California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will share the referendum spotlight this week with a couple of Hollywood counterparts from the opposite side of the political fence.
Two prominent actors and directors who have long supported Democratic causes, Warren Beatty and Rob Reiner, are working with groups opposing the governor's agenda to campaign against his initiatives.
Beatty has taped a radio ad that calls on voters to turn out next week and turn down Schwarzenegger's "year of reform" initiatives. Reiner, meanwhile, will staff a phone bank in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening in an effort to convince voters to vote against an initiative that seeks to reduce the money public employee labor unions can raise for political purposes.
Beatty said he believes the referendum has been orchestrated by the governor and his supporters so that most voters will not participate and give Republicans a better chance of passing their agenda. Beatty's ad, which he wrote, runs 60-seconds and will play on radio stations in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.
Schwarzenegger is promoting the union dues measure and three other initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot: to lengthen the probationary term for new teachers; to impose a cap on state spending and give the governor authority to make midyear budget cuts; to give authority for drawing legislative and congressional districts to a panel of retired judges. Reiner is promoting an initiative of his own for 2006 _ to provide preschool for every California child.
Today he will make telephone calls as part of a get-out-the-vote effort, along with other members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said Chad Griffin, Reiner's political consultant. In a campaign appearance last month, Reiner said the union dues measure was designed specifically to stifle political speech of unionized workers.
Schwarzenegger defended the initiative Tuesday on a San Diego radio program, saying the state's public employee unions have too much influence over the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, AP reports.