Californians Say No to Schwarzenegger
by Mark Martin, Carla Marinucci and Lynda Gledhill
California voters were rejecting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election agenda Tuesday, handing the governor a humbling loss after he gambled on a high-stakes plan to reshape state government.
California's action hero Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered the biggest flop of his political career as voters rejected a slate of referendum measures on which he had staked his reputation.
With more than three-quarters of the votes counted, the four initiatives that Schwarzenegger said were needed to reform California were all losing.
The centerpiece of the governor's agenda, Proposition 76, which would limit state spending, was trailing badly. Proposition 77, which would strip lawmakers of the ability to draw political voting districts; Proposition 74, which would lengthen the time it takes for public school teachers to get tenure; and Proposition 75, aimed at curbing public employee unions' political spending, were also losing.
Four other ballot measures appeared on the special election ballot, and early returns showed two rival measures to lower the price of prescription drugs for uninsured Californians failing.