Wed, 20 May 2009 16:37:32 +0000 – By Mark JosephProducer/Author/Editor, Bullypulpit.com
"Are John and Ken running the state or is the governor running the state? Who is running the state here?"
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may regret the day he uttered those words to a Los Angeles Times reporter several months back, referring to talk radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who are largely responsible for yesterday's defeat of several ballot measures put forward by Schwarzenegger which were supposed to close a severe budget shortfall.
The two talk show hosts helped elect Schwarzenegger by working to recall his predecessor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger, who took office after mocking his Democratic opponent as a tax-raiser, is now seen a traitor to their cause and yesterday's defeat leaves the governor and the legislature with no alternative but to severely slash state spending.
It remains to be seen whether this is 1978 all over again -- a watershed moment in California politics when taxpayer advocate Howard Jarvis led the fight to pass another referendum -- the now famous Proposition 13 -- which rolled back property taxes by 57% and is widely credited with paving the way for Ronald Reagan's across-the-board income tax cuts three years later.
California voters, frustrated at the pace of spending in their state and fed up with tax increases, did the only thing they knew how to do: they followed the real Governors of California, John Ken by throwing sand into the gears of the state in the hope that it will grind to a halt, forcing politicians from both parties to rethink the way the state has been governed.
Although they weren't on the ballot yesterday, John Ken are now the defacto Governors of the State of California, and as such the attention now shifts from the halls of Sacramento, the state Capitol, to the talk radio host's Burbank studio as California awaits their plan to fix a broken, bankrupt and some say ungovernable state.