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Aug 12, 2004 - 03:40 PM

Arnold's Vacation-less Fantasy World

by Douglas Heller
 
Remember when Arnold saved the life of a struggling swimmer last April? He was on a 10-day Hawaiian vacation, right?

So what did the Gov mean when he told radio listeners of the Tony Snow show this morning: "Well, I mean, I was elected to be the Governor of this state and to fix the problems of this state and to spend the time here in Sacramento and all over the state and not to travel around the country. I haven't even taken a vacation yet. I have not gone anywhere. I don't have the time for anything, because there's so many things that we have to fix here. And I'm like a machine. I will not let go until those things are fixed. It's that simple."

OK, maybe you forget a week and a half at your Maui retreat. But what about that 12 day winter vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho around New Years? Or the weekend in Ohio for the Arnold Classic, a weightlifting contest? True, he was doing some work then - he accepted the post of Executive Editor of two fitness magazines on that trip. So what about the trip to Israel? Or Austria? Or how about his east coast fundraising swing in February?

Arnold has been Governor of California for less than nine months, yet he has taken three to four weeks vacation (depending on whether or not you consider it work to make a fundraising trip to New York and the trip to Austria for a politician's funeral). How many Californians would love to get a month of vacation in their first year on the job?

At Arnold Watch, we think it has to do with the Gov.'s acting background in which it doesn't matter whether the script is true or realistic as long as you deliver the lines well: "I haven't even taken a vacation yet." "I am kicking the special interests out of Sacramento."

Another example of Arnold's call on all Californians to suspend disbelief succeeded yesterday, when the State Senate Rules Committee confirmed the appointment of Charlene Zettel, a former Assemblywoman who voted against important consumer protection bills almost 90% of the time as the new Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Zettel's nomination fits perfectly into that same world where cyborgs return from the future (Terminator), commandos battle alien warriors in the jungle (Predator), men get pregnant (Junior) and 10 days on Maui is not a vacation. In the Zettel fantasy, a politician who supported special protections for pharmaceutical companies that make dangerous drugs, opposed improvements to the automobile lemon law, fought against protections from predatory lending practices and sided with banks and insurers to stop consumer financial privacy laws is the best person to lead the state's chief consumer protection agency.




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