Arnold on the rise!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Maverick74, May 22, 2004.

  1. Maverick74


    Well Waggie, it looks like you sold Arnold short. Time to cover.

    Moody's Upgrades California, Citing Recovery

    Fri May 21, 6:56 PM ET Add U.S. National - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    By Jim Christie

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A leading Wall Street ratings agency on Friday raised California's credit rating, citing an improving economy, the first such upgrade in four years and a move that promised to bring down the state's borrowing costs on $44 billion in debt.

    Analysts saw the unexpected credit upgrade by Moody's Investors Service as an endorsement of the steps Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) has taken to bring California back from the brink of a fiscal crisis that drove its credit ratings near junk levels and had threatened to effectively shut the state out of the bond market for new borrowing.

    Citing an "established trend of recovery," Moody's raised California's rating to A3 from Baa1, reversing a downgrade it made in December out of concern over continued political deadlock and a move by Schwarzenegger to cut car license fees.

    Moody's rivals Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings said they want to see the budget that California lawmakers pass for the fiscal year starting in July before weighing ratings changes of their own.

    Schwarzenegger, who has proposed a budget plan that would close a $14 billion budget gap without raising taxes, applauded Moody's: "Their financial analysts have had a chance to carefully review our revised budget and our economic outlook, and they've concluded that it warrants an improvement in California's standing in the nation's financial markets."

    Moody's upgrade affects about $35 billion of outstanding general obligation bonds and nearly $9 billion of lease revenue bonds and enhanced tobacco bonds backed by the state's general fund. The upgrade was Moody's first since September 2000 for California's general obligation debt.

    Employment in California's private sector and personal income in the state have resumed a "moderate pace of growth," and tax collections signal an economic recovery, Moody's said.

    California's credit rating may be in line for additional upgrades, said Evan Rourke, a municipal strategist at Popular Securities in New York. "I would expect that barring some kind of disaster or extraordinary event, you're likely to see further improvement. It's a reflection of the improved economy and credit conditions," Rourke said.


    "Nothing has really changed," said S&P analyst Steven Zimmermann, whose firm rates the state's general obligation debt BBB with a positive outlook. "We'll continue with that and we'll look to see what the budget is like."

    Fitch Ratings analyst Richard Raphael said his firm, which rates California's general obligation debt BBB, with a negative outlook, also is waiting to examine the budget. "We've basically said that budgetary decisions will be the primary rating factor in the future," Raphael said.

    Ratings agencies in recent years slashed California's credit rating to near-junk status because it failed to pass balanced budgets on time. It has the lowest rating of any state.

    Schwarzenegger's new plan reflected an ongoing gain of more than $1 billion from stronger tax receipts than forecast in January and strong personal income growth.

    Despite its upbeat assessment of California's economy, Moody's said its new rating for the state's debt remained "well below" an average rating of Aa2 for all states, due to California's "ongoing fiscal challenges."

    California's legislative analyst has warned that provisions in the revised budget plan would cause shortfalls to return, with annual deficits above $6.5 billion well into the future.

    California Treasurer Phil Angelides said Moody's upgrade was "welcome news, as it might help lower the state's future borrowing costs." However, Angelides, a Democrat, who has called for Republican Schwarzenegger to propose tax increases, said the state must address its structural budget deficit.

    "Moody's itself said as much," Angelides said.
  2. Maverick74


    Waggie, you've got nothing good to say about Arnold eh? It looks like he is cleaning up Gray Davis's mess quite nicely.
    Want to Own a Tiny Piece of the Governor?
    Schwarzenegger's used cough drop, fished out of trash, is briefly offered on EBay as his DNA. It may go back on sale.
    By Robert Salladay
    Times Staff Writer

    May 22, 2004

    SACRAMENTO — The online auction house EBay briefly listed a sale item Friday that — depending on the future of cloning — could spawn thousands of little action heroes-turned-governors.

    A cough drop that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly was sucking at a recent police memorial was retrieved out of a garbage can and offered for sale for a starting bid of $500 under the heading "Schwarzenegger's DNA."

