Arnold embarrasses himself in WSJ interview

Nov. 17, 2012

By John Seiler

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the hypocrite who keeps on entertaining. He jet-sets around the globe celebrating AB 32, which he signed into law and will cut greenhouse gas emissions in California 25 percent by 2020. Yet he tools around in giant, gas guzzling Mercedes and Bentleys (seen in the picture at right) and lives in a massive compound in Malibu.

He thinks his new “autobiography,” with the unimaginative title of “Total Recall” and actually written by Peter Petre, will enhance his image. But nothing can wipe away his disastrous governorship that wrecked California; nor his betrayal of his wife, Maria, in an adulterous affair with the family maid. No wonder that, after just two months, his book is way down the list on Amazon at No. 631 best-selling.

Yet here’s what he just told the Wall Street Journal in an interview:

“If we want to advance our core beliefs in infrastructure investment, smaller government, and supporting businesses, the only path forward is to include new ideas and re-open the Big Tent to independents and women and minorities. … We have always been a party of big ideas to move the country forward, and that is what we must communicate now.”

But he did the opposite! His massive, record $13 billion tax increase of 2009 not only destroyed the state’s economy, it destroyed the careers of an up-and-coming Latino Republican, Sen. Abel Maldonado.

I met with Maldonado in the mid-1990s when he came to see the Register editorial board. He was a rising star, a moderate-right Republican and small businessman with some good ideas.

In 2014, he would have been a top contender for the Republican nominee for governor.

Seduced and betrayed

Then Maldonado was seduced by Arnold into providing the crucial vote in the Senate for the tax increase. For his perfidy toward taxpayers, Maldonado was appointed lieutenant governor by Arnold. And as part of the deal for Maldonado’s sellout vote, Arnold put on the ballot Proposition 14, the Top Two election system. It was supposed to benefit “moderates” like Maldonado by insulating them from the rage of anti-tax Republicans.

It didn’t work. In 2010, Maldonado lost a bid to be re-elected lieutenant governor. Even though 2010 was a stellar year for Republicans nationally, as they swept back into control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it was a disaster for the California GOP.

Using advertising language, Arnold talks about improving the Republican “brand.” But it was he who, during seven years of attacking California, sullied the GOP brand here for decades.

In 2012, Maldonado used the Top Two system to become one of the two candidates running for  the 24th Congressional District from California. Under the old system, he likely would have lost the Republican primary to Tea Party candidate Chris Mitchum, the son of the late actor Robert Mitchum.

But under the Top Two system, Maldo grabbed one of the slots and faced off against Rep. Lois Capps, a Democrat. (Mitchum finished third.)

Maldonado still lost, 55-45 percent. So his sellout of taxpayers gained him nothing. After being wiped out, he told the San Luis Obispo Tribune, “I’m barely on first base….I was not raised to give up. Public service is in my blood, public service is in my heart, and I love my country…. I don’t think Washington was ready for me this [political] cycle.”

Tax tables turned

It’s ironic that this tax-raiser’s own tax problems did him in. The Tribune reported:

“Maldonado’s family operation in Santa Maria is involved in a $470,000 dispute with the IRS, which is being fought out in U.S. Tax Court. The family farm also is disputing an IRS claim that it underpaid taxes by more than $3.6 million between 2006 and 2008.

“Capps made hay with the dispute, alluding to it repeatedly in her political advertisements.”

If Maldonado had sided with taxpayers in 2009, in 2012 he could have made himself out to be an anti-tax hero who was being assaulted by vengeful revenuers. But he couldn’t do that because the IRS was doing to him what he did to California taxpayers at the state level.

In his interview, Arnold continued:

“We need to focus on expanding the tent instead of shrinking it. We need to find ways to include instead of exclude. The party has tried to move to the right, and now we can see that the action and the votes are more in the center. We need to be a party of what we are for rather than what we are against.”

But by destroying Maldonado’s career, Arnold “excluded” a promising young, moderate Latino from politics. Arnold not only did not “expand” the tent, he burned it down.

And when Arnold says, “We need to be a party of what we are for,” we know what that is: taxes, taxes and more taxes; and massive new regulations, like AB 32, that kill jobs and businesses.

The California GOP would best be advised to listen closely to the advice Arnold gives — and do the opposite.



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