Arnold SchwarzeneggerCaliforniaCriminalsElection 2006Politics

Stanley “Tookie” Williams Watch: Political Risks

Yvette Campbell, of Long Beach, California, chants at a candlelight vigil to campaign for clemency for convicted killer and Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams outside’Schatzi on Main’, the restaurant founded by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Santa Monica, California, December 4, 2005. Williams is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection December 13. Schwarzenegger has scheduled a private clemency hearing on December 8.

Reuters has Schwarzenegger clemency review has political risks

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s clemency review this week to determine whether to execute Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams could influence the governor’s ability to rebound from political setbacks.

Convicted of four brutal killings a quarter century ago, Williams has generated a big public campaign calling for clemency because of his anti-gang books aimed at inner-city youth.

The Republican governor will hear from prosecutors and defense attorneys at the clemency hearing behind closed doors on Thursday. He will only have a few days if he wants to halt the December 13 execution by lethal injection at San Quentin prison north of San Francisco.

Some analysts say the former Hollywood action star risks further alienating his party base if he grants clemency.

The Governor has already “JUMPED THE SHARK” with the Susan Kennedy appointment.

Clemency for Tookie would be the NAIL IN THE COFFIN for Schwarzenegger’s political career.

Flap is certain it would prompt a law and order candidate challenging Schwarzenegger in the June primary for the California Republican Party nomination.

“There are already a number of people that have already said that they are not going to vote for him, work for him,” said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly. “If he granted clemency, based on the evidence that has been presented, it would be a disaster.”

Weakened by a stinging loss on all his initiatives in a special election he called last month, Schwarzenegger angered some in his party this week by appointing an openly gay, longtime Democrat as his chief of staff.

Republican fiscal conservatives have also expressed concern about his interest in billions of dollars of new infrastructure bonds. Some analysts say such concerns could prompt another Republican, such as state Sen. Tom McClintock, to challenge Schwarzenegger in the June gubernatorial primary.

McClintock told Reuters he does not intend to run and said politics should not be considered in clemency reviews.

“Political issues should have no place in this discussion,” he said. “It’s totally irrelevant.”

The challenger would not be McClintock but a wealthy self-financed candidate from business or industry. One that would garner the support of the business and law enforcement community.

Stay tuned…..the hearing is Thursday.


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