Monday, September 19, 2005

California Special Election Watch: When Will Schwarzenegger Begin To Fight?

Laura Mecoy of the Sacramento Bee has GOP in a fighting mood, At state convention, governor urged to counterpunch on initiatives.

Activists at this weekend's state Republican Party convention waved signs and shouted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's name with a fervor born out of frustration.

After months of watching Democrats and public employee unions pummel the governor with ads and protests, they finally saw their standard-bearer ready to fight back.

"I promise you I will continue the fight. I will continue the struggle," he told about 600 convention-goers on Saturday. "I will continue our cause to rebuild California in a second term as governor."

Flap talked to many Republican activists at this weekend's Republican convention in Anaheim and all complained of the lack of fervor on the part of the Governor and his advisors for the November Special Election.

The question: When does the media campaign begin?

Since the early days of the 1980's the California Republican Party's direction has been to campaign with big media (television and radio) and the fundraising that media costs demand.

So far the Governor has been conspicuous by his absense on California airwaves.


With seven weeks to go before the Nov. 8 special election, the Republican Party faithful are hoping the governor is true to his word and their days of despair are over.

"It's his job to lead the charge," said Jeff Corless, Young Republicans of Orange County president. "And it's yet to be discovered if he's willing to fight it out."

Mike Spence, California Republican Assembly president, said activists are upset with Schwarzenegger's political consultants because "there's been no real answering back" to the barrage of ads attacking him.

"I don't think you'll find an endorsement of his political team at this convention," Spence said.

Allan Hoffenblum, a GOP consultant, called the governor's political operation "a total failure," while former Republican Party chairman and legislator Robert Naylor said: "We're all anxious to see the ads. ... It's been totally one-sided so far."

Is it that the Governor is SQUISHY about an election he has already won but is afraid to WIN?

Is the Governor willing to concede Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77, save his resources for his re-election campaign, and fool the public employee unions into spending tens of millions of dollars on a trojan horse?

Or is he SQUISHY serious about running for re-election and plans to return to Hollywood after the special election crashes?

Stay tuned.

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