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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LABJ FORUM – Terminator Politics

LABJ FORUM – Terminator Politics

The movement to recall Gov. Gray Davis is gaining momentum. If the effort does garner enough support to go to the voters, anyone with 65 nominating petitions from members of their party and a $3,500 filing fee can end up on the ballot. All of which has led to plenty of jockeying and speculation as to who has the inside track. The latest talk has focused on Arnold Schwarzenegger throwing his hat in the ring. So the Business Journal asks:

How do you feel about the prospect of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Ronni Ephraim


District D, West L.A.

Los Angeles Unified School District

I don’t know where he stands on other issues besides after-school programs. The work he’s doing to provide students in the community with safe and motivational after-school programs is something I commend. If he ran right now, I don’t know if I’d vote for him. I’d have to look at where he stands on issues of budget, curriculum and health care. I’d want to know about how he feels about funding for health and human services, on preschool and early childhood and textbooks.

Doug Gellerman

Vice President, West Coast Sales

Regal Cinemedia

I know he came from very little and he created an immense franchise. I think he is a wise man to achieve what he has. If he is the best man for the job, he should get it. I want a governor who will watch my back, like the Terminator.

Mary Melton

Executive Editor

Los Angeles Magazine

People didn’t take Ronald Reagan seriously at first when he decided to run for office. Despite the supposed liberal bias in Hollywood, the people in show business who commit themselves to running for office tend to be Republicans, like Fred Thompson, Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy and Clint Eastwood. The only prominent Democrat I know of who came out of acting was Helen Douglas Mankin, and that was more than 50 years ago. He’s used to talking in sound bytes, and would make for a fun poster campaign. But I’m not looking forward to all the “I’ll be back’s.”

Ed Casey

Managing Partner

Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP

It will liven up an otherwise dreadfully boring debate. I think it’s great because it will hopefully inject a different view on the issues than what we normally receive from career politicians. Given his successes in both the business and entertainment world, hopefully it will translate into solving our many state problems.

John Robinett

Senior Vice President

Economics Research Associates

We’ve had people from showbiz who have been successful in that role before. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger certainly has the persona of a conservative leader, both from his movie career and his other activities. If Jesse Ventura can make it, then Arnold is a shoe-in. The Republicans have had trouble in California for years and if he got involved it might turn things around. The last election was a lot closer than many people thought. In an arm wrestling match between Gray Davis and Arnold, I don’t know who would win. It’s big bucks versus big muscles.

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