Political career of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an actor and former bodybuilder who was first elected as Governor of California in the 2003 recall election and won re-election in 2006. It is the first elected office he has held, but was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, in which he served from 1990 to 1993 and was Chairman of California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
- 1 Political affiliation
- 2 Entering politics
- 3 2003 California recall election
- 4 First years: 2003–2004
- 5 Special interests
- 6 Governorship 2005–2006
- 7 Governorship 2007–2008
- 8 Governorship 2009
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Schwarzenegger is a registered Republican. He describes himself as fiscally conservative and socially moderate (e.g., he is pro-choice, supports taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell research, and supports same-sex marriage). Schwarzenegger backed Republican President Ronald Reagan while Reagan was in office, and campaigned for George H.W. Bush in 1988. However, he chastised fellow Republicans during the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998. Sensing an opportunity to affect the outcome of the 2004 Presidential race, Schwarzenegger campaigned in Ohio for Republican George W. Bush in the closing days of the campaign. Schwarzenegger offered praise for the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, John McCain. He called McCain a "great senator" and "very good friend" who shared his views on critical issues. He officially endorsed McCain for the Republican presidential nomination on January 31, 2008.
Schwarzenegger's first political appointment has been to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, on which he served from 1990 to 1993. He was nominated by George H. W. Bush, who called him "Conan the Republican."
- "I came first of all from a socialistic country, which is Austria, and when I came over here in 1968 with the presidential elections coming up in November, I came over in October, I heard a lot of the press conferences from both of the candidates Humphrey and Nixon, and Humphrey was talking about more government is the solution, protectionism, and everything he said about government involvement sounded to me more like Social Democratic Party of Austrian socialism."
- "Then when I heard Nixon talk about it, he said open up the borders, the consumers should be represented there ultimately and strengthen the military and get the government off our backs. I said to myself, what is this guy's party affiliation? I didn't know anything at that point. So I asked my friend, what is Nixon? He's a Republican. And I said, I am a Republican. That's how I became a Republican."
Regarding a run for public office, in 1999, he told Talk magazine that "I think about it many times." He also said, "The possibility is there because I feel it inside. I feel there are a lot of people standing still and not doing enough. And there's a vacuum."
Schwarzenegger was appointed Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in the administration of George H. W. Bush from 1990 to 1993. During that time, Schwarzenegger traveled across the U.S. promoting physical fitness to kids and lobbying all 50 governors in support of school fitness programs. "He would hit sometimes two or three governors in a day in his own airplane, at his own expense, somewhere around $4,000 an hour," said George Otott, his chief of staff at the time. "When he walked in, it wasn't about the governor, it was about Arnold," said Otott, a retired Marine. "He has what we in the military call a command presence. He becomes the number one attention-getter."
He later served as Chairman for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson. Schwarzenegger scored his first real political success on November 5, 2002, when Californians approved his personally crafted and sponsored Proposition 49, the "After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002," an initiative to make state grants available for after-school programs.
2003 California recall election
For years, Schwarzenegger had discussed with friends, potential donors, advisors and political allies a possible run for high political office. On April 10, 2003 at the Los Angeles Peninsula Hotel, for example, he met with Republican political operative Karl Rove to discuss a future campaign. Seized emails from Enron show that Schwarzenegger also met with Ken Lay on May 17, 2001 at the Peninsula Hotel where Lay lobbied business leaders and future gubernatorial candidates such as Richard Riordan and Bill Simon to support a solution to the California energy crisis that included an end to "countless investigations into allegations that suppliers manipulated power prices."
In March 2001, Schwarzenegger was asked to run for governor by the California Republican Party. In the months leading to the recall election, Schwarzenegger was widely rumored to be considering a run at becoming Governor of California. In the July 2003 issue of Esquire Magazine, he said, "Yes, I would love to be governor of California ... If the state needs me, and if there's no one I think is better, then I will run." When a petition to recall Democratic governor Gray Davis qualified for the ballot on July 24, Schwarzenegger left many wondering whether he would jump into the contest. Schwarzenegger was just wrapping up a promotional tour for Terminator 3 and said he would announce his decision on whether to run on August 6 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In the days and even hours leading up to the show's taping, political experts and insiders concluded that Schwarzenegger was leaning against running in California's October 7 recall election. Even his closest advisors said he was probably not going to run. Rumors leading up to the announcement said that his wife, Maria Shriver, a Kennedy family Democrat, was against his running, and he wanted her approval in order to run.
When announcing his candidacy on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he joked, "It's the most difficult [decision] I've made in my entire life, except the one I made in 1978 when I decided to get a bikini wax". Ultimately, Shriver said she would support Schwarzenegger no matter what he chose, so he decided to run. Schwarzenegger told Leno, "The politicians are fiddling, fumbling and failing. The man that is failing the people more than anyone is Gray Davis. He is failing them terribly, and this is why he needs to be recalled and this is why I am going to run for governor of the state of California."
According to Schwarzenegger, he did not decide to run until the day of the announcement:
The recall happens and people are asking me, ‘What are you going to do?’ I thought about it but decided I wasn’t going to do it. I told Maria I wasn’t running. I told everyone I wasn’t running. I wasn’t running. I just thought [en route to the Tonight Show], This will freak everyone out. It’ll be so funny. I’ll announce that I am running. I told Leno I was running. And two months later I was governor. What the fuck is that? All these people are asking me, ‘What’s your plan? Who’s on your staff?’ I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a staff. I wasn’t running until I went on Jay Leno.
