Pete Wilson on Steroids

Photo by Jack GouldCalifornia's Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has postponed the Oct. 7 recall election of Governor Gray Davis until March, but that won't stop the campaigning. Over the weekend, Republican candidate Tom McClintock worked suburban crowds, while Arnold Schwarzenegger, desperate to boost his appeal among female voters, flew to Chicago to appear on Oprah.

Meanwhile, we found Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante—the Democrats' leading recall candidate—at the Santa Ana home of state Senator Joe Dunn. Speaking to a crowd that included Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, school board officials, labor organizers, teachers, judges and local Democratic activists, Bustamante said his campaign would "protect the values of working-class people." Afterward, he spoke to us.

OC Weekly: One of the reasons conservatives hate Gray Davis is his bond with trial lawyers who defend the poor and middle-class against wealthy corporations. But who would you say is more dangerous to California residents: Trial lawyers or insurance-company executives?

Cruz Bustamante: Come on, you have to be kidding. Insurance-company executives.

Arianna Huffington: Refreshing or mystifying?

How about let's just say she's . . . uh . . . [big smile] . . . interesting.

Most wasteful Republican idea: Energy deregulation or the war on drugs?

Oh, wow. That's tough. A tie.

Why shouldn't Orange County Republicans fear you?

I've not ducked tough questions. I'm not hiding anything. I've talked openly about my ideas to improve California, and I am a fair guy.

Equal rights for gay citizens: Social decay or something long overdue?

Long, long overdue.

Most amusing fast-food commercials: Taco Bell or Jack in the Box?

That's funny. I like Jack in the Box.

Best Arnold Schwarzenegger role:Kindergarten Cop orConan the Barbarian?

Certainly not as governor! I think the Conan character is most appropriate for him.

Would you rather spend three consecutive hours listening to John and Ken on KFI-AM or fingernails scratching a chalk board?

I'm sorry—who are John and Ben?

John and Ken, the two pro-Republican radio talk-show hosts in LA and OC who hate your guts.

I don't recall those two. Are they new?

What color do you like better: Blue or gray?

Blue, definitely.

Truth serum or tequila—which substance was Republican recall candidate Tom McClintock drinking when he said he could easily cut billions of dollars in government spending each year without harming support for schools, police, health care and roads? [Laughs] It was probably spiked Kool-Aid. On the chance that Schwarzenegger is elected governor, what is your prediction about his administration?

Do you remember Pete Wilson? It would be Pete Wilson on steroids.

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