Gary Coleman is not just another pretty face. In his 25 years in Hollywood, he's learned some tough lessons about life, love, and money. The man's a hard-bitten showbiz veteran, with nerves of steel and a big brain filled with good old-fashioned common sense. Now, as California teeters on the edge of disaster, he's offering you this unique opportunity to put his ideas to the test. The Express is proud to be part of this historic moment, and we have assembled Gary's most powerful ideas into a platform that will inspire you with its wisdom and foresight.
Point One: Gary hates politicians!
If there's one class of people Gary Coleman despises, it's career politicians who play games with our tax dollars, while the little guy gets diddly-squat. If elected, he promises to give those Sacramento fat cats what for. "I'd kick in the ass every member of the House that had more than two secretaries," he snarls. "Because that's a waste of public funds. I believe that public service means just that: service. And I'd kick the ass of everyone who had their little pet projects and issues that had nothing to do with keeping California solvent and attracting corporations here." When this newspaper told him that during the recent budget deadlock, members of the state legislature were seen smoking cigars and drinking what appeared to be expensive Scotch on the capitol building balcony, Gary wigged out and vowed to "find them and put my size four-and-a-halfs so deep into their colon!"
Point Two: Gary loves gay rights!
Who cares if homosexuals wanna get married, buy a house, and raise a bunch of in vitro rug rats? Not Gary Coleman. As governor, he promises to reverse the 2000 "Defense of Marriage" initiative, which prevented our lavender brothers and sisters from getting hitched. "What's the problem?" Coleman asks. "Why shouldn't gay people be married? Who does this threaten? There have been homosexuals in every civilization. The Romans, the Greeks -- hell, there's even been some gay Mayans. Evolution didn't stop because there's homosexuality." When Gary Coleman leads our state, he'll defend the rights of homosexuals, regardless of where they're from.
Point Three: Gary hates taxes!
Nothing drives Gary Coleman crazier than when he sees Vancouver or Toronto get the rights to stage movies that oughta be shot instead in his Los Angeles home. How are those Canucks getting our good American jobs? Too many taxes, that's how. If Gary gets into the governor's mansion, no movie producer will ever have to pay taxes again. "The film industry should never be taxed," he says. "Because that's the state's bread and butter. That's what drives jobs and makes people come here." As for the rest of us, Coleman will finally implement that great populist dream, the flat tax. And hey, his tax rate's just 5 percent; not even Steve Forbes promised you that. "You do the math: 35 million people, why can't a 5 percent tax rate be enough to cover anything and everything the state does?" he says. "It's all going to buy power, that's where it's going. And why do we always have to have a bond issue at the end of the year?"
Point Four: Gary loves business!
Hey, everyone's gotta work, and if we want to keep big corporations in California, we'd better keep 'em happy. Especially those company towns where everyone works for PeopleSoft, or Oracle, or whatever. "Any corporation that employs 50 or 75 percent of a given city, I think they should be given some special treatment," he warns. "And I don't think these cities are giving corporations any incentive to stay. How about free water? One of my dreams is to have California build its first desalinization plant and give them free water. They're employing our people, so why are we treating them like this?"
Point Five: Gary hates unions!
As a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild, Gary Coleman has seen how fucked-up the closed shop can be. And don't get him started about the Teamsters! "I tend to believe unions hurt jobs more than they help," he opines. "Yeah, they keep me from having something heavy fall on my head at work, but when you prevent me from getting a job, yeah, I have a problem with that." And Coleman doesn't think much of politicians who depend on union campaign contributions like pathetic junkies hawking their mom's TV for their next fix (such as, for instance, certain incumbent governors we could mention). But he doesn't want to spread this around too much; some union goons may know where he lives. "I can't knock them too hard, 'cause the Teamsters will show up at my house and picket me," he frets, "but I think that's why jobs are going to Arizona, 'cause things can't get done here."
Point Six: Gary loves cities!
Our future governor thinks sprawl development has gotten way out of hand, and if we're going to save our precious open space, we had better start using eminent domain as if we've got some balls. "I'm tired of endless shopping malls; I'm just tired of it," he complains. "We got so much land that's not being used; we could do so much with that." And if you happen to be living on that underutilized land? Start packin', 'cause Coleman's already warming up the bulldozers: "We could move people away for a year and bring them back into something nice. Move a thousand people out, make sure you leave enough space for them to come back, but you've added value to the place, a new minimall, a couple of hundred more houses. Urban renewal can be profitable. I just look at things practically like that."
Point Seven: Gary hates drunks!
Why is our health care system in such a mess? It's all those rummies gettin' sauced and rackin' up a case of cirrhosis. Put Coleman in Sacramento, and he promises to jack up the sin taxes till the boozehounds have to make a choice: Tie one on, or pay the rent. "Yeah, raise it as high as possible!" Gary pledges. "I'd raise it to the point where people start thinking about spending money on it. In order to improve health care, you have to reduce things like obesity and car accidents from drunk drivers." And all you smokers out there: Coleman's got his eye on you, too: "When you remove alcohol and cigarettes from society, you improve the health, safety, and the cost of medical services. Then they don't have to charge as much, because they won't have to take care of people who really shouldn't be in the health system."
Point Eight: Gary loves pot reform!
But dope smokers of the world, rejoice! You've got Gary Coleman on your side. The actor has no problem with people who wanna get high, and he thinks the federal government's crackdown on medical marijuana is reactionary social policy. "There's been medical marijuana ever since there's been medicine," he avers. "Nobody gets hurt, so why not? People still smoke marijuana, and they still go to work. There's no drug-related crime and robberies and murders in countries like, oh -- lemme pull one out of my ass here -- Denmark. Or Belgium."
Point Nine: Gary hates buses!
City buses piss off Gary Coleman. He's a busy man, and when you're stuck behind one of those lumbering tubs, you might as well kiss that ten o'clock meeting goodbye. "All buses do is hold up traffic," he growls. "They're slow, they stop every other block, they always drive at the speed limit. Which we all should, but the CHP lets us go five or seven miles over. So I would actually cut back on the buses and encourage more express buses." His solution? More light rail, of course. And once again, he's not afraid to use eminent domain to make it happen. Say goodbye to that Boyle Heights bungalow, 'cause Gary's got a railroad to build!
Point Ten: Gary loves Lotto!
Like every red-blooded Californian, Gary Coleman's not above buying a lottery ticket or two. He figures it's his way of supporting our public schools. So what's up with the schools falling apart and all? As governor, Coleman will launch a criminal investigation into who's been skimming from the state lottery education fund. "I buy a lottery ticket, you buy a lottery ticket, why don't the schools have enough money?" he demands. "What happened there? There's money being held back somewhere, and the reasons people have given us why the lottery isn't taking care of the schools is bogus." In any case, fixing the schools is just a matter of doubling the lottery ticket prices: "The lottery's been around enough that $2 a ticket or a play isn't too much to ask."
There you have it, folks. Ten simple things Gary can do to turn this state around. So remember, when you go to the polls October 7, pull the lever for a little guy who will stand up for the little guy.
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