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Angelides Against the Public Will


Struggling to get poll numbers close to the Democratic registration in his bid for Governor of California, real estate developer Phil Angelides tried a new tactic earlier this month when he launched an ad introducing himself to voters. The ad, called, “Always on your side,” however, doesn’t tell us too much about Phil Angelides beyond what we already knew – he’s a veritable “Dr. No.”

Angelides positioned himself for his current run for Governor shortly after the 2003 Recall. While most Democrats say a wildly popular Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the State Treasurer was out defining himself as the anti-Arnold.

Angelides was against repealing the increase in the car tax. He was against the budget compromise struck between the Governor, Controller Steve Westly and the Democratic Legislature. And so on. If Arnold proposed it, Angelides was against it.

For those who wondered why Angelides was so out-of-synch with the California electorate, his new biographical ad tells all. “In 1972,” the ad begins, “a young man from California saw a sign which changed his life forever.”

That sign – featured prominently in the ad, implores us to “Dump Nixon.” While dumping Nixon may have been prescient in 1972, it certainly wasn’t popular – and I doubt Angelides had any clue about Watergate (and if he did, why did he cover it up?).

President Nixon ended the unpopular Vietnam War, gave us Affirmative Action and melted tensions away in the Cold War by seeking dĂ©tente with China. I cannot imagine that Angelides would have found these policies on Nixon’s objectionable, but the thought of “dumping Nixon” was what inspired him to enter politics, we’re told.

Likewise, it is hard to tell what Angelides finds objectionable in Governor Schwarzenegger’s moves to fight global warming, protect the environment and expand rights for California’s minorities – but he’s against him.

Oddly enough, Angelides does not appear to have taken such strong positions between 1972 and 2003. Where was he, for example, when Democrats lowered California’s car tax to begin with. As the State Treasurer, you’d have thought he could have at least held sway with his own caucus.

I’m beginning to think that the only time Phil Angelides has an original idea is if someone comes up with one for him to oppose. This kind of character-assassination politics is an Angelides tactic that is well recorded. As Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman Matt Davis said, “just ask Steve Westly and David Roberti about Angelides’ gutter politics…instead of focusing on issues important to the voters of California, Phil Angelides is choosing to focus on political attacks and divisive partisan politics.”

As Governor, Californians should ask themselves who would be there for to Angelides be against?

Nixon, as you’ll recall, “dumped” on George McGovern winning all but one State and more than 60 percent of the popular vote. Angelides may be lucky to do as well as George McGovern.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 12:48 PM | Permalink

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