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Ask the 'Geek Candidate' for California Governor 1109

No, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're talking abut Georgy Russell, who studied computer science at UC Berkeley, often wears ThinkGeek clothing, has a blog, reads Slashdot, and knows how to run Linux. Since this California electoral free-for-all has turned into a worldwide spectator sport as bizarre as any other 'Reality TV' show currently airing, Slashdot might as well get in on the media frenzy and interview a candidate, and Georgy is the obvious choice. We'll email Georgy 10 of the highest-moderated questions, and publish her answers (and, yes, the chosen questions in the same post) as soon as she replies.
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Ask the 'Geek Candidate' for California Governor

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  • by mjmalone ( 677326 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:00PM (#6666213) Homepage
    Do you think the california recall election is fair? I understand that a lot of Californians are unhappy with Gray Davis' performance, but he WAS elected by the people, if people dislike him then they can vote him out of office when his term is up. It seems unfair that Davis needs a majority of votes to remain in office, but a replacement candidate could be selected by a plurality. It is possible, and quite likely, that Davis will be voted out with 60% or fewer votes. That would mean 40% or more voters essentially voted for Davis, but he would not be the winner, one of the 400+ other candidates on the ballot would and in all liklihood that candidate will have received far fewer than 40% of the votes.

    This whole situation seems like a gross abuse of a recall system that relies on honesty and virtuous politicians. Unfortunately California is no such utopia. By running in the election you have shown your support for it, how do you justify this support given the evident problems.
    • by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:22PM (#6666500) Homepage Journal
      I'd just like to point out that the California recall vote is not very different from a vote of no confidence in parliamentary systems (perhaps closer to Germany's constructive vote of no confidence than others). The only real difference is that the candidates don't have to be members of the legislature.

      If you think that a vote of no confidence is fair, which happens quite often in the "democratic" world, then you should think the California recall is fair.

      That said, I happen to dislike votes of no confidence. I'm all for removing an executive from office should (s)he prove incompetent, but holding an election to replace that person should not occur. That is the purpose of offices such as the U.S. Vice President, or, in California's case, the Lt. Governor. What *should* happen is that, should a recall vote occur and Gov. Davis is removed, the Lt. Governor should take his place and an election should be held for Lt. Governor (which is elected seperately by California law, IIRC). Furthermore, that vote should take place in the legislature, not by popular vote.

      However, that's me. Feel free to argue with me about it. :)
    • by cheezedawg ( 413482 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:32PM (#6666598) Journal
      Do you think the california recall election is fair?

      What is unfair about it? It is a constitutional way for the people to re-assert their power in California. There are plenty of reasons why Davis should lose his job, but the single most important reason is that the people don't want him in office anymore- thats why the recall statutes were put on the books in the first place!

      I personally love this whole thing. The only people that are upset by this process are people like Davis that think that they are losing power. They can't stand that they have no control over what is happening or what candidates end up on the ballot. As far as I am concerned, the further this gets from the typical choice between two boring candidates slinging mud at each other, the better.
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:00PM (#6666222)
    I would like to know if you fear that two of your more controversial issues (legalization of marijuana and gay marriages) will be detrimental to your campaign?

    While I believe that as more and more "young" people run for and are elected to office, these items might come to pass, don't you think that it is a little early to be attempting to make these strides?

    My other issue is your stance on Health Care. The fine State of CA has many illegal immigrants on its soil, (in fact it depends on those people for many "lowly" jobs IIRC). Are you planning on REAL citizens covering the insurance costs for these illegal immigrants and their children? Don't you see this as a large enough burden on the population as it is?
    • by kevin lyda ( 4803 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:07PM (#6666305) Homepage
      since california depends on illegal immigrants for it's "lowly" jobs - many of which are high risk - do you instead support high quality health care for any of those immigrants who end up in hospital and paying for that by FINING THEIR EMPLOYERS?
    • by Phantasmo ( 586700 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:02PM (#6666963)
      Costing more than double Canada's system per person, the U.S. health system eats up 13+% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to Canada's 9%. And, tragically, for all the money it costs, the U.S. health system serves only a fraction of the population.

