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"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..."
October 9, 2003 6:10 PM   Subscribe

"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..." Schwarzenegger breaks promise to Californians, hires Donna Arduin to head the 60-day audit of California. Arduin is "on loan" from Florida, where she is Jeb Bush's Budget director. Arduin has been criticized by economists and even prominent Florida republicans for "surreal",misleading, unrealistic, and risky accounting procedures. During her stint as Budget Director, Ms. Arduin oversaw numerous tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Floridians, while most Floridians saw no significant decrease in taxes. Infact, today Florida has the second most regressive taxes in the nation.The effects of these tax cuts? Unprecidented shortfalls in state tax revenues, with massive budget cuts for public schools, universities, child welfare, vision services for uninsured children, etc.
Class warfare, anyone?!
posted by insomnia_lj (65 comments total)

 
I think I'm going to cry.
posted by lostboy at 6:28 PM on October 9, 2003


I can't say i'm surprised she's a party hack.

Along those lines, I heard that Arnold was going to kill this new bill--one of Davis' last acts as governor: ... SB 2, will require employers of 50 or more workers to pay for health insurance for most employees but does not start to take effect until 2006.
posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM on October 9, 2003


All supporters of Arnold please take note. I didn't have the chance to participate in most of the discussion of his election, so I am going to annoy you all with my two cents now. First of all, this should HARDLY be a surprise to anyone who voted for him. After all, this is what you get when you elect a person who campaigns on virtually no slate at all, save simple-minded nods at bipartisanship and anti-establishment rants. The fact that anyone is naive enough to imagine that he will 'clean up' sacremento and not be subject to special interests strikes me as naivete beyond measure, especially since the residents of California were silly enough to pass term limits, which mean that lobbyists know there way around the state infrastructure FAR BETTER than any politician, let alone one with absolutely no experience. Direct democracy at work. (Although this is in fact one of the less innocuous ballot measures Californians have passed, when one considers props 13 and 187). hopefully, this means he will simply get very little done for good or ill in the state, though I suspect that with the assistance of several members of Pete Wilson's staff on his payroll, he will mess up the state right good.
posted by amauck at 6:43 PM on October 9, 2003




CLASS WARFARE!
posted by clavdivs at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2003


Since ignoring these California discussions may be confused as a show of support, I have to comment on this and say I don't fucking care.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:09 PM on October 9, 2003


Recall Stan Chin!!! ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:12 PM on October 9, 2003


Laughing my ass off. It's sad, really.

Arnold is a demonstration that the model which got Dubya into office works - you don't have to be bright, you don't even have to know the issues, as long as the public can remember your friggin' name and you're not an ass in front of a camera.
posted by FormlessOne at 7:26 PM on October 9, 2003


Class warfare my ass. Somebody wake me up when the Soccer Moms are storming gated enclaves, burning and pillaging.
posted by aramaic at 7:40 PM on October 9, 2003


the model which got Dubya into office works - you don't have to be bright, you don't even have to know the issues, as long as the public can remember your friggin' name and you're not an ass in front of a camera.

You forgot the part about needing Florida connections....
posted by rushmc at 7:45 PM on October 9, 2003


There's a simpsons quote for everything.

Ray: All right, fine. If you want an experienced public servant, vote for me. But if you want to believe a bunch of crazy promises about garbage men cleaning your gutters and waxing your car, then by all means vote for this sleazy lunatic.
Just replace "garbage men cleaning out your gutters and waxing your car" to "actors cleaning out the garbage in Sacramento" and you're there.
posted by skallas at 7:47 PM on October 9, 2003


Is this the right time to talk about Governor-elect Schwarzenegger's Enron ties, or has that been done already?
posted by UrbanFigaro at 8:04 PM on October 9, 2003


Let's just abandon all pretense and declare an emperor CEO.

California, LLC
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:10 PM on October 9, 2003


Wait a minute. Arnold lied?!? I'm shocked -- shocked, I say!
posted by moonbiter at 8:16 PM on October 9, 2003


Boy, that was quick. I thought the party hacks and ugly connections wouldn't come out until next week.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:17 PM on October 9, 2003


Class warfare my ass. Somebody wake me up when the Soccer Moms are storming gated enclaves, burning and pillaging. posted by aramaic

Whoo hoo! I'll drive.
posted by dejah420 at 8:33 PM on October 9, 2003





"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..."