As a candidate in the recall election, Schwarzenegger had the most name recognition in a crowded field of candidates, but he had never held public office and his political views were unknown to most Californians. His candidacy was immediate national and international news, with media outlets dubbing him the "Governator" (referring to The Terminator movies, see above) and "The Running Man", and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (both names of his movies) and "Terminator 4: Rise of the Candidate" (referring to his movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines).
Schwarzenegger was quick to make use of his well-known one-liners, promising to "pump up Sacramento, California" (the state capital) and tell Gray Davis hasta la vista. At the end of his first press conference, he told the audience "I'll be back." Schwarzenegger looked to follow in the footsteps of former California governor and one-time movie star Ronald Reagan and also made references to following in the footsteps of progressive California governor Hiram Johnson.
However, due to his status as a naturalized citizen, he would not be eligible to seek the Presidency unless the Constitution were to be amended (as proposed in 2000 by Congressman Barney Frank (Democratic, Massachusetts) and in July 2003 (the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment) by Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah)). On his campaign team were actor Rob Lowe (a Hollywood Democrat, but a moderate), billionaire moderate Democrat Warren Buffett, and moderate Republican George Shultz, a former Nixon and Reagan aide.
|2003||Governor of California||General||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Republican||4,206,284||48.6||Cruz Bustamante||Democrat||2,724,874||31.5|
|Peter Miguel Camejo||Green||242,247||2.8|
|“||Gray Davis has terminated hope. He has terminated opportunity. He has terminated education and he has terminated jobs. Now it's time to terminate him.||”|
On October 7, 2003, the recall election resulted in Governor Gray Davis being removed from office with 55.4% of the Yes vote in favor of a recall. Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California under the second question on the ballot with 48.6% of the vote to choose a successor to Davis. Schwarzenegger defeated Democrat Cruz Bustamante, fellow Republican Tom McClintock, and others. In total, Schwarzenegger won the election by about 1.3 million votes. Under the regulations of the California Constitution, no runoff election was required.
Schwarzenegger was sworn into office on November 17, 2003. Schwarzenegger's inauguration was opened by Vanessa L. Williams, his co-star from Eraser, singing the National Anthem. Hollywood attendees included Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Dennis Miller, Tom Arnold, his wife Shelby, and Rob Lowe (only Miller was a Republican).
The Schwarzenegger children joined others in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, then Maria Shriver spoke and held the Bible while Schwarzenegger was sworn into the office of Governor. He spoke briefly: "Today is a new day in California. I did not seek this office to do things the way they've always been done. What I care about is restoring your confidence in your government... This election was not about replacing one man. It was not replacing one party. It was about changing the entire political climate of our state."
First years: 2003–2004
Despite expectations that Schwarzenegger would be vulnerable to opposition critics once taking office, his early governorship showed some successes. He dealt successfully with California politicians as diverse as John Burton to the left and Tom McClintock to the right. By the end of May 2004, a Field poll put his popularity at 65%, including 41% of Democrats. By comparison, former United States President Ronald Reagan, known as "the Great Communicator," never hit 60% approval while serving as California governor. Due to his role in the Terminator movies, people referred to him as the "Governator."
In his first few hours in office Schwarzenegger fulfilled his campaign promise to repeal an unpopular 200% increase in vehicle license fees undertaken to fund the state's budget. The increase was a restoration to 1998 levels. On his first full day in office, Schwarzenegger proposed a three-point plan to address the budget woes. First, Schwarzenegger proposed floating US$15 billion in bonds.
Second, he urged voters to pass a constitutional amendment to limit state spending. Third, he sought an overhaul of workers' compensation. Schwarzenegger also called the state legislature into a special session and said that spending cuts would also be necessary. He initiated the cuts by agreeing to serve as governor with no salary, a saving of $175,000 (USD) per year.
Propositions 57 and 58
To fulfill the first two points, he urged California voters to pass Proposition 57 and Proposition 58 in the March 2, 2004, election, which authorized the sale of $15 billion in bonds and mandated balanced budgets, respectively. Despite initially tepid support from the public, the combination of heavy campaigning by Schwarzenegger, endorsements from a number of leading Democrats, and warnings about the dire consequences should the propositions fail to pass, led to majority votes in favor of the two propositions. Prop. 57 passed with 63.3% of the votes in favor and Prop. 58 passed with 71.0% in favor. He accomplished the third point when he signed a workers' compensation reform bill on April 19, 2004.
Schwarzenegger convinced the Democratic-controlled state legislature to approve the package by threatening to take the issue directly to state voters in a November ballot initiative if the legislature did not act. The economic moves had the effect of up-grading the International Bond Market's projections for the California market at least three points. After Governor Schwarzenegger addressed the finances, the bond-rating went up three points and saved the State of California over $20 billion in bond-rated interest over ten years.
Schwarzenegger was later criticized for reneging on his campaign pledges not to take money from special interests and for failing to answer directly the sexual harassment allegations raised by the Los Angeles Times immediately preceding the recall election. However, Schwarzenegger made a point shortly after becoming governor of voluntarily attending a training course conducted by the state Attorney General's office on preventing sexual harassment (along with several members of his senior staff). Schwarzenegger continues to collect campaign contributions from private interests at a greater rate than any politician in California history, including Gray Davis, whom he criticized on that very issue.
In February 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered a change in the certificate application documents to allow for same-sex marriages, Governor Schwarzenegger opposed the move as being beyond the powers of the mayor but also said that he supports gay rights and has expressed support for a law to grant civil unions to gay couples.
On March 31, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-6-04, which states that "All state agencies, departments, boards, and commissions shall recruit, appoint, train, evaluate and promote state personnel on the basis of merit and fitness, without regard to age, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, disability or other non-job-related factors."