    "Own a piece of DNA from the man himself," the listing read.

    That violates EBay's rules against selling body parts, the auction company said, so the listing was removed until the anonymous seller could reclassify it as a "collectible." Other than that, they said, the used cough drop can be sold.

    "There is a policy against human body parts or remains," said EBay spokesman Hani Durzi. "So you cannot market something as someone's DNA. This could be considered by someone as a collectible, but it has to be sold that way."

    The item listed the cough drop as a "mint," but the governor's office says Schwarzenegger routinely sucks on throat lozenges and not breath mints. The listing included two photos of a yellowing, half-sucked cough drop set against a black backdrop, and a sales pitch with a few grammatical and spelling errors:

    "Like many people who collect items from international stars this is a must have. I've heard of people going through trash cans of the stars trying to find items such as this, but who's to say it came from the star itself. Witnessing this was amazing and this is why I'm offering this to the fans and collectors of memorabilia to the stars and no one is bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger!!!"

    The EBay listing showed photographs of Schwarzenegger attending a May 7 event in Sacramento honoring slain police officers, where the seller said the "mint" was retrieved.

    The seller, listed under the name "AMF814," was anonymous and indicated that he or she lived in Clovis, a Central Valley town near Fresno. An e-mail requesting comment was not returned. Durzi said EBay was trying to contact the seller.

    The governor's office said selling a used cough drop was close to the weirdest thing they'd seen in a long time, but they took it with a chuckle.

    "I can't believe you and I are going to have this conversation," communications director Rob Stutzman said when asked for comment, before bursting out laughing and deciding to leave it at that.

    If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at

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    Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

    They're Unlikely Pals in a Town Full of Pols
    The governor and John Burton, leader of the Senate, have forged a friendship -- even as they seek separate goals.
    By Peter Nicholas
    Times Staff Writer

    May 21, 2004

    SACRAMENTO — Driving back to his hotel in Tel Aviv after an exhausting day in Israel earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided he needed to make one more call.

    "I really miss you," he said as he got on his cell phone. "I can't wait to see you again."

    "You got the wrong number," came the gruff reply from 7,000 miles away. "I think you're calling for Maria."

    It was no wrong number. Schwarzenegger was calling the profane and prickly leader of the state Senate, Democrat John Burton.

    In a capital where festering grudges can sabotage policy, Schwarzenegger recognized early on that he couldn't afford a feud with the man controlling the Senate majority.

    Budget deals, workers' compensation overhauls, government reorganization — the guts of Schwarzenegger's agenda — flow through Burton. And no single lawmaker in Sacramento is more central to the governor's defining priority this summer: a state budget approved on time with no new taxes.

    Schwarzenegger has prepared mightily for the moment, courting the 71-year-old Burton with a zeal that evokes a school-boy crush. Flowers for his birthday. Gifts back and forth. Conversations in Burton's halting German. Late night runs for Wiener schnitzel.

    It's now at a point where the governor's office purposely blocks out time in Schwarzenegger's day for Republicans so there are no cries of favoritism.

    "You don't have Burton down five times in three days without also having the Republicans come down," said an aide to Schwarzenegger, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The friendship now faces a key test.

    Schwarzenegger last week released a $102.8-billion budget, and he will need Burton's cooperation to get it approved.

    The governor said his spending plan might be painful in places, but it's necessary. Burton is unconvinced. Cuts to welfare programs are "unworthy of the state of California and unworthy of a governor that does have great compassion," Burton said after the governor made public his budget. "My mother didn't bring me into the world to pick on poor people to fix a problem they did not create."

    But Burton has reasons to deal as well. With Gray Davis gone, he is the most influential Democrat in Sacramento. And he is in a strong position to barter for Schwarzenegger's help in protecting social programs and preserving legislation he pushed through the Legislature last year that will require many businesses to provide health insurance to their workers.

    The law faces a ballot fight this fall as business groups seek to have it repealed, and Schwarzenegger's position could determine the outcome.

    But so far, the governor is keeping his views on the referendum to himself. "It would be a big mistake to get into that at this point," he said.

