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Cal Nurses Take on Schwarzenegger

Corporate Cyborg

by RALPH NADER

Corporate cyborg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, must be thinking these days that it was not like this in his movies. On the screen, Arnold was the pursuer, the hunter, and the attacker. On the hustings now, it is the nurses, along with the teachers, and the firefighters, who are dogging him everywhere with their protests against his policies and actions.

When he ignored the law stipulating one nurse for every five hospital patients the opposition from the militant California Nurses Association intensified. Then Arnold made the mistake that keeps on giving. Before an audience of 10,000 women, he was challenged by a group of nurses.

"Pay no attention to those voices over there. They are the special interests, and you know what I mean. The special interests don’t like me in Sacramento because I am always kicking their butts."

"Kicking their butts," roars the famous grouper and fondler from Hollywood? Even-the-full-of-himself, basking-in-high-poll numbers, Arnold couldn’t get away with that remark. Nurses have just about the best image around. They are there by the bedside when the doctors have left for home. They are the people who watch lives ebbing away, who hear the cries of pain and the spasms of sorrow day after day. "Kicking their butts?" Whoa! The nurses were off to the Arnold races.

Arnold moves fast , limousines, police escorts, helicopters, and airplanes. He has many fund-raisers to attend , just about every covey of corporate interests willing to shell out thousands to hear him, see him, touch him, be pictured with him, buy him. Among those interests are the hospital industry, the insurance industry, and just about every wealthy clique that is enjoying the corporate welfare, lower taxes hayride in the rich state of California. Oh how the expensive wines in delicate glasses click in unison when he is rubbing shoulders with his class in splendid hotel ballrooms or ornate private clubs.

But Arnold now has company and it is not the corporate type. Real human beings, who work with their hands, hearts and minds, often in uniforms, are greeting him as he disembarks for his political auctions. Arnold is on his way to raising $100 million, a portion of which he wants to use to qualify referenda in November to privatize public pensions, restrict spending and other proposals he calls "reforms."

Trouble with Arnold’s ideas is that they all come from the hide of people who cannot attend his fund-raisers and are designed to allow the affluent classes to continue escaping their fair share of the fiscal burden.