On September 13, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the California Insurance Equality Act into law, which expanded California's domestic partnership registry to require a health care service plan and a health insurer to provide coverage to the registered domestic partner of an employee, subscriber, insured, or policyholder that is equal to the coverage it provides to the spouse of those persons and would extend this requirement to all other forms of insurance regulated by the Department of Insurance and would deem that all of those policies as well as health care service plans and health insurance policies issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2005, or January 2, 2005, as specified, provide registered domestic partner coverage equal to that provided to spouses.
On September 23, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signs Omnibus Hate Crimes Bill into law, a bill that defines the legal term hate crime for all state and local agencies, encourages the creation of local law enforcement hate-crime protocols and increased hate crime awareness training for law enforcement officers.
On September 25, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signs Omnibus Labor & Employment Non-Discrimination Bill into law, a bill to unify all state anti-discrimination codes to match the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. In essence it adds sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination protections to the California government, labor, military and veterans, public utilities, unemployment and insurance, and welfare and institutions codes.
On September 27, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signs SB 1193 into law, a bill to provide a $10,000 death benefit to the surviving spouse or designated beneficiary of a member of one of the state military reserves (California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval militia). The bill, retroactive to March 1, 2003, allows LGBT partners of military personnel be listed as designated beneficiary.
On September 29, 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1520, a bill that would have established the California Veterans Memorial Commission. Also that same day, he signed the Domestic Partner Technical Clean-up Bill into law, which makes technical changes to the California Domestic Partner Rights & Responsibilities Act, including effective date of community property, third party obligations, allowing the creation of pre-partnership agreements for previously-registered couples, etc.
On July 25, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 378 into law, that extend the statute of limitation from two to three years for filing civil claims against hate crimes perpetrators or civil rights violators acting under color of law.
On September 6, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices, a bill that would have added sexual orientation to a voluntary list of prohibited topics in political campaign advertising.
On September 29, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 849, a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in Califorinia. Also that same day, he signs Civil Rights Act of 2005 into law, which expanded the Unruh Civil Rights Act to further prohibit that discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, sexual orientation, and marital status in public accommodations. Also that same day, he signs SB 565 into law, which, commencing with the lien date for the 2006-07 fiscal year, exclude from the definition of "change in ownership" any transfer of property between registered domestic partners and would provide that, notwithstanding Section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, no appropriation is made and the state shall not reimburse local agencies for property tax revenues lost by them pursuant to the bill. Also the same day, he signed SB 973, which revises and recast those provisions to require the form to include the signature of the member's spouse or domestic partner, as specified, and be received at the system's headquarters, as provided, and for purposes of the provision of certain postretirement death benefits, that a surviving domestic partner shall be treated in the same manner as a surviving spouse if the domestic partner is in a registered domestic partnership that meets specified criteria or if the retired member and his or her domestic partner, who are currently in a registered domestic partnership, sign an affidavit that makes specified statements. Because moneys in the Public Employees' Retirement Fund would be used for a new purpose, this bill would make an appropriation, and revise and recast the provisions described above in connection with the extension of the rights and duties of marriage to domestic partnerships that occurred on and after 2005. Because moneys in the Public Employees' Health Care Fund would be used for a new purpose, this bill would make an appropriation and entitle a retired member and his or her domestic partner to the same entitlements as described above, if specified criteria are satisfied, including providing an affidavit signed by the member and domestic partner under penalty of perjury relative to the member's service retirement effective date or disability retirement date and expand those provisions to provide that a conservatee retains the capacity to enter into a domestic partnership, as specified. Also that same day, he signed AB 1586 into law, a prohibit gender-based discrimination in health insurance. Also that day, he vetoed AB 723, which would have required the State Board of Education (SBE), as a component of reviewing curriculum frameworks, and after consulting civil rights organizations that relate to discrimination on the basis of disabilities, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation, to integrate instruction on intergroup relations and tolerance into existing curriculum frameworks.
On October 7, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1669 into law, which extend the statute of limitations for filing an administrative complaint in employment discrimination cases until one year from the date that a victim attains the age of majority.
On August 28, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Nondiscrimination in State Programs and Activities Act into law, a bill that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in state operated or funded services, activities and programs. Gay Rights Watch commented that: "Governor Schwarzenegger, despite the huge blow he dealt to the gay and lesbian community by vetoing AB 849, has signed more pro-GLBT laws than any other Governor in California history--and probably in the US for that matter."
On September 6, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1437, a bill that would have amended the Education Code to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in text books, classroom instruction, and school-sponsored activities.
On September 28, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act, a bill that affirms legislative intent stating that use of panic defense by criminal defendants to appeal to the bias of jurors is against public policy. Also that same day, he signed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices, a bill that includes a voluntary pledge to not use or permit any appeal to negative prejudices based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Also that same day, he signed The Civil Rights Housing Act of 2006, a bill that standardize various housing-related nondiscrimination provisions in California law to make them consistent with the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Also that same day, he vetoed the Safe Place to Learn Act, a bill that would prohibited discrimination and harassment in public schools.
On September 29, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the State Income Tax Equity Act, a bill that establishes the requirement that couples registered as California domestic partners file their state income taxes as married couples. Also that same day, he vetoed AB 1056, a bill that would have established the Tolerance Education Pilot Program, to be administered by the State Department of Education, to promote instruction in public schools on tolerance and intergroup relations as part of the instruction in the history/social science content standards, as specified. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 1471, a bill that would have required any state-funded or administered program that provides education to prevent adolescent or unintended pregnancy or to prevent sexually transmitted infections to be, among other requirements, medically accurate, free from specified biases, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and does not teach or promote any religious doctrine.