    "They have something very much in common. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to get things done and John Burton wants to leave the building with a legacy," said Bill Whalen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and speechwriter for former Gov. Pete Wilson.

    They knew little about each other when the governor took office. A pair of mutual friends helped make introductions: actors Tom Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis, both veterans of Schwarzenegger movies.

    "When I met him, he laid out very clearly how he operates: that he sometimes screams and I shouldn't take it personally," Schwarzenegger said. "That's just his personality. And obviously, in the beginning there was a relationship that still had to be shaped and formed."

    Others are more skeptical of Burton's motives, saying California's career politicians are typically cozy with celebrities, a group that includes the governor's wife, a celebrity in her own right.

    "There are a lot of people on our side of the aisle that … love to stand up with Arnold and bask in the glory and show up with Maria Shriver," said Garry South, political consultant to former Gov. Davis, who had notoriously sour relations with Burton.

    Davis "didn't offer that kind of celebrity," South said.

    There were no guarantees Schwarzenegger and Burton would hit it off. Schwarzenegger ran as an outsider. Burton is the ultimate insider, having been in and out of the Legislature since the 1960s. Schwarzenegger is a camera-ready creature of Hollywood. Burton is a product of San Francisco — in need of a tape-delay to bleep out gales of profanity.

    The night in August when Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on "The Tonight Show," Tom Arnold had Burton on one phone line, Schwarzenegger on the other. He went back and forth, delivering messages between the two.

    "John said it's going to be a disaster," Arnold recalled. "And Arnold said it's going to be the best thing ever."

    "I feel like a matchmaker," Arnold continued. "To me, they're kind of the same guy: Rough on the exterior and soft on the inside."

    It helped that Burton took a liking to the governor's chief of staff, Patricia Clarey.

    At an early meeting to talk about the budget, Burton got up and walked out. Shades of the past. Clarey scurried after him, hoping to flag him down before feelings hardened. They went upstairs to Burton's office for coffee, working out a cover story so the press wouldn't conclude that things had blown up: the participants had divided into "working groups."

    "We've pretty much done a couple of 'working groups' since then," Clarey said with a chuckle.

    Now when Burton walks by Clarey's office, he tosses gifts onto her desk.

    Shriver also played a part. Burton campaigned for her father, Sargent Shriver, the vice presidential nominee in the 1972 election. The first lady has gone on outings with Burton together with her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. (Burton was made to promise he wouldn't swear in Eunice's presence.)

    "The Burton family and Kennedy family go back a long time. So we've hit it off," said Burton, whose late brother, Phil, served in Congress for 19 years.

    That Burton is schmoozing so much with Schwarzenegger worries some Republicans.

    Burton has eclipsed the three other legislative leaders from both parties, assuming the dominant role in talks with the governor.

    In elevating Burton, Schwarzenegger left a diminished role for Sen. Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga), who said in an interview that he is unruffled by the friendship. It is only natural that Burton and the governor would find each other, Brulte said.

    "If you're the governor, you want to negotiate with the leader of the other party," he said. "With all due respect to [Assembly] Speaker Fabian Nuñez, Sen. Burton is the leader of the Democratic Party in Sacramento. Sen. Burton has a decades-long record of delivering votes, many of them tough."

    At both ends of the spectrum, people are watching the courtship with a view toward who has the upper hand. Each side believes it is prevailing. With Schwarzenegger showing a pragmatic bent — constantly re-evaluating his position in search of a compromise — there is evidence both ways.

    "My view is that Schwarzenegger is seducing Burton and not vice versa," said Steve Moore, president of the Washington think tank Club for Growth and also a member of a group that reviewed findings of the governor's audit of state finances. "I think he's gotten as much out of Burton as one could possibly hope — and even exceeded expectations on the budget and workers' comp."

    Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) sees it differently.

    "The fact that John has a good working relationship with the governor is of great advantage to us. He likes this governor as much as he disliked the last governor."

