Just a semi-political post, possibly more meaningful to Californians than others.
The bad news: Better than $300 million was wasted on a wholly pointless special election ($50 million of that from the state budget; not $80 million, because lots of cities had elections anyway).
The good news: $7 million of that was the Governator’s money.
The bad news: Prop. 79, the consumer-oriented prescription discount plan, was defeated even worse than Prop. 78, the pharma-oriented stalking horse to undo Prop. 79.
The good news: Both of them were defeated soundly. Maybe prescription drug prices are out of control, but the initiative process is a lousy way to fix that–just as it’s a lousy way to do most things.
The really good news: Eight up, eight down. Every single proposition was defeated. Those that Ahnold was most heavily involved with were among the most soundly defeated–and his idea that the governor should directly control state spending went down big time.
I hear they’re thinking about a sequel to Howard the Duck, with a muscleman (who, after unseating a governor who spent too much time fundraising, managed to spend even more time fundraising) as star: Arnold the Lame Duck.
PS: I’m not entirely against electing actors as politicians. Clint Eastwood was apparently a pretty good mayor of Carmel, and Sheila Kuehl may be doing a great job as a state Senator (Zelda in the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, if you have a long memory).
Update, Thursday, November 10: According to this morning’s paper, Arnold’s “people” now say that the election results don’t show that Californians don’t favor Arnold’s “reform” ideas–just that they didn’t like having a special election.
First, that raises the question of who shoved a special election down California’s throat. That would be one Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Second, that raises the question of just how much advertising, editorializing, or politicking involved “the election is a bad idea” once it was clear that Arnold wouldn’t back off on blowing $50-$80 million on it. Which basically comes down to Zero: Once the election was a fait accompli, attention turned to the issues.
Know who’s happy about this election? TV stations. They got to charge top price, since these weren’t candidate ads, and there were a lot of them…