Schwarzenegger takes responsibility for failure of initiatives |

Schwarzenegger takes responsibility for failure of initiatives

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Two days after voters rejected each of his four initiatives, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took responsibility for the stinging failures and said he learned that he needs more patience in seeking government reform.”The buck stops with me,” he told reporters Thursday during a Capitol news conference, referring to Tuesday’s special election. “I take full responsibility for this election. I take full responsibility for its failure.”Voters soundly rejected Schwarzenegger’s proposal to change the way legislative districts are drawn, as well as an initiative that would have implemented a state spending cap and given the governor authority to make midyear budget cuts.Failing by smaller margins were the governor’s proposals to lengthen the probationary period for teachers and restrict the ability of public employee unions to raise money for political campaigns.”If I was to make another ‘Terminator’ movie, I would tell Terminator to travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have another special election,” Schwarzenegger said. He also said his wife, Maria Shriver, had warned him not to go ahead with the election.The Republican governor said he will try to be more patient with the Democrat-controlled Legislature.”The people said, ‘Initiatives are fine, but you know, go and work it out with the legislators,”‘ he said. “It was the law of supply and demand: There was plenty of supply of initiatives, but not the demand.”Schwarzenegger spoke after summoning the top legislative leaders from both parties to his office. The Democratic leaders said the governor promised to work with them on education, transportation and other problems facing California.”Everybody understands that we’ve got to put down the boxing gloves and … get some stuff done,” Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said after the meeting, which lasted less than 40 minutes.The tone described in the meeting was a sharp change from the pre-election battles between the governor and Democrats. His opponents said during the campaign that Schwarzenegger was trying to ram through ballot measures that would give him more power, punish his union critics and give Republicans more seats in the Legislature and California’s congressional delegation.California voters rejected all eight propositions before them in the special election, which was estimated to cost $52 million to $55 million. The others dealt with abortion, prescription drugs and California’s energy market.—Associated Press writer Steve Lawrence contributed to this report.Vail, Colorado

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