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Sacramento Bee: With re-election bid ahead, governor’s cupboard is bare

After a special election with a price tag that topped $275 million, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal war chest is virtually empty as he begins his 2006 re-election campaign, according to reports filed Tuesday with the secretary of state.

Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiative committee alone exhausted $45.5 million during last year’s special election campaign in which voters rejected eight ballot proposals, including four specifically backed by the governor.

With all the large campaign committees reporting, opponents of the governor spent about $121 million to defeat those four initiatives, while Schwarzenegger and his allies fought the battle with $76 million of their own.

Outspent by $45 million Schwarzenegger’s opponents have a significant advantage in the media buys. But, the Governor ran a POOR campaign and the poor fundraising followed.

Schwarzenegger managed a NO-LOSE campaign into a LOSER.

The California Teachers Association spent $58.5 million to defeat Arnold.

On Proposition 73 – the abortion parental notification initiative – opponents outspent proponents $5.6 million to $1.9 million.

Record setting spending – the nature of California politics.

California Correctional Peace Officers Association president Mike Jimenez, left, and California Nurses Association president Deborah Burger celebrate their victory over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiatives at a rally in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005.

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The San Francisco Chronicle has Republican strongholds left Schwarzenegger in the cold Past allies were no-shows at polls — or opponents

Voters in some of California’s most reliably Republican counties deserted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in droves Tuesday, either sitting out the special election or working actively against the governor’s political agenda.

While Schwarzenegger’s supporters argue that the landslide defeat was a one-time reaction to an unpopular special election, it’s a result that threatens the chances of Schwarzenegger — and other Republican candidates — in next November’s statewide elections.

Absolutely correct.

That is why Flap suggests Schwarzenegger call his agent and book some movie deals.

Schwarzenegger hasn’t necessarily lost all the people who voted against his package of initiatives Tuesday, but he’s made it easier for them to look at the Democratic alternatives in next year’s re-election campaign. The governor seems to recognize the need for changes, pledging Thursday to work more closely with the Democrat-led Legislature and agreeing Friday to end a legal battle over hospital staffing with the California Nurses Association, one of his most vocal critics.

“Just because the people here voted against Schwarzenegger doesn’t mean that they’re not mad at the rest of the government as well,” said Giventer of Cal State Stanislaus. “But the governor has to show he’s going to pay attention to what’s important.”

But, if Schwarzenegger moves to the LEFT he will further alienate or demotivate his Republican base. The Governator has trouble on the LEFT and RIGHT.

He is really in a NO-WIN bind.

Flap predicts that Schwarzenegger will withdraw from re-election if he cannot quickly rehabilitiate his poll numbers.

Isn’t this what his movie pal, Jesse Ventura did?

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California Nurses Association president Deborah Burger, center, gestures in front of Lou Paulson, left, president of the California Professional Firefighters, and Barbara Kerr, right, president of the California Nurses Association, at a rally in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday night, Nov. 8, 2005 after the polls closed.

The Los Angeles Times has Gov. Drops Nurse Ratio Challenge

After the election defeat, the administration ends its appeal of a ruling ordering more staffing. His battle with the union energized labor.

Jettisoning another apparently losing fight, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has abandoned his yearlong effort to relax rules mandating the number of nurses that hospitals must employ.

His endeavor helped spark the public employee union rebellion that led to the defeat of his special election agenda Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger last November had set aside rules that required hospitals to employ in some wards one nurse for every five patients instead of every six. His administration said it was concerned hospitals could not handle the financial costs involved in hiring more nurses.

But a Sacramento County Superior Court judge rejected the administration’s effort in March, and the ruling was upheld by an appellate court. While the administration continued to try to overturn it, hospitals had to follow the new rules and discovered they were not as burdensome as they had feared.

It is just amazing to Flap that this analysis would not have been made within six months. Did the Governor not ask his California Department of Health Services about the validity of the staffing ratios?

Was he incompetent or just obstinate or BOTH?

Or is she just SQUISHY because of Tuesday election DEFEATS.

Here is some spin from the Health and Human Services Agency.

Health and Human Services Agency spokeswoman Sabrina Demayo Lockhart said the emergency regulation’s expiration had prompted the withdrawal of the appeal, not Tuesday’s election results.

She also said fears that a nursing shortage would lead hospitals to curtail services in an effort to meet the lower nurse-to-patients ratio had not materialized.

