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Buffett for Ahnold?
August 13, 2003 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Warren Buffett endorses Schwarzenegger for CA Governor That's an interesting development which reminds us that beyond the circus there actually may be a real election at stake.
posted by clevershark (57 comments total)

 
CleverLucky for one candidate, forget the read, the first picture, it received my attention.
How many candidates, last reported over 200?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:11 PM on August 13, 2003


Well, no matter how you look at it, the world's fifth largest economy has been dolled up in feathers and is up for grabs. Who woulda thunk that all it would take is one man's three million bucks to get this started? Oh, but, there's a porn star and a midget and a man with six toes running! Har har har. We are chortling ourselves into the crapper. And if the rest of the nation thinks this only Cali's problem, they ought to wake up. Democracy. For sale.
posted by squirrel at 1:15 PM on August 13, 2003


I thought it was "only" 195 :-)

Seriously though, this is bound to bring a lot of credibility to Arnold's run, n'est-ce pas?
posted by clevershark at 1:15 PM on August 13, 2003


Warren Buffett also owns 5% of the inept company I work for, which proves that he is nuttier than squirrel turds.
posted by machaus at 1:17 PM on August 13, 2003


squirrel -- this is new only to CA... in NJ Jon Corzine essentially bought his Senate seat, same with Hilary Rodham (or is it Hilary Clinton) in NY -- although in that case that money came from the DNC, but same diff -- and Mayor Bloomers certainly paid his way to Gracie Mansion (and has already said he'd do the same when his first term is up).

Time for you west-coast folks to catch up to us in the north-east :-)
posted by clevershark at 1:17 PM on August 13, 2003


uhhh, not that squirrel...
posted by machaus at 1:18 PM on August 13, 2003


So, I keep asking this: How exactly is this recall election going to help California's budget crisis?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:23 PM on August 13, 2003


Arnold, shmarnold, Buffet, shmuffet. There's only one hope for California!
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on August 13, 2003


Its no big secret that Arnold has friends in very high places. If voters think for one moment voting for him isn't voting for the status quo (think Davis) then California voters are going to be in for a big surprise.

Will further "circusization" take place? Soros for Huffington perhaps?
posted by skallas at 1:28 PM on August 13, 2003


Califor-nye-ayFilter
;-)
posted by i_cola at 1:29 PM on August 13, 2003


Its no big secret that Arnold has friends in very high places.
Who needs friends, his wife's family will do.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2003


Soros for Huffington perhaps?

hehe... "my economic advisor can kick your economic advisor's butt!"
posted by clevershark at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2003


You're right, clevershark, in that we westies tend to believe the world revolves around us. Are those cases you mentioned actual recalls, or just big-dodgey-looking-bankroll elections. Both suck, but the latter has more precedent and is therefore less shocking than our current coup.

If voters think for one moment voting for him isn't voting for the status quo (think Davis) then California voters are going to be in for a big surprise.

[Cut to Jack Nicholson upward-angle locked-in-pantry shot from "The Shining"]
posted by squirrel at 1:37 PM on August 13, 2003


in NJ Jon Corzine essentially bought his Senate seat, same with Hilary Rodham (or is it Hilary Clinton) in NY -- although in that case that money came from the DNC, but same diff -- and Mayor Bloomers certainly paid his way to Gracie Mansion

For someone who knows the name of NYC's mayor and a senator from NJ I find it very peculiar that you're unsure of Hillary Clinton's last name.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:41 PM on August 13, 2003


XQUZYPHYR -- I was merely poking fun at her own indecision as to what that name should be... before Bill got into the WH it used to be "Hilary Rodham", then it became "Hilary Clinton", and now it's "Hilary Rodham Clinton"... I think.
posted by clevershark at 1:46 PM on August 13, 2003


in NJ Jon Corzine essentially bought his Senate seat

Interesting, thanks for sharing that. Corzine is one of the few senators I've felt grateful to for his (so far futile) attempts to fix the security holes in America's chemical plants. I still do, but that does affect my view of him.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on August 13, 2003


clevershark, do you have any links describing how Corzine bought his seat?
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM on August 13, 2003


Am I the only one who thinks the recall isn't that bad? Consider: posted by Triplanetary at 2:05 PM on August 13, 2003


I thought it was "only" 195 :-)

Actually, we may be down as low as 171 confirmed candidates.
posted by KF at 2:08 PM on August 13, 2003


The cost of the recall is $40M or so. That's a rounding error compared to the $38B deficit.

I infer from this that you place sole responsibility for this on Davis' scrawny shoulders. Purposefully simplistic and/or foolhardy.
posted by squirrel at 2:11 PM on August 13, 2003


I wonder if Republicans will start paying attention to Buffett now that he's not denouncing Bush's economic plan. I wonder if he'll return to being a genius and not just an out-of-touch old coot.
posted by Hildago at 2:13 PM on August 13, 2003


Who needs friends, his wife's family will do.