    That much was on display in recent workers' comp negotiations, said Burton. Amid all the arcane talk, they got absorbed in a playful back-and-forth about which of the two is history's greater figure. Burton remembered it as two guys who enjoy messing with each other. And that's part of the reason the two keep at it.

    The senator told the governor, "You're a great man, you know that?"

    Schwarzenegger: "No, you're a great man."

    Burton: "No, you're a great man."

    If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at

    Article licensing and reprint options

    Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
  5. If I recall correctly, just before Enron collapsed Moody's had an Aa rating on E's bonds.
    Financing debt with debt does not solve the problem.
    Don't start hanging any "Mission Accomplished" banners up yet.
  6. Maverick74

    Maverick74 News

    Two polls give Schwarzenegger high marks

    SACRAMENTO, May 27 (UPI) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has solid backing from California voters who say in two new polls that his performance is better than expected.

    After six months in office, Schwarzenegger is winning praise across party lines and up and down the state, the San Francisco Chronicle says. His 65 percent approval rating in a Field Poll released Thursday is among the highest for any governor over the past 45 years.

    Meanwhile, a Public Policy Institute of California poll also released Thursday shows similar rising approval ratings for the movie hero turned politician, with 65 percent of all California adults surveyed and 69 percent of likely voters saying they support the way he is doing his job.

    The Field Poll, which conducted the survey of 745 registered voters statewide May 18-24, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The policy institute survey interviewed 2,001 California adults May 13-18 and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
  7. Mav,

    This is great stuff. Arnold reminds me of another movie actor who became governor of California and whose opponents also had a habit of badly underestimating him.

    The downside is that the media and the professional politicians will try their best to destroy him. They can't afford for him to succeed.
  8. As "Convertibility" points out oh so well, don't start hanging any Mission Accomplished banners yet. Replacing debt with debt doesn't really solve much . . . it just gives the State more time to hopefully realize tax revenues. Besides, last time I checked the Governor killed the hopes and dreams of 7600 high school students that would have gotten into UC's in the Fall, so that he could cut another $400 million from the UC budget, which just so happens to be the fourth consecutive year of cuts.

    Be that as it may, I posted the following thread back on April 17th giving Ahnold kudo's for his compromise bill on California's worker's compensation program. I don't see how you could have missed that.

    But why do you even give a flying phuck about California anyway Mav? For you, it's all about polls and Republicans vs Democrats, conservatives vs liberals, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Thus, your support of Schwarzenegger and California is rather bogus . . . incsincere if you will. And speaking of support, have you noticed how "distant" Arnald is when it comes to cozying up to Dumya?

    How come you don't bring that up, eh?
  9. Maverick74


    Waggie of course Arnold is making budget cuts! LOL. How else are you suppose to pay down debt. I can't believe you just said that. I wish Bush was cutting the budget more. Yeah 7600 students won't be going to UC schools this fall. Give me a moment here to shed a tear. I guess they haven't heard of something called academic scholarships? Oh wait, that would actually hold them responsible for their own grades, we can't do that in liberal CA.

    Besides 7600 students lose some funding to save the state from bankruptcy. Yeah, I would say that is a fair trade off. How else would you save your state Waggie, by increasing spending? LOL. Ahh yeah, Waggie, the true conservative.

    As far as Arnold and Bush goes, I think they get along quite well. You know, it's not customary for the President to spend a lot of time with Governors. Trust me though, you'll see Arnold make some appearances on the campaign trail this fall don't you worry.

    Waggie, you are quite an interesting character. If you can find a way to balance a budget without making deep cuts in spending, let me know OK? In the meantime Waggie, those 7600 students, why not invite them over and show them how to trade. There are many great self educated men and women success stories in this country. What do you say Waggie? Ready to give some of those students a helping hand?
  10. Not that it has anything to do with this post....but here is a short Arnold story....

    When I was in High School, I used to babysit for Arnold's publicist and one day I got a phone call and this deep foreign voice on the phone said, 'Hello, is Charlotte there' and at first I thought it was her father but then when I said no he said, 'Will you tell her Arnold called'.

    And that's my story. Just thought I'd share...
    #10     May 27, 2004