The 80 or so people that packed a sunny south Berkeley backyard Thursday morning didn’t seem to need convincing that Phil Angelides, 53, would be their pick for governor on Nov. 7.
Angelides spoke after accolades by Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-Oakland-Berkeley), Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton and now Berkeley resident and professor at UC Berkeley, and Mark Coplan, Berkeley schools spokesperson but here acting as a private citizen, in whose backyard the event took place.
The Democratic candidate drew rounds of applause as he linked the Terminator, still popular in some parts of the state, to the president, whose popularity continues to sink according to polls.
“Bush and Schwarzenegger have the same agenda—some refer to it as the B.S. agenda,” quipped Angelides.
Presently state treasurer, Angelides said that, like Bush, Schwarzenegger wants to grow the economy for the wealthy.
“The economy is good for only some,” he said pointing to the oil companies, which he says are profiting at $350 million each day.
Angelides would plug up the corporate loopholes for corporations such as oil companies and HMOs and, while cutting taxes on those earning less than $100,000, raise taxes on the very wealthy.
He would also tax the oil companies on oil they extract in California. “We are the only jurisdiction in the world that does not tax for taking oil out of the ground,” Angelides said. “Our economy is being devastated over the long-term by the pernicious drain on our wealth.”
The new money would go to schools, universities and public libraries, he said, noting that under Schwarzenegger a state university degree costs $2,000 more and a University of California degree costs $5,000 more than it did under the previous governor.
On the question of support for the war in Iraq, Angelides was clear: “I oppose the war. I have never been for it.”