Get Outta Town August 13

(August 13) Every now and then, the scope of the Get Out of Town segment must be expanded so that I can rant and rave about non-Sioux Falls topics. This is one of those weeks.
But what should I call these sorts of essays? Get Out of Town just doesn’t work if it’s not in Hudsonland. Usually, when I bitch about out-of-jurisdiction topics I can justify things by saying they somehow affect some people in Hudsonland…but today is not one of them. So what works – Get Out of Here? Go Away? Please Kick Me in the Ass?
I’d rather not babble about today’s topic, but I feel that I must. A grave injustice is turning into a crazy circus that would have seemed impossible just months, if not years ago. An entire state is starting to look ridiculous, and will probably look worse in days and weeks to come.
Yes, I’m saying goodbye to California. It pains me to do this, it really does. It may be trendy to say one loves New York, but it’s California that has always had a place in my heart. I’ve been out there a few times in my life, and have always had a great time. California is the place where I first spoke to a hooker…no, I didn’t indulge. It’s the first place I saw full nude strippers. But these are other stories for another time.
On a more “chamber of commerce” vibe, California has Disneyland and Knots Berry Farm for the kids. When you get older you get art, music, film. You’ve got warm beaches just a few miles from snowpacked ski resorts. And at any age you have hot babes running around with very little clothing…and any place that offers lots of toned skin is alright in my book.
But there always has been a bit of a darkside to the state. My god, it’s also the state that has produced the Grateful Dead, Charles Manson, the Beach Boys, Altamont, and hippies.
Why am I bitching about this fine state? Well, if you don’t know then you haven’t been following the news. California has become a mockery of this nation, even more so than Florida, by this recall election engineered by a multi-millionaire with nothing better to do.
Before we begin with the details, let’s remove any affiliation with political parties. Both sides of the fence have their share of ignorance, and despite what many people may think I would be against this no matter who was in office. I know very little of current Governor Gray Davis except for what I’ve read regarding this recall.
This saga started earlier this year when the state found itself with an almost 40 billion dollar deficit. Is this the fault of the current Governor? Partly…but let’s take a look at what has gone down in the state over the past couple of years. First we had the tech stock meltdown, causing plenty of bankruptcies and a shattering increase in unemployment. Then we had those bastards in Enron manipulating the energy markets, costing the state anywhere from twenty to forty billion bucks.
And if that wasn’t enough, California has been one of the states that has been referendum-crazy, passing scores of bills and bond issues that costs the state tens of billions of dollars every year. It’s been estimated that Davis only has approximately 10% of the state’s budget to work with every year.
If these details weren’t bad enough for even a great governor, one must also keep in mind that the state has on its payroll a non-partisan financial analyst whose job is to predict the financial health of the state. According to various reports, as late as last fall this person was predicting that the state’s budget would be very close to balanced.
So everything that could go wrong went wrong, and Davis certainly has to take his share of the blame. But that wasn’t good enough for some people who saw an opportunity to eliminate someone not of their ilk. Instead of waiting for the next election to change the guard, this person started a one-man crusade, utilizing an obscenely easy law that only mandates that 12% of the people of the state need to sign a petition to stage a recall.
If you think this is fair, hear me out for a second. Is there any politician anywhere in this country that has a 88% approval rate? Does Bush, Janklow, Daschle, Johnson, Munson, Kant, Staggers enjoy such popularity? Hell no.
And if that California law isn’t silly enough, the rules for a recall were seemingly written by a five year old. One only needs a few dozen signatures plus $3500 to find themselves on the recall ballot. Which brings me to the candidates.
The most famous, and supposedly the most popular, is one of the worst actors with the worst accents in movie history. Yes, Arnold Schwartznegger. The admitted dope-smoking, steroid-taking over-the-hill action hero went on Jay Leno’s ass-kissing talk show to announce his candidacy. Did he talk about any issues? Hell no. He just reprised a few of his clich├ęd movie lines to incite bogus applause…a tactic he’s used in every interview since his entry into the race. Please, please, please. Anyone but Arnold.
Not that the other candidates are any better. Besides an admitted witch, a dog, and a housewife, there are strippers, porn stars, a cheap cigarette chain store owner, former Saturday Night Live writer/actor Don “Father Guido Sarducci” Novello, Hustler Magazine’s Larry Flynt, and Bill Maher’s buddy Arianna Huffington. Oh yeah, and Gary Coleman.
Personally, I’d choose porn star Mary Carey. I found an interview with the star of such acclaimed movies as Cheerleader Pink, Thumpin’ Melons, Decadent Divas 17, and Double Airbags 11. She’s got a lot of great ideas, including taxing breast implants. “From Beverly Hills alone, we should bring in millions in tax revenue”, she says. She also wants to make lap dances a tax deductible business expense to help stimulate the economy. She also wants to wire the Governor’s Mansion with live webcams for subscribers, hire porn stars to help negotiate better electricity prices, and start a “Porno for Pistols” program, where gun owners can swap their weapons for X-rated films. “If guys had more orgasms, they’d be less violent,” she claims. And her solution for global warming? “Wear less clothes.”
Ok, she wouldn’t be the best Governor in the world. But would she be much worse than Ahh-nold?
Finally, here’s what really pisses me off about this whole process. When people go in to vote on this issue, they will first see a page that asks if you want to recall Davis. Regardless of their decision, they then get to choose who they would want to replace him. There are almost 200 people on these pages. Thus, it is possible for Davis to get the support of 49.9% of the voters, yet lose to a person who gets less than 10% of the vote. Seriously, is that fair?
So, California, have your silly little election. But don’t come running to the rest of the country when your new, untested Governor does an even worse job than your predecessor. Maybe you can have another election and pick someone even better. How about choosing between Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Drew Barrymore, and this year’s Penthouse Pet of the Year?

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