On September 30, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2051, a bill that establish a fee of $23 to be imposed upon persons registering as domestic partners to develop and support a training curriculum specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender domestic abuse support service providers who serve that community in regard to domestic violence, and to provide brochures specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender domestic abuse, as specified, and establish the Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Fund for the deposit and use of those fees and require a brochure specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender domestic abuse prepared by the State Department of Health Services to be printed by the Secretary of State and made available to, upon request by, certain domestic partner registrants, as specified and revise the grant program to include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community for certain purposes of the grant program and also require membership on the council by representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and require that the commission responsible for that training program, consult with a representative of service providers serving victims of domestic violence in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and require the training workshops to also include a curriculum component specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender domestic abuse and also require membership on the council by at least one representative of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and establish a similar grant program administered by that and funded by the Equality in Prevention and Services for Domestic Abuse Fund for grants to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community relative to domestic abuse, as specified. Also that day, he signed AB 2920, a bill that includes senior LGBT Californians in the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act, which sets forth the state’s commitment to its elder population who are served by programs administered by the California Department of Aging.
On October 10, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the SB 105 into law, a follow-up bill re DP joint state income tax filing which clarifies that an RDP or a former RDP would be treated as a spouse or former spouse for personal income tax and corporation tax purposes.
On October 12, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the Religious Freedom & Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized same-sex marriage in California. Also that same day he signed the Civil Rights Act of 2007 into law, that strengthens and clarifies 51 existing non-discrimination sections within the California Codes to conform with the Unruh Civil Rights Act and Gov. Code Sec. 11135, the principal non-discrimination provision dealing with state-funded programs and activities. Also that same day, he signed AB 102 into law, that allows one or both parties to a marriage or registered domestic partnership to change their surname by entering a new surname on either a marriage license application or certificate of registered domestic partnership. Also that same day, he signed AB 394 into law, which requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to assess schools, as part of CDE's existing monitoring process, for compliance with specific anti-discrimination and harassment policies and procedures, and display on their web site specific bias-related and discrimination and harassment information. Also that same day, he signed SB 559, which allows registered domestic partners whose property was reassessed due to a change of ownership between January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2006, to apply to the county assessor by June 30, 2009 to receive a reversal of the reassessment. Also that same day, he signed SB 777, which updated California’s Education Code and ensure the strengthening and uniformity of all non-discrimination policies governing all publicly funded schools, charter schools, alternative schools, and post-secondary educational institutions.
On October 13, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 629, which requires any state-funded or administered sex education programs to be, among other requirements, medically accurate, free from specified biases, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and does not teach or promote any religious doctrine. Also that same day, he signed SB 518 into law, which enacts the Youth Bill of Rights that would protect LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 549, which would have extend to employees up to four days of bereavement leave upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or registered domestic partner. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 727, which would have conformed the unpaid family leave law (California Family Rights Act) to the paid Family Temporary Disability Insurance program to extend the leave to care for an ill domestic partner. Expand the definition of family leave under both laws to include family leave to care for sick grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, and siblings. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 836l, which would have added familial status in the non-discrimination bases under the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA).
On October 14, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 537, which would have extended unpaid leave to care for a sick child (minor or adult), parent-in-law, grandparent, sibling, grandchild, or domestic partner.
On July 22, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2673, which conforms provisions of the County Employees' Retirement Law of 1937 ('37 Act) to be consistent with the provisions of the California Domestic Partnership Act of 2003, AB 205.
On September 28, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2874, which would have deleted the $150,000 limitation on actual damages that may be assessed by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission against a respondent who violates the California Civil Rights Act of 2005, as an unlawful practice. Also that same day, he signed SB 1729, which requires all registered nurses, certified nurse assistants, licensed vocational nurses, and physician and surgeons working in skilled nursing facilities or congregate living health facilities participate in a training program to be prescribed by the State Department of Public Health that focuses on preventing and eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
On September 30, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2567, which would have declared May 22 as Harvey Milk State Holiday (non-fiscal) and designate that date as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and encourage those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date. Also that same day, he signed AB 2654 into law, which conforms statutory code provisions prohibiting discrimination in specific government and business operations to those characteristics already covered by non-discrimination laws of general application to government operations and business establishments. Also that same day, he signed AB 3015 into law, which requires additional subject matter coverage in mandatory trainings of foster care providers and licensing personnel to include basic instruction on existing laws regarding the safety of foster youth at school, including the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 153, which would have excluded a transfer of co-tenancy interest in a principal residence from property tax reassessment if the principal residence was owned by two individuals and was transferred to one of those individuals upon the death of the other, with the survivor obtaining sole ownership of that property. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 1661, which would have provided that an individual shall be deemed to have left his or her most recent work with good cause if the individual's employment is terminated as a result of the individual's taking a qualifying leave under the family temporary disability insurance program.
