Those other candidates
|Josh Richman in the Oakland Tribune yesterday took a look at the six unknown Democrats who hope face off against Schwarzenegger this fall.|
No, Warren Beatty did not have a last-minute change of heart. Yet six other Democrats have filed for June's gubernatorial primary, including four in the Bay Area. They are two physicians, a teacher, an attorney, a community activist and an engineer, and they believe basic Democratic values have gotten lost in California's political mix.
"We weren't hearing anything from the main two candidates, and that was the main problem — that's why I decided to be a place on the ballot where Democrats could vote their true beliefs," said candidate Michael Strimling, 53, a Piedmont attorney whose Web site exhorts Democrats to vote their values.
"Are you tired of Democrats who won't take firm progressive positions?" it asks. "You oppose the war and wiretaps. You are sickened by the governor putting debt on our kids, as he cuts education and health care. You wince as corporations get huge tax breaks. You worry about the cost of the explosive growth of prisons and the fairness of capital punishment."
Strimling said he wants to provide "a strong anti-war stand, against wiretapping. ... None of the major candidates is saying anything about that. All they're doing is pumping money into television advertising."
Schwarzenegger has some challengers, as well, Richman reports.
THOUGH NOT as crowded as the Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot, the Republican ballot has three challengers keeping Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger company.
Huntington Beach home builder Jeffrey Burns, 51, said he is running because "government has to be redefined" in terms of public workers' pensions, social benefits and immigration.
There will not be enough young workers to support retirees in coming decades, he said, so the state and nation need a solid guest-worker policy rather than the hypocrisy with which illegal immigrants are treated now.
"We've built this nation on immigrants ... and we've got to take a serious look about getting more in here because our kids are not going to be able to handle what the baby-boom generation is demanding," he said.
William Chambers, 50, a railroad switchman/brakeman from Auburn, recently told the Red Bluff Daily News he believes Schwarzenegger tried to rely on his celebrity to get things done but has not listened to ordinary Californians.
He blasted the governor's infrastructure bond proposal.
"People have to realize that if they want anything within the state ... they, the taxpayers, have to pay for it."
Robert Newman II of Redlands is a psychologist and a born-again Christian whose Web site — still active since his 2003 recall election run — asks voters to "prayerfully cast your vote."