Thursday, November 4, 2004
REMEMBER FLORIDA… Squid hopes that by the time Squid’s readers are enjoying their weekly helping of Squid Fry, Senator John Kerry has been elected president of the United States, and George W. Bush is packing his bags for an extended vacation in Crawford, Texas. But being a cynical cephalopod by nature, Squid doubts that Squid will wake up on Nov. 3—or even on Nov. 4, for that matter—and know which presidential candidate won the race. Nope, Squid’s pretty sure this one’s gonna be decided by lawyers, in the courts. Squid’s fully expecting the results to be contested well into November, which will make for a very, er, exciting Thanksgiving Dinner, amongst Squid’s bipartisan family. Meanwhile, there’s nothing for Squid to do but sit back, watch CNN and wait. And pour another margarita.
TOO LATE FOR TUESDAY, BUT… A new report card by the California League of Conservation Voters shows a decline in the environmental voting record of the state Legislature. Eeek! According to the 2004 California Environmental Scorecard, Assembly Republicans vote against the environment 94 percent of the time, and Senate Republicans vote against the environment 98.5 percent of the time.
Now while Squid’s not sure how the presidential race will pan out—Nov. 2 is past Squid’s deadline—Squid’s not even going to try to predict who will win the state Senate contest between Democratic San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Peg Pinard and Republican Assemblyman Abel Maldonado. However, Squid’s quite positive that both of Monterey County’s sitting Assemblymen, Simón Salinas and John Laird, will win landslide reelections. So Squid decided to check out their CLCV scorecards for kicks.
Laird received a “perfect 100,” voting for the environment 100 percent of the time. Salinas earned a C+, with 78 percent. And Maldonado flunked. He earned 50 percent. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger scored 58 percent, signing numerous environmental bills—but just over half of the tough, contested measures that reached his desk. One key environmental bill, AB 2042, was vetoed by the Governator; it would have set a clean air goal for diesel-laden Los Angeles ports when they expand.
“In his campaign, Governor Schwarzenegger promised dramatic change through ‘action, action, action’ and he pledged to fight for the environment,” says Susan Smartt, executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters. We need a champion who will say ‘enough is enough.’”
Or “Hasta La Vista,” polluters. Or “I’m going to terminate attacks against the environment.” Or…gawd, it’s so fun having an action hero governor. The sound bites never end.
But even Schwarzenegger and Maldonado look like dirt-lovin’ tree huggers, compared to the two Republican state Senators who represent Monterey County. Outgoing Senator Bruce McPherson got a measly 6 percent. And Senator Jeff Denham falls into the “absolute zero” category, voting for the environment 0 percent of the time. Squid’s biting Squid’s tongue not to throw in a way-too-easy, Jeff Denham—Absolute-Zero joke here…