      A staggering 43 million Americans have no health coverage whatsoever and another 100 million are considered under-insured.

      - Why NOT Privatize [web.net]

      It looks like the US could easily afford health care for both "real citizens" as you call them and illegal immigrants.

      Besides, I'd rather pay an extra $10 in taxes this year than let some poor kid with a bullet in her stomach die on the street.

      Nobody wins unless everyone wins, right?
  • Economy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BgJonson79 ( 129962 ) <srsmith AT alum DOT wpi DOT edu> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:01PM (#6666232)
    How are you going to fix the world's 5th* largest economy?

    * ABC News last night
  • Obvious question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lovebyte ( 81275 ) * <lovebyte2000.gmail@com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:02PM (#6666243) Homepage
  • RIAA vs. America (Score:5, Interesting)

    by southpolesammy ( 150094 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:02PM (#6666244) Journal
    What are your views on the RIAA's recent actions to protect their copyrights?
  • With the names of such heavyweights as Arnold and lightweights like Gary Coleman (no pun intended - well, all right, it was), do you honestly hope to win, or are making a Ralph Nader like point in forcing certain issues and ideas into the public's eye?
  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) * <.teamhasnoi. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:02PM (#6666248) Journal
    As a geek superhottie, campaigning for the govenorship of California, will you take full advantage of the legions of Slashdotters ready to throw themselves in front of Arnold's limo, screaming, "My life for you!!". Please?

    How do you think your involvement in technology can translate to leading California, and indirectly, the rest of the country? I see here [georgyforgov.com] that you have filed for several patents. How do you feel about companies such as PanIP using patents as a basis for lawsuits rather than innovation? Will you make intellectual 'property' a campaign issue?

  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:02PM (#6666249) Homepage Journal
    Will you be back for "The Recall 2: Revenge of the Grays?" ;-)
  • Budget (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:03PM (#6666256)
    How would you propose to balance California's budget? Cutbacks, or new revenue opportunities? If it is cutbacks, where would your biggest cutbacks come from?
  • by TommyH1000 ( 686159 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:04PM (#6666261)
    Your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?
    • Re:Miss Russell, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paitre ( 32242 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:05PM (#6666281) Journal
      She's a geekgrrl, and she's hot.
      Now, then, why do you -THINK- she's so popular?
      (Oh, and she's a twenty-something).
    • by aziraphale ( 96251 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:08PM (#6666318)
      You've made the critical error of posting an obligatory Simpsons quote, without pointing the fact out in the subject line. How are you going to get +5 Funny for nodding knowingly at a pop culture reference if the moderators don't know it?
      • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:06PM (#6666990) Homepage
        of The Simpson's as a (Slashdot) cultural common denominator.

        It brings up another interesting aspect of cultural power in this election; how many people will see Arnold as anything less than a hero? How many people will be influenced by his characters' ability to go against seemingly overwhelming odds to survive and succeed? This is not to say that the big guy isn't a good person - I was quite impressed by his charitable donations and interest in children. But he has gone against aliens, liquid metal assassins, sword weilding tribesmen, evil public servents and some villians too ridiculous to mention and succeeded each time.

        How will his opponents (Ms. Russell, this question is for you) fight against this vision in the public's mind so that their issues and faces can take center stage?

    • Re:Miss Russell, (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:10PM (#6666342)
      she's American, she's FINE, she's obviously well educated, she grew up through hard times (was raised "poor" so her bio says), and she's tackling some important issues.

      While I feel (see here [slashdot.org])that some of her issues are going to cause detrimental harm to her campaign due to the current status of most of the voting population, I think that people could possibly relate to her (especially 18-29 aged voters, sadly, most of that group doesn't vote).
  • by Mothra the III ( 631161 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:04PM (#6666262)
    Boxers or briefs?
  • Illegal Imigration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mad-cat ( 134809 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:04PM (#6666263) Homepage
    In light of the budget crisis, does the candidate consider illegal imigration into the state of California a problem? If so, does she intend to crack down on it?

