Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | September 12, 2003

Puh-lease: Candidates who don’t vote

I’ve been shaking my head and rolling my eyes an awful lot over current events this week, so it must be time for another of my periodic reviews of the puh-lease factor.

A dramatic “Puh-lease” escaped my lips when I read about mayoral candidate Lupe Arellano complaining about Dispatch stories on her late campaign paperwork filing and penalty payment.

How is it that The Dispatch reporting that Arellano was roughly two years late filing paperwork from her failed mayoral campaign is “slanted?” I guess in Arellano’s world, reporting only the facts favorable to her qualifies as “fair and balanced” reporting.

“I take all responsibility for my campaigns, and I have always run above-the-board campaigns,” Arellano said. “I’m sorry I didn’t turn in my paperwork on time.”

Sorry she may be, but taking responsibility for her campaigns entails filing the required paperwork on time, not roughly two years late. Regardless, it’s certainly responsible of The Dispatch to report Arellano’s beyond-tardy paperwork and penalty payment; to decline to run said stories would be a slanted editorial decision.

Another head-shaker: People who can’t be bothered to vote, yet think they should be elected to public office.

We have a local example of this, mayoral candidate Mary Hohenbrink, who said she voted absentee ballots in a county in which she no longer resided, until Dispatch inquiries showed she hadn’t voted in years.

There’s also a case in the gubernatorial recall election. It turns out that Arnold Schwarzenegger, one-time shoo-in to replace Gray Davis, failed to vote in five of the last 11 statewide elections. When this oversight was brought to his attention, the Terminator reportedly blamed an assistant for not mailing his absentee ballots. To borrow a phrase from frequent Dispatch letter-to-the-editor writer James Brescoll, “There’s true leadership!”

Folks, if you can’t be bothered to vote when your name’s not on the ballot, you’ve got a hard sell to convince me that I should be bothered to vote for you when it is. And when you expect otherwise, my head shakes, my eyes roll, and I utter “puh-lease.”

Speaking of Arnie, he’s got another eye-roller. Here’s what Schwarzenegger said when he announced he would become a candidate to replace Gray Davis during his much ballyhooed appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:”

“As you know, I don’t need to take any money from anybody. I have plenty of money myself.”

What’s he doing now? He’s holding fundraisers, taking money from businesses while, with what I can only presume is cynical hypocrisy or purposeful stupidity, claiming not to take money from special interests. Apparently, in Arnie’s world, unions are special interests, but businesses are not.

Puh-lease. Businesses and unions are opposite sides of the same special interest coin. Schwarzenegger’s acceptance of money from businesses puts him in their debt the same way Gray Davis or Cruz Bustamante are in the pockets of the unions who finance their campaigns.

Either Schwarzenegger thinks voters are too stupid – or too blinded by his pumped-up celebrity – to figure out what he’s trying to pull, or he’s not bright enough himself to understand that businesses are special interests. Either way, it irks the heck out of me and triggers an involuntary eye roll.

On the national scene, my head shakes and eyes roll when I consider that just a few months ago, Iraqi oil was going to pay for its reconstruction, but now President Bush wants a staggering $87 billion to get that job done. Even more staggering, it looks like he’s going to get it. This president has a track record of asking Congress for more than he expects to get (check out the history of his tax cut plan). It’s worth noting that prior to Bush’s speech, aides were dropping hints that he would ask for $50 or $60 billion. As of now, however, it looks like Congress is going to give him every last penny of that $87 billion.

Halliburton, the Houston-based company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney that has – so far – won nearly $2 billion in Iraq reconstruction contracts, is a publicly held company. Maybe I should buy some stock to pay my roughly $300 share of that $87 billion.

Hah, there’s another eye-roller for you. Me buying Halliburton stock? Puh-lease.



  1. […] of Gilroy, and it came to light that her voting record was also less than stellar. Here’s what I wrote at the time: “If you can’t be bothered to vote when your name’s not on the ballot, you’ve […]

  2. […] criticized his party in a column in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times. I’m no Schwarzenegger fan, but he’s right to decry the rapidly shrinking GOP tent: “An inclusive party would welcome the […]

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