Bustamante Offers Surprise Backing For Huffington's Idea
SACRAMENTO - Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante provided one of the
few surprises during a no-headliner forum Sunday night for
candidates in the Oct. 7 recall election.
At the candidates' forum in Sacramento, sponsored by the
Asian Pacific Islander American Political Association,
Bustamante unexpectedly took the microphone and endorsed a
public financing plan offered by independent candidate
Huffington didn't seem to mind the interruption. She called
Bustamante's endorsement of the initiative she filed
Thursday "wonderful news."
"As you know, I believe in conversions, and I believe in
redemption," said Huffington, a former conservative who
transformed herself into a liberal populist after her
divorce from her husband, former Republican Senate
candidate Michael Huffington.
Bustamante has been widely criticized on the campaign trail
and in court for his use of nearly $4 million he recieved
from Indian tribes and labor unions. The donations have
paid for the bulk of his television ads despite a court
order to return the money.
"I've been talking about publicly financed campaigns for
some time," Bustamante said later. He said the current
system gives the wealthy an unfair advantage.
Dr. Ivy Lee, president of the Sacramento-based
Chinese-American Political Action Committee, called the
forum unique for Asian-Americans in California, and a
"significant symbol that we're no longer going to be
Neither Gov. Gray Davis nor the leading contender to
replace him, Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was on
hand for the event.
The Democratic lieutenant governor found himself far behind
Schwarzenegger on Sunday in a poll of likely voters.
Schwarzenegger was the choice of 40 percent, while
Bustamante had just 25 percent.
Sunday's forum also included presentations on Proposition
54, the measure that would bar the state from collecting
The speeches largely avoided issues specific to
Asian-Americans, who make up 12 percent of the state's
population and about 5 percent of its registesred
Organizers of the event complained that a "glass ceiling"
still keeps many Asians from rising to top positions in
corporations and government. But Democratic Party spokesman
Bob Mulholland noted that Davis has appointed 280
Asian-Americans to government posts, including the state's
first Vietnamese-American judge.
State Sen. Tom McClintock was the only candidate to side
with University of California regent Ward Connerly on
Sunday in supporting Proposition 54. The Republican recall
candidate said opponents of the measure are part of an
"element in the radical left to divide us by race."
"There is no good that comes from the government
classifying its citizens on the basis of their race, the
slant of their eyes, the color of their skin or where their
ancestors came from," Connerly told the crowd.
In other developments Sunday:
The recall election has hit a pop culture milestone:
Doonesbury is weighing in.
On Sunday the controversial cartoon strip drawn by Garry
Trudeau mocked the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger as
governor. The strip, which is often politically charged,
derides the Republican actor as "an inexperienced
ego-monkey," and urges a move to recall "Governor-Apparent
It ends with a miniature petition form urging
Schwarzenegger's recall "should he be elected
Trying to parse all the twists, turns and possible outcomes
of the recall race drove the San Jose Mercury News to
extraordinary measures Sunday.
The paper mixed it all into a cartoon-poem that required
several open apologies to Dr. Seuss. "Recall? Insane. Oh,
an end to this pain!" the headline reads. But as the poem
suggests, we're not done with this yet.
And who's that popping out of a stuffed ballot box? Our old
friend, "Chad I Am."
See the article on Vallejo Times-Herald website