California Gets Ohio’d
On the eve of the 2004 presidential election many pundits and pollsters predicted that Ohio would go to John Kerry, sweeping him into the Presidency. But a certain future target of a federal Grand Jury knew better. Months earlier, Karl Rove and his minions had placed an anti-gay marriage initiative on the Ohio ballot. It was like hanging out fresh meat for the hungry. Christian evangelical voters in Southern Ohio came out in droves to make sure gay’s couldn’t get married in their state, and while they were there they voted for George W. Bush. The rest as they say is history.
One year later, desperate to avoid the defeat of his pet-initiatives on California’s special election ballot and perhaps prevent the end of his Governorship, Arnold Schwartzengger is borrowing a page from Rove’s playbook. The Governor has joined forces with conservative Christian strategist Gary Marx, who worked with Ralph Reed at the Christian Coalition and took his marching orders from Karl Rove as the leader of the get-out-the-evangelical-vote effort for President Bush’s re-election campaign. Together they are working to mobilize Christian evangelical voters in support of Proposition 73, an initiative requiring parental notification prior to teens receiving an abortion, and hoping that will also vote for the Governor’s initiatives. One would think that Karl Rove would have other things to worry about, but opponents of Prop 73 say that Rove and other conservative strategists are supporting the effort and that they expect more than 3,000 Evangelical Christians to arrive in California over the weekend to bolster the Republican mobilization of Christian voters.
But the Governor might want to be careful. He may be making a bargain with the devil and this isn’t a movie. After Joe Hardy sold his soul to the devil in “Damn Yankees” to become a great baseball player, he found an escape clause and his wife took him back. My guess is that deals with Karl Rove don’t have escape clauses, and Maria may not be so forgiving.