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Pushing, polling, and trolling for support 

I'm having deja vu all over again. Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, who monitors the U.S.-Mexican border like I monitor my fat intake--closely--is speaking in SLO County in support of Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. This all happened once before, back in late January.

To be honest, I didn't know that there were many Huckabee for President supporters left. I'm not saying that I have anything against the guy, I just thought that, you know, it looks by now like the White House isn't going to be his new forwarding address. And I'm not even following the election that closely. Maybe that's my problem. Has Mike Huckabee made a big comeback I didn't hear about?

And, in the spirit of full disclosure, my good readers, I downed an ice-cream sundae the other day and had to eat nothing but celery and garlic soup for a few days to make up for it. Those calories add up. But enough about my waistline.

Anti-illegal-immigration enforcer Jim's endorsement didn't seem to do much for Mike back at the start of the year, but maybe this next round will give the Republican hopeful a bit of a bump. I don't think John McCain is going to be losing any sleep, though. At least not over this.

Poll position

Thanks to the multiple folks who sent along word of a "poll" being conducted about the Board of Supervisors race between Jim Patterson and challenger Debbie Arnold.

Now there are real polls and there are things called "push polls," which means that they're intended not so much to measure public opinion as to sway it like a drunk sailor on stormy seas.

Judging by a transcription of the questions sent along by former longtime Cal Poly political science professor Richard Kranzdorf, this recent poll is designed to both plant seeds of doubt about Patterson and to test out which arguments would work best against him.

Here's one example: "Did you know that Jim Patterson was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors when the county went from a budget surplus to a big budget deficit?"

Gee, I didn't know that. Did you know that the chairmanship has no power whatsoever other than trying to shut people up when they talk too long at meetings? (And by the way, Patterson's lousy in that role--he's too nice.)

Arnold has promised in interviews to keep things clean in this match, but it smells like somebody doesn't intend to keep the same promise. That could just be all the garlic soup I've been eating, but I have a pretty good nose for intrigue, too.

I haven't heard the poll myself, but if they were to call me, I'd have a few questions of my own.

Muscle man

How come whenever Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is referred to jocularly, it's always in reference to his better movies? He gets nicknames like "The Governator" from the Terminator movies, but never "The Kindergovernor" from Kindergarten Cop or "True Liar" from True Lies or "Danny DeVito's Bigger, Less Funny Twin Brother" from Twins.

Maybe we should have some extra monikers in stock for the Austrian Oak. Here's one that might need some work: "The Elderly Abusinator."

I offer that because I happened to watch Schwarzenegger savagely criticize the wardrobe of an elderly man who attended his speech to business and political folk in SLO recently.

In case you missed it, he chose a fashion-challenged older gentleman from the crowd and mocked the poor old guy's choice of tie, telling him he should hold onto it because it may come back in style someday.

It was just a terrible display, and I'm against it, because I for one would never do anything to make fun of the honorable SLO Mayor Dave Romero. Ever again.

I don't know how the governor's visit went over with the local bigwigs he talked to, but I do know that he still didn't win many friends in the overall general public. A friendly, meet-the-people jaunt across the state to drum up support for budget cuts is still just an attempt to drum up support for budget cuts.

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