September 20, 2005

Schwarzenegger vows victory in Calif. Nov election

By Jim Christie

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger said on Tuesday he is ready to open his wallet
and will raise as much money as needed in his campaign for four
ballot measures in a special election he insists are needed to
overhaul the state government.

Speaking to reporters in the tent on the state Capitol
grounds where he smokes cigars, Schwarzenegger said he could
only think of victory in November despite polls showing he
faces an uphill struggle to rally voters to three of the four

"We are going to turn it around," said Schwarzenegger with
cigar in hand.

The celebrity Republican governor, who will seek reelection
next year, is squaring off over the measures with the state's
powerful teachers' union and other public employee unions.

One of the measures would make it more difficult for public
school teachers to obtain tenure. Another measure would limit
how public employee unions may raise money from members for
political purposes.

A third measure would strip lawmakers of the ability to
draw legislative district lines and would give the job to
retired judges. The fourth measure would limit state spending.

Each measure in seen by analysts as a threat to Democrats
who control the state legislature. The state Democratic Party
and labor activists have vowed to defeat the measures.

Schwarzenegger, swept into office in a controversial recall
election of then Gov. Gray Davis, says the measures would
combat "special interests" who lobby the state to spend more
than it takes in.

"I never think when I go into a campaign that we are going
to lose," the former bodybuilding champion and Hollywood icon
said. "I only think about victory."

"I will do whatever it takes," Schwarzenegger added, noting
he is committed to putting his personal money into the campaign
but declining to say how much.

In a wide-ranging interview in the wake of flooding in New
Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Schwarzenegger said
California must tap money from its coffers and the federal
government to better maintain its levee systems to prevent
breaks that could cause flooding to its farming areas.

Additionally, Schwarzenegger, who is meeting with Mexican
officials this week, said declaring a state of emergency along
California's border with Mexico is unnecessary.

The Democratic governors of Arizona and New Mexico have
declared states of emergency along their states' borders with
Mexico and some Republican lawmakers in California are urging
Schwarzenegger take the same step to clamp down on illegal

Better that the federal government take on illegal
immigration by boosting the ranks of the U.S. Border Patrol and
by considering a guest worker program, Schwarzenegger said.

"We have jobs available here .... so let's get our act
together and deal with it," Schwarzenegger said.