Some South Lake resident disgusted with state politics

People beginning their Sunday morning in South Lake Tahoe shopping at the "Y" Raley's or dining at Ernie's Coffee Shop said the California gubernatorial recall election is either absurd and the long overdue.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected, the political pundits may surmise he's following former Gov. Ronald Reagan, rather than Gov. Gray Davis.

If Schwarzenegger gets the nod on Tuesday, it may be the springboard for another Kennedy family member, albeit by marriage, to get into the White House.

"Arnold's the man. I think Davis will be recalled. It's California. They look at it that way; it's a popularity contest," David Smith said in the Raley's parking lot. Smith has lived on the South Shore for 22 years.

Another longtime resident agreed.

"It's a follow-the-leader election. I'm voting for Davis, but I think Arnold will get it," 44-year Tahoe resident Teresa Smithart said as she juggled grocery bags. "People tend to blame the state's problems on one person."

But John Galea, who has owned Tahoe Keys Deli for 19 years, points to Davis as failing to pull the state out of its worst budget crisis in history.

"I could do better (than Davis). It's all screwed up. We've been upside-down since he's been there," Galea said.

He believes the state should push supply-side economics. When business thrives, people have jobs and put money back into the economy. He thinks the state government spends too much and creates jobs "that don't mean anything."

Galea believes Schwarzenegger will terminate that type of careless spending.

Ken and Karen Lucia plan to cancel each other's vote. She's going with ultraconservative Tom McClintock. Her husband said he's leaning to Green Party candidate Steve Camejo.

With the flip-flop nature of such races, Melvin Herman said he's unsure how the election will turn out.

"It's hard to say. I think Davis will stay in," the South Lake Tahoe man said.

Herman believes when push comes to shove, the throw-the-bums-out attitude voters speak of will revert to sticking with the familiar.


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