So I see some links about what Ms. Arduin has done in Florida, and see from the news that she's worked for J. Bush, Engler, and Pataki, but could you provide some sources for your assertion that she is neither an independent auditor nor free of political influence? What would you define as an independent auditor free of political influence? Just because someone has different ideas (even if they're unsound, as you assert) doesn't mean that she's a party hack.
posted by gyc at 8:53 PM on October 9, 2003


gyc - No, of course not, but on the face of the evidence it seems at least likely
posted by troutfishing at 9:00 PM on October 9, 2003


Arnie: (Uncle Sugar) "I will make sure that I can meet with President Bush as quickly as possible, because I have a whole bunch of business, California business, to talk to him about and take care of," Schwarzenegger said during a short news conference at the Century Plaza Hotel. "There's a lot of money we can get from the federal government."

Bush: (WSJ) The White House gives a thumbs-down to Schwarzenegger's talk of more federal aid. "We've already spent $20 billion in cold, hard cash" to bail out states, says a spokesman.

Strike one.
posted by H. Roark at 9:08 PM on October 9, 2003


What gyc said. This is bullshit. You people are seriously desperate.

I loath having Arnold as my governor, but can we at least find something real? This is a weenie roast.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:11 PM on October 9, 2003


This auditor looks dicey, but I'm not convinced Arnold knows what sort of beast he's letting into the house (I would be more inclined to believe he got bad, or possibly disingenous, advice). If Arnold is a good-for-nothing hack, it will become apparent all too soon. It's early, yet.
posted by tingley at 10:02 PM on October 9, 2003


Yes, y6^3, this is bullshit. But not for the reason you give.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:05 PM on October 9, 2003


I reckon it's no worse than, say, hiring Henry Kissinger to investiage 9/11.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:08 PM on October 9, 2003


er! in my native tongue, "investiage" and "investigate" have the same meaning.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:09 PM on October 9, 2003


David Dreier ("Those who will try to draw a correlation between the bankruptcy of Enron and the political process-obviously there is no correlation.") will be heading Arnold's transition team. Opponent Marjorie Mikels didn't think too much of him, ". . . David Dreier acts for the global corporations. . .helped shove that Patriot Act though the House without normal debate. . .Dreier's big contributors to exploit the world's cheapest labor under devastating working conditions where health and safety laws and environmental protections don't exist. . .Dreier also received heavy financing from Enron. . ."
posted by Feisty at 10:24 PM on October 9, 2003


One thing that isn't likely to happen very soon is a new discussion of the sexual harassment charges that dogged Schwarzenegger in the final days of his campaign. Speaking on NBC last weekend, he promised to provide a more complete explanation of his actions after Tuesday's election day.

But Schwarzenegger shrugged off a reporter's request for that explanation at the end of Thursday's news conference.

"Old news," he said, as he walked briskly off the stage.
posted by homunculus at 10:47 PM on October 9, 2003


Under the Florida list of legislative lobbyists, Arduin is listed.
posted by ed at 10:52 PM on October 9, 2003


But Schwarzenegger shrugged off a reporter's request for that explanation at the end of Thursday's news conference.

"Old news," he said, as he walked briskly off the stage.


He must clank when he walks.
posted by Dagobert at 11:05 PM on October 9, 2003


you don't even have to know the issues, as long as the public can remember your friggin' name and you're not an ass in front of a camera.

Apparently you haven't been watching Bush or Ahnold, or you'd understand that it's ok if they come across as ignorant, embarrassing twits, because then they're just like us.
posted by The God Complex at 11:17 PM on October 9, 2003


Sounds like quite a honeymoon at the moment; those folks out in the hinterlands must get really annoyed though when they see once again that the state leans toward the cities (although that it where Gov. Arnie is really going to need to push the buttons).
posted by Dick Paris at 11:26 PM on October 9, 2003


Oh yes, go transitional team, go!