On October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 54 into law, which recognizes same-sex couples as being married if they tied the knot outside California before Proposition 8 went into effect and would also give same-sex couples who married elsewhere after Proposition 8 went into effect the same rights as heterosexual couples, except for the designation of marriage. Also that day, he vetoed AB 115, which would have authorized Santa Clara County’s local initiative to extend health care services insurance coverage to the spouses, domestic partners or eligible dependent children of program enrollees. Also that same day, he vetoed AB 382, which would have required the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to consider sexual orientation and gender identity when classifying inmates in order to prevent sexual violence. Also that same day, he vetoed AB 772, which would have established the Local Government Identification Act, which would authorize counties to issue local identification cards (local ID cards) to persons who can provide proof of identity and proof of residency within the county. Also that same day, he vetoed AB 985, which would have required a county recorder, title insurance company or other entity transferring of a deed or other written instrument relating to title in real property to provide the recipient with a document that will allow the recipient to remove the unlawful restrictive covenants and to create a public record which does not contain the restrictive covenant. Also that same day, he signed AB 1003 into law, which expands access for LGBT service providers to a state fund that supports LGBT-specific domestic violence programs across the state and is subsidized by a $23 fee on new domestic partner registrations. Also that same day, he vetoed AB 1185, which would have allowed qualified transgender people born in California to return to the county of their birth to obtain a new birth certificate reflecting the correct gender, as well as any accompanying name change. Also that same day, he signed SB 273, which changes the definition of domestic violence to mean the infliction or threat of physical harm against past or present adult or adolescent intimate partners, to include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse against the partner, that is a part of a pattern of assaultive, coercive, and controlling behaviors directed at achieving compliance from, or control over, that partner. The bill would also make the department's comprehensive shelter-based service grant program subject to specified antidiscrimination provisions. Also that same day, he signed SB 572, which requires the governor to proclaim May 22 each year as Harvey Milk Day. It would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date. Also that same day, SB 739, which prohibits the spouse or domestic partner of an elected officer or a candidate for elective office from receiving compensation from campaign funds held by a controlled committee of the elected officer or candidate for services rendered in connection with fundraising for the benefit of the elected officer or candidate.
On September 22, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1451, which would have establish the Local Government Identification Act, which would authorize counties to issue local identification cards (local ID cards) to persons who can provide proof of identity and proof of residency within the county.
On September 23, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 633, which would have require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to consider sexual orientation and gender identity when classifying inmates in order to prevent sexual violence.
On September 25, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2340, which would have provided employees in California the right to take three days of unpaid time off in the event of the death of certain relatives including same-sex spouse or domestic partner.
On September 27, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2199 into law, which repeals section of the California Welfare and Institutions code that instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the “causes and cures of homosexuality.” Also that same day, he signed AB 2700 into law, which creates a consolidated form and procedure to dissolve both a civil marriage and domestic partnership at the same time.
On September 29, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 543 into law, which permits youth ages 12–17 to consent to mental health treatment without parental permission if the attending professional believes the youth is mature enough to make the decision or if the youth would present a danger of serious physical or mental harm to self and others without the services.
On September 30, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1680, which would have prohibited contracts from requiring a person to waive their legal rights and procedures under the civil rights laws dealing with bias-motivated violence and hate crimes. The same day, he signed AB 2055 into law, which specify that, for purposes of those provisions governing eligibility for unemployment benefits, "domestic partner" also includes a person to whom domestic partnership, as described, is imminent. Also that same day, he signed AB 2364 into law, which revises various provisions governing eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits to specify that a claimant is eligible for benefits where he or she left an employer’s employ to protect his or her family from domestic violence abuse. Also that same day, he vetoed SB 906, which would specify that no priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination would be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. The bill would state that any refusal to solemnize a marriage under that provision shall not affect the tax exempt status of any entity.
In February 2004, he chose not to pardon convicted murderer Kevin Cooper who had asked him for clemency in his death penalty sentence. Cooper's planned execution was stayed by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pending a revisiting of evidence. The first execution under his administration was that of Donald Beardslee.
An Austrian Green Party spokesman, Peter Pilz, later called for Schwarzenegger to be stripped of his Austrian citizenship. Pilz said that "Capital punishment is unacceptable in Austria and in Europe, and no Austrian citizen may take part in it or arrange it."
The governor has granted clemency to a number of convicted felons – more than Democratic predecessor Gray Davis, who presided over numerous executions. The power of clemency is often controversial. After a longer period of consideration than is usual, on December 12, 2005, Schwarzenegger denied clemency to quadruple murderer Stanley Tookie Williams, who was executed the following day.
In a statement Schwarzenegger argued not on the grounds that Williams' actions were beyond atonement: instead he appeared to acknowledge that atonement was possible, but Williams had not done so, Schwarzenegger stating that "the one thing (apologizing for the four murders he committed) that would be the clearest indication of complete remorse and full redemption is the one thing Williams will not do."
Taxation and economic issues
In March 2004, libertarian policy research foundation, The Cato Institute, rated him 1st in their 2004 fiscal policy report card of the tax and spending policies of the nation's governors. In July 2004, however, Schwarzenegger and the state legislature deadlocked, failing to approve the state budget on time. Trying to rouse public support for his position, he compared lawmakers to kindergarteners who need a "timeout," and in a rally of supporters called his budget opponents "girlie men" (a reference to a long-running Saturday Night Live skit parodying Schwarzenegger).
Despite what some viewed as political snags during the summer, the Field polls released in August and October 2004 showed that Schwarzenegger's approval rating remained at 65%. Additionally, in October, for the first time in four years a plurality of Californians felt the state was "on the right track".
However, when asked if they would support Schwarzenegger if he could run for president, 50% said they would oppose, while only 26% said they would support the governor in a presidential bid.
In the spring of 2005, polls began showing Schwarzenegger's approval ratings had dropped to between 40 and 49%.
On June 13, 2005, Schwarzenegger called a statewide special election for November 8, 2005, to vote on a series of reform measures he initially proposed in his 2005 State of the State address. A non-partisan Field Poll poll released a week later showed his support had dropped to 37%, one of the lowest approval ratings for any California governor and barely above the support of recalled former Governor, Gray Davis.
Schwarzenegger's spokesman responded that Schwarzenegger had not yet had enough time to explain his proposals to voters. The Legislature also shared low approval ratings, with just 24% of voters saying they approve of the job lawmakers have been doing. That represents a drop of 10% since February. The governor has responded that the poll sends a "very clear message to us. They are saying they want us to work together." He has also responded "I know popularity goes up and down... as soon as you start making decisions and strong decisions, sometimes they're not popular decisions".
