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TONIGHT 6PM: Arnold's foes are grow louder
by Steve Geissinger (sgeissinger [at]
Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 2:19 PM
If there's doubt Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special-election push is in big trouble, foes in the Bay Area plan to crush it today.

Oakland Tribune

Article Last Updated: 4/05/2005 06:47 AM

Arnold's foes are growing louder
Protesters in S.F. hope to drown out governor's special-election pitch

By Steve Geissinger - SACRAMENTO BUREAU
Inside Bay Area

SACRAMENTO — If there's doubt Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special-election push is in big trouble, foes in the Bay Area plan to crush it today.

Even a conservative GOP group joined the opposition as
traditional Democratic constituencies Monday prepared a massive protest outside a scheduled Schwarzenegger fund-raiser tonight at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco.

An array of labor unions, representing everyone from nurses to teachers, hope to field 10,000 protesters loud enough to drown out Schwarzenegger's pitch inside for a fall special election. His initiatives would, among other things, curtail state-worker pensions, change the way teachers are paid and establish new fiscal controls affecting schools.

Even traditional GOP supporters — firefighters and law enforcement officers — are joining a string of growing protests against the governor's proposals.

Members of about 150 unions from San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and other parts of the Bay Area are expected to participate in today's protest, said Tim Paulson, executive director of the California Labor Council.

"Schwarzenegger's a non-action hero who is attacking the real action heroes of California," Paulson said Monday at an organizing session in Oakland. "We're going to make sure he's not welcome in San Francisco."

Schwarzenegger and his supporters, which include big business and anti-tax groups, are portraying their foes as unwelcome special interests using "scare tactics" in an attempt to derail needed reforms in deficit-plagued California.

"Union leaders, who are forcing state and local government into bankruptcy so they can maintain their gold-plated pensions, have been lying to the people of California" about the negative affects of Schwarzenegger's proposals, said Joanne Monaco, a spokeswoman for Citizens to Save California.

Though the once highly popular governor is raising tens of millions of dollars to wage battle as a self-described champion of voters and foe of lawmakers and the status quo, his ratings are slipping in polls as his opponents build huge war chests themselves to depict him as pandering to big-industry contributors.

"You can join Arnold, if you've got the bucks," said Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

The actor-turned-politician who unseated Democratic Gov. Gray Davis two years ago in what was described as a voter revolt, has tackled what analysts and strategists from both parties view as perhaps too many complex, Herculean tasks all at once.

They range from the budget deficit, to government reorganization, to the planned special election that bypasses the Legislature. The tactic also has fostered an avalanche of proposed initiatives from his foes.
He's in "dangerous" territory, said Barbara O'Connor of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media in Sacramento.

Schwarzenegger strategists downplay the perils.

But independent voters are shifting against the governor, and even conservative Republicans have announced opposition for their own reason — he's not being tough enough.

"California needs real budget reform that reins in out-of-control government spending," said Mike Spence, president of the conservative California Republican Assembly.

"Schwarzenegger ran for office on the premise that California needed to get its house in order, but the (budget limiting) 'Live Within Our Means Act' does absolutely nothing to fix the state's structural fiscal problems," Spence said.

Some of the stakeholders joining tonight's protest have disagreements with Schwarzenegger that began building before the governor decided to hold a special election.

The nurses union, for instance, first clashed with the governor in the fall, when Schwarzenegger issued an emergency regulation blocking the implementation of stricter nurse-to-patient ratios.

The union lobbied for more than
10 years to get the ratios into law, signed by Davis in 1999.

The California Nurses Association sued the state over the emergency regulation, and last month a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the union. Hospitals were required to comply with the ratios immediately, including one nurse for every five patients on busy surgical units.

The association launched a billboard campaign Monday at its headquarters in Oakland in anticipation of the massive protest against Schwarzenegger in San Francisco today.

"We are here to take care of our patients, and we feel this is not Arnold's agenda," said Rose Ann De Moro, executive director of the association, which represents 60,000 registered nurses statewide.

The initial campaign features a menacing-looking Schwarzenegger juxtaposed against Patricia Gonzalez, a nurse at Children's Hospital Oakland. Above the two portraits reads, "She heals. He wheels & deals."

In Santa Monica, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights staged a similar rollout of roving billboards that will travel to protests.