    Likewise, will the funding of benefit programs to imigrants (legal or otherwise) be cut, maintained, or increased?
  • Against Arnold, why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:04PM (#6666264) Homepage
    Do you think you stand a chance against Arnold? If so, why?

    Pundits would be quick to point out that "obviously, he'd not run if he didn't think he had a chance"...but I doubt that ~130 miscellaneous people really think they have a chance against Arnold, or even Gary Coleman. Gary Coleman even said he doesn't expect to win, and that he supports Arnold.
  • Technology (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chrisgeleven ( 514645 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:05PM (#6666277) Homepage
    Why does your blog and web site, from what I can tell, not mention any uses of technology that you would like to see? Can you describe any protential plans to use technology to reduce costs or provide more benefits for the same price?
  • by tundog ( 445786 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:08PM (#6666315) Homepage
    Dear pathetic little girly-man,

    What is stopping ARN-ald from crushing your little girly-man body with his pumped-up biceps? I mean really, listen to me now and hear me later, how do you expect to beat ARN-ald when are a pathetic little girly-man?


    Hanz & Franz
  • by Voltas ( 222666 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:08PM (#6666323) Homepage Journal
    With all the "Star Power" and the number of candidates that obviously are looking for media attention (I.E. Gary Colemen ), do you really thing that the candidates or the office really going to be taken serious when its all said and done?

    Won't this whole election fiasco cripple anyone who actually wins?
  • My questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:09PM (#6666328) Journal
    What do you think of illegal immigration in California? How do you think California should handle the budget demands imposed by it? And what do you think about companies in California out-sourcing high tech jobs to foreign countries and importing workers through the H2-1B Visa program in order to drive down wages in California?
  • Media Attention (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BigDork1001 ( 683341 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:09PM (#6666333) Homepage
    Do you feel that all the media attention around Arnold and the other big name people is making for an unfair election that won't give people, like yourself, with valid points and opinions a fair chance to express your views?
  • Seriously (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lowtekneq ( 469145 ) <lowtekneq@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:10PM (#6666334) Homepage
    Alright, you may know your stuff in the geek world, but California has some serious problems. I'm sure most questions will be tech related, and though technology is a huge part of today's world there are so many more important things out there. Do you really want to be the George W. Bush of California?
  • qualifications (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spoonyfork ( 23307 ) <spoonyfork AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:11PM (#6666352) Journal
    In addition to being the co-founder of a storage software company and an avid dancer, what other qualifications and leadership experience do you have to politically lead the fifth largest economy of the world?
  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:11PM (#6666355)
    Did you pay for your Linux licenses?
  • My Question(s). (Score:3, Interesting)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:11PM (#6666356) Homepage
    If you are elected Governor of California, are you at all worried that one of the other contenders would simply bankroll a second recall election?

    How would you deal with this?

  • by the_real_tigga ( 568488 ) <nephros&users,sourceforge,net> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:12PM (#6666368) Journal
    Can I get the whole "California Elections" comedy series on DVD?

    Will there be a computer game?

    Will I be able to buy candidates' portrait cups at Mc Donald's?

    Know any good erotic fan-fiction sites?
  • The environment (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jester ( 8414 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:12PM (#6666371)
    Georgy where do you stand on the environment ? After your President failed to endorse the Kyoto agreement, the US has done nothing but pollute the environment and show no sign of taking the responsibility for this attitude. Global warming is showing signs all around us and still your nation does nothing. You have no public transport strategy, you all use your gas-guzzling cars to drive small distances, and your policy on clean energy is non-existent.