Now that he's in, I know one promise he made that doesn't bode well for the film industry in Canada. All productions will be urged [wink, wink, pat, pat] to produce in California. Ouch!
"Is this the right time to talk about Governor-elect Schwarzenegger's Enron ties, or has that been done already?–UrbanFigaro
I say yeah. yeah. yeah's.
posted by alicesshoe at 12:04 AM on October 10, 2003


"Could you provide some sources for your assertion that she is neither an independent auditor nor free of political influence?"

Here are some clues, provided, appropriately enough, in Jeff Foxworthy format.

If you are a lobbyist whose mailing address is the Florida capital building... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you find yourself buying 14 autographed copies of Katherine Harris' book because "they make good Christmas presents"... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you are appointed by a Republican governor to personally represent George Pataki and vote on the Public Authorities board... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you are listed as the Chief Policy Advisor for the president's brother... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you tell committee members that "we need to consider the limitations on your authority", just before you raid their trust funds... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you're required by federal law to allow medicare patients to be prescribed viagra, but you're trying to find a way to prevent its use by gay males... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you devise questionable new accounting methods in order to make it look like the state government is smaller and more efficient than it really is... you may be a Republican party insider.

If the state legislature, the Department of Revenue, and you all create official budget estimates -- and yours are the rosiest... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you donate a thousand dollars to George, and another $800 to the Florida Republican Party... you may be a Republican party insider.

If you eat paella with Jeb Bush while wearing a knee-length mink coat -- one of several furs that you own... you may be a Republican party insider.

Got a clue yet?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:00 AM on October 10, 2003


I heart insomnia_lj
posted by Tlogmer at 4:50 AM on October 10, 2003


Insomnia_lj:

Best. Reply. Ever.
posted by LouieLoco at 5:26 AM on October 10, 2003


So, just guessing of course, she might be a Republican party insider!
And that means that Ahnold is a bald faced liar.
Gonna clean up politics my ass!
posted by nofundy at 5:30 AM on October 10, 2003


Insomnia: would you mind if I just paid you to make my posts in the future?

Outstanding.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:43 AM on October 10, 2003


Well sure, if I had insomnia, I'd have the extra time to write cool posts like that too!
posted by hincandenza at 8:04 AM on October 10, 2003


Um. Shit.

Insomnia_lj lays the smack down on gyc's ass.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:41 AM on October 10, 2003


Insomnia_lj lays the smack down on gyc's ass.

Um, no. I was just asking for some sources to back his assertion, sources that were sorely lacking in his FPP. Now why didn't Insomnia_lj include those links in his FPP?
posted by gyc at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2003


Puh-leeze. Stop with the backpedaling. I thought "she is Jeb Bush's Budget director" would have been evidence enough, but there were links to her accounting policies and their awful results (the very thing she's being asked to help California with). This "Oh yeah, well prove it" tactic is so often abused and so irritating when the assertion is so blatantly obvious. I'm just glad this medium allows for people to complete their thoughts without being interrupted; you know if Insomnia was debating with a Republican blow-hard he would have been cut off before he finished the first sentence.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:34 AM on October 10, 2003


The man hasn't taken office, he's assembled a transtional team that includes Willie Brown, and you are all a bunch of Chicken Littles.

Patience. We shall see how things play out.

Bottom line: we Californians voted him in through a democratic process, and if he fails us, we'll vote him out.
posted by linux at 10:29 AM on October 10, 2003


Just as long as he keeps one promise and repeals the vehicle registration tax.

$391 due next month = bad
$426 if I miss the deadline by a day = worse
over $500 if I miss it by a month = death
posted by starscream at 11:08 AM on October 10, 2003


Puh-leeze. Stop with the backpedaling. I thought "she is Jeb Bush's Budget director" would have been evidence enough, but there were links to her accounting policies and their awful results (the very thing she's being asked to help California with). This "Oh yeah, well prove it" tactic is so often abused and so irritating when the assertion is so blatantly obvious.

