECALL GOVERNOR GROPER
Sunday, Oct. 05, 2003 at 12:17 PM
The Oakland Tribune runs an editorial withdrawing its endorsement of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Article Last Updated: Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 3:22:36 AM PST
Arnold doesn't deserve our vote
GIVEN the accusations of sexual abuse leveled against Arnold Schwarzenegger by six women and his disingenuous admission to such behavior, we strongly reconfirm that our readers vote "no" on the recall, but can no longer recommend they cast their 'if-not-Davis-then' vote for Schwarzenegger.
As stated in our initial recommendation on Sunday, "none of the ... candidates still in the race fit our ideal criteria for governor." Although deeply divided on the second part of the ballot question, the ANG Newspapers editorial board initially recommended voting for Mr. Schwarzenegger because of his perceived leadership ability and blend of moderate social and conservative fiscal stands.
Although allegations of his abusive and disrespectful behavior toward women had surfaced earlier, the latest revelations reported in the Los Angeles Times and Schwarzenegger's convenient, but seemingly insincere admission that "I have behaved badly sometimes," alienates a significant proportion of the state's population, male and female.
It indicates a pattern of recurring abuse and boorish behavior that in different circumstances could have led to assault charges. By no stretch of the imagination can his groping and grabbing on "rowdy movie sets" be dismissed as an isolated incident.
Mr. Schwarzenegger has displayed a pattern of such behavior spanning three decades. Called a "sexual harasser" by one female and a "predator" by others, we can no longer in good conscience recommend him for governor.
The doubt these incidents raise about Mr. Schwarzenegger's character, in our opinion, lowers public confidence in the actor-turned-politician as a candidate for our state's top elected office and compromises his ability to govern if elected.
California has a multitude of serious problems it must address and solve. A novice to politics and the shenanigans in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger's history of sexist behavior would make it even more difficult for him to work with the two chambers of the Legislature dominated by Democrats and populated by many strong, female lawmakers.
The Democrat-Republican stalemate that paralyzed state government and kept it from adequately dealing with huge budget deficits the past two years could be even worse with a Republican governor who garners no respect and has no influence.
And the balance of the field of possible replacements offers no hope for improvement over the current muddled state of affairs in Sacramento.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamanate's mishandling of excessive, improper contributions of nearly million from Indian gaming and labor smacks of a continuation of pay-to-play politics that can't be tolerated. State Sen. Tom McClintock's conservative fiscal and social stands would make him totally ineffective in dealing with the more moderate-to-liberal Legislature.
In the end, we find ourselves agreeing with the position taken by Sen. Dianne Feinstein from the beginning -- vote "no" on the recall and abstain on naming a replacement. That sentences us to three more years of Gray Davis, but it is -- as voters concluded last November -- better than the current alternatives.
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