6.16.2003

SIMON TO RIDE THE PINE?

Bill Simon was all but back in. Emails from his campaign volunteer team were flying around faster than Gray Davis approval numbers were falling. Bill was spending time with Sal Russo, and the consultant gang, banging out ideas for a possible new campaign. He was running. “I haven’t been thinking about being anymore,” he’d been saying in speeches, “I haven’t been thinking about it any less either.” He was setting the foundation for Simon ’03.

But things appear to be changing. Bill spoke at the Orange County GOP Flag Day Dinner on Saturday. But rather than keeping any of the attention for himself, he deflected it all towards Darrell Issa. I sat there shocked. I thought for sure I’d hear him say, “For the past two years, I was the recall effort.” NO! It was all, “thanks to Darrell” this and “because of the efforts of Congressman Issa” that. Amazing.

Bill Simon is a likable guy. He may be politically naïve to some extent, but all in all is a good guy. He would make a great candidate for Attorney General in 2006. I’d vote for him. That could even be a stepping-stone upwards and onwards if he wanted it to be.

Bill Simon seems genuine about his desire to serve the people of California, to help the California Republican Party, and to renew the California Dream…I hope he just doesn’t overstep it again…

THE "MOM TEST"

Having been involved in campaigns good and bad, I’ve developed a very scientific way of gauging the effectiveness of a Campaign’s communications efforts, of gauging whether the message is penetrating, to gauge if our efforts are paying off. It’s a rather cheap method too. Rather than expensive polls, or length meetings with seasoned campaign veterans, I instead just spend a little time on the phone with my mom.

You see, with the absurd amount of time I spend with my head in the political sand, I have gauze over my eyes. I don’t, and can’t, see the papers from the perspective of the average voter. My mom is the average voter.

During the Simon campaign, as I was pouring my blood, sweat, and tears into the race, she paid attention to anything that crossed the multiple papers she receives daily. And despite her attentiveness, coming to the close of the election she commented, “you know what, I read the papers every day, and yet I still don’t know what he stands for.”

After first blowing that off as, “oh she just isn’t looking hard enough,” it hit me! NO! She’s right. If we’re not getting the message of what Bill Simon stands for and who Bill Simon is to my mom, we’re failing. Period. End of story.

Since then, I’ve paid extra attention to what she’s had to say. I may know all the particulars of how the mud being thrown at Darrell Issa is false, but she doesn’t. And so, when she starts to tell me that, “he doesn’t seem like a very good guy,” I get worried.

Let’s just hope Issa doesn’t have the same communications problems Simon did.

6.07.2003

MEMO TO MY WIFE



By Senator Tom McClintock


Hi Honey,


Since you've let me take over our household finances, I'm happy to report that our family budget is balanced, I've saved thousands of dollars, and I've kept us in the style to which I would like to become accustomed.


You might wonder how I've been able to do all this. I just followed the easy steps that Gov. Gray Davis outlined in his May Budget Revision. I know you're upset because I spent nearly $11,000 more than we took in this year. You really need to keep things in perspective. Gray spent nearly $11 billion more than he took in, and he's not worried. I've taken out a second on our house and Gray's taken out the largest state loan in American history to cover the difference, so just relax.


I'm being fiscally conservative and socially liberal with our budget, just like the Governor. I've cut thousands of dollars from our expenses without affecting our standard of living in the slightest. I know you're skeptical, but it was really very easy. I just added a new jet ski to my wish list and then scratched it out. That saves $5,500. Pretty clever, huh? You can actually do this in any amount - Gray "cut" $5.5 billion from the state budget exactly the same way.


I also saved us $2,100 by not making our December mortgage payment until January, giving us a little extra cash this year. Once again, I can't claim credit - it was Gray's idea. He took $1.2 billion that the state owes to the schools and pushed it one month into the next fiscal year. Then he did essentially the same thing with $930 million in MediCal spending. Presto: another $2.1 billion that he "cut" from the budget. The biggest financial problem our family faces is that the state is about to triple our car tax. I know you'll feel better knowing that Gray is claiming this $4.2 billion tax increase is really - you guessed it - a "cut" in government spending. Overall, taxes will rise an average of $950 per family.


But it's no problem -- we can pay our steadily increasing taxes the same way Gray is paying for his steadily increasing pension obligations. The state owes its main pension system $1.9 billion this year. Instead of paying it, Gray simply took out another credit card. We can make our taxes go away the same way.


Now I need to mention a sore subject - the kid's college funds. I know they've been saving their baby-sitting and lawn mowing money, but these are hard times and everybody needs to sacrifice. So I'm taking $940 from them to balance our checkbook, and I'll promise to pay it back by 2009. Before you get mad, just remember that Gray is doing the same thing with $940 million of the taxes that we've been paying at the gas pump that are supposed to be going into a special fund for our roads. The way I see it, if we've got to watch our highway taxes taken away from our highways, our kids can just suck it up too.


So don't worry about a thing - I've learned a lot about money management from Gray Davis and have everything under control. I imagine that the bill collectors who keep calling may have some questions. Just refer them to the Governor's Department of Finance. I'm sure there's a former Enron accountant there who can explain everything.