Actually, the Kennedy clan is completely against the recall, Ted in particular.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:14 PM on August 13, 2003


Re: Corzine campaign spending

Here's one link, and another, and a third.
posted by clevershark at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2003


A lot of people who didn't use to care about politics now do. And quite a few of them are even candidates.

I fear many more people are just thinking politics are a stupid circus where special interests and money control the outcome. The average citizen stands to gain nothing. Meanwhile some are trying to use fame to get themselves into power, while others are wash-ups trying to renew interests in their flagging careers. I don't thing California benefits from many of these candidates.

Sure, there are some, how should I put it, "unconventional" candidates. But only one of them stands any chance of actually winning.

How is that good? Most of these "unconventional" candidates are running as a joke or as a publicity vehicle to help their stagnant careers. Mary Carey will benefit from the publicity, but the ballot doesn't benefit from her presence in any way. Meanwhile the one candidate that has a chance at winning only has a chance fueled by his celebrity alone. Arnold has yet to voice any opinion about policy, or more importantly, how he will fix the budget crisis.

The cost of the recall is $40M or so. That's a rounding error compared to the $38B deficit.

Yeah, what's another 40 mil?! I know once I've overdrawn my bank account I celebrate with an expensive meal, after all, it's just a drop in the bucket!

Most things that keep politicians on their toes are good for the voters.

How is this good for voters? They already voted on this issue, and now they are voting again. Accountability in government is a good thing, but this is too far.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2003


Accountability is a good thing, but this is just chaos.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2003


thanks KF, 247* filed, knew it seemed high.

Big question, how many are Cali natives?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:27 PM on August 13, 2003


Yeah, what's another 40 mil?! I know once I've overdrawn my bank account I celebrate with an expensive meal, after all, it's just a drop in the bucket!

You too?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:32 PM on August 13, 2003


Personally, I celebrate overdrawing with fine cakes.
posted by squirrel at 3:16 PM on August 13, 2003


Thanks, clevershark.
posted by homunculus at 3:17 PM on August 13, 2003


>The cost of the recall is $40M or so. That's a rounding error compared to the $38B deficit.

This is one of the most ignorant things I've read on mefi in a long time. Saving that 40 million would stave off a lot of the cuts going on right now in higher education - UC alone is losing $37 million.

More:

Community colleges, the entrance point to higher education for many working-class youth, will suffer cuts of over $80 million

Transportation and infrastructure projects, environmental protection programs, art programs, and other initiatives will also suffer cuts. Moreover, since the budget relies on a massive transfer of tax income from local governments to the state government, local services will suffer significantly. The Los Angeles Times wrote that the Los Angeles general fund alone would lose $45 million, “hindering street paving, sidewalk repair, and tree trimming.”

---

Spin it anyway you want, but $40 million is a lot of money even on the state level. Voters should go pay Daryll Issa an angry visit after more of their services are cut.

>A lot of people who didn't use to care about politics now do.

For all the wrong reasons. Seeing your favorite actor take office is hardly the sign of a healthy democracy.


Ben and J-Lo for 2004!
posted by skallas at 3:17 PM on August 13, 2003


This is actually more interesting than anyone has mentioned. Buffet is not a friend of the religious right. His endorsement of AS is a slap to the social conservative right wing of the party here. It could also be read as a slap against Bush who exposes his ass to those folks so often.

Triplanetary it is 8billion. Not 38b. The current base cost is 60million and it will most likely end up being much bigger.

Many of us voted last year. The recall says that our votes weren't good enough. We have to redo them. How that is a good thing I have yet to have explained to me.

This doesn't keep anyone on their toes. What it does do is ensure that the people's business does not get done for at least 2 months while we run these campaigns all over again.

Let's see I get to pay my fair share of the 60million. My previous vote is rendered worthless. And all work stops in the capital so we can attend to Darrell Issa's crying fit. Yea we've got a real winner on our hands out here!
posted by filchyboy at 3:20 PM on August 13, 2003


Is there a Deck of Candidates yet?
posted by ChuqD at 3:21 PM on August 13, 2003


A lot of people who didn't use to care about politics now do.
If you go by that statement, Arnold has some what a reason being on the ballot. Been hearing him talk about guuvenrrerr for years now. Has his voting record been mentioned; has not voted for President since maybe Reagan's run(iirc). But he has been voting/voicing for his personal political ideas for some time. Very few other celebrates have.

