Schwarzenegger's Veto of Veterans Bill is a Slap in the Face


It is a sham when politicians use veterans as political pawns.

Is Arnold’s military support just a big Hollywood ruse?

by Tim King,

He may be from the Republican party, one that constantly lauds its wonderful appreciation and good treatment of veterans, but a decision by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week over veterans, casts him as anything but a friend to those who served.

The former movie star has clipped the wings of a bill that would have honored Vietnam Veterans. It wouldn’t have been a costly measure, just the simple designation of a particular day to honor those who served in a war that claimed over 58k lives – a war where the veterans were treated horribly. This bill had redeeming qualities, but the state’s governor didn’t apparently care about that.


In fact his veto pen was used to direct the latest punch in the Vietnam Veteran’s face. It seems some things just never change.

Schwarzenegger vetoed the assembly bill honoring Vietnam Vets and also threatened to kill 72 other proposals that made their way through the long political process, and eventually landed his desk for his signature.

California’s top elected officer is basically making an example out of this bill, and holding the veterans out to dry in the process. There are and will be only so many opportunities to give something back to these veterans. It was little more than a symbolic gesture.

He says he vetoed the bill because lawmakers are ignoring his priority issues. It isn’t clear whether or not he pounded his fist on his desk as he did it.

Most people still believe that government is a political process involving all levels and types of politicians and other elected officials, but these days in California it is more like dictatorial rule.

Do it Arnold’s way or hit the highway.

All 43 California Senate Bills have been withdrawn from Schwarzenegger’s desk at this point. This safeguards them for the time being.

But don’t let me imply that this is going smoothly or anything.

The Sacramento Bee explains that it was in an act of defiance, that the Assembly left the bill on the governor’s desk; a bill that would designate March 30th as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

In an attempt to determine the real temperature of the water, California Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, dared the governor to veto this bill before the close of Tuesday’s session.

Schwarzenegger went the way of bravado, the Machiavellian way; he accepted the dare and vetoed Assembly Bill 264.

In the veto message, Schwarzenegger wrote, "Our state is facing significant challenges, including the need for comprehensive changes in our policies on water, energy, and corrections and the need to take meaningful steps to stimulate the economy and rein in the rising levels of unemployment."

He continued, "This bill does nothing to address any of these issues. I look forward to considering this measure when these other major issues are addressed."

Veterans and the groups that represent them are fuming, and they will probably not forget too quickly the way their plight failed to impress Schwarzenegger. One Vietnam Veteran who is very close to the matter is co-author of AB 264, Assemblyman Paul Cook, a Republican from Yucca Valley.  He’s the type of Republican that does walk the veteran’s walk and talks the same talk. We need those kinds of Republicans in our mix, and they need to be true to what they believe in.

It is a sham when politicians use veterans as political pawns.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as’s Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation’s only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators. You can send Tim an email at this address: [email protected]

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