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Friday, May 27, 2005

Potemkin potholes and product placement: Herr Gropenfuhrer strikes again. At his own foot.

Ah-nold fockin' Schwarzenegger is looking more and more like a less-than-one-term governor. Here's what the polls are saying:

PPI of California poll

  • Do you think California is headed in the: right direction 35%, wrong direction 57%.
  • Overall do you approve or disapprove of the job Schwarzenegger is doing as governor: approve 40%, disapprove 49%.
  • Do you approve or disapprove of the job Schwarzenegger is doing in regards to the CA State budget: approve 37%, disapprove 51%.
  • Do you approve or disapprove of the way Schwarzenegger is handling K-12 education: approve 29%, disapprove 53%.

And now we have two interesting little scandals-in-the-making to call Ah-nold on.

First scandal: product placement in the pro-Special Election campaign ads.

According to the public interest group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, the ads that are blanketing California airwaves and shilling for the Special Election are subtle payoffs to big time Schwarzenegger donors. To wit:

The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for 1/3 of the ad. Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are Ruffles, Sun Chips, Cheetos and a SoBe Beverage, all brands owned by Pepsi.

Dammit, I like SoBe diet Green Tea! Too bad I'm going to be giving it a miss for a while. Same with Arrowhead Water, NesQuik, Diet Pepsi, Pizza Hut, etc. etc. However, the thought of Ah-nold and this new twist on "pay to play" would probably make me hurl if I tried to consume any of the crap being subliminally pushed in this ad.

Second scandal: the Potemkin Pothole.

Yesterday, the Schwarzenegger juggernaut rolled into San Jose with a photo opportunity. Not unlike Mussolini showing off how he made the trains run on time, Schwarzenegger posed with a San Jose city patch crew as they filled in a nice big pothole. Here's the well-crafted photo opportunity...I'd post the pic but it's too big for my layout. The only problem was, that pothole was dug a few hours earlier by the same patch crew.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, three witnesses saw the hole being ripped in the roadway in preparation for the photo op.

"They just dug it out....There was a crack. But they dug out the whole road this morning."

Never mind there were real potholes down the road a few blocks away, which perhaps weren't in an environment deemed flattering enough to Ah-nold for his closeup.

According to the latter article, the whole dog-and-pony show was done on the City of San Jose's and the State of California's dime, in spite of vigorous protestations by Schwarzenegger "people" that the staging of the event was paid for by "Arnold's California Recovery Team" aka the California GOP. Then again, so is the entire fsckn' SPECIAL ELECTION. To the tune of $70 Million projected cost.

Repeat after me. Borrow-and-binge Republicans. Borrow-and-binge Republicans. Borrow-and-binge Republicans...