Category Archives: Gov. Doofinator’s Follies

ART ATTACK 2003! – A review!

Saturday night was the big night for Robbie Conal’s latest Art Attack on Los Angeles on the Recall here so I dropped by to attend as a non-objective journalist and see what was happening. I wasn’t sure what to expect but figured I could give up my usual Saturday doings to see what others were doing for La Causa days before the recall election.
Turnout at this thing was incredible! Usually when you go to these sorts of things there’s a gang of usual suspects that shows up and does its thing, and that’s that. The scene at Canter’s Deli was quite the opposite. The crowd was huge!
It wasn’t the size alone that made the turnout so impressive – it was the diversity of the group that caught me off guard. There were Usual Suspects, high school kids, college students, senior citizens, concerned citizens, high-falutin’ professional types, and a lot of Regular Folks, all concerned about the election, and all wanting to do SOMETHING, anything to get the word out before election day.
That positive attitude – a “we can do it” attitude versus an angry, resigned, defeatist one – was something that was encouraging to watch. People were ready to put their feet on the ground and do something that would bypass the mass media and attempt to reach voters just a few days before the election, instead of just sitting at home and being pissed off. It was a good event and fun to attend – Robbie Conal and everyone involved deserve a high-five from the rest of us.
On Sunday I got ahold of a friend’s digital camera and shot some video and still pictures on Main Street in Santa Monica to see if any posters made it here in the heart of Arnold Country (his main offices are on Main Street). Sure enough some did!
Here’s a traffic light box with the poster, intact.
Here are some citizens checking out posters at Main and Hollister at a construction site….that one that has the “post no bills” sign stenciled in.
Someone violated Robbie’s “Guerilla Etiquette” and posted one over by Rockenwagner – not cool, kids! Remember you’re not supposed to post on private property!
Check out more images my gallery at journalspace. As I get more pictures I’ll be posting them here and updating the site.
Note to Arnold Supporters, Law Enforcement Personnel, and Other Concerned Citizens: I can verify that I myself engaged in no illegal activities. Really. If you need proof I have plenty! Honest!
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at

Arnold, You’re no Jesse. And We’re Worse Off Because of That.

The recall campaign is beginning to wind down and all sorts of predictions are being made. Personally I think the only accurate prediction to be made at this point is that there will be a recall election on October 7th.
Should Mr. Schwarzenegger get elected we’ll have more Politics As Usual in Sacramento led by a Yet Another Typical Politician.
Nothing will change, nothing will get reformed, and we’ll be living with the consequences for years to come. Meanwhile the state’s problems will remain.
I’m probably the only Venice Beach lefty who’s actually disappointed in Arnold and his campaign and was naïve enough to think that there was some good potential in Arnold’s upstart campaign. After all, Arnold’s a good neighbor and businessman in our community, and got his start just blocks away from my home.
Arnold had a chance to use the historic recall to lead a movement and use his celebrity status to cut through the media clutter, talk to voters about the issues, and if elected do some good for all Californians, regardless of party, skin color, geographical location etc. etc. etc. He certainly isn’t a dumb person, and hasn’t been the “bad guy” that most Typical Politicians end up after years on the rubber chicken circuit.
In fact, I often felt that should Arnold run for office he’d have a chance to run a higher-level version of Jesse Ventura’s successful campaign for governor – a campaign where a media-savvy political reformer used extensive unscripted debates, a campaign message that motivated voters to come to the polls, and a commitment to real reform of state government.
( The fact is once you got past the colorful metaphors Ventura was as qualified and as well versed on the issues as any of his Democratic or Republican counterparts. As a former elected official and businessman he was well aquainted with many of the mundane issues of government. He certainly held his own in countless debates on TV around the state!)
As misjudgments go, this is a pretty big one. To paraphrase an oft-used line “Arnold, you’re no Jesse Ventura.”
Yes, Arnold’s campaign has made it clear – he is no Ventura and his opportunity to bring a fresh view to state government and politics was pissed away the moment he signed on former Gov. Pete Wilson and his mafia of assorted political hacks and corporate donors to carefully manage Arnold and his efforts.
Wilson and his guys had their chance in the 90s to make their mark, and instead left us a legacy of bad laws and crummy budgets that were the fiscal equivalent of putting band-aids on axe-wounds. Their way is to run campaigns with media manipulation, raising money from corporate interests, and applying the Wilson-patented racially divisive attacks on whomever seems easiest to hit in order to win. It goes without saying that lying is perfectly acceptable as long as you’ve got an “R” next to your name.
It’s time to pull the plug on the circus. Much as it pains me to say it, recalling Gray Davis won’t do any good under these circumstances. Throwing out an elected governor because he has the personality of a doorstop and replacing him with Yet Another Typical Politician blows the whole POINT of a recall.
All we’ll be doing is replacing one problem with another – and in Arnold’s case with someone who apparently we’re supposed to trust since he’s told us nothing – but has a history of stretching and dodging the truth, Clinton-style.
Apparently Arnold’s smart enough to lead the state, but isn’t up to the challenge of a real debate (one where he can’t rehearse interruptions and bad one liners in advance) with the likes of Tommy McClintock, Arianna Huffington, and our other genius candidates like Gary Coleman and Mary Carey. Arnold’s campaign won’t let the press get near him during this last week of the campaign. Do they know something we don’t?
Arnold, you’re no Jesse Ventura. You’re just Another Typical Politician, playing political games, and avoiding issues during a campaign. Not unlike most politicians in Sacramento. You had a chance to do better, and you failed. You’re smarter and better than this, but chose Pete Wilson’s way instead.
So this is why we’re doing the recall? To replace one Typical Politician with another? I’m done. Next.
(PS: Note to Arnold: I saw The Rundown starring The Rock opening weekend. You know what? It was great.
Perhaps its better you follow Pete Wilson and his gang’s tricks in the political arena, and get out of movies. The Rock’s movie was better than T3 and I liked T3 a lot too. And I bet if The Rock were running he’d have the courage to debate Governor Gray.
Then again, the Rock was a wrestler like Jesse Ventura, wasn’t he? Hmm…

© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at

For some background on events leading to this recall….

Ah the recall…making political satirists obsolete all summer…now we have the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that there needs to be a delay so that large counties such as Los Angeles County, which still use “hanging chad” style voting machines can modernize and make sure we don’t do a Florida 2000-style mess.
What is ironic is that the court’s ruling cites precedents set by the US Supreme Court in the now infamous Bush vs. Gore Florida 2000 lawsuit. Right wing pundits are crying foul, left wing pundits are crying score, and the rest of us are just crying that our state’s in such a mess we might have to give Gary Coleman a chance to run it for a while.
It’s more likely though that this won’t help Davis in the long run. A shorter campaign is more likely to benefit Davis because polls are starting to show that the recall itself may be defeated, thus making the parade of candidates running to replace him irrelevant. That momentum is not as likely to keep up if this gets dragged out until March 2004 – when by then people will have grown tired of the circus and stopped paying attention.
More troubling though is the fact that in all of the recall antics about who said what to Oui magazine, which lefty candidate is lower in the polls, or whether someone’s membership in a campus club is a Threat To the Republic, there is not a single candidate who’s put forth a credible long term vision or plan to turn California’s myriad of problems around nor do I expect anyone to do so.
Why? Because there is no one answer to the many situations our state faces now. No magic bullet or rigid adherence to the altar of [insert rabid right or left or pro porno ideology here] is going to make everything “all better”.
The only real solution is to have an educated discussion about why we’re here, and for the citizens of California to take responsibility for their role in letting the once-Great State of California slide into mediocrity. No matter how bad the politicians are, fact is that the only reason they get away with their shenannigans is because most citizens can’t be bothered to vote, and most media outlets can’t be bothered to cover serious issues with any crediblity.
If you want to read a credible book which provides a great overview of why we’re here, how we got here, and why Pete Wilson’s Mafia backing Arnold S. is a BAD thing, check out “Paradise Lost” by Peter Schrag. In an era when most political books are the equivalent of food fights (see Ann Coulter’s latest missive or Al Franken’s newest rant tract) Schrag provides a thoughtful in depth analysis of recent California political history. Schrag was editorial editor of the Sacramento Bee and as such had a unique front row seat at the pageant of foolishness known as lawmaking in this state. You can find it at at
Paradise Lost
Here’s a project idea for well-funded media outlets: Not being a porn-empire magnate or a self made millionaire I myself don’t have the cash to do this however media outlets who want to have some fun , and educate the public about the recall might want to try this:
Buy a voter file with voting history from a data vendor such as Political Data here in Burbank. Then, do a match with the list of names of those whose signatures appeared on the recall petition. Then you can find out how many of these concerned citizens have voted or not. It would be interesting to find out.
Oh, and as a bonus, run a match with the paid signature gatherers (those that were actually FROM California) and perhaps ask them if they’d have gotten the signatures without Darrell Issa’s $3/signature bounty.
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at