The Weekly had to ask several follow-up questions of Angelides to get him to acknowledge that the state’s bonded indebtedness was at a record level. Angelides, who is sharp as a tack, insisted at first that he didn’t know the numbers — seeking to deflect the question from the press conference call to later ask his staff — though his memory improved markedly under questioning.
Nevertheless, Angelides makes very fair points about the advisability of deferring the cost of the budget debacle to future generations through bonding, though he does not really say how much his alternative of increasing taxes rather than imposing debt service would cost Californians. However that debate turns out, it is a mistake to underestimate the state treasurer and former party chairman, who is clearly one of the most intelligent and hardworking people in California politics.
With a $10 million war chest, an activist base, and a well-honed programmatic message, Angelides, not Reiner (who has nowhere near the image of Schwarzenegger or any other big movie star), has to be the early favorite to take on the Terminator in 2006. Schwarzenegger won’t say if he will run for re-election. But here is one bet that he won’t be saying "Hasta la Vista, Sacramento" anytime soon.