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To: Saundra Duffy
That's all you need to know.

No, actually I'd like to know a lot more about someone before I condemn them. But, maybe that's just me.

15 posted on 11/06/2003 8:45:27 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: Chad Fairbanks; Saundra Duffy
No, actually I'd like to know a lot more about someone before I condemn them. But, maybe that's just me.

OK. Here you go. I like the part about Norman Lear.

Another ‘red flag’ for GOP voters?: Hollywood ‘green’ activist is top Schwarzenegger aide
California Political Review ^ | September 10, 2003 | Frank Duclos

Campaign advisor Bonnie Reiss has long promoted liberal environmentalism through the entertainment industry.

Another key Arnold Schwarzenegger gubernatorial campaign aide has emerged as a possible embarrassment to the actor as he tries to solidify support within the GOP base.

Long-time Schwarzenegger friend and political co-worker Democrat Bonnie Reiss, who joined his campaign last month, has long been an influential, highly effective leader of Hollywood’s left-wing environmentalists, working with Norman Lear before forming her own organization promoting a broadly anti-market, anti-private property political agenda.

Reiss’s activism may embarrass Schwarzenegger, already at odds with many Republicans over his support of abortion and gun control, just as political insiders are digesting a recent private survey showing Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock within what is described as “striking distance” of Schwarzenegger and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamanate.

Reiss could add to Schwarzenegger’s difficulties if she is seen as another in a string of insiders giving his campaign a liberal pro-tax, anti-market flavor. Earlier, Schwarzenegger advisor Warren Buffett’s criticism of Prop. 13 and the addition to the campaign of Hollywood liberal Rob Lowe caused an uproar among GOP base voters.

Republican state legislative staffer Tom Hudson said he was concerned to hear of Reiss’s background and role in the Schwarzenegger campaign “at a time when businesses are being smothered by excessive environmental regulations, and developers, farmers, and researchers are being attacked outright by fringe animal rights activists.”

Hudson, legislative director for California Senate Natural Resources Committee Vice Chairman Rico Oller, said he is “more than a little concerned over someone with her background being so close to a potential Republican governor, indeed any governor.”

As a long-time player within the Hollywood establishment elite, Reiss could further complicate Schwarzenegger’s efforts to cultivate a “populist” image in sync with the recall’s Prop. 13-style, grass-roots conservative origins.

“This is populism?” asked American Spectator columnist George Neumayr after seeing an August Los Angeles Times headline that read: “Mobilizing the Machine: Schwarzenegger is Harnessing His Talent Agents and Hollywood Contacts to Raise Funds and Rally the Electorate.”

“Normally the scourge of the Republican Party,” Neumayr wrote on an American Spectator website, “the Hollywood elite is warming to the idea of a Schwarzenegger governorship.ÊThey recognize him as a fellow liberal and regard the ‘R’ after his name as a convenient charade. Peter Bart of Daily Variety chuckled to CNN that he is a ‘Schwarzenegger Republican.’ The Times reports that ‘director/producer Bud Yorkin, a liberal Democrat, said he wouldn’t hesitate to vote for Schwarzenegger,’ and Canadian movie director Ivan Reitman is planning to co-host a fundraiser for him next month.”

An accomplished lawyer, accountant, producer, and writer, Ms. Reiss worked for U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign before moving to Southern California to specialize in entertainment law.

She is a former member of the Environmental Media Association founded by Norman Lear, a group that worked to insert pro-“Green” messages into mainstream television programs and movies.

In 1989, she founded her own organization, the Earth Communications Office (ECO). Associated Press reported in 1991 that “because of ECO, ‘Designing Women’ created an episode about using cloth diapers, Michael Douglas is producing a movie about toxic waste, ‘L.A. Law’ addressed animal rights, ‘Murphy Brown’ took on recycling, and Barbra Streisand included an environmental message in her latest album.”

“We have only ten years left to do something,” warned Reiss at ECO’s founding, according to AP.

The July 1, 2003, issue of Sierra, in a supportive article titled “Green Glitterati: celebrities give props to the environment,” described ECO as “ ... another Hollywood green group ... founded in 1989 by entertainment attorney Bonnie Reiss, who discovered that many of the biggest stars were willing to bring some high gloss to the realm of the tree- hugger.”

According to Sierra, ECO’s member roster includes “[James] Cromwell, Pierce Brosnan, and Kevin Bacon.” The group “made its mark with emotional public-service announcements shown before the main features in movie theaters all over the globe. Footage of pristine waters, roiling clouds, leaping dolphins, and time-lapsed sunsets with Willie Nelson singing ‘What a Wonderful World’ as soundtrack encouraged viewers to ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle.’”

Environmentalist critic Ron Arnold described Reiss in his book Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America as “the Aimee Semple McPherson eco-evangelist to the stars.”

Employing a soft-sell approach, ECO promotes “questioning” of American “consumption patterns,” “consumer habits,” and “social values.” A Curriculum and Resource Guide accompanying an ECO-recommended book for young readers (called Stuff) suggests as a classroom activity that “students form a commission on reducing our environmental impact by changing our consumption patterns. Have the class brainstorm different ways that change can be promoted (e.g. education, economics, lifestyle, laws, technology, infrastructure, etc.) ....”

Ms. Reiss’s Schwarzenegger connection runs deep. Reuters quoted her saying she has been a Schwarzenegger family friend for 24 years and has worked with Mr. Schwarzennegger for 10 years. Ms. Reiss worked with Mr. Schwarzenegger’s wife Maria Shriver producing a 1994 Shriver-moderated event billed as the “First Annual Los Angeles Briefing on Major Women’s Health Issues.”

More recently, Ms. Reiss served as CEO of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s Inner-City Games Foundation, making her his original public policy advisor, predating the arrival of the actor’s present campaign team of political and policy consultants.

Ms. Reiss was also founding director of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s After School All Stars, an organization providing after school programs to middle schools.

Ms. Reiss seems poised to play an influential role in policy formulation for Mr. Schwarzenegger who has rebuffed questions about his specific proposals for California by promising to surround himself with capable advisors. Asked specifically about environmental issues, Mr. Schwarzenegger has said, “I have always been environmentally friendly ... Nothing to worry about.”

But his Party’s conservative base seems already worried.

The more I learn about Arnold’s history supporting groups like ECO,” legislative staffer Tom Hudson said, “and his willingness to host awards ceremonies for Norman Lear’s Environmental Media Association, the more concerned I become .... Bonnie Reiss makes it that much worse.

“I have to fight against wacko environmental ideas on an almost daily basis. The last thing we need is that kind of stuff coming from a Republican governor’s office.”

73 posted on 11/06/2003 9:19:47 AM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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