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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eight Names You Won't Find in Arnold's Book

Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger titled his autobiography Total Recall, but students of state government will be disappointed in its less-than-total coverage of California politics and policy.  Though he gives lavish attention to bodybuilding and moviemaking, he fails to mention some significant figures on the California political landscape.  Here are some names totally missing from the book:
  • Esteban Nunez, the son of a former Assembly speaker, who went to prison for his part in the killing of a college student. Near the end of his term, Schwarzenegger commuted his sentence. "Well, hello," Schwarzenegger later explained, "of course you help a friend."
  • John Garamendi, lieutenant governor from 2007 to 2009.
  • Abel Maldonado, lieutenant governor from 2010 to 2011.  Schwarzenegger appointed him after Garamendi won a seat in the US House.
  • Steve Poizner, insurance commissioner from 2007 to 2011.  He once called himself a "Schwarzenegger Republican," but in his unsuccessful race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2011, he ran ads morphing Schwarzenegger's face into that of opponent Meg Whitman.
  • Meg Whitman, unsuccessful candidate for governor in 2010.  Mike Murphy, a Whitman strategist, said: There's only one candidate in the race who has spent $20 million [in previous campaigns] trying to convince voters that he's the Schwarzenegger politician, and that's Steve Poizner."
  • Tom Campbell, Schwarzenegger's finance director in 2004 and 2005.  In the 2008 Republican Senate primary, Carly Fiorina ran a memorable YouTube ad attacking him for the governor's "disastrous" 2005 budget.
  • Barbara Boxer, junior US senator from California.  Dianne Feinstein, the senior senator, does get a fleeting mention, but only in relation to her decision not to run in the 2003 recall election.
  • John Perez, California Assembly speaker, March 1, 2010–present.