Ballot Measures a Final Test for Schwarzenegger

Outgoing gov must convince Calif. voters to endorse budget fixes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 12:29 PM CDT
In this March 20, 2009 file photo, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears at a news conference outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Deep into Arnold Schwarzenegger's second term, the novelty of holding political office has given way to the hard realities of governing, the New York Times reports. In the eyes of his constituents, too, the Governator’s celebrity sheen has faded, enough that Schwarzenegger is worried about the passage of several ballot initiatives he has proposed to fill critical gaps in California’s budget.

"You know how strong ideology is here, and that kind of thing really surprised me and was also disappointing," Schwarzenegger said in an interview. He tried and failed early on to use ballot initiatives to pass proposals to restrict teachers’ tenure and cap state spending. This time, he is employing more political savvy—using teachers and firemen as spokespeople for the budget reforms. Whatever the outcome, his experience has slaked his political ambitions: He has no plans to run for US Senate.