Is there a Deck of Candidates yet?
Yes, enough for Vegas too, 3 decks.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:29 PM on August 13, 2003


flichyboy rocks.
posted by squirrel at 3:31 PM on August 13, 2003


I didn't want a recall, but it's going to happen. Spilled milk. Done is done, time to vote.

Who knows, it may turn out all right. Though based on the sourpusses on this site, it's already a done deal.
posted by linux at 3:41 PM on August 13, 2003


filchyboy says:
Triplanetary it is 8billion. Not 38b.

Yes, it seems I mixed up this year's deficit with the governor's projection for an 18-month period 2003-2004, look here. Thanks for pointing that out. But considering that they got it down to a $6-8B deficit partly by using dodgy accounting, I'd say California is still in about twenty billion dollars' worth of real trouble.

I think it's not unreasonable to levy what in effect is a $2 tax per citizen to have an extra election if the constitution requires it. Sure, there are some funny candidates out there, but let's trust the voters, shall we?
posted by Triplanetary at 4:24 PM on August 13, 2003


But the voters already voted! This is an attempt to make them vote again. I'd say, lets trust the voters and let the man they elected serve his term.

And again: How is this recall going to help the budget crisis?
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:30 PM on August 13, 2003


But the voters already voted!

Some say that the budget crisis was on the horizon but Davis kept the voters in the dark during the campaign. Others say that he let it spiral out of control after the election, and that's reason enough to replace him.

How is this recall going to help the budget crisis?

If you believe that Davis created this mess, you may not trust him to clean it up.
posted by Triplanetary at 4:39 PM on August 13, 2003


squirrel: Oh, but, there's a porn star and a midget and a man with six toes running! Har har har.

I just want to say that Larry Flynt is NOT a porn star. He is a porn mogul. There is a difference. The difference being that the thought of Larry Flynt starring in a porn flick is really, really disturbing.
posted by monosyllabic at 4:40 PM on August 13, 2003


However, Mary Carey is a porn actress, running as an independent.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 4:55 PM on August 13, 2003


Schwarzenegger won't win. The way the system is set up (mixed up alphabet with many people getting turn at first spot on the ballot in each county) many people won't be get through the entire book of names to vote and studies have shown that the people at the top of the list get 15% more attention from the uninformed than anybody else. By those numbers, I predict that the plurality will be won by some random person who lucks out with random votes- Arnold will not receive the amount of votes that his polls indicate.

Funny that the interest groups didn't seek out and field tons of candidates with names similar to Schwarzenegger.
posted by crazy finger at 4:59 PM on August 13, 2003


>If you believe that Davis created this mess, you may not trust him to clean it up.

How about Pete Wilson and the state Legislature?
The whole mess of deregulation started in the mid 1990’s when Pete Wilson (former San Diego mayor and governor) thought he had an issue that would make him stand out, that issue of course was utility deregulation. I guess the model he was trying to follow was based on observation of the long distance telephone market, where ATT was taken down a few notches by maverick up starts such as MCI and Sprint.

After an unsuccessful presidential bid by Pete Wilson, another California politician Assemblyman Steve Peace in 1996 decided to make a name for himself and gathered the big industrial customers, utilities, and various interest groups together and somehow managed to get the legislature to unanimously pass an electricity restructuring bill.
Steve Peace and Enron
Sen. Peace: Enron Made Me Do It. It appears that Vice President Cheney was essentially rubber-stamping the proposals of Enron executives and other energy industry characters in the crafting of the White House energy policy last spring. But what about the California legislators who let deregulation happen in the Golden State in 1996? "[Enron] had such control and influence over [federal regulators] that that in turn put California in a place where we had no choice" but to deregulate. This comes from California Senator Steve Peace, who was instrumental in crafting the deregulation legislation that first sent billions of consumer dollars to in-state utilities and then billions more to out-of-state power companies in the law's short life span.
Okay so we've established de-regulation and Enron are bad. Now: Arnold and Ken Lay. Voters want to know the answer to this question
10. What was the purpose and substance of the May 11, 2001 meeting with then-Mayor Richard Riordan, former junk bond king Michael Milken, and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Lawmakers should obtain the materials Ken Lay provided at that meeting.
Seems to me that a vote for Arnold is a vote for deregulation thus the deficiet.
posted by skallas at 5:56 PM on August 13, 2003


The polls still have 30-40% supporting Davis, and already 15% for Bustamante. Arnold's pulling 25%. What fraction of that 30-40% will vote for Bustamante once someone tells them who he is? I'd bet most of it.

And voter turnout will be appalling low. Only "die-hards" will be voting. What fraction of Arnold's 25% aren't even registered to vote? Of those that are, how many ever have? How many are going to wake up on October 8th, read the paper, and say "Oh yeah, I was thinking about maybe voting in that."? This is purely speculation on my part, but based on a good deal of anecdotal evidence, Arnold supporters are largely of the "Hey, that would be cool!" variety, and not the types to actually get around to voting.

