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RECALL MADNESS

Forget the budget, Arnold has bigger plans

October 11, 2003|Roy Rivenburg | Times Staff Writer

While Gray Davis looks for a job more suited to his personality, such as department store mannequin, Arnold Schwarzenegger is laying out a bold agenda for the state. Here are his top priorities, courtesy of topfive.com and reader Richard Showstack:

* Shut down the Los Angeles Times.

* Have the California Highway Patrol switch to Hummers.

* Form a state task force to deal with pesky robots from the future.

* Order California's department of agriculture to classify steroids as a vegetable.

* Institute a flab tax.

* Learn how to say, "Cruz, could you get me some more coffee?" without cue cards.

* Assure voters that no stunt governors will be used during battles with legislators.

* Add English subtitles to televised gubernatorial speeches.

* Change home phone number to avoid late-night drunken calls from Davis saying, "I'll be back."

* Repeal the law that allows governors to be recalled.

Accidental recall?

Liberals have been blaming the recall on a right-wing conspiracy, whereas right-wing conspiracy leaders insist it merely tapped into widespread voter anger. Now there's a third theory: clerical error.

According to Inland Valley Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen, some petition signers in Rancho Cucamonga thought they were adding their signatures to an effort to recall members of their city council.

As one Cucamonga campaigner explained, when voters were asked to sign the city council petition, they often said they'd already done so. When records showed they hadn't, they typically replied, "I meant to sign the Rancho Cucamonga recall petition, but I must have signed the California recall."

Oops.

Hasta la vista, readers

Now that the election is over, Recall Madness is being recalled. But before we go into hibernation awaiting the next recall, we feel compelled to point out the incisive, cutting-edge reporting we provided for ultra-discerning readers. For example, in early August, while other journalists were regurgitating the boring election theories of pundits and academics, we consulted with Jackie Stallone's psychic dogs, who correctly predicted that Schwarzenegger would win "by a major margin."

And while the rest of the press was claiming that Cruz Bustamante was ahead in the polls, we reported on the much more reliable Taco Bell poll, which showed Schwarzenegger with a commanding lead.

Finally, when everyone else was focusing on Schwarzenegger's endorsements from key Republicans, we told you about the only endorsement that counts: a supermarket tabloid report that Arnold was backed by space aliens -- the same space aliens who endorsed Bill Clinton in 1992 and George W. Bush in 2000. They've never been wrong! But did the rest of the media tell you about this? Noooo.

Election post-mortem

The fringe candidates didn't get many votes, but they still had a huge influence. For example, Tom McClintock's candidacy forced Schwarzenegger to veer to the right to appeal to conservatives. Likewise, Trek Kelly, the Venice artist who dresses only in blue (and even switched from briefs to boxers because "there's not much blue underwear out there") forced Schwarzenegger to begin wearing a monstrous azure ring to avoid losing the blue vote.

Late-night blotter

"Arnold says that while he's governor he won't make any more movies. And I'm thinking, maybe we can get Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez to run for office." (David Letterman)

"Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch is working on legislation to change the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens to run for president. This is what I love about Republicans. They're 100% against giving immigrants driver's licenses, but it's OK to let them be president." (Jay Leno)

"More allegations about Arnold came out today. Turns out he was at a Democratic fundraiser a few years ago that his wife, Maria, made him go to. And as Arnold reached under the table to touch a woman, he felt Bill Clinton's hand coming from the other side." (Leno)

Senior advisor: Ann Harrison. E-mail roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. To view past columns, visit www.latimes.com /recallmadness.

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