“We have had 10 months of experience with the court-mandated ratios to examine the impact, and the fact of the matter is hospitals are not telling us that they are closing their emergency rooms,” he said.

“In fact, major hospitals have agreed to comply with the lower ratios in their labor contracts and publicly stated that they are meeting these ratios.”

Ok, so maybe the difference between the 5 and 6 ratio will be manageable for the hospitals. It will certainly push healthcare costs upward but, hey, the unions negotiate better contracts for their employee members while the other folks just pay the bill, right?

California Correctional Peace Officers Association president Mike Jimenez, left, and California Nurses Association president Deborah Burger celebrate their victory over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiatives at a rally in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005.

Read Flap’s first post below.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, California, November 10, 2005.

The ASSociated Press has Schwarzenegger Drops Nurse-Staffing Fight

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ended a yearlong fight with California nurses over hospital staffing levels after a bitter feud that escalated when he boasted, “I’m kicking their butts.”

Acting on behalf of the governor, Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed a motion late Thursday ending a legal battle over a new state rule requiring one nurse for every five patients. For the past year, Schwarzenegger had been trying to block the rule in favor of a 1-to-6 ratio.

Schwarzenegger’s office referred calls on the matter to the state
Department of Health and Human Services, where spokeswoman Sabrina Demayo Lockhart said that in the 10 months the 1-to-5 rule has been in place, hospitals have been able to adapt, “so we’re going to move forward.”

The Governator has become an Accomodator.

Look for more hospital emergency rooms to close because hospitals will NOT be able to staff them at the California mandated 1:5 ratio and YOUR ambulance being turned away from a hospital because a nurse called in sick.

Nurses union Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro called the decision “an enormous victory” because Schwarzenegger “is going to stop going after registered nurses and patient ratios.”

The governor’s action came two days after California voters rejected all of his proposed government-overhaul initiatives and on the same day he took “full responsibility” for the election debacle.

The 1-to-5 staffing ratio was not among the issues decided at the ballot box Tuesday but has been a long-sought goal of the 60,000-member California Nurses Association. Schwarzenegger sided with the hospital industry in opposing the 1-to-5 ratio, citing the added financial burden and the nation’s nursing shortage.

Tensions between the governor and the nurses union escalated in December 2004, when he labeled the union a special interest and said he was “kicking their butts.”

Since then, the union has attacked Schwarzenegger in TV commercials, on freeway billboards and at nearly every public event he held, including fundraisers in New York and Boston.

Registered nurses from Chicago protest against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger outside Fenway Park before the start of the Rolling Stones concert in Boston, Massachusetts, August 21, 2005. Nurses gathered in Boston to protest against Schwarzenegger who was attending a Rolling Stones concert in Fenway Park. The nurses were protesting against proposed ballot initiatives in California.

So, as Californians healthcare suffers and hospitals and clinics close perhaps they will remember that the Governor acquiesced his responsibilities so he would no longer have to anticipate election year protests.

Pitiful… know, Governor, if you were going to change this policy why didn’t you do it last summer before the California Special Election campaign began? If it was bad policy then, what has changed? Well, we know………

Oh, and another question, Governor……there is a nursing shortage in California.

Where are these nurses coming from?

NA Director Rose Ann DeMoro celebrates victorious “Aloha Arnold Party” at Trader Vic’s Restaurant in the Beverly Hilton on election night. View more photos.

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Saying that the ‘buck stops with me,’ California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses the failure of his ballot initatives in Tuesday’s special election, during a news conference held at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005. Schwarzenegger met with the press for the first time since his ballot intiatives were rejected by voters.

The ASSociated Press has Schwarzenegger Takes the Blame in Vote

Two days after voters rejected each of his four initiatives, Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger took responsibility for the stinging failures and said he learned that he needs more patience in seeking government reform.

“The buck stops with me,” he told reporters Thursday during a Capitol news conference, referring to Tuesday’s special election. “I take full responsibility for this election. I take full responsibility for its failure.”

“If I would do another ‘Terminator’ movie, I would have Terminator travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have a special election.” He also said his wife, Maria Shriver, had warned him not to go ahead with the election.

Flap bets Gale Kaufman, Don Perata and Fabian Nunez are laughing their ASSES off.

If the California Republican Party allows Arnold to be their nominee for Governor in 2006, they will have to take the MEA CULPA for the loss.

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