I saw no evidence that the assertion is "so blatantly obvious" without the links Insomnia_lj later provides. The only evidence Insomnia_lj provided in the FPP was that she worked for Jed Bush and might've been incompetent. Is she automatically non-independent and a party hack merely because she worked for Jeb Bush's budget director? Look, if someone wants to make an assertion, they should back it up with solid proof, which was not done until a later posting in the thread. I'm not going to be a fellow Democratic "ditto head" that goes along nodding my head with each accusation of Republican wrongdoing without solid proof.
posted by gyc at 11:21 AM on October 10, 2003


Insomnia_lj lays the smack down on gyc's ass.

in the meantime, arnie is the governor of california. some people don't like this. others do.

and others, like gyc, get the the smack down for asking legitimate questions.
posted by poopy at 12:23 PM on October 10, 2003


"others, like gyc, get the the smack down for asking legitimate questions."

I'm hardly saying that gyc doesn't have the right to ask legitimate questions, but there are reasonable limits to incredulity.

For most people, an "outside independent auditor, free of political influence" means just that -- someone from outside the political spectrum (such as not being an acting Budget Director for a Republican administration...), who is non-partisan, and not employed by or a contributor to one party in particular, with no history of skewing their accounting in the past to serve any particular political ends.

Ms. Arduin easily failed the common sense test with just the links I originally pointed out, but if gyc got 'smacked down' by my reply (which really wasn't my goal...), then maybe it's because he never made any effort on his own part to either counter my claims with any facts of his own, and never researched the matter hmself. (Last time I heard, Google works for Republicans too...)

Ultimately, this kind of intellectual laziness is what has been so wrong about the nature of Schwarzenegger's rise to power.

Democracy thrives only with an informed electorate... however, the American media has shown itself to be informing its citizens so poorly that many believe with a near-religious fervor in "facts" which cannot be shown to be true.

Politics has become a religion -- ideologies supported, not by facts, but by dogma. Talk radio pundits, newscasters, writers, and, indeed, webloggers, are the preachers of this new religion, and the majority of people, although they can sense this basic change, are poorly equipped to articulate it and are content enough with letting a preacher or two of their choice do their thinking for them.

The great majority of people, by and large, do not rigorously search for the facts themselves. What's worse, when presented with facts and evidence that run contrary to their beliefs, they do not counter them with superior facts and evidence -- instead, they respond with dismissal, anger, and, in some cases, open hostility.

It is astounding, but perhaps not surprising, that no Republican voices are coming to the defense of the Los Angeles Times, which is being targeted by a Republican-led boycott for being "too liberal" -- this despite the fact that it is owned by a huge media conglomerate that owns numerous Fox affiliates. And yet, nobody is actually contesting the allegations in the article. Even Schwarzenegger, who promised to respond to the sexual harassment charges after the election, has nothing to say on the matter... for him, it's "old news".

Isn't anyone else just the least bit peeved that the best coverage of California's election came from newspapers based in England? Anyone...?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:03 PM on October 10, 2003


another interesting member of the transition team--Viet Dinh, who helped draft the Patriot Act.
(check out that list--i wonder who has Arnold's ear and who doesn't)
posted by amberglow at 2:15 PM on October 10, 2003


Ms. Arduin easily failed the common sense test with just the links I originally pointed out, but if gyc got 'smacked down' by my reply (which really wasn't my goal...), then maybe it's because he never made any effort on his own part to either counter my claims with any facts of his own, and never researched the matter hmself. (Last time I heard, Google works for Republicans too...)


I think that if someone is going to make a post that X is bad because of Y, without much support for Y except "common sense" and expects us to use google to really find out why I wouldn't expect people to accept that as a good FPP. Now I'm not expecting MeFi to turn into some rigorous peer-reviewed website with extensive use of footnotes, but I expect more support for any assertion in a FPP other than "common sense" or telling people to research the matter themselves.
posted by gyc at 2:32 PM on October 10, 2003


Viet Dinh, who helped draft the Patriot Act.

This article about Dinh describes him as "the chief architect of the USA Patriot Act."
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on October 10, 2003


insomnia_lj... arnold is governor of california.... hehe.

it's worth it just to see people like you squirm.

wuss.
posted by poopy at 4:00 PM on October 10, 2003


So now we revert to high school name-calling. Sweet.

Nyah nyah nyah!
posted by moonbiter at 4:13 PM on October 10, 2003


Poopy - What a good example you have provided to my point. You are too intellectually lazy to possibly debate the issues, so you resort to insults. Cute. We're so proud of you.

