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October 07, 2003

Cobb Recommends

In the spirit of editorial pages everywhere, I offer my recommendations to California Voters on today's special election.

Cobb recommends that Californians vote FOR the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.

The recall is the right and privilege of our voters and the demonstrates the ability for motivated citizens to change things. However, the primary reason we are in a fiscal crisis is from a failure of bipartisanship in Sacramento to fund what is necessary and tax what is necessary. Changing governors will not substantially affect that deadlock but it demonstrates the high price to pay for politicians who are not fiscally accountable to the people.

Furthermore, Cobb believes that objections to the recall were largely fair and well considered but that the 9th Circuit was correct in rejecting appeals to delay. The people have spoken in calling for this special election and Cobb is pleased that they have it.

Cobb fully expects the recall to pass but would prefer that it be close thereby emphasizing the effects of voter turnout and individual initiative. However a Recall is not the proper way to resolve this fiscal crisis in California and that is the most important issue.

Gray Davis has not been incompetent. He has inherited an ugly set of problems and he has failed to resolve them quickly, painlessly or deflect them by remaining politically popular. Cobb finds nothing extraordinarily damning about Davis' performance and believes that we have yet to see any candidate strong enough to muscle the California Legislature and Government into the kind of compromise necessary. Davis has been ineffective in communicating to the people the true nature of the problems that generated this fiscal crises. He suffers from bureacratic inertia and lacks the energy and focus Californians need.

The Recall election says that the People are angry and we want change. Everyone now knows that. The change however needs to come from the Legislature and the People themselves. By recalling Davis, the California Legislature should feel the pressure to know that they are next.

Cobb recommends that you cast your vote for Governor to Arnold SCHWARTZENEGGER.

Schwartzenegger is not likely to be a much better leader than Gray Davis but it is significant that such an outsider can get the people's mandate. We at Cobb don't believe that he will be particularly effective nor particularly divisive as Governor of California. But the election of Schwartzenegger will demonstrate to Republicans and Democrats alike that fresh faces, and fresh ideas can come from anywhere and that when business as usual results in partisan deadlock, the people can and will force change. Schwartzenegger will not likely fix the budget deficit any time soon. It will not be fixed unless and until Californians decide to raise and pay taxes.

Schwartzenegger has the opportunity as an outsider to expose the failure of the Legislature. If he takes that initiative, the people of California will be well served by getting to know the limits of power of the executive branch and the effect of cronyism on the Legislature.

Cobb is concerned however that Schwartzenegger may take his mandate to signify something more than a rebellion in California, but to the legitimacy of his own political ambitions. His feet must be kept to the fire and he must be accountable. He must embody the spirit of the Recall. He must speak often and clearly.

Finally, Cobb believes that the election of Schwartzenegger, despite his being a political novice, sends a strong message to the Republican party that conservative ideologues are no longer the standard bearers. The Contract with America days are over as are the Culture Wars, and moderates are the future of the Party.

Cobb recommends that Californians vote AGAINST Proposition 54 aka The Racial Privacy Initiative.

Proposition 54 is essentially a campaign to force California to adopt a set of laws which conform to the racial vision of one man; Ward Connerly. Connerly has never been elected to any office and represents his own interests. He is a crusader appointed by Pete Wilson who has travelled around the country trying to rewrite the civil rights laws of various states through the force of his own personality and money. He is not well informed about civil rights and only claims to be by virtue of the color of his own skin. Proposition 54 works against enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Reject Connerly and his Propositions.

Posted by mbowen at October 7, 2003 10:52 AM

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I must point that history gives us a lesson that change of leaders does not necessarily mean change for the better. You would agree though: "Schwartzenegger is not likely to be a much better leader than Gray Davis."

Look at Latin America. Over the past 10 years situations there have gone worse in their attempts change situations for the better by ousting leaders as well as slowly adopting Democracy.

It seems that you are insinuating some kind of revenge: "Changing governors will not substantially affect that deadlock but it demonstrates the high price to pay for politicians who are not fiscally accountable to the people." As if your message is "do it right, or you will be booted."

Yes, we have the privelege to change things (leaders that we are dissatisfied with), but maybe we should reserve that right when some kind of crime is committed. I sense a taste of a rebellion looming. Oh, that is exactly what this is.

I only hope that if there is a change that things don't get worse.

Posted by: latinopundit at October 7, 2003 03:13 PM

Well, you were three for three in your predictions! How does it feel to be a prophet?

Posted by: Abiola Lapite at October 9, 2003 03:04 PM