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Jewish World Review August 28, 2003/ 30 Menachem-Av, 5763

Larry Elder

Larry Elder
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Consumer Reports

For Hollywood libs, even Ah-nuld fails the "compassionate" test

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | To fiscal conservatives considering voting for Arnold Schwarzenegger in California's upcoming recall election, one can understand their ambivalence. They want to win. In California, Democrats out-register Republicans by a margin of 45 to 35 percent; Democrats dominate every major statewide office while controlling the state legislature; and Democrats control the city halls of virtually every major city.

But when Schwarzenegger added legendary stock-picker Warren Buffett to his team, fiscally conservative Republicans nearly choked on their cigars. Within days of Buffett's addition, he implied in a Wall Street Journal article that Californians paid too little in property taxes. Buffett once suggested that the IRS legitimately serves to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor and that, were he in charge, prepare yourself for an increase in the inheritance tax.

Schwarzenegger says he won't raise taxes, but left the door slightly ajar, "I think that I'm very, very much a believer that our people here in this state have not been under-taxed, that the government is overspent. Having said that, I disagree that we can't ever say never. Because we can have, a, you know, next year an earthquake, we can have a natural disaster, we could have a terrorist attack or something like that, so we can never say never."

But Hollywood liberals' hostility toward Schwarzenegger simply boggles the mind. Hollywood complains about so-called "runaway productions" to places like Canada, where reduced taxes and other incentives attract film production. Schwarzenegger promises to reduce taxes and regulations to retain businesses in California. And on the issue of taxes, Bill Clinton's former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson (D) recently became governor of New Mexico, running under a similar platform. Richardson promised to lower taxes and to create a more business-friendly state by loosening regulations. He won office with 56 percent of the vote. Yet, liberals think of him as a good guy.

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Schwarzenegger also said that as governor he intends to spare the state's education budget and last year successfully spearheaded an initiative to spend a half-billion dollars for pre- and after-school programs. And Schwarzenegger supports a woman's right to choose, gay adoptions and gun control. And while Schwarzenegger supported 1996 controversial "anti-immigrant" Proposition 187, to deny education and most healthcare benefits to illegals, he did not campaign to support it. Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis share the same views on the environment. Therefore, as far as "The Industry" is concerned, what's not to like?

Schwarzenegger asked Democrat actor Rob Lowe to drum up celebrity support for him in Tinseltown. But, so far, few takers. According to USA Today, Clint Eastwood refused to take Lowe's phone calls. Barbra Streisand? Please. Actor/singer Vanessa Williams and actor/comedian Tom Arnold made positive remarks about Schwarzenegger, but stopped well short of endorsing him. A panic-stricken actress Cybill Shepherd said of the prospect of Governor Arnold, "That would be the worst tragedy in the history of California."

The Los Angeles Times reported that Schwarzenegger asked his agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), for their support and aid in enlisting some of their big name celebrity clients to endorse his campaign. CAA client Tom Hanks, according to the New York Post, (although later denied by Hanks) allegedly criticized the agency for aligning themselves with Schwarzenegger's campaign. CAA denied the Times' story: "As official company policy, Creative Artists Agency does not endorse political candidates." Really? In 1999 and 2000, the agency gave $50,000 to Democratic committees.

Shortly after Schwarzenegger's announcement to run, the "Today Show's" Katie Couric, in an interview with a Democratic strategist, posed the following editorial-disguised-as-a-question, " . . . He's admitted smoking marijuana, using steroids during his body-building career. He's the son of a Nazi party member.

. . . Through his publicist he's denied allegations published in Premiere magazine, in March 2001, that he sexually harassed women and committed infidelity."

Why not just shoot him?

Will Couric give the when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife treatment to Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, the only prominent Democrat on the replacement part of the ballot? After all, as a college student, Bustamante joined an organization called MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan; translated: Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan). MEChA's goal? The "re-conquest" of America's Southwest. And to this day, Bustamante refuses to renounce his one-time association with the organization. Also, while addressing a group of black trade unionists during 2001's Black History Month, Bustamante inexplicably referred to them by the "N" word.

So Republicans, despite reservations about Schwarzenegger, appear ready to support him. Hollywood liberals, on the other hand, cannot stomach a Schwarzenegger in the governor's mansion, though he and they share virtually identical social views.

For Hollywood libs, even the "Terminator" cannot overcome his biggest liability — the big, fat, Republican "R" in front of his name.

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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