Wednesday, September 13, 2006


This is a stunning story, and I'm sorry I haven't gotten to it sooner. Drudge and California media have been all over it and now the police are involved. Via AP:

The campaign of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Democratic rival acknowledged Tuesday that it downloaded - and leaked to the media - a recording of a private meeting in which the governor described a Hispanic legislator as having a "very hot" personality.

But Cathy Calfo, campaign manager for Democrat Phil Angelides, said the campaign had done nothing wrong because the file was available publicly on the governor's Web site.

"No one hacked," Calfo said at a news conference to address the role played by the Angelides campaign, first reported by The Sacramento Bee. "They accessed information that was available to the public."

Schwarzenegger spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said someone would have had to snoop to find the audio file.

"The file that was leaked to the Los Angeles Times was in a private area of the governor's server not accessible to the public without manipulation of information," he said.

Schwarzenegger's legal affairs secretary, Andrea Lynn Hoch, said the sound file was stored in a password-protected area. She said she forwarded the Internet Protocol address used to download the file to the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating.

The chutzpah of the Dems is flabbergasting. Watch as they try to turn this around and blame Schwarzenegger. Via the SFChronicle:

The acknowledgement Tuesday that the campaign of Democrat Phil Angelides leaked an embarrassing tape of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the news media set off a new clash between the warring camps over the standards of political ethics in a world dominated by the Internet.

Although a criminal investigation continues into allegations of computer hacking, the manager of Angelides' gubernatorial campaign said members of her staff found four hours of Schwarzenegger's private tapes while perusing the governor's Web site and turned a small snippet over to the Los Angeles Times.

The six-minute section of the tape included comments by the governor attributing the passionate temperament of Cubans and Puerto Ricans to a combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood" -- comments that Schwarzenegger has apologized for.

Cathy Calfo, Angelides' campaign manager, said the actions by her staff members were not sanctioned by her or by Angelides. But she also insisted that the private tapes had been left unsecured on a public section of the governor's Web site and that no laws were broken when staffers downloaded the audio file.

"The Schwarzenegger campaign's continued contention that someone hacked into their computer system is a blatant attempt to mislead the public, and they should stop the cover-up, admit that their office made a mistake and stop the finger-pointing," she said.

The Democrats' p.c. privacy-invading attempt to embarrass Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has blown up in their faces. Good. My feelings about Arnie are lukewarm, but this was a gobsmackingly stupid attack by the Dems on two levels--not only from an ethics and legal standpoint, but also on the substance. Trying to play "gotcha" over the governor's harmless private comments? State Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, the subject of the governor's comments, had the right attitude:

State Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, says the leaked comments Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made about her were not offensive and the leak was clearly politically motivated.

"It's eight weeks from an election; I'm not surprised," Garcia said Saturday in an interview with The Desert Sun.

"I absolutely see it as an attempt by a fledging (Phil) Angelides campaign on its last leg trying to gain political traction from this."

The Angelides' campaign could not be reached for comment Saturday evening. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer, however, described Schwarzenegger's comments on his campaign Web site as "deeply offensive and embarrassing."

Garcia was swept up in a national political firestorm after taped, private comments referring to her "hot'' personality produced by the mixing of "black blood'' and "Latino blood'' were published, prompting an apology.

A Los Angeles Times story disclosed the remarks Friday setting off a day of finger-pointing from opponents and words of support for the governor by lawmakers from both parties.

On the tape, Schwarzenegger and chief of staff Susan Kennedy spoke affectionately about Garcia and speculated about her nationality.

Kennedy asked if Garcia is Puerto Rican. Schwarzenegger responded, "It seems to me a Cuban." Whether Cuban or Puerto Rican, "they all are very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

Garcia said Schwarzenegger's comments were taken out of context and does not believe him to be discriminatory or disrespectful.

"I think if you were a fly in my house for two minutes you can make anyone of us look like Archie Bunker," she said.


You know who else looks stupid here? The Los Angeles Times. Nice going, tools.

Can you imagine the LATimes editors accepting a leaked tape from GOP operatives and splashing its contents all over the front page in a last-ditch attempt to humiliate a Democrat governor?

Bias? What liberal bias?


Reader Tim e-mails:

So the Dems are against phone tapping and bank transaction surveillance of suspected terrorists but it’s OK to hack the Governor of California’s web site?

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