Hearing lines such as, “Hasta la vista… DAVIS,” and “Gray Davis and Cruz Bustamonte are the real terminators of Sacramento,” you would think you might have stepped into a bad political dream. But between the adult film stars, midget actors, gay rights lawyers, medical marijuana activists, and former-body builders walking around the state capitol claiming to be champions of the same cause, and the dreams we collectively have, we should start to question the future of the state we live in.
The California Governor Recall election, which had almost been recalled itself, is causing mass media hysteria all over the country. Candidates are in extreme demand on every news program from the Today show and NBC Nightly News to late night programs such as Conan O’Brian and David Letterman. People in the North Valley area shelled out $500 dollars a ticket to hear what actor/bodybuilder/terminator-of-all-evils Arnold Schwarzeneggar had to say about politics other than corny one liners aimed at the current governor, only to be disappointed when he was a no-show, sending his intelligent former journalist/now unemployed wife, Maria Shriver. In fact, it is hard to get Arnold to say anything on camera that has anything to do with politics beside “terminating the deficit,” “terminating the corruption,” or “terminating the massive spending” in Sacramento. It seems someone told Mr. Schwarzeneggar the name of the state he is trying to impress because he goes out of his way to incorporate the words ‘Caleefoneeah’ and ‘Sacramanto’ into every sentence. At least he is a candidate who will make people find him the information he needs, if it not already programmed into his brain.
Another candidate is Cruz Bustamonte. Now, he is officially listed as a candidate, but strongly opposes the idea of a recall. This is the guy to vote for because he obviously knows what he is doing. He doesn’t want the recall to happen, so, ironically enough, he is running as a top candidate in the recall process. Now this is politically smart. Either he has alterior motives here, or he is trying to be hero by taking publicity away from other candidates and make the existing governor look better. Whichever it is, he can no longer spend his Indian Gaming money on his campaign.
With candidates ranging from Gary Coleman and Larry Flynt, to Michael Jackson (not that one) and a whole slew of Average Joes, comedian Jay Leno decided to have some fun on September 22, 2003. The talk show host invited all of the recall candidates to be his audience for the night and focused most of the show on them. Out of the 90 that showed up, one candidate had to be escorted out of the studio when he began yelling and demanding equal time to speak as the other candidates, while another, Mary Carey, flipped Leno off when he insulted the porn star for being the only candidate on the ballot to already have her hole punched. Later in the show actor Robert Downey Jr. jokingly announced his candidacy for governor and screamed an obscenity after Leno pointed two words to him: “convicted felon.”
The recall could be detrimental to the state because a candidate with only 15 percent of the votes could automatically be declared the winner. But on the other hand, how much further could we really fall? With a tripling car tax, illegal immigrants being granted legal driving documents, and the future of our electrical and financial status up in the air, it seems Californians are just willing to take that chance.
Maybe we are all just dreaming and need to cut back on the spicy foods before bed. But, whether you choose Arnold for governator, or Gary Coleman because you think he is “big” enough for the job, California will be recovering from this one for a long time.