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Photograph by Robert Zuckerman

Terminate This: Did these readers travel back in time to save us from a Schwarzenegger victory? No, but they did send in great reasons not to vote for him.

Reason's Greeting

Readers respond with their top reasons not to vote for Arnold

When we published our "50 Reasons Not to Vote For Arnold" issue a few weeks ago, we had no idea it would take on a life of its own among those keeping a close watch on the recall craziness. Here at home, we got literally dozens of responses to our request for a 51st reason not to vote for Schwarzenegger, as well as a greater-than-average number of anonymous calls left on our answering machine in the middle of the night in protest (including one urging us to "go hug a tree, you tree huggers," which, out of a sense of fairness, we did--scratchy!). Meanwhile, readers were apparently sending links to the story far and wide and posting them on their own websites. Suddenly, we were getting responses from as far away as Southern California and then eventually even the East Coast. "Thank the gods I live in Ohio," wrote one web reader who sent in a 51st reason. "Waitaminnit--Ohio's entire state government's run by Republicans and our economy's in the toilet ... Canada here I come!" Folks from all over had a range of responses: Arnie supporters sent us reasons we should vote for their candidate, while Arnie haters requested we put the story into an email format (we can't even program our VCRs, for chrissakes) and made addenda to the 50 reasons we had already published. Wrote one reader about our Reason No. 27: "Schwarzenegger might not remember what his private meeting with Ken Lay of Enron was all about, but others do. Lay was seeking the support of California Republicans for his solution to the California energy crisis: opposing price caps on electricity and federal assistance ... did Arnie use his influence to drum up support for Lay's plan?" Mostly though, we got lots of 51st reasons, often several from the same contributor. Many had more than one we liked, but since we only had room to print the Top 5 reasons, we decided to keep it fair and only consider the best contribution from each reader. So, a big thanks to everyone who contributed, and without further ado or acknowledgment of the inherent math paradoxes of the phrase "Top Five 51st Reasons Not to Vote for Arnold," here are our picks:

5. He smokes cigars. "Cigars are the smelliest, foulest and visually objectionable of the tobacco uses. And the person smoking a cigar must turn himself off from the effects it has on others. It is often smoked to 'enhance' one's image of himself--to hide low self-esteem with an air of bravado." (Kenneth H. Bonnell, Los Angeles)

4. The Kennedy curse. "Does Arnie, by virtue of his marriage to Maria, fall under the spell of the Kennedy family curse? Seriously, I fear for his safety and I don't think the egg throwing should be taken lightly. A vote for him could threaten his life." (Dan Dickmeyer, Santa Cruz)

3. He's still lying about his affair. "In May 2001, the National Enquirer released a story about a longstanding [allegedly seven-year] affair with Gigi Goyette. Schwarzenegger dropped out of the governor's race the next day, but denied the affair, and did not legally challenge the National Enquirer's claims. At the time, a lawyer for Goyette denied the affair, but she recently admitted to the affair with Schwarzenegger to British television's Channel 4, in a documentary called Arnold Schwarzenegger: Made in Britain. The affair with Ms. Goyette started when she was 16. In other words, statutory rape. Despite their reputation, the National Enquirer put five months of investigative reporting into the article, which is very complete and descriptive about the extent of affair. (It can be accessed at www.nationalenquirer.com/stories/feature.cfm?instanceid=11259)." (Mark Kraft, San Jose)

2. He's 'Analogy Arnold.' "He covers his vague 'answers' with ridiculous analogies, somewhat Ross Perot-like. Scary! This is just one of many examples, on the subject of taxation: 'I think it should go the other way. It's like the same thing when someone ... when I'm overweight, what do I do immediately? I stop eating food. I'm not going to go and supply myself with more food. The only way you reduce weight is by stop feeding the food. And we cannot continue feeding the government with money. We have to make them disciplined. Live off the money that they have.' Does he ever really offer anything of substance?" (Steve Yatson, Sunnyvale)

1. He's a mess. "Candidate Schwarzenegger didn't even put a statement in the official sample ballot! Missing a debate because of 'family commitments' is one thing, but what's his excuse for not even bothering to write a short paragraph on why he should be governor? Talk about running on pure celebrity status." (Celia Bosworth, Pacific Grove)

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From the October 1-8, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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