Edie’s Diner: Pancakes, Eggs and Schwarzenegger

Times Staff Writer

On his last day of campaigning for and against a long list of California propositions, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger began early today pouring coffee for breakfast patrons at Edie’s Diner in Marina Del Rey.

As customers ate pancakes and eggs, Schwarzenegger worked the room, dressed in tan slacks and white shirt with no tie, handing out his own personal voter guide and trading jokes with customers. “You’re not a morning person either, hey?” the governor quipped with one, as he moved from table to table in this beach-side suburb of Los Angeles.

On the first leg of a six-city fly around expected to take him as far north as Monterey before turning back south to Santa Barbara for an appearance this afternoon, Schwarzenegger was at Edie’s to also stump for Republican candidate Greg Hill, mayor of Redondo Beach, who is engaged in one of the most competitive legislative races in the state. Hill is facing Democrat Mike Gordon, the former mayor of El Segundo, in the 53rd Assembly District.

But Schwarzenegger also spoke out against Proposition 70, which would allow an unlimited number of slot machines at Indian casinos, and Proposition 66, which would change the state’s three-strikes law. Proponents want the three-strikes law to require that a criminal’s third conviction be for no less than a serious or violent felony. Opponents say that would allow inmates convicted of lesser crimes to argue for their release.

“This is the wrong way to go,” he said of Proposition 66. “We cannot let those criminals out of prison.”

Touching on the state’s economy, the governor talked about his opposition to Proposition 72, which would require that businesses provide health care to their workers or pay into a state insurance fund. Business groups oppose the measure because of its potential cost.

“There are a lot of measures on the ballot that are job killers,” Schwarzenegger said. “Lets bring California back. Lets make it again that powerful job-creating machine.”

Although all of the patrons seemed to appreciate the governor’s appearance, not all agreed with his politics.

Mark Unpingco, a 21-year-old Loyola Marymount student, said he disagreed with the governor on some issues and wasn’t swayed by his charm. “He’s a really great guy, but it’s my choice,” Unpingco said. “I did my own research.”