Meanwhile, I'm going to go ahead and buy that little boat I've had my eye on. Gray added $2.2 billion to his spending plan since January and after everything I've already saved, I figure I'm entitled.


Thanks for the checkbook, Honey.

MIKE ROBINSON FOR ASSEMBLY




There’s a great guy running for State Assembly in the 37th District. Current Assemblyman Tony Strickland is unfortunately leaving us, as term limits forces him from his office. However, one need not think we’re losing great leadership in the Assembly from that neck of the woods. Thankfully, Mike Robinson is on the scene.


A former field rep for Senator Extraordinaire Tom McClintock, Mike is also President of the Ventura County Republican Assembly. He’s a great guy that I had the good fortune of meeting at the LA County Registrar’s office, during the long, painstaking canvas count for Senator McClintock’s unsuccessful Controller campaign.


Last night, Mike held the official kickoff for his campaign. “I am out walking precincts every weekend with our volunteers,” he said. “I have knocked on over 2,000 doors already, and the response is better than I could have imagined. Every door I knock on is a taxpayer, fed up with fiscal irresponsibility. They are sickened by the lack of respect for family values, and cynical of politicians trying to feather their own beds by ending term limits.”


Mike Robinson is the kind of guy we need in Sacramento!

JIM BRULTE IS MY HERO


It’s not often you’ll hear me say that, as Senator Brulte is a man who’s said things along the line of, “other than Senator McPhereson, I’m probably the most liberal member of the Senate Republican Caucus.”


So, imagine my surprise to wake up Thursday to find that in a closed door, Assembly and Senate joint caucus meeting, Brulte had laid down the law to any potential budget sellouts.


“I feel strongly about this, I am willing to do something I have never done, which is not support an incumbent Republican in the primary,” he said. “If someone in the Republican Party wants to raise taxes, then I am willing to go to their district and have that debate.”


Three words: Atta Boy Jim!


We may disagree on a whole number of things, but to see Brulte lay down the law like this, apparently going so far as to bringing in an example hit piece to the Caucus meeting, brings warm and fuzzy feelings to my heart.


Former CRP Chairman Shawn Steel has talked about recalling any Republican who breaks rank on the budget. If he doesn’t get them the first time, Brulte (and his considerable money) will get them in the primary.


Keith Richman. Ya, we're looking at you!


What works out nicely is that the potential stray votes are from safe Republican districts. So, though we may bloody these guys up a bit, we’re in no danger of losing the seat. Pat Bates is termed out, but we can still recall her. And Keith Richman is in a very good Republican District (45%-35%), it’s about time we get a REAL Republican in there.


For a few years now, the Club for Growth has been using this model to challenge RINO’s (Republican In Name Only) in safe Republican seats across the country. And thus far, they’ve been incredibly successful!


It’s about time we bring the Club to California.

6.03.2003

THE DEMS’ ONLY CHANCE




So far as I can tell, the Democrats have only one real shot at knocking President Bush from his pedestal. It’s a hail mary, but given the financial state of their Party, it might be the only shot the Democrats have.


As the Group of 9 has managed to meet in South Carolina, to less than impressive results, it begs for comparison to the other irrelevant “G” meeting that President Bush just recently took off early from.


With this collection of misfits, has-beens, and never-will-be’s, it takes some creativity to come up with a strategy to help them win. And while I’m usually hesitant to offer free advice to water-cooler communists, in the spirit of competition, here it goes…


First, they need to collect themselves, and rally around the idea of voting rights for all Americans, regardless of age. While Bill Clinton is on his soapbox about amending the 22nd Amendment, he needs to boldly propose amending the 26th as well. After all, why shouldn’t 17 year-olds be able to vote? Or 16? Or 15??? Allowing anyone who can make it to the polls to vote, needs to become a united Democrat rally cry.


Amendment XXVI

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the Unites States or by any state on account of age.


It might not be easy to pass such an amendment, but it’s an idea they must push.


With that out of the way, they can get on to the real beauty. They’ve got only one shot at this, and can’t afford to stray from it at all.


Someone imaginative, someone who some say already lives in a dream world, like Dennis Kucinich for instance, then can walk into the DNC Convention, and put into effect Phase II of this plan. Keep in mind, this is the only way the Democrats can bring down Bush.


On the floor of the Convention, Rep. Kucinich, in nomination speeches changed to take place Saturday morning can address the delegates:


Fellow Democrats. With a clear message to our Party, the American people have told us again and again, “No Thanks.” No thanks to tired, recycled candidates. No thanks to tired, recycled ideas. No thanks to the politics of pandering. One man can make a difference, and we need to unite behind him if we’re to keep the Republicans from stealing another election.


With the adoption of the amended twenty-sixth amendment, we need a candidate who will represent all Americans, especially those just brought into the big tent of American voters. We need a candidate popular enough with the people that he will inspire all Americans. We need a candidate who can put smiles on the faces of children and warmth into the hearts of parents. We need a candidate who has small business experience, to right this sinking economic ship. Only one man can fill this bill. Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Democrats, Citizens of America, I nominate Sponge Bob Square Pants for President!






With scores of 5 year olds flocking to vote for their favorite animated character, the Democrats will have done the impossible, give their Party life (even if they needed a cartoon character to do so), and bring down the 800 lb gorilla, President George W Bush.