A question of priorities

Gov. Schwarzenegger finally decided to head out to the brand new University of California at Merced today, although he is skipping the official opening and big celebration taking place Monday. Today’s trip was not pre-arranged; it was announced after two days of bad press in which questions were rightfully raised about what could possibly be more important than the opening of the first UC campus in 40 years, and the first ever in the San Joaquin Valley?
Unfortunately for the governor, he doesn’t have a good reason. His spokespeople say he has “other plans,” but we’re not being let in on what they are, other than “special election issues.” His staff says he has no scheduled events.
Perhaps Schwarzenegger needs some time to recover from his recent vacation and busy fund-raising schedule that included a $10,000-per-seat Rolling Stones concert. Or perhaps, even though he is supposed to be leading this state, he just doesn’t understand the importance of accessible and affordable higher education.
UC Merced should dramatically increase the college-going rates of Central Valley’s young people, who have traditionally lagged behind the rest of California. Schwarzenegger’s rhetoric is so ridiculous that one really must judge him based on his actions. And his decision to skip the UC Merced opening speaks volumes.