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ISSUE 117 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/17/2003

Davis' career finally terminated; Unforgivable mistakes made

By Noah Mehlan
Contributing Writer


Friday, October 17, 2003

On Oct. 7, Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of the state of California after the successful recall of democratic incumbent, Gray Davis.

This election can safely, in this writer’s opinion, be called one of, if not the most, bizarre elections in this great nation’s history. I found myself waffling back and forth on the issue as I watched it unfold on the news in the past few weeks, after hearing what I felt were legitimate arguments both for and against the recall.

I wondered if it were actually necessary to recall the governor, since I am not a resident of California, nor do I consider myself an expert on California politics. I, along with countless other Americans, was amused by the veritable circus of 135 candidates all across the political spectrum that threw their hat into the ring, including, but certainly not limited to, Schwarzenegger, Gallagher, Gary Coleman, Larry Flint, as well as a stripper and a porn star or two, in addition to those more seasoned politicians in the campaign, all vying for Davis’ job.

As conservative author Ann Coulter remarked in her Aug. 20 column, “It is puzzling why anyone would want to assume control of this fiasco. It's like vying to become Roseanne Barr's next husband. Sure you'd get your name in the paper, but look at the mess you'd be getting yourself into.”

As the recall deadline grew closer, the election became a competition between Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Gray Davis, the two leading candidates. Suspicious allegations surfaced by way of the L.A. Times accusing Arnold of numerous acts of sexual misconduct against multiple women, many of whom chose to remain anonymous. Some of the allegations dated all the way back to the 1970s.

At this point I will mention that I am not “politically correct”, and I am proud it. However, inasmuch as it’s completely humiliating and degrading to be the victim of unwanted sexual advances, I can understand some women not wanting to come forward with their stories right away. But 30 years? Give me a break. And right at a convenient time when such “anonymous” accusations could destroy someone’s political ambitions? That’s a little too suspicious. That, my friends, is a ridiculous smear campaign, especially considering that the L.A. Times has been “sitting on” multiple accusations of a hot-headed Gray Davis verbally harassing his female staff.

But that wasn’t what made me start rooting for Arnold in the end. It was the fact that Davis signed a bill granting illegal aliens the right to get driver’s licenses, oddly enough, on the second anniversary of September 11th. Irrespective of any of his other policies, that indiscretion alone. a transparent attempt to curry favor with California’s large Hispanic population, is enough justification for Davis to lose his job.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against immigrants. This is a nation of immigrants. Arnold is an immigrant. My ancestors were immigrants.

Why I adamantly oppose the bill is because giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses would institutionalize, and therefore legitimize their illegal presence in this country. Those of us that exercise our right to vote know that all that is needed to go to the ballot box is an acceptable form of identification. In some circles, the driver’s license is referred to as “the keys to the kingdom”, and not without good cause, as in the case of voting. Also, in this day and age, what is to stop terrorists from using this legislation to get driver’s licenses? Although intended to help respectable Hispanic immigrants, Davis’ bill would just as easily aid the radicals who follow people like Osama bin Laden.

Also of interest in the recent election is the fact that there was a very high voter turnout in California to recall Davis, much larger than the one that reelected him less than a year ago. If there is any conclusion to be drawn from my prolix ranting – you should know who your candidates are and know what they want and what they stand for when you do your civic duty and vote. If Californians had done that in the first place, the recall might not have been necessary.


Contributing Writer Noah Mehlan is a senior from Minneapolis, Minn. He majors in Spanish and Hispanic studies, with a concentration in linguistic studies.


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