    Can you make the difference and take a lead on these issues to generate more respect for your country ?
  • by kevin lyda ( 4803 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:13PM (#6666392) Homepage
    do you spout off stupid platitudes about "the market" and individual rights? or do you actually believe in the concept of "society" and the social, economic and quality of life benefits of a healthy community. do you believe that we should try to build a better society then the one we received? for instance we get free, good quality primary and secondary education - will you work towards free third level education? previous generations invested in roads in california, would your administration do more to invest in public transport? will you work towards better health care with better access? will you continue to inflame the gross xenophobia in california's public discourse, or will you try to have a more sensible discussion about immigrants - for instance nafta allows for the fre-flow of goods and capital amount the us, mexico and canada, but not labour. how is that free trade?
  • by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:16PM (#6666423)
    Do you understand Dselect? That program scares the poop out me. But I figure if you can handle dselect, you can handle being govenor.
  • by zoneball ( 568363 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:17PM (#6666443)
    A good leader must surround him or herself with with the best advisors and experts within their respective fields. Who will you be bringing in to your campaign and administration, and what are their qualifications?
  • by bfree ( 113420 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:18PM (#6666450)
    California appears to have the highest concentration of techinically literate people in the USA. How would you view the proposition of retooling California to only use Free Software in all (feasible, would need to be phased in) areas where the state has control (as opposed to private companies)? I would view this as having the advantage of reducing funds leaving the state and also developing a California based expertise which could be exported worldwide in helping other states (be they US style or actual countries) in converting to using Free Software. Each region which converts to free software is breeding an workforce for the future, both for its own needs and as an exportable commodity, would you like to take colifornia into the lead here by leveraging its already substantial technoligical know-how?
  • Energy & Presidents (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:18PM (#6666459) Homepage Journal
    1. If you won the election, would you honestly push for a 100-square-mile surface area solar panel array? Do you have any idea of the amount of expense, energy, and emissions required to make that amount of solar panels?

    2. Why do you continually attack Bush and supposed administration policies in all of your literature? Wouldn't it make more sense to discuss the intentions of candidates who are actually running for governor of California? If the current governor of California cannot prevent Bush from influencing the state, how would you?
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:19PM (#6666469) Homepage
    I think I speak for almost every man here when I ask you the one question every guy here wants to ask you...

    Will you marry me?

    (well, every /.er here but self, as self is already engaged to other magical wonderful woman).
  • by schnarff ( 557058 ) <.alex. .at. .schnarff.com.> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:20PM (#6666474) Homepage Journal
    Since you're a "geek candidate", you're obviously well-aware of the massive short- and long-term savings California could achieve by switching its computing systems to free, Open Source projects. Considering the current budget crisis, I'm also assuming that such a switch has probably crossed your mind, at least fleetingly.

    What I want to know is, do you think that passing a law mandating the use of free software wherever it does the job properly would be proper? While many people here at /. feel that such legislation is obviously correct, I personally feel that mandation of almost any sort from government, particularly when it relates to engineering choices, is likely to cause problems from a technical standpoint, not to mention the fact that it restricts freedom -- something I think we all want -- unnecessarily, since something as simple as executive direction to consider free projects could likely achieve the same objective.

    Thank You,
    Alex Kirk
  • Firearms laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:22PM (#6666509)
    California has some of the most draconian firearms laws in the nation. What will you do to protect/return the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians?
  • Geek Jobs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WPIDalamar ( 122110 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:35PM (#6666634) Homepage
    Being a Governor in california may give you the possibility for soem unique control over technical jobs and the tendency to outsource those. Also, I would imagine a governership could eventually lead to a congressional seat.

    That being said, what would you do to help stem the tide of hi tech jobs leaving our country as Governor, and what would you try to do if you were eventually elected to congress?
  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:38PM (#6666675)
    Your site is slashdotted to all heck right now, but on the pages that I did manage to load, I didn't see anything about California's education system. Last I heard (which was a few years ago) we were ranked 49th in the country (thank you, Louisiana!). I don't have any children, but my friends at work do, and my sister is a teacher (on emergency credentials), and the stories they tell about California's schools are frightening.

    As governor, this is one of the areas that you would have a lot of control over. What are your ideas for improving our state's schools?
  • Debate? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:39PM (#6666684) Homepage Journal
    Who would your ideal opponents in a televised debate be?

  • by scupper ( 687418 ) * on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:41PM (#6666699) Homepage
    Does Georgy support the state government adopting the use of open source software and operating systems like Linux?
  • Fiscal Dicipline?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foooo ( 634898 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:41PM (#6666700) Journal
    Georgy is the only candidate courageous enough to put forward the tough decisions Californians will have to make to restore fiscal discipline to California.