BTW - Nice cult you've got there. Just a word of warning, though -- don't drink the koolaid.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:19 PM on October 10, 2003


insomnia_lj, when i first saw this post i thought to myself... 'omg! not another liberally enlightened post denouncing another conservative politician, where the rest of the mefi gang (cult) takes turns pulling down their pants raping the usual suspects.'

of course, i immediately thought about posting something that throws a demeaning spotlight on some democrat politician. then i realized, hey! is that gonna solve anything? after much concentration i realized that personal insults and playground antics were the best solution.
posted by poopy at 4:41 PM on October 10, 2003




Recall Island II (Flash.)
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on October 10, 2003


Homunculus - I know about what Greg Palast alleges, and frankly, I think he missed the point. Not that there wasn't a potential $9B at stake with a lawsuit, but there were other reasons for him to meet with Schwarzenegger, Riordan, etc.

However, that does *NOT* mean that Enron's purpose for the meeting wasn't to make Billions more off of Californians... it most certainly was. Palast's theory actually clouds the bigger picture -- Lay's plan for resolving the California power crisis.

As I previously mentioned on MeFi on August 11th, long before newspapers seriously started reporting on Schwarzenegger's background, Lay sought support for his solution to the California energy crisis, opposing price caps on electricity and federal assistance.

As it says in the advice quoted in the article you referenced, "Explain about our comprehensive solution — business support is critical to garner political support."

Lay was stumping for support from prominent California Republicans to influence the Bush Administration... and Bush's people in Washington, DC would certainly take the phone calls of both Riordan and Schwarzenegger.

As I said then, the Bush administration supported Lay's solution and stood by while Enron and other companies defrauded Californians out of billions...

And the question *still* remains -- did Schwarzenegger attend that meeting and then use his political influence to back Lay's plan? If this was shown to be the case before the election, Schwarzenegger would have had a much rougher time of it on Tuesday, I suspect. It would have resonated with many voters far more than Schwarzenegger's sexual harassment issues.

This is still an important question, which, like the rest of my questions of Aug. 11th, the mainstream media should have tried to determine the truth behind prior to the election.
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:46 PM on October 10, 2003


in other words...

Schwarzenegger's campaign has some holes. check.

the mainstream media and public ignored your ass. check.

you're upset about this. check.

and...
posted by poopy at 7:47 PM on October 10, 2003


It's not that the mainstream media ignored me specifically -- it's that the mainstream media, by and large, failed to seriously investigate Schwarzenegger's background.

I made my post just by googling his arse, so it's not like the media couldn't have done this too, then assigned reporters to investigate the validity of these issues well before the election.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2003


And the question *still* remains -- did Schwarzenegger attend that meeting and then use his political influence to back Lay's plan?

I agree. Maybe he wasn't even there, or maybe he was and it doesn't matter because he's too independent (or egotistical) to be manipulated by a girly-man like Ken Lay. But either way, he owes us an answer, and I am really bewildered by Californians who don't seem to care what that answer is. But since he's now declared the sexual harrasment charges "old news," I'm not hopeful that he's going to tell us anything.
posted by homunculus at 8:17 PM on October 10, 2003


Republicans Ponder the Center

These guys aren't going to like this idea.
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2003


gyc doesn't like to have to rely on common sense or google. check.

poopy has only taunts rather than arguments. check.

...or, sorry, did you guys have anything of substance to say?
posted by soyjoy at 8:35 PM on October 10, 2003


...or, sorry, did you guys have anything of substance to say?

well...*cough* arnold did fondle my buttucks area once *cough*

besides that, i've learned nothing at all. unless you consider yet another mefi lashing a lesson to those who question your definition of what is the truth.
posted by poopy at 9:07 PM on October 10, 2003


arnold did fondle my buttucks area

ah, so it's the poopy version of Stockholm syndrome. Now I see why you're refusing to talk about any of the facts laid out before you. check.
posted by soyjoy at 10:38 PM on October 10, 2003


"Maybe he wasn't even there, or maybe he was..."

Enron internal emails (pdf) confirm that he was an attendee.

Note for legal reasons that Schwarzenegger has never once denied that he was at the meeting...
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:57 AM on October 11, 2003


Arnie Already Shows His Enron Side
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM on October 12, 2003


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