Some predictions:
1. Voter turnout will be 4-5 million.
2. The yes/no part of the recall vote will be very close. Right around 50% either way.
3. Bustamante will win with more than 40%.
4. Bill Simon will do about as well as Arnold.
posted by justin at 6:12 PM on August 13, 2003


I fear many more people are just thinking politics are a stupid circus where special interests and money control the outcome.

And hey! They'd be right!
posted by majcher at 6:37 PM on August 13, 2003


So what happens if Davis does resign and then Bustamante is automatically instated as Governor? Is the whole mess over and done with?

*nod to jpoulos*
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:15 PM on August 13, 2003


Ufez: Nope. Bustamante becomes governor, but the recall election still happens. If the answer to "recall?" is yes, whoever wins the "who do we pick instead" election becomes governor. Which may indeed be Bustamante. If the answer to "recall?" is no, then Bustamante stays governor.

And if you're looking for one person responsible for the energy crisis, it's gotta be Davis. Back when it was looking like things might get ugly, the utility companies asked for permission to a) sign long term contracts and b) raise their rates. Davis, thinking that this might make him unpopular, said "no." A year plus later, what does Davis do? Signs long term contracts and raises rates.

Regarding campaign money, Bustamante is getting huge donations from Indian tribes who want to expand gambling. If given the choice between real estate and acting money on one hand, and slot machine money on the other hand, I wouldn't even have to think about it.
posted by jaek at 8:52 PM on August 13, 2003


The certified list of candidates (pdf). The almost famous:

Robert "Butch" Dole (small business owner)
Dan Feinstein (no ballot designation requested)
Diana Foss (no ballot designation requested)
Michael Jackson (satellite project manager)
Edward "Ed" Kennedy (businessman/educator)
Richard Simmons (attorney/businessperson)
S. Issa (engineer)
Scott Davis (business owner)
posted by eddydamascene at 9:32 PM on August 13, 2003


Is S. Issa related to Darrell?

btw, thanks for the clarification, jaek.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:57 PM on August 13, 2003


justin's analysis seems spot on to me and is pretty much the same conclusion I came to. Although I have no idea what turnout will be and a lot is riding on that.

In the last election, California Republicans showed that they would rather field a conservative candidate with no chance of winning (Simon) then hold their noses and pick someone with a good chance (Riordan). Arnold is polling well with independents and democrats, not republicans and splits the republican vote with 3 others assuming none join Issa on the sidelines.

I can't quite figure out what Pete Wilson is doing as Arnold's campaign manager unless his intention is to alienate as many people as possible. The only person in California more despised than Gray Davis is the former governor.
posted by euphorb at 10:25 PM on August 13, 2003


If it was a Republican being recalled I have a feeling the take around here would be a bit different
posted by Mick at 10:30 PM on August 13, 2003


I can't quite figure out what Pete Wilson is doing as Arnold's campaign manager unless his intention is to alienate as many people as possible.

transcript of a Newshour interview with Wilson and former gov. Jerry Brown on the recall
posted by eddydamascene at 10:48 PM on August 13, 2003


The most interesting aspect of this is that Buffett is a Democrat who has been critical of Bush's economic policy.

Politically it's an excellent combination. Everyone knows Arnold is a Republican, but in terms of social policy he's to the left of the national party. Buffett has been a vocal opponent of the White House's economic policies and lends considerable gravitas to a Schwarzenegger campaign which was seen as "lacking in direction". This could be a real surge forward for moderate Republicans.
posted by clevershark at 11:09 PM on August 13, 2003


ahnold's statement, if I wasn't dreaming I heard this, was something about "he knows what's good for the state and the people".

You're fucking kidding me.

I'm afraid it's contageous. Very afraid.

Remember the last actor? Reagan? Start remembering well then, my little puppets.
posted by alicesshoe at 12:07 AM on August 14, 2003


>I can't quite figure out what Pete Wilson is doing as Arnold's campaign manager

Makes sense, they're all buddies or more likely have common interests. See my Wilson, Peace, Lay post.
posted by skallas at 12:08 AM on August 14, 2003


CleverLucky for one candidate, forget the read, the first picture, it received my attention.
Reuters finally changed the picture of the article, it had a prettier candidates photo. Bet the article picked up more readers than now showing Warren Buffet instead.
posted by thomcatspike at 6:23 AM on August 14, 2003


It's official. 135 on the ballot, and may god save your immortal souls.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:25 AM on August 14, 2003


Ahnold's first campaign ad (not really). Flash, pretty much SFW, but watch that volume.
posted by KF at 11:02 AM on August 14, 2003


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