    For about 80%, the vast majority of Californians, the increased taxes necessary to fund universal health care would be less than their current costs for private health care. A new system would allow for much needed accountability for health coverage, and create competition based on quality of care rather than cost of care.

    How can you (on the same web page) talk about your fiscal dicipline and introduce an idea for universal health care?

    Additionally, in a single payer system there is *no* competition. Is your universal health care really universal or are you unsure of the meaning of competition??

    Clearly you haven't thought a lot of this through. There are typos on your web pages and *worse* there are logical fallacies in your political rhetoric.

    On the other hand I love your approach to gay marriage and marijuana. But that's the Libertarian in me... not the liberal.

    Why should I vote for you?? (Aside from the fact that you're hella cute and also geeky?)

    May I suggest a new sloagan for you??

    Georgy for Govenor. The same political hot air... now tempered with good looks!


    PS. I don't live in Kalifornia, but if I did I'd spend my vote on someone less bleeding heart and opt for a more practical candidate.
  • Voting behavior (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:45PM (#6666750) Homepage
    As we've seen in the lead-up to the Iraq conflict, people seem to feel very strongly about celebrities becoming involved in divisive political issues.

    Given that it is likely much of Arnold Schwarzenneger's electoral support will come simply from his celebrity status, do you feel it would be okay for people to vote for you simply because you are beautiful ( *and smart!* )?
  • Thought experiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:45PM (#6666757) Homepage Journal
    Hi Georgy;

    Can you do a little thought experiment for us? I think it would provide some insight into your understanding of your opponents and the issues.

    I want you to play devil's advocate for a moment, and imagine yourself in turn as the candidate for the Democrats, Republicans, and Green Party. What would your issues be, and what tactics would you use to gain the governorship?

    Probably a tall order, but I think it would really highlight your grasp of the issues and political climate.
  • by RNLockwood ( 224353 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:47PM (#6666776) Homepage
    The vulnerability of electronic voting systems to fraud has been discussed in tech circles but has caught the attention of almost no one in political office. For instance Riverside County and other counties now use electronic voting systems and Los Angeles County, among others, is poised to implement electronic voting. It appears that the county politicians are ignoring the issues of fraud and hacking. Then there is the issue if the machines can be configured to handle 150+ candidates.

    What is your opinion of the suitability of electronic voting in California elections?
  • Dot Bomb? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:49PM (#6666800) Homepage Journal
    What would you, as Governor, do to help the economy recover and grow? What would you do to restart California's lead as the technology capital of the world and recreate the jobs that have been lost in recent years?
  • The budget (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:49PM (#6666812)
    What is your plan to deal with the current budgetary mess in California? To what extent do you plan on raising taxes and/or cutting services? And which programs will be cut and where?

    I realize that these are specific and uncomfortable questions to ask, but California is in the midst of a major budgetary crisis, and any Governor will have to make specific and unpleasant choices to deal with it. So far, the answer the current Governor has chosen has been to pick and blame political opponents.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#6666839) Homepage Journal
    In the past, your state allowed a few special interests to rewrite your laws concerning energy regulation, which subsequently allowed a couple rednecks from Texas to steal billions of dollars from your citizens and in the process bring California to it's knees.

    A similar situation, with less disastrous effect, occurred with Oracle. What are your plans to protect your state and it's cities from such special interests in the future.

  • Energy Security (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuackQuack ( 550293 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#6666841) Journal
    While your interest in green energy is laudible, let's be honest here, these technologies are not as mature and cost effective as traditional power generation means.

    As governor, will you insist on clean energy at the risk these never get built or are built in an insufficient number, or would you be willing to compromise and build fossil and/or nuclear plants to ensure that the 2001 fiasco which cost CA billions is never repeated?
  • Transport policy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#6666847)
    Transport is one of the biggest issues in the state today. California stands as an example to the rest of the world not only of how NOT to move people from A to B, but how not to position A and B in the first place.

