Washington, check. Oregon, check. California...

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

PhilvsarnoldPonder for a moment what it would mean for presidential politics if California were once again a reliably Republican state. We've now won it four straight times, but it wasn't that long ago that the state of Nixon and Reagan went GOP six straight presidential elections.

And now, the head of the RNC thinks California is turning back to the GOP column - because of the influence of Arnold Schwarzenegger:

But Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman insists prospects are improving, thanks to demographic changes and the star power of the state's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. "There's tremendous opportunity here because of the governor and his leadership, and because of President Bush and his leadership," Mehlman told The Associated Press

So, what do we up here in Oregon do about that?

For starters, go to TheBlueBBQ.com and host your own backyard fundraiser on June 12 for Phil Angelides - the state treasurer who's taking on Arnold.

Phil is easily one of the smartest and hardest-working politicos around. Back in the day, he was a power-to-the-people chairman of the California Democratic Party.

For more on Phil, check out the interview that BlueOregon's own Jonathan Singer did over at Basie.org. A tidbit:

"One last comment for you: I took over the California Democratic Party in March of 1991 when we had lost six straight Presidential elections in a row in California, the Democrats had. We had lost three straight gubernatorial elections. The day I took over as party chair, George Bush the first, was at 91% approval. And again we built a campaign of beliefs and organization, and by the time it was all over Bill Clinton had carried California, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer became the first two women from any state to win election to the US Senate, and we changed the course of this state. And I believe we can do it again in 2006."
  • Becky (unverified)

    I know a large number of conservative Republicans in California and they are beside themselves with angst over the turn in California politics. I even know one couple who are so upset they are actively looking for a conservative state to move to as soon as they can sell their home. I do not know a single conservative in California who feels even remotely hopeful about the future of the Republican party in that state.

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    Would have to agree with you there, Becky. This is not on my to-do list. I'd rather see us work on Karen Minnis, and Rep. Greg Waldonlogger. Not to mention Sen. Gordon Smith in '08 - perhaps protecting the gains we've got in the OR Senate, take back the House, keep Gov in Dem. hands - protect the environment, stop global warming, stop the logging of old-growth, protect the salmon, make sure civil rights are protected, etc. etc. Then, there's national politics, international politics, and putting more crosswalks along Fremont so people can cross the frigging street. What was the question again?

  • Bill Holmer (unverified)

    The Democratic leadership that Angelides is so proud of nearly took the state over the cliff. Notwithstanding the flawed energy deregulation Gray and Co. implemented, the spending increases were obscene. If the California legislature won't get control of its profligate ways, the Gubernator will go for voter approval of spending caps ala Colorado which limits state spending increases to inflation plus population growth.

  • Rorovitz (unverified)

    Did Bill just try to blame the California energy mess on Gray Davis? If so, what a load of crap.

    But on topic, it seems that Arnold's popularity is declining in the Golden State. Something about having to produce more than soundbites keeps choking him up down there.

  • Eric Berg (unverified)

    Progressives should be less concerned about the influence of Schwarzenegger and whether or not he is returned to office and more concerned about why the most generic Democratic Party-types think it's o.k. to only be competitive in 18 or so states in a national election. If the Ds were more competitive in more states (in other words, a national party) winning California and a few other populous states wouldn't matter as much. If the next Republican ticket includes a Californian or New Yorker (Pataki, Giuliani) , we're going to see another Republican moving into the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Also, as an Oregonian, I'm not going to fault citizens of any other state for who they elect to office. I'd resent it if a group of Californians got together to influence me not to re-elect Ted Kulongoski. If I lived in the State of Californication, I would have never voted for the Governator. However, many relatives and friends have told me he's the only Republican they've ever voted for. There's a reason for that.

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    1. my boss, who just moved from california, says the problem was that grey davis was horribly unpopular but, in the way of political power, no one could stop him from running. he had few real supporters in the state, so it's quite likely angelides will be able to galvanize the anti-arnold feelings that will continue to grow and take back the gov.

    2. the more i hear ken mehlman run his mouth, the more i know that we got the sane national party chair and the Rs got the loony-toon. he talks out the wrong orifice incessantly, but because of the nature of the MSM, gets treated like he's saying things that make sense. ken has clout only because he has karl rove behind him (and personally, that's the last place i'd want rove).

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    It's amazing, Schwarzenegger is about as moderate as Republicans get, but you Democrats jump all over him as if he was Jesse Helms.

    Schwarzenegger has actually made an attempt to reign in rampant public spending, waste and improve education. What makes him so evil? That he has the audacity to actually hold teachers and public employees accountable? I applaud him for standing up to the NEA and public employee unions.

    Schwarzenegger is a shrewd businessman and a savvy investor. He's a better choice for turning the fiscal crisis around in California than a career public-servant like Kulongoski.

    And if you want to the real story on Grey Davis' incompetence in office, click the link below:


  • William Holmer (unverified)

    Chris, While no one should excuse the actions of the energy trading rogues at Enron, a more complete description how California shot itself in the foot can be found at http://www.presidentreagan.info/writings/whitewash_of_gray_davis.cfm I hope Rorovitz is open-minded enough to take a peek.

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    I have an even better ıdea & much more progressıve alternatıve:

    Donate to, volunteer wıth, and check out the June 18th launch of the Steve Westly campaıgn.

    Westly holds the key to CA's future - both polıtıcally & economıcally.


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