Dan Walters, in a detailed article appearing in the Sacramento Bee, puts the Schwarzenegger administration into proper perspective- it is merely an extention of big business. This is particularly harmful for the victims of medical malpractice and accidents. Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush, might be Arnold Schwarzenegger twin brother.
They may not look alike, but they certainly act alike. And, their actions are bad news for accident victims. Dan Walters, in a detailed article appearing in the Sacramento Bee, puts the Schwarzenegger administration in California into proper perspective- it is merely an extension of big business. There is no question that Governor Arnold does the bidding of the business community virtually 100% of the time. This is particularly harmful for the victims of medical malpractice and accidents. There are strong parallels in this story to the Bush Administration in Tallahassee.
The California Medical Association, which lobbies for doctors, and Consumer Attorneys of California, the lobby for personal injury attorneys, jointly promoted a measure to make it easier for doctors and hospitals to recover money from insurers – by lawsuit, if necessary – for treatment of accident victims who are covered by the state’s Medi-Cal system. Backers contend it could save the Medi-Cal program $225 million a year.
The bill ultimately fell by the wayside, one of 232 measures that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed and emblematic of the general tone of those he rejected – the perennial battle between Republican-oriented business groups and Democrat-friendly labor unions, personal injury attorneys, environmentalists and consumer advocates.
The CMA-CAC measure, Senate Bill 399, was one of the few on the “job killer” list drawn up by business organizations that actually reached Schwarzenegger’s desk this year. There originally were 40 bills on the list, but just eight of them survived the legislative process – an unusually low number given the liberal bent of the Legislature – and Schwarzenegger vetoed all but one of the eight, including SB 399. The lone “job killer” bill to make it into law was Senate Bill 833, aimed at curbing commercial “junk faxes.”
Besides SB 399, the other targeted measures that Schwarzenegger vetoed would have raised the minimum wage, expanded the ability to sue employers for gender discrimination, increased unemployment insurance benefits, authorized tax audits of employers accused of labor law violations, regulated layoff severance packages offered by employers, and made it easier for workers to sue employers in wage and hour disputes. All were sponsored either by personal injury attorneys or unions.
Walters concludes that “Schwarzenegger’s record of vetoing measures that business opposes – almost always on grounds that they would damage the state’s economic climate – is one of the major changes that he brought to the governor’s office after succeeding Democrat Gray Davis two years ago. And it’s the backdrop for his ballot measures that would, if enacted, reduce the power of unions, trial lawyers and other Democratic constituencies in the Capitol.”
Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush, might be Arnold Schwarzenegger twin brother. It would not be difficult for Gov. Bush to give Gov. Schwarzenegger’s speeches. Both have their ears finely tuned to every whisper of the big business community. How long will the voters of Florida continue to elect legislators and governors who obviously adnere to the creed that “Whatever is good for Big Business is good for the people of Florida”?