    Short-sighted planners still cling to the unbelievably outdated notion that you can reduce traffic congestion by building more roads and making existing ones wider. Are you aware of the phenomenon of 'induced traffic' or will you allow this destructive and self-defeating practice of runaway road-building to continue unopposed? Will you strive to overcome the political wrangling that has hampered efforts to build a European style high-speed rail link from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

    Single-use zoning laws have led to the vandalism of California's built environment. It has transformed her 'cites' into a vast, ugly sprawl of strip malls, gas stations and fast food drive-thrus. Building a pedestrian-friendly city is well nigh illegal in most places. Will you speak out against the malling and sprawling of the west and advocate the growing North American movement known as 'new urbanism?'

  • Election spoiler (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dpille ( 547949 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#6666865)
    My apologies if this question is asked above in non-modded-up comments. I like it, though:

    How do you feel about the possibility that you as a candidate (as well as those that vote for you) could be tarred with the same brush as Nader in 2000, namely, that you 'gave' the recall election to someone distasteful to the accuser, merely by being less distasteful but still participating? What do you think this says about democracy in California and the US when so many individual candidates could be similarly accused?
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:57PM (#6666909) Homepage Journal
    Given that the governor of California (whomever that will wind up being) only has the authority to influence about 30% of the state's budget (because the rest of it has already been earmarked by ballot measures over the years - per The Economist [economist.com]), do you think that ANY governor can actually have much of a positive effect on the economic situation in California?

    Also, do you feel that the elected governor is assisted or confounded by the slew of ballot initiatives that come through every election cycle? If elected, would you seek to expand this participatory government because it empowers the people, keep it at the same level, or rein it in because it makes effective long-term strategy so difficult?

  • How does it feel... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Valiss ( 463641 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @12:59PM (#6666933) Homepage
    How does it feel being called the 'Geek Candidate' for California Governor?

  • by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:09PM (#6667024) Journal
    Why do I see nothing prominent on your site about attracting business to California? Who do you think is going to build (or pay for) your 100 square miles of solar panels? To his credit, the FIRST thing Arnold talked about in his first post-announcement press conference was getting business back to California. If you are not willing to address this, nothing else matters.

    It appears you might be in a segment of the political spectrum where you are duty bound to think of business as the Bad Guys, but I'd ask you to look beyond that. At least look for ways to attract smaller businesses which is where most of the job growth tends to occur anyway.

    I'm afraid your statements have too much ideological content. For example, there are reasons OTHER than "special interests" that prevent wide adoption of solar energy. Some of them have a solid scientific and economic basis. And the crack about "Oh, do we want to be like Bush's Texas" was also silly.

    A lot of us out here are really, really tired of that blame game nonsense. We don't want to hear California's woes blamed on Bush or 9/11 or El Nino or the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Argentina. What's done is done and now is now. What do you propose to FIX it?

  • by ad0gg ( 594412 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:15PM (#6667075)
    Do you like movies about gladiators?

    Have you ever been in a turkish prison?

  • by ExoticMandibles ( 582264 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:23PM (#6667144)
    In your issues paper [georgyforgov.com], you say you are for the legalization of marijuana. That's fine, so am I. However, marijuana is already legal in California for medical use, but can still be arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated under federal law. [jointogether.org] So, if you were elected governor of California, of what possible relevance is your stand on marijuana?
  • by sampson7 ( 536545 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:26PM (#6667176)
    I love your campaign -- at least at first blush. Then I started thinking -- what happens if 5,000 young, liberal, Democratic voters actually vote for you? It doesn't seem at all outside the realm of possibility. Do you worry that you might be pulling support from a legitimate liberal candidate and throwing the election to someone like Arnold? Nader's candidacy seemed like fun and games until someone (namely 226 servicemen and women so far and counting) got hurt. Not trying to be heavy-handed, but is this something you considered? As election day comes closer, would you consider endorsing Davis or some other lefty candidate?
  • Cattle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:26PM (#6667177)
    Okay. I have a difficult question for you. Be careful. The spotlight is on.

    Television broadcasters and advertisers are schooled to direct their messages to an average 12 year-old mentality because that, unfortunately, has been proven by far the most effective way to get people to, 'Vote with their Wallets.'

