And so does his choice of vehicles.
"It's a window into the real Schwarzenegger," Dan Newman, the spokesperson for challenger Phil Angelides, told us. "It exposes the governor as a complete and utter fraud. Someone with seven Hummers pretending to be an environmentalist is akin to Attila the Hun claiming to be a pacifist."
Others say "the real Schwarzenegger" is reflected in his positions on Props. 87 and 90.
"It's a neck and neck race, and the oil companies are pouring unprecedented sums against us, $80 million so far [a figure that had risen to more than $90 million by press time]," said Yusef Robb, communications director for the Yes on 87 campaign. As for Governor Hummer, Robb was critical but diplomatic (noting that Schwarzenegger wasn't actively campaigning against 87), telling us, "Personally, we think it's an unfortunate choice of vehicles."
The Schwarzenegger campaign says he would like to see oil companies pay for alternative energy development, but the measure violates his "no new taxes" pledge.
"The governor is opposed to tax increases. Personally, he opposes the initiative, but he strongly supports its goals," Schwarzenegger campaign spokesperson Julie Soderlund said.
Apparently, such vague statements of support for good environmental policies are enough for the many daily newspapers that have endorsed him, including the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. But Chronicle staffers did ask about the Hummers at his endorsement interview, and the paper was apparently satisfied with his answer: "As far as my Hummers are concerned, they are very safely stored in some warehouse garage. I have not had an opportunity to drive them, but I don't think they are polluting the air or ocean sitting in the garage."
Allayaud said he prefers to focus on indicators with more direct impact, such as the fact that Schwarzenegger's best annual rating by the California League of Conservation Voters (the 58 percent he received last year; this year he got a 50 percent) was worse than former Gov. Gray Davis's worst annual rating (72 percent) — and on Schwarzenegger's stance on Prop. 90.
"If this is close and we lose it," Allayaud said of the measure, "it'll be another thing that he didn't do." SFBG
Late breaking news: Just as this story was going to press, Schwarzenegger finally came out with a statement opposing Prop. 90, something he resisted doing until a week before election day when many absentee ballots have already been turned in.
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