Staff writer Rebecca Vesely contributed to his report.

Contact Sacramento Bureau Chief Steve Geissinger at sgeissinger [at]
§Thousands To Protest Governor's Visit
by repost Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 6:21 PM
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Unions aligned against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's package of reforms plan a massive rally Tuesday night outside a hotel where the governor will raise money for a slate of potential ballot measures.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters are expected to demonstrate outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco, said Rose Ann DeMoro of the California Nurses Association said. Inside, Schwarzenegger will host a fundraiser on behalf of four government reform proposals he hopes to qualify for a special election next fall.

Nurses, teachers, firefighters, police officers and members of several public employee unions have been staging noisy protests against the Republican governor for months, but DeMoro said she expected the San Francisco demonstration to be the largest yet.

"We will never be able to match the corporations in terms of money, but we have to show him that we object," DeMoro said. "The best way we can do that is to protest. The whole point of the protest is that he's fundraising, not governing."

Nurses have been demonstrating against Schwarzenegger since November, when he issued an emergency rule delaying a new law easing nurse-patient ratios in California hospitals. A Sacramento County Superior Court struck down that ruling last month.

Other unions have joined the nurses in recent weeks as the governor has begun pushing his reform measures, which include paying teachers according to merit rather than seniority and converting the state's public pension system into 401(k)-style retirement accounts.

Schwarzenegger has promised to raise $50 million to promote his proposals, saying national unions could spend as much as $200 million to oppose his efforts.

Attendees at the San Francisco event will pay at last $1,000 a plate to dine with Schwarzenegger, said Reed Dickens of Citizens to Save California, an organization promoting the governor's initiatives.

Dickens said the growing demonstrations outside Schwarzenegger's events have backfired on the protesters, while strengthening the resolve of the governor's supporters.

"We have seen our signature gathering increase and our fundraising increase every time the unions are out there screaming and spitting," Dickens said. "We are finding an immense, encouraging amount of support around the state. It's pretty energizing to the base."
by pic Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 7:31 PM
Adrianne Pine, of the California Nurses Association, wears a Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mask, during a demonstration in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 5, 2005, held to protest Schwarzenegger's policies. Demonsrators from several groups took part in the protest held outside the site where the California governor is to attend a fundraiser. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
by more Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 7:36 PM
04/05/05 6:45 PDT


A rally involving California Nurses Association members is raging outside a fund-raising dinner for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in San Francisco as thousands of people sing, dance, chant and wave signs, reports association spokesman Shum Preston.

"Everybody's jazzed up out here," he said. "Even though some people are really angry at the governor, there is still kind of a party atmosphere going on."

Speakers are blasting songs such as, "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springstein and "You Can Run But You Can't Hide" by Aretha Franklin as the crowd dances along, Preston said.

The crowd of nurses, teachers and firefighters has been joined by peace activists and senior groups, he said.

"We really want to see the governor but he hasn't shown up yet, at least not from what we can see," Preston added.
by more Tuesday Apr 5th, 2005 8:22 PM
Noisy demonstrators armed with signs and outrage once again greeted an increasingly beleaguered Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- this time at San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton Hotel -- when he arrived for a Tuesday evening fund-raiser.

Some people came alone, others with groups. Neophyte protesters mixed with veteran activists. Tourists on cable cars waved and snapped pictures, motorists honked, and the music ranged from "Born in the U.S.A." to "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

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Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
70,000 dollarsRuthWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 8:04 PM
Excellent ProtestTrippWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 4:09 PM
re mr. bad asstkatWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 1:27 PM
support from your syblings in the northa cascadianWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 2:26 AM
this was bad assMR. bad assWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 1:18 AM
Thousands To Protest Governor's Visit, where? not in sfaurthorWednesday Apr 6th, 2005 12:57 AM
video of demovideoTuesday Apr 5th, 2005 11:16 PM
this was bad ass!tkatTuesday Apr 5th, 2005 10:52 PM
Witnesses sought in illegal arrest @ Arnold DemoMaryTuesday Apr 5th, 2005 10:48 PM
Rowdy protests greet governor at S.F. fund-raiserJohn Wildermuth, Carla Marinucci and PatriciaTuesday Apr 5th, 2005 10:06 PM

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