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Walters: Schwarzenegger legacy a "failed" one

In 2003, nobody mattered to the recall more than Dan Walters. The Sacto correspondent fairly drove the Governor's race news cycle from petition to election.

Here's how Walters describes the Schwarzenegger "legacy" today. I see the word "failed" twice, both in big, big ways, and no tangible successes.
But the irresistible force that Schwarzenegger thought himself to be collided with the immovable object of the Capitol, and the latter didn't budge. His effort to change the Capitol via ballot measures in 2005 failed miserably, and he was forced to accept what a Legislature dominated by Democrats was willing to give him.

That said, it's too early to fully judge Schwarzenegger's impact on California because the few seeds he was able to plant will take years to bear fruit, if they do.

We don't know, for instance, whether his much-ballyhooed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will place California in the forefront of an emerging green economy, as he projects, or make the state uncompetitive in a global economy.

We don't know whether the political reform ballot measures he sponsored – independent legislative and congressional redistricting and a "top-two" primary system – will make the Capitol more effective.

We do know, however, that he abjectly failed to balance the state budget and, in fact, bears responsibility for making it worse by reducing taxes as he sanctioned more spending in a vain effort to make peace with Democrats and their constituencies. And that may be his lasting legacy.

Meanwhile, trying to explain the failures, the former fishwrap of record ends up not only on the wrong planet but in the wrong universe. Again.

Jerry Brown will be sworn in as Governor tomorrow.