    Likewise, success in politics, as has been demonstrated since the dawn of politics, and which is certainly true today, is almost never achieved by appealing to the minds of a "Self-motivated, rational and informed public." Success in politics is nearly always achieve by manipulating and then addressing base emotions through overly-simplified representations of issues. "People would rather believe a Simple Lie than a Complex Truth."

    --The simple fact that 'Arnie', whose primary claim to fame is physical size and a movie career where he played big guys with big guns and 'blowed stuff up real good', is actually in a real position to win, is an excellent example.

    So, (and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here by assuming you are *not* yet another deluded and/or self-serving jerk), how do you personally approach the whole problem that success in politics is largely based on manipulating like cattle the very voting public which it is the politician's job to respect and serve?


  • by Arkhan ( 240130 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:36PM (#6667271)
    Ms. Russell,

    You are being positioned, at least in this community, as the "geek candidate". (I'll omit the quotes from now on, and hope you're not offended by the word geek.)

    It seems to me that a female geek holds the best hope for getting a technologically-competent politician into an important office, because female geeks escape from many of the negative stereotypes that plague male geeks in the public perception.

    How do you think being a female geek vs a male geek affects your chance to win the election? (Better? Worse? Non-issue?) Along the same lines, do you believe being female in general will make the election easier or more difficult for you?

    The reason I asked this question is this -- over half of the replies to this interview post have referred to you as "he", "him", or otherwise as a male, when even the short article blurb clearly indicated you were a "she".
  • Affirmative Action (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stames ( 692349 ) <jtjNO@SPAMucla.edu> on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:37PM (#6667286)
    What is your view on Affirmative Action?

    As a college student in the UC system, but a politically rightist town (LA), I hear a lot of different views on the subject. I am also, however, a white guy that grew up in an upper-middle class neighborhood. Now, I'm all for diversity, but do you think affirmative action is really the right way to get diversity into schools? If so, why? If not, what do you propose? Would you try to do anything to solve racial diversity issues at a lower level than that of the university?
  • Age (Score:5, Interesting)

    by retro128 ( 318602 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:41PM (#6667316)
    It's very difficult to find a person holding a public office who isn't 40+. From your picture I judge you are well below that. For most people, age symbolic of maturity, wisdom, and life experience. Do you think your age might be a problem in appealing to the constituency?

    The constituency aside, should you get voted governor, do you believe the older California lawmakers will take you seriously? How do you intend to gain their respect?

  • by ExoticMandibles ( 582264 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @01:59PM (#6667481)
    In your issues statement [georgyforgov.com], you say:
    We need to strive towards a system of universal health care similar to Vermont's. We can't allow millions of children to remain without basic insurance, unable to get the most basic treatments.
    Fifty years ago, health care in the United States was relatively unregulated, and we had the best health care in the world bar-none. Medical insurance was cheap and easily available, and the destitute had access to free charity medical care. But thirty years of intensive government meddling has left our health care system in shambles. In this article by Harry Browne, [worldnetdaily.com] he quotes Dr. Jane Orient as saying:
    When medical care was mostly paid for by patients, the hospital bill for an appendectomy was the equivalent of 10 days' wages for a common laborer ($149 in 1960). Now it's at least a couple months of take-home pay for a middle-income person (about $3,000). They still do the procedure the same way, and the patient is generally home faster.
    Do you really think you can improve health care with more regulation, more bureaucracy, more goverment-institutionalized force?
  • Content vs. Tech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stylee ( 253307 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @02:20PM (#6667664)
    California is considered the capitol of the content industry (RIAA, MPAA) and the technology industry (Silicon Valley). These two industries are at odds with each other over intellectual propery rights issues. They are probably also a large chunk of California's huge economy. Do you think you can balance the needs/wants of both lobbying groups in a manner that will be beneficial to both industries?

    If so how?

