Ryan Chartrand

San Luis Obispo County residents put Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the spot Thursday at the Madonna Inn with questions about four of the eight propositions that will appear on Tuesday’s special election ballot.

Despite his intention to rally support, Schwarzenegger’s visit pulled in hundreds of local protesters who picketed outside the inn, waving signs and chanting “SLO says no” as cars drove by, many of them honking in approval.

“I think it’s amazing that there were 1,500 San Luis Obispo County residents here protesting his lousy initiatives,” said Stew Jenkins of San Luis Obispo who protested for several hours. Jenkins ran as the Democratic nominee for assembly in fall 2004.

Schwarzenegger spoke to about 300 invited community members, 120 of whom were randomly selected from subscriber lists to the San Luis Obispo Tribune and the Santa Maria Times. The two newspapers and KSBY sponsored the evening’s hour-long, town hall style event, which was broadcasted live on KSBY.

Opponents of Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77 spoke first and answered questions from the audience. In the second half, Schwarzenegger spoke in support of the propositions and also fielded questions.

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