07/04/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tone Deaf Governor

Arnold says the people spoke at the polls. They did, but he wasn't listening. Of course, English isn't his first language; celebrity is.

We didn't say our rich, healthy, girly-man dissing, celebrity governor should terminate welfare. Unlike some, we don't hate the poor.

We didn't say turn California into Mississippi.

We didn't say throw the poor under the bus and dump their kids on the street.

We said go back to Sacramento and do your damned job!

We said go to the legislature and create a budget; don't hand the problem to us.

We said we want our elected leaders to lead. Leading means having the guts to deal with the tough problems. Ignore your handlers for a minute and do something for the people.

You want to cut costs? Cut the $135,000,000.00 you waste every year on a death penalty Chief Justice George says is "dysfunctional." You haven't been able to kill anyone for three years because a federal judge said your killing system is unconstitutional. So stop it.

You want to cut costs? Cut the $400,000,000.00 you plan to spend on a new death row.

You want to cut costs? Grant parole to the guys locked up in Tracy, California, stuck away with indeterminate sentences because no politician has the guts to notice that their records are clean and they deserve a life.

How about releasing the thousands locked up in your bulging prisons for non-violent drug crimes instead of stripping away their future,

Leadership, Governor, means doing the right thing: serving people, not victimizing them.

It means raising taxes on those with plenty, not taking food out of poor kid's mouths.

It means fixing the system so a simple majority can pass a budget rather than letting an anti-tax minority strangle the process.

Those who can will pay the taxes; we don't mind. What we mind is those who crave the title but won't do the job.

Mike Farrell, president of Death Penalty Focus, is the author of "Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist," and "Of Mule and Man."