More Camejo

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 9 15:56:22 MDT 2003


Today there was a 1 1/2 hour debate, conducted before members of the
ethnic/minority (majority?) media (sponsored by the Greenlining Institute),
broadcast on several stations including our local Pacifica outlet KPFA.
Showing up were Bustamante, Camejo, and Huffington. The others declined,
including Ueberroth, who as you may have heard is about to withdraw from the
race.

It was somewhat different from the first debate, in which the candidates
talked about themselves and the name "Schwarzenegger" was hardly heard at
all. Here, from the moderator's opening words, AS was being body-slammed
left and right (well, left and center, anyway). However with that
difference, there were some very common themes to the first debate - Camejo
didn't mention Iraq at all, while Huffington got BY FAR the biggest
applause, hoots, and hollers of the day when she called for a pullout and
spending the $87 billion here to solve the problems of California and other
states [I continue to think that if Camejo billed himself as THE antiwar
candidate he'd be polling higher than he is right now]. Camejo said lots of
good things, as did Huffington. Camejo mentioned taxing the rich multiple
times, but he never took on the Republican claim (made during the last
debate many times, but it came up again in this one) about how California
isn't "business-friendly" and is driving businesses from the state. Camejo's
response to that is that no, California is not a high-tax state as the
Republicans are saying. Maybe, but when the Republicans talk about making
California "business-friendly", they REALLY mean we need to make it
"worker-unfriendly" in a myriad of ways. THAT is the response that is needed
to the charge, not a "no, we're really not driving businesses away with high
taxes." Unfortunately Camejo didn't see it that way.

If I wanted to be cynical (I don't, really, Jose, but perhaps I am despite
my better wishes), I'd say that he really appeared to be angling for a job
in the Bustamante administration - that's how many times he had kind things
to say about Bustamante (in contrast to Huffington, who does her best to
slam CB at every opportunity). AFTER the debate, on a call-in show, I
learned that CB is the campaign chairman of the LIEBERMAN campaign in
California, which makes Camejo's comments all the more appalling.

There was a call for public power - it came during the post-debate
commentary, from C.T. Weber  the Peace & Freedom candidate. I mentioned the
other day that Los Angeles has public power - I hadn't realized Sacramento
does as well, and he mentioned one other major city too.

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