Perata said Schwarzenegger could eliminate the state's $8.1 billion budget deficit if he persuaded the Bush administration and Republican-controlled
Congress to give California more federal funding.
'If there's going to be a gunfight at the OK Corral, we're not going to go in unarmed,' the Oakland Democrat said.
Observations from the L.A. Times
Democrats learned an important lesson about Schwarzenegger last year: He's not always successful at moving the public. He traveled the state telling voters in malls and chain restaurants that they needed to write and call their legislators urging them to pass his version of the budget. He called those legislators 'girlie men.'
Legislators waited for their phones to ring, but they didn't. Schwarzenegger also campaigned extensively for Republican legislative candidates, but none of them won. 'What Democrats concluded is that people turned out to see the Terminator, not the Governator,' South said. 'They were there to see him in his star capacity, not to turn public opinion.'
There is no question that Schwarzenegger has tremendous power; he is one of the most popular politicians in the country. But his successes last year — and there were many — were small enough that political observers started comparing him to Davis, still an insult in Sacramento.