Arnold Schwarzenegger on Government Reform
Republican CA Governor
2004: Self-financed campaign; no special interest money
As far back as 1999, Arnold had already given a hint of his intentions, though few took him seriously at the time. In an interview with "Talk" magazine, he said that he had often contemplated running for high office. The magazine asked Arnold if he might
be considering a run for governor of California in 2002. "I could be," he replied coyly.
Two years later, Arnold said "People are taking their companies out of state because they're worried [about electricity]. You cannot make great decisions if you're
just worried about your reelection. The bottom line is if Davis goes on the way he is, then eventually there will be a vacuum in a year and I could. I just leave it open. If he doesn't keep his promises on all those issues--energy, environment, schools,
health care--then you've got to say, 'OK, there's room for someone else."
If he did run, he vowed, he wouldn't take campaign money from the "special interests." He was wealthy enough to finance his own campaign.
Source: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, p.243-244
, Oct 12, 2010
2005: Four ballot propositions all lost by wide margins
In June 2005, Schwarzenegger called a special election and backed four propositions that were the centerpieces of his reform efforts. Two of these were controversial from the start: Proposition 77 (perhaps because of a distrust of judges) polled 35% for
it and 46% opposed. However, Proposition 74 & 75, for education reform, were initially very popular, earing 61% and 57% approval, respectively.
These two measures threatened the power of unions and would have substantially weakened the
Sacramento political machine. So the machine responded with total war.
It was the most expensive special election in history, costing by some accounts more than $300 million. Unions alone spent more than $100 million in advertising & voter mobilization
efforts. The result: all eight ballot initiatives were defeated, including the four backed by Schwarzenegger. Despite their initial popularity, propositions 74 and 75 lost by ten points or more. Propositions 76 and 77 were beaten by even larger margins.
Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 75
, May 17, 2010
Listening to Nixon speak sounded like a breath of fresh air
I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism which is what I had just left. Then I heard Nixon talking about free enterprise, getting government off your back, lowering taxes, and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded
more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, “What party is he?” My friend said, “He’s a Republican.” I said, “Then I am a Republican!” And I’ve been a Republican ever since! And trust me, in my wife’s family, that’s no small achievement!
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Speech
, Aug 31, 2004
Local governments spend money according to their needs
I think it’s very important that we have a good relationship between the local and the state government. Right now, it doesn’t really make much sense. I think that, first of all, that the local government should continue with the services
they’re providing right now, but it is wrong for the states to go there and take half of the property tax away and then to have the cities and the local government go up and lobby in Sacramento continuously to get the money back. I think that
they know best how to spend the money. The local people down at the ground know which programs they need, how to improve education. Each one of the communities has different needs. I think they should continue with the services.
If it’s job training or if it is drug rehabilitation programs or the services that provide with police and fire department, all of those kinds of things. But they should have their own way of funding those programs.
Source: Recall Debate, Cal. State Univ. at Sacramento
, Sep 24, 2003
Curb frivolous lawsuits
I will push for laws curbing frivolous lawsuits - which cost every Californian $1,200 per year.
Source: 2003 Gubernatorial campaign website, JoinArnold.com
, Aug 29, 2003
Big government sounds too much like sluggish socialism
It was just weeks after he arrived in the US in September 1968, during the Nixon-Humphrey presidential campaign, that Arnold began thinking of himself as a Republican.
Humphrey’s promises about big government programs sounded too much to him like the sluggish socialism back home in Austria.
Source: Time magazine cover story
, Aug 18, 2003
Every good idea comes from the grassroots
“I believe that every good idea that was ever done in the world came from a grass-roots organization, or from one person.
They did something and it mushroomed and grew, and eventually the government heard about it and it was enacted. It has to start on a level where the cities take care of themselves; it can’t start at the federal government and trickle down.”
Source: Grassroots website, www.ArnoldGovernor.net, FAQ
, Aug 17, 2003
Page last updated: Mar 13, 2014