Republicans have claimed that the drop in popularity was due to a multimillion-dollar ad campaign by various groups such as unions for nurses, police and firefighters, who opposed his plans for the state pension and his administration's lawsuit to delay implementation of a nurse-to-patient staffing ratio plan. In late June 2005, another non-partisan Field Poll had similar numbers as the earlier one, finding that 57% of California voters are not inclined to elect Schwarzenegger to a second term as Governor in 2006.
When asked about the lessons of the poll, Schwarzenegger has responded "People make mistakes sometimes, and I think that we learn. [...] These are very clear messages that we must work together, and so I am looking forward to that."
To some degree, Governor Schwarzenegger's unpopularity has had to do with his confrontations with three popular labor groups: nurses, teachers, and firefighters. Some unions and activists reacted with anger.
Accusation of conflict of interest
While governor, Schwarzenegger continued to hold a position of executive editor of two American Media magazines. He announced in March 2004 that his $250,000 a year salary would be donated to charity. Schwarzenegger has an extensive history with the magazines and was frequently their star in his bodybuilding days. As executive editor, he produces monthly columns based on his bodybuilding history.
Schwarzenegger drew fire when a second contract, a consulting position, was subsequently discovered in SEC filings, by the L.A. Times. This second contract would net him an estimated $8,000,000 (USD) over the next five years. His consulting duties are not clear, except that the job allegedly "takes up little time".
The New York Times further reported (on July 15) that under the five-year November 2003 contract, signed two days before his inauguration as Governor, Oak Productions, Mr. Schwarzenegger's company, is to receive 1% of the net print advertising revenues of Weider Publications. But the payment must be at least $1,000,000 (USD) per year. Mr. Schwarzenegger has also been granted phantom equity, a way of sharing in the growth of the value of the company. The equity could become worth 1% of the company's value, which was stated at the time of the contract as $520,000,000 (USD)".
This contract was seen as a conflict of interest by critics, who note that the magazines receive much of their revenue from advertisements for dietary supplements, a government-regulated industry affected by Schwarzenegger's veto (September 2004) of a bill that would ban schools from accepting sponsorships from firms that make performance-enhancing dietary supplements. In Schwarzenegger's reason for his veto, he drew a distinction between performance-enhancing dietary supplements and steroid usage, which he says is what needs to be prevented in high school students.
Supporters point out that he did not sign into law a bill that prohibited companies from selling the supplements to minors. Following the accusation, Schwarzenegger responded he would end the contracts with the magazines.
In August 2005, the Washington Post reported that American Media had paid former TV actress Gigi Goyette, $20,000 (USD) to not discuss a relationship between her and Schwarzenegger. According to interviews, Goyette claimed the two had a brief fling in 1975, when Goyette was a teenager, and reconnected in the late 1980s and carried on a once-a-year affair.
Also in August, the Los Angeles Times reported that five non-profit organizations had collected $3,000,000 (USD), chiefly from large businesses, in order to help defray Schwarzenegger's personal and political expenses, including the rent on the $6,000-a-month hotel suite that Schwarzenegger uses when in Sacramento.
The governor's spokesman subsequently reported that Schwarzenegger had directed the disclosure of the contributors to the "residence fund".
On September 29, 2005, Schwarzenegger vetoed the California gay marriage bill after it had passed both houses of the legislature.
He stated that he vetoed the bill because he felt that it was in opposition to the will of the voters as expressed by Proposition 22, which had passed in 2000 with 61.4% of the vote. Proposition 22 stated that only marriages between a man and a woman would be recognized in the state of California.
On September 16, 2005, Schwarzenegger announced that he would seek a second term as governor. Despite his initially high approval ratings, a Field Poll conducted the week before indicated that only 36% of California voters were inclined to reelect him.
Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 469 (Bowen) on October 7, 2005. It would have required people circulating petitions to say whether the signature gatherers are volunteers or are being paid to collect signatures.
Running up to the November special election, Schwarzenegger campaigned heavily throughout the state for his slate of propositions. Through an organization called "Join Arnold," tens of millions of dollars were funneled into the state, mostly from corporate interests, to fund the campaign. Schwarzenegger even reportedly spent 7,000,000 (USD) of his own money. Schwarzenegger characterized the four propositions as being key to his reform agenda. The campaign tenor was highly divisive, with Schwarzenegger calling his opponents “stooges” and at one point Warren Beatty leading a bus full of public employees to follow the governor and shout down his events.
State unions and other groups opposed to the measures spent large sums of money opposing Schwarzenegger. Total spending by both sides leading up to the election was estimated at $300,000,000 (USD). The California Teachers Association went so far as to mortgage its Sacramento headquarters to finance its campaign spending.
In the November 8, 2005 special election, California voters dealt a devastating blow to Schwarzenegger by soundly rejecting all four ballot initiatives that Schwarzenegger had proposed to reform the state government. All propositions were defeated by a margin of at least 7 percentage points. The two propositions most key to Schwarzenegger's agenda, propositions 76 and 77, were defeated by 24 and 19 points respectively.
It had been the most expensive election in California history. As the results came out in Sacramento a public union boss waived a broom over his head while state employees chanted “sweep, sweep, sweep”. In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, the U.S. Supreme Court would latter find that the public employee union's use of compulsory fees to fund its campaign had been illegal.
The defeat left Schwarzenegger significantly weakened politically, depriving him of the one source of leverage he had against the Democratic legislature. Some opponents took to calling him "the One-terminator," a play on his popular role as "the Terminator" in films, implying that his chances of winning re-election had been diminished.
