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Auf’ing Arnold 

Editor:

When I read the Town Dandy’s recent characterization of Gov. Schwarzenegger as some sort of harmless, guileless inspirational cheerleader, I was dumbfounded (Jan. 21). Miss this insensitive, craven, cynical, grandstanding incompetent? I and a host of other Californians will miss him as much as we’d miss a tooth abscess. What a woefully superficial and undeserving portrayal!

Schwarzenegger has substituted exploiting local governments — and the powerless poor, disabled and elderly to whom they provide indispensable services — for humble, compassionate, conscientious, intelligent leadership during our state’s ongoing budget crisis.

Celebrity is no substitute for leadership.

Instead of finding the courage to address the budget’s root cause — an inadequate and unstable revenue stream — our Governor has pandered to the media and special interests by cutting essential services to those constituents least capable of opposing budgetary cutbacks. This governor’s legacy will be the unweaving of a social safety net increasingly frayed by annual raids on municipal and county funding — funding derived from local taxes. And I’m supposed to think of him fondly?

Speaking as one of the many disabled citizens in our community who is completely dependent on daily in-home care in order to be able to live in our homes, I want to thank Glenn Reed for his articulate and cogent response (Jan. 28) to the sanitized picture painted by Sims and illuminating Schwarzenegger’s intent to eviscerate the In Home Care Services program, among others.

One of the inherent problems with editorial commentary is a lack of the perspective that comes from first-hand experience. One wonders if Sims would be so blithe with his commentary if he found himself in the predicament the disabled struggle with on a daily basis. Hey Hank, how about spending a couple of days in a wheelchair and having to rely on a professional care-giver? (No cheating, now, when transferring to and from the toilet, chair and bed.) Then tell us what you think of our governor and his so-called leadership.

Jud Ellinwood, Eureka

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