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Arnold still looking for “Schwarzenegger Republicans”


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had an Al Gore moment late this week when, with three key personnel moves he declared to extremist elements on both the right and the left of the political spectrum that he is his own man.
When he appointed Court of Appeal Justice Carol A. Corrigan to replace Janice Rogers Brown on the State Supreme Court, he chose a candidate in his own image—a non-idolitarian centrist who values accomplishment over idealism.
While California Republican Assembly head Mike Spence acknowledged that, “alt least she’s a Republican,” party labels don’t matter to the Governor as long as someone is good for the job.

Corrigan will be an important vote when the State Supreme Court weighs whether the people of California have the right, through the initiative process, to deny fair and equal treatment under the law to a class of individuals. The fact that she is not showing her card on the issue—and that the Governor’s office specifically refused to ask her about the question of Marriage Equality—is likely a cause of great consternation for Spence et al. coming a week after they went apoplectic over the appointment of Susan Kennedy to be the Governator’s Chief of Staff.
On the same day that Schwarzenegger appointed Corrigan to the Court, however, he moved to mollify his critics from the right by shifting around his staff to balance the political leanings of those in the most influential positions.
Terry Taminen, formerly of Heal the Bay, left the position of Cabinet Secretary to take back his dossier in charge of environmental affairs. He was replaced in the position by former Republican Assemblyman Fred Aguiar.
As he remakes his staff in his own image—like Jerry Brown or Gray Davis paddling a canoe…one stroke to the left, and one stroke to the right keeps the boat moving forward—Schwarzenegger has managed to do something few leaders have accomplished: recruit qualified people, across party lines, who believe in his agenda.
What’s been missing, however, are “Schwarzenegger Republicans,” who believe in Arnold’s policies more than they believe in his party labels, and maybe Aguiar is one of them…we’ll see. If the Governor hopes to succeed in 2006—and beyond—he must find those who are loyal to his vision for California, and the Republican Party rather than those who would like to re-shape him into their image.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 9:29 AM | Permalink

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