June 15, 2005


Special election win could shift power to GOP (Dion Nissenbaum, 6/15/05, Contra Costa TIMES)

[T]he new fight the Republican governor officially launched Tuesday has the potential to fundamentally change the balance of power in California.

If Schwarzenegger emerges victorious from the 153-day special election campaign ahead, he will not only give his re-election chances a major boost, he could cripple the state's Democratic power base for years to come. [...]

[T]he ballot measure that could have the most far-reaching impact is one Schwarzenegger has yet to endorse. It would compel public employee unions to get approval each year from members to use their dues for political purposes.

If approved, the proposal would undermine the strength of the powerful labor unions -- including prison guards, teachers and firefighters -- that have long provided the financial muscle and grassroots support for Democrats.

Schwarzenegger has voiced support for the idea in principle but has so far sought to use his potential endorsement of the measure as leverage to drive Democrats to the negotiating table.

Aides to the governor contend that the proposal won't have the money or momentum it needs to pass unless Schwarzenegger backs it.

But Grover Norquist, a leading conservative champion of the union dues check-off movement, said Tuesday that he is confident the initiative will have the money it needs to pass no matter what Schwarzenegger does.

"The resources will be there to win this fight," said Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform in Washington. "The California business community recognizes the importance of this and how completely doable it is."

Norquist and conservatives tried in 1998 to convince California voters to embrace a similar measure but were soundly rebuffed. But the tables could be turned if Schwarzenegger decides to throw his support behind the proposal.

Either way, Democrats and their union allies understand the stakes.

Break public employee unions and you break the Left.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2005 1:48 PM

I'd say: Break public employee unions and trial lawyers and you break the Left.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2005 2:04 PM

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list--I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed--who never would be missed!

There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs--
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs--
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with 'em flat--
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that--
And all third persons who on spoiling tête-à-têtes insist--
They'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed!

He's got 'em on the list--he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed--they'll none of 'em be miss'd!

There's the banjo serenader, and the others of his race,
And the piano-organist--I've got him on the list!
And the people who eat peppermint and puff it in your face,
They never would be miss'd--they never would be miss'd!
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
And the lady from the provinces, who dresses like a guy,
And who "doesn't think she dances, but would rather like to try";
And that singular anomaly, the lady novelist--
I don't think she'd be missed--I'm sure she'd not he missed!

He's got her on the list--he's got her on the list;
And he don't think she'll be missed--he's sure she won't be miss'd!

And that Nisi Prius nuisance, who just now is rather rife,
The Judicial humorist--I've got him on the list!
All funny fellows, comic men, and clowns of private life--
They'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as--What d'ye call him--Thing'em-bob, and likewise--Never-mind,
And 'St--'st--'st--and What's-his-name, and also
The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed--they'd none of 'em be missed!

You may put 'em on the list--you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed--they'll none of 'em be missed!

Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at June 15, 2005 2:17 PM



Posted by: JonofAtlanta at June 15, 2005 3:14 PM


Perhaps the link is the superfluity of those Gov. Arnold is trying to, well, superfluitize.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 15, 2005 3:36 PM

Note what terrifies the union officials - their members voting on whether and how to use their dues money.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 15, 2005 3:59 PM

The connection was to Matt Murphy's post about who he wanted to break in order to make him happy. Yeah, it's tenuous, but I was in a Gilbert and Sullivan mood today.

Superfluitize. I like that. (NB: The COO of our division announced the superfluitization of a dozen employees this morning.)

Posted by: Scott Ferguson at June 15, 2005 4:06 PM


My favorite line from that piece describes many liberals quite nicely:

Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this, and every country but his own

...although even we Cro-Magnon conservatives may not wish to go this far:

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2005 5:33 PM