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Prop 49: The 2002 Schwarzenegger After-School Initiative

In 2002, before the possibility of election via recall was under consideration, Arnold Schwarzenegger was considering a run for California governor. His advisors suggested he put an initiative on the ballot to introduce him as a political figure to California voters. The result was Prop 49, which earmarks by formula funding for after-school activities. (A good history of this episode can be found in Joe Mathews' book "The People's Machine, 2006.) Prop 49 was endorsed in 2002 by the California Teachers Assn. But when he was elected governor in the 2003 recall, Schwarzenegger did not keep a deal with CTA to fund education fully in the 2004-05 budget. As a result, CTA opposed Schwarzenegger during his 2005 "Year of Reform" campaign for 4 ballot initiatives, two of which were aimed at CTA. The teacher who appeared in the 2002 pro-Prop 49 ad seen in this clip thus appeared in an anti-Schwarzenegger ad in 2005. That ad is also shown. The sheriff of Orange County endorsed Prop 49 in the prop-49 ad. But as a portion of this clip shows, he was subsequently indicted for corruption and then resigned. Later he was convicted of witness tampering although acquitted of other charges. (Jury members indicated they thought the statute of limitation had expired regarding other charges although they thought he was guilty.) The latest in the odd history of Prop 49 came in the much-delayed budget crisis deal of mid-Sept. 2008. As part of the budget compromise, elements are slated to be approved in a special election. Reports suggest that modification of Prop 49 is to be part of that special election.
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