Friday, August 24, 2007

Gray Davis, A Team Player

Gray Davis was the Democrat governor of California who was recalled in 2003 and replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I didn't think he was a very good governor and I supported his recall.

However, since that time, I've only heard from him twice--and both times, he's shown himself to be a class act. While it no doubt comforts some to label me an ideologue, I'm not at all; I will give props to my political opponents when they do something I support.

Over a year ago I wrote this post, supporting the open letter by former governors Davis and Wilson in support of not watering down California's academic content standards. There are always folks in the legislature who practice the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and some of those fine individuals were putting pressure on Governor Schwarzenegger and the state Board of Education to do just that; the open letter from two previous governors, and the academics who supported that letter, went a long way towards helping to defeat the proposal.

I give Gray Davis credit for standing against some in his own party in that instance. Then again, former Governor Davis' legacy includes California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program, the standardized testing regime that is far more stringent than the No Child Left Behind Act requires. He went against many in his own party there, too, and no doubt butted heads with the California Teachers Association on the issue.

With regards to education Davis shows good sense and integrity, and I applaud him for it.

Davis was in the major Sacramento newspaper today. Again he appeared with former governer Pete Wilson, this time to meet with Governor Schwarzenegger to discuss congressional redistricting. California's legislative districts are currently so gerrymandered as to
1. be safe for whichever party "owns" that district,
2. give Democrats a permanent legislative majority, and
3. demonstrate more than a small hint of corruption.

That two former governors of different parties can meet with the current governor to discuss creating a more fair and honest redistricting plan is almost enough to give me some faint hope for California's government. That a recalled Democrat governor can work with two Republicans on this topic--like I said, Davis is clearly a team player.

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