    I realize that this is mostly a federal matter as far as the law and politics go but there are many that believe that California kind of sets the standard for the rest of the nation to follow(at least economically and politically) so I am intersted in your ideas on this matter.
  • by Sontas ( 6747 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @02:28PM (#6667737)
    You are 26. I am a couple weeks short of being 26. Most of my friends are about the same age as you and I. What in your 26 years of life makes you think you are qualified to be the governor of the State of California? I can only assume you have never held any elected or appointed office in any segment of government since I didn't see it listed in my reading of your website.

    Given your presumed lack of experience and ability to hold the office you are seeking, who will you be appointing as your advisors upon becoming governor and what are their qualifications?
  • by JustAnotherReader ( 470464 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @04:26PM (#6668940)
    As a Californian who signed the recall petition I'd like to start by saying that we know why Davis is a bad governor.
    • The Oracle fiasco cost the state millions of dollars.
    • Davis said in his "State of the State" address that if he found that the electric companies were ripping us off by shutting down power stations to artificially raise prices then he'd take over the stations via emminent domain. Sure enough, the electric companies were found to be manipulating the prices. Rather than fullfilling his promise he formed a 5 year plan to buy electricity at a high rate and to pay for it from the general fund thereby bankrupting the state. That plan cost us billions of dollars.
    • On top of all that he increased spending by (depending which source you cite) 30% to 48%. Government spending increased roughly twice the rate of the population increase. And now he tells us the only way we can get out of this mess is to cut police, fire, and school budgets.
    • Because of all this our bonds have been downgraded to one level above "junk".
    So we know why he's a bad governor. What we want to know, what we need to know, is how do you propose to fix this mess? Don't tell me how other people have failed, don't give me some generic line about how "special interest is running this state". Give me specific points of your plan to fix our financial problems.
  • Qualifications? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fastball ( 91927 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @04:37PM (#6669061) Journal
    Why does running Linux, wearing ThinkGeek gear, and anything else computer related qualify you for governor of California or any other political office?

    Like William F. Buckley, I'd rather be ruled or governed by the Everyman than I would by an increasing number of deep pocketed haves. That said, I'm not giving anybody a free pass, because they play the part of the geek or legit geeks. I want candidates to put forward a comprehensive platform. Programs they will execute. Priorities for their budgets. Don't placate me by "feeling my pain" or reciting the terms of the GPL.
    If the marijuana legalization and gay marriage are the acid tests for your gubernatorial candidates, then you have a serious problem. These are journalistic issues, issues that sell papers and give the cable news talking heads something to babble about. In reality, these issues (in addition to file sharing, the RIAA, and IP infringement) affect minor assortments of people. They do not belong in the realm of public policy making where budget crises, transportation gridlock, and energy shortages will determine California's future. These affect homosexuals and heterosexuals, virgin lungs and potheads, and Windows neophytes and Linux zealots with no prejudice.
  • by El ( 94934 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @04:38PM (#6669063)
    Half the people in the US are in jail on drug-related charges. How much money could California save by releasing all persons convicted of non-violent drug offenses (e.g. possession)? Enough to balance the budget? The governor has the power to pardon any convict; does she also have the power to declare a blanket amnesty?
  • by geekee ( 591277 ) on Monday August 11, 2003 @04:40PM (#6669086)
    "The truth is, even with the billions in painful cuts already made, California is unable to make the cuts necessary to truly balance the budget. This situation is not new; Republican Governor Pete Wilson faced similarly staggering budget problems when he took office over a decade ago. His solution was to not only cut spending, but to increase revenues by raising rates on the top tax bracket by about one percent. Like Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr., Wilson raised rates on top brackets and the economy soared. He recognized what an impediment to economic recovery the budget crisis was, and stayed honest with Californians about the decisions that had to be made."

    Currently, the wealthies people pay the highest percentage of their income in taxes. Yet your solution to the budget crisis seems to be to tax these people even more? Why do you feel it is ethical to unfairly tax the most productive members of Califoria society, to solve California's budget problems, but are unwilling to make the average person take some responsibility for providing tax revenue for service rendered by California govt. for all Californians? As a practical matter, do you think this solution will drive these people away from California, and create an even greater budget problem, rather than solving it?

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!