California ABC says Schwarzenegger will level construction playing field

Images of California Governor-elect/actor Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to be everywhere in the days before the Oct. 7 recall election, from the television screen to newspapers nationwide. In California, his larger-than-life photo was even displayed on highway billboards sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors.

The organization was one of the first major business groups to endorse Schwarzenegger and was the only state-wide industry group to endorse the recall. In addition to posting billboards in favor of the recall election, the California ABC helped raise significant revenue within its membership for the republican campaign and encouraged other organizations to support Schwarzenegger.

According to ABC of California, the election results are a major victory for the state’s merit shop contractors and apprenticeship programs. Many members of the business sector, including ABC, say pulling Gov. Gray Davis out of office will benefit the local economy.

“People in California are fed up with the hostile business climate,” said Ray Chafe, ABC of California chairman.

Matt Tennis, legislative director of the California ABC, said Schwarzenegger’s win will be a good thing for the state’s construction industry.

“He (Schwarzenegger) has expressed an openness to leveling the playing field in construction, bidding and contracting, and we think that the people underneath him will be in a good position to improve working conditions and employment for the people for the state of California, especially in respect to the building trades,” Tennis said. “The minute Arnold threw his name in, we realized he was our best hope for a favorable atmosphere for merit shop contractors.”