In the aftermath of the election, Schwarzenegger moved back to the center. He hired a former aide of Gray Davis as his chief of staff, and started working with California State Senate Majority Leader, Don Perata, for development of a bond, estimated in the billions of dollars, to accelerate construction of infrastructure such as freeways and waterworks.
However, Governor Schwarzenegger's attempts to redeem his political career via the bond measures fell apart in March 2006, largely due to his inability to gain Republican support for the negotiated bond plan. Democratic legislators had pressed Schwarzenegger to emphasize in the bond offering those areas that broadly benefitted the population of the state, while the Republican minority in the legislature pushed for the interests of business and agriculture. The Governor found himself in an impossible situation, as he needed the support of both the Republicans and Democrats to achieve the two-thirds vote to establish the June bond measure.
He chose to endorse the Democratic initiatives in the bond measure, but lost the support of the Republicans in the Legislature. Despite a week of tense, last-minute attempts to compromise, the Republican and Democratic legislators held fast, leading to gridlock.
Both the Governor and Legislature have stated their desire to put some bond measure on the November 2006 ballot, and those bond measures are Propositions 1A through 1E on the ballot.
May 2006 – September 2006
On July 19, 2006, Schwarzenegger proposed forming the Climate Action Board, a new, centralized authority under his direct control that would be responsible for implementing one of the nation's most far-reaching initiatives to curb global warming.
On July 21, 2006, Schwarzenegger allocated a further $150 million to stem cell research in the wake of President Bush's veto on a bill that would allow for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
In August 2006, Schwarzenegger and legislators agreed to an increase of California's minimum wage from $6.75 per hour to $8.50 per hour in two years. This angered many conservatives.
On August 30, 2006, Democratic legislators and Schwarzenegger agreed on a bill to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions by twenty five percent over the next twenty years, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
On September 7, he made some controversial comments about Latina Republican Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, reportedly calling her "very hot". He went on to say "I mean, they [Cubans and Puerto Ricans] are all very hot... they have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them and together that makes it." It should be noted that Garcia found the comments harmless, and even flattering to an extent. On her official site, she responded, "If the Governor's comments were meant in a discriminatory or disrespectful way, I would have been the first to stand up and fight against them. However, this was not the case. Not only were the brief remarks taken completely out of context from a much longer conversation, but they center around me and a former friend and competitor of the Governor's, Sergio Oliva."
His campaign has also accused opponent Phil Angelides' campaign of breaching security protocols in obtaining the file and illegally accessing the Governor's internal computer network, then leaking it to the Los Angeles Times. Katie Levinson, a spokeswoman for the Schwarzenegger campaign wanted Angelides to "denounce the unethical actions taken on his behalf," and claimed that he was trying to personally smear Schwarzenegger. Angelides' campaign claimed that the allegations were "politically motivated" and stated that the website was publicly accessible. An investigation by the California Highway Patrol exonerated the Angelides camp of any wrongdoing.
On September 12, 2006, Schwarzenegger wrote a Los Angeles Times editorial piece where he called on Mexican immigrants to learn English and obey U.S. laws. He also advocated for increased security on the U.S.–Mexico border.
Real estate tax law was affected in California by Assembly Bill AB 2962, which was approved and signed into law by Schwarzenegger on September 22, 2006. In past law, sales of secondary residence under California law may pay up to 31⁄3% estimated tax of the gross sales price. The tax is collected through escrow and it can be up to 14 months before filing tax returns to get the over-payment back. The law allows taxpayers to choose a withholding amount. This amount will be based on the maximum income tax rate for individuals (9.3%) or corporations (8.84%) applicable to the actual capital gain on the sale of their real property. Taxpayers will also be required to complete a certification under penalty of perjury to the buyer to elect this withholding method.
On September 27, 2006, Schwarzenegger signed into law the most far-reaching state legislation yet enacted to reduce harmful pollutant emissions that cause global warming. At the bill signing ceremony, Schwarzenegger declared, "We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late... The science is clear. The global warming debate is over."
Improvement of relations with the State Legislature has enabled the production of a budget within the constitutional time limits (a rare event in California) and the Governor has stated that the failure of his 2006 initiatives was received by himself as a clear message that the electorate expects that the Legislature and Governor are to cooperate and to do their jobs in making law and "... not come running to the people...."
- Schwarzenegger was in San Francisco on October 27, 2006 for a low-key, nonpartisan appearance at a medical conference. Surrounded by high-tech executives, he signed an executive order to boost broadband use in California, designate the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency as the coordinator for broadband policy and establish a broadband task force—a development he said would reap rewards in medicine and business. He said he wanted to "steer clear of the nasty, back-and-forth attacks that characterize most political contests. Concerning broadband, such matters are "a hundred times" more important to voters than the give and take of a campaign. People don't want to hear him say Angelides is wrong on this. The crowd don't want to hear it. It wants to hear that he's building California—they ask him what he is going to do."
- Schwarzenegger was scheduled to speak to the NAACP convention afternoon October 28, 2006.
- At 8:01 pm, just one minute after polling in California was closed, Schwarzenegger was declared by many news organizations as the victor.
