Beatty barred from speech

first_imgSAN DIEGO – The state’s special election verged on a celebrity showdown Saturday when Warren Beatty and wife Annette Bening attempted to crash a campaign appearance by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Hollywood couple strode to the entrance of a cavernous airport hangar where the governor was about to address several hundred supporters during his four-city campaign swing in the run-up to Tuesday’s election. But they were blocked by Schwarzenegger campaign aide Darrel Ng, who told the “Bulworth” star he was not on the guest list and didn’t have the appropriate wristband to get inside. “You have to have a wristband to listen to the governor?” Bening asked. “He represents all of us, right?” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Beatty’s appearance caused momentary confusion at the rally. Just before the governor took the stage, the hangar door was closed – literally in the face of Beatty and Bening. It was later reopened as Schwarzenegger began to speak. Inside, Schwarzenegger told cheering supporters that his slate of four ballot proposals would “reform the broken system” in Sacramento. In a later interview, he alluded to Beatty only indirectly. “There’s the main event; then there is the sideshow,” the governor said. “I don’t care about the sideshow.” Beatty drew the ire of some of the governor’s supporters, who called him a Hollywood liberal and a has-been actor. “It’s time for some people to retire,” said former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who hosts a popular radio talk show. “I’m trying to be gentle about it, but it’s clear that Warren is over the hill and desperately looking for something else to do.” Beatty, a longtime Democratic activist, has criticized Schwarzenegger in recent months, fueling speculation that he might make a bid for governor next year. Beatty, 68, shadowed Schwarzenegger for much of the day as the governor worked his way north to Los Angeles. He urged people to vote against Tuesday’s ballot measures backed by Schwarzenegger. “The sun is hot, the agenda is clear, the task is at hand, so let’s get out and do what we have to do,” Beatty told a crowd of teachers, nurses and firefighters in San Diego before heading to the hangar. “Let’s get out the vote.” Boarding a bus draped with a banner reading “Truth Squad,” Beatty said, “We may just have some fun.” Asked in a brief interview if he hoped to speak with Schwarzenegger, Beatty said “that would be great.” Beatty told reporters he had no plans to run for public office, but didn’t rule it out entirely. He also said he wasn’t a gubernatorial candidate in next year’s election. “I don’t want to run for governor,” he said. “I want to say what I think.” In Anaheim, Beatty told about 100 supporters outside a building where Schwarzenegger was speaking that he believed the issues on the ballot could have been resolved by the Legislature, but the governor forced them into a special election because he knew there would be low voter turnout and a higher chance of success. “To my knowledge, I have not heard him debate a human, living person,” Beatty said. He did not attempt to enter where Schwarzenegger was speaking. “My experience in politics goes way, way back, much further back than Arnold’s,” Beatty added. “I don’t drop the issues simply because I know someone socially.” Later in the day, Schwarzenegger appeared with Sen. John McCain in Riverside as dozens of protesters chanted within earshot. McCain complained to reporters that negative advertising was making it difficult for the public to understand Schwarzenegger’s measures. “People want reform,” the Arizona Republican said. “They think we are not sharing their priorities.” Schwarzenegger is pushing several measures that would curb the power of the Democrat-controlled Legislature and the state’s powerful public employee unions. Another measure with his backing would extend the trial period for teaches to get tenure. Schwarzenegger took some time before his bus tour on Saturday for a call-in news conference with Ohio reporters to give his qualified endorsement of a redistricting measure on the ballot there Tuesday. The governor is backing Proposition 77 on California’s ballot that would let a panel of retired judges draw legislative and congressional maps. The Ohio initiative would have maps judged by a bipartisan panel. The proposals have drawn opposition from Democrats and Republicans, but Schwarzenegger said he would like to see similar efforts nationwide. “Let’s take the power away from the politicians and let’s take away the gerrymandering and give the power back to the people,” Schwarzenegger said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more