By Angela Wu, 15, Walnut HS
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With the governor’s race coming up, I felt like teens should know more about the candidates and issues than the fact that their current governor is the "Governator." Why does the election matter? How exactly is each candidate going to affect our lives? Who is going to lead our state?
I think opinions are integral to our government because we have the ability to state our opinions and make a change. I compiled a list of two candidates’ stances on important issues so that teenagers could simply see the facts and form their own opinions on the election.

Sources:,,,,,, The Washington Post and the Associated Press.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Age 59
Governor since 2004. Immigrated from Austria, became a U.S. citizen in 1983. He’s married to Maria Shriver (a journalist and author) and has four children. Before becoming governor he was a famous body builder and actor.
Phil Angelides: Age 53
State treasurer since 1998. He proudly calls himself Greek-American. Angelides was born and lives in Sacramento with his wife and one of three daughters. He became interested in politics when he saw a "Dump Nixon" poster while at Harvard University.


Signed into legislation AB 172, which funds preschool and early education programs in low-performing school districts. The goal of AB72 is to close the achievement gap between the rich and the poor, and also between higher-scoring whites and Asians and lower-scoring Latinos and blacks. He wants to eventually make preschool available to 43,000 4-year-olds. His Web site states that "children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to be held back, need special education or be involved in crime as juveniles." In his first two years of office, Schwarzenegger raised the cost of attending a college in California. The UC fees have increased from $5,684 a year in 2004 (the year he took office) to $6,850 this year, and Cal State fees have increased from $2,046 a year to $2,520.
Wants to raise student achievement by providing more scholarships for college, increasing career and technical courses in high schools, and doubling the number of student counselors. If elected, he plans to give schools targeted grants that they can use to improve student achievement, such as more class time and more help for students who need more help learning. Angelides wants to admit 20,000 more students to California’s state universities by expanding the number of qualified students who can go to both Cal States and UCs by 20 percent.


Supports a woman’s right to choose, but does not support late-term abortions. He supported Proposition 73, which would have required doctors to notify parents of girls under 18 at least 48 hours before performing an abortion. Exceptions were made for cases of abuse or other problems in the family. However, this proposition did not pass.
Has said that he will "always fight to protect Roe vs. Wade," the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned all state laws outlawing abortion. He opposed Proposition 73, the parental notification initiative.

Same-sex marriage

After the California Legislature approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, Schwarzenegger vetoed it. He said that it would conflict with an initiative the people of California had passed five years ago preventing California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries. In the Washington Post, a spokesman for the governor said that Schwarzenegger supports domestic partnerships but opposes same-sex marriage.
Though he used to be in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples as an alternative to marriage, Angelides is now an advocate for marriage equality and has repeatedly said that he would sign into law a same-sex marriage bill if he were governor.


An immigrant from Austria, he has said that "immigrants contribute to the richness of life in California, and I embrace them." He does not support driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. He says that the issue of immigration lies with the federal government and that the governor does not have much control over it.
Wants to offer a path to citizenship for undocumented residents already living and working in the United States. However, he said in an interview with The Associated Press that it "made sense to put some limits on which of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants can be allowed to apply for citizenship." Angelides believes that the federal government should reimburse California for failing to secure the border.  He also said that as governor he would sign the bill granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Public safety

Supports the "Three Strikes" law that says a person with convictions for two serious or violent felonies will receive a sentence of 25 years to life if convicted of any other felony, even a non-violent crime. He appointed someone to the newly created the position of "Crime Victim Advocate" to address victims’ needs and services. He is sponsoring an amendment to the state Constitution that would establish a Victims’ Bill of Rights. These rights would include the right to be protected from the accused and be free from intimidation, as well as the right to have an attorney or the district attorney enforce their rights in court.
Says he is adamant in assisting victims of sexual predators and wants to go beyond Jessica’s Law, a law against sexual predators. The San Jose Police Officers Association, the Sacramento Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles County Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles School Police Association and the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association all support Angelides.

Environmental issues

Has set targets for California to incorporate alternative fuel sources. Schwarzenegger petitioned to keep 4.4 million acres of roadless areas off limits to further development. He has said that "preserving and protecting California’s environment for future generations is a top priority for my administration." He recently signed a pact with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, independent of the federal government, which said that Britain and California will "commit to urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote low carbon technologies." However, he has accepted more than $1.4 million in campaign contributions from oil companies and businesses connected to the oil industry since 2003, according to the Sacramento Bee. The California League of Conservation Voters gave Schwarzenegger a 58 percent for signing environmental legislation in 2005. He signed into law seven of the 12 bills the CLCV rated as environmentally friendly.
The Sierra Club, the largest environmental organization in California, endorses Angelides for governor. Angelides has put together a Clean California plan with the goal to reduce gasoline and diesel use by 25 percent throughout the next 10 years. He said that he would invest $5.5 billion in making California the global leader in developing and selling clean technology, fuels, vehicles and renewable energy.