California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger failed at the polls this Tuesday, Nov.8 when voters rejected all four of his special election ballot initiatives in the costliest ballot campaign in state history.
On June 13th 2005, when Schwarzenegger called for the special election ballot he said that " – if the Legislature did not act on reforms this year, the people of California would.”
And California acted.
As reported by the Los Angeles Business Journal, the four initiatives endorsed by Schwarzenegger were part of his “Year of Reform” drive that was introduced in his State of the State speech in January. Instead of working directly with the Democrat-controlled Legislature, Schwarzenegger decided to take the issues straight to the people in an effort to gain their support. The initiatives included:
€¢Proposition 74: This would have extended the teacher tenure threshold from two years to five years. It was defeated by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
€¢Proposition 75: This would have required public employee unions to get written permission from their members before they make political contributions. After taking an early lead, the proposition ended up losing by a margin of 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.
€¢Proposition 76: This would have given the governor power to cut spending when revenues fall below projections. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the measure by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent.
€¢Proposition 77: This would have changed the way legislative districts are redrawn. It, too, was resoundingly defeated, losing by a margin of 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent.
A measure that would require parental notification before an abortion was given was rejected also.
Recently, Schwarzenegger’s approval rating has been exceptionally low, especially in comparison to the beginning of his term. However, Schwarzenegger is following suit with other GOP members who were either defeated at the polls or have low approval ratings. He will also meet with both GOP and Democrat legislatures in Sacramento today, Nov. 10 in attempt to rebuild his bipartisan image.
Schwarzenegger campaigned hard and continuously, even using his own money to endorse his initiatives. If the rejection at the polls and the low approval rating are any indicator of the future, then the actor-turned-governor may face a fierce fight during re-election