- Shortly after his re-election, the Governor's office announced the formation of the Governor's 2007 Inaugural Committee which would raise funds from private donors to host the festivities. According to the Los Angeles Times the two-day gala would cost at least $1.4 million dollars and no public funds would be used. Highlights of the gala are one of Broadway's original Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, disco diva Donna Summer and Paul Anka.
|2006||Governor of California||Primary||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Republican||1,724,281||90.0||Robert C. Newman II||Republican||68,660||3.6|
|Jeffrey R. Burns||Republican||57,652||3.0|
|2006||Governor of California||General||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Republican||4,850,157||55.88||Phil Angelides||Democrat||3,376,732||38.91|
The state government of California started 2009 with a debt of $42 billion, making it difficult for Schwarzenegger to work with law makers and to maintain his party obligations at the same time. After a drawn out process, the governor signed a budget on February 20, 2009.
In an attempt to replenish the California general fund, residents would see an increase in their taxes and a one percent increase in sales tax (from 7.76–8.76). In a controversial move, the Governor also declared two Fridays per month as furloughs day for state workers, meaning that they would not come into work and would not be paid.
On April 13, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin held a press conference to announce the Allied Health Initiative, a $32 million public-private partnership aimed at adding thousands of critically needed allied health professionals.
On April 15, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger was served with a notice of intent to recall by a group calling themselves "Taxpayers United to Recall Governor Schwarzenegger".
The Governor sponsored several initiatives on a May 19 ballot. The main proposition, prop 1A sought to raise taxes to raise a total of $16 billion. A summary of prop 1A is as follows:
Changes the budget process. Could limit future deficits and spending by increasing the size of the state "rainy day" fund and requiring above-average revenues to be deposited into it, for use during economic downturns and other purposes. Fiscal Impact: Higher state tax revenues of roughly $16 billion from 2010–11 through 2012–13. Over time, increased amounts of money in state rainy day reserve and potentially less ups and downs in state spending.
On May 5, two weeks before the special election, the Governor warned the public that he does not like scare tactics, but "he warned of dire consequences if voters don't pass the six special election measures". With polls indicating that California voters would vote NO on props 1A-E, and in fact the voters subsequently did vote against the proposed tax increases by almost 2:1, the Governor was worried that the budget would have to be sent back to be hashed out between the two houses.
- Arnold Married Same-Sex Couples While Calif. Gov.; CBS News; September 30, 2012
- "Schwarzenegger Endorses John McCain". MSNBC.com. January 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger - MSNBC TV: Battle for the White House - MSNBC.com
- Welcome to iCONECT247
- Enron Emails
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- Schwarzenegger a big hit with voters, polls report / Soaring popularity cuts across party, geographical lines; San Francisco Chronicle; May 27, 2004
- Special Interest Contributions: Top Contributors To Arnold By Industry Arnoldwatch.org; retrieved December 1, 2006.
- NBC interview
- Read the entire text of Gov. Schwarzenegger's March 2004 Executive Order S-6-04, below:
- BILL NUMBER: AB 2208 CHAPTERED
- 2004 Legislation
- Log Cabin Republicans Applaud Governor Schwarzenegger for Signing Hate Crimes Legislation
- September 25 in LGBTQ History
- September 27 in LGBTQ History
- BILL NUMBER: AB 1520
- CIVIL RIGHTS
- BILL NUMBER: AB 378 CHAPTERED
- 2005 Legislation
- Schwarzenegger vetoes gay marriage bill as promised
- BILL NUMBER: AB 1400 CHAPTERED
- Senate Bill No. 565
- BILL NUMBER: SB 973 CHAPTERED
- BILL NUMBER: AB 1586 CHAPTERED
- Schwarzenegger Signs CA's SB 1441 Into Law
- 2006 Legislation
- Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act Becomes Law!
- AB-1207 Code of Fair Campaign Practices.(2005-2006)
- BILL NUMBER: AB 2800 CHAPTERED
- BILL NUMBER: SB 1827 CHAPTERED
- AB-2051 Domestic violence.(2005-2006)
- BILL NUMBER: AB 2920 CHAPTERED
- 2007 Legislation
- 2008 Legislation
- 2009 Legislation
- 2010 Legislation
- BBC interview
- Moore, Stephen and Stephen Slivinski. Policy Analysis: Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2004 Cato Institute March 1, 2005; retrieved December 1, 2006.
- field.com (pdf file)
- LA Times article, see also woai.com, surveyusa.com, and bloomberg.com
- Fox News article.
- yahoo.com, see also yahoo.com
- sfist.com. See also mercurynews.com, CBS article, mercurynews.com), and others with humor (MSNBC, arnoldwatch.org, and talent.pratt.edu)
- LA Times article
- NY Time 15 July 2005
- Washington Post 12 August 2005.
- Local news interview[dead link]
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- worldnetdaily.com. See also southernvoice.com
- Marinucci, Carla (6 November 2005). "Beatty crashes governor's party". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Malanga, Steven. "The Beholden State How public sector unions broke California". City Journal (Spring 2010) (Manhattan Institute for Policy Research). Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Richard Hasen, Assessing California's Hybrid Democracy, 97 Cal. L. Rev. 1501 (2009).
- Thomas, Bryan (10 November 2005). "A Weary State is Left Facing Hefty Price Tag". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Chronicle political writers (9 November 2005). "Californians say no to Schwarzenegger". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
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- Schwarzenegger, Arnold (September 12, 2006). "Keep the Immigration Debate Civil". Los Angeles Times.
- Schwarzenegger signs landmark warming law - Environment - MSNBC.com
- Interview on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, October 11, 2006.
- Chorneau, Tom; Marinucci, Carla; Wildermuth, John (October 28, 2006). "CAMPAIGN 2006 / Obama gives lift to Angelides' underdog race / He stumps in L.A. for fellow Dem -- governor visits S.F". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Feist, Paul (April 6, 2007). "Governor's approval ratings leap in poll". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- San Francisco Sentinel » Blog Archives » California Governor